I get asked quite often how to start a blog/YouTube channel/creative Instagram, and while I don’t think that I’m an absolute authority on the subject (or an authority at all for that matter), here’s my advice.
Just. Start. Creating.
Think about all the time you spend scrolling on Instagram, YouTube, and the internet in general. All the hours in the day spent doing nothing but going on those social media binges that make you feel worse than when you started. Why not divert the energy spent on something makes you feel defeated, into something that leaves you fulfilled?
I first started creating YouTube videos in middle school. You won’t find them on the internet anymore (hopefully), but they were just me, sitting in my childhood bedroom with my guitar, singing country music into my laptop webcam. It wasn’t glamorous, luxurious, or anywhere remotely similar to the content I create today. Although I wouldn’t necessarily enjoy watching them back today (puberty was a rough time), the endless hours I spent learning how to mix music, edit videos, and developing my artistic signature helped me develop the skills that I use to create my content now.
It’s important to create for yourself. All the videos I produce, blog posts I write, and photos I shoot, are created with my own interests in mind. Creating for me is an outlet and a way to take my mind off the stress of life (a la school), and explore different facets of myself. No, not every single video is going to be a hit, and sometimes the content that you pour the most heart and soul into don’t “perform” nearly as well, analytically. But exploration isn’t meant to be clean cut, and easy. It’s pure, raw, and a little rough around the edges.
The space you create is uniquely your voice, and your tone, and the way you develop it is entirely up to you. It’s the imprint you leave on the universe.
I don’t know what spurred me into creating content, but it became addicting. There’s something so incredibly satisfying about pouring your heart and soul into a piece of work, sharing it to the people you love, and getting immediate feedback on your work. Once the ball gets rolling, it’s hard to stop. You’ve become a creator, and there’s no going back.
Just. Start. Creating.
This is it. A new beginning. A fresh start. Trying something new.
I’ve discussed my disillusionment with academia, and trying to force myself into a “practical” career quite extensively over the past few months. I feel like I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m ready to take the leap and commit myself into creating things that I truly want to create.
My lovely friend, Arielle, sent me this “Creative Types” quiz, which I promptly took (I love a good quiz) and spent quite a few days mulling over the results. Think of this quiz like an MBTI for creativity - it’s just vague enough to boil people down into eight different categories and just specific enough to provide distinctions between those groups. Though it’s important to take these little quizzes with a grain of salt and not let it totally dictate your entire life, it helped provide me with some much needed perspective.
I am a dreamer. I’m idealistic, romantic, and have my head stuck in the clouds. My glasses are tinted a thousand different shades of rose and can’t help but want to explore every possibility the universe has to offer me. For so many years I’ve tried to push my dreamer instinct to the wayside and follow my head, but something out there keeps pulling me back to those instincts.
So it’s finally time to listen to my gut and see what happens.
Note: The creative types quiz was actually quite fun and although it’s not super scientific or empirical in any way, I still highly recommend taking it. Just to see.
Everlane has slowly become a staple in my wardrobe lately. This sartorial start-up is reforming the industry through the notion of Radical Transparency. Producing high quality goods at ethical factories often comes at an incredible mark-up. Everlane aims to provide wardrobe staples at a fraction of the designer price.
Everlane offers several variations of jeans, for both men and women, that are produced in the “World’s Cleanest Denim Factory.” Although the denim isn’t necessarily the thickest weight, its quality is comparable with that of designers like Citizens of Humanity. Because of Everlane denim’s ultra flattering cuts, I prefer them to denim from Levi’s or American Apparel. The brand’s ethical and environmental foresight doesn’t hurt either.
There a few universal Everlane truths to address.
Everlane Denim Has Real Pockets
Oh yes. I can fit my phone, keys and wallet into these actually substantial pockets. Sometimes, I don’t even go out with a purse or bag because I can.
Everlane Denim Runs Large
I would generally recommend sizing down on Everlane denim. While I applaud Everlane’s size inclusivity, they tend to run a little large to the point where the jeans may run a little too large for some women. I wear a size 00 in their Straight Leg Cropped pants and even those risk becoming slightly too baggy as they will stretch overtime.
For your reference, I am 5’5” and wear a size 26 in Levi’s 721s.
The Cheeky Straight Jean
The cheeky straight jean undoubtedly high-rise and really lives up to its cheeky name. I find that the denim stretches out after two-to-three wears and it becomes a little loose, but not unflattering, around the seat. However, that looseness is remedied after a quick wash-and-dry cycle.
I wear a pair of the cheeky straight jean at least three times a week. It’s the perfect pair of jeans for that effortless Cool Girl™ vibe and definitely fits into the girlfriend denim category. They fall decisively at my ankles and tend to show a bit of skin when I sit. The cheeky straight jean also isn’t the most winter-friendly pair of jeans, but they can definitely accommodate a pair of fleece-lined leggings underneath.
The Modern Boyfriend Jean
Size 24, 26
Depending on the sizing, the modern boyfriend jean (which is currently on sale) can either serve as a cigarette-style pant or a relaxed true boyfriend denim. Much like the cheeky straight leg, these jeans benefit from a spin in the dryer every once in a while, much like any other pair of 100% cotton denim.
