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Dear Sadia,
I am worried and desperately need your help. My questions are:
I have a combination skin. Lately it has become lifeless and blotchy, can you suggest a mask that can help me? I have blackheads, how do I get rid of them? Do breast increasing pills actually work? Can you suggest one? My knees are really dark, how can I lighten the colour of the area? Hope you can help me.

Apply a freshness pack using the following ingredients for your combination skin.
1 tsp mint leaf paste
1 tsp neem powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp tomato puree
1 tsp yoghurt
½ tsp salt.
Use every might and I'm sure you'll see the difference.
Use ponds nasal blackhead removing strips at home or you can have them removed professionally once a month.
To tell you honestly I have not met or even known anyone who has been satisfied with breast enlarging pills but for further information I suggest you get in touch with an endocrinologist.
Scrub your knees with uptan and mix some fem bleach into it as well. Apply, keep on for few minutes and scrub off.

Hi Sadia,
I am 18 years old. Actually I want to have fair skin. First let me tell you about my daily routine. Everyday I use two Uptans- in the morning and at night and these Uptans are from Aarong. Apart from these, I use a face pack everyday in the evening, which contains neem, turmeric, chandan etc, and these are from Aarong as well. As I have very dry skin I always use two types of moisturisers and they are Olay natural white cream and another is Vaseline. Other than this, I use Olay night cream every night. I also use sun block while going out. In spite of using all these regularly, I don't see any changes in my skin. Can you suggest what can I do to get fair easily? Please don't tell me to use fair polish, as it is not possible for me to go to the parlours. Do tell me about home made packs, or tell me any particular cream that I can apply. Please let me know where I can get it from. I also have dark circles, what can I apply for it? . I used Garnier eye gel, but there is no effect. Please help me and give a good and easy solution.

Dear Exhausted,
Even too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Go easy on your beauty regimen, and stop using things day and night. It's no wonder that your skin is dry.
Aarong uptan is good but mix it with yoghurt (it has natural bleaching properties) and lemon juice before applying. Once a day only.
Use 'lotus' sun block with SPF 25, once at least everyday.
Massage your face with Johnson's baby lotion before bed at night.
Considering you're willing to take so much trouble at home, its not such a bad idea to visit a parlour once a month for a fair polish or you could use Fem or Jolen Bleach at home once in 3 weeks.
Grated & cooled cucumber is great for dark circles and refreshing the eyes. Try the Body Shop dark circles cream or Fade out cream.

Hello Sadia,
I am 17 years old, and I have got dark circles around my eyes, please can you suggest a good cream, which can remove my dark circles? For you information, I wear spectacles. Do they effect in any way? Please let me know.

Spectacles have no effect on your dark circles. Try and get enough sleep on a daily basis and apply grated cucumber on your eyes regularly.

Hello Sadia,
I'm 25 years old. I want to remove hair from my face with hair removing cream. Is it harmful for facial skin? Can you suggest any brand name? I am really scared about threading. My hair is rough, can you suggest anything?

No, go ahead and use Nair or Veet on your face but beware that the packaging specifies that it is for facial use. There are different strengths available for body and face. Don't apply the one for the body on the face. Test under the jaw before use.
Threading is a good option as well, it's a bit painful at first but you get used to it in no time. The end result is quite smooth and of course you eliminate any chances of any reaction with use of chemical creams.

Hi sadia
I am a girl of 19. Keeping hair open over the shoulder level is very popular these days. But I feel uneasy with untied hair. My hair is very silky and straight. Can you please give me your opinion about how can I set up my hair in parties other than keeping them open.
You do realise that straight and silky hair are quite the rage now. Everyone is trying to get what is yours naturally, but I guess you are bored. You could try gelling your hair back tightly and making a very high ponytail. It would look quite trendy or French braid the front of the hairline and braid the length of the hair as well. For more of a formal look you could go for a French roll. Possibilities are limitless

Hey Sadia,
I am a great fan of your section. Keep up the good work. I am a teenager and lately I have noticed that the bright, vibrant, not-natural colours look really cool on your hair. I want to do some purple or pink or bright red highlights. Could you tell me where I could do them or where I could at least buy them? And could you tell me where I could buy Clairol semi-permanent dye? Can you also tell me how much Labelle, Woman's World, Habib's and Persona charges for deep-conditioning treatment? And is Serum treatment is available in Bangladesh? If yes, can you give the name of the place and how much it costs?
La belle is your place. We can give you red, purple or green highlights. Clairol semi-permanent dye is also available with us. La belle charges Tk 400 for a conditioning treatment, the others possibly charge around the same as well. I don't think serum treatment is available in Bangladesh.

