Sartorial Sweethearts is a frequently updated list of favorite brands, styles, and people in the realm of fashion.Read More
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
If you’ve seen any of my videos, you know that I’m a bit of a coffee addict. Well, addict is a bit of an understatement. It’s kind of become my life force and the only reason why I get out of bed in the morning.
During my time at community college I worked as a barista at a global coffee chain (yes, That Global Coffee Chain) and developed a bit of an obsession for the bitter brew. Since then, I’ve upgraded from my every day cold brew to something a little bit more elaborate. No, it’s not necessarily the easiest or the most convenient medium for brewing coffee, but it’s something that I genuinely enjoy doing every morning. It’s a little bit of self care and slow living that I do every day.
Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
My coffee routine begins every morning with grinding fresh beans using a conical burr grinder. I use the Hario Skerton ceramic coffee mill. A conical burr grinder creates a uniform grind size and doesn’t heat your beans up, unlike a cheap electric grinder. This one’s compact and travel friendly as well.
I like a grind size that’s slightly coarser than what is typically used for an espresso maker for my moka pot.
Bialetti Moka Pot
If you like a strong cup of coffee, this stove-top coffee gadget is for you. It’s commonly known as a stove-top “espresso” maker - however this isn’t technically true. The moka pot only brews at around one bar of pressure, whereas true espresso (with body and crema) takes nine bars to create.
However, it doesn’t mean that a moka pot doesn’t make a strong cup of coffee. I use a three-cup size moka pot because it makes about three shots of espresso, and don’t exclusively use espresso beans when brewing. As long as it’s a medium-to-dark roast, I’m game.
I’ve been trying to reduce my use of single-use disposable items, like paper coffee cups and plastic straws. In order to incentivize myself to use a reusable cup, I purchased one that I actually enjoyed having around. The KeepCup is the perfect zero-waste companion to your morning cup of joe. All the parts are placeable, sustainably sourced, and incredibly durable. I’ve dropped mine down a set of concrete stairs (trust me, my heart dropped to), and it’s unscathed. The only draws are that the cup isn’t insulated, and the cork band can be rather small for hot beverages. However, as someone who drinks primarily iced coffees, I find that the lack of insulating and heat-protecting features don’t bother me. It’s also pretty leak-proof as well. Can you tell I’m a fan?
No more mindless consumption, impulse purchasing, and reckless spending.Read More
Although my vision for the future still isn’t crystal clear, I’ve learned a lot of lessons that have helped shed some light on the path I’m taking. Here are 12 lessons I’ve learned from the past year that I will definitely take with me for the rest of my life.Read More
Growing up in an Asian American household, I was taught that art was a pursuit for those who couldn't excel in math and science. "There's no money in it" was just one of many concerns my parents had in protecting my livelihood. Although they meant well, their insistence of the creative industry’s so-called “inferiority” resulted in a subconscious divide: art was art, and science was science.Read More
Because I’m flying back home for Thanksgiving break, I figured that it would be appropriate to give you a little peek into my travel beauty kit.
I’m definitely a bit of a minimalist when it comes to beauty. While I do love exploring different products, I tend to stick with a relatively simple routine, both in skincare and makeup. Everything in my travel beauty bag is built to be compact, efficient, and leakproof.
Green Tea & Enzyme Powder Wash - By Wishtrend
Salicylic Acid 2% Solution - The Ordinary
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - The Ordinary
Micellar Water - Simple
Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA - The Ordinary
Aloe Watery Sun Waterproof SPF 50+ PA+++ - Skinfood
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Perfecting Skin Tint - Medium
Haloscope - Quartz
Boy Brow - Black
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Cotton Rounds - Target
Lavendar + Sage Natural Deoderant - Schimdt’s
Pomegranate Moisturizing Lip Balm - Burt’s Bees
In a world where waste is the norm, these four fashion houses are breaking the rules and creating sustainable, ethical, and conscious clothing.Read More
A compilation of all the goodies I’ve been loving this month.Read More
I’ve been hopping on the eco train quite a bit lately. Between swearing off fast fashion, and reducing my participation in single-use plastic utensils, I like to fancy myself a bit of an environmental enthusiast. However, there’s one environmental impact that I haven’t discussed yet and that’s food supply - specifically animal agriculture.
The American animal agriculture industry has been under quite a bit of criticism since the release of Cowspiracy, especially for its inhumane treatment of animals. And not only is it inhumane, it’s detrimental to our environment. Animal agriculture produces an incredible volume of air pollutants, such as particulate matter, ozone precursors, and greenhouse gasses .
However, it’s difficult to associate adorable, fluffy little chicks we coo over, with the dino nuggets we chow down on at 2 am. It’s also hard to cut out animal products all together when they’re way more affordable due to government subsidies and more convenient. Between breakfast cereal and pre-prepared foods, it’s incredibly difficult to find plant-based substitutes at the same cost of their animal-based counterparts.
