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A life in the Day – Princess Shahnaz Husain

PRINCESS SHAHNAZ HUSAIN FEBRUARY 2, 1997. Princess Shahnaz Husain married at 15. Her Shahnaz herbal beauty products grace the bathrooms of film stars and presidents’ wives. She lives in New Delhi with her family.

My ablutions and breakfast take 30 minutes – time spent eating is time lost working. I order my staff to make sure all the rooms are decorated with flowers and beautiful things. I have eight secretaries, five assistants and two dressers. Sabah, one of my beauticians, follows me around 24 hours a day, even the bathroom. She is deaf and dumb. I prefer it that way because the servants worship you; I become their whole world. As I plough through my mail, one beautician gives me a pedicure while another does my nails and a third does my hair. Before my office desks are made I get the carpenters to measure the beauticians who do my feet so they can fit under the table. My nails on one hand will be painted while I read a paper, and then we swap.

Family is also a great priority. This morning I rang my daughter and got her to come over – we had our hair blow dried together. On the way to my office I say hello to my husband, Samir. I also snatch a few words with my son, who is a brilliant rap singer, so at least he has met Mummy in the morning. At most it takes five minutes.

At 11am, my maid brings me a snack: three almonds, germinated bran flour and some apple pieces – one of my friend Barbara Cartland’s recipes. In the afternoon I keep contact with clients and friends abroad. I recently received a fax from Hillary Clinton.

During the week I work until 10pm and then go to the Hyatt Hotel for dinner with Samir. I ride on the back of his motorbike with my chauffeur driving behind in case I fall off. Before going to bed at 2am I have another pedicure and my maid hennas my hair. Before I fall into a deep sleep, my mind races with ideas. I am working on a herbal cure for Aids and my space programme – moisturisers for astronauts.

Princess Shahnaz Husain’s beauty empire goes from strength to strength, with a new Ayurvedic Health Resort on the island of Saipan, another planned near Delhi, plus a chain of Forever Beautiful shops.

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