Anyone who has heard of the Rio Carnival (which is everyone, right?) knows that Brazilian women take their appearance seriously. While this may sound a bit superficial, I actually think they have a very fascinating attitude towards beauty. First, Brazilian women really embrace their curves. Kim Kardashian, with her famous bootie, long full hair, and all-in face make-up, is considered as the no. 1 beauty icon here, so you can imagine I sometimes feel a little bit out of place in that department. :) Further, the idea of a beautiful body is definitely linked with being healthy and working out, and I know a lot of Brazilian women who do fitness, boxing, or ballet. Sculpting massages, that are meant to give you a smaller waist or firm arms, are a big hit here as well. I’m not really sure if they actually work, but it goes without saying that I like the idea.

Due to the climate, with lots of heat and humidity, most Brazilian women don’t wear a lot of make-up during the day. At night though, they go all out, with a complete look of foundation, powder, glittery eye shadow, and a bold lip (and a fixing spray I shared on my Snapchat!). When we celebrate Christmas with Marcio’s family, all the girls get together to determine each one’s allowed ‘bathroom time’. They literally spend hours prepping themselves, chatting and scrubbing and braiding each other’s hair. It’s such a nice crazy ritual to be a part of!

If there’s one beauty product that’s in every Brazilian woman’s bathroom it’s an all-natural coconut oil. Once, my make-up bag got lost at the airport (o the horror!), and Marcio’s mom gave me some coconut oil, assuring me that it was an amazing multitasker. And how she was right! For the next weeks I used it as a daycream, body oil, lip balm, and hair serum, and I even found it very helpful for removing my make-up. If you’d like to try it yourself, just make sure you buy one that’s 100% coconut oil, preferably organic, and obviously not unscented (they sell the unscented version for cooking, but for skincare purposes there’s nothing nicer than the smell of fresh coconuts).

Another tip in the beauty department I got from Marcio’s sister: she loves to make a face scrub with honey and oatmeal. It’s as simple as mixing both ingredients together, rubbing the paste on your face, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse it off. You’ll have the softest baby skin!

The two bodyparts that seem to get the most attention here are hands and hair. I already shared my experiences with the slightly bizarre Brazilian manicure, and – apart from the fact that it freaks me out they entirely remove the cuticles – the results were quite perfect and lasted for a really long time. As for the hair, I really believe Brazilian women have the most beautiful lush hair in the world, and I’ve picked up some of their secrets along the way. First, they often do chemical treatments, such as a keratin treatment to remove frizz and smoothen the hair out (which isn’t completely uncontested), or velaterapia, that literally burns off the split ends that stick out of twisted strands of hair (not completely uncontested either, obviously). I’ve never tried it myself, as I’m really scared that my delicate blonde hair differs so much from the thick Brazilian hair that I would end up with a scorched haircut. :) A little less invasive is the avocado hair mask that’s just as frequently applied here: it just involves putting a mixture of an avocado, coconut oil, and some lemon juice on your hair for 30 minutes. After rinsing it clean, your hair will be super shiny and soft.

These cute little home treatments are actually what I love the most about Brazilian beauty tricks, as they simultaneously create some rituals for you to enjoy by yourself or in the company of your family or besties. XO Sofie

Next up: FEEL, with a focus on my favorite all natural materials !

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