Friday, August 27, 2010

Make-Up at My House

Every morning after my requisite coffee, I put make-up on. Sometimes a dab, sometimes more, but the average session takes between three to five minutes. Brushing my teeth and washing my face helps wake me up, but my morning make-up goes the distance by elevating me from blah and not composed, to bright and put together. I like the preening time in front of the mirror, no matter how brief. It's my little, one-on-one get-ready-today show.

But I do quite regularly have a very special guest on Morning Make-Up: my two-year-old daughter. She's usually too caught up in her own activities, walking back and forth while I stand at the vanity doing my thing. On occasion though, she stops by to see what's happening, and wants in on the affair. And this is how we do it.

Have a look!

Note: No make-up is actually ever applied to my daughter. I pretend by "fake-applying" with covered pencils or, e.g., by using sound effects to have her believe I'm brushing blush, when I really have it about an inch away from her cheeks.

Morning Make-Up 1-2-3:

1) I start with foundation or tinted moisturizer with SPF.
2) I work my way down the face, starting with the eyes. I fill my eyebrows in first, then apply mascara.
3) I then add blush to my cheeks and finish with lip color.


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Teal Toes for Thai Food

As the summer draws to a close I feel everything quickening. I will also be moving soon, and packing boxes and throwing out needless things will shortly be taking over my life. My mind is swirling with thoughts, plans, and all the upcoming to-dos for the next, busy months ahead. Why is it that once September hits, it feels as if the rest of the year rushes to a close like the surge of a speeding car?

I am really taking in these last few days of August. My daughter celebrates her second birthday, and I want my summer to wind down slowly. So in preparation for the upcoming seasonal-, as well as, address-change, I thought it was good cause or pause, for a thoughtful moment in the form of a picture: "Teal Toes for Thai Food."

My daughter asked for teal nail polish (Piggy Paint Polish in Ice Cream Dream), and she wore them happily to the opening of a new Thai restaurant in our neighborhood last week. I love the contrast with her metallic gold sandals.


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

Monday, August 16, 2010

Healthy, Long Hair 101

For whatever reason, my hair was never long as a child. It never went past shoulder-length. I asked my mother once why this was so, and she insists that I was the one who always wanted it cut. I remember being suspicious of this response at the time. However, being a mother myself now, I realize that longer hair on a child can be harder to maintain. There are more tangles to be dealt with, more hair to wash and primp. Shorter hair is plain simpler.

Me, at age 3 perhaps, with my perennially shoulder-length hair.
Long-hair-story short, after countless hairstyles (some being entirely regrettable of course), I’ve settled on lengthier locks as a more permanent adult, look in the last few years.  And keeping the hair healthy is easy. Just make sure to get a haircut every three to six months to keep your shape and ends in good standing, and then follow my 1-2-3 in this quick two-minute video, and you’ll be on your way!

Healthy, Long Hair Tool Kit 1-2-3:

1) Conditioning: Pantene Pro-V Restore Beautiful Lengths Breakage Defense Conditioner ($6).
2) Detangling with a wide-toothed comb: Mebco Tortoise Shower Detangler ($2).
3) Dry-brushing: Frederic Fekkai Classic Brush ($95). Wet-brushing: Denman Paddle Brush ($12).


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

Monday, August 9, 2010

Twinkle Toes for Mama

Every six months or so, I go all out with the nails, and add something a bit 3-D. It feels good to jazz up the Mommy beauty! Sunday, I went with Priti NYC's Polish in Oleaster (a grey-blue), $13, in a reverse French pedicure with pink crystals. Priti NYC polishes are non-toxic and organic, so they're an option to consider for those with painted fingernails worried about chipped lacquer getting into their babies food or mouths. 

Normally, I would opt for clear crystals, but they were all out at Sakura Nail and Spa, so a twinkly pink line on the moon it was.

Try it out!


