Holiday Beauty Like a Pro

You know those people who arrive at holiday destination all scrubbed, sculpted, nails (both fingers and toes) done, hair freshly highlighted and coiffed, pre-bronzed, pre-glowing and relaxed? Good. Me neither. I would need another holiday to become all that, yet unfortunately the minute a holiday beckons, I need to transport myself, including my un-manicured extremities, to the destination so as not to miss a single moment.

And what could be nicer than doing a bit of TLC in a lush hotel bathroom, anyway? Not a lot. I had some new produce to try so I set up a testing lab as soon as I was done with the complimentary cava. 

First, SPF is a bitch to get off. I don’t leave the house without sun protection, and anywhere south of Belgium means industry-strength albino-paste smeared from head to toe. Whatever I scrub and cleanse my face with, there are always white marks left (they usually like to stick in the wrinkles, which clearly is not helpful). Imagine green tea-lover’s absolute delight when I tested Odacité’s Green Tea cleanser with matcha and spirulina! It’s green powder, you add a bit of water, it turns into a fabulous foam – and takes off EVERYTHING! It also turns everything it touches green, which, in the larger scheme of things is not that bad. Read on.

I thought I’d give my skin a nice ol’ scrub to prepare it for the fictitious tanning I always think I will indulge in and then never do because I don’t tan. But hey, a pasty skin still looks nicer all scrubbed so I got myself a pouch of Australian Frank Body “Original Coffee Scrub” at local Sephora. It’s vegan and full of all kinds of goodness, has the consistency of ground coffee that turns vaguely liquid when scrubbed on wet skin, was rather pleasant to use and did what it promised. 

What it also did and dear reader, I will have to warn you about this, was to make the pristinely white hotel bathroom look like someone (me) had suffered an extreme and rather urgent case of diarrhoea. I also made the error of starting to wipe the pouch, clearly designed by satan himself, so as to stop the brown substance from spreading all over the place, using the equally pristinely white towels, and, well, you see where this is going.

Instead of swigging sangria and doing the Despacito I spent an evening soaking every piece of white cloth in the hotel room so as not to make the poor cleaning personnel faint from disgust the next morning. I also left the said scrub prominently and visibly in the middle of the bathroom to ensure the staff that things were not always what they seem.

In addition to trying out various caffeine-related products, I also took with me individually packaged oil-pulling doses (French MerciHandy do “Holy Mint” – smile detox mouthwashes for travelling), because hey, when, if not on a holiday, do people have time to oil-pull? Yes, when do you people do that?! Not once have I felt that I have enough time to dedicate on swirling coconut oil in my mouth, and I’m on a holiday. I think I’ve exhausted the topic of oil-pulling with this latest observation.

What do I have time for on a holiday, then? I’m still half-way through my reading stash, but can already recommend something rather refreshing from the tech companies/social media genre. Jarett Kobek’s “I Hate the Internet” was published already in 2016, so it’s ancient in the age of the internet, but given the latest hoopla around Facebook, is surprisingly (almost freakishly) apt. 

The book is a satire about a female artist who lives in a “society that hates women, an artist in a culture where profit is everything”. It’s a spectacular tirade about copyright, online abuse and extracting revenue from misogyny and racism. Kobek’s style is best described as caustic satire and as the back-cover references give out, every page has something highly quotable on it. I really recommend this book, especially now that so much of what we took for granted about the social media has started to show its flip side. 

Speaking of Facebook and everything it owns, I also recommend following illustrator Julie Houts on instagram. Given that half of the universe already follows her it’s quite possible that I’m the last late-bloomer who only started a couple of weeks ago. Anyway. You’ll find her at @jooleeloren 

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