Universal beauty

We look at beauty practices from around the globe.

Autumn Thatcher And Daisy Blake Now In Salt Lake

Published June 25th 2012 11:37 pm



Beauty is all around us, but the interesting thing about it is that it is completely subjective. Throughout the world, there are varying definitions of what is beautiful, and beauty practices differ from country to country.

Many beauty practices in other countries have cultural and sometimes religious significances we wanted to explore. We talk with local hair and makeup artist Tim Muir about styling for different cultural celebrations and why it is important to understand a culture before you begin trying to achieve its look. We also give you a little guide listing reader-recommended facilities that offer beauty practices from other countries that you can try right here in Salt Lake. -- Autumn Thatcher

Tim Muir

Tim Muir is a local hair stylist and makeup artist who works out of Essence Day Spa in Draper, and books by appointment only. Muir became interested in styling hair 13 years ago, and seven years into his career as a hair stylist, he began studying the art of makeup. The Indianapolis native trained in hair at Eschelon Edge Academy and has continued to advance his training by taking a variety of classes throughout the nation. Muir says that he lives by a manifesto he learned some time ago, "Beauty is not one's own, but a reflection of one's culture."

On his interest in styling for different cultural and ethnic purposes • I never wanted to be in a box. I figured if I was going to do something I wanted to go all the way. I never wanted to just be known as being able to do one thing. Having an African American wife and biracial children, and a diverse group of friends, has always made it very interesting to me culturally, on what they define as beauty. Also, having a biracial family you have to be able to be in the know-how to take care of their hair as well because it's definitely a different type of hair.

His training • I have had classes all over in the East Coast. I've done stuff through the Bronner Brothers hair show, which is the biggest African-American hair show in the world. I've taken classes through them and through stylists and hair-design people. They teach all kinds of classes and techniques. I have taken classes for Indian and Arabic hair and makeup to learn their traditions.

Beauty practices coming to the U.S. • Sadly to say, the U.S. is not necessarily known for beauty practices coming from here. They actually do come mostly from other countries. Eyeliners, shadows and base started in Egypt and has been brought down from culture-to-culture to the U.S. Braids, hair weaves, extensions, a lot of those also started back in ancient Egypt and has been brought down through Greece, Italy and India. India is actually one of the biggest manufacturers of hair extensions in the world. [In India] they have temples that women and children actually go in and have their hair shaved for blessings, and then the temples sell it to the U.S. for profit.

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Beauty is all around us, but the interesting thing about it is that it is completely subjective. Throughout the world, there are varying definitions of what is beautiful, and beauty practices differ from country to country.

Many beauty practices in other countries have cultural and sometimes religious significances we wanted to explore. We talk with local hair and makeup artist Tim Muir about styling for different cultural celebrations and why it is important to understand a culture before you begin trying to achieve its look. We also give you a little guide listing reader-recommended facilities that offer beauty practices from other countries that you can try right here in Salt Lake. -- Autumn Thatcher

Tim Muir

Tim Muir is a local hair stylist and makeup artist who works out of Essence Day Spa in Draper, and books by appointment only. Muir became interested in styling hair 13 years ago, and seven years into his career as a hair stylist, he began studying the art of makeup. The Indianapolis native trained in hair at Eschelon Edge Academy and has continued to advance his training by taking a variety of classes throughout the nation. Muir says that he lives by a manifesto he learned some time ago, "Beauty is not one's own, but a reflection of one's culture."

On his interest in styling for different cultural and ethnic purposes • I never wanted to be in a box. I figured if I was going to do something I wanted to go all the way. I never wanted to just be known as being able to do one thing. Having an African American wife and biracial children, and a diverse group of friends, has always made it very interesting to me culturally, on what they define as beauty. Also, having a biracial family you have to be able to be in the know-how to take care of their hair as well because it's definitely a different type of hair.

His training • I have had classes all over in the East Coast. I've done stuff through the Bronner Brothers hair show, which is the biggest African-American hair show in the world. I've taken classes through them and through stylists and hair-design people. They teach all kinds of classes and techniques. I have taken classes for Indian and Arabic hair and makeup to learn their traditions.

Beauty practices coming to the U.S. • Sadly to say, the U.S. is not necessarily known for beauty practices coming from here. They actually do come mostly from other countries. Eyeliners, shadows and base started in Egypt and has been brought down from culture-to-culture to the U.S. Braids, hair weaves, extensions, a lot of those also started back in ancient Egypt and has been brought down through Greece, Italy and India. India is actually one of the biggest manufacturers of hair extensions in the world. [In India] they have temples that women and children actually go in and have their hair shaved for blessings, and then the temples sell it to the U.S. for profit. [2] =>

Cultural celebrations he has styled for • I've styled for Quinceaneras, Indian, Asian and Arabic weddings and sweet 16's for the Armenian culture. For the Indian and Arabic weddings, their eyes and makeup are very dramatic and flashy. In Indian weddings, they wear a bindi, which is a jewel worn in the center of their forehead. It means good omens and purity. Their hair is not shown. They wear head dresses and it is actually hidden through the wedding. Their main features are their makeup and jewelry. A lot of Asian weddings do sleek looks for their hair and very soft makeup: Light on the eyes, very pink on the cheeks and very bright, cherry-red on the lips. For Quinceaneras, their makeup is very dramatic and dressed up. The hair is very done up and mostly worn long. In the Spanish culture, long hair is a sign of beauty. So, they usually keep their hair long growing up and the parents don't cut it. In the Armenian culture, a lot of times they like their stuff very done up. Eyes are very focused on in the Armenian culture.

