Clear Skin Diet: My Personal Tips

Hi loves,

If it is not already clear from my previous posts, I care a lot about the health and clarity of my skin. Unfortunately, it is often portrayed that the one and only saving grace to clear skin is a prescription, or using products with intense ingredients. I personally have not experienced either of these options to be a saving grace. And I’m going to share why I’ve changed my mind about what it takes to achieve clear skin.

Often times, prescriptions are antibiotics. Your body will progress to adapt to this antibiotic, and it will stop working if you try to continue usage for long-term. Essentially, prescriptions are short-term solutions. Not that these medications don’t help severe cases of acne, however, if you’re constantly getting more mild forms of blemishes, you should look to other reasoning.

Drink tons of water. Carry a water bottle around with you to hold yourself accountable.

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Your diet is huge for your skin. Have you ever heard “you are what you eat”? It doesn’t just apply to your figure. The food you consume can most definitely alter your skin negatively, just as much as it can improve it.

A list I normally follow for my skin:

➳ Limit refined sugars, which are essentially derived from sugar cane. Refined sugar is present in soft drinks, fruit juices, and candies and sweets. They are used to sweeten food, and you do not gain any benefit from the addition. Speaking of soft drinks, they are high in fructose corn syrup, which is a very common aggressor to insulin spikes, in turn causing a stage of inflammation in the body. Due to this inflammation, enzymes actually break down collagen and elastin, causing premature wrinkles and loose skin.

➳ Ease up on the dairy. The effect of dairy on someone’s skin varies quite a lot, and studies have been all over the board on if dairy causes acne. Given that I would consider myself somewhat resistant to dairy to begin with, I take it out of everything I eat that can have a dairy substitute.

♥ Take your coffee with a non-dairy milk (soy, almond, hemp, coconut)

♥ Don’t overdo it with cheese, and even consider replacing the cheese with a spice or other addition.

♥  Re-consider whey based protein substances. In other words, you can get vegan protein powder and bars. Whey protein is a milk protein, and even dermatologists are catching on to tell athletes to consider non-dairy vegan protein powders.

➳ Fast food will show in your pores. Your pores will thank you if you eat cleaner, and reduce your fast food intake. To put it in perspective, I might have a batch of fries with a meal every two weeks, or have white bread in a sandwich once in a while. Pizza will occasionally happen. But I don’t frequently eat these things, because they are not going to aid you in the path to clear skin. Besides fast food being highly caloric and full of processed unnatural ingredients, they are also packed with high amounts of sodium and sugar, again spiking insulin levels and clogging pores.

Here’s a pic of super clean, whole food at a market in London:

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➳ Eat like you carefully choose skincare. I think of the ingredients of my food and how it will impact my skin. Salmon and avocados are great Omega 3-s, for instance, and the more you  look at food as a reflection of your skin, the better your skin will look. I promise! Here’s a pic of one of my favorite things to make: a salmon protein bowl.

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Ingredients:

1 piece of salmon filet

Handful of kale (or more)

1/2 an avocado

Carrots and mushrooms

Yumm sauce (from Café Yumm)

Salt and garlic

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Just like when you’re training to be fitter, you can definitely make exceptions sometimes and splurge to eat something that isn’t the best for your skin. The key is not to make it a habit! On that topic…

Alcohol. Do not underestimate the negative effects of alcohol on your skin. It comes out through your pores! If you drink on a regular basis, I would be very surprised if your skin remained poreless and plump. In general, alcohol dehydrates you, and by extension your skin. Dehydration causes premature wrinkles and reduces the elastin in your skin layer. It’s tough to maintain your skin’s hormone levels as well because alcohol will change them.

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However, the link of an unhealthy complexion and alcohol depends on the frequency of alcohol consumption. If it’s less frequent and you drink more water to compensate, you should be totally fine. When you do drink:

Reach for clear liquors, not dark. Dark liquors contain congeners that are from extra fermentation. Congeners will cause premature aging in the skin if frequently consumed.

Another fact about alcohol’s negative effects is the sugar content. The excess sugar in cocktails and other mixed drinks will spike your insulin levels and cause systemic inflammation, worsening your complexion and putting you at risk of premature wrinkles. Alcohol in general is better to avoid completely for better skin health, however, the above tips will be exponentially helpful to reducing effects on your skin.

There are no negatives of making your diet cleaner, and your skin will only thank you. This way you can keep your skin healthy from the inside out, not rely on products and medication to do the work.