Vegetarianism has been around since Pythagoras (I kid you not), but was regarded as a relatively alternative lifestyle until the publication of Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet in 1971. However, the lifestyle change to a completely vegetarian or vegan diet is difficult when those dino nuggets taste so good. Also, it’s not feasible for everyone - especially those with health problems.
Enter: gradually introducing plant-based diets.
Instead of trying to switch over to the green side in one fell swoop that inevitable ends in failure, making a gradual lifestyle change incorporating more meatless Mondays, and eating lower of the food chain is a much more sustainable way to go over to the green side. It’s all about the little changes, like ordering a tofu stir-fry, rather than the chicken one.
I don’t live a completely plant-based lifestyle, nor do I ever truly think I will make the transition to live one. The food I’ve known to grow and love, and is a part of my identity and culture, is meat-based. However, I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing. Just staying mindful of what we put into our bodies and how it got onto our plates is important.
Going green doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Any effort, big or small, is better than none at all.
Some Advice On eating Green
If you’re hungry, eat more.
Plants-based meals generally have fewer calories than animal-based ones do. So if you’re hungry, just eat more! If your plate is full of vibrant produce, eating that second serving won’t hurt.
Bloating is real
The fiber content in vegetables and fruit is unreal, so let this be a warning to you now. You will bloat. A lot. I sure as heck did. Be sure to drink a lot of water to allow things to, uh, pass through a little easier.
Take a b12 supplement
Especially if you’re going all day without eating any animal products. B12 is a vitamin essential for red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis . It’s commonly found in animal products, but is harder to find in plant-based ones. Either a b12 supplement or some nutritional yeast can help combat a b12 deficiency.
Boots | Everlane
Sweater | Grana
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Since this community has grown so incredibly much within the past six months, I felt like it was appropriate to start getting a little bit more intimate with each other. There’s a line of privacy that I find important when sharing one’s life on the internet, especially when there are academic pursuits involved. However, it felt almost selfish and inappropriate not to provide my insight on life - especially if it helps make people feel less alone and further understood.
So I decided to start Q & A sessions - hopefully, these will become a regular thing on the blog. If you have any questions that you’d like answered on the next installment, please leave them in the comments down below, or DM me on Instagram (@TheSeoulSearch).
Are you happy you chose to transfer to UC Davis?
Yes! I really appreciate this school and community’s commitment to sustainability and being environmentally thoughtful! Between the weekly farmer’s market and grocery co-op, as well as the ease of biking around town, I’ve been able to reduce my waste and carbon footprint quite a bit. Having a lot of green spaces, such as the Arboretum, to clear my head or just get some fresh air has also been quite lovely.
Of course, there’s more to transferring to Davis than the environmental aspects. The physics department is quite robust, in fact, much more robust and tight knit than what I had expected. The professors and TA’s have both been incredibly kind and willing to help. The physics department at Davis has the same homey feel as the physics department at my community college. The primary difference has been the size.
What’s the most challenging part of transferring from a community college to a UC?
The quarter system - undoubtedly. I’m not quite sure what it is about the quarter system, but it feels much more panicked and rushed than the semester system did. Although the volume of information covered over the course of a year is the same, I feel like the semester system was less stressful.
What are some things being away from home that you didn’t expect?
How difficult it is to feed yourself consistently!!!! Because I chose to stay at an apartment, rather than the transfer dorms, I’ve been having a surprisingly difficult time remembering to feed myself. The duties involved in having a meal becomes wholey thrust upon you - no longer can I meander down the stairs to find my mother’s cooking. From grocery shopping, preparing, and washing up, all of those tasks are now up to you. There’s no one there to remind you to eat, when it seems like it’s been too long. I’ve started to meal prep, which has made it a little bit easier, but it’s still a work in progress.
How to prevent burnout?
Honestly, I wish I could provide some insight but I can’t. I run myself to the ground until I have an existential crisis, cry in the shower, then do it all over again. I have found, however, that practicing self care and uni-tasking has significantly helped me feel less panicked.
Plans after college?
I want to help shape the landscape of STEM education in the United States and be an educator in some capacity. I don’t necessarily think that it’s going to be in a traditional medium (ie. teaching in a physical classroom full of 50-ish students), but I want to create and develop a platform that makes high quality STEM education accessible to everyone.
If you have questions that you want me to answer next time, please leave them in the comments down below!
Midterms season is finally upon us. Between morning, afternoon, and late night cramming sessions, it’s hard to find time to breathe. Here are a few ways to make your week of cramming slightly less frantic, and a little more productive.Read More
It’s barely fall fashion weather here
in Davis, with 80 degree highs all week. However, the mornings have been on the cooler side and I took the opportunity to dress a little more seasonally appropriately.
Glasses- St. Michel (Golden)
Blazer - The Oversized Blazer (Grey Herringbone)
T-shirt - The Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee (White)
Jeans - The Cheeky Straight Jean (Sky Blue)
Boots - The Boss Boot (Black)
Rings - AlariDesign (Etsy)