These jeans tow the line between mid and high rise. Although they’re explicitly labelled mid-rise on the Everlane website, I find that they’re comfortably high waisted on my relatively shorter torso.
These jeans are also ankle length (the 24 being slightly more cropped than the 16) and can also accommodate a pair of fleece lined leggings for the cooler months.
How To Take Care Of Denim
Wash them as infrequently as possible.
Unless they’re sticky, or stinky, there’s no real reason to wash your jeans.
Wash them inside out.
This will protect the wash of your beautiful denim and keep it bluer for longer. It also prevents the dye from getting on that stray white sock that somehow made it into the colors pile.
Avoid high heat.
But if you’re a sucker for the dryer like me, dry your denim on the lowest heat setting.
Laundry by Template from the Noun Project
blazer & mock neck - everlane
denim - everlane modern boyfriend
purse - vintage gucci
belt - levi’s
boots - zara
Making environmentally and ethically thoughtful choices is difficult - especially as a university student. When you lack both time and money, it’s hard to justify low-waste alternatives that both take up more time and often more expensive up front.
I’ve been trying to reduce my trash production and carbon footprint since moving out of my home.
Living green is definitely not the most convenient lifestyle, nor is it possible for everyone. Living completely zero waste requires you to be in perfect health. There are times when you can’t compromise on using single-use disposable items, like needles and medication. If you haven’t had a meal all day, and the only option is a pre-packaged sandwich, sometimes you have to choose the “wasteful” option. But that’s okay! Participating in a completely zero waste lifestyle requires people to be in perfect health and live in an environment that supports green living.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t small changes you can make to start living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Food takes a surprisingly long journey to get to your dinner plate. As a result, there’s an incredible amount of loss between harvest and consumption. Try to shop locally, through a farmer’s market, or a food co-op. Often times, they tend to also be cheaper than shopping at traditional grocery stores because the produce is in season. The food also tastes fresher, too.
reuse, reuse, reuse
Paper towels, plastic cutlery, disposable coffee cups - these collegiate staples both wreak havoc on our planet and our wallet. Replace paper towels with old shirts and towels, plastic cutlery with flatware you already own, and disposable coffee cups with old jars or a reusable cup. These alternatives don’t have to be expensive and are often things you already own.
Keep a clean jar, or travel cup, and reusable cutlery in your backpack when heading to class. That way you’ll never be caught off guard.
In a world of constantly shifting trends, it’s tempting to shop endlessly and buy new clothing every season.
I’ve made it a new year’s resolution to stop mindlessly shopping and start consuming thoughtfully. So far it’s going pretty well! Instead of shopping new, I’ve starting thrifting and making my own clothing.
However. there are some things that I can’t compromise purchasing second hand, like underwear. For the things you have to purchase new, shop from ethical retailers instead. Although they may be slightly more expensive than their fast fashion counterparts, I’ve found that shopping secondhand and DIYing frees up a little bit of my budget to make those purchases.
Since transferring to Davis, I’ve become a bit of an environmentalist. There’s no doubt that Mother Nature is dying and the actions that we make as consumers have a direct impact on the environment. While it might be easy to stop by your nearest beauty bazaar and purchase the most conveniently located products, the ingredients in that bottle of soap might not be the best for you or your planet. Being an informed consumer gives you the ability to vote with your dollar, and control what goes on your body and what doesn’t.
What is “Green Beauty”?
If you’ve turned on the news, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered greenwashing. Ever heard of “clean burning natural gas” or “clean coal?” That’s greenwashing. It’s a marketing tactic that’s been around since the 1960s aiming to actively deceive consumers about a brand or product’s environmental friendliness.
The green beauty industry aims to fight against these unsavory marketing tactics and offer products that are good for your body and the planet.
What do you mean “good for your body?”
Many common beauty products, like nail polish, contain dangerous chemicals such as toluene which has been linked to reproductive impairment, immune system toxicity, and blood cancers like malignant lymphoma. Green beauty alternatives tend to be free from unnecessary fragrance, preservatives, and carcinogens, like toluene.
What do you mean “good for the planet?”
Everything that we put down the drain, from foundation to hand soap, ends up in our water supply. Triclosan, a common chemical in antibacterial hand soaps, often breaks through wastewater treatment plants and damage algae on surface waters, and cause cross-resistance (aka resistance in bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli).
Osea Blemish Balm
Hannes Dottir Mineral Mist
Why Choose Green Beauty?
Much like fresh produce, green beauty is often more expensive than its traditional counterparts and it’s not always financially possible to make a clean purchase. Fortunately, more companies are releasing clean products at drugstore prices.
I decided to make the switch to using environmentally friendly products for my health and the environment. The soaps we use affect our water supply, and the chemicals in our sunscreens kill coral reefs. Although it’s not always convenient and cost effective to make a green purchase, it’s better for the greater good.
I’m also lucky to live in a town that cares a lot about its carbon footprint and have access to stores where I can buy soaps package free. Living green was much more difficult when I lived down in Southern California.