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Mommy & Me Pedi

My daughter attempts to touch-up Mama's pedicure with a marker.
As a child I wasn’t allowed to wear nail polish. It wasn’t that my mother didn’t allow it per se, it was that I played classical piano, and you don’t usually find serious piano students flaunting painted nails. But I wanted the colors, trust me.  As a mother, I now of course love the indulgence of getting manicures and pedicures, but the manis are completely impractical. With all the sippy-cup washing I do, my fingernail polish chips in seconds.  However, in the summers, having spectacularly colored toes makes me supremely happy. It’s a simple, but sometimes hard-to-achieve pleasure, because getting to the nail salon isn’t always easy as a busy mom. But when I’m there, it’s fantastic. And as my daughter’s been getting older and showing interest, I’ve wanted her to partake in the fun.

Given how young she is at just barely two years old, I wanted to avoid using chemical-laden, adult, nail lacquer on her. She still puts things in her mouth, and obviously I can’t hand her a People magazine and have her be content to sit and let three coats dry.

Last week, I decided to give Piggy Paint, a non-toxic, water-based nail color made specifically with children in mind, a try. We sat side by side outside, where she could be free to run around while the nails dried in fresh air, and I applied one quick coat to each toenail as she watched with delight. I made sure there was very little polish on the brush before I applied it (to provide for optimally fast drying), and told her to help Mommy blow after I finished each foot. It took all of three minutes to the complete the whole pedicure.

After all was said and done, she smiled, satisfied, declaring repeatedly: ”Look! Look!”  Then, alternately pointed at my toes and hers, reveling in the mommy-daughter matching yellow toes. I also tested the Piggy Paints on myself to get a sense of how durable they were. They do dry pretty quickly: one thin coat dried in about a minute, but the polish doesn’t last very long. I noticed, on my thumbnail, as well as my daughter’s toes, that the polish started fading/chipping away within the next day. Applying more coats helps with longevity, but it's dependent on how much you and your child can manage together -- more coats = more sitting still. I would recommend, that even though they are advertised as non-toxic, it’s a safer bet to keep the Piggy Paint polish limited to the toes for those young ones who still, like mine, eat a lot with their fingers or put their fingers in their mouths.

And there you have it:  a kid-safe, totally doable, mother-daughter pedi!

Piggy Paint's Project Earth: Solar Power on my daughter, and China Glaze's Nail Lacquer in Solar Power on Mama.

The Itty Pedicure 1-2-3:

1)    For trimming tiny nails, I personally love the ease Pigeon Baby Safety Nail Scissors ($15) provide.  These scissors are designed wonderfully by the popular Japanese baby brand to deliver speedy cutting in a secure and precise manner. It takes me twice as long to cut my daughter's nails with any other nail clippers or scissors. I also like the Tokidoki Sandy Nail File ($5) for both my daughter and I. It's easy to find in the beauty cabinet and adorable.

2)    Before we were ready for a full-blown pedi, I opted for a few nail stickers when my daughter was younger. It’s the perfect way to involve a very young child into your at-home pedi without getting messy with liquids. You can pick up nail art decals from your local dime or drugstore, or here’s a nice one dozen variety set ($5).

3)    Piggy Paints are a solid option for a Mommy & Me pedicure. The biggest test it had to pass with me was the “fume-test,” and upon opening the container the polish merely smelled like kids’ school paints.  There are some great colors. We like: Piggy Paint's Project Earth: Solar Power Nail Polish (neon yellow) and their Ice Cream Dream shade (metallic green/teal), $9 each. And to match with Mama? Try China Glaze’s Nail Lacquer in Solar Power ($6), and Sephora by O.P.I.’s Nail Colour in Teal We Meet Again ($9), respectively.


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thought for Thursday: The Exit Vanity

Do you look in the mirror before leaving home? Here's my foyer vanity where I sneak a peek and do last-minute touch-ups if needed. It sits right at eye-level -- out of my daughter's reach, and right where I can make sure I'm not about to hit the town with miniature finger-paint prints on my face.


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

Monday, August 2, 2010

Away We Were!

We went away for a few ... now we're back!
Oh, summer, summer, beautiful summer ...


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on