Hello from Bali!

It’s mid-day here in Bali and we’re taking a little break from class so I wanted to share my hair styling routine with my blog-fam! Sorry I’ve been so MIA, things got extremely overwhelming before leaving for my trip and it was a serioussss struggle — topped that stress off with 35 hours of travel, yikes! I’m all relaxed now at our gorgeous rice paddy-front villa and here with some posts! I get tons of requests for a tutorial on how I style my signature waves & TBH most of my hair tutorials are this style but I thought I would film something all inclusive. I’ll be showing you how I take my hair from damp to blow dried to curled. I don’t always blow-dry my hair before using a wand but I prefer to as the resulting style is much more soft this way — it all comes down to how much time I have!

Enjoy!

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TGIF!!! I could not be more happy that the week is over! I wore this Brown Makeup look to the Billboard Music Awards last month and got such an incredible response to it! It’s honestly my fail-free go-to look and I wore it out the whole weekend Waseem & I were in Vegas for the awards. It always turns out perfect (yay neutral colors!) and is always super flattering on my complexion. I got such a huge response on snapchat that I had to recreate it for you guys! What’s great is that the key color products (eyeshadow & liquid lip) are incredibly affordable! I’m wearing the Morphe 35o Matte Palette on my eyes and Colourpop x Karrueche “Kae” Liquid Lip. The 35o Palettes are always sold out but I’m excited to tell you that all of them are currently in stock! — Regular, Mattes, Shimmers, & even the Bundle! As always you can enjoy a discount with coupon code IRENE. Enjoy the tutorial & let me know if you recreate it!

My hat & dress are from Fashion Nova. (get 15% off with code Irenexo)

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Hi girls!! I have been neglecting my blog-fam so much these past couple weeks. I can’t even express how chaotic things have been. As a content-creator, being busy is always an incredible thing but I think I need to take a step back and slow down a bit once I close my projects out this week.

Now that I’m done crying (lol!!), I have a new tutorial up today!!! I received this gorgeous lehenga from India Boulevard and was searching for a great Desi-bridal look to wear with it. After reaching out to you guys on snapchat, I got a ton of requests for Faryal Makhdoom’s wedding makeup! I have been itching to re-create her makeup for literally three years now and I’m so excited that I finally pulled the trigger because it was so fun to do! I haven’t worn a heavy liquid liner on my lower lashline since college so to see it on my face with my updated makeup skills was interesting! I can’t believe I used to always wear my eyeliner like this (with worse application of course lol). I’ve received such an outpour of love via social media ever since I shared photos of this look over the weekend and I just have to say thank you before we get on to the tutorial!! I’ve really been enjoying myself creating videos lately and its you that makes it so fun and rewarding. Thank you for your love and support, always! Now on with the tutorial – let me know what you think!

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Happy Friday!

This post is so long overdue! How is already June?! It feels like we got back from our trip a week ago (it’s been almost 8 weeks!). I might be heading back to Greece very soon, so I just had to revisit my photos and share my Greek memories with you before I make new ones! If you haven’t checked out my Santorini Travel Diary, get on it – it’s such a beautiful post, definitely one of my favorites. We spent the first few days of our trip in Santorini and then headed back to Athens for a few more days before visiting Istanbul. I fell so incredibly ill between packing up my bags in Santorini and arriving at Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens. :(

I have never been so sick in my life & my luck’s timing could not have been worse. I’ve always loved Greek mythology and could not wait to see the historical sites in Athens. All those years of playing God of War and taking Greek myth classes in college were preparing me for this trip haha! One thing I can always give myself credit for is being a trooper – from my entire body being covered in heat rash in Hawaii to my feet being painfully swollen in Paris.. it has always been in me to seize the day. I rally and push through to be able to see whatever I can regardless of the unfortunate circumstances but this flu (or whatever it was) left me down for the count. I spent most of our time in Athens and Istanbul in bed but was able to conjure up a couple hours of energy here and there to get my explore on.

First up, you just have to see where we stayed! Hotel Grande Bretagne. The property was originally the home of a wealthy businessman, later headquarters for different groups during different wars, and even housed the prime minister during the Greek Civil War. In 2006 it went under a massive renovation to restore it to its former glory and now.. here we are!… View Post

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Happy Sunday from Dallas!

We’re away for the long weekend but a new makeup tutorial went up on my channel the day we left! Finally getting it on the blog with all the product deets! This is my take on one of Kendall Jenner’s gorgeous looks from Cannes this year. My friend Ariel did her makeup and he is such an incredible artist. We met about a year ago and its so amazing to see how far he’s come in such a short time – also, at such a young age! So inspirational.

