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5.06.2021

kai conversations with... hollywood celebrity manicurist, queenie nguyen

as we kick off the month of may, we are beyond thrilled to bring you this week's kai conversation with one of the most highly sought after hollywood celebrity manicurists, queenie nguyen, whose celebrity clientele includes amanda seyfried, kristen wiig, emma roberts, kate hudson, carey mulligan, saoirse ronan, january jones, elizabeth banks, kaley cuoco and mandy moore among others. nailing hollywood's artist extraordinaire, queenie, has worked in the nail industry for more than 12 years and specializes in natural nails and contemporary nail art. her incredibly impressive trendsetting nail work has been featured in eminent publications such as vogue, harper's bazaar, refinery29, elle, cosmopolitan, people, c magazine, the hollywood reporter, and vanity fair - to name a few. she also worked on beauty and fashion campaigns for dior, new york & company, prada, aldo and piaget. queenie is not only an exceptionally talented nail artist, she is also a long-time kai devotee who truly embodies the kai "breath*life*flow" way of life. we hope you enjoy reading her fascinating interview below, and we highly encourage you to check out her beautiful, inspirational feed. lastly, please stay tuned for a very exciting giveaway collaboration to be announced soon! 


xo,
gaye. 


what are you seeing as the most popular contemporary nail art trends for this year?

1 - colorful ying yang - this year, more bright colors will replace classic black/ ying yang nails in the summer. the bright colors are more fun and unexpected.

2 - emilio pucci-inspired - pucci-inspired nail art allows people to have fun with bright colors and are also abstract enough to DIY at home without the pressure of perfection. 

3- neon/french tips - this is a great way to rock neon colors in the summer subtly.

4 - mismatched nail designs - when in doubt, create different fun deigns on all fingernails so that you can rock all at once. mismatched nail designs are unexpected and spontaneous. 

5 - floral & fruit - daisies are so popular for the summer and this year, people love pairing daises with french manicures. this is the same case with cherries. they pair nicely with the classic white french manicure for a pop of red. 


could you please provide us with some tips for keeping hands and nails looking best as we approach the summer season when people are running around outdoors at the beach & pool, and the weather is warmer? 

during the summer, i think it is very important to wear body sunscreen and spf hand lotion. apply a thin layer of the spf hand lotion to avoid it being over greasy and this way, you can reapply throughout the day to be protected from the sun. i also highly recommend using cuticle oil to hydrate the cuticles from being overdried by the sun. additionally, wear a layer of nail strengthener to help strengthen the nails and cuticles from being dried out by hand sanitizer and chlorine in the pool.


what has been the accomplishment that you are most proud of during your career? 

i've been working in the nail industry for about 13 years and i think my most proud accomplishment is to see my work on the red carpet and magazine covers. there's something just so rewarding to see the end result of a beautiful collective work from a group of talented professionals. i consider myself very blessed to be able to meet many talented people in the industry i am in and the continuous lessons that i learn in every single job that i work on. i'm proud and grateful for the trust that many celebrities and brands have placed in me. 

what facial products can be used on hands? we've heard that you have some tips on ways to use facial products so that they benefit the hands and nails.

1 - facial cream: hands are one of the first parts of your body that show signs of aging and i think it's important to take care of them as much as how you take care of your face. i never waste products and i tend to use whatever is left over from the face to apply to the hands. 

2 - face scrub: if it's gentle enough for your face, it is definitely gentle enough for your hands specifically. be sure to scrub away the dead skin before applying moisturizer. 

3 - face oil: face oil is generally not as heavy as body oil so i think it's great to use it as cuticle oil as well. that way your cuticles are hydrated without being too greasy during the day. 

4 - face mask: i love masking my face and i usually use this time to mask the top of my hands as well. a hydrating mask will help hydrate and condition your hands just as much as it helps hydrating your facial skin. 


are there any special vitamins you recommend or foods to eat that help keep nails as healthy as possible?

i'm a firm believer in a healthy lifestyle; which includes a combination of healthy food choices and exercising. that alone makes a huge difference in how your body functions. additionally, i usually take women multivitamins, liquid collagen and drink lots of water. 


tell us about DIY nail art and any suggestions you might have for this. also, do you have any recommendations for nail care at home? 

