Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 34, Tuesday April 04, 2006



Beauty Talk

Dear Sadia Moyeen,
I am a fan of your beauty tips. I am a 34 year old working woman and I am overweight. I have a few questions for you:
1.I have heard of Sauna . Please give me some information about what it is and which place in Dhaka offers best service for it. Will it be good for losing fat in my body?
2.Can I go for permanent hair straightening after a few days of coloring my hair? I have got a lot of grey hair. Thank you very much.

Ans1. Thanks, I'm glad you enjoy our beauty column. As for your 1st question, though it's not my line of expertise, I have done some research for you. Many gyms now offer a sauna service, the well known ones being South Avenue, Gulshan, Gold Gym, Bashundhara City and Gulshan Club, I'm sure there are many others but these are the ones I know about.

Ans 2. A sauna is a hot steam room where you can relax sore muscles and joints after a workout. The warm steam opens the skin pores and the sweat glands are activated and apparently also melts fat to some degree. Of course just sitting in the sauna without working out first is not going to work.

Ans 3. As for straightening your hair, I wouldn't recommend it for you as it will dry your hair, making if frizzy. Regular colouring as well as straightening might be too much for your hair to take and may compromise the quality.

Hi Sadia
My problem is with my hair and legs. Lets start with the legs. I epilate and my legs are becoming blotchy, what should I do? And my hair is a total disaster. I had straight, shiny hair but after I coloured it I didn't like the colour on top so I used Nizral to fade the colour. My hair is completely dry now. The other problem is that my hair becomes dirty very quickly but if I shampoo it, it becomes dry. Please don't suggest any homemade packs for my hair.

After every few sessions of epilating go in for professional waxing in between. This will help the blotchy look. Also remember to moisturize your legs after epilating or waxing. Oil your hair weekly. Use a deep conditioning cream after a shampoo. Apply to length of the hair, leave on for 2-3 minutes, rinse off. Use a shampoo specifically for dry hair.

A leave-in conditioner is also an alternative to conditioning cream.

Special Feature

Intricate and artsy

It took me a while to locate the flat where I'd been invited to view some decopache work, but once there I was immediately taken by the clutter of a cosy home and the warmth of the people who'd arranged the private exhibition.

The lady of the house, Zeenat Amin, had arranged a comfy coffee morning for Yasmin Ali, hoping to show off Ali's beautiful designs on glass and ceramic to friends and family gathered over snacks and coffee. The oils themselves were a delight to behold, and in the words of Yasmin, were born of passion. The decopache was more intricate and certainly required more skill and technique and I was amazed by the quality of the work. Decopache is a French word and this technique can be used to decorate not only glass but also pottery and wooden pieces and furniture.

There were flat trays that you can use as a decoration piece or keep candy on and matching bowls all done in various lovely designs. Now, talking with Yasmin Ali about her work, I was quite taken by her humility. She is this beautiful, charming woman who does not at all look as though she has grown children a son who's recently graduated and a daughter in college. And here she was, having created these beautiful decorative pieces, shying away from the exposure to the public. According to her, anyone who is even slightly imaginative and has a tendency to create can do the work she's done. I must disagree, because a lot of people are creative without having created the lovely little pieces of art that I saw on show that day.

Yasmin lives in Italy, where she spends her time sewing and tailoring, painting and taking courses on different techniques of painting. Her passion is oil painting and painting on ceramic. She has recently taken a course on decopache and decided to try her hand at this new technique, and from the looks of it, she's done a terrific job! She's had exhibitions of her oil paintings in Rome which were very well received and yet this extraordinary woman remains self effacing when it comes to her decopache work being exhibited here in Dhaka, saying that she was not quite prepared for all this attention, believing herself more competent in oils and ceramic than in decopache.

I soon got around to viewing all the pieces on show and I must say, even for a harsh critic as myself, the total effect of the work on exhibit was simply stunning. There was an oil of a fallen tree, which transcended time and place, and another of an Italian terrace, that was just wonderful to look at. And the decopache, which is by itself an art form very new to me, was breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, it doesn't hurt the effect when the artist herself is beautiful and enlightened it simply applies to her paintings making them an extension of herself.

Well, then I had to leave for another appointment, but here I am still aglow from my experience at the coffee morning where I got to experience decopache, a French art form, for my self and if you want to get something cool for your favourite aunt's birthday, try and locate some of this work. Trust me, it'll be a unique and beautiful gift and you can't go wrong…

By Kawshiki Nasser

By the way

In this heat keep room temperatures steady-as the shuttling between extremes of temperatures like from an AC room to the hot and sunny outdoors affects the elasticity of skin, leading to wrinkles.

Under a different sky

By Iffat Nawaz

To live and that too…together

A good friend had called me the other day, her voice torn apart with conflicts and confusion. She was a confident, secure, beautiful woman; I was sure something most miserable must have happened for her to feel so utterly lost.

When she told me what had happened I was surprised, I wasn't sure why she was affected so deeply by what had happened. And what had happened was, her boyfriend and she had decided to move in together, they decided it was not worth paying double rent when they spent most of their time together anyway, it was just a waste of money and time not to live together. So she moved in, and that's when the drama started.

No there was no drama from his side; he was a happy man, making it as comfortable as he could for her. It was she who fell into a deep crack. The first day after her move she couldn't do much, she figured she was tired so she waited for the next day to come to unpack. The next day something similar happened, she got tied up at work and then got home late, and followed this trend for days she never unpacked her suitcases; living out of bags and shoe boxes she was wondering what she has made her life to be now, why the dilemma, why the confusion.

She couldn't figure it out. So she spoke to us, her friends, we told her she was just scared that she was letting her independence go, she was scared of being hurt, she was scared that perhaps she is giving too much to her boyfriend without a real promise of a future, but then again what is a real promise of a future? Is marriage that solid anymore to call it a promise? So it wasn't that she wanted marriage to come right way, it wasn't that she needed to know they would be with each other forever, she was scared of something else.

She discovered what she was scared of was her own self. Of the fact that she didn't want marriage to come right way, she didn't know if she and him would be together forever, yet it was okay for her to move in with him and live as people in Bangladesh would see, like a husband and wife, without the papers. And it was okay for her to do that. And that's what scared her. She didn't realize that with all her forward thinking behaviors a part of her still remained quite traditional (or was it just the voice of the community that she grew up in), even though she spoke loudly about how marriage was just a piece of paper and believed it deeply, it still bothered her to live with someone else without that piece of paper.

So she moved out, one week later, she found another place, near him, he was understanding, but she was not. She had lost herself as if, she didn't know who she was anymore. For all the preaching about forward looking women, anti-marriage, dreaming for thyself, why was her grand mother's provincial voice still ringing in her head, deciding “good” and “bad.”

She decided to see a therapist, who took her in and her fat checks, the therapist distinguished her problem as a cross cultural shock, and told her to read more Rushdie and Naipaul.

She has been a good girl listening to her therapist, trying everyday to memorize the mantras of yet to be written progressive Bengali women movement, “must break down the meaningless barriers,” “must concentrate on core points of happiness”…the provincial voices that are stuck in her head join her in these slogans too sometimes, mocking her with guilt. She has stepped backward a thousand steps trying to move forward just a few, and lost all she had in between.


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