SHAHNAZ SPEAKS | Easy way to Diwali glow

Diwali is round the corner and you have just enough time to get the perfect shine for the festival of lights. The days running up to Diwali are usually hectic as preparations for the festival take up several days. By the time you finish cleaning your house and preparing for the guests (though this year there will be no elaborate celebrations and there will be restrictions on gatherings), you will be exhausted. Beauty expert Shahnaz Husain can help you look beautiful for the festival even in a busy schedule.

Most people want quick solutions and tend to use costly cosmetics which have chemicals. That should not be the way to get glowing skin and shiny hair. Organic solution is the best for any beauty care problem. Here are some tips:

Night-time cleansing is an absolute must, especially for city dwellers. Make up should also be removed at night. All these can cause dryness of the skin, or disrupt the normal acid-alkaline balance of the skin, leading to rashes and other eruptive conditions, like pimples and acne.

As Diwali approaches, the weather also changes. Seasonal changes influence the skin. Humidity becomes less and the skin loses moisture. So one needs to keep the skin moisturised and also protect it from sun exposure. For normal to dry skin, cleanse twice a day with a cleansing gel, containing ingredients like aloe vera. Massage the cleanser lightly into the skin and remove it with moist cotton wool. Then apply rose water or skin tonic, using cotton wool. During the day, use a sunscreen, before going out in the sun. Or, use moisturiser, if you are indoors. Moisturisers are available in cream and liquid form. For dry skin, at night, after cleansing, apply a nourishing cream and massage it on the face. Wipe off with moist cotton wool. You can apply a serum afterwards.

Oily skin also needs moisture. Mix one teaspoon pure glycerin with 100 ml rose water. Keep it in an airtight jar in the fridge. Use a little of this lotion after cleansing. This moisturises the skin, without making it oily. Use cleansing milk or face wash to cleanse the skin.

Facial scrubs help to brighten the skin. Use scrub twice a week. Mix ground almonds (badaam) or rice powder with curd and a pinch of turmeric. You can also add dried and powdered orange and lemon peels. Apply on the face and rub gently on the skin with small circular movements. Then wash off with water.

Apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. You can look for a sunscreen lotion or cream according to your skin type. You should also look for day cream, nourishing or night cream and serum.

As Diwali and winter approach, try some home remedies to relieve dryness. Apply honey on the face daily for 10 minutes and wash off with water. If you have an aloe vera plant at home, the gel, found in the inner portion of the leaves, can be applied on the face to moisturise it.

Grate carrots and apply on the face for 15 to 20 minutes. Carrot is rich in Vitamin A and good for nourishing the skin in winter. It suits all skin types.

Mix half a teaspoon of honey, one teaspoon of rose water and one teaspoon of dried milk powder. Mix into a paste and apply on the face. Remove after 20 minutes with water. It works for both normal and dry skin types. Applying mayonnaise or egg yolk on the skin also helps to relieve dryness. It suits dry skin.

Nourish hair with oil treatments once or twice a week. Heat olive oil and apply on the scalp and 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 five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap three or four times. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better.

Egg white is a wonderful natural cleanser for oily hair and its protein content helps to add body. Apply egg white on the hair about half-an-hour before your shampoo. To nourish dry hair, massage egg yolk or mayonnaise into the scalp. Leave it on for half an hour and then wash. It helps to soften the hair and is very useful for hair that has suffered damage through colouring, straightening or perming.

If you have been working hard just before Diwali, a few ‘pick-me-up’ tips will help. Give yourself a manicure and pedicure the day before. In fact, after soaking the hands and feet in warm water, massage with a rich cream so that the skin is smooth and soft. A good pick-me-up treatment for the hands is to rub them with sugar and lemon juice.

Cleanse the skin. Mix honey with egg white and apply it on the face. Wash off with water after 20 minutes. For those with very dry skin, mix half a teaspoon honey, egg yolk or pure almond oil and one teaspoon dried milk powder. Mix into a paste and apply on the face. Leave it on for half an hour and rinse with water. Then give the skin a compress with cotton wool pads soaked in rose water.

For hands and nails, mix almond oil and honey in equal parts and massage into the nails and cuticles. Leave on for 15 minutes and wipe off with a moist towel. Mix together three tablespoons of rose water with one tablespoon each of glycerin and lemon juice. Apply on hands and feet and leave for half an hour. Wash off with plain water.

If your hair is dull, give it a quick conditioning treatment before shampoo. Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and honey with one egg. Beat them well. Massage the mixture into the scalp. Then wrap the hair in a hot towel for 20 minutes before washing. Your hair will be manageable and have more body and shine.

Give your hair a tea-water and lemon rinse after shampoo, to add shine. Boil used tea leaves again in enough water. After boiling, you should have about 4 cups of tea-water. Cool and strain it. Then add the juice of a lemon and use it as a last rinse after shampoo.