Italy is the country that gave us some of the best carbs we’ll ever have and pre-eminent brands like Dolce & Gabanna and Missoni. It’s also the Motherland of many a glamorous woman, including the original donna belle: Sophia Loren, and goddess Monica Belluci.
The Italian woman is strong and expressive. She consumes plenty of wine but doesn’t get drunk. She loves to cook and throws impromptu dinner parties with friends and strangers. She eats, sometimes seconds and always dessert. Bread and coffee is life, but the weight rarely shows – perhaps this is down to the ‘passeggiata’, a daily custom in Italy which involves a pre-dinner, leisurely stroll.
The Italian woman is effortlessly alluring – there is even an Italian word for the way they have perfected that cool, nonchalant characteristic (‘sprezzatura’ since you asked). But how does she do it and what can we copy? A lot of it revolves around ingredients, as you’ll find out.
Olive OilBuy now with free delivery
Olive oil is a staple in any Italian’s kitchen cupboard, and most Italians’ beauty routines – those Europeans are all about the skincare. It serves as a shaving cream alternative and an intense moisturizer for eczema, rough heels, dry cuticles and dull hair.
Sophia Loren, who routinely rubs a small amount of olive oil into her skin, even said she owes her natural beauty to the “odd bath in virgin olive oil.”
You’ll find this ingredient in hair products such as Klorane’s Leave-in Concentrate with Essential Olive Extract which uses the olive oil extract to penetrate into the core of the hair fiber and provide resilience from root to tip. For an ultra-soft body post-scrub, try SUNDÃRI’s Omega 3 and Loquat Softening Body Milk.
Strawberry ScrubBuy now with free delivery
Many an Italian Grandmother will attest to the powers of strawberries. The ultimate homemade scrub involves nothing more than a handful of strawberries and a tablespoon of honey (or olive oil). Research carried out in 2012 shows that a strawberry extract controls inflammation, protects skin from ultraviolet radiation and also reduces damage to DNA. The lead author of the study, Maurizio Battino, happens to be an Italian researcher at the Università Politecnica delle Marche in Italy.
But when you don’t have the time to make your own scrub, reach for the Peter Thomas Roth version instead.
Did you know that strawberries have a higher vitamin C content than oranges? And that vitamin C is considered the superstar of the anti-ageing show? Discover an invigorating triple enzyme strawberry complex that delivers a superior nutrient content that moisturizes, tones and purifies the skin. Meanwhile, finely ground almonds gently exfoliate dead surface skin cells leaving skin soft and smooth.
Because the ingredients in this scrub are highly active, it is not recommended for sensitive skin.
Blood OrangesBuy now with free delivery
A popular Italian beauty ritual centres on a mixture of blood oranges and olive oil. In Sicily, blood oranges are a common citrus fruit that grow in abundance.
They massage the mixture onto the face, neck, and chest, then rinse it off with cool water for gorgeous skin. Blood oranges contain citric acid, which work as a natural exfoliant, and vitamin C, an antioxidant that plumps the skin.
Try SUNDÃRI’s Neem and Blood Orange Body Lotion to build on your collagen levels, energize and refresh the skin.
A Year-Long TanBuy now with free delivery
The Italian woman adores the sun, and naturally incurs a gorgeous, healthy tan. She does not need much makeup during the day, as she invests in skincare and the tan diminishes the need for much else.
But when there’s no sunshine around, enlist the Paula’s Choice Self-Tanning Concentrate. Mix this odor-free, buildable formula with your favorite face or body moisturizer and watch it transform into the ultimate self-tanner with your desired texture and consistency.
The best part is you’re in control of the intensity. For a tan that says “I just got back from Lake Como”, add half to one pump to your moisturizer. For a Sicilian glow, add another few pumps and wait just a couple of hours.
The Smile of a SirenBuy now with free delivery
Bond bombshell Monica Belluci always wears lipstick and has reportedly doesn’t feel fully dressed without it.
“The most attractive thing about a woman wearing a strong lip shade is the boldness and vivacity of her look,” she has said. “The woman wearing it must know she looks fantastic. I usually choose a lip color that expresses my mood. I love to wear an audacious, vibrant color to lift my mood and make me feel ready to take on anything, and nothing signifies dynamism and fearless beauty like a bright diva red.”
Belluci prefers to intensify the red so that the pigment is striking. She does this by applying a little pressed powder between coats – this helps the color lay properly so it doesn’t slide or bleed as the day wears on. Try Jurlique’s Rose Silk Finishing Powder which is laced with a delicate rose scent.
Discover more secrets at our SkinStore website here.Love Skincare? discover our edit of what are the B vitamins.