Making Fenty Foundation work for me

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Fenty Foundation has been the crème de la crème of foundations since its launch in 2018. Unfortunately for me, it never worked for my skin type. A year after trying to make it work for me, I finally found a product that allows for a flawless base. Here’s the problem, the solution and my technique. Hope you enjoy a quick read.

The problem with my skin type 

The Fenty Foundation is a dry-set, matte foundation. It has a hint of a glow, but really, it lacks any glowy depth. This is a dream for very oily, oily and to a certain extent, combination skin, but the minute a hint of a dry patch shows up, this foundation fails to perform. This was my issue with the foundation; I’d have to exfoliate my face, add a thick layer of moisturizer and still, it clung to my dry patches, looked cakey for the most part and did not compete with my superhero bases.

The solution

Whilst, I had tried adding a face oil as the last step to my routine before applying the foundation, I had never tried mixing it! This has been a revelation. As I usually shy away from too much oil to break the foundation, this one requires a good 3 drops to make it more manoeuvrable and skin-like. Currently, I’m applying three drops of Diptyque Face Oil with 3 pumps of foundation and it has made my skin look like a dream. This hack gives my face a more natural (but high) coverage and allows the product to wear off more beautifully without clinging on to any dryness or becoming cakier through the day.

Bonus tip: I have also added 2 pumps of oil and one pump of Becca Liquid Highlighter or the Iconic Glow Drop to add an extra boost of glow.

 

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The technique

I usually prefer my application with a beauty blender, but I find that the Fenty Foundation, combined with the oil can easily soak up in the tool, without providing me with the coverage. So, I start the process by mixing the product on my Scott Barnes glass palette and apply it with a Zoeva flat top brush, with the final step of tapping my beauty blender to ensure my base is streak-free and blended to perfection.

Be aware! 

Ironically, when I applied the Fenty Concealer on top of this, it really broke down the concealer and made it look patchy. I find that balanced concealers like the Too Faced Born this Way or Tarte Shape Tape work better as both of these are high coverage, not fast drying and set under the eyes.

Holly Jolly Christmas {Photo Diary}

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Dirty Eggnog Hot Chocolate

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You know it’s that time of the year when I share my favourite Hot Chocolate recipe of the year. In my knack to reinvent my cooking and kick things up a notch, here’s a ‘Dirty’ Eggnog Hot Chocolate recipe that’ll make you feel all warm and tingly inside.

And it goes like this:

  • 1/2 Cup EGGNOG
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tbsp. Orange Espresso Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Sea Salt
  • Whipping Cream
  • Sprinkles (Optional)
  • 1 Shot of Whiskey
  • 2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder Snapseed 3

Start by mixing eggnog and milk in a pot. Whisk in the orange espresso powder and cocoa powder. Whisk thoroughly and allow it to simmer. Add the sea salt. Bring the pot off the flame and add the shot of whiskey. The key is to add the alcohol off the flame to be safe and also to stop it from dissipating in to thin air.

Add whipping cream and enjoy!

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That one time I went to Ireland…

Memory is a beautiful thing in life, more often than not, we hold the important ones close; sometimes by choice, and others, not so much. When I look back and think to the very first one I remember, I’m back in my aunt’s home, all cozy and sipping on the sugariest cold coffee, hearing stories about my long-gone grandma. I can still envision the details, the room was lit in this green hue of a night lamp, my aunt sitting on the floor, my mom and I on the bed, listening intently as she passionately talks about stories from her childhood. From the corner of my eye, I see my mom reminiscing her past, holding my hand tightly as she thinks back to their best days.

If you ask me right this second, I’d happily trade places for that moment. It had a familiar sweetness and acceptance that made me feel like I belonged, like I was home.

And if you haven’t been keeping up with my quarter life crisis, then you could read some of my posts from before that tell you how I feel like a nomad in a city I’ve lived for 16 years.  Ironically, for a week, I found that feeling again, right in the middle of Dublin, with not a single familiar soul to soothe my anxieties, yet I felt right at home. Not the kind of home that you can just sleep at night, not the kind of home that is eternally broken; but the kind where I felt my insecurities disappear, my anxieties become passive and my heart felt something it hasn’t in a while…it felt at peace.

Whether I walked alone, late at night on the streets; or up early to relish in a moment overlooking the canal; whether I sipped on a fancy shot of whiskey or mixed some in with my morning coffee, every moment felt like my own. Every memory was mine and mine alone; no one to change how I wanted to live it, no one to tell me when to come home, no one to judge me when I went to the theatre, or when I sat by myself at restaurants enjoying the view. I’m sure to a layman that sounds despariningly lonely, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in 2017 is to be okay with just that.

