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My fabulous Friday: Shahnaz Husain

The founder of the beauty product range and owner of a chain of salons enjoys giving back to the community, mall crawling in Dubai and penning poetry on weekends

By Shreeja Ravindranathan
12 Jul 2016 | 04:38 pm
  • Shahnaz Husain

    Source:AFP

SWEET FRIENDSHIP

One of my dear friends was Barbara Cartland, princess Diana’s grandmother. She championed my products to both her granddaughter and the world. A wonderful, intelligent woman, she believed in the goodness of natural beauty. I created a moisturiser after her. On weekends, I snack on one of her recipes – of almonds, apple pieces and bran flour.

A DAY WITH

My dream would be to spend one day with my late father Nasirullah Beg who was the chief justice of Allahabad high court. He encouraged me to pursue my dreams. I started my business borrowing $3,000 from my father. Today it’s worth $1 billion!

SEA OFF

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I have very sweet memories of Dubai. During my first store opening here, organisers dropped some 20,000 sample sachets of my products from a helicopter and people were scrambling to pick them up. I love visiting the place for leisure and for its malls, especially The Dubai Mall. My next favourite thing to do here is chill by the sea.

GIVING BACK

One of my father’s dreams was that I do something for charity. I too feel it’s important, so I started beauty schools for the blind, Shasight, and Shamute, for the deaf and mute.

MY DAUGHTER, MY FRIEND

I enjoy spending time with my daughter Nelofar Currimbhoy. I manage the company with my heart while she uses her head – so we make an ideal combination. There’s just 15 years difference between the two of us so I’m more a friend to her than a mother. She wrote my biography, Flame: The Story of My Mother Shahnaz Husain.

BRUSHING AWAY STRESS

I micromanage every aspect of my business even after 45 years and rarely take breaks. When I do relax on weekends, I write poetry. Or I paint. The more stressed I am the darker the colours of my painting get; the more relaxed I am the softer the colours.

LONDON HEART

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I enjoy travelling and my work and education have taken me all over the world, from London and Paris to New York and Copenhagen. But London is a second home. I lived there for quite some time while training at Helena Rubinstein’s beauty institute in Grafton Street. Oxford street is one my favourite shopping destinations in the world.

NATURAL CHOICE

Over the years a lot of famous people, from Princess Diana to Indira Gandhi - for who I created an eyeliner and our bestselling moisturiser Shamoist respectively – have supported my products after realising that they harness the power of Ayurveda.

By Shreeja Ravindranathan

By Shreeja Ravindranathan

Lifestyle Writer