Beauty culture in the UK owes a lot to Brazilian women…. They introduced the world to hot waxes (essential pre-holiday ritual) and the Brazilian blow-dry. Brazilian beauty tips are nothing to balked at especially when you think about the fact pretty much half of the worlds Victoria’s Secret Models hail from Brazil. And no it’s not just a case of good genetics… from having been there every summer I can tell you that Brazilian women are fitness crazy and always trying to improve themselves with innovative beauty treatments. I heard a statistic once that women in Brazil actually outspend Americans on cosmetics, despite the massive discrepancy in their average earnings! Luckily my mum (see photo below… yes thats a younger me) has passed down tons of “Brazilian Beauty Secrets” which I thought would be fun to share with you.
The use of sand, is a big Brazilian beauty secret. Women will massage their skin with wet sand while playing in the sea to exfoliate their skin, its also believed that doing this will reduce the appearance of cellulite by disintegrating fat tissues and also stimulate blood circulation. I was taught to take Johnsons baby lotion to the beach with me and fill it with about 1/4 cup of sand… when I get home I give the bottle a good shake and exfoliate myself with it while moisturising at the same time. This is the worlds cheapest exfoliator and lots of girls do this in Brazil.
2. Coconut Water
Apparently super model Adriana Lima drinks at least one glass of coconut water every day. Not only is it refreshing and delicious, its packed with Beauty benefits… it contains something called cytokinins which are known to have an anti-ageing effect! Coconut water is also teeming with minerals such as zinc, and iron, as well as the whole set of B-group vitamins. All of which are really really good for your skin.
3. Lymphatic Drainage
It’s very common that every week Brazilian women go to the masseuse and get lymphatic drainage to avoid water retention. It is a sculpting massage, which is an essential part of the average woman’s beauty routine… so much so that many women get masseuse’s to come straight to their house. My mum and aunt do it pretty much every week. Don’t be fooled… its not a relaxation thing… it actually kind of hurts!! After several treatments your arms, waist and thighs become thinner and more defined. It also does away with cellulite and removes toxins by improving the lymphatic system. Lymphatic drainage massages the lymph nodes which in turn releases toxins stored in the body and helps to flush them out.
I know one place in Covent Garden which does it and its HERE
4. The Brazilian Blowdry
So this isn’t that much of a secret anymore but I thought I’d write about it anyways for people who are unaware of it….
According to a recent study there are 13 types of hair in the world and Brazil is the only country in the world which was found to have all 13 types! Luckily they’ve all found a way to manage it… If you’ve ever wondered why despite the humidity Brazilian Women stays silky smooth its because of the glamorous sounding Brazilian Blowdry. The hair is infused with Keratin protein which transforms the hair into a permanent “just blow dried” looking glossy mane for at least a few weeks if not months.
(Fun Fact: In Brazil this is actually known as a Japanese Blowdry….)
Velaterapia is another Brazilian hair technique….. It means “Candle therapy” and isn’t for the faint-hearted! Victoria’s Secret model Barbara Fialho is a die hard fan of the treatment. A stylist twists the hair into sections and using a candle burn off split ends, which “cauterizes” the hair. Burning the ends of the hair apparently opens the hairs follicles, making them more receptive to nutrients. It takes around 3 hours and you redo it every 3-4 months, in Brazil its seen as an alternative to getting a trim.
The only person I would ever trust with Velaterapia in London is Richard Ward.
5. Babbasu Oil
This yellow oil comes from the Babbasu palm, and is very similar to Morrocan Oil/Argan oil. It is one of the most loved Brazilian beauty ingredients. Not only is it great for hair it is a great skin moisturiser which leaves a you without a greasy residue. Models in Brazil use this to keep their skin and hair soft. No where outside Brazil seems to sell it but you can sometimes find it on eBay.
Buy it here
6. Bums Bums Bums
Women in Brazil are so proud of their perfect posteriors that if you ever see someone taking a picture of a woman on the beach in Brazil she will always turn her back to you then turn her head around to smile at the camera. My father pointed this out to me and it still makes me laugh whenever I see it. A perfect Brazilian bum doesn’t happen naturally though! It’s all down to their love of squats, and backwards leg kicks. I do these exercises every night while brushing my teeth and also do them in the gym.
I personally recommend http://www.paolasbodybarre.com/ as the classes really concentrate on squats and bum lifting exercises.
7. Brazilian Bikini Wax
Again not really a secret anymore but still an important one to talk about.This treatment has exploded since the international beauty market picked up on it. It’s a hot wax to tidy up your bikini line and many women would feel lost with out it!
For the closest to a Brazilian Bikini Wax experience visit STRIP (pricey but worth it!)
8. Dermatologist Visits
I think one of the most well kept Brazilian beauty secrets has to be this one… their biggest ritual is visiting the dermatologist regularly. They treat the dermatologist like a dentist and go once a month for a check up. No I’m not joking, they take it that seriously. Every summer my mum has taken me to the same dermatologist in Natal to recommend what my skin needs for the year. She always prescribes lots of different specific lotions and potions that I then go and pick up from a pharmacy.
I love the Skin Clinic in Putney which can give you a similar experience to the Brazilian one.
I’d like to end this post by saying that my mum is still one of the most glamorous gorgeous people I know… She never leaves the house without looking her very best. Thanks for all your help and beauty advice over the years mum!