Long, glossy, carefree hair, skin that glows like smooth marble touched with warm gold, exotic kohl-lined eyes that seem to peer into your very soul, a haunting fragrance that wafts around like the most mystical incense… gypsy women are some of the most beautiful in the world, aren't they? Are they born beautiful? Many are, yes, but not all. And for those who are not, here are some closely held beauty secrets that will transform the plainest of Janes into magnificent beauties who can tempt and trap with a flutter of their eye lashes.
- Dry hair? Warm some olive oil and apply it to your tresses, using cotton balls. Go slowly all over the head, working in the oil right to the ends. Then dip a towel in hot water, wring it out, and wrap it around your hair. When the towel has cooled, reheat it and wrap it around again. Keep your hair under wraps for an hour, then shampoo thoroughly.
- To keep the complexion clear, wash your face with dew every morning. Gypsies of centuries past also used rain water but in these days of acid rain, I wouldn't advice going down this route.
- A gypsy skin freshener is made up of one part malt vinegar (apple cider vinegar will do) to eight parts of water. This can also do double duty as a great hair rinse.
- Looking for that supple, pore-less, alabaster-like complexion that seems to glow from inside? Try this 19th century Romani gypsy beauty recipe: Mix one egg with one tablespoon each of honey and milk. Beat together and apply the pack to face and neck. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then wash off with warm water followed by cold water.
- Blend equal parts olive oil, rose water and powdered oatmeal and apply this concoction on your face. Wash off after 20 minutes for skin that glows like silvery marble in moonlight.
- Sage tea can bring back the hair’s natural colour when it is starting to grey. Prepare a strong concoction by boiling loose sage leaves in water, let it cool and apply all over your hair. Repeat once a week.
- Looking for something more enchanted? Take a lock of your hair and bury it at the foot of a willow tree. This is said to promote luxuriant growth, making the hair glossy and smooth.
- Bring out that moon-phase watch – cutting tresses at New Moon will make them grow rapidly and richly. On the other hand, if you cut your hair during the waning cycle, it will grow very slowly.
- Yes, you can make your hair grow faster – by never brushing it in artificial light. Gypsy women will either do it in the daylight or sit outside by the light of the moon.
- And it’s not just about the women: men seeking luxuriant hair should regularly apply a tea made from wild cherry bark. A strong mixture worked into the scalp over a period of time is said to grow hair on a bald man.
So there you have it: gypsy beauty. What do you think? Corny or glam? Which of these enchanted potions will you be trying?