So when my family was here Jillian left me a few Cosmos (thanks Hun!) with lots of tips that would be super useful for any girl not living in the bush; so I thought I might make a list of tips for a bush beauty regimen.
Lets start with the basics…
1) Never skip the simple things like brushing your teeth and washing your face. Although sometimes you are exhausted and the idea of heating up water and walking outside into the cold to brush your teeth sound incredibly hard the momentary relief is not worth the gross feeling that will stick with you.
2) Wash your face AT LEAST twice a day. The wind buries the dust into your skin and causes a grimy layer on your face. Not cute. So I suggest exfoliating in the morning and a cleanser at night (of course you will have to buy those things in Nairobi)
3) Never ever ever ever ever ever ever skip on sunscreen. Particularly on your face. Even if it does make you break out. Just but a special face sunscreen and be happy your face isn’t red and splotchy. And painful. Again.
4) Wash your hair every other day and use plenty of shampoo. As much as you want you hair to be soft and shiny you want it to be clean more. So lather it up.
5) Remember the hair products are meant for a thicker hair then yours (unless you have horse hair like mine) so use less of the conditioner. If you have thick hair prepare to be amazed. I bought this thing called “nourishing hair food” and now my mane is soft and always smells like coconuts. Also use a shampoo and then a leave in conditioner. That way you use less water.
6) Everyone else has them, so you might as well. I know you’re a white girl but go ahead and rock the braids. It’s nice not to have to brush your hair. Can’t handle the ridiculousness? Keep in a French braid and forget about it.
7) If you want your hair to have nice curls here is a trick I learned at a salon- mix some salt in with some hot water. Tie your hair up in a few knots and then dip it into the almost boiling water. Let sit for a few and you end up with some nice curls.
8) Don’t bother painting your fingernails. They will chip and look gross. Just keep them clean and get the dirt out from under them
9) Always keep your toes painted though. For some reason that is super important here. You can even get a pedicure for 300 shillings in some places. Soooooo nice.
10) Never sleep without a mosquito net. They will bite you on the face just to spite you. You will feel gross, your face will be covered in bloody bites and everyone will have the oh so helpful comment of “whats wrong with your face?”
11) Use make-up sparingly. It will all melt off. Maybe some cover up if you want. A little bit around the eyes.
12) Whatever go ahead and do a full face if you feel like it. Just know you have to make that make-up last awhile and to check it around 1 o’clock to avoid that face melted off look
13) Remember the air is against you here. It wants to dry you out. Moisturize EVERYTHING. Everyday. And always use a lather when you shave or else the dry skin will make you want to kill yourself.
14) Exfoliate once a week but just make sure you have an extra bucket of water so that you don’t have the sand floating in the bucket of water your going to pour over yourself when you want to wash your hair.
15) Take extra good care of your clothing. Fix rips and holes immediately. Wash often. And remember these are the only clothes you have.
16) Give up the battle. You are going to gain weight. Just enjoy the carbs, know people think big is beautiful here, and try to get some yoga or a run in. if you don’t it’s ok. Your awesome anyway.
17) Seriously you are going to gain weight. Just be okay with it.
A couple make up tips
1) don’t have a mirror? Use a semi-dirty window or some water and put on only light make-up. You can apply your blush and lip stain or whatever with your fingers and feel your way around but don’t try to do your eyes without a mirror.
2) Subtly is key. You will look CRAZY around here if your make-up is super noticeable. Stick to browns and light pinks.
3) DENY DENY DENY you are wearing make-up. Otherwise others will want to borrow it.
And when it comes to getting dressed
1) Africans like you more when your in a skirt. Why? I have no idea. They just do. So have a few nice skirts all at least knee length and use them when you want something
2) Remember to think conservative
3) Those sexy clothes you have just incase? Save them for Nairobi and revel in the feeling of people’s jaws dropping when they see you.
Oh and with the cosmo man tips…..
Never give out your number. You will get some CRAZY text messages and be forced to change your number.
If you challenge the men here they usually get confused and leave you alone
Guy won’t leave you alone? Casually mention you will never clean up after a man or have kids. They will assume something is wrong with you in the brain and leave you alone. Unless they are the weird super determined ones.
The weird determined ones? Avoid. At all costs.
Creepy guy wink at you? Don’t put on your disgusted face (even if you can’t believe he did that weird stick his tongue out thing) laugh to yourself and turn around. That usually embarrasses them enough to leave you alone.
If you give in to one guy everyone will know. Everyone. So don’t.
And a couple last minute tips-
Looking good is really important here. So always try to look your best.
A few pieces of jewelry always make you feel put together
Always bring a jacket or a shawl because the weather is unpredictable
Pencil skirts and motorcycles don’t mix. Nothing will be left to the imagination when you get on. Go with a-line skirts.
I mean that last one. It’s pretty awkward.
Love you guys!