Shahnaz Husain, renowned pioneer of the beauty movement, answers some of the common questions concerning beauty and care. Excerpts:
Q. I used to have very soft and shiny hair. Now my hair has become rough. How to make it soft again?
A. Twice a week heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. 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. Use a mild herbal shampoo. Use less shampoo and rinse well with water. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, taking less quantity and massaging it lightly into the hair. Leave on for 2 minutes and rinse off with plain water. Or, you can apply a “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum. Apply the same way, but do not rinse off. As a home remedy, apply aloe vera gel on the hair three times a week. Leave on for 20 minutes and wash off.
Q. I always wanted to flaunt a dewy skin look. What products should I use?
A. Facial sprays are available, which form a fine mist on the face, helping to achieve the dewy skin look. They can refresh the skin, or close pores, or even help make-up to “set.” To make a spray at home, you will need a spray bottle and mineral water, or rose water. Put rose water in the spray bottle and chill it in the fridge. Just spraying the face with rose water can help to refresh and tone the skin. It helps to stimulate blood circulation to the skin surface and add a glow to the face.
Q. I have an oily T-zone could you suggest what I should do to avoid my T-zone from becoming oily at the end of my work day?
A. After cleansing, apply astringent lotion on the T-zone, using cotton wool. This helps to reduce oiliness and close the pores. You can also mix Multani Mitti with rose water into a paste and apply on the T-zone. Wash it off when it dries. This also reduces oiliness and closes the pores. Carry wet tissues and your powder compact in your handbag, so that you can refresh the skin. Wipe with the wet tissue and apply compact powder on the T-zone.
Q. I’ve never done makeup before! Could you please suggest me simple ways to apply eye shadow.
A. Eye shadows come in cream or powder form. Powder shadows are easier to apply. A flat-tipped square brush helps to apply eye shadow for the overall color. To apply highlighter on the brow bone, a brush with a slight slant helps. Sponge applicators are useful for applying and blending eye shadow. You will need four shades of eye shadow to work with, from a neutral base colour, a main colour, a darker shade for emphasizing and a light colour for highlighting. Apply the neutral colour base shadow over the entire area, using a large brush, from the lash line towards the eyebrow. Then, apply the main colour, using a medium brush or sponge tipped applicator. This should be applied only up to the socket area. Blend well. Using a finer brush, apply the dark shadow in a thin line along the socket (crease). Start from the inner corner of the eyes and go outwards. This can be blended with a larger brush, if you want a softer look. The dark colour should be applied under the lower lashes too, using the fine brush. Start applying half way along the lower lash-line and go outwards. Then apply the light shade just under the brows. A pearly shadow may be good, to add more emphasis to the area.
Q. How to apply mascara and make my lashes long?
A. Roll-on mascara is easy to apply. Buy a small eyelash brush too, in order to brush out the lashes, after applying mascara. Use a hand mirror and look downwards into it. Application is best this way. Apply it in two or three light coats, using upward strokes for the upper lashes and downward strokes for the lower ones. Wait for the first coat to dry and then apply the second one. After applying the final coat and letting it dry, brush out the lashes to separate them. If you apply a little powder on the lashes between the coats of mascara, they will appear thicker.
Q. I have lots of knots in my hair, especially the ends. What are the natural ways to get rid of knots of soften my hair in a natural way?
A. Damaged, brittle, curly or frizzy hair tends to get knotted more easily. Avoid using a brush. Disentangle the hair with a wide toothed comb. You first mix some creamy conditioner with water and put in a spray bottle. Spray the hair with it, as it would help to remove the knots. Separate the hair into sections. Taking one section at a time, start from the ends and disentangle the hair with the comb, going upwards.