About ningchao

Ning Chao is a bicoastal beauty editor, brand consultant, trend expert, and passionate product guinea pig. She has worked at Glamour, Vogue, Elle, In Style, and Marie Claire and was the founding editor-in-chief of beautylish.com. Ning is a frequent flier who loves food and fashion and is currently living the freelance dream.

Watch Out for Fake Sunscreen “Facts”

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 11.48.08 AMFestival season is in full swing and with temperatures expected in the 90’s this weekend, I hope everyone is breaking out their bottles of sunscreen. Thinking of skipping the SPF because you read online (maybe on FB?) that sunscreen causes cancer or that slathering on coconut oil is enough to shield you from sunburn? Bad idea. Continue reading

Why Natalie Portman avoids social media

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 9.18.11 AMCongratulations to Natalie Portman on her best actress Oscar nomination for Jackie! Late last year, I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning chatting with Natalie (she was calling me from Paris so I think it was around 2 am L.A.time) Here are the highlights from our Marie Claire interview, from what she learned playing the iconic former first lady (who redefined “celebrity”) to why she chooses to avoid social media: Natalie Portman: In Her Own Words

Is Indoor Pollution Making Me Ugly?

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-9-33-01-amNow that it’s finally feeling like fall over here in Los Angeles (it’s even raining now as I type this), I’m finally shutting my windows and closing my patio door. Which makes me more at risk for the accelerated aging (brown spots, wrinkles, dry skin) and acne that indoor pollution causes. Turns out, “sick buildings” aren’t just science fiction. They’re a real threat. Did you know that indoor air can be FIVE times more polluted than outdoor air (and sometimes the pollutant level is as much as 100 times higher!)? Continue reading

Louis Vuitton’s New Piracy Protection Plan

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I remember my first trip to Europe, over 20 years ago, when my family visited the perfume houses in Grasse (the perfume capital of the world)… I bet I still have that bottle of Anaïs Anaïs eau de toilette I bought from the Fragonard factory somewhere… For my latest story for Marie Claire, I flew back to Southern France to interview Louis Vuitton Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud. As a native of Grasse, Cavallier Belletrud grew up in the fragrance industry before becoming a nose himself (and creating two of my favorite fragrances of all time: Issey Miyake’s L’Eau D’Issey and Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio for Men). Now working for Louis Vuitton, Cavallier Belletrud focused on inventing creations that couldn’t be replicated (after all, Louis Vuitton has been plagued by knockoffs since the 19th century). The result is a collection of six unique scents, made with rare, exclusive ingredients and top secret formulas so that copycats don’t stand a chance. They’re available now, but only in Louis Vuitton boutiques. Here’s my story, from the October issue of Marie Claire: Louis Vuitton Signature Scents