Asian Makeup

You would think after nearly 10 years in TV, and 8 years of experimenting with makeup before that, I would've figured it out by now. But after returning from maternity leave, and subscribing to Comcast HD, I realized I needed some H to the E-L-P. I was looking pale, wan and washed out. I'd been blog stalking wedding photog Jennifer Skog and saw that she worked with Thi Cosmetics, a brand created by Vietnamese makeup artist Taylor Pham. Her line specializes in Asian skintones and the products looked really natural and pretty, with nice coverage.

Confession: I've never had my makeup professionally done before. Well, once a lady touched up my makeup before a shoot, but I've never gone to a makeup artist or counter or MAC store and sat down to have someone go at it with their products. Have you seen the women that walk away from those experiences? They always look like clowns to me. But I was game this time because this makeup was FABA. My spin on FUBU. For Asians By Asians. And I was not disappointed! Nor did I leave looking like Bozo. Double plus.

This is Grace, a Korean Marvin. She had feeee-yierce tats, including one of her cat's face that looked like a photo of a cat's face. Apparently her tattoo artist is in talks to join LA Ink. Grace taught me how to use concealer. And gently suggested it was time to grow up, and apply eye cream, to which my fine lines and I sighed and nodded in agreement.

No, I am not chewing tobacco here. This is me requesting that my husband take some photos of the studio and 'action' shots. Which he did, after I threatened to confiscate his Palm Pre and stash it in my pants. He was engrossed in trying to install some program to work with his Touchstone charger. Don't say I didn't warn you about malware from third party apps, tsk tsk.

And this is Taylor Pham, owner and creator of Thi. Super gracious and very nice with a rocking iTunes playlist. She was watching Grace doing my eye makeup, and she kept saying, tightline her eyes, make sure you tightline. And let me tell you, I learned some very cool techniques that day. And boy, do I love a nice tightline. 

But what Taylor eventually did was what no man or woman before her has EVER done. She PLUCKED my eyebrows. Until this day, I thought I had been doing a pretty decent job, tweezing here and there, gently shaping and scaping. But ever since I was old enough to wield tweezers, my mother always said don't overpluck. SOMETIMES EYEBROWS NEVER GROW BACK. EVER. So that kept me afraid, very afraid, of overplucking. Because I didn't want my brows to NEVER GROW BACK..ACK...ACK. It echoes in my head.

But up walks Taylor, shop owner and makeup creator, and she goes, when's the last time you plucked your brows? And I'm like, umm, a few days ago? And she goes, do you notice those points? And I was like, ummm, yeah, actually I do. And she goes, hmmm, do you mind? And tweezes out 3 hairs from the top of my left eyebrow. And I looked COMPLETELY different. She plucked a few more hairs from each brow, and I looked at myself and was like, damn! I looked GOOD. Those 7 rogue eyebrow hairs were holding me back! Who knows how much sooner I could've gotten into market 6 had I just known how to define my arches!!!

My mom rushed over to inspect. And...nodded in approval! Then she started telling Taylor how she's noticed that sometimes, when you overpluck, EYEBROWS NEVER GROW BACK. 



We live in the Bay Area. Where white guys + Asian chicks = 97% of mixed race couples. So many, in fact, The Good Doctor and I invented a code name for the children of these mixed couples. Marvins. That way, when we're at Costco and we pass a mixed couple with a kid, we can say Marvin, and the other person knows to check out the kid to see if he's ugly or not. It sounds cruel but really it was just a little pastime we developed when I got pregnant. We wanted to establish a mental database of what mixed kids looked like so that when our Marvin was born, we'd have a point of reference.

Because let's face it, there are mixed race hotties, and there are mixed race notties. It's harder with kids because most are pretty cute with their big heads and chubby cheeks and freckles and whatnot. But we've all seen the combo gone wrong. The worst of both sides. For us it would've been: my round face with his long nose, my small eyes with his wide eyebrows, my slightly buck teeth with his giant jaw...So naturally, we were studying ALL the Marvins.

Before you say that is so superficial and children are gifts from God and how dare we be so shallow and just for that our next child will be hideously ugly and need to wear a baby toupee, we know and we hope not and does anyone know where to find a good baby toupee? Anyway, it was too late to worry. The seed had been planted, how do you like that picture, and we were not going to love our baby any less even if she did inherit my husband's wonky toes and his birthmark and his one eyebrow that goes straight up just so. Which she did. She has my chubby cheeks and giant head. And definitely my ears. I was staring at her little ears during one of her midnight snack attacks lying on her Boppy contentedly sucking away with her eyes closed. Then I went to my Mom the next day, pulled back my hair, held Emmy up next to my head and said, Mom, I think Emmy has the EXACT same ears as I do. And she was like, I KNOW! I was thinking the SAME thing. Now if she is as poor a listener as I am, we'll definitely know she's my child.

Anyway, this is Emmy at about 4 months, next to a picture of me when I was about 8 months. Our family had just landed in a refugee camp in Malaysia and this was my ID picture. Hopefully there's a big ole brain in that big ole noggin. Looks-wise, I think we have a pretty cute Marvin. 






The Mother Lode


Pure liquid gold stacked up on two shelves in our freezer. I started pumping when Emmy was 3 weeks old, based on the doctor's recommendation that we get her started on one bottle feeding a day, to make sure she didn't reject the bottle. Lucky for us, she's the Joey Chestnut of breastfeeding. A very good eater. She doesn't care if it's me, a bottle, or the teat of a barnyard animal. Just keep the milk flowing until she's done. At which time she will let out a high pitched squeal and kick off my chest to let me know it's time to get moving, so MUSH! She's like a hummingbird, suck suck, done!

We have about 56 of those little bottles in our freezer right now. Each one holds 5 ounces. At this rate, Emmy can take some to college with her!

I thought my stockpile would take a hit once I returned to work but thanks to my trusty GE provided pump, I am still extracting the sweet nectar once per shift. Usually it's in the back of a live truck, in a Burger King parking lot, as I balance my nursing cover over the suction cups and hope that no one decides to walk by and peek into the NBC van. 

And yes, if you look closely, those are Trader Joe's meatless corndogs on the shelf below the milk. Mommy's gotta eat too.


Emmy and Her BFF

Emmy and BFF Tofu from vicky nguyen on Vimeo.

Emmy is the baby. Tofu is the white dog. Tofu adores Emmy but can't quite figure out why she is such a Flailing Blob.

This happens in our house at least 3 times a day. We put Emmy down for tummy time.  Then Tofu trots over to offer some licks of support. Emmy decides she'd much rather roll over onto her back, and then Tofu's like, hell yeah, let me lick her eyeballs! This time though, Tofu gets tired of waiting for Emmy to get it together and pet her, so she makes it easier by rolling over.

Of course, that's when my camera flashes "MEMORY CARD FULL." Still kicking myself for not deleting the videos of The Good Doctor playing Wii baseball against his brother. This video was way cuter.

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