Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 5, Tuesday February 13, 2007



Beauty Talk

Hi Sadia,
I am a 17 year-old male and ever since I was 14, I have had serious problems with pimples. Although, most of the pimples are gone now, they have left marks and spots on my face. I have been using Clinique Acne Solutions Night Treatment Gel and Clinique Spot Healing Gel for almost a month now. Recently I tried out many different products but nothing seems to get rid of the spots on my face! I am really worried about this because previously I used to have very smooth skin. Could you please recommend a product that would remove the spots from my face??
Thank You.

Dear Concerned,
You can use Rydroquinone 2% cream on the spots at night to get rid of acne spots. Continue using Clinique Night Treatment Gel as well as the Spot Healing Gel. They will prevent acne and heal new ones that appear. The scars and spots will disappear slowly with the 2% cream. Use a mask every morning with the following ingredients:
1 tsp neem leaves paste
1 pinch of turmeric
1 tsp cucumber paste
Apply the paste, allow it to dry and then wash off.

Dear Sadia,
I am a 19-year-old girl attending university. This is the first time I am writing to you because I desperately need some advice. First let me start with my hair. For the last two months I have been experiencing tremendous hair loss. My hair has literally reduced to half during that span of time. My hair has also turned very weak and it is thinning. I do not stick to using one brand of shampoo and I shampoo once every two days. I oil my hair once a week. I would like to ask you the cause of such a situation. Are their any products available in the market that can help? What would you suggest?
Then there is my skin. When I was young I was much fairer than I am right now. Even a few months ago I was not as dark as I am at current. For the last few months it has been quite impossible for me to avoid the sun. As I am always on the move, it is practically inescapable. I don't use any cream on my face. Could you please suggest specific products to help me get rid of my tan? After that, how do I get back my original skin tone?
My third problem is also about my skin. My skin is very oily. I do use face wash but after 10-15 minutes it becomes oily again. There is a product in the market called "Lakme Matt Effect". Does it work? Should I use this product or do you suggest any other remedies?

Dear Worried,
Sometimes stress and tension can lead to hair loss. Make sure that your diet is healthy and contains fresh greens, vegetables, and fruits. Study hard but also get enough sleep. Twice a week apply the following pack after oiling your hair:
1 tbsp fresh amla paste
1 tbsp onion juice
1 tbsp yoghurt
1 tsp methi
2-3 tbsp egg (beaten).
Apply and keep on for 30-40 minutes. Wash off with shampoo followed by conditioner.
You could bleach your face with Fem or Jolen at home or have fair polish treatment every 3 weeks at a salon. Fair polish also removes excess oil from the skin. Use Neutrogena face wash for oily skin. Also apply the following pack to brighten up your skin:
1 tbsp multani mitti
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp powdered masoor daal
½ tsp turmeric
Go ahead and use the 'Lakme Matt effect' skin care range, I hear it works well.

Dear Sadia,
I'm 21 years old and come from Nepal. I would really like to have smooth, straight and healthy hair. Can you please offer some suggestions in this regard?
Mohammad Rajja
Gono Bishwabiddalay, Dhaka

A balanced diet, regular oiling and conditioning treatment followed by regular trimming works for most people as far as the health of the hair is concerned. However, whether you have curly or straight hair is a gift from God. You will have to use chemicals to either strengthen it or curl it.

Style Files


Stars are born, they grow, and we are amazed to find out how quickly our children absorb, learn and deliver. Children pick up an unbelievable amount of information which they regurgitate spontaneously. Like most other things their sense of fashion is also way ahead of ours and they do have a good sense of judgment. They know almost instantly what is cool or hot, fabulous or simply dull.

Kids fashion has a few categories, namely active sportswear, sportswear, casual wear and formal wear. Children between the ages of six and twelve are mostly concerned with sports or outdoor wear. Comfort and wear ability takes priority, but the right look is also important to them. However, I don't advocate that they give looks too much gravity at this point in life. But looking like a grunge does not lend to a growing self esteem. They should wear clean cut, purposeful clothing that makes a great deal of sense. It could be coordinated with direction and although that need not be essential for boys, girls could do with a little help from mommy dearest. I would not like to promote gender discrimination and so try to cater to their individual needs.

Active wear

I believe sports activity is an integral part of growing up. More emphasis should be given to facilitate healthy physical team sports in schools. Parents should also encourage their children more from an earlier age. This does call for proper gear. Sleeveless, short or full sleeved t-shirts in cotton, trunks, shorts, bermudas, long jersey pants or tracks. Parkas or jumpers depending on the weather conditions and the materials should be much stronger, heavier as it will get more wear and tear.


