Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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    Beauty Q&A: Your beauty questions answered – Ask Ayesha

    Ever wondered about how to carry off the latest beauty trend of the season? Or what products to use to make those dark circles disappear? Well, help is finally here. Send in your queries to our resident hair and makeup specialist Ayesha Babar to, and we will get you your answers!

    Ask Ayesha 1
    Bright lipstick can be tricky to get right

    Dear Ayesha,

    I really like wearing bright lipstick but often when I wear my lipstick it goes on my teeth, which can be awkward. Can you please suggest what I can do to stop it from going on to my teeth?

    (Tanzy, London)

    Dear Tanzy,

    It can indeed be quite embarrassing when lipstick bleeds on to teeth and becomes even more prominent when it is a bright colour.

    Before you start your makeup, exfoliate your lips and massage a balm into the lips. Line and fill your lips with a lip pencil of the same colour as your lipstick, or a neutral colour if you don’t have the same colour available. Apply the first layer of lipstick and then blot your lips using a clean paper towel. Then, apply a second layer of lipstick. Doing so, will not only stop your lipstick from bleeding out on to your teeth but will also make it last much longer.

    Dear Ayesha,

    My hair tends to become very flat during the course of the day, no matter how I style it. What can I do to increase the volume in my hair?

    Voluminous hair
    Voluminous hair is every woman's envy

    (Sophie K, London)

    Dear Sophie,

    Voluminous hair is every woman’s envy! Depending on the texture of the hair, choose a shampoo that provides a deep clean. Clean hair provides lift from the root and volume that will last till your next wash. Also, keep your hair hydrated. It might sound surprising but oiling it before washing it will give it a deeper clean.

    There are a few other things to keep in mind that will help. When drying your hair, turn your head upside down, and then blow your hair on a medium setting.

    Change your parting often as having the hair parted the same way makes it flatter over time. Changing the part will ensure more volume on the crown.

    Dear Ayesha,

    My problem is rather embarrassing. I am 16 years old and have been suffering from body odour for a few years. I use a deodorant but still I would like some kind of a solution that will reduce it naturally.

    (Sana, Bradford)

    As the warm weather creeps in, how can you beat body odour?
    As the warm weather creeps in, how can you beat the body odour?

    Dear Sana,

    You are not alone in this. Body odour is something that affects many people. Puberty and adolescence are especially difficult times as our bodies are undergoing hormonal changes, and one of the main changes that occurs during this time is that our body starts producing odour.

    The odour is usually caused by bacteria that grow in different areas on our body, especially the areas where we tend to sweat more. This is why the problem is usually worse in the warmer summer months.

    The key to minimising body odour is hygiene. Washing the affected areas daily will also help. Wearing natural fabrics such as cotton and silk instead of nylons and polyester allows the skin to breathe and reduces sweat and thus odour.

    For smell emanating from your underarms, take a piece of cotton wool and dab tea-tree oil daily. Tea-tree oil is extremely effective in getting rid of odour-causing bacteria.

    Mixing one tablespoon baking soda with one tablespoon of lemon juice and dabbing (not rubbing) it on your underarm area for a few minutes daily before you shower will also reduce odour considerably.

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Get the Sonam Kapoor look!

BY Ayesha Babar

Actress Sonam Kapoor made waves at the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival. Critics could not stop raving about her red carpet gowns, which were all custom-made pieces by Ralph and Russo, and her interesting makeup and hair choices. Travelling with her trusted makeup artist Namrata Soni, Sonam delivered one fresh look after another. We bring you her most celebrated makeup look, which she wore to the AmFAR Gala reception, which is one of the highlights of the film festival.

  1. Smashbox primerAs Sonam has confessed in the past, she does not have the best skin in the business and has to prep and moisturise it, especially when travelling. I would suggest those with similar problems to use a facemask at home to take the dullness away before a big event.

  2. Once you have moisturised your skin thouroughly, apply a primer down the centre of your face and across your forehead. In the summer months especially, this will help the foundation adhere to the skin and prevent your t-zone from becoming an oil-field!

  3. Choose a light – medium coverage foundation, building it up in areas where your skin tone is more uneven and letting your skin breathe overall.mac-pigment-old-gold

  4. Instead of her usual smoky eye, Sonam has gone for a wash of colour on her eyelids with a single colour – a yellow-based gold eyeshadow.