This is one of my favorite video yet & I hope you guys love it too! What do we think about the new filming set up?!

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Every now and then, I will see girls tagging their friends in my photos and say #lifegoals.

It’s funny reading the I wish this was my life comments, because everything I have accomplished and built is completely attainable by anyone. Sometimes I wish I could just scream it through my phone.

I was always the day dreamer looking out the window, I never knew exactly where my life would take me but I knew that I wanted to build it myself. Ever since a very young age I was completely enamored with creating. It could be arts, crafts, or school projects; I just loved being the architect watching my visions come to life and this passion carried over into adulthood. I’ve never worked a 9 to 5 and have always been my own boss and on my own terms, from working as a photo-retoucher, to an internationally-published photographer, and now a blogger living in my dream city. What I’ll decide to dabble in next is a mystery but I’m confident in my passion to learn, explore, and turn it into a living. The last thing I want to do is write a vanity piece on myself *cringe* but so much of my audience is at that pivotal crossroad stage of life, I am hoping that with this post, I can help inspire and provide some guidance.

Let’s face it, everyone wants to be a blogger these days but not everyone has a tech-saavy-photographer-boyfriend or a dream team behind them like a lot of these A-list bloggers do. I always moan that I wish I had the same resources as the girls that I look up to – but the fact is that I don’t. The up-side is that there is such a full sense of satisfaction with every accomplishment, deal-closed, and successful project in the books when it is all done on your own from start to finish. I do hope to have a dream team behind me one day, but I’m proud to say that in the mean time… I got it handled. :)

Today I am sharing with you the genesis of my story. No, it wasn’t a makeup class, or sitting in on a blogging seminar.. it was my 7th grade computer class. Yes, a general middle school class that I attended a couple days a week for a quarter of the school year was the catalyst for everything to come over the next 17 years & hopefully the rest of professional life.… View Post

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Happy Friday!

I wanted to share with you an incredible recipe my friend Zakiya @ Blend of Spice created. I was always blown away by her creative talents in the 10-ish years that we’ve known each other, but watching her transition into wife/motherhood has been exceptionally inspirational. I come from a pretty non-traditional household, my mom isn’t much of a cook and doesn’t love it the way I hear of other moms – like my MIL who is a beast in the kitchen *salivates*. Needless to say I was a bit unprepared & insecure about my domestic abilities when I was thrown into having a household of my own. So while I can’t come up with amazing dishes on my own (yet..?), I can follow recipes without fail haha. I’ve gotten into a horrible habit of not saving the recipes that have worked out well for me, so every time I want to make the dish again I have to scour the internet until I find the page that might be it. So this begins my attempt to not only earmark an incredible dish, but also share it with you, & introduce you to my gf Zakiya!

My relationship with my husband began in New York, for the year and a half that we were dating & engaged I was in the city at least once a month. We were young with more energy then (ha!) so after our nights out, we’d always end up at The Halal Guys on 53rd and 6th at 4am. Their chicken & rice has become so iconically New York that I can’t not get some every time I visit, even now. Let’s be honest though… it’s only really good at 4am, any other time you’re left with a stomach ache and you end up hating yourself. It is fast street food after-all. I’ve kept an eye on Zakiya’s recipes on her blog for awhile and have made notes of tons of things I’ve been wanting to make (Rasmali cake.. HELLO!?) but never really got around to it. But the moment I saw her chicken & rice recipe I began preparing immediately.

I’ve made the dish twice already, mostly to make sure I wasn’t just lucky the first time because it was so mouthwateringly delicious. Dare I say it….. its actually better than the real thing. How can it not be though? Fresh ingredients, less grease, not sitting on a street all day! It’s so easy to make too, I made very very slight tweaks based on preference and what I had available in my kitchen so be sure to check out Zakiya’s OG recipe as well. The second time around I also figured out a streamline way to make the three parts – the white sauce and chicken need to sit for awhile, so when I made it the first time I was a bit out of order and I didn’t have enough time for my sauce to develop. IMO it’s most efficient to go in this order…. let’s begin with the white sauce!… View Post

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I’ve dreamt of visiting Santorini for as long as I can remember, the white stone homes, the endless Aegean sea, and blooms of bougainvillea framing colorful doors. Today I’ll be sharing with you our travel diary of our visit to the island with some tips along the way. This was our first time in Santorini and it was a relatively short stay, so I am by no means an expert. I did, however, have an incredible time so I’m sharing what I can so you can have an even better time!

I’m sad that this is my last batch of photos to edit but I still have my vlog coming which I am so excited to work on. I put together a little sneak peek to hold you (actually, me) over until then :) What do we think?

I hope this travel guide is helpful, please let me know if you have any questions at all!… View Post

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