Katharine and Elle Magazine do Morocco

Moroccan beauty ingredients

Moroccan beauty ingredients

It was with immense pleasure that I had the opportunity to travel with April Long, Executive Beauty Editor of Elle Magazine to Morocco last January. April joined me in Fez in the hopes of unlocking the traditional beauty secrets of Morocco, with an exploration of the ancient walled city to discover my scent inspiration for our Fez Body Oil and Hand and Body Balm launching this week.

January is not an ideal time to travel to Fez. The cold is the kind that seeps into your bones, even when its 55 degrees, while rain runs in rivulets down unpaved dirt streets. Howling winds blew the furniture over on the rooftop of our riad in the the old city.   But April revealed herself to be an intrepid traveler, undeterred by the conditions from exploring every alleyway, madrassa, spice stall and antique shop, with our noses and my trusted friend Majid as our guides.

April and Majid in the Fez Medina

April and Majid in the Fez medina

We spent a lovely, though chilly, afternoon in the home of Yasmine, who showed us her own beauty secrets passed down to her by her mother (obviously very effective). We ground roses, chamomile and lavender to mix with rhassoul clay and savon noir to soften and clarify skin and hair, while drinking Moroccan mint tea and eating delicious homemade pastries. Concoctions in hand, April went off to the public hammam (I opted to stay behind, having experienced the hammam many times before – and feeling more comfortable stripping down in a roomful of complete strangers than with the Executive Beauty Editor of a major fashion magazine).

April Long receiving a lesson in making her own traditonal  Moroccan beauty treatment

April Long receiving a lesson in making her own traditional Moroccan beauty treatment

As April writes in the August issue of Elle, “…at the hammam, I tapped into something else that gives argan oil its power….I felt a sort of sisterhood, and not just because we’re all topless. We may not have a single word of shared language, but we all want soft skin and shiny hair; we all hope to walk out looking radiant,” says April. “Ultimately, it’s all about connection.”  The beauty of shared rituals – Kahina’s message exactly. It was wonderful to share this experience with April – and realize one more wonderful connection.

Staying warm and well-fed inside the Riad Laaroussa in Fez

Staying warm and well-fed inside the Riad Laaroussa in Fez

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