February 1, 2016

Carnival Checklist

I've been fortunate enough to experience my fair share of Carnivals over the years, from Trinidad, to Notting Hill in London and Crop Over in Barbados

Through a process of trial and error, my friends and I have learned that planning and foresight can make or break your Carnival experience. These experiences, coupled with my planning and list-making obsession, prompted me to put together a Carnival Checklist for a few of my friends who will be joining me this year. It's helped me prepare and it will continue to evolve over the years to reflect the trends and demands of Carnival! Is there anything you think I should add to this list?

Ps: It's available here as an open source Google Doc, feel free to share it and edit it as you see fit.

I'll be Tweeting & 'Gramming from Trinidad from here and here. 



Make Up and Hair
*In addition to your regular make up items
Fake Lashes x 2
One each for Monday & Tuesday. I suggest strips as opposed to single lashes.
Clear Eyelash glue
Enough for gems as well. Try to get CLEAR glue, not black.
Not necessarily for hair, great for holding makeup in place all day!
Waterproof mascara

Glitter (fine)

Make Up Primer

To match Monday & Tuesday outfit
Fake tanner
Or have spray tan done before Carnival weekend
Hair pins

Flash tattoos



Hair dryer

Razors/Hair removal apparatus/cream

Baby powder

Waterproof Sunblock
SPF30 or higher!

I suggest the fabric, heavy duty ones
Vaseline or thickkkkk moisturiser
For J’ouvert, it helps protect your skin against the paint

Extra Bits (for Costumes)
Glue gun

Glue sticks

Extra feathers/beads & bits

Fabric to match your outfit
In case you need to alter anything. Half a yard is more than enough.
Safety Pins

Bra Padding

Sticky tape
for nips & other bits!

Old shorts/Exercise shorts
You can wear these at J'ouvert
Bikini top/exercise top
To be worn under J'ouvert t-shirt
J’ouvert T-shirt
I usually get a large shirt so that I can rip it up
Any colour! If you're light haired like me, a shower cap/swim cap underneath the wig will add a second layer of protection against paint, mud and cocoa. You can also cover your hair in conditioner to protect it
Plimsolls/running shoes
Any old, comfortable shoes that can be thrown out after J'ouvert
Pair of old socks

Tights x 2
Monday & Tuesday
Monday: Costume top & sequinned Bottoms
whole piece swimsuit/monokini/sequinned leotard
I’m having a swimsuit made for Monday
Fake suede boots

Long(er) Socks
To tuck stuff in under your boots
Dr.Scholl's Padded insoles for boots

Tuesday: Bling Costume!

Sunglasses x 3
  • One cheap pair for Jouvert (when the sun comes up and everyone looks like blinded gargoyles)
  • A cheap pair for Monday
  • Since you will likely lose the Monday pair, make sure you have back up for Tuesday

Waterproof pouch

Emergency Contact Card
You can slip this in your boot/pouch in case of emergencies.
I suggest including the following info:
  • Your Name
  • A Contact number for a Trini
  • Trini address written on it
  • Your blood type/any allergies
Make sure it’s taped up, so that it's waterproof.

Bajan flag x 2
For Monday & Tuesday. People will likely ‘steal’ your flag on Monday so best to have two!
Rag for J'ouvert

Vex Money
Vex Money is crucial! Just in case you get mad/’vex’ or something happens and need to leave somewhere on your own. Make sure you have enough for a cab ride back home.
Covered Cup (Jouvert)

Waterproof pouch
I usually stuff everything inside one of my boot legs so I don’t bring a pouch
Bling Cup
For Monday & Tuesday
Waterproof phone case

Glucose tablets/Small bottle of Red Bull
For an extra boost of energy if you need it!
Granola bar x 3
In case you get hungry on the road...you can pop it into your boot :)

Daily Checklist
For on the day itself when you’re rushing to get ready & feel like a headless chicken :)

J’ouvert Checklist

Emergency Contact Card

Vex Money




Pair of old socks


Covered Cup/Cup with a screw lid


Waterproof phone case

Glucose tablets/Red Bull

Granola bar

Carnival Monday Outfit Checklist

Emergency Contact Card

Vex Money

Costume top & sequinned Bottoms OR whole piece swimsuit/monokini/sequinned leotard


Fake suede Boots

Long Socks

Padded insoles for boots


Bajan flag rag

Bling Cup



Granola Bar

Carnival Tuesday Outfit Checklist



Fake suede Boots

Long Socks

Dr.Scholl's Padded insoles for boots


Bajan flag rag

Bling Cup



Granola Bar

Vex money

Emergency Contact Card

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