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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Myanmar Makeup

Out of all the Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar has held steadfast to the wearing of the longyi, a sarong in various materials and patterns, usually checked for men and floral for women. But even more unique is the practice of women applying thanakar (also spelled thanaka) to their faces and arms. 

The mature bark of a thanaka or wood apple tree is ground on a circular stone slab called a kyauk pyin until a yellowish paste is formed.  With a light scent similar to sandalwood, the women wearing it use it to beautify themselves as a make-up, as a sunscreen, an insect repellant, to remove acne, and to keep their skin smooth.

Women of Myanmar don't dare leave the house without a smear of thanaka!

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