Korres, Apivita and the Ancient Greeks

A selection of Ancient Greek makeup pots and mirrors.

By Tindara

A
little while ago I spent a long weekend in Athens. It’s an amazing
city, the Acropolis and museums are incredible and the food is
gorgeous, and it’s totally doable in a weekend from the UK. If you
get the chance do go, though if you’re a Brit you may be
embarrassed by the Parthenon
Marble
gaps
in the Acropolis Museum. Yeah guys, we should give them back.
Honestly, it’s just completely shaming.

Obviously,
there was something else I wanted to check out, Greek beauty
products. Like most beauty geeks, I get a real thrill exploring a
foreign pharmacy or three, and this weekend was no different. The
little pots and colours and brands I know and others I’m not so
familiar with are part of the whole holiday experience.

I
had tried Korres products at home and was keen to see more of the
range that would be available in Greece. When I went into the nearest
pharmacy I picked up a Raspberry Twist Lipstick in Passion and a Zea
Mays Blush in Pink.

The
Raspberry Twist Lipstick is a Chubby Stick type affair that is twist
up, so no requirement for a sharpener. I am loving the preponderance
of these twist-up pencils of late, they’re super practical. The
lipstick itself is very hydrating due to the raspberry oil included
in the formulation. I am wearing this berry red a fair amount at the
moment and never need any lip balm beforehand or after, as it’s so
moisturising. The finish is pretty glossy so I wouldn’t say it’s
the most long-lasting lipstick in the world, but it does leave a
natural berry stain on your lips for most of the day. This would be a
great lipstick for those that are a bit wary of stronger reds; it can
be blotted down to a soft stain from the start, or layered for a more
full-on lip later on if you’re going out.

The
Zea Mays Blush in Pink was really good too, I chose this quite
natural pinky brown shade because most of my powder blushers are pops
of colour on my cheeks and I needed a subtle one for wearing
underneath or on more neutral days. I could use this as a contour
shade or bronzer at a push; it’s not a very deep pink at all. Not
that I go in for bronzer or contouring much. I could probably do with
a contouring masterclass in fact, but let’s not discuss my ruddy
cheeks or double chin any further, there will be plenty of time for
that in future posts, I am sure. I am doing facial exercises as we
speak.

Apivita,
like Korres are a Greek brand that are all about the natural
ingredients and are paraben and silicone free. I tried their Euphoria
Jasmine and White Tea Bath and Shower Gel and corresponding Body
Milk. I chose these primarily for the scent, but these are good
products irrespective of their glorious aroma. And it’s a
beautiful scent, but I love jasmine anyway. There’s a touch of
freshness to it too, which I’m finding really useful for this mini
‘heatwave’ we’re having in London. The Bath and Shower Gel
foams well and the Body Milk moisturises nicely without being too
sticky. It’s a light body milk, so not for the driest of skins but
still enough to give a slight sheen. But oh, shall I say it again,
the scent of this, it stays on for hours and wafts about you like a
cloud of fresh white petals with a tannin and citrus hit. I love it
and want to know if there’s a perfume similar so I can layer it all
on together. Recommendations, please, for Jasmine scents, people!

I
also spent a lot of time in the Archaeological Museum in Athens. I am
a total museum nerd, having spent what felt like months at a time in
the Cast Courts at the V&A sketching as a teenager, and a short
time of my working life in a couple of London museums and galleries.
So I never pass up the chance to go to an unfamiliar one when
visiting new places. Where is she going with this you ask yourself?
Well, there was a section of the museum that displayed objects
associated with the average ancient Greeks’ toilette and I thought
it might be interesting to have a look at some of them. Especially
the beautiful hand mirrors that they used. There are what look like
large compact mirrors, as well as hand held mirrors with intricate
decorative work on the back and handle. Mirrors from 6BC with the
short thin handles were usually sheathed in wood at the bottom like
some of our hand mirrors and brushes today. The upright mirrors that
were supported by female figures were also from the same period, but
the folding portable mirrors were from the later 5 and 4BC. These
mirrors had one or two decorative covers, usually of deities or
mythological scenes. Sometimes, there was even a hook edge to hang up
the mirror when it wasn’t in use. Practical, eh? There were also
small pots used to contain cosmetics and ‘strigils’ which were
scrapers used to remove cosmetic oils and ointments. I’m really
hoping they didn’t remove their make-up with them though, it sounds
harsh. What you want is a nice micellar water or hot cloth, ancient
Greek Lady.

Limited
Korres and Apivita products are available in the UK. Korres Zea May
Blush is £17.50. The Raspberry Twist Lipstick is a new product and
should be over here soon, look out for it. Apivita Euphoria Jasmine
and White Tea Bath and Shower Gel is £12, while the Apivita Euphoria
Jasmine and White Tea Body Milk is £13.

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2 Comments

  1. June 6, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    Thank you so much for your position to the Parthenon Marbles. Even if the return never happens, such a brave attitude is so soothing to us during these difficult times. Sunny kisses from Greece!

  2. Jess Apostolopoulou
    June 10, 2014 / 2:01 pm

    Wow, how have I only just discovered this blog?! Thanks for the excellent recommendations and for raising awareness of Greek cosmetics.

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