DIY nail art can be really fun and therapeutic to do at home. i would definitely watch nail art tutorials available on youtube and via social media like instagram or tik tok. then, invest in proper nail art tools that can help you create art easily. with practice, you'll have a lot of fun doing your own nail art at home. with nail care, i also suggest investing in quality nail tools and creating a habit to do your nails either weekly or bi-weekly to shape the nails and trim any hangnails. it takes time but it can be relaxing if you dedicate time for self care. don't rush so that you can take the steps necessary to give yourself a proper manicure. 


can you tell us your expert input on natural nails versus enhanced nails? 

i'm a huge fan of natural nails. i wear natural nails myself because i truly believe that it is healthier for you. there are so many nail brands in the market now that are nontoxic so you can opt for those to ensure the health of your nails if you decide to wear color. i always wear a nail strengthener under regular polish to protect and condition my nails. if i decide to wear gel polishes, i usually opt for a hybrid type of gel polish that can be soaked off easily like CND so that i'm not over soaking my nails in acetone and to avoid scraping during removal. in regards to nail enhancements, i prefer soaked-off gel extensions over acrylics personally because they tend to feel more natural on your nails and are less damaging. 


how are you taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this time of the pandemic? are there certain things that are proving to be sources of motivation/ inspiration? if so, please feel free to share. 

i'm a workaholic so i'm constantly moving and thinking about what is next for my career and during the pandemic, i finally had the chance to stop and appreciate what i've done so far. i think it is very important to be proud of your achievements in the past so that you are motivated for the future. i'm very blessed to have a lovely circle of people that truly care and checked on me during the pandemic. to me, time is so valuable and you can't take back lost time so i want to dedicate my time now to spending it with the people that i love. additionally, i find myself now learning to slow down to appreciate the smallest things in life. 


how do you embody kai's "breath*life*flow" lifestyle?

self love is so important to me and i'm learning to prioritize and put myself first in certain situations. self care can come in many forms and i'm learning to embrace as many practices as possible. besides dedicating time for my daily and weekly skin care routine; i also take time to care for my mental health. i love listening to business and entrepreneur podcasts to learn and motivate myself internally. i also dedicate time during a busy work week to take deep breaths and clear my head. i tell myself that everything will be ok at the end of the day and it is ok to make mistakes because that is part of growing in life. 

what color nail polish are you wearing right now? 

my go-to nail polish is Chanel "Ballerina." it is just so natural, chic and makes me feel very put together. 


kai obsession?

oh my, it is very hard to choose a specific kai product obsession as i love everything from the brand but i have to say, i'm obsessed with the kai *rose scent itself. i've always loved the smell of roses but the kai *rose scent is just so special and unique. with that being said, all kai *rose products make me feel so happy and so personal because i feel like i embrace the rose scent as my own personal scent.


what's your beauty secret? or must-have beauty product? 

i have quite dry skin due to constant hand washing so moisturizing is my key beauty secret from head to toe. but i think a big part in making sure that the skin is deeply hydrated is by exfoliating first. i truly think that by removing the dead skin, the skin will absorb other hydrating products much better. i'm quite diligent about my exfoliation routine each week and i think it makes a difference to create a routine so that it becomes a continuous habit. 



thank you... queenie! 



4.09.2021

kai conversations with... sarah goldberger, founder of lord jameson

as we kick off the first full month of spring and gear up for spending more time enjoying the outdoors with family & friends, we think about our furry loved ones as well! this week we are beyond delighted to bring you a very inspirational and fun kai conversation with our very dear friend and long-time kai devotee, sarah goldberger, the owner and founder of lord jameson, which is a dog wellness company that offers 100% organic dog treats made with plant-based proteins and superfoods. sarah founded the lord jameson company in 2016, which is named after her incredibly sweet & amazing cocker spaniel named jameson! lord jameson's offerings are nutritious and loaded with super healthy ingredients such as blueberries, oats, sweet potatoes, carrots, coconut, chamomile and hemp seeds. the vegan and gluten-free treats not only taste delicious (and can be enjoyed by humans too!), but they also help ease mild anxiety in dogs, as well as support better digestion and overall health improvement for dogs. like kai, lord jameson has a strong charitable mission and a portion of proceeds from each sale benefits animal rescue organizations including service and therapy dog groups because as sarah wholeheartedly explains, "no dog should be left without a human to love and feed them." also similar to kai, lord jameson believes that the cleanest, purest, and highest quality ingredients are the only ones that should be included in their offerings. sarah truly embodies the kai "breath*life*flow" way of life as shown in lord jameson's instagram feed and in the interview below. we hope you enjoy the wonderful chat with sarah, and we highly encourage you to check out lord jameson to treat the furry loved ones in your life! 

xo,

gaye. 

how are you taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this time? are there certain things that are proving to be sources of motivation/ inspiration? if so, please feel free to share. 