  5. To create the shadowy wing that Sonam is sporting, use a liquid eyeliner to line the top lid and then go over that with a black eyeshadow, winging the shadow at the outer corners. This creates a more subtle wing that compliments the overallsoftness of the look. Finish the eyes with lining the waterline with a black eye-pencil.Laura mercier pink lipstick
  6. Avoid heavy contouring and instead of bronzey tones, apply a pink blush to the apples of the cheeks, taking it towards your ears.

  7. For the lips, choose a soft pink colour that compliments your skintone. Top it with a gloss in the same colour.

For added oomph, take inspiration from Sonam’s classic single braid hairdo, and you are all set to be the belle of the ball yourself!

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Beauty Q&A: Your beauty questions answered - Ask Ayesha

Ever wondered about how to carry off the latest beauty trend of the season? Or what products to use to make those dark circles disappear? Well, help is finally here. Send in your queries to our resident hair and makeup specialist Ayesha Babar to, and we will get you your answers!

Dear Ayesha,

stress-relaxedOver the past few weeks, I have noticed that my skin has started breaking out and becomes oily much faster. I am in the middle of my final year of university exams and thesis, and this sudden breaking out is just adding to my stress! Is there anything I can do to stop the damage?

(Yasmine J, Essex)

Dear Yasmine,

I hope the studying is going well! This time of the year can be tough for a lot of a students, both emotionally and physically.

As you are busy with your academics, I can imagine that you will not have much time to look after yourself. However, you need to understand that your skin is one of the most sensitive organs of your body and most often will be the first to show signs of anything going wrong.

First of all, it is important to manage your stress levels. Whether it is through joint study groups or meticulous scheduling for revision, you need to approach your work in a more systematic way. This will help calm you down and the result will be less stress. Stress is one of the main causes of skin breaking out and producing excess sebum.

Incorporating a little bit of exercise into your daily routine will also help. While I know you probably won’t have time to go to the gym regularly, I would certainly advise some light exercise, even if it just a 30 minute walk. This will also help you clear your mind and provide you with some downtime.

In the meantime, make sure you are drinking enough water and hydrating your skin with an oil-free moisturiser. Best of luck!

Dear Ayesha,

I have naturally curly hair that can become frizzy very, very quickly! I am going on holiday soon to a place that will have tropical, humid weather. Is there anything you can recommend to stop me from having a bad hair holiday?curly hair

(Alka S, London)

Dear Alka,

As someone who has the same hair type, let me tell you, I know exactly how frustrating it can be!! But there are ways to make your curls your friends, not just while on holiday but all year round!

You need to get working from before you wash your hair. Comb it through before with a wide-toothed comb, because brushing out curly hair after washing is an open invitation to frizz. After you wash your hair, gently squeeze out the excess water with a towel. A lot of women tend to rub their hair dry which causes friction and as a result frizz.

Let your hair air-dry as often as possible, avoiding the use of a hair dryer. While your hair is still damp, apply an oil-based moisturising serum from mid length to ends. If you feel that this weighs your hair down too much, then opt for a spray oil serum.

If all else fails, opt for a chic braid. Braids have been one of the key hair trends this spring and are all set to rule our heads this summer too!

Dear Ayesha,

shorts-kneesAs summer approaches I want to start wearing shorts and skirts and sleeveless tops. However, I have dark and rough elbows and knees and I don’t feel very confident showing these areas off. Can you help?

(Ruqs B, London)

Dear Ruqs,

The skin on our elbows and knees is generally thicker than the surrounding areas. This gives us added protection as these areas are subjected to trauma much more frequently.

The darkness is caused by extra pigmentation, and as the melanin your body produces is down to your genes and ethnicity among other things, it is difficult to get rid of it completely.

I would suggest you exfoliate the skin on a regular basis – even using a lemon wedge and rubbing it gently on the affected areas for about 5 minutes two-three times a week will make a difference. It is also important to moisturise the area, especially if you are exfoliating it. Apply Vaseline on your elbows and knees before going to bed and you will see that they are visibly softer in the morning.

Try and protect these areas from the sun, so make sure that you don’t miss these out when applying your sun protection! 

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Get the look: Aishwarya Rai

BY Ayesha Babar

That Aishwarya Rai is one of the most beautiful women in the world is no secret! The actress, who first shot to international fame when she was crowned Miss World in 1994, has made the world envious with her beauty year after year, appearance after appearance. At Cannes this year, Aishwarya stood out once again, with her look on Day 2 being my personal favourite. Ash paired a gorgeous Elie Saab gown with winged liner and a deep red lip. Read on for a step-by-step on how to feel like a Cannes Queen yourself!