Dear Sadia Moyeen,
I am a 16-year-old college girl. Now a days I am facing a lot of problems with my hair. My hair was rough, but now it has becomes too oily. Before shampooing my hair, I use lemon juice and after 15 minutes wash it off with " Herbal Essence"- all hair types shampoo. The next day my hair remains normal, but then my hair becomes oily again. My hair is also falling. The upper side of my hair is very thin. I tried a lot of things. Someone told me that I have dandruff, that's why I am facing this problem. I went to see Dr. Kabir Chowdhury, he gave me some capsules and a hair spray. I don't have that much dandruff, but still my hair is thinning. I used a lot of branded shampoos, none of them are effective. Herbal Essence gets rid of the dandruff, but my hair keeps falling. Can you please give me suggestions regarding my problem? And what type of shampoo will suit my hair? By the way my hair is silky.

Dear Munira,
Switch to a shampoo that is specifically for oily hair and don't condition your hair after shampoo.
Apply paste of fresh amla fruit 2 tbsp mixed with neem oil (1 tsp) and 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp yoghurt, twice weekly. This will strengthen your roots as well as get rid of dandruff.

Dear Sadia,
I am 14 years old. 3-4 years ago I had great hair. It was straight, silky, black and soft. Now my hair is wavy, rough, brownish and frizzy. Also, my hair is falling out in chunks. My sister's getting married in December and I want to improve my hair quality before that event. Please help me.
Thank you,

Use Loreal Vive Shampoo and conditioner every week. If possible go for a Deep Conditioning Treatment at a salon.

Dear Sadia,
I am a fan of your column. I would like to raise two questions. First one is, why is it that beauty is only needed for women and why not for a man?
Two is that I am 25 ,tall and clear skinned ,my problem arises only in the winter season. I had noticed a circular black spot in the middle of my facial area and it looks very ugly. Please advice me how I can remove it.

Dear Majid
Who has told you that only women need to beautify themselves and not men? I know a lot of men who are quite conscious of how they look and like to be well groomed. The fact that you read my column and enjoy it just goes to show that men also becoming self aware.
You dark spot seems to be pigmentation, caused by sun exposure. Use a cream with 2% hydroquinone and retinol at night before going to bed (don't use during the day) only on the spot. Apply a sun block cream in the day tine to protect your skin.

Dear Sadia,
I'm a guy and I'm facing problems with my hair. When I was a kid it was very straight and silky, but now it's coarse and shabby. When I shampoo it after using oil it gets back the glossiness, but for a limited time only before it becomes rough again. What can I do to make it straight permanently? Also, I have dark patches under my eyes, though I do not wear glasses. Can I get rid of them?

Regularly condition your hair after shampooing or you could use a leave-in conditioner that is applied to damp hair and not mashed out. It will keep the hair silky and shiny.
The other option is to permanently straighten your hair chemically. Try Total Care in Banani.
Use fade out creams for the under eyes and apply grated cucumber regularly.

Under A Different Sky

By Iffat Nawaz

A few firsts…

She was following him wearing her tight short leather skirt. He was about 60, in crisp business suit, an out-of-towner without a doubt. In town for perhaps a business trip, and now with her, for some end of the day entertainment I suppose. I know big cities in USA have a high demand for female escorts, but when I saw her, who was from the same part of the world as me, something in me quivered. Not that I consider "us" holier than thou, not that I assume high class prostitution doesn't exist among our kind, but just seeing it first hand, a south-east Asian fulfilling her profession of an escort in the middle of big city America startled me. "We are everywhere" I said to myself "doing everything, and spreading our horizons, in all the highs and lows." She followed him around, he stopped at different restaurants to check out the menu, she would stand behind him trying to look her sexiest. She was attractive, and had a spark of intelligence on her face, even through her heavy (but not tacky) make up, even through her exaggerated outfit, she still looked nice. A part of me felt like going up and asking her "how much?" and then a part of me woke up and walked away. Was that a sign of being progressive or unprogressive in my part? All I know is it was a first… of something…


After a decade of living in the states I finally made it to a zoo the other day. It was one of fall's first mornings with cool breezes demanding me to wear a sweater. But I didn't and ran around the brick jungle with forced plants and ponds with the enthusiasm of a 5-year-old. When I stopped and I saw them, the zebras, the lions, the sleepy royal Bengal tigers, the panda, the Indian elephants and the African hippopotamus, I felt strange, the kind of strange you feel when you wear the wrong shoes on your wrong feet. Creatures of wild nature so near and out of place next to us, looking so unfit in their boundaries, while everyone around tried to make them feel comfortable and watched them with sheer awe, you know and they know, it was never going to be "normal," they will always be unnaturally natural, misfortunate and brick bounded, a zoo in between another. It was a first again…of another thing…


There was a concert to end Durga Pooja. She came from India, one of Shantiniketon's last gems. She dedicated her night to Tagore; she didn't only sing Tagore songs but songs by others who had influenced Tagore. It was beautiful, it was moving, it was…expected…until she sang that one song, by some unknown poet who had seen a shimul plant in the middle of Kolkata and sang:

"tu dur paharer deshe ja
ranga mati er deshe ja
hethai tore manai sena go
ekkebare manai sena go"

I looked around to see how many in the audience related to that shimul plant, how many of them felt like they should go back to their own piece of dur pahar and ranga mati er desh, if that still exists…and I felt removed from the next person and I knew the next person was also in their own different world…and it was a first…of the beginning of many things…


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