the past 12 months have been a time of immense gratitude. my 5-year-old son and i were both diagnosed with COVID last april. he had a very severe case and had to endure 6-weeks of treatments with inhalers, nebulizers, and steroids. it was harrowing watching him struggle to breath. he is a warrior and pushed through it without a single tear or complaint. he just kept saying, "mommy, i am okay. are you okay?"

our family is forever changed from this experience. nothing in the world will ever matter to me as much as my family's health and wellness. he is the inspiration for everything we do. 


how do you embody kai's "breath*life*flow" lifestyle? 

i embrace the glow of uncertainty. as a twenty-year devoted yogi, i have spiritually learned how to sit with intention and allow the universe to present the best path forward. i firmly believe in the power of positivity and manifesting your own destiny. timing in life, and in business, is everything. working hard to allow the foundation of your dreams to grow is imperative. but trusting the universe to present the right time to grow, or the right time to hold back, is a learned trait that i instill in my personal and professional life. 


what's the best advice you've ever received? 

the  best advice i have ever received is to fail fast and fail hard. people often look at failure as a negative experience. for me, it's positive. it's a time to learn, to innovate, to grow, to change, to become your best, and to disrupt the path everyone else is on. to be different and unique, you must overcome obstacles. it's so important to get back up and keep going. you must not be afraid to fail if you want to fly! 


what's your beauty secret? or must have beauty product? 

my must have beauty products are Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask, Kai Body Buffer, SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum (it's a must!). 


what color nail polish are you wearing right now? 

i am obsessed with Butter London's Her Majesty's Red. i have been wearing this fabulous nail polish for almost 3 years and never get tired of it! 


how would you describe your personal style? 

very SJP! i love taking feminine pieces and adding an edgy spin to make them more unique. i love dresses and heels and would wear them everyday if i could. i am obsessed with vintage jewelry, handbags and accessories.

what do you love most about where you live now? any secret spots you love to go to? 

since the pandemic began last march, we temporarily left our NYC apartment and moved to our weekend house in Sagaponack, NY. what i treasure most about living outside of the city are the sounds, smells, and sights of nature. the things you just can't get in a concrete jungle! we are surrounded by farms, horse stables, and beautiful gardens. my son is obsessed with finding sea glass so we made a list of top secret beaches to collect sea glass out East!


ultimate getaway? 

anywhere in the South Pacific. my husband and i have traveled to most of the islands in Polynesia and Melanesia and have such a fond place for the people, the land, the cuisine, and the culture. the islands are gorgeous and let you truly escape life. what draws me most is the incredible clear warm water and soft white sand beaches. 


favorite food? 

japanese.


guilty pleasure? 

Hu Kitchen's dark chocolate covered almonds. i am obsessed! 


kai obsession? 

everything! i have been a kai consumer since the brand was born and treasure every single product the company has made. kai scents are so uplifting and make my day so much better and brighter! 


morning person or night owl? 

i am a morning dove through and through! i wake up at dusk and love sipping my first cup of coffee as the sun rises. i get a morning workout or yoga flow in before my boys (husband, son and beloved dog) wake up. it is my most sacred time of day. 

currently craving? 

sushi from my favorite NYC Izakaya restaurant called Juban. the food is incredible. 


ideal way to relax/ unwind? 

i have an innate love of water. the best way to relax is to submerge my entire body in a pool, hot tub, ocean, lake or even a bubble bath! there is an elemental magic about water that puts me into a complete state of bliss. 



thank you... sarah! 

3.25.2021

kai conversations with... fortune dushey

as we commence our celebration of women's history month over the coming week (although we wholeheartedly believe women should be celebrated all year long!), we could not be more excited to bring you this week's kai conversation with fortune dushey, the founder of fortune inspired, the uniquely amazing fashion & shopping blog. based in nyc, she is also an exceptionally talented fashion influencer, who has an inspiring and eye-catching instagram feed sharing her exquisite style & beauty expertise and her fabulous life as a wife, mother of three, people lover, and travel lover. fortune describes her own personal style as a mix of "mostly classic, a bit preppy, and a bit edgy," and her fashion blog was created with the aim to inspire the modern woman who appreciates the value of an upscale wardrobe and lifestyle. 

fortune very much embodies the kai "breath*life*flow" philosophy, as shown in her blog and instagram posts, and the interview below. we also love that she says that the quickest way you can change a look is with a smile. that optimistic attitude typifies fortune's sunny philosophy of life. while she loves style, she finds that happiness and humor are what really complete a look. we've had the great pleasure of knowing & supporting fortune as a dear friend and longtime kai devotee for several years now, and we highly encourage you to check out her blog and follow her on instagram. you will fall in love with her too! additionally, please stay tuned for a special giveaway collaboration with fortune dushey to be announced soon.

xo,

gaye.

