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Updated: March 17, 2010 20:53 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Genelia D'Souza
The Hindu
Genelia D'Souza

Beautician Shahnaz Hussain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to

My eyebrows and eyelashes are not thick. I would like to have long eyelashes. — Indhra

Castor oil is said to encourage the growth of eyebrows and eyelashes. Apply very little castor oil daily on the eyelashes using a cotton bud. Apply it during the day. Do not apply it at night and go to sleep, as it can lead to puffy eyes. You can make the eyelashes appear thicker by using mascara. Apply 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.

My lips are black and chapped. Also the back of my neck is very dark. Please suggest home remedies. Deepa

The skin of the lips is very thin and delicate. After washing the face, when the lips are wet, rub them gently with a soft towel. This helps remove dead skin. Then add a few drops of lemon juice to the cream of milk and apply it on the lips. Leave it on for an hour. Apply pure almond oil daily on the lips at night and leave it on overnight. Lip balm may also be applied daily. Change your brand of lipstick, because the perfume in certain lipsticks can cause darkness. For the neck, apply til oil daily and massage it on the skin. Mix besan, curd, lemon juice and a little haldi (turmeric) and apply it at least thrice a week. Wash it off after half an hour.

I am fat and short. I have a round face. What kind of dress and hairstyle will suit me? Anita

Dark colours make a person look slimmer. Avoid large prints. One-coloured outfits would be more suitable. Avoid clinging fabrics such as chiffon and tight clothes. If you wish to look slimmer, avoid heavy fabrics. Stick to simple patterns. Vertical stripes will suit you. The neckline should be simple. Sleeves should be long and straight. Avoid puffed sleeves, frills and flounces. For a round face, you can go in for a hairstyle that adds height to the top of the head. Avoid hairstyles that add width to the sides. Take a centre parting and have the hair falling down. You can have steps or layers at the end, starting after chin level.

I want to lose weight. Can you suggest a diet? Sriharika

Consult a doctor regarding a diet for weight loss. Bring about a gradual change in your diet. For example, avoid eating sweet dishes after meals and stick to fresh fruits. Take clear soups (without butter) and salads before the main dish. Avoid having rich gravies. Cut down on your intake of cereals. For example, if you have been taking three chapatis, take only two. Have only one cup of cooked rice. Have enough fresh fruits, salads, sprouts, curd and paneer made from skimmed milk, lightly cooked vegetables, fish and chicken. Avoid snacking between meals. If you feel like having a snack, go for fruit, carrot or cucumber. You can make them tasty and appetising by adding lemon juice and chaat masala. Anyway, consult your doctor first before making changes in your diet.

My hair is rough and frizzy. I apply a blend of almond, olive and coconut oil and leave it overnight, before washing the hair. But there is no shine. Krithika

Despite using shampoo, conditioner and hair serum, I have dry hair. I apply oil thrice a week and rarely use henna. Does henna make the hair dry? Smitha

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