“Tutto quello che vedete lo devo agli spaghetti”

Everything you see I owe to spaghetti 

Sophia Loren

Each country has unique beauty tips nurtured over years of tradition and exaggerated by myth. I’ve honed in on a few Italian beauty tricks that apply to the face, hair and body. Here they are collated for you, sourced from one hundred year old Italian grannies to the exotic and unusual habits of hubba-hubba incarnate Sophia Loren.

One more thing, I hope you like olive oil…

  1. Rub a clove of antibacterial garlic onto skin to prevent spots, reduce acne and swelling – it has anti-inflammatory qualities (incidentally if any bald men are reading this, massaging garlic onto one’s scalp is an effective hair-growth stimulant too. Hurrah!)

  2. Stock up on lemons! Don’t worry if they aren’t fresh from the sun-drenched trees of Sorrento – 24hr Tesco lemons are fine. A) For a skin astringent dilute the juice in water B) As a skin toner for a Vitamin C fix.

  3. Smother extra-virgin olive oil onto your face to detoxify and hydrate skin – if feeling keen and have time bathe in it luxuriously alla luscious Sophia Loren.

  4. Pour olive oil onto hair and leave for 2-3 hours, (preferably on a Sunday afternoon when you have nowhere to be and no one to see.)

  5. For luminous skin, create a face mask of chickpeas, lemon and olive oil – (proportions are 1x chickpeas, 1x lemon, 4x olive oil) – spread onto face and leave for 20 mins.

  6. Spread baby oil onto neck, décolletage and face – massaging the oil towards the top of your face, not pulling it down.

  7. Attenzione! An Italian grandmothers’ favourite: apply lipstick to lips and as blush to save time, money and create irresistible colour consistency.

  8. To get rid of dry skin, take half a cup of olive oil and half a cup of sugar. Rub the sticky concoction everywhere, leave on for 2 minutes, then exfoliate off.

  9. Apply olive oil to the end of hair to combat split ends.

  10. Commit to one nail and foot colour, preferably red. Ensure you carry a bottle around with you for touch ups or to manage unexpected chips. We all know how nail vanish has a mind of its own.

  11. Use eye contour cream daily to illuminate eyes, hide dark circles and prevent dreaded crow feet.

  12. Apply fragranced body oil everywhere every day, instead of deodorant or perfume. When you sweat it will exude sumptuously out of your body.

  13. Order a glass of wine and nonchalantly drink only half of it, (wine is cheap in Italy so technically this is not a waste. Ahem.)

  14. Splash freezing cold water on your face every morning.

  15. Apply plain yoghurt to sensitive skin for a nourishing and hydrating mask. It will calm irritated skin too – if you are feeling extra lavish use half an avocado, half a banana and a drizzle of honey. For extra efficiency and if you are time pressed in the morning – add muesli for an energetic breakfast! I know how busy we all are.

  16. Don’t apply anything on your body that you wouldn’t put in your body.

  17. Take regular mud baths to relieve muscle pain, detoxify the body, soften the skin and improve circulation.

  18. Final advice – don’t try to change your face, it’s the only one you have!

    I’d love to hear your wacky tips and tricks!

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