Friday, August 30, 2013

#ALOHANUYBEAUTY Post 4: Eat Fresh Fish for Beautiful Skin

Fresh caught Marlin from Oahu, grilled and offered to my family with Aloha. Thank you to @_jordo and friends
for their generosity.

#ALOHANUYBEAUTY Post 4: Eat Fresh Fish for Beautiful Skin

To be invited for freshly caught fish on a charcoal barbecue, beachside is pretty normal occurrence in Hawaii. It's something I took for granted growing up -- having Korean seasoned meat & seafood and picnics along the sunset almost weekly as I was raised tropically. Now I know what a treasure it is being in NYC. Fresh fish is an abundance all around Hawaii -- ahi (tuna), marlin, are caught every day by local fisherman and it's possible to eat it all day long and have it taste of the ocean and not the freezer if you want.

Fish is packed with omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega-3 and omega-6, which reduce inflammation in the body -- and so help you fight acne (which is essentially a type of inflammation) and can help with various health problems like rheumatoid arthritis, depression, prenatal health, and dementia, amonth others.

Try eating fish several times a week to promote good health and beautiful skin.

-- N.C.
Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#ALOHANUYBEAUTY Post 3: The Tropical Beauty Essentials List

#ALOHANUYBEAUTY Post 3: The Tropical Beauty Essentials List
At home in Waialae, Honolulu - photo by my daughter, 5.
The islands of Hawaii are beyond paradise. The air is moist from the lush fruit trees, the ocean breezes keep the tropical heat bearable - and the breathtaking beaches are what mythical tales are written about. Makeup and beauty on the islands comes down to the bare bones here -- the warm weather lends to not wearing much and letting your skin and features do most of the work. So here are my essentials for looking your best in high heat and mind-blowing sunlight:

1) Coconut Oil for Protecting Skin & Hair Naturally from Sun

A great roadside beverage, and an awesome beauty resource. Coconuts.
Pure coconut oil is by far my favorite fruit/nut/seed oil for beauty. It is excellent for those with skin sensitivities and is super rich in natural emollients. It also has an SPF of 10 which means 90% of beneficial vitamin D creating UBV rays are blocked. I recommend using it as a natural hair sunscreen, and as an after-sun soother for ouchy skin.

2) Glycote Sunscreen Spray Mist SPF 50: Water Resistant 

Glytone Suncare, Sunscreen Spray Mist, SPF 50 - A heavy suncare must, $39 (6 fl. oz.)
I've tried dozens of sunscreens. This is a gold-medal winner because it's super mist, powerful spray applicator is no-fail until the very end of the bottle. And it's a safe formula for delicate kids -- my daughter has atopic dermatitis, and usually has itchy reactions to 99 percent of even the most ultra "sensitive" and "hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free" sun creams. Yet, this was one she did not react to. What a testament. I also found that it was wonderful for getting sunscreen effectively onto my half a dozen or so tattoos. I just aimed and sprayed. Extra pluses are that there is no white residue, it's oil-free and has anti-oxidants. Shaka! for this sun must!

3) Gotta Have Good Toes! Purple Cream Nail Polish in PERRIE by Zoya

My lavender nails as I lounge at the beach - August at Kaimana Beach, Honolulu.
Great beauty and style is about looking good head to toe. Never overlook your toes - polishing them in the summer, when they're out and about makes such a difference. That little pop of color punches up your bikini or your tan. I love a soft purple nail as it's a color that in makeup or nails that looks good on any skin tone -- try Zoya's Perrie shade - it's a creamy lavender; so pretty. And I love Zoya because it's formaldehyde- toulene- and dibutyl phthalate- free.
Zoya's Nail Polish in Perrie, $8

-- N.C.

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

Monday, August 26, 2013


2013 Mom Knows Best Beauty Awards: My Picks for Back To School Pretty!
For the last several years I've had the pleasure of judging the most practical, mom-friendly beauty products for Parents Magazine's Mom Knows Best Awards.

As a mom of one, I think a lot about lipstick, pressed powder and bronzer containers getting lost in my purse and how they survive against the rough and tumble of being tossed with lollipops, Barbie hair, beach sand and countless drawings, leaves, rocks, um, trash??? Bless my daughter but do all kids find random "jewels" and pebbles at school and at play and put them in your bag? Please - write and tell me!