Osea Blemish Balm
Hannes Dottir Mineral Mist
Earth Tu Face Face Wash
Living a more environmentally conscious lifestyle isn’t something that’s always achievable overnight, and sometimes it’s out of your control. You can’t control what kind of cleaning products your roommates purchase, or whether or not your parents are willing to support your switch to environmental friendly products. Often times, green beauty products are too expensive to justify, especially on a student budget. What matters is that you made the conscious decision to start transitioning to a more planet-loving lifestyle.
What Should I Be Looking For?
Making the switch to clean beauty can be overwhelming. Because of conflicting information on the internet, and sly marketing, it’s often difficult to filter out truly clean beauty from its greenwashing foils. The best way to decipher the code is to take a look at the ingredients list.
Stick to products with friendly and minimal ingredients list. There are some ingredients that sound scary (like methylcellulose) but a quick Wikipedia search can help mitigate any concerns on whether or not a product is potentially hazardous to your health.
However it’s important to note that not all hazardous ingredients are synthetic chemicals, and not all synthetic chemicals are hazardous. Formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen used in both nail polish and an embalming chemical, is a naturally occurring organic compound.
My Skincare Routine
step 1: cleanser
Earth Tu Face Facewash with Palmarosa & Aloe
Step 2: toner
Hannes Dottir Mineral Mist
step 3: moisturize
Osea Blemish Balm
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FTC disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Follain. Follain gifted me the products in exchange for a post. However, opinions, thoughts, and otherwise are 100% authentic to The Seoul Search.
3 bone-in chicken thighs
2 cups quinoa
2 celery stalks
1 medium onion
1 bunch of kale
2 bay leaves
6 cups chicken broth, veggie broth, or bullion with water to cover
turmeric, thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
Sear 3 bone-in chicken thighs in a large pot.
Once browned, remove from pan and add one diced carrot, two diced celery stalks, and one diced onion. Sautee until softened.
Add 2 cups of quinoa, 6 cups of chicken broth (or other substitute), bay leaves, turmeric, thyme, basil, oregano, and pepper. Chop kale into bite sized pieces and add to the pot. When kale has wilted, add chicken back into pot with any accumulated juices. Simmer on low-medium heat for one hour. Remove chicken, shred and place back into pot. Discard bones. Add more liquid for a brothier soup.
Salt and pepper to taste.
ohii beauty is Urban Outfitters’ in-house beauty brand that launched early September in 2018. This isn’t the fashion giant’s first foray into beauty, with Gourmand EDP Fragrance already under its belt.
It’s stylized branding (all intentionally lower cased), ethnically inclusive model palette, and bright, friendly packaging makes ohii beauty another attempt at capturing the millennial beauty market. Similarly to the industry disruptor Glossier, ohii “seeks to enhance natural beauty, not hide it.” The brand reinforces its millennial-aimed branding by featuring customer photos on its Instagram, and employing the presence of no-makeup-makeup trendsetter, Katie Jane Hughes.
However, unlike Glossier, ohii’s branding isn’t air-tight. The unboxing experience is pretty lack-luster. Their products are wrapped in generic bubble wrap and shipped in Urban Outfitters’ poly-bags to your door. No cute stickers or reusable bubble-wrap bag accompany your order. They did open a pop-up at Space15Twenty in Los Angeles, Urban Outfitters’ trend-driven concept store.
Feel-good beauty just for you, ohii fills in the blanks of every routine with thoughtful, cruelty-free products designed to play well with others. Readily accessible to all, both in stores and online, ohii seeks to enhance natural beauty, not hide it.
- Urban Outfitters
Treasure Eye Palette
The treasure eye palette features 10 warm-toned pressed shadows. Most of the shadows are shimmery, thanks to the inclusion of gold flakes, and are very buttery. The shadows aren’t necessarily not-pigmented, but they’re not the most pigmented shadows I’ve encountered either. They are incredibly wearable, but the lack of a distinct highlight shade prevents me from dubbing this palette as a bulletproof must-have. Pomegranate and garnet are much redder than they appear in the photos and have become my go-to shades for experimenting and pushing myself out of my beauty comfort zone.
Magic Hour Eye Palette
The magic hour eye palette features 10 cool-toned pressed shadows. Somehow, they’ve managed to quantify the word “ethereal” in a color palette, making the name “magic hour” incredibly appropriate. Pixie gives an incredibly beautiful and soft sheen and is perfect both an under-brow and face highlighter. Peridot is an opalescent color that serves as a great all over wash, or an unorthodox highlight. This palette is slightly less “natural” due to the darker colors, but serves as a great complement to the treasure eye palette.
These palettes are a great introduction into experimenting with colors, due to their slight sheerness, and are pretty affordable at under $25 USD. The two palettes serve as amazing complements to each other and can sufficiently serve as all of your eyeshadow needs as a pair, but aren’t anything incredibly noteworthy independently. However, if you’re someone who wants to start exploring color, but don’t want to clean out your wallet, I highly recommend giving these a try.
I think the most commonly asked question I receive is how I like my KeepCup. In short, I absolutely adore it and use it every day, but I thought I’d do a thorough review on my favorite coffee receptacle.Read More