salve me

I’ve just returned from a little sojourn in Turkey (Istanbul and Kalkan, a great combination of city and sea… perfect for a honeymoon come to mention it) and despite my pal declaring that I have a mild obsession with beauty products like it was some kind of revelation (how long has she known me? Has she only just realised this?!), it actually turned out that I picked up some great beauty fodder from her. They may not be that new, but I hadn’t heard of them, or tried them, so maybe you haven’t too.

The first one was Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter. Yes, you read correctly. Bottom. And butter. But you can use it as your night cream, and it does wondrous things to your face, said-pal claimed. And it really does. Despite the drying heat of the hot Turkish sun, my skin was soft and glowing. And it smells yummy. The fact that it only costs £2.49 makes it even more wondrous. It’s all about the oil, you see. People often stay away from oil in beauty products with the thought that it might make their skin break out. But really (I used to work alongside Noella Gabriel at Elemis; I’m qualified..) it’s what your skin needs. Louise (our bride to be) is also proof of this. She has beautiful skin, and when I quizzed her on how she achieved this effect, she claimed she doesn’t even always use a night cream – just an oil. Get oiling, girls and guys.

The second beauty elixir that said-pal proffered at me (or rather, that I surreptitiously tried, just for research you see) was Morroccan Hair Oil. Still on the oil theme. My hair dresser has been trying to sell this to me for months. I thought I was being clever in declining, thinking I was saving myself one extra beauty product to cram into my bathroom, and not jumping on the bandwagon in the process. But actually, I was being most foolish. This stuff smells delicious, sunny, sexy… and only the tiniest bit is needed to tame your hair and add a bit of glamour (which was much required, as I was not using a hair dryer and having a Monica-from-Friends-frizzy-hair-in-bahamas moment. All day). You can use it on your skin too, if you like products which can double-up on holiday.

Keeping to the oil theme, body oils are a pretty luxurious discovery. These might only work for you if you’re a hippy at heart, as we’re talking aromatherapy here, but you apply them to your skin before a shower, and emerge with moisturised, scented and glowing skin. The scent of Ylang Ylang is heavenly and if you like it, you could try Peacheykeen Organics.

As one to travel light where possible (translate as ‘this is never possible’) and also one to be mysteriously dragged into stalls in Turkish bazaars and twirled up in a Hammam towel before I can say teşekkür (which means thank you in Turkish, the only word I managed to learn, which wouldn’t really have helped in hindsight), leaving said-pal to wonder where I had disappeared to ‘again’, I decided to also part cash with some Hammam towels. They look pretty, they dry just as well as a humungous beach towel and they take up less space in your case and beach bag. When in Turkey, do as the Turkish do, was the phrase said-pal and I decided to adopt (wisdom which can also be applied to driving; we drove our hire car like bats out of hell! Don’t tell mum). You don’t need to travel all the way to Turkey to pick up a Hammam towel either, as we happen to sell them on the site. Just say Hammam.

And finally – I better end with an oil as it’s my general theme here – another super-effective one (as claimed by me) is Geranium Oil. By applying dots of this to my skin, I also avoided mosquito bites all holiday, and usually it’s easy to locate me in a tropical evening (unless I’m still wrapped up in the Hammam stall) by the swarm of mosquitos hovering around me like an alien glow. You should really dilute it first, but I didn’t, and I still have all my limbs.

So my advice is to feed your skin and hair with nourishing oils; perfect to prep for your wedding day, any big event or just an excuse to indulge. Just call me Olive.

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