Interview with beauty expert Shahnaz Husain

Beauty is not only my career; it is the sole purpose of my existence: Shahnaz Husain

Padma Shri Shahnaz Husain is an internationally acclaimed beauty expert and is called the herbal queen of India. She has received international acclaim for pioneering the herbal beauty care movement and taking the Indian herbal heritage of Ayurveda worldwide. She is the founder, chairperson and managing director of The Shahnaz Husain Group.

Shahnaz has lectured to students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Oxford and London School of Economics. She has also represented India at President Barack Obama’s World Summit for Entrepreneurs. She has walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and spoken at the House of Lords and House of Commons in the prestigious British Parliament.

Shahnaz is the daughter of Justice Nasir Ullah Beg, a former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and Sayeeda Begum, who was the daughter of the commander-in-chief of the Hyderabad army. Her grandfather, Justice Samiullah Beg, was a prominent politician of the United Province who later served as Chief Justice of the Hyderabad High Court. Her uncle, Mirza Hameedullah Beg, was a former Chief Justice of India. She studied in La Martiniere in Lucknow and completed her education from Queen Mary’s, Allahabad. She completed her training in cosmetic therapy and cosmetology from leading institutions of the West, such as Helena Rubinstein, Swarzkopf, Christine Valmy, Lancome and Lean of Copenhagen.

Shahnaz has a number of national and international awards to her credit including the Leonardo da Vinci Diamond Award by International Biographical Centre at Washington DC , Woman of Substance Award from Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) , Outstanding Ayurvedic Innovation Award in London from the Indo-British Business Forum at the House of Commons, British Parliament, Glory of India Award in Dubai for outstanding innovations in Ayurvedic beauty care, Golden Peacock Entrepreneurial Leadership Award for 2014 in London for Ayurvedic Innovation and the “Woman Super Achiever” Award in Mumbai, sponsored by Femina. Himanshu Guru of Kalinga TV interacted with her online to know about her fashion mantras. Excerpts:

Describe yourself in three words

Crusading Brand India

If you weren’t beauty Icon you would have been?

I cannot imagine myself in any other field. Beauty is not only my career; it is the sole purpose of my existence.

Your mantra for success

Never give up and never stop trying! If you never give up, you cannot fail! You can make your own destiny. You can be what you will yourself to be!

A day in your life is like?

I always wish there were more than 24 hours to a day!  I am involved in each and every aspect of my enterprise, so I have an extremely busy schedule every day. In fact, while I am getting ready, I start jotting down the things that occur to me. Fortunately, I’m good at multi-tasking, giving different instructions to different people. I am very particular about personal obligations, sending gifts, flowers or cards to various people. My day includes discussions with different departments, from production, international expansion, public relations, to packaging and promotions. There are often foreign buyers to meet, or media interviews. I also keep some time aside for answering mail and important letters. Very often I have to attend various functions, like felicitations, award ceremonies or some important occasion. A thousand ideas and thoughts still crowd my mind when my day ends.

Your definition of beauty?

Beauty is a total impact. It is physical beauty power, brain power and spiritual power. It is the blending together of physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual qualities into one integrated whole.

Your Skin / Hair care mantra?

The beauty of the skin and hair lies in their good health. You do not have to be born a beauty. You can acquire it, because beauty internal good health and external beauty are closely related. A beautiful woman has a vitality that comes from sheer good health. Unless she is healthy from the inside, she cannot reflect true beauty. For a flawless skin, shiny hair and a slim figure, good health must be on top of the list. A healthy woman is also better equipped to deal with the stresses and strains of day to day life. A nutritious diet, daily exercise, adequate sleep, relaxation, freedom from stress and appropriate external care form the foundation of beauty.

Your beauty essentials?

My beauty essentials comprise of same basic skin care products like cleansing gel containing Aloe-vera and Lemon, rose-based skin tonic, protective cream mixed with, a moisturising lotion and Nourishing Cream, which are essential part of my daily beauty regime. I never miss my daily mask. It is called Home Pack and consists of a herbal powder, which is mixed with a seaweed lotion, curd, honey and egg white. For the hair, the essentials are hair oil and Hair cleanser and of course, Henna. I always carry my perfume.

The first thing you do in the morning?

Early mornings are very precious to me.  It is the time of day that I really savour……have a cup of tea in peace, without the telephone ringing or the intercom buzzing. Browsing through the newspapers, is something I never miss. A period of tranquility… before I get swept away by the tidal wave of appointments and meetings. Then its time for Yoga; I never miss it. Even when I’m travelling abroad, I do Yoga and Pranayam. It helps to stay calm and relaxed, no matter how hectic the day is.

And the last thing you do in bed before sleeping.

I spend about 15 minutes meditating before going to sleep. It helps to quieten the mind and relax the body. It reduces stress and ensures a good night’s sleep.

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