My top pick this year was Elizabeth Arden's Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss (my preference was the nude, Cameo color ($18)). It has an amazing shea butter/vanilla smell that doesn't smell too overpowering and moisturizes well. It stays put on your lips w/out sticking to your hairstyle. The cap stays put so that no gooey color ends up all over your bag, and there's a perfectly sized mirror right along the main body of the gloss container.

It's a gorgeous gloss made for a refined, elegant and sophisticated woman -- no matter what undesired items your kid throws into your bag.


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

Friday, August 16, 2013

#ALOHANUYBEAUTY Post 2: The Able Ancient Art of the Lomi Lomi Massage at the Moana Lani Spa

#ALOHANUYBEAUTY Post 2: The Able Ancient Art of the Lomi Lomi Massage at the Moana Lani Spa

Waiting for my massage (neon toes by Erica Marton in NYC) at Moana Lani Spa, a Heavenly , Waikiki, Oahu

Post 2: The Able Ancient Art of the Lomi Lomi Massage at the Moana Lani Spa

I was so lucky to have been born and raised in Hawaii. But I never got to experience the awesome ancient art of Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage until present day. And at no less than one of my favorite, most picturesque hotels: The Moana Surfrider, a.k.a `First Lady of Waikiki, and a Westin Resort & Hotel, in Honolulu, Hawaii! If you are ever visiting my beautiful home island, go to their Veranda restaurant, sit beachside and have their Afternoon Tea. It's exquisite. Proper. But perfectly tropical at the same time. My first headshots were shot right there post-scones in the HD screensaver backdrop.

So let's talk about why I loved the great LOMI LOMI massage at the Moana Lani Spa. The phrase Lomi Lomi itself means "to rub, knead, press, squeeze, massage; to work in and out, as the claws of a contented cat." It is a serene, 90-minute, lighter pressure technique. The massage practitioners at the 17,000-ft beachfront spa have all trained with kumu (teachers) whose lineage is traced from “Kahuna Lomi Lomi” to learn the delicate combination of long strokes and rhythmic massage movements that make the total experience soothing -- and, more importantly, I found: healing.

Waiting for my Lomi Lomi in the peaceful waiting area
My particular bonding with the Moana Lani's Lomi Lomi treatment was twofold: first off, I was overtaken by the incredible tranquility of the view of the Pacific ocean in the spacious waiting room- it took me to a fantastic place of zen before I even hit the spa room. I was comfortably alone and could hear only the soft chatter of beach folk talking down below and ocean waves crashing. And of course the trade winds smelled heavenly, as I basked in pefect, salty, sunny warmth.

My bag of Alaea Salt, used to throw my worries into the Hawaiian Sea
Second, the Spa has a ritual with all its spa guests, where they give you a wood bowl with Alaea Hawaiian sea salt, known for its restorative abilities, before your treatment.  Each guest is invited to dump their worries into their individual salt bowl. At the end of the day,  the salt bowl, along with all the other guests' salts, are thrown into the ocean - and washed into sea.

I think this idea is beautiful in its philosophy and so representative of Hawaiian natural healing culture.

All troubles are washed away at the end of the day.
Hawaiian natural healing cutlure at work
at the Moana Lani Spa.

I had a severe stomachache that day from my chronic pancreatic issue (worsened by stress) - and I'd left my prescription pills at home, so I threw my tummy ache into the salt bowl and though the massage didn't help right away, in about one hour, I was happy to find that most of it had lifted! So Yay to lomi lomi for aiding in the circulation and the mind-body pain treatment process.

So if you have mom stresses, busy body stresses, and/or health concerns like me, try a Lomi Lomi massage for yourself. I highly recommend it. Circulation aids like a slower massage (e.g. Lomi Lomi) really helps relieve tension, aches, pains and overall health.

If you can't make it to the Moana Lani Spa anytime soon (though it's so worth making a trip to Oahu for!), then just carve out some time for a little self-care time. Take a hot bath with epsom salts, and gently wash your troubles away at home. Tomorrow's always a new day. A good soak never hurt ;-).