I hope this information helped you towards a clear skin diet of your own, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment below or email me. xx

-Kelly

 

Sustainable Clothing Love: PrAna

Hi everyone,

I hope you all have had a great week so far, and haven’t experienced the dreaded cold going around as we dive into November. A disclaimer: I have a box of tissues to my right at this very moment…. more computer time is a plus I suppose?

On a much better note, let’s talk about the clothing brand PrAna. I am very excited to note that I am now one of their influencers. I am so happy to promote a brand I believe in.

The makers of PrAna themselves are what they refer to as doers – they are yoga practicers, climbers, travelers etc. They embody what they sell. And they sell well-made, sustainable clothing. Scroll down to see the pieces I’ve purchased from PrAna, worn by yours truly, and every shot is Fall themed. I’m obsessed with the colors of Fall leaves, clearly.

PrAna is a company that loves to partner with local and international communities. They believe in serving the community and giving back, as opposed to just contributing to mass consumerism, and I respect that.

I think eco-fashion is moving in a positive direction in the fashion industry. People are recognizing that sustainable clothes are just as beautifully made and obtain great quality, without the harmful effects to the environment.

My first set of purchased items from PrAna:

The Clover Capri in Charcoal:

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These are so comfortable and honestly feel like you’re wearing air. The one thing I would say is that they are definitely more for pilates and yoga activities, as opposed to heavy weight sessions. I prefer more of a compression waistband for weights, but I absolutely love these for cardio sessions or mat work. The detail on the back is also really unique.

The Lyneah Bralette : (currently sold out in the Bayou Blue)

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This bra top is super flattering, and I bought it due to the length. I like bra tops that are longer because you can wear them by themselves or with another a layer over them. It’s not against the law to walk around in a sports bra, but it’s not something I care to do regardless. If you’re doing hot yoga, for instance, this top would be amazing for that. The back details with the criss-cross straps and flattering cut is so cute. I’ve paired it with the clover crop above.

The Remy Legging in Dark Plum:

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Because Fall is my favorite season, I’ve been mixing and matching with colors like mustard yellow, purple, and orange. I paired the Remy Legging with a cropped sweater from Nordstrom Rack (because discounts are everything) and my new Timberlands. These leggings are great if you want more coverage than a legging look, or in other words, if you want to cheat and wear yoga that looks more dressed up with an attached skirt. I plan on getting the black pair as well so I can wear them to work. Zero shame.

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Above is how the Remy Legging looks from the side. They’re really versatile and come in great colors, depending on if you want to go neutral or not. Given that skirts never seem fit me right, I was sold right when I tried these on!

I am very happy to have a long term collaboration with PrAna. I will always be one to opt for the companies that have gone green and make conscious efforts to lead the sustainable clothing movement.

For any of you reading that have questions or have purchased PrAna items, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Stay healthy and GO GREEN. ❤

xx

-Kelly

 

Rose Vegan Skincare Essentials: Velvet Report

Hi everyone,

I had the chance to attend the vegan blogger brunch and the product launch of Velvet Report, hosted by the creator, Lindsey Arnold. The brunch was hosted at Bar Melusine, located in Capitol Hill! If you love bright aesthetic and awesome vegan food, definitely check them out.

Lindsey was so refreshing to listen to about her mission to obtain a 100% vegan line, in partnership with Herbivore Botanicals, Kani Botanicals, and Formulary 55. The goodie bags for the brunch were Lindsay’s Rose Vegan Beauty Set, complete with her own Micellar Water. Safe to say I adore this set. Who doesn’t love clean beauty, that is cruelty free and is rose scented?

I’ll touch upon each product included in the set, the first being her micellar water.

Micellar water is the beauty trend in France, where women there live by using micelles in their skincare routine for cleansing. So many women there just use micellar water and not a cleanser!

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My personal routine is a double cleanse, starting with the micellar water and then with a cleanser for a deeper clean. Velvet Report’s micellar water, after a week of use, is now my go-to. I’ve been using the Garnier’s version for years now with relatively good results, however,  I can already tell this formula is better for my sensitive skin. There are 8 ingredients on the bottle, in fact. Simple and refreshing.

The next is the Herbivore Botanicals Rose Lip Conditioner. Small and quaint, but just a tiny bit will give your lips and non greasy, effective layer of moisture. I recently find myself best friends with aquaphor as my lips adjust to the colder weather, and this little beauty really helps my lips from cracking. Herbivore not only has a super creative name and product aesthetic, they also make a great face mist.

