Monday, January 23, 2012

Mixed Kid Curly Hair Talk and How-to with Natasha Rao of Fashionalities

Oh, the mixed kid's curly headed every day ups and downs, literally! Some days my daughter's hair (she is, for all intents and purposes Black and Asian) is Diana Ross seventies sky-high, other's it's kind of straight with a gentle wave. The fun never ends!

And as I've noticed on the playground, moms of curly-headed kids love to share talk about how we take care for our sometimes crazy maned children :-). So I enlisted an old friend of mine, a fabulous mom fashion blogger whom I met back at InStyle, Natasho Rao of Fashionalities, to do a joint vlog with me on how we deal with our curly-q-ed gals on a daily basis.

So come join in on the discussion, literally! As the fun part of this vlog is that if you follow us on twitter @nuybeauty and @fashionalities, like our pages on Facebook: NuyBeauty and Fashionalities, and tell us what you do with your own corkscrew-haired kids, you can be entered to win an AfterDark Brazailian Titanium Heat 1900 watt pro hair dryer (retail value =$120)! Winner will be announced next week.

Win this AfterDark Brazailian Titanium Heat 1900 watt pro hair dryer (retail value =$120) at!

Mixed Kid Curly Hair Products:

1) Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-in Conditioner, $12

2) Alterna Kendi Bamboo Pure Oil, $24

3) Carol's Daughter Original Hair Milk, $20

*The winner is Amanda! Congrats! Send your e-mail! xxxxxxxxx


Friday, January 13, 2012

The Major Kiddie Manicure

A little while ago, my 3.5-year-old daughter really started getting into manicures. We're talking about asking for them, wanting to sit there patiently while I paint the nails,  and actually being able to pick colors. Of course me being me -- I saw this as an opportunity to have some major fun and went with it to see exactly how far I could take the patience levels. Haha!

So, as I've been hosting mini-mani playdates for a bit (there are always Hello Kitty nail decals involved :-) + lots of laughs of course!) I upped the level by involving a video camera and seeing if I could add the element of filming to the mix. Basically I wanted to show you how we do our nails and share.

Let me know what you think. And if you've got any of your own "Major Kiddie Manicure" suggestions for designs and such, please write in! We'd all love to hear I'm sure!

-- N.C.

Major Kiddie Mani Shopping List:

1) Zoya Nail Polish in Lotus, $8

2) Zoya Top Coat Fleck Series in Maisie, $8

3) Hello Kitty Nail Art Stickers by Sephora, $5 

4) CND Rouge Red & CND Anchor Blue Polishes, $9

-- N.C.

*Special thanks to our friends M. Kanno and her daughter Hana for helping out with both filming and all their support!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Us Boys & Girls, We Never Change

As we become adults, do men and women really act any differently?

Over the holidays, I was at a store with my 3.5-year-old daughter and one of her girlfriends, and was struck by an encounter they had with two boys a few years older than them. It started out with my daughter's friend huffily stating to the taller of the two boys that, "You can't come to my house." And then basically what ensued was a duo of girls and boys who at certain moments were sticking their tongues out at each other, proclaiming dislike, which prompted running away, only to minutes later feel the need to come right back and be face to face again, and start all over. Of course, the sticking of tongues and teasing was consistent. But it was so amusing to watch the push and pull cycle in their young play as boys and girls.

As the tickled parents watched and shopped for Christmas gifts, I said, "Does any of this behavior really change as we get older, between men and women?" And one father replied, "No it's all the same. There's just more bullshit later."

I wholeheartedly agree!

-- N.C.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Day in My Life: A Beauty Blogging Mama

My piece, "A Day in the Life of a Mom Beauty Blogger" on tracks
my life hour by hour on a working day.
Among the many things I've been doing as I run around this city keeping busy surrounded by makeup and raising my daughter is that I've been contributing my expertise (videos, articles and more) to a new beauty and style site out called And one piece I thought you all might be interested in is one I did on a day in my life as a beauty blogger. It tracks my typical day hour by hour.

So I hope you enjoy: click here!
And of course, let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you!


Sunday, January 1, 2012

The DIY Lace & Sparkle Mask: A Makeup Masquerade

The DIY Lace & Sparkle Mask: A Makeup Masquerade, done by Jason Hoffman
One of my biggest joys is having to create something with very little time and whatever you've got on hand -- and if the final product turns out well, hey, then it's even better. But really, it's about the process of getting there. I get a ton of gratification out of this. It's challenging and super fun for me. And when I get to do it with other innovative people, or even watch someone in their creative process, it's truly thrilling.

Yesterday for New Year's Eve, I had to go to an event. The catch was that it required that I wear a mask, and I didn't know that until the last minute. My good friend and make-up artist Jason Hoffman was doing my makeup for the occasion and I was at his residence. I asked him if he had a mask I could borrow. He paused momentarily and stood still -- then said with a smile, "Wait. I have an idea. Hold on, while I go grab some things."

He then went to retrieve a couple of your standard, artistic pro make-up artist storage boxes. If you don't know what these are, I'll fill you in. They're magical because they're chock full of fake lashes, colored make-up face creams, paillettes, and powders galore. You name it, you want it, it's probably in there!

Makeup Artist Jason Hoffman cutting a lace glove for "Makeup Masquerade"

The next thing I knew, he had pulled out an arm's length kelly green lace glove (think Material Girl), which he promptly started cutting up. And I then I started grinning like a little girl who'd just found she was getting a huge unexpected present, quickly realizing what was going on:

"Hey, are you making me a 'mask' there Jason?" This was going to be my kind of excellent!

Jason cuts out individual flowers in the lace

"Exactly, Nuy! If I don't have a mask for you to take, we're going to make one up right on your face," he stated.

And so for the next hour, he literally "masked" me by painting me (with eyeshadow), applying lace pieces (with spirit gum), sequins (with lash glue) -- the final touch being false eyelashes. For the application of the sequins, he had me lie down Kevyn Aucoin-style (he famously had his models lie down for their makeup), since the pieces were so tiny and required such precision.

The "Makeup Masquerade" ingredients: Luxe lashes by Shu Uemura, cut lace, sequins.

The great thing about this "mask," was that during the New Year's event, I never had to slide it off and on because it wasn't impairing my vision, it didn't make me hot and sweaty -- it was just a part of my face! And it was full of color, sparkle, and lace. What kind of gal can't glory in that, new year's eve or not?

Thanks Jason!

DIY Make-up Lace / Sparkle Mask 

Made up and masked, and sparkling! You can do it too!

You can create a similar mask at home with big paillettes and/or sequins and some lace. The trick is to keep the general shape of the mask simple. You can even start by drawing an outline of what you want to do with a light colored eyeliner. And you can do just one side of your face, like Jason did. He essentially cut out the flowers in the lace and then arranged them around my right eye, filling the space in between with sequins, and some make-up.

Supplies needed:

1) Lace -- you can go to your local fabric or craft store and buy lace ribbon, or look in your drawers or closet to see if there is an old slip or piece of clothing with lace trim that you can use.

2) Sequins or paillettes. The bigger the pieces, the easier it will be to get them on your face.
Bronze paillettes, M&J Trimming ($6/250)
3) Spirit gum for the lace. Tip: apply the gum directly onto your face first, then apply the lace.
4) Eyelash glue for the paillettes.
5) False lashes if you'd like.