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 ayeshababarmakeup@gmail.com, 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!