how are you taking care of yourself and your loved ones during this time? are there certain things that are proving to be sources of motivation/ inspiration? if so, please feel free to share. 

self-care has been a great source of comfort during this time. i've made it a priority to meditate and journal in the morning, and i most recently began using a sage smudge stick and palo santo to set the mood and create some positive vibes. when i start the morning off with intention and some me time, it truly does set the positive tone for the day. i've also been working out more often and more consistently - it definitely helps to get my ya ya's out! i found that having routine during quarantine gave me comfort as it offered some predictability during these unpredictable times. the way i take care of my loved ones is by being available to them - i.e. lend an ear when someone needs to talk, release whatever anxieties they may be feeling, or just talk about whatever is happening. 


how do you embody kai's "breath*life*flow" lifestyle? 

a few months ago, i bought an intentions journal which has helped me to be more mindful of the areas in my life i'd like to improve, including more things/experiences that bring me joy, and release what is no longer serving me - a work in progress of course :).


what's the best advice you've ever received? 

be gentle with yourself and others.

always try and give the benefit of the doubt. 

it's ok to say no and it's ok to change your mind.

surround yourself with people who make you feel good.

your mind and body are the most important things you can invest in and that goes for my kai body cream


do you have a mantra that you live by? 

this is constantly changing depending on where i am in life. today it's "i am good enough." 


what's your beauty secret? or must-have beauty product? 

my must-have beauty product is kai body lotion. i have gone through more bottles than i can count and purchase them in 3's. that's how addicted i am. i apply it to my body both morning and night and people always ask me what scent i am wearing. it's always kai. 


go-to lipstick color? 

i haven't purchased lipstick in a while but i was just gifted a red lipstick called Scandal by Valerie Beverly Hills and i'm obsessed. 


what color nail polish are you wearing right now? 

i am wearing Modern Love by Deborah Lippman.


who is your role model?

i have many role models. my mom, Vivan Dayan, has always been there for me, any time of day and night, and whose family has always been her priority. i am in awe of the way she single-handedly took care of my elderly and ailing grandparents. my aunt Roxanne Assoulin, a successful jewelry designer who is a boss babe. my husband, because he is so kind and never sweats the small stuff. i admire all the health care workers who put their lives at risk to care for others. and anyone with a positive upbeat attitude. i recently asked my doorman how he was and he responded, "life is great because i have my health and my job." the list goes on... 


how would you describe your personal style? 

i can go in so many different directions. in the winter, i dress more classic and preppy but with an edge. i also happen to be obsessed with western-style - i think cowboy boots, cowboy hats, and lots of denim. in the summer, i am more bohemian. i love wearing pastels, floral prints, and overall, i have more of a feminine, flirty, vibe. 

what do you love most about where you live? any secret spots you love to go to? 

i live in a peaceful residential area that's a close walk to central park and some of my favorite coffee spots. no secret spots because i love to share everything. i love an iced matcha ginger turmeric latte from Chacha Matcha. Ralph's coffee makes a great chai tea. McNally Jackson is my favorite bookstore. i can spend hours browsing through books. i also love the Westside Boutique for casual clothing. i always feel like i've gone on a day trip to LA when i visit. 


describe your perfect day. 

wake up to relaxing music

meditate - lately, it's been in the form of Qi Gong

journal

hiking - my favorite activity 

an iced coffee with eggs and avocado toast from Sant Ambroeus

lunch with my daughters, mom and sister 

a walk around soho or reading a few pages from a current novel

dinner and a glass of wine with my husband while watching The Crown.


favorite date spot? 

we don't really do date nights but i love the idea of it. maybe we should haha. some of our favorite neighborhood restaurants are Sant Ambroeus, Fleming, and Le Charlot. 


ultimate getaway? 

capri and spain in the summer, aspen in the winter. 


favorite food?

too many! artichokes prepared any which way, sushi, i love a good ole cheeseboard any day, i love any and all salads except for beets and i always love summer bbq's.


guilty pleasure?

spaghetti al nerano, key lime pie or an apple tart tatin. 


kai obsession?

obsessed with the kai body lotion in the original scent and the kai body glow - especially on vacation! 


morning person or night owl? 

morning person. 

currently craving? 

a turkey sandwich with chipotle aioli and pickles. 


ideal way to relax/ unwind? 

crossword puzzles, listening to relaxing music, lighting a candle or a glass of red wine. 


what book are you reading currently? 

In Five Years. 


what's the most adventurous thing you've done? 

walked barefoot on hot coals at a Tony Robbins weekend retreat and participating in a ballroom dancing competition. 


fortune dushey 

www.fortuneinspired.com 



thank you... fortune!