Welcome to our new series for May: International Beauty Code. As part of this month’s theme, Byrd’s Eye View, we’ll be talking to women the world over to find out what typical beauty routines are like in their countries. Yes, we love French pharmacy buys, and Scandi trends are very much on our radar, but alongside these destinations, we’ll be shining a light on some of the lesser-known beauty cultures—unearthing the beauty ideals, go-to looks and skincare routines in these places too. Following Mumbai-based makeup lover Rosalyn Manuel Fernando, we spoke to Pomme Srivikorn Hongsananda, who splits her time between Bangkok and London and appreciates the mood-boosting ability of a healthy tan.
Name: Pomme Srivikorn Hongsananda
City and country of residence: Bangkok and London
Your beauty icons:
My grandmother. She aged both beautifully and gracefully and is still going strong at 82.
The skincare products you can’t live without:
Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover (£18); Skin Inc Deep Sea Hydrating Mask ($45); Aesop Fabulous Face Cleanser (£33); 111 Skin Daily Orbit Energising Essence (£60); Elemis Maximum Moisture Day Cream (£40); Clark’s Botanicals Deep Moisture Mask (£58); Clarins SPF 50 Sunscreen for Face Wrinkle Control Cream (£18); Lancaster Tan Maximizer (£29).
The hair products you can’t live without:
Sachajuan Intensive Repair Shampoo (£20); Ouai Wave Spray (£22), Texturizing Hair Spray (£22), Rose Hair & Body Oil (£26), and Conditioner (£20); Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer (£21).
The makeup products you can’t live without:
Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base (£34); Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen (£45); Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation (£32), Film Star Bronze & Glow (£49), and Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk (£24); MAC Extended Play Lash Mascara (£17).
What countries and cultures do you find most inspirational when it comes to beauty?
I love a mixture of cultures! Since I travel around a lot for work, I’ve picked up a lot of new beauty products and everyday beauty inspirations from all over the world. I think it’s important to find a balance of what works for your skin and how beauty defines you. I find that the range of products available in my hometown is still limitless and heavily catered to the Thai market.
Growing up in the UK, whitening products have never been my cup of tea, though they still remain a big hit in Thailand. I definitely picked up a tanning habit in Europe many years ago and couldn’t agree more to why we all do it. I just love having that holiday glow—you instantly look and feel healthier. Just as long as you use sun protection and rehydrate your skin, you can prolong your tan for a few weeks (if you’re lucky!).
The most popular beauty products in your country right now:
One thing that Asians look for in beauty products is to stay forever youthful. So things like collagen intake, brightening creams and anti-ageing serums are something we’ve been focusing on a lot. I would say that the majority of the population still loves their brightening products, hence why Korean and Japanese beauty products remain a big hit in today’s society.
Favourite traditional beauty secret from your country:
Stay away from too much sun and avoid drinking alcohol excessively.
Where you buy beauty products:
In London, I shop at Selfridges and Space NK. In Bangkok, I go to Sephora.
What does “healthy living” mean to you?
A good balance of mind, body and soul.
How do you define/practice “self-care”?
2017 was a stressful year for me, and staying active wasn’t merely enough to get rid of the negative energy I had building up. I think it’s important to listen to your body on a regular basis to form healthy habits, for the mind, body, and soul. Everything is a continual work in progress, and it’s vital to remind yourself that, as John Lennon said, "Everything will be okay. if it’s not okay, it’s not the end."
Every now and then, don’t forget to have your “me” time. That’s when you get to shut off from all the social media craze, listening, comparing yourself, etc. Because the most important part of your “me” time is to get to know yourself better, not others. I started reading books on practising mindfulness and meditating more, especially after my yoga sessions. It helped me a great deal, and more importantly, I was able to handle my future stressful situations in a calm manner.
What’s your favourite way to stay active and why?
Staying active is another essential part of self-care and your well-being. It helps me get rid of any stress I may have but is also very rewarding both mentally and physically. I work out four to five times a week. This involves anything from spinning and yoga to training at the gym.
What’s your favourite healthy meal?
I love to cook, so I make a variety of things (only when I have time). This ranges from homemade smoothies, juices and raw bars to protein-packed salads. If I eat out, I occasionally have cheat days but still consider it as semi-healthy, as I believe we shouldn’t cut certain foods out, just make sure to eat it in moderation.
What are the most popular wellness trends in your country right now?
Spinning studios are popping up in Bangkok and seem to be picking up nicely. Another one would be CrossFit, but that’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Stay tuned as we travel far and beyond to bring you a Byrd’s Eye View on global beauty this month.