Monday, June 30, 2014

Taking Some Time Off: Happy Summer!

-- N.C.

Friday, June 20, 2014

What's Your Custom Nail Color?

Yellow Hibiscus in my Honolulu Garden; the golden leaves representing the color I'd want to bottle for Julep!

What Is Your Custom Nail Color? 

Is there a color you always gravitate toward at the nail salon? A color you always pick at the store no matter how much you try to change it up? We all have our favorite, quintessential nail colors. It's an extension of one's personality, and such an easy way to express color in a small but significant way. Recently, Julep Nail Polish asked me to imagine my signature nail color and I was excited to share what my Hawaiian flower inspired hue would be. Thanks Julep!

Growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii, I saw sunny and yellow Hibiscus and Plumeria flowers everyday. They were scattered around my parents' home -- either growing on their individual bushes or trees (respectively), or had fallen to the grass. Breathing in the aromatic scent of these flowers was part of my daily morning ritual. And to this day, when I summer in Honolulu, I have pure aromatherapy when my mother asks me to rake the fallen white and golden Plumerias.

White Plumerias with golden centers

I was always drawn to the yellow variety of these flowers (as they come in various shades) -- it reminded me of the Hawaiian sun and made me happy. Pure and simple. Golden flowers are all over the island of Oahu, and they tend to have rich scents. Perhaps the blossom with the most amazing scent, in my opinion is the Pua Kenikeni flower. The leis made with this small blossom can penetrate an entire room and is so sweet, soft and fragrant that it'll literally make you swoon.

And again, the flowers are such a soft, bright yellow! And so the equation of course becomes that my signature nail color, the hue I wear the most often with love and aloha is a bright, strong yellow; a golden yellow with no shimmer. And if I could name it, I'd name it simply Nui, the (Hawaiian spelling of my name); which means intense, very, a lot, a star. Paradise gold in a bottle.

Me, summering at home in Honolulu on my parent's home roof. Absolute Paradise!

Holding a Golden Hibiscus with my Hawaiian Style Nails (PRO TIP: try mini Hibiscus painted on the 4th nails for a tropical twist on design manicures for the summer!)


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

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Writings of a Book: My Memoir

Me, Age 3
Me, Age 4
I've been toying with writing a memoir for years -- since my days at InStyle. So that makes it about a decade I have been digesting words, stories and building a platform through this blog to finally start the big story.

This isn't your ordinary memoir about why my life turned out the way it did, and who did what to influence my life. This is a story about how I learned my life through my blog posts, about learning who my father is and was (a person of some mystery to me while growing up), and how I came to understand that as much as I love beauty and makeup -- my primary goal is to provide health and wellness information as I suffer from chronic medical conditions that effect my ability to mother, interrupt my daily life and have made me the strong survivor I am today.

So this is where I turn the corner in and go from providing easy beauty service for busy women and mothers, to sharing my life as beauty expert who for the first time in my life is finally embracing the disabilities of my illnesses as POSitivies and to share the experience within my writing as I look back a little further and reflect on how today came to be such a beautiful day.

I'll share passages of my book as I blog and keep you posted. And don't worry, the beauty tips, makeup up know-how, parenting venting and sharing will always be there! Maybe even a recipe ;-).

Now, wish me luck...

First Share:

My father traveled a lot from when I was first born. He was gone on average two weeks out of every month. The story goes that I always had tummy aches and got belly sick when he left for his exotic abroad work trips. I missed him dearly.  But my family also had no idea also, that years later I would be diagnosed with a very rare liver disease contributing to this medical situation.

The concept of Dad is so important to the little ones, no matter how small. I admired and adored my father, even though I had a very limited understanding of what he did until my early teens (he is a demographer, social scientist, economist and political scientist). 

When I was old enough to be able to stand up in the car behind him as he was driving us somewhere in Honolulu, Hawaii where I grew up -- this before child car safety rules became much more heavy handed -- I would hold tightly to any part of what was available to me to reach that I could. His jacket shoulder sleeve, his shirt sleeve; I'd stand very officially behind him on the middle bump of the back seat foot bottoms and be proud that little me was attached in my own strong and balanced way in our 1970s roaring Dodge Dart. 'Daddy is close to me now,' I remember thinking, no matter how rocky this ride.