At the Vanity Table with… Khainina Khalil

"I don't think I gatekeep anything, but there's one thing..."
at the vanity table with khainina khalil, khainina khalil, khainina khalil perfume

At the Vanity Table With… is a series that dives into a personality’s beauty tips, tricks, non-negotiables, and more. In this edition, beauty influencer Khainina Khalil spills her favourite tips to keep her makeup flawless all day long, as well as the products to try if you’re battling acne.

While there are many fragrance connoisseurs in town, not many can claim that they have worked to concoct a scent of their own. Khainina Khalil has earned that right. Just last December, she launched a fragrance in collaboration with local perfume house, Maison Materi. In fact, it’s the first launch for the brand. Vanille Imperial is a blend of zesty pineapples and blood orange, spicy cinnamon and cardamom, and is anchored with ambroxan, cedarwood, and oakmoss. Of course, at the heart of it all is the titular ingredient: vanilla.

The launch was so successful, that it has completely sold out. Fret not, though, if you missed out in the last round. She’s just announced that the scent will be available offline at none other than the city’s latest retail hub, The Exchange TRX. You will find it at the MimpiKita store and have the chance to try out the scent for yourself. But that’s not all she has up her sleeve. Already she is teasing the second drop under the same brand, and local fragheads and fans alike are counting down the days to the announcement.

@khaininakhalil Weeeeew you can buy nooowww hehe. Can buy from @Maison Materi ♬ original sound – Khainina Khalil

But aside from her major success in the perfume world, Khainina Khalil is also a fixture in plenty of beauty and fashion launches happening around town. A scroll on her Instagram will demonstrate why she’s a common favourite. Impeccable dressing, a feed that’s the stuff of Pinterest boards, and honest content that pulls massive appeal for her audience, a sizeable following of almost 150,000 followers. But over on TikTok, you will see a more stripped-down version of her, where she does plenty of get-ready-with-me style videos.

Ahead, she shares her beauty opinions, must-haves, and little fun facts that make her Khainina Khalil.

Confess a beauty crime that you have committed before

Oh, that’s a heavy one. I did change my style of makeup from time to time, definitely did a lot of crimes before, but one thing for sure was wearing outfits with more than three or four colours together with a heavy, colourful makeup look to pair with it. Remember 2016 makeup? Yes, that one. I will never do it again.

A beauty item you would immediately replace if it’s lost

Definitely my NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation. I’ve been using it for roughly three years now, and I will never change. I have very sensitive skin and if I ever try any other foundation, I’d have breakouts immediately—I will literally notice bumps on my skin after two hours of application.

If I can, I would replace my Sephora matte powder foundation that they have discontinued. I bought five of them because that’s the best powder foundation ever in the market. I don’t understand why they decided to change the formulation. I also will immediately repurchase my Benefit 24-Hr Brow Setter. Literally the best.

Three items that are on your beauty wish list right now

Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palettes (all of it!), the matte Makeup by Mario eyeshadow palette, and Byredo’s Gypsy Water.

A person you have the biggest beauty crush on, and why?

Allana Davison. She’s a YouTuber. Everything about her is unique, and she’s so real in everything, so passionate about her work. Her makeup style and fashion sense are definitely the best! I always go to her page whenever I feel like I don’t know what to wear or what makeup to try. And I love her photos on Instagram; the editing, the colour balance of everything—chef’s kiss! Of course, she’s beautiful. Inside out. Whatever she puts on looks great. I can watch her videos all day long. It’s very entertaining and calming and I learn a lot from her. She’s my biggest idol ever.

Something you’re gatekeeping right now. Spill.

I don’t think I gatekeep anything, but there’s one thing. It’s more like a lifestyle—what I consume every day or every other day is detox tea. It helps with my “toilet business” and it also helps to flatten my tummy. I also take Kinohimitsu’s Skinny Coffee & Bella Clinic Cappucino mix to really maintain my body shape. I will not miss out on these every day.

A trend that needs to die

This is a tricky one. Don’t kill me for this, but big lashes. Both extensions and falsies. I’m talking about bold bold, like they can’t even blink properly and we can’t even see the beautiful eyeshadow on their lids. I think that takes away from their natural beauty. But I get that some people love it, so you do you girl!

A viral product that does nothing for you

The NYX Brow Glue. Or any other viral brow gel. Nothing works for me other than the Benefit 24-Hr Brow Setter. My brows can literally last for 24 hours. I’ve tried a few before and didn’t like it, then a friend bought the NYX one, and she swears by it so I gave it a try. Not a surprise to me, but my brows didn’t stick the way it supposed to. I hated it.

A makeup step you will never skip before you head out the door

Lipstick. 100%. I can go out without makeup but not without anything on my lips. I will make sure I have some colour, even a tiny bit so I won’t look dead. Even at home, I’ll wear my tinted lip oil.

The skincare item that completely transformed your skin for the better

Almond Clear Exfoliating Serum. I swear by this product and I will not stop using it. It’s not available in Malaysia so I bought a few bottles every time to make sure I won’t run out of it. I used to have major breakouts like fungal acne or closed comedones everywhere on my face—bad ones. I took Accutane, and antibiotics, and tried over 50 different skincare products to treat it but nothing worked until I tried this serum. My skin now is free from fungal acne but I’m still using it for prevention since I’m always taking on skincare and makeup campaigns that sometimes can break me out from time to time. I recommend this if you have fungal acne. Truly a lifesaver.

Your trick to achieve the best hair day

Since I’m wearing hijab, I don’t care that much about styling it, but I keep my scalp and hair healthy, of course. Scalp serum is important. I always mix my hair serum with a few spritzes of my perfume before applying it to my hair—it’s a great hack. The perfume stays on my hair and at the same time, my hair feels so soft.

An unexpected beauty hack you always incorporate into your routine

I exfoliate my skin so my skin tends to be dry. Sometimes my makeup looks horrible after a few hours, with peels and dry patches. But I tried this technique just last month: I apply setting spray (a lot of it) right after I blend my foundation, then another misting after I apply my concealer (before blending it), and then I blend the concealer while my skin is still wet. Then another spray after everything is done. My makeup lasts longer and looks so much better!

An underrated perfume you think everyone should give a chance to

Definitely, definitely Kilian Roses on Ice, Bulgari Baciami & Burberry Snow Blossom. I have a long list of this but these three are fire.

The last beauty indulgence you had done

Does plucking my eyebrows count? I find that I like thinner brows nowadays. I’ve been doing too much of that bushy brow trend and at one point when I looked at my pictures I was like, this is too much. So now I like my brows thinner!

A song that will always get you in the mood to get ready

Anything from Chris Brown and SZA.

Brands that check all the boxes for you

I don’t think there’s one but I’ll go for NARS & Sephora Collection.

Malaysians you look up to

Honestly, my friends and family, because I’ve seen their ups and downs, and I also seen how they got back up. They really encourage me in lots of ways. They make me better.

A mantra that you live by

“Everything happens for a reason.” I live by this for so long. It has saved me from lots of disappointments and breakdowns. So whenever anything bad happens in my life, I won’t let it be in the way of everything. Of course, I will feel sad or disappointed but I accept it. Because I think it needs to happen, and something good is coming because of it. It teaches me to be patient and to trust in God’s plan.