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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beauty tips for lazy backpackers

A random diet, an excess of carbs and lack of vitamins, plus a tendency to sleep at strange hours are contributing to my new look, which I can only describe as raddled.

This is a far cry from the scruffy backpacker chic beloved of summer Sunday supplement fashion shoots, where bronzed and scantily clad beauties lounge by roadside foodstalls, pouting glossily. In reality, I notice a certain tendency in travellers to slump with bad posture, stare sullenly with tired, bloodshot eyes and have unfortunate breakouts of acne and sunburn, so below I have put together a few beauty tips. Some of them are gathered with hindsight.

If you are leaving in the dead of British midwinter, it may be advisable to get a fake tan before you go. I cannot guarantee it, but it may go some way to avoiding the heckling one may suffer at the hands of Aussie labourers.

My make-up regimen consists entirely of black eyeliner and black mascara. However impromptu swims and afternoon downpours can leave you looking like a panda with a hangover, so get your eyelashes tinted before you leave home. Predictably I didn’t, as I didn’t know the procedure even existed until informed by a kindly beautician from Leeds.

Vaseline is a wonderful thing. Leave your lipstick at home, as it will melt in the heat; instead take a little tin of Vaseline which will melt, but will be less annoying. Use as a lip gloss, then smear a dab on your cheekbones for a healthy radiant glow. It can also be used to secure windswept eyebrows, on cracked heels and toes and to soften cuticles.

Slap on sunscreen, as the English girls I have seen with vast expanses of exposed red and peeling skin look like partially completed hog roasts and are always a topic of conversation amongst locals.

A hat is also a very good idea, as not only doea it prevent sun damage and wrinkles, but it also only takes a couple of days for a white squinty frown line to appear between one’s eyebrows. This I say from experience.

Take advantage of all the beach pedicures you can, as after a few months of sand, grit and filthy roads your feet may start to suffer, and if your toes and heels start cracking they can hurt quite a bit.

Your skin can also dry out very quickly, thanks to all the sun and sea, so mash up a ripe avacodo and plaster it thickly all over your face for 15 minutes. You will smell like a chicken salad but your skin will feel enriched and revitalized.

Pinch a cupful of porridge oats or muesli from the breakfast buffet if there is one, then tie it up in a sock. Float the sock in a bath full of hot water, then use as a moisturizing puff and massage all over your body. The sock will be a bugger to wash but your skin will feel wonderful.

Keep a couple of those little sugar sachets in your washbag, then when your skin is feeling dull, mix one with a squirt of shower gel for an invigorating body scrub. If you are swimming on a sandy beach, sit in the shallows and give yourself a scrub with a couple of palmfuls of sand to make your skin feel great.

Ditch the perfume as not only can the heat make it smell dreadful, but it also attracts mozzies and insects.


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