So okay I was; lost in the city’s perfect sights, charming people and its nosy-culture, by some regard I felt like the Galway girl. Living life one night at a time, singing (badly) at Grafton Street alongside an impeccable street performer, walking into history in Belfast, letting foreign friends share with me their fascinating histories and sharing some of mine; oooh, last but not least waking up to strangers in a cramped hostel room and finding yourself playing cards with them 5 hours later. Everything was unexpected; the people, the city and above all, ME.

As I write this, I’m torn between reminiscing that version of myself and accepting that it was short-lived or holding on tightly enough to save its remains. It haunts me that I would climb any mountain, cross any ocean; just to relive this memory, and there are very few, that would make me want to do that. Meanwhile, I have found comfort in writing stories of my past and remembering them in extensive detail. It’s the only way to preserve the magic when the going gets tough, or when I find myself lose touch with the reality; it’s all right here, etched forever, here and in my heart. 

How to wear Blue Eyeliner

Hi Everyone,

If you’ve ever wanted to dare to go blue, this is it! It’s the simplest look in the whole wide world featuring Sephora’s Eyeliner for $7 or AED 69! I absolutely lovvvveee it!

Enjoy!

Let’s make up for lost time

Sat here, a little lonely; trying to plan the next big move that makes life more meaningful, but coming up empty. I’ve felt a lot of things in my life, in fact, I pride myself on being sensitive enough to accept them, but this one’s a little alien and I’ve identified it as defeat.

Let’s back up for a moment, and picture this. A 14-year old girl; a casualty of her own self-deprecating thoughts, put in a terrible situation with people around her; tainted by sadness, what does she want to be when she grows up? In one word: Happy. Fast-forward 11 years, the future is still bleak, heartbreak now is exactly like the heartbreak then, friends that left, still haven’t found their way back.

So defeat it is. Now it all makes sense, right? That’s the thing about growing up, we think that its a magical place where all’s well and all’s right; a fairytale land that always seems too far ahead. I thought that too; but, between all the late nights I carelessly let go; sometimes with a little too much work and others with a little too much whiskey, I’m struck by this realisation that life’s not what I wanted it to be at 25.

When you’re young, all you have is your imagination to keep you close to your dreams. As an adult with all the means to ‘make it happen’, I still seem to fall short. My imagination no longer cuts it, I can’t just dream a life I want for myself, I must live it. I’m not even sure if I get in the way of life or life gets in my way; but for now its a mutually destructive relationship. 

I can almost hear you say, “you’re too young to feel that way.” But, I do feel like I’ve defeated myself and that 14 year old who believed she would have the life she wanted by now. Back then, I hadn’t made as many mistakes, I had known loss but never lived it, I had touched sadness, but hadn’t felt it. With all that said, I also envy her. She had hope, she had a sense of reassurance from her future, like she could almost taste the victory of what awaited her. I’d give anything to feel that way now.

And I know I’m not the only one who regrets the things she’s done. And I know I’m not the only one in the world who has looked at her reflection and hated every inch of it. I get that; believe it or not, I understand that there’s a big picture with ups & downs. I just can no longer accept that that’s it.

It seems as if I’ve read every chapter over and over again, some regrettably more than the others, waiting for the big reveal. Praying that it lives up to my fantasy. I can no longer function without knowing how my story ends. Whether I get the guy or the aspiring career? Whether I finally make amends with people I hurt, or they come back seeking redemption?

I’ve watched my life flash before my eyes far too many times, the persistent heaviness in my heart prevails, feeling exactly like the 14 year old who sought after her future with fear and fearlessness all at once. I don’t think I have her big heart, or the passion to fight off anything the world throws at me. The only thing I’ve got is a desperate desire to fight defeat.

I could sit here and go on forever. I know there’s so much I have to say, so many words I haven’t written yet, some I haven’t even learned. But something tells me, I’ll be back for more because the story never really ends, does it?

10 Minute Malt Chocolate Fudge Recipe

The simplest things in life are quite possibly the most decadent.

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This, 10-min one-bowl chug and go recipe is at the top of my list for a delicious treat. I admit, I did go overboard with a lot of ingredients, but the crunch of biscuits paired with  gooey marshmallows was a match made in heaven. Before we get into the ingredients, I must add that this recipe is merely a guide, you can switch up flavours that you prefer; change dark chocolate to white or make a christmassy version with orange zest and cranberries (It’s June and I’m already thinking Christmas!)

