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September 4, 2012

Beauty Travelogue: Istanbul

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YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Much like the typical Mediterranean diet, Turkish cuisine consists of local produce, fresh fish, and plenty of olive oil, plus breads and sweets like sütlaç (rice pudding) or buttery baklava at most meals. I guiltlessly indulge in, well, everything. (I'd mainline the yogurt if I could.)

The antioxidant-rich olive oil explains the locals' glowing skin, but what about the lithe physiques—hopped-up metabolisms from all the coffee and tea consumption? "We don't care about fitness like Americans," claims Yücel, who spent years studying in the States. But, as I suggested earlier, times are changing: I spot joggers daily along the Bosphorus shore.

CROWNING GLORY
Finally, hair—a truly universal priority for women, especially the Turks, a majority of whom make weekly salon visits for blowouts, manis, and waxing. "We have a lot of hair," declares Sümer. "And we don't trust just anyone with it." Turns out The One, according to MC Turkey Editor-in-Chief Gülen Yelmen, is Ugur Alevyilmaz, whose tony salon near seaside Bebek (the Laguna Beach of Istanbul) is frequented by local A-listers like supermodel Ozge Ulusoy. In his chair, I express concerns over the general limpness of my always-straight strands, and he lights up. As he wields his curling iron with breakneck speed and deft skill, he shares how he, like most of his peers, started in the biz as a teenager needing to learn a trade. Before long, he sends me on my way with refreshingly bouncy waves. Maybe I'm ready for a little


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