It happens like clockwork: every year, melomaniacs begin to flock to the desert in preparation for Coachella, the annual arts and music festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Of course, attendees are hardly limited to musicophiles—in recent years, Coachella has grown to become an institution in its own right; the birthplace of beauty sub genres that, oftentimes, grow to become eminent trends within the sphere. From gemstone adorned braids to technicolour eyeliner, it’s clear to see that Coachella is now synonymous with experimental mane and make-up looks. This can be ascribed to the sheer multitude and variety of musical acts found within the line-up, which serves as the perfect stomping ground for individuals to engage in distinctive and unique forms of self-expression.
Said forms of individualism, however, can sometimes veer into cultural appropriation, with items of religious or sacred significance being repurposed into accessories. Notable incidents include Kendall Jenner donning a nose chain typically worn by Indian brides; Alessandra Ambrosio sporting a Native American headdress; and Kylie Jenner showing up in cornrows. The frequency of such occurrences eventually led to backlash from South-East Asian and African-American communities, with the movement gaining enough traction to inspire a new wave of creativity.
It’s safe to say, then, that festival chic has gained a whole new dimension. Coachella 2023 is of no exception—with creative tour de forces and beauty mavens Blackpink, Becky G, and more coming through. Below, a curation of the most electrifying and inspiring hair and make-up to emulate.
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Ensure precise, abstract line work stays in place by utilising a matte make-up base. American rapper Flo Milli’s liner and eyeshadow are pristine even in the desert heat.
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Jisoo from Blackpink
For just a touch of dramatic flair, do as Jisoo does by extending a rosy pink flush all way up to the lower eyelids.
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Jennie from Blackpink
More is more. Jennie spearheads the charge on playful micro-braids with a multitude in varying sizes that make for an intriguing visual.
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Ever the “Clean Girl” posterchild, Hailey flaunts her signature minimalistic make-up look with a little extra bronze, neatly cropped locks and an acid green manicure.
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For an eye-catching touch, incorporate clip-in hair extensions in a standout hue. Latin-pop icon, Becky G, takes her ‘do a step further by weaving said strands into intricate micro-braids.
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It seems Coachella alum and Brazilian model, Alessandra Ambrosio, got the same memo on dyed braids. Rather than extensions, however, she opted for a looser, wavy hold in baby pink.
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2023’s take on face jewellery amalgamates punk with refined elegance thanks to the use of delicate gold hues and slim, minimalist structures. Teyana Taylor ensures that her trinkets standout by pairing them with a face of matte, neutral hues.
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Vogue Singapore’s first solo male cover star takes inspiration from titular figures such as the Joker and Black Swan with kohl-smudged lids that lend a dramatic flair to his Magic Man performance.
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Claws out. Singer Saweetie takes the maximalist route with sharpened talons and a gravity-defying blowout.
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Malaysian influencer Christinna Kuan is living proof that we are in the midst of an early-aughts style revival. See: the butterfly tattoo, rhinestone embellishments, and frosted eyeshadow.
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Lisa from Blackpink
Texture takes centrestage with Lisa’s look—from her artfully dishevelled topknot that trails off into a series of micro-braids, to her densely packed-on glitter eyeshadow.
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Rosé from Blackpink
It’s all in the details. Rosé’s intense smoky eye is complemented with hints of silver sparkle applied in a smooth, subtle arc over lids.
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Talk about a playful take on the high pony. Shay Mitchell keeps her rendition spicy by keeping it slick in the front so her bouncy tendrils are in full focus.
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In a refreshing change, Kendall Jenner turns festival glam on its head by going au naturel, choosing to step out with her hair loose and an effortlessly cool all-black ensemble.
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Charli D’amelio embraces a boho-inspired look with a playfully tousled bleach-blonde bob.
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Irina Shayk takes festival glam with a vampy approach. See her long, whispy Morticia-esque locks, and bold crimson pout to complete the look.
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Model Stella Maxwell’s look is a case study on how to rock a high pony: slicked, pull high and with a feline flick to add a cutting edge.
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Singer-songwriter Ashnikko intertwines grunge and sci-fi dystopian fantasy with her look. Taking the stage with an avant-garde haircut featuring a choppy, electric-blue bob with braided loose strands trailing down, her make-up look boasts a colour-draped pastel green and matching mascara. The star of the show remains the sculpted metallic pieces framing her gaze.
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Dixie D’amelio flaunts a similar bleached look as her sister, choosing to wear her tresses in tight space buns—a music festival staple if we’ve ever seen one.