Whatever you do, don’t forget to tag me in your pictures @heena_mak on Instagram

Ingredients:

  1. 340g Hershey’s Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  2. 2 Heaping Tbsp. Malt Powder (I used Horlicks)
  3. Sweetened Condensed Milk (To taste, I used 3/4 of the way through)
  4. 10-14 Chunky Crushed Digestive Biscuits
  5. 1 Tbsp. Butter
  6. 1 Tsp. Sea Salt
  7. 10-15 Crushed Maltesers
  8. Mini Marshmallows
  9. Crushed Walnuts
  10. Crushed Hazelnuts

I started by heating my Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips with condensed milk and butter. I added some milk to loosen the mixture until it was a thick pourable consistency. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Chug all the remaining ingredients in the pan and give it a good mix.

Pour in a square pan lined with foil or plastic wrap. Let it cool for 4-5 hours.

Nutella French Toast Recipe

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To make a good french toast, you fundamentally need three things; Eggs, Milk & Brioche. But to make an excellent, mind-boggling one, you need the addition of Nutella. Those are just the rules of the universe. This is my easy Nutella French Toast Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2-3 Tsp. Castor Sugar
  • Nutella
  • Brioche Bread (Sliced)
  • Maple Syrup (Optional)
  • Berries of your choice
  • Fresh whipped cream
  • Butter

Start by adding milk and eggs in a bowl. Whisk them together. Add vanilla and castor sugar, whisk further. Take a slice of brioche bread and add a good smear of Nutella. Take another slice to sandwich with the first one. Soak in the eggs/milk custard for 30 seconds. Heat a pan with a shot of butter. Add the french toast and cook until all sides caramelise.

Now for plating, stack up the french toast with some berries. Add maple syrup and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Dust with icing sugar and Ta-Da!

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Glow All Out

Love a little (or A LOT) of glow?

You’ve come to the right place. This tutorial hacks up all of my favourite products and techniques to give a summer-y, bronzy glow, so go on, watch it NOW!

MUMBAI

Mumbai, Meri Jaan

Exhausted by a 25 hours car journey within the last 40 hours has gotten me all riled up; inspired even to talk about my city. This may be the adrenaline talking or the sheer deliriousness that I’m facing, but Mumbai is the most unforgiving city I’ve ever visited in my very short life. And yet, it challenges you every twist, every turn.

I’m inclined to believe that Mumbai, contrary to where I live has a soul, a moral righteousness and rationale that is governed by emotions and adventures. I can tell you all the big stuff, how the adventures enriched me as a person and appalled me when they didn’t seem to come easy. But how do I tell you the smaller, intimate moments and memories of family, if not with words.

As I sit in the known corners of my childhood, the twinge of sadness hits close to home; the stability here is uncanny, everything in its place for the last 20 years; the trophies of my cousins’ impeccable studiousness, or the wind-chimes that ring and remind me of a memory from age 6, the conversations that turned from how do we convince our parents to let us have ice cream to let’s have a drink, and from the sheer nostalgia of it all, I fall back together.

I’ve always considered Mumbai as my past, a book I no longer read, but one that lingers as a collectible, not a cult. This time around, I picked up the book again and wrote a few pages myself. I explored its spirit, I rendezvoused with its soul and found myself falling in love more and more. You see beyond the crazy traffic, the painstaking moments of hardship and perhaps a lower quality of life, what Mumbai has is a distinct sense of belonging amidst outcasts, a ray of sunshine in the dark and the strength to stand up for itself against all odds.

Now that I’m back in Dubai, the emptiness prevails, reminding me how much more of a home Mumbai is. With food that is reminiscent of all that was good growing up and a treasure trove of family that gives and gives and gives; a home amidst all the hustle and bustle, that should realistically give me anxiety beyond measure, is the only thing that calms me down. Ironic, isn’t it? A place that should keep me on my toes with its overwhelming population and sometimes extreme beliefs and faiths, still has a place in its heart to accommodate my needs, my ideologies and above all, me.

I guess what they say may be true; we always seek something we can’t have and the everlasting pinch of a misplaced heart and its desires, I did find some peace in Mumbai. I found reasons to live and learn, hardships I seeked out just to grow and hurt that only made me stronger. And for once, even in the shortest span of time, it was filled with moments of no regrets.