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A Traditional Cambodian Makeover and Photo-shoot

Having a traditional Cambodian makeover and photo shoot had been on my Phnom Penh ‘to do’ list for some time.There are makeover shops throughout the city. I went to a shop on Monivong Boulevard.

Cambodian couples often have their photo taken at these shops before their wedding day. They pose together in traditional costumes and the photo is displayed at their wedding ceremony. Cambodian people also have these makeovers for fun. Khmerphoto-shoots are becoming increasingly popular with expats. I’d definitely recommend it as a fun afternoon out.

Two women worked on my makeover. The proceeding started with selecting my outfit. I opted for a red sequined number. Then we moved on to my make-up. The women painted layer upon layer of thick foundation on to my skin. My eye make-up, lipstick and blusher were similarly heavy. I wasn’t surprised to end up looking like a drag queen, but I liked my new look. I was particularly taken with my thick painted eyebrows.

The women crimped my bangs into a quiff and the rest of my hair was styled into a side ponytail. I hadn’t expected to get an eighties hair-do, so that was a bonus. I was then weighted down with armbands, bracelets, necklaces and tiaras. My transformation was complete!

I was taken to a separate room with a photographer. He gave me advice on how to pose and was very patient about my blinking eyes.

I kept my thick make-up on for the rest of the day. I gave my face a bit of a wash before going out in the evening, but I still had considerably more make-up on than I have ever worn before in my life.

I have just received my makeover photos back. They have been heavily PhotoShopped. My freckles and moles are a thing of the past. I’ve also been super imposed on to a room full of teak. I like the photos so much, that I’m choosing one to be my ‘Your Phnom Penh’ profile picture.


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