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Updated: September 1, 2013 19:57 IST

Ask Shahnaz

shahnaz husain
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Genelia. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma
The Hindu
Genelia. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

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

Suggest exercises that will help me have slimmer thighs. Geetha

After consulting your doctor, do the following spot reduction exercise daily. First, lie on your right side, leaning on your elbow. Place your left hand on the floor, palm downwards, in front of your chest. Lift your left leg approximately eight inches off the floor and hold it. Supporting yourself with your hips, elbow and hands, raise the right leg to try and touch the raised left foot. Return both legs slowly to the floor. Repeat this exercise five times and then turn on your left side and repeat.

The skin of my face, neck and hands has become dark. It is oily and prone to pimples. Jyoti

For oily and pimple-prone skin, add lemon juice to grated cucumber or cucumber pulp and apply it daily on your face, washing it off after 20 minutes. This reduces oiliness and helps get rid off a tan. Mix multani mitti with rose water, sandalwood paste and lemon juice and make it into a paste. Apply it three or four times a week, washing it off after it dries. Sandalwood paste can be applied directly on the pimples. For the neck and hands, mix gram flour with curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric. Apply it three times a week, washing it off after half an hour. Then massage your skin with sesame seed (til) oil.

My upper lip is darker than the lower lip. When I apply lipstick, it does not look good. Aarti

The skin of the lips is thin and delicate. However, after washing your face, when the lips are wet, rub them gently with a soft towel. This helps remove dead skin. Then apply cream of milk on your lips and leave it on for an hour. Apply pure almond oil daily at night, on the upper lip and leave it on overnight. To apply lipstick, first apply foundation on the lips. Apply a darkish-brown matte (non-shiny) lipstick on the lower lip. Then apply the colour of your choice on both the lips. Use a lip brush. Both the lips will appear the same colour.

I want to have soft and silky hair. My hair is oily. Conditioners don’t help. I wash my hair daily. Is it harmful? Soumya

Washing your hair daily is not harmful, provided you use a mild shampoo and apply very little of it. Only one application of shampoo is enough. Rinse it off thoroughly. For oily hair, it is better to use a hair rinse, instead of a creamy conditioner. Have a tea water and lemon rinse after a shampoo wash. Boil used tea leaves again in enough water. After boiling, you should have four to five cups of tea water. Cool and strain the liquid. Then add the juice of a lemon and use it as a last rinse. Weekly henna treatments will add thickness to the hair.

My eyes are puffy when I wake up in the morning. Should I use under-eye cream? Suggest a home remedy. Lata

First consult a doctor, to make sure that there is no medical problem. Ask for dietary advice too. Do not leave make-up or cream on around your eyes at night, when you sleep. It can lead to puffiness around eyes. If you apply cream around eyes, wipe off with moist cotton wool after 15 minutes. You can try some simple home remedies for puffiness. Apply a compress of iced water on your closed lids and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Or you can soak cotton wool pads in chilled rose water and let it rest on your eyelids, like eye pads, for 10 to 15 minutes.


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