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Updated: July 14, 2010 19:28 IST

Ask Shahnaz

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Raima Sen.
Special Arrangement
Raima Sen.

Beautician Shahnaz Husain offers tips and answers queries. Send your queries to askshahnaz@gmail.com

I have shoulder length hair. If I leave it loose, it becomes rough. I want it to look good. Also suggest ways to improve the colour of my skin. It is oily and I use a paste of multani mitti, lemon juice, milk, honey and turmeric. Kavitha

Whenever you want to leave your hair loose, apply very little leave-in conditioner. Take a few drops and massage it lightly into your hair. Then comb your hair in the desired style. For oily skin, mix multani mitti with rose water and lemon juice into a paste. Apply it on your face and wash it off after it dries. If it makes the skin dry, add milk or a little curd to the paste. You can also add a pinch of turmeric to two teaspoons of curd and apply it daily on your face. Wash it off with plenty of water after 20 minutes.

How can I remove body hair permanently? I don't want to try waxing, hair removal cream or laser treatment. Aruna

Home remedies do not remove hair. They may help lessen the growth over a period of time. Waxing is the best option to get rid of body hair. Have it done at a beauty salon. Waxing removes hair by the roots and is said to gradually lessen hair growth. Or, use an epilator to remove hair from the arms and legs. It is a small gadget, which also removes hair by the roots. The hair should be about one-fourth inch long for an epilator to be effective. The hair will grow again after three or four weeks. The first time, use it where the hair is fine, as it is easier and will help you get used to the procedure. Follow the directions on the label. The advantage is, you can do it at home yourself.

I do not use any make-up and my face is oily. Sunaina

First, cleanse your face. Then apply an astringent lotion with cotton wool. Wait for a few minutes and then wrap an ice cube in a clean cloth and apply it on the skin for a few seconds at a time. It helps close the pores. Then apply compact powder. It can also be used to touch up make-up. If you want to apply foundation, choose a water-based foundation, adding a drop of water for lighter coverage. Or, try cake foundation or “pansticks”. It provides a matte finish. It is solid and water must be added before application. Use a damp sponge to apply it. Then apply loose powder.

I have fat cheeks. I want to reduce them. — Anoushka

Here are some exercises you should do daily. Keep your lips closed, smile in a relaxed way and then suck in your cheeks towards your teeth. Hold this position for a count of 10, relax and repeat the exercise 10 times. Next, 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.

My upper lip is darker than my lower lip. You suggested lemon juice, but lemon makes it darker.Kiruthika

About lightening the colour of your lips, I suggested adding a few drops of lemon juice to cream in milk. Lemon juice contains non-volatile organic acids such as citric acid. It is mild and helps lighten skin colour over a period of time. I also recommended application of pure almond oil daily at night, leaving it on overnight. Look for a lip balm with sunscreen. Meanwhile, apply a dark brown matte (non-shiny) lipstick on your lower lip. Then apply the colour of your choice on both lips.

Suggest remedies for uneven complexion and white heads. Naina

A facial scrub will help both problems. It helps discourage white heads and will produce an even tone. Apply the scrub on the face, rubbing it gently on the skin with circular movements, especially on the dark areas. White heads should not be pinched with the nails. You can also try some home remedies. Make a paste of fenugreek leaves and apply it daily on your face, washing it off after an hour. Grated potato or potato juice may also be applied. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and drink it first thing in the morning. Drinking barley water is also believed to check white heads.


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