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Kani Botanical’s Hibiscus and Rose Toner is also in the set, and it reminds me of Herbivore’s facial mist with the rose scent. However, this one from Kani Botanical’s doesn’t have the coconut water emphasis. It’s so light and refreshing, and the small 2 oz bottle is even travel size! You could slip it in your purse for a long work day. Face mists and spray toners make for great midday pick-me-ups, and this bottle is also 100% recyclable.

The last product in the set is the Formulary 55 rosehip and clay facial mask. To start, the packaging is so unique with the fact that the mask is in powder form. You can get two uses out the mask for an $8.00 value, according to the package. I personally feel that you can get four uses out of it, given how easily the mask spreads when mixed with water.

This adorable rose scented set comes with the Velvet Report book box, which is a great personal touch from Lindsey. I have a discount code (VELVET10) to get 10% off for those that are interested. Her website: velvetreport.com

I hope you all enjoyed this skincare chat! Happy Monday.

xx

-Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Trip to Vancouver, B.C

Hi everyone,

So I’m a bit late on posting this Canada day trip, but I didn’t forget the mini travel post I wanted to do on lovely Vancouver! I put together some tips on exploring a new city, as well as what to see and do specifically in Vancouver if you only have a day. I hope you enjoy. x

Here in Seattle we are set very close to the border to Canada, which I think is often overlooked. The drive to the border was about 2 hours, and from there about 45 minutes to downtown Vancouver. If you think about it, it’s less than that to Portland, and about the same in distance as outdoorsy destination spots like Lake Crescent, which is more of a 3 hour drive. Ideally you would have two days to take in Vancouver and various parts of the city and surround lookouts, however, a full day is quite the accomplishment with the right attitude.

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My tips for exploring a new city:

❤ ALWAYS ask a local about where to go and what to see. You don’t have to do everything they suggest, in fact you should make customized adjustments to what you and your travel buddies want to do and see most. But asking locals is crucial to avoiding unwanted wandering or tourist mistakes. Plus, lots of people love to give their advice.

❤ Don’t watch the clock like a hawk, but do pay attention to how much time you potentially have in the city, factoring in travel time back home. This makes for just the right amount of organization to ensure you won’t feel rushed, but so much of an itinerary that you won’t be enjoying yourself in the moment.

❤ Venture away from chain restaurants or establishments. When you’re in a new city, especially in a different country like we were, experience what’s good and awesome to that place specifically. You can always hit Starbucks and the Old Spaghetti Factory back home (if Starbucks is your jam, it isn’t for me).

❤ Wear good walking shoes. I think this could be common sense, but wearing shoes you have to constantly adjust or ones you can’t walk all day in won’t be ideal for adventuring a city for the first time. By all means be fashionable, but functionally so.

❤ Do get a souvenir. I don’t care how typical it is to walk into a gift shop to buy a keychain or a t-shirt with proof you went on the trip. I bought a stuffed animal moose decked out in Vancouver gear and I could not be more pleased with it. I even showed the attendant at the border coming back to the U.S; sadly he didn’t find it that funny when I held it up to declare.

❤ Zero in on your experience for content. If you’re using your trip for your blog or photography, people will want to know what you liked about the place, not the same spots and reviews as another piece already done. If you were destined to find the best tacos in that city, you should include that. Anything you want to share for content!

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❤ Bring a phone charger. Depending on if you have an international plan, it’s not ideal for your phone to die at 11 pm at night out of country. I do not have an international plan, but when my friend’s phone died we were driving blind when trying to find our way out of the city. Yes it was of course figured out, but definitely plan ahead regardless with electronics.

❤ Pack very light. I should’ve put this on the top of the list, however, sometimes you realize halfway through your day trip that you left your car with your extra clothes and stuff anyway, so there really wasn’t any need for it. Tip for fellow bloggers: Wear neautral pants or bottoms to pair with up to two tops or so, then throw in a jacket, and you have at least 3 looks to shoot. This way you don’t have to carry too much around without missing out on variety with your outfit posts (blogger problems).

Now onto what I loved about Vancouver:

We started the adventure at VanDusen Botanical Garden, and there was a MAZE.Yes,a maze. And we got lost in it. But it was so satisfying when we found our way through it before other groups that went in before us. The garden is so interesting with its plant life and flowers from different regions, and the rose garden was beautiful. Here’s a snap of them.

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We found this alleyway that was covered in designs of purple, yellow and orange tones. Very strange, but it would make for a great music video. We snapped some shots and hung out in the alleyway (a sentence I’ve never typed by the way) before walking to

I’ve never had a flight of cider before, and we found the coolest bar and restaurant called the Alibi Room in Gastown, and if you sit at the actual bar you can watch the trains go past. We went to the lower basement floor, and every time the trains would pass they would block the stain glass windows, and it was the most interesting touch.

