THE MAKEUP LOUNGE, MUMBAI
How many times have you thrown your eyeshadow brush down in disgust and wished a smoky eye just drew itself? You’ve kind of got your wish. It won’t draw itself, but at least you can have someone do it for you. The Makeup Lounge on Mumbai’s Linking Road in Bandra offers you the option of coming in before that big party or wedding and getting your hair and make-up done by a professional. Or if you prefer, the artist can come over and do it in the comfort of your home.
An assortment of make-up products at The Makeup Lounge.
Pakhi Mohanani, the brain behind the lounge, has assisted top make-up artists such as Vipul Bhagat, and has worked with MAC. You can choose whether you want her or a junior artist to do your face.
You can opt for either a day, evening or night look, apart from the bridal packages. Mohanani also teaches you how to apply your own make-up; that’s an 8-hour course spread over four days. For our experiment, I wanted a smoky eye, with the rest of the face nude. And to mix it up a bit, I asked her to teach me how to do it. My make-up skills are not bad, but the smoky eye has always been out of reach.
The good stuff
The wooden-floored lounge is simple but plush; there are three work stations, with lighting that exposes all your flaws, so they can be covered up. Drawers and an island-counter hold the make-up products, which there are a lot of, from brands such as MAC, Make-up Forever, Armani and Bobbi Brown. Mohanani’s clearly in sync with current trends. We would have been horrified if she had tried the highlight-under-the-outer-eyebrow technique, but she was more evolved than that.
As Mohanani was working on one eye, she painstakingly took me through the process, explaining each step, as I watched in a hand-held mirror. The right way to apply concealer on the eyelid so that the eyeshadow sticks to it, the way to hold the brush when you’re smudging eye-pencil and tricks for brightening the under eye so you don’t look panda-eyed. When the time came for me to do it myself, she took me through each step again and made me correct every mistake, no matter how invisible it was to my untrained eye.
The smoky make-up, though OTT for the day, was great. Friends loved it and a make-up crazy colleague demanded to be taught how it’s done.
The under-eye concealer was a bit cakey and didn’t look as natural as I would have liked. Mohanani didn’t do my hair, so I can’t tell you how she rates in that department. And considering the efforts last only for a few hours, the prices could be a little easier on the wallet. Close to Rs5,000 for a night out means this is unlikely to become your regular hangout.
If you want Mohanani to do your face and hair, the day look costs Rs4,000, the evening is Rs4,750 and the night one, Rs5,500. A junior artist costs Rs1,000 less, whichever look you choose. The course to learn how to do your own make-up costs Rs7,250. The old Chinese proverb comes to mind — “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”.
For details contact 022-65240451
KAYALAN, NEW DELHI
Malaysian-born and Delhi-bred Kula Naidu mixed up the food of the three cultures in Malaysia — south Indian, Cantonese and Malay — to create a “tri-fusion” style. And, thanks to the south Indian influence, it’s a cuisine many Indians fall for after just a few meals. But with no Malay restaurants in Delhi, Naidu plans to open a restaurant next year in the city. For now, he’s launched a delivery service (which operates out of Saket) called Kayalan. We ordered lunch at the office.
Out of the box: The entrees come either with mixed rice or fresh vegetables. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
After lunch, I called up Naidu, the owner, to ask him a couple questions. My colleague, well versed in Malay food, wanted to know why some of the most popular dishes, such as roti canai, were left off the menu. Naidu says they’ll be updating the menu in a month’s time, adding items and updating explanatory notes. His aim is to introduce Delhiites to Malaysian cuisine, so he may add suggestions on how to eat certain items, since a delivery service limits guests from asking questions about the food they’ve ordered.
The good stuff
This may have been the best ordering experience I’ve had in Delhi, and I’m including five-star restaurants here. The man who answered the phone was well informed, made suggestions about what to order, and gave apt descriptions about what type of food I should expect. I asked if he was the owner. No! Just an employee. He was the most educated food server I’ve come across in my two years in Delhi.
The food arrived in a heat-sealed bag, in beautiful wooden boxes, labelled neatly and insulated with aluminium foil to keep it warm.
Once I figured out you took off the exterior leaf of the Pandan chicken (It looked like a grape leaf to me!), the bite-sized juicy morsels were delicious, with just a hint of chilli. I couldn’t find any prawns in my Char Kway Teow, but the chicken and blue crab meat over tasty egg noodles was fantastic.
It seemed so decadent to be munching on crab meat in my cubicle. Sambal chicken (cubes of chicken in red pepper tomato mix, seasoned with Malaysian spices) was not too spicy and had a distinct flavour similar to Thai red curry. The entrees come with side dishes, be it mixed rice or fresh vegetables. That was a definite bonus, as were the portion sizes which were generous enough to share with a colleague.
Plus, there is a great ease to the ordering: you can call, fax, or e-mail the company. And their menu says that they accept cheque payment.
The food arrived 45 minutes after the promised 1 hour wait time. The delivery boy claimed traffic jams, and it could just be the stumblings of a new company, but it was definitely not a polished delivery service.
We definitely weren’t the only ones. A colleague tried the service the night before and the food took an hour-and-a-half to reach her.
Also, if you’re a vegetarian, the choices are limited. There’s pumpkin, eggplant, a curry, noodles and rice. The eggplant was nice, but if you’re a fussy vegetarian who would rather not experiment with pumpkin Malaysian style, you’re pretty much stuck with one vegetable.
Appetizers start at around Rs200; entrees at Rs320. It wouldn’t fit into my lunch price bracket, but it’s not too hefty a price for a nice dinner. Minus the late arrival time, it was a fantastic meal.
Call 9310219192, email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax your order to 011-66173617.
Melissa A. Bell