Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Top 5 Make-Up Brushes Everyone Should Have

Ever wondered which make-up brushes are the must-haves for your vanity? Well here is the definitive list in my piece for So look no further. And if you've got anything to add, please let me know, I'd love to hear what you've got to say :-).

The 5 Must Have Makeup Brushes

-- N.C.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Effortless Self-Tanning

Spring is here. HOORAY! I couldn't be happier! I dream of beach days, picnics and lots of sun and smiles for all of us. What better way to ring in the first day of spring than to celebrate with some instant tanning? An easy way to cheat some sun-kissed goodness into your skin is to do a simple, temporary tanning treatment, and I recommend trying St. Tropez's Wash-Off line. It's low-commitment, and not only does it carry me through the cold months in NYC, but it's a great way to shrug your coats off now and show off some tan shoulder, in just minutes!

Here's my quick how-to video, with a NuyBeauty trick to assist. Have a look -- and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you!

Easy Wash Off Self-Tanning Products:

1) St. Tropez Wash Off Dark Instant Glow Body Lotion ($18)
Instant Tan with St. Tropez

2) Moisturizer of your choice: I like Olay's Quench Daily Lotion Plus Shimmer ($6), for a nice healthy sheen. Who doesn't like that?! Or Vaseline's Intensive Rescue Repairing Moisture ($9), which is fragrance free and good for sensitive skin, and absorbs really well.

-- N.C.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Applying Smudge-Proof Mascara: An Easy How-to Video

How do you apply your mascara? Do you apply two coats? 15 coats? Maybe you have a tried and true method that works for you every single time. Or maybe you are still struggling to find a fool-proof way to get your mascara not to smudge on you -- giving you those funny dots on the skin beneath, or panda eyes? You know what I mean :-). 

Well, here's a quick how-to video I did for on what I think is an effective way to keep your mascara motionless. Please let me know what you think, I'd love to hear!

Check out more of my style and beauty how-to's and blogging on


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Two Spring Fragrance Picks for Day and Night

When it comes to perfume, I'm picky, and have a sensitive nose. I don't like anything overpowering and on a day-to-day basis, I don't wear anything regularly. But a pretty perfume is one of those things that's just nice to have, and have on sometimes. We're all ladies right? I mean who doesn't love a delicate, glistening bottle on their vanity filled with something intoxicating, designed specifically to give allure?

So here are my two Spring Scent Picks


I recently came upon a beautiful scent by Annick Goutal -- who makes gorgeous fragrances -- her Eau d'Hadrien ($85/eau de toilette). I realized at some point I was spritzing it after working long hours at the computer before picking my daughter up from school, when I needed a pick-me-up. And its notes of grapefruit, cypress, and ylang ylang were completely enlivening me from the inside.

It's subtle but fresh. A day scent that is light and perfectly balanced in its citrus components -- it manages to not be too sharp. Lovely.

My Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Scent Trick: Annick Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien


I've long sought a replacement for my true love scent, the long discontinued Helmut Lang fragrance that was unisex. However, recently I've turned to NARS Monoi Body Glow II Oil ($59) as my go-to night scent. I think it's become a new beauty habit because I'm getting a little bit of sheen on my skin, as well as a wafting of my Hawaiian roots with the Tahitian gardenia (LOVE!) and coconut (which are both macerated in the oil) all in one. The aroma brings me back home in the gentlest way!

I totally recommend it. Many tropical scents try to mimic the beach-like scents of Hawaii, but this one truly gets it right.
A true Hawaii Beach aroma experience -- NARS Monoi Body Glow II Oil

-- N.C.

Monday, March 5, 2012

DIY Style: How to Fix Clothing, Relacing a Zipper with Ribbon

Sometimes what seems like an unsalvageable piece of clothing, is really a few minutes away from being a statement item. If you're feeling like being creative and willing to get a tiny bit crafty, there are ways of redefining old clothes, or those "huh?" or "if only" items you see on the deep sale items at stores. For example you can dye clothes that have been stained (just go darker), or in my successful case this weekend (hey, there are times when the reinvention doesn't work out, but you've gotta keep trying!) -- I took a $7 piece from a discount store with a missing zipper and merely "laced" it together with some ribbon, and made what I thought turned into a Helmut Lang-type piece. Not bad, right?

So have some fun and see if you can find another way to re-fashion something. You may just surprise yourself. Here's my DIY Style video, with a step-by-step pictorial to follow:

Step-by-Step: Replacing a Zipper on a Leather Shirt by Lacing with Ribbon

1) Here is the $7 top with the zipper missing on the side. The leather is very soft and thin, which made me decipher that it would be easy to cut.

Leather top by S.A.S., bought for $7 at Marshall's!

2) I measured the width of the grosgrain ribbon and then marked the sides of the top where I wanted to make the slits, where the ribbon would be fed -- like shoe laces. I used a white eye pencil which I rubbed off afterwards, but preferably you would use a tailoring pencil.

Three tools needed: Sharp scissors, tailoring pencil for marking, and ribbon.
3) I folded the top at the mid points of where the slits were going to be, then cut.

The slits are made for lacing.

4) After all the cuts were made, I laced the ribbon through -- leaving ample ribbon at the bottom to create a nice half-bow. I made another half-bow at the top for a design point.

Lacing is done and the top is now fixed in 20 minutes!
5) The completed top:

I'm a happy fashion camper!

-- N.C.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Beauty Secret: The Magic of Asian Paper Masks

I have been using Asian disposable paper masks for years, and feel they do wonders for upkeeping my skin. I do them once a week to rejuvenate and they're great for the busy, modern woman. They've been historically hard to get in the United States, (you can get them in $1 stores in East Asia) but now this new brand Masque*ology is going to make it easy for everyone to get them, yay! Here's my video how-to on Asian facial paper masks. And if you ever want to know how to make your own mask with a paper towel, check out my DIY video. Thanks!

Try an Asian Paper Mask!

1) Masque*ology Facial Masks
, available in sets of three ($24-36) at or Sephora from late March. My favorites are the Anti-Aging (with collagen, hydrolized elastin and caviar extracts), and the Pore Minimizing ones (with sodium hyaluronate -- which will help your skin help absorb moisture more effectively -- and panthenol).