The name suggests sports but in fashion terms reality it does not have very much to do with sports. It is the kind of clothing that children associate with daily wear. Tanks, t-shirts, shirts, blouses, denims, slacks, culottes, chinos, khakis, jeans and these days they can get quite fancy in a multitude of shapes and sizes. I suggest children should not wear either too fitted or oversized pieces.

Formal wear

This is associated with evening wear or party wear. Tailored suits, blazers, tuxedos, formal shirts and trousers are appropriate and should go well with the right accessories. Ties, bow ties are suitable and fitting for a boy child. Mid or longer form fitted dresses for a younger girl child in silk, satin, taffeta, crepe, or chiffon. It is best to use classic cuts. Leggings or tights could be used to finish the look with ballerina or flat closed shoes. Accessories as in clips or bands should be kept minimal.

Festive wear

Bangladeshi festivities call for ethnic attires to be worn at Eids, annual festivals, weddings and various other functions. It has become quite a trend to dress your children in traditional clothes. Sherwanis, prince coats, punjabi suits for boys are stylish and quite the regal look these days. Embellished with finery these are chic ensembles that can be carried by children with ease. The girl child is also looking like an Indian princess in beautiful outfits bejeweled with applications that are befitting to her special needs. Suits with flowing scarves, skirts as in lehenga or ghagra paired with blouses or cholis. Churidar suits and even little fitted saris are being picked as popular styles for kids. I do believe the revival of such styles will give continuity to our indigenous appearance unique to our lifestyle.

By The Way

Get into the habit of getting your hair trimmed when it needs to be. Again, this reduces split ends and keeps excess weight off your hair (which can cause breakage). About once every 8 weeks is right for shoulder length or longer hair, once every 6 weeks for shorter styles.

Under A Different Sky

By Iffat Nawaz

North West to the South East

It wasn't a cold day nor was it windy. Just a winter day, like any other, and I was walking down a street next to many others, trying to figure out how many calories I was burning and how many I should take in for lunch.

I saw her from a block away, because I notice these things after growing up in Dhaka. Because my subconscious mind has a sharp eye for picking up people in the streets, people who live in the streets, with a few pieces of luggage or none, but always with blankets.

I saw her and it didn't bother me. DC is the city of the homeless and the politicians and all the president's men sometimes have to compete against the speeches some of these homeless men and women give when they are in the mood; so touching, so horrifying, so full of emotions. They are free people of this free country so they roam around freely, sometimes from homeless shelter to shelter and sometimes from the North West side of the city to the South East. Some of them freely choose not to make an effort to do something about their situations and most of them are either mentally ill or high on different drugs. I notice them, I try to watch them closely because they scare me and fascinate me at the same time.

But I know better than to stare at them directly. I try to pick up as much information as I can from far away and then weave a story in my head about the individual. It's a bad habit, but imagination needs to be fed from time to time, so I indulge.

So I saw her, her legs under a blanket, a lady in her 60s, maybe even 50s. Who can tell when so many roads have ran across the lines of her face? She was big and bulky, her hair grey and tied in the back and she was talking, talking to herself. From what it seemed, she had three plastic bags, each one of them had warm clothes and half of one was filled with grapes. She wasn't begging, she was just a homeless person, or maybe she had a home somewhere, but she chose to sit in the street to breathe more freely.

When I crossed her she looked up, she looked at me, and then she said with the most vengeful voice, “You deserve to die, you know you do, and you will, you deserved to be killed, it's coming to you!” I was so shocked and so were the people around me, we all walked really fast but a few tears unexpectedly rolled down my eyes, the sudden meaningless hatred shook me to the core and I was dumbfounded to infinity.

I stopped at a store, collected the things I needed and now it was my turn to walk back. I could either cross the street walk on the other side to avoid her or take the same route, and my legs told me to walk by her to see if she remembered me from few minutes ago, or if what she had said was total nonsense from a mentally ill's day mares.

So I crossed her again, and she looked up again and she repeated, “Why don't you just die?” And I wanted to cry again, but I didn't. I just walked, not knowing why I was being scrutinised, why she chose me, if it was racism, or if it was some other form of discrimination. How can it be? I blend in with the rest of the street, the next Caucasian or the African American male or female. Then why did she choose me?

A few blocks later I saw a police car, I wanted to knock on the window, I wanted to tell them about her, to take her to a mental home, or a shelter, that her freedom was causing other people's freedom to be violated.

But I didn't, because I live in a free country, where we are free to be scrutinised and drop tears, yell racist remarks, be hateful, be rich, be poor, live in streets or die. In this free country my tears are too free to drop, and hence too cheap, like the homeless lady's bad breath or the fashionista's pure leather boots- freedom without price tags and we are all equally insignificant.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2007 The Daily Star