Gastown was the highlight of the trip, and we only went because a waitress told us about how cool it was for a day trip, not to mention pictures. The waitress worked at Uva wine and Cocktail bar, where I got my espresso martini fix at the beginning of the day.

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Gastown had great cobblestone alleyways and cute shops to browse, as well as the waterfront right next door. It is a must see in my opinion, and also has good pubs for fish and chips, just saying.

We went to the gift shop and then spent some time on the waterfront before grabbing dinner, and it was already 10 pm when we realized we needed to start driving back to the border. It was indeed a late night and I did get a cup of coffee at the gas station to not doze off, but it was 100% worth it. Vancouver was awesome, and I can’t wait to go again.

I hope you all enjoyed the latest mini travel piece. If you don’t have time or resources to go on a longer trip, it’s incredible how much you can get done in a day. I highly recommend trying to make day trips more a regular thing, they’re fun and manageable.

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As always, thank you for reading and I’m stoked to share upcoming summer projects and trips.

xx

-Kelly

 

 

 

Holy Grail Hair Products: Aveda

Hi everyone,

I am happy to report that switching to salon quality hair care has been the best solution for my dry hair. I get my hair done at a salon in downtown Seattle that sells and uses Aveda hair products, and I finally made the splurge.

I totally understand if you are skeptical of paying more money for salon products. I was in the same mindset for years. I was in that mindset up until 5 months ago. I already use higher grade skincare (shoutout to First Aid Beauty), so I was stubborn at first to invest in Aveda. I want to mention these amazing products, take what you will for personal purchases! My opinions and reviews are not sponsored.

I’ve always had dry hair. My ends get even drier, and I haven’t found shampoo and conditioner that have made it more moisturized. In fact, the coconut and organ oil treatments, hair masks, and shampoo and conditioners I’ve tried have not even come close to penetrating my hair follicles. Bummer, right? Right. Hence the recent investment.

The first product I tried was the Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil. Its formula is with organic buriti oil, originating from Peru. I wouldn’t say this a stand-alone product to transform dry hair, but it is a very good aid. I use about 4 or 5 drops a day on the ends of my hair to keep them softer and more manageable. The little bottle seems like it wouldn’t last long given how often I use it, however, it has lasted me 3 months and counting!

The next products are the smooth infusion shampoo and conditioner. I do like this line for an introduction to Aveda products, however, as the formulas take out frizz, they also reduce “unwanted wave.” I don’t want to take out any wave or curl so I hope to try the “Be Curly” line and use it in combination with the dry remedy oil to keep my hair in check but still bouncy with some waves.

I do have a review of the dry remedy shampoo and conditioner as well, after about two weeks of use. I love the conditioner for my ends, but the shampoo is a bit too much for my scalp.

Speaking of scalps, do you cleanse yours? I had no idea this was such an important thing to do, but now I’m totally sold on it! I have been using the Pramsama purifying scalp cleanser for a month, after exfoliating with the Pramsama scalp brush, and I’m in love. My scalp feels healthier, and any buildup gets washed away with my shampoo in the shower. Just like your skin needs to be exfoliated and cleansed, so does your scalp! It was news to me.

I love Aveda products because they are color safe, plant derived, organic, and without any gross chemicals or questionable ingredients. Not to mention everything smells fresh and amazing.

I took some shots of my hair fresh the next day after shampooing. Curl is definitely coming back into my hair after the help of the dry remedy products. Another tip: before going to sleep, brushing thoroughly from roots to ends helps bring the oils down from your scalp and to your ends. This way, you wake up with a fresher look.

My hair has lots of life to it when using the right products, and I feel that Aveda has easily done the best job with this! What are your experiences with Aveda haircare? Leave comments below, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading my product review, for more photography and updates check out my Instagram page @kstateofmind, as well as my portraits page @kellyzphoto.

xx

-Kelly

 

 

 

Port Townsend/Lake Crescent Adventure

Hi everyone,

After my recent shenanigans, I’m so inspired by the idea of mini travel blogs. In other words, writing more adventure pieces about places I find and love. Growing up in the Seattle area does not mean you know every corner like the back of your hand. Quite the contrary, I am loving experiencing Seattle in different ways, from different perspectives.

Recently, I drove up the peninsula, starting with the Kingston Ferry, with the lovely company of my friend Joshua. First of all, starting off mornings with a quality americano and a foggy ferry ride is bliss. When you’re not in a rush. For those that have constant appointments and to-do-lists as I do, pressing the re-set button is essential. If you spend the weekdays in the city, get out into nature on the weekend. It clears your mind, trust me.