-- N.C.

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

Friday, August 9, 2013

#ALOHANUYBEAUTY Post 1: What's Your Favorite Feature? It's Time to Love it

My 5-year-old daughter feels a sense of accomplishment after hiking up Manoa Falls. The scenic 1.5 hour hike is a nice, light cardio workout perfect for young kids and parents to do together. A great activity for mind and body. The tropical, high density foliage and humidity creates a misty, natural sauna for the skin: so your pores can exercise too ;-).
#ALOHANUYBEAUTY Post 1: What's Your Favorite Feature? It's Time to Love it

Here starts one of several posts I've written w/ my daughter in tow while at home in Honolulu. I come here once a year to visit my parents, research new island beauty trends, do some makeup on island friends and say ALOHA to the island sun!

Natural Skin: Me with little to no makeup in my hometown of Honolulu
POST 1: What's Your Favorite Feature? It's Time to Love it

Throughout my life I've been insecure about many a phsyical feature on me. I wanted a pointier nose, curly hair, and BIG Western style eyelids (and not to worry, I'll dedicate a whole series on this and Asian beauty issues, for those of you who are wondering what I'm talking about). I wanted what was on the other side.

Now, after 38 years on this planet, and realizing how precious our natural given beauty is, I choose not to waste my time obsessing on any single feature. And what I do have, I maintain as best as I can. One of my goods is, skin. Today I'll share how to get that summery dewy glow. My mother gave me her nice, slightly tan skin, but there are ways to work an even dewier complexion. Here's how!

#AlohaNuyBeauty Dewy Skin How-To:

1) Wash your skin no more than 2x a day. If you have oily/combination skin, or are in a tropical/humid climate like Hawaii, use a soap-free cleanser like Avene's Mattifying Cleansing Foam ($20) in the morning; and be sure to wash off all make up all night with warm water. I like Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm ($9)  -- the muslin cloth it comes with assists in combination with the organic shea butter, rosehip and jojoba oils to remove dirt and oils from your face. Not to mention it smells rich and delicious.
For Morning: Try Avene's Mattifying Cleasning Foam

For Evening: Try Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm

2) When removing makeup, stroke your face in upwards motions. You don't want to assist gravity in the aging process! Pro makeup artist tip: When removing heavy makeup like waterproof mascara- you can always use baby oil. 

3) On a daily basis, I only wear tinted moisturizer or BB cream (try my new fave by Olay Fresh Effects) and bronzer. No foundation! Keep your daily makeup light and simple. Don't weight your face down if your face down unneccessarily if you don't have to w/ excess makeup! And don't forget your sun protection! ;-) Aging is assisted by the sun - so be preemptive: Wear at least 30 SPF every day!

One of the beaches I grew up next to - Kahala Beach. Beautiful, windy, breezy. Who wouldn't feel pretty in this environment? Stay tuned for more #AlohaNuyBeauty2013 stories to come!


*Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the companies I write and vlog about. My picks and decisions are always editorially and artistically-based and independent. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Favorite How-To Videos to Date

My YouTube Channel

I started making how-to beauty videos right after my daughter was born, in 2009, using a ladder as a tripod and a small first generation FlipCam. I used heavy dictionaries to support the camera further -- yup, it was that guerilla. And the videos were shot while my little one was either napping during the day or fast asleep at night. I just did my best!

I was lucky enough to start making more and more videos and got major help and teaching, quickly. And yes - I finally invested in a slightly nicer camera ;-)!

Everything, as the saying goes -- like, walking or talking for the first time doesn't come easy -- even your first great cat-eye in make-up, whether you're trained to do it or just doing it for yourself. Skills are tough. I'm always learning to be better in makeup artist or better on camera -- and I can always be a better mom. We're never perfect - nor should we be! Mistakes are for getting better and by embracing them, is how we live life gracefully and artfully.

Here are my favorite video moments from the last 4 years. And a little test for you. Can you tell in which one I was secretly holding my baby daughter in, because she had awoken from a nap?

No kidding! Haha!


Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the companies I write and vlog about. My picks and decisions are always editorially and artistically-based and independent.