Ladies, meet the lovely Nalini Mahendran, the mastermind behind beauty blog The Made Up Maiden. When Nalini isn't singing praise about her favourite makeup prods, she's slugging it out as an engineer during the day and flying back home to Malaysia to spend time with family and friends. Today we chat about her ultimate grooming faves and a few clever tricks she's picked up along the way.
1. What inspired you to start your blog?
I started my blog because I needed an outlet for my creativity. Also, I found myself always sharing my experiences with various beauty products and techniques with friends, family and fellow beauty enthusiasts, so I decided to be more organised and just start blogging!
2. What are your top 5 can’t-live-without beauty products?
3. What’s your favourite hairstyle to rock during the week?
I love leaving my hair loose to frame my face.
4. How do you keep your skin in shape?
I try to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and always cleanse my makeup off religiously every night. I also follow a routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising every morning and at night before bed.
5. Which beauty secret do you swear by?
To cheat your way to a perfect cat’s flick, apply sticky tape from the outer eye corner to the tip of your brow before applying liner. Just be sure to apply the tape to the back of your hand first so it doesn’t tug on the sensitive skin around your eyes.
6. What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?
Never go to bed wearing your makeup; your skin will thank you for it!
7. How do you unwind on the weekends?
I love lazy days reading in bed, shopping, exploring good cafes, catching up with friends and watching a good movie! If the weather is great, a walk on the beach would be lovely.
8. Describe a typical working day.
There’s not really a typical working day in engineering, but I’m usually at my computer writing reports.
9. Favourite fragrance? What does it remind you of?
I have quite a few favourites as I love fragrances, but my Elie Saab EDP is getting a lot of use currently. The feminine, floral scent is light, making it perfect for the warm Summer months, yet manages to linger on my skin for hours. The scent reminds me of sunshine, flowers and everything that I love about Summer.
10. Favourite beauty brand?
Tough question! I’m going to say Inglot Cosmetics; they have a great range of colours and neutrals to fit every occasion, and they are also quite affordable in price.
11. If you could wear one colour of polish for the rest of your life which would it be and why?
Lilac: it’s a cheerful shade, yet is soft enough to match most outfits and occasions well.
12. Walk us through your daily makeup application.
BB cream or liquid foundation with a little bit of powder to set it. Fill in brows with a pencil and/or gel for definition, a bit of bronzer to contour, and a pretty blush on the apples of the cheeks. A swipe of cream shadow, liquid liner, and a flick of waterproof mascara finish the eyes. Last but not least, a statement lipstick to brighten up the look!
13. Who inspires you?
I have so many inspirational role models! First of all, my parents, as they are incredibly loving and generous individuals, who inspire me in their love and care for each other and our family, and their strength in the face of adversity! They're always there for me when I need an encouraging word, but they never hesitate to put me back on track if they think I've gone off the rails. I also find Beyonce very inspiring; she's an incredibly strong, talented and gorgeous (both on the inside and outside) young woman who has achieved so much in her life. At a time when so many young stars are leading troubled lives, it's refreshing to see someone with great values and work ethics. Plus, she never puts a foot wrong in the beauty and fashion stakes!
14. What do you love most about being a blogger?
When a reader tells me that they’ve purchased a product on my recommendation, and that they’ve loved it as much as I do! I also love when I share my thoughts on using a tool/technique and a reader tells me that they’ve learnt something new.
15. Favourite celebrity hunk?
Hugh Jackman … hunky, manly, personable and utterly devoted to his family!
16. If you could be any superhero who would it be and why?
Iron Man … rich, brilliant, snarky and with a heart of gold, what else could anyone ask for?