Here’s me trying not to pull a Marylyn. Who knew ferries could make such great last minute photoshoots?

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Ferry Cam

The Kingston ferry gives you a nice car ride through Port Gamble, which was an accidental but much needed stop along the way to Lake Crescent.

All of the details of the porches and the quaint vintage shops were so precious. Here is a woman that spent 20 minutes telling me how she goes about her weaving on a daily basis. I asked to take her portrait:

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So let’s talk about Lake Crescent. I think this lake is underrated. I know Oregon is supposed to have amazing lakes (like Crater Lake), but this one is in our backyard in Seattle! If you don’t want to camp or stay in the lodge, a day trip is totally doable. Especially if you don’t get as distracted as we did along the way.

I think I spent over an hour of some of the most relaxing time ever this day at the lake. The sun was out, making the lake glitter with summer vibes. Everyone was sitting on the porch of the lodge in rocking chairs or in the yard. I really didn’t want to leave my rocking chair. There’s something to be said about quality quiet time after a week of noise.

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The next stop was Port Townsend. We got there right at sunset to snap a few shots in some flower fields. But after a long day of adventuring, nothing sounded better than dinner. We came across Sirens Pub, of which I highly recommend. They made a mushroom quesadilla that I wouldn’t dream of making at home. Mostly because I don’t have that much confidence in the kitchen! This is something I’ve been wanting to work on for years, but that’s a whole different topic.

Unfortunately we did not have time to get to the old fashioned candy store that I always load up on when I visit Port Townsend, but all in all I’m really impressed with how much we explored in a full day’s time! Mini adventures are good for the soul, take my word on that. I encourage anyone to take even day trips in the Pacific Northwest.

I hope you all enjoyed this different post and the pictures we snapped along the way! Stay tuned for some more adventure posts for Summer, as well as my new photography section now up on the blog! xx

-K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dressing Quirky With Linen Cropped Overalls

Hi fashion loves,

So i’ve never purchased overalls, thinking they would be a clash with my tall frame or a disaster with my long torso. It took me needing to find a white outfit for a series shoot to pick up one of my new favorite pieces to wear: the Emmie Cropped Linen Overalls .

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They’re so simple in all white, but the fact that they’re cropped makes them perfect for those that are usually concerned with short inseams. Plus, you don’t have to worry about getting them dirty. They’re white and linen material after all.

I love the silver buttons down the front and the slightly synched cut of the waist to give you shape.

I wear this look two ways: with a tight darker colored tee, or a white lacy bralette. I actually got the whole look from Urban Outfitters. A tee underneath gives a quirkier, casual look, and the bralette is more dainty and classic, with emphasis on the white.

Comfort: These linen overalls are super comfortable. I found them perfect for a recent 70 degree Seattle day near Pike Place, where I had a BTS (behind the scenes) shoot on first avenue. I chose the tee for this outing, to be more covered up around a group that particular group of creatives.

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From these featured pictures, it’s clear that these overalls pair really well with a sunflower bouquet. How perfect!

Overalls have now gone beyond the jean look, which I’m very relieved about. I like to play with different textures, colors, and fabrics with the overalls look, and I think these ones nailed it for me.

Additional accessories: wide brim hats. My go-to wide brim is my black one from Nasty Gal, from about 3 years ago. It’s no longer retailing, but I would recommend investing into a wide brim to add something extra to these quirkier looks. And this is not because of the PNW creative Instagram pictures of girls running around the forest in black hats, I would wear one regardless of my geographic location (ignore this joke if you have zero idea of what I’m referring to). ❤

Wearing white has never been easy for me, let alone linen clothing that can be prone to wrinkling or getting ruined from exterior influences. But white is a classic. I have to admit I can count on one hand how many white pieces of clothing I own, so these overalls have been helping me out trying to balance out the black excess!

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So much about clothing is how you feel in them. To be honest, it’s the main thing for me. If I don’t feel great in something I won’t buy it. If it’s not a 10, I put it back on the rack. These overalls weren’t on sale, which was against my usual habits. But I loved them enough to splurge a little! They retail for $89.

Lastly, the above photographs were all taken by the lovely Harley Rae. Her photography website and Instagram are linked. She succeeded at making me feel like a forest nymph.

My first time wearing these was frolicking around on a beach during sunset and crouching in tall grass, so if that’s not showing versatility I don’t know what does. I hope you enjoyed this review and showcase of this look. Stay edgy and quirky, peeps! xx

-Kelly