Advice for styling for cultural celebrations • Before anybody does do a cultural wedding, make sure you understand the culture: What the meanings are and why they do what they do. When you're doing the makeup and hair, you want to make sure that your colors are very vibrant. A lot of cultures that use very light face makeup, if their skin is darker, prefer to have their skin lighter. You don't match the makeup to their skin tone, you want to match it lighter.

Suggested products • I swear by NYX and MAC makeup. For eyeliners, I use Urban Decay, it gives a dramatic look that slides on very easily, and has an assortment of colors that are very vibrant. Kohl eyeliners work really well for dramatic eyes because they give a very smooth, dark line and they don't run. For hair purposes, culturally, they're all throughout. It depends on what your hair is like.

Favorite international looks to create • Arabic eye makeup for sure. It is the most colorful, dramatic and exotic looking. For lips, I would have to say the Asian and Indian cultures, they use very rich, bright color on their lips. I do also love a nude lip with gloss, that looks good with a dramatic eye. You definitely don't want to do both unless you are doing a cultural event.

More info • 801.209.6250 or shakeyourhair@me.com

-- Autumn Thatcher

Argan Oil

Morocco

What it is • Argan oil is a nut oil similar to coconut oil, olive or almond oil; rich in nutrients, and versatile in usage. However, it differs from other, more common oils, in that it is very high in vitamin E and contains 80 percent essential fatty acids, as well as a number of free-radical fighting antioxidants. This pale gold to clear oil has a light texture, is not greasy and smells faintly nutty. Argan oil is a multipurpose cosmetic product; it can be used for skin, hair, facial and nail care. It restores the natural freshness and adds to the softness of the skin and face. It makes the hair strong by penetrating easily into the roots and feeding them with nutritional components, and helps repair out of shape, weak and easily breakable nails. [3] =>

Origins • Arguably, argan oil is the rarest and most precious oil on the planet, and only can grow in southwest Morocco. The argan tree is a resilient and ancient species that dates from almost 2 million years ago. These trees are well adapted, and can survive without water during long periods. Traditionally, Amazigh women harvested the kernels from the argan fruit, and processed them by hand to extract the oil. --Daisy Blake

Henna Tattoo

India

What it is • Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration originating in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The word mehndi is derived from the Sanskrit word mendhik. Mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West in the late 1990s, where they are sometimes called henna tattoos. Henna is typically applied during special occasions like weddings and Hindu festivals. It is usually drawn on the palms and feet, where the color will be darkest because the skin contains higher levels of keratin which binds temporarily to lawsone, the colorant of henna. In rural areas in India, women grind fresh henna leaves with added oil, which brings much darker colors.

Origins • Intricate patterns of mehndi are typically applied to brides before wedding ceremonies in India. The bridegroom is also painted in some parts of India. It is also common in some gulf states, especially Yemen, where the night before the wedding is dedicated to decorating the bride with henna, and called 'Henna Night.' In the Middle East and Africa, it is common for women to apply henna to their fingernails and toenails and to their hands. In Africa, henna was used as part of spiritual practices by tribes to decorate their bodies and for protective purposes when certain symbols were incorporated. -- Daisy Blake

Brazilian Blowout

Brazil

What it is • Brazilian hair treatments are a method used by licensed hair stylists to temporarily smooth the hair by sealing a liquid keratin and a preservative solution into the hair with a hair iron. Brazilian hair-smoothing treatments eliminate frizz, smooth the hair and last about three months. They cost about $250 for most hair. The treatments are performed on all types of chemically-treated and virgin hair. The technique of the application is similar to the Japanese Yuko System in the way that heated flat irons are used to close the product into the hair cuticle, yet differ in that these treatments do not permanently alter the bonds of the hair. The treatments do not guarantee completely straight hair, although if performed correctly they can reduce between 50 and 80 percent of the curl. [4] =>

Origins • The Brazilian Blowout originated in -- where else -- Brazil, because there was a demand for a product that would give straight, shiny, humidity-proof hair. A treatment was developed called the Brazilian Blowout, and it began spreading across the country, then to the U.S. and Europe. Now the Brazilian Blowout, a brand-name product, is taking the beauty market by storm.

Threading

The East

What it is • Threading is an ancient method of hair removal. In more recent times it has gained popularity in western countries. Practitioners use a pure, thin, twisted cotton thread which is rolled over usually untidy hairlines, eyebrows and other areas of unwanted hair, plucking the hair at the follicle level. Unlike tweezing, where single hairs are pulled out one at a time, threading can remove an entire row of hair, resulting in a straighter line.

Origins • Threading has long been popular in many Arab countries, and was well known from Indian and Persian culture. The Arab name for threading is 'Khite'; in Egypt it is also called 'Fatlah. ' Threading the entire face is widely practised amongst Iranians, but it was originally only done when a woman was getting married or for special occasions. In ancient Persia, threading was a sign that a girl had reached adulthood and become a woman.

-- Daisy Blake

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You Should Go: Marrakech Treasures

When • Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, 4 p.m.-7 p.m.

Where • 824 S. 400 West

More info • moroccanoilimports.com