Shahnaz Husain, renowned pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care. Excerpts
Q. My hair is quite healthy. Do I really need a hair pack? If so, what kind of pack should I use?
A. Even healthy hair can suffer during the change of seasons. For example, during winter, it may become drier, or it may look limp and dull during the hot and humid weather. A fruit pack would be good. You can use Avocado, which has around 20 vitamins and minerals. The protein content of avocado strengthens the hair and adds body. For a hair pack, take one avocado and mash into a pulp. Add one tablespoon green tea, one tablespoon fenugreek (methi) seed powder. Mix into a paste, adding lukewarm water. Apply and wash it off after half an hour.
Q. How do you get rid of stretch marks?
A. Although stretch marks fade gradually with time, they are never removed totally, due to destruction to supportive tissues. Cosmetic surgery, laser therapy, micro-dermabrasion, etc., are used to minimize stretch marks. As a home remedy, massage the area with olive oil or sesame seed oil daily before bath. Three times a week, mix gram flour with yogurt and a little turmeric into a paste. Apply on the area. Wash it off after half an hour. Then apply moisturising lotion.
Q. What is the best way to apply foundation and can you suggest me a few tips?
A. After cleansing the face, apply moisturising lotion for normal to dry skin, or astringent lotion for normal to oily skin. Wait for a few minutes. Then apply foundation. The main aim should be to achieve a natural look and even colour tone. Apply foundation on the face, forehead, nose and cheeks. Using a moist sponge, spread it evenly, going outwards. Apply foundation on the eyelids too. Blend well. Then, apply it on the lower part of the face, on the chin, and on either side, along the jaw line. Again spread evenly and blend. Remember the neck too. Apply and spread evenly from the chin downwards. Blending is very important to achieve an even and smooth finish. The entire effect should be natural and should not have a mask-like look.
Q. How do I prevent mascara from smudging?
A. If the mascara has become sticky, you should buy a new one. Remember to change roll-on mascara after 3 to 4 months and definitely within 6 months. Roll-on mascara is easy to apply. You also need a small brush, to brush out the lashes, after applying mascara. Apply less mascara – too much of it will make the lashes stick together. Using a hand mirror, look downwards into it. Then, apply it in two or three light coats, using upward strokes for the upper lashes and downward strokes for the lower lashes. Wait for the first coat to dry and then apply the second one. Apply a little powder on the lashes between the coats of mascara. The lashes will appear thicker and prevent smudging. After applying the final coat and letting it dry, brush out the lashes to separate them.
Q. How to make my hair smell good naturally?
A. To make the hair smell good, add a few drops of eau de cologne to a mug of water and used as a last rinse. It also has a cooling effect. Or, add the juice of a lemon and half a cup of rose water to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse after shampoo. Or, add Five Drops of Rosemary Essential Oil to 50 ml rose water. Shake well and keep in an airtight glass bottle. Apply a little on the scalp after shampoo and leave it on.
Q. I coloured my hair and it looks bad. How can I fix it?
A. Hot oil therapy will help. Heat pure coconut oil and apply. Remember to apply on the ends too. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Keep the oil on overnight and wash the hair the next day. Use a mild herbal shampoo to wash the hair. To dry the hair, avoid rubbing with your towel. Instead, wrap it around the head and allow it to absorb excess water. Comb out the tangles with a wide toothed comb, starting from the ends and working upwards. Allow the hair to dry naturally. After washing the hair, apply a creamy conditioner, massaging it lightly into the hair. Leave on for 2 minutes and then rinse off with water. You can also apply a hair serum to improve the look and texture of the hair and also protect it. You can also take hair spa treatments. This entails oil massage, exposing the hair to steam, application of hair packs and so on. It helps to improve the texture and add shine to damaged hair.