We’re officially less than a day away from the two best days of the year, and quite possibly the only Monday morning that we don’t wake up dreading. And of course while we’re ready to wine and fling it up, we also want to look good on the road. While we know that Carnival is about more than just capturing that perfect Instagram moment, we still want to look camera-ready at all times. And what better way to do that than by learning from the best of the best in the biz? We asked some of our favorite stylists, makeup artists and hairdressers for their go-to tips for looking (and feeling) great on the road!
Accessories are very important! Where will you keep your personal items and money? A little wristlet can be very handy, plus make it cute to match your costume! It helps to plan in advance and have yourself together to look your absolute best!
– NAKITA HYATALI, designer and stylist
Most, if not all women, do not fall into a basic size chart, so often costumes don’t fit perfectly. The number one tip I would offer as a Personal Stylist is to adjust your costumed to make sure the fit suits your body.
This might mean transferring the embellishments to another pair of bottoms, or bra; one that gives you support and is more flattering. You have to jump (and wine and fling it up) all day! You don’t need your side boob spilling out all over the place. Fit is number one when it comes to owning any look.
– STEPHANIE RAMLOGAN, Fashion writer & stylist
Even though the general consensus for carnival is ‘more is more’, it’s important to choose your accessories carefully to ensure that they complement you and your costume. Determining the ‘vibe’ of your costume beforehand can help you decide what type of accessories will enhance the intended look of the costume.
Graphic jewelry pieces with clean lines, such as geometrically shaped earrings and metallic chokers, tend to pair better with edgier costume designs. For softer, more feminine designs, chandelier earrings and crystal/beaded accessories can add to the delicate feel of the costume.
– SAFIA ALI, stylist
I am not against rocking simpler styles around this time of year but if I’m being honest, for this season ‘more is always more’. If you haven’t been into dressing up your looks with statement jewelry in the past, now is the perfect time to experiment and do so.
Statement necklaces, bejeweled crowns or headpieces, waist beads, upper arm bracelets and layered anklets are all great for adding some more personality to your outfits. Putting a bit of the art of mas into every look you wear via your accessories throughout the season is like a perfect fashion crescendo that explodes into the climax of Monday and Tuesday.
– KEZIAH LENDOR, stylist
Having braids during the carnival season is the most convenient hairstyle for being fast-paced and constantly on-the-go! Fete after fete after fete, your hairstyle stays in place and is very low maintenance.
They endure the sweat, the rain, the paint and powder, all while looking cute and fabulously accentuating any costume and holding that headpiece in place.
– XIA CHARLES, braid master
It’s so important to prep and protect the hair properly when styling in any way. Always applying a heat protector to the hair is the first step before using blow dryers and irons. Using mousse ensures longevity to the style and helps keep it from falling flat.
Texture sprays can also help styles like braids and beach waves from becoming too limp and slipping out. Smoothing and curls creams can also stop the hair from frizzing in our humidity. It’s also just as important to protect our hair and scalps from the sun, so applying sunscreen on hair partings really helps!
– EMILY QUESNEL, salon owner and hairstylist
Funky hair colours are always on trend for Carnival – but consider healthier hair alternatives like vibrant extensions, temporary colours, hair jewelry and braids to glam your look.
The go-to hairstyles that I always recommend to clients are beach waves, French braids, messy buns and wispy ponytails – not only are they edgy, but they also tend to last.
– KERRY GOBERDHAN, salon owner and hairstylist
Braids and ponytails are great for Carnival! They keep the hair contained so you can jump around and dance while looking good. Like most things for Carnival, the bigger the better!
Fluff out your braid by pulling gently on the loops with the thumb and index finger. Don’t be afraid of A LOT of hairspray and a little teasing. Do pack a travel sized hairspray to take with you on the road; it’s a great way to keep that style looking fresh after your lunch break.
– MELANIE ELLA-TANG, hairstylist
Everyone wants that full-coverage makeup look, but less is more when it comes to your carnival look. You want to focus on the eyes but use a lighter foundation with a little bit of SPF to protect your skin in the sun.
The trick to longwear foundation is the brand, and the primer and setting powder. Try looking for foundations that promise full-coverage and all-day wear but are non-cakey – water-based foundations do the trick!
Lastly, try using a moisturizing lip balm or gloss instead of lipsticks or liquid mattes as they tend to dry out your lips easily and you’d have to retouch them all day.
– KHADINE BAKSH, beauty blogger & makeup artist
Use an antiperspirant with an aluminum-based compound (15% or higher in the ingredients) on the forehead before makeup application. Couple that with a mattifying primer on the T-zone to help improve the longevity of your makeup during Carnival. Opt for a powder sunscreen you can dust all over, as sunscreen should be reapplied every couple hours!
– ANTHONY SINANAN, makeup artist
The key to long-lasting makeup on the road is basically how you prep your skin. Make sure to moisturize and use sunblock with a high SPF. Prime your skin with a mattifying primer to ensure the longevity of a matte finished look.
With a matte primer, you can use a light luminous foundation or a heavier silicon-based foundation, and it’ll keep the oiliness at bay. Don’t forget to moisturize your lips – they can get damaged from the sun too! And ditch the gems – they’re of the past!
– NARVELY LABASTIDE, makeup artist & brow queen