There is a certain allure about the islands, the warm and balmy evenings, the tropical rainfall, the frangipani and hibiscus scents warmly encompassed by the sea breeze.
There is a certain allure about the islands, the warm and balmy evenings, the tropical rainfall, the frangipani and hibiscus scents warmly encompassed by the sea breeze. And then there are the people. Not the tourists, they are easy to pick out amongst the locals. The locals have the carefree attitude, the confidence that comes with knowing you live a lifestyle that many only experience for two weeks at a time. They are ones who we look upon with equal amounts of envy and appreciation as we reluctantly board that plane back home. The friendly smiles, the glossy hair and perfectly glowing skin is achieved as we depart, but doomed to fail within a few more short weeks after landing on home soil.
Julie Plichart is the owner of Beauté of Kelburn, a beautiful boutique beauty clinic offering an array of services and treatments accompanied by luxurious, top of the line products. She is from Pape’ete, Tahiti, and went to school at Lycée Paul Gauguin and Lycée Diadème—Te Tara o Mai’ao before studying, and later tutoring, at the Elite International School of Beauty and Spa Therapies.
Julie incorporates much of what she knew and used in Tahiti into her thriving business. She travels home regularly to catch up with family and friends and immerse herself back into island living. She is passionate about what the islands use and how they deliver this for the purpose for which it is best intended. She brings all of this to her clinic. There are many uses of plantlife on the island, the locals know and understand this better than anyone.
Growing up in Tahiti, I asked Julie what was the go-to beauty treatment she would use for her skin.
“Monoi de Tahiti was my go-to product. I would use it to moisturise my body and my hair, especially after I had been to the beach. It is also great to use when out in the sun as an after-sun moisturiser. To be honest, it just smells so good, you don’t need an excuse to put it on! Original Monoi de Tahiti is coconut oil with the Tahitian tiare flower, but it also offers different fragrances from other local scents such as sandalwood, frangipani, ylang ylang and vanilla, or just coconut. If you only try one thing from Tahiti ever, get a bottle of this oil!”
Using naturally derived plant and minerals is what island people do best. They believe that everything has a purpose and it is best untampered and in true form. As a beauty therapist, Julie remarked that it is not only about feeling great and smelling good, but looking at what brings antioxidants, what brings healing properties and how it can help with ageing and general wellbeing. She has two standout favourites that she endorses.
“My number one would be tamanu oil. This green nutty oil is a must for the body. It has amazing healing properties and in Tahiti we use it every day for any skin conditions such as, mosquitoes bites, inflammation, eczema and burns. My mum would not let me go anywhere, even to bed, after a day in the sun unless I was covered with tamanu oil. I used to hate it, as its natural smell is really quite unpleasant, but I have to say, ‘thanks Mum’, as my skin would never peel after sun burn! I have, in my career, been to many skin ingredient training seminars and conferences and tamanu always comes back as the worldwide number one to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. Look at the back of your favourite healing cream, you might be already be using it without even knowing! The second one is a fruit called noni. It can be taken orally or applied topically. It is also very unpleasant in smell but can be used in different ways and various recipes. You could also make it in a tea form and apply it on your face before moisturising or straight from the tree. Noni is packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as vitamins B, C and E, beta carotene, calcium, potassium and magnesium. It also contains proxeronine which supports the good functioning of cell membranes, keeping the skin youthful. In addition, it stimulates collagen production and therefore assists in wrinkle reduction.”