Let’s face it: #thatfestivallife is all space buns and smiley faces on Instagram. But IRL, days of dry heat, lukewarm cocktails, and not-so-healthy food choices can leave even the most die-hard music fan frazzled. So now that we’re well into music’s most celebrated time of year, who better than Vanessa Hudgens—the reigning queen of festival season (every single season)—to share how she recharges and stays centered when life gets hectic?
We recently caught up with Hudgens on a rooftop in L.A. to celebrate her latest nail polish and makeup collection with Sinful Colors, which is sunny and colorful AF—just like the girl herself. From tapping into the healing powers of live music on a molecular level to nourishing your inner child, here’s how the actress, singer, and overall sage stays balanced during festival season and beyond, in her own words. (Hint: It takes a little ramen, a strong cocktail hack, and nonstop beats.)
Self-care to me means being compassionate with yourself, taking a moment to love on yourself, and love the inner little boy or little girl you have. So much of the time, we neglect that side of us and when you go to therapy, they tell you that you’ve got to take care of your inner child because we all have one, and they need love. It’s something that will create a more playful life. Life gets crazy. Things are thrown at you that you don’t expect. It’s easy to get cynical about life, but it’s important to know that you only get one, and it’s your choice to live it the way you want, so make the best of it.
On Making Time for Fitness
When I take care of myself is when I’m happiest, and who doesn’t want to be happy? My favorite self-care thing, number one, is yoga. I started doing yoga about 13 years ago, and it helped me find myself about seven years ago after I did a project where I completely lost who I was—it kind of saved my life! It’s a relationship. It evolves and grows and changes, but it’s a space that’s safe to have growth and change just like that best friend that’s always there. I love learning all the different styles and mantras. I love a power flow, and I’ve studied with David Swenson, who teaches ashtanga. There’s a studio near me called Modo Yoga, and they have their own practice, as well. It’s a fun way to care for yourself.
I feel like fitness is a really big thing in my life and a really amazing thing for self-care. In order to make sure I find time for that type of care, I like to take time every night to figure out what I’m doing for the next morning and try to build fitness into the next day, no matter what time that may have to be, whether it’s a 7 a.m. class or whether I can do it a little bit later. I try to take time the night before to plan my day so that I know that I have that time, but obviously, it doesn’t always happen. So if I’ve had a long day? Then honestly, at the end of the day, sitting down, lighting a candle, turning on music and drinking a glass of wine is really comforting and centering to me.“
I think of myself as a festival baby, and I love being on the field barefoot, listening to music.
On Painting Her Own Nails
Manicures are another thing I love to do for myself. I think painting your nails can be very meditative—just to sit there and have a moment to yourself. Nails have always been a tried and true thing for me, which is why I was so excited to do this Sinful Colors Festival Collection—it’s got a bunch of different shades. Right now, I’m loving the ombre look in nails because there are so many fun colors in the world, and having to pick one is kind of a bummer, so being able to have two gives you a little more oomph I think.
It’s easy to get cynical about life, but it’s important to know that you only get one.
On Festival Season
To do a festival-inspired collection was such a natural fit for me. I just love festivals. I think of myself as a festival baby, and I love being on the field barefoot, listening to music. I think there’s something spiritual about a festival because in this day and age, people are so preoccupied and so easily distracted, and at a festival is one time where everyone is centered and paying attention to the same thing for an extended amount of time, and I think that’s magical. The fact that you have vibrations pulsing through your body, and the person next to you has the same vibrations pulsing their body as well? That’s what it’s about, man.
Music is a very healing thing for me—always has been, always will be, so I always have music playing. I feel like the noise of life can be loud, and when I have music playing, it takes it all away. And the great thing is, there are so many different kinds of music, so whatever you’re feeling, there is something to do along with your mood.
I love finding things you can evolve with and find a longtime relationship with.
On Comfort Food and Drink
I love ramen. I could eat it every single day for every single meal. I’d be like 500 pounds heavier, but I’m obsessed with it because it makes me feel safe and warm and happy. I always say the way to my heart is through my stomach, and ramen is just the ultimate savory, decadent, fulfilling meal to me. I don’t eat meat, so a veggie broth, tofu, seaweed, and mushrooms is heaven.
I’m also obsessed with kombucha—and not for the reasons that most people would be obsessed with it, like for their health. I feel like I’m having a cocktail, so it’s like a life hack. I love it. I do love a glass of wine, too. I feel like that’s a vital part of my self-care. I love decadence in life, and wine is such a beautiful, artful thing that you can learn a lot about and change with.
I love finding things you can evolve with and find a longtime relationship with. I’m such a creature of commitment. I’m very true to all my relationships, so I really value that, and I feel like it reflects on all aspects of my life. I love drinking a glass of wine and being transported to three years ago to when that was my favorite bottle of wine—it takes me back to that moment. I think that it’s nice to create memories for yourself, and these markers are really important; otherwise, life passes you by and you don’t know where the last 10 years went.
In our series, “Operation Recharge,” we task celebrities and influencers with sharing what self-care means to them, as well as the activities, products, and treatments they indulge in for downtime done right.