Sun, 20 Feb 2000

Traditional beauty treatment important for brides-to-be

JAKARTA (JP): Heaven forbid that your wedding should be marred by breakouts, mascara smudges or a hair disaster.

Planning your beauty routine in advance is necessary to ensure that you'll be stress-free and glowing on the big day.

Ibu Titi, a wedding consultant and beautician in Cinere, South Jakarta, says that beauty and body treatment is important for a bride-to-be.

Indonesia, she says, is rich with traditional cosmetics to treat a bride. Herbs, flowers, natural oil and other ingredients have been used for centuries to beautify local girls, especially those from Javanese aristocrat families.

Indonesians are familiar with traditional beauty treatments like luluran (scrubbing), herbal mask and aromatherapy bath and ratus (body and hair steaming).

Luluran, using traditional scrub mangir (a mixed of blended rice, herbs and refined flowers) is good to cleanse and to smoothen a bride's skin.

Basically, beauty treatment for a future bride is divided into two stages -- mental and physical treatments.

Physically, she says, a bride must be healthy and beautiful. And preparation can start weeks or months prior to the wedding.

Titi advises it is better if a future bride starts her beauty treatment several weeks before her wedding day.

In the past, only Dukun Pengantin or Paes Pengantin (traditional wedding consultant or beautician) offered beauty treatments for clients.

Today, a number of beauty salons, including Martha Griya in Central Jakarta, are competing to offer head-to-toe beauty treatments for brides-to-be.

Jean Listiana, manager of Marta Tilaar Salon, explains that in the past only Javanese and Sundanese future brides underwent comprehensive traditional beauty treatments in her salon. These days her clients come from various ethnic backgrounds.

"They may feel the benefit of having traditional beauty and body treatments," she said.

Her salon offers aromatherapy, herbal bathing, manicure and pedicure, hair treatment, facials and waxing.

"We have special packages like the Kendedes (named after the queen of the Singasari kingdom who was famed for her beauty) and Asih Kinasih," Jean said.

Packages include head-to-toe treatment including facials, creambath, massages, steaming, etc. Packages range from Rp 100,000 per treatment to Rp 1 million, she said.

"Clients will be treated like a Javanese princess," she said.

Body and hair steaming gives fragrance to the entire body, including the private parts.

She advised that clients must be careful in choosing traditional beauty salons because of hygiene considerations.

Many women have complained of skin problems after having traditional treatment.

"Beauticians must master the knowledge of every traditional herb that is used in treatment otherwise they may cause trouble for their clients," she warned.

But there is much more significance for brides-to-be than just having beauty treatments, says Ibu Titi.

"Their inner beauty must shine through on their special day," she said.

There are several requisites that must be carried out by a future bride of a Javanese family or other ethnic groups. These requirements are considered necessary to calm down a bride-to-be and to eliminate any stress which could affect her happiness.

"There is nothing more important for a future bride than her psychological condition," Ibu Titi explained.

An expensive wedding gown and lavish makeup won't hide sorrow, she said.

Therefore, Javanese families who wish to retain the tradition, feel a prospective bride should follow the mutih diet which consists of meals of only a cup of rice and water, and enter a period of seclusion a few days before the wedding just to mentally prepare herself to enter a new life. (raw)