Beauty lies within the marketplace

Rama Ariadi / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Across almost all markets in Phnom Penh, the services tendered range from a quick manicure to a full-on facial, complete with all the trimmings. KT/Jean-Francois Perigois

Time may be a great healer, but many people would also argue that it is a lousy beautician. In an effort to arrest these fleeting moments of beauty, many people – men included – would often stick to a skincare regimen, but in these days and age, who has the time to spare? Luckily across Cambodia, markets are not simply a place where goods are bought and sold – as a plethora of other services are offered by different beauty stalls, tucked away behind an unsuspecting meat vendor, coffee roaster, or even fortune tellers.

Across almost all markets in Phnom Penh, the services tendered range from a quick manicure to a full-on facial, complete with all the trimmings. Stress giving you the breakouts? A quick steam and a facial to improve circulation can be wedged in between daily grocery runs. Cracked heels starting to hurt? A quick pumice scrub can be paired with a foot massage – all for under $5. From nail art to fake eyelashes, even hair up-dos and herbal masks, these ladies have got you covered.

From simple stalls to more complex set-ups commonly seen in a hair salon in a mall, the choices are staggering – and worry not, there will be stalls that suit every budget. But with prices for a massage going as low as $2 dollars, the deciding factor would more likely be the proximity of the salon, to the customer’s chosen point of sale.

While some might balk at the idea of having their beauty fix done in a wet-market with all the sights and smells associated with the scene, others rejoice at their presence. After all – convenience aside – where else can one get their face steamed, while at the same time, enjoying a steaming bowl of kuyteav? Expediency is key, and it seems, beauty is no exception.

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