A rendezvous with Shahnaz Husain, the Beauty Icon

The beauty diva’s secrets when on the go

Here is an account of the first-generation entrepreneur and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty care movement. She is Shahnaz Husain, a visionary who reintroduced us to the Indian herbal heritage and completely redefined the concept of beauty. She took the world by storm and has received numerous international acclaims for her work in the field of beauty. For the past four decades, she has, and continues to innovate formulations for hair and skincare.

Being a globally well-known beauty Icon how has travel played a vital role in your life?

Travelling has become an integral part of my life because of business. But I love travelling for vacation purposes as well. It has acted as both the means and the end in itself for me. I have travelled in my mission of taking the Indian herbal heritage to every corner of the globe; for opening franchise salons and outlets; attending beauty expositions, awards ceremonies, etc. In the meantime, I also got exposed to intriguing cultures, histories and people across the world. This has enriched me professionally, as well as personally. I have nurtured an undying love for travelling, which also stands for a relaxing experience when I am on a break after my hectic work schedule.

Share some beauty secrets with our readers that will help them take good care of their skin and hair, while travelling.

It is no secret that a significant part of skin damage is done by the sun. If you are stepping out, you are inevitably exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. Moreover, the effects of sun-exposure are more pronounced if you are near reflective surfaces, like water and snow. So, carrying a sunscreen whenever you step out is a must.

Apply an anti-tan sunscreen 20 minutes before going out to let it work effectively. If you are out in the sun for more than an hour, re-apply the sunscreen. Change of weather and place can aggravate skin and hair problems. If your skin becomes excessively oily, or if the weather is too hot and humid, use pre-moistened tissues to feel refreshed.

When travelling, you are usually short on time and your hair care takes a hit. If you have no time to shampoo, but still want your hair to look perfect, spray a little eau de cologne on your hairbrush and comb your hair with it. It will absorb extra oil and would leave your hair cleaner and fragrant.

If your hair feels limp and dull you can use natural ingredients like tea or beer to improve its look. Add lemon juice to beer and rinse the hair with it. Leave it on for a few minutes and rinse off with plain water for softer and smoother hair. If your skin feels dull, make a scrub by adding some cold milk to sugar. It will act like a de-tan and brighten the skin naturally.

Which is your favourite travel destination in India or overseas and why?

I love London for its old-world charm. Everything about the city is beautiful in its own way. The Hyde Park, has a unique tranquility with its rich foliage and refreshing air; The Serpentine Lake with its dazzling swans is a sight to behold; Covent Garden is always bustling and vibrant with street entertainers and their activities.

London is my favourite shopping destination as well. You can shop at high-end stores on Oxford Street and Carnaby Street, or visit Petticoat Lane on a Sunday, for some really good buys! It extends to the surrounding streets with over a thousand shops. Overall, the city gives you an unforgettable experience. I feel London has so much that one can’t get enough of it without practicing mindfulness. So, having a cup of coffee at Starbucks in Trafalgar Square and watching the city go by is also a must for me.


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Tell us three things which are essential to you and are always a part of your journey kit while you are travelling.

My most important travel essential is my diary. The other two are my credit card and perfume. I use my diary to write poetry or jot down different ideas that occur to me while travelling. I love expressing my ideas and emotions through painting and poetry. I believe that life is actually measured by our emotions and creative expressions. Poetry relaxes my mind and recharges my soul.

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