  1. Use a deep repair cream all over the face and particularly around the eyes. This will prevent your skin from looking dull and tired.Mac Studio sculpt
  2. Next, prime your skin for foundation, focussing on the t-zone in particular. This step ensures that your foundation sits much more evenly on your skin. Go for a medium to full coverage foundation.

  3. Take a light gold eyeshadow, sweeping it over the entire eyelid. This is just to give the eyes a subtle pop. Use a cool brown shade (or even a little bit of your bronzer) to gently define your socket.

  4. As L’oreal’s brand ambassador, Aishwarya used the Loreal liquid superliner in black to achieve the perfect wing. For this look, elongate the wing outwards and upwards to create a dramatic effect.

  5. Follow up with lashings of mascara on the upper lashes and give the bottom lashes a light-handed coat.

  6. Go for a natural blush, as the focus points of the look are the eyes and the lip.Loreal La Palette

  7. Now comes my favourite part – the lips. Aishwarya’a makeup artist mixed two different shades from the L’oreal La Paletter lip set in red. First, apply the orange all over and then go over with the darkest shade. This technique adds dimension to the colour and gives your look that extra oomph.

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Beauty Q&A: Your Beauty Questions Answered – Ask Ayesha

Ever wondered about how to carry off the latest beauty trend of the season? Or what products to use to make those dark circles disappear? Well help is finally here. Send in your queries to our resident hair and makeup specialist Ayesha Babar to, and we will get you your answers!


gel eyeliner 1Dear Ayesha,

I am a 32 year old woman with Asian skin and I want to start experimenting with eyeliner. I have heard that cream and gel based eyeliners are quite good, so I would like your advice on which ones are the good ones.

(Samina K, East London )

Dear Samina,

You are right - gel based eyeliners are indeed much more versatile than the others. Do you use eyeliner regularly? If yes, then gel eyeliners can be as easy as the liquid or pencil ones with regards to the ease of application. If you are not yet very skilled at lining your eyes, especially when it comes to the more dramatic styles, then I would recommend practicing your application with a liquid eyeliner before.

Gel eyeliners are quite popular now and while earlier it was difficult to find good ones, there are quite a few companies that do gel eyeliners now. My favourite ones, that I have tried and tested over the years, are 'fluidline' from M.A.C. Cosmetics and 'long-lasting gel eye liner' from Bobbi Brown. Both give intense colour payoff and stay in place for many hours (not unless, like me sometimes, you rub your eyelid unconsciously!). On the high street, Maybelline also sells gel eyeliner for which I have seen some great reviews.

Most gel eyeliners come in a round pot and you will have to buy an eyeliner brush (with a thin straight or slanted end) with the pot in order to use the product. When using gel pots, it is important to keep the lid tightly on the pot when not in use to stop the product from drying out!

If you are feeling a bit experimental then you can even get these in a range of different colours.


Dear Ayesha,

My daughter is 16 years old, with very fair, pale skin. Over the past 2 years she has been breaking out around the girl hiding sad makeup 2cheeks quite regularly and even when the acne disappears, it leaves behind red acne marks. I have taken her to a dermatologist who has said that it is part of the hormonal changes that she is going through and medically there is nothing to worry about. However, my daughter feels very conscious about the red marks and I would be thankful for your advice in how she can conceal these.

(Jenny M, London)

Dear Jenny,

Growing up many changes in our bodies make us very conscious. It is important to receive support at this delicate age so that our confidence is not affected and that is the most important first step.

Since the marks are red in colour, your daughter will need to apply a colour corrector before she conceals. To neutralise the red tones, she will need to use a green corrector, as this cancels out the harsh pink colours. There a few different brands that do these; I have used the Smashbox green corrector in the past for similar cases and it has been quite effective.

After applying the corrector, dab some standard skin-coloured concealer on top as normal. I'd suggest using a medium coverage concealer for this purpose.


foundation makeup 3Dear Ayesha,

When buying foundation, is it important to match the colour to the neck or to the face? I'm confused because my neck is actually slightly lighter than my face!

(Mishal A, London)

Dear Mishal,

Being a different shade on the neck and the face is actually quite common. When it comes to matching the foundation, there's really no right or wrong way and depends on the how different the shades are.

Generally, if your neck downwards you are the same colour with your face being a different shade, then match it upwards from your neck. If the neck is a different shade with the chest and shoulders and the face being the same colour (usually happens due to hyper-pigmentation on the neck), then match the foundation downwards from the face.

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