Burma Beach Life

We’d had a fairly intense trip – staying with relatives I hadn’t seen for years, visiting landmark pagodas (and there are many landmark pagodas in Myanmar) as well as more off-the-beaten track places. (By the way, have you noticed how I am gradually introducing the name “Myanmar” into our vocabulary, it is after all the one change by the regime that the Myanmar people are happy with, “Burma” being a term coined by the colonial British).

Finally we arrived at Ngapali Beach, with its miles and miles of white sand, palm trees and a fantastic hotel called the Amara Ocean Resort owned by a Burmese-German couple. Time to crash. I made time first though to photograph my ultimate travel kit, what I really used on this 42 degree holiday as opposed to what I think I use when writing those sorts of “what-I-take-on-holiday” beauty articles which sometimes end up being more fantasy than reality, dare I say it. (Best intentions etc).

From left to right in a very rough circle: Ormonde Jayne’s solid fragrance has a little gold-dust in it for highlighting those nuggety bones on your décolleté. The frangipani notes are perfect for tropical climes.

Skinceuticals SPF50 is a bit of a workhorse sunscreen – it’s effective, you trust it, but it doesn’t smell great. I’ll keep using it because it disappears to the sheerest of traces on your skin, but time for a packaging and scent overhaul, I’d say?

Dermalogica’s lip balm is the best.

Sisley’s Night Complex is a ten day treatment and I love the idea you can go away on holiday and treat it as a break from any “routine” you might have. Actually come back with better skin than you went away with, assuming you haven’t had too much sun-time.

The Moroccanoil products – great little travel kit, with the oil working wonders in spite of the sea and general hairbrush-avoidance factor.

Christophe Robin’s Huile a Lavande. Firstly, he is one of the nicest men in hairdressing, secondly, Kristin Scott Thomas told me she uses it on her skin as well as her hair, and what Kristin says, Kathleen does. This oil comes into its own in a hot country: back home it’s a hard, waxy substance you’re meant to stand in a glass of hot water to soften before use, here in Myanmar it’s always ready to roll, melting of its own accord into a luxurious, lavender oily slush that sinks into your skin after sun exposure and conditions your hair after sea and sun damage. Put it on your skin before bedtime and it eases you into a peaceful slumber, good for that first night in a new hotel when you never sleep very well.

Elemental Herbology’s Cleanser is great if you have a muslin cloth to hand, a gentle exfoliant and not too drying.

Guerlain’s Terracotta Sunscreen is my favourite for the body as it smells of tiare flowers, again, delicately tropical, there’s a tan accelerator which helps get those grey shins looking browner quicker.

Becca’s Beach Tint is the only make-up I use while away. Lips, cheeks. Job done.

Ps: Just about to post this when I spotted make-up artist Lisa Eldridge’s holiday products, beautifully photographed in the Maldives.

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