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Updated: September 18, 2011 19:39 IST

Ask Shahnaz

Shahnaz Husain
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Actor Madhuri Dixit. File photo
PTI Actor Madhuri Dixit. File photo

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

What is a hair serum? How is it used? Suggest ways to keep my hair clean.Aishwarya

A hair serum is like a leave-in conditioner. It helps soften the hair, add shine and make it manageable. However, very little of it should be used. Massage it lightly into the hair after a shampoo wash and then comb your hair in the desired style. Or, after combing your hair, smear a little hair serum on both your palms. Then smooth your palms over the hair. Washing your hair frequently will help remove the dirt. Twice a week, heat olive oil and apply it on your scalp using cotton wool. Leave the oil on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on your scalp and wash your hair after 15 minutes.

How should lipstick be applied? Which shade is suitable for a brown complexion?Senophia

For lipstick application, you need lip pencils, a lip brush, lipstick and lip gloss. Outline your lips with a lip pencil. The colour should be as close to the lip colour as possible. This helps define the shape of the lips. Start outlining your lips from the centre and go towards the corners. Then apply lipstick with a lip brush. Fill in colour from your lipstick, starting from the centre and going towards the corners. It should be evenly applied. If you like shine, add a touch of lip gloss in the centre of your lips. You can wear colours to offset or match your clothes. For the daytime, go for light pink or mauve, or even brown, copper or bronze. For the night, choose from colours which are warm and earthy such as coral, brick red, dark red, burgundy, wine and plum. Avoid very dark colours with bluish tones such as maroon.

What should I do to remove the black spots on my face? Rikshita

If they are due to sun exposure, apply a sunscreen with a high SPF before going out in the sun. Mix rice powder with curd and use it as a facial scrub once or twice a week. Apply it on your face, gently rubbing the skin with tiny, circular movements, especially on the dark spots. Leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. Mix honey and lemon juice in equal quantities and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off after 15 minutes. Twice a week, apply a face mask. Mix three teaspoons of oatmeal with one teaspoon each of honey, curd and lemon juice, or egg white. Apply it on your entire face, avoiding the lips and the area around your eyes. Wash it off after half-an-hour.

My skin was dry and became normal to oily after I came to Chennai. It is becoming oilier and sweats more too. Is it due to humidity or the use of a sun block?Pooja

Humidity increases perspiration. Also, the sunscreen may have ingredients that make the skin sweat. You can try using an oil-free sunscreen for oily skin. After applying it, apply compact powder to reduce the oily look. For oily skin, apply astringent lotion or a skin tonic after washing your face. Mix multani mitti with rose water into a paste and apply it on your face daily. Wash it off after it dries. It helps reduce oiliness.

Suggest slimming exercises for the thighs.Vijaylaxmi

After consulting your doctor, do the following exercises daily. 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 about 8 inches off the floor and hold it in this position. Supporting yourself with your hips, elbow and hands, try to raise the right leg to try and touch the raised left foot. Return both legs slowly to the floor. Repeat this exercise five times; turn on your left side and repeat.

I want to have slim cheeks.Laxmi

Try these facial exercises. With your lips closed, smile in a relaxed way and then suck in your cheeks towards your teeth. Hold it for a count of 10, then relax and repeat the exercise 10 times. Keeping your teeth and lips closed, blow air under your top lip and hold it there for 10 counts, then move the air to your left cheek, hold it for 10 counts, then to your lower lip for 10 counts and then to your right cheek for 10 counts. Relax and repeat the exercise five times.

Keywords: beauty tipsfashion


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