Sunday, August 30, 2015

Q&A: Nomadic Boys and Their Cosmetic Secrets!


I'm sure many of us have been to new places and new countries in search of fun, pleasure and new experiences to cherish --but how many of us have gone so far as to take a year off backpacking across the world?

That is just what the Nomadic Boys did.



Stefan and S├ębastien are the Nomadic Boys, two gorgeous men currently traversing across Southeast Asia having started their journey a year ago.

They were in Kuching three weeks ago, exploring the fun and fanaticism August has to offer such as the Kuching Food Festival and the Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 -- both perfect Sarawakian experiences for visitors in my opinion!

As an avid follower of their blog, I got in touch with them via Facebook. We then met up and became fast friends! I can tell these lovable goofballs are having the time of their lives, exploring diverse cultures and blogging consistently along the way.

I admire the way they immerse themselves fully in each location, learning bits and pieces to form interesting articles on their website -- you can check them out here. In fact they're so in depth, they even come up with adventures, travel tips and guides not known even to the locals! 

Getting to know them got me thinking: How do they maintain their skincare regime? Do they have problems with maintaining their hygiene at some point? (That would be the makings of a horror movie for me.)

And I'm sure they must have come across some beauty tips and tricks along the way! 

And here's how things went down: 

MAN IN FACE MASK: As gorgeous handsome men traversing countries, cities and rural areas for more than a year now, I would like to start off by saying congrats on the venture so far! 

Nomadic Boys: Oh Ronnie you tease! You make us blush -- thank you! And how lucky we are to meet Sarawak's finest reporter. (Now its MY turn to blush.)

MIFM: Here's what I'd like to start off with: How do you maintain your personal care? What is your skincare regime like? 

Sebastien is seen cutting Stefan's hair at the Tsenkher
Hot Springs in central Mongolia (July 2014) 
Nomadic Boys: We are backpackers at the end of the day travelling long term on a budget. But despite this, we refuse to become one of those types of backpackers who grow a beard…never wash…wear those disgusting baggie pants that they seem to all wear…grow long hair etc.

We have learnt to perfect cutting our own hair and shave relatively frequently (stubble ok, but beards, no way!).

On the skin care side of things, this is where things vary. Stefan is more rough and ready, and will happily use sun creams as a moisturiser. Sebastien still reacts in shock at Stefan. 

Sebastien insists on his skin care products and sees these as vital to his personal upkeep.



MIFM: Has there ever been difficulties in keeping clean? Do tell us some stories!

Nomadic Boys: Travelling in Mongolia was fun but rustic. There are no roads outside the capital city of Ulan Bator, so you have to take a tour with a 4x4 and camp with the nomadic families in their gers / yurts. They don’t have showers. So in this case, we got into a routine of baby wipe showers. 

We managed a week tops before we cracked and had to return to a nice hot shower.


MIFM: What is your absolute must-have cosmetic during your travels? Why is it important to you?

Nomadic Boys: Stefan is easy and will just buy whatever is on offer in the local supermarket. What Stefan saves in cosmetics however, Sebastien will use to spend on his… The must haves for Sebastien are Clarins if he can find them but in the alternative he has learnt to settle for L’Oreal (!).


MIFM: What is the most interesting, unique, never-seen-before cosmetic or beauty product you have tried/seen so far in your travels?

In Myanmar, the Burmese wear a permanent face mask all day long. No kidding! It’s called a thanaka - a face cosmetic paste made from grinding water with the bark of a particular tree from central Myanmar. It is believed to act as a sunblock, anti ageing and prevent acne.

At our Home stay at Yoe Yoe Lay guesthouse in Mandalay, we ditched our Boots Face Mask and replaced it with thanaka! 

The Boys tying thanaka in Mandalay, Myanmar (Jan 2015)


MIFM: Tell us more about your spa experiences so far -- do you make a point of trying spas in different places? What's your most memorable one so far? 

Mandala Spa Boracay, the Philippines (June 2015) 
Nomadic Boys: For Sebastien’s birthday we worked with the excellent Mandala Spa & Villas on Boracay island which was two days of massages, treatments, yoga and a pole dancing class.

They used our image for their marketing as they wanted to promote their “Rainbow Package” to the gay community and we wrote about them herehttp://nomadicboys.com/mandala-spa-review/

We never turn down an offer to work with spas!



MIFM: Based on your experiences and in your opinion, which country is the most conscientious towards beauty products?

Nomadic Boys: Sebastien immediately says FRANCE! In Asia, the Koreans take it to another level – we learnt in China the phrase “going to Korea” really involved going for plastic surgery – in Korea. Unfortunately (in our opinion) this plastic surgery was aimed at Western-ising themselves as much as possible.

Stefan trying out the whitening shampoo
 Stef, Hoi An, Vietnam (April 2015) 
Whitening creams we’ve notice are also incredibly popular throughout Asia, particularly in Vietnam and the Philippines. 

We Europeans see dark tanned skin as something beautiful, sexy and exotic – and to an extent, a sign of wealth – you can afford a holiday and get a tan. We have a huge sun bed culture in Europe.

In Asia, the opposite applies – if you’re tanned, you’re seen as a field worker, a peasant who works the land, who can’t afford a better life, so white is the idea. Completely bizarre to us.

But this didn’t stop Stefan using the whitening creams as his moisturiser as an alternative to sun block creams (Sebastien still reacts with horror at this) – we got a lot of free samples of the stuff travelling through Vietnam. They also have whitening shampoo (!)



MIFM: The question on everybody's mind... Who is more beauty conscious: S├ębastien or Stefan? 

Sebastien! :)

MIFM: Any other comments to Face Mask readers out there? 

Nomadic Boys: We love a good face mask and think it makes a great start to a fun night out! 

The Boys' pre-going out mask selfie for New Years 
Eve in Bangkok, Thailand (December 2014)


Thank you so much for your time, Boys! We hope to meet you soon in your future travels, I'd love to come by London someday as well.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Cheers!

The Man In The Face Mask

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