BEAUTY BITES

Written by: Sarah St. Lifer, Graphic Design: Eunice Chun

Confession: we’re serial snackers. While three meals per day is lovely in theory, we always manage to squeeze in a bite after breakfast, and again right before dinner (that doesn’t include lunch, of course!). But, rather than do serious damage on a bag of potato chips, we’re all about healthy mini meals that provide energy and a slew of beauty benefits.

Ready to kick your Frito-Lay habit to the curb? Stock up on Greek yogurt and these toppings next time you’re cruising the local grocery store. Smoother skin, fewer wrinkles, and stronger hair is served!

1. Blueberries - Remember when we added a handful of blueberries to our summer salad two weeks ago? The tiny berries are loaded with antioxidants, which have been dubbed by many as nature’s fountain of youth. Chow down and expect skin to look firm and glowing.

2. Nectarines - Hands-down, nectarines are the perfect addition to any summer dish. Not only are they often sweeter than peaches, they’re also rich in vitamin A and potassium (the former is an essential vitamin because of its ability to rebuild tissues and help heal scrapes, wounds, and other skin damages, the latter keeps cells hydrated and skin internally moisturized).

3. Walnuts (as also seen here when we created our summer salad) – If bad hair days have become the norm, add walnuts to your diet. As an excellent source of biotin, the nutrient strengthens tresses and promotes quicker hair growth.

4. Almonds - Is a bunch of acne owning some real estate on your forehead? Want to evict that blackhead from your nose? Rule 1: do not pop! Rule 2: scarf down some almonds. You can thank the nut’s abundance of vitamin E for that much smoother mug.

5. Hemp Seed - The trend of going organic isn’t just at your grocery store — many beauty brands are including hemp into their recipes for soaps, shampoos, and even toothpastes. The slew of vitamins, calcium, sodium, iron, and dietary fiber are not only great for good heart health, but they also help clear up skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dark spots.

6. Chia Seed - We sprinkle these bad boys on everything from oatmeal to fruit shakes. Why? Well, the little black seeds are the highest natural source of omega-3s, a fatty acid helps strengthen cell membrane barriers, helping to keep water and nutrients in and toxins out. Meaning a natural glow is just a few bites away!

7. Greek Yogurt - Often times the amount of protein found in Greek yogurt is double the amount that you’d find in a regular variety. Add a single serving to your diet, and fine lines will become a distant memory.

8. Honey - Step away from the sugar! If you need to add some sweetness to your meal, opt for a spoonful of honey instead. It will give you added energy without the inevitable crash that the refined sugars always provide.

Happy snacking!

BEAUTY BITES

Written by: Sarah St. Lifer, Graphic Design: Eunice Chun

Today is July 3rd, which means all you last-minute party people are stocking up on hot dog buns, burger patties, and ketchup for tomorrow’s festivities. And, while we’d never encourage you to ditch the traditional BBQ fare, we thought now would be an appropriate time to introduce you to our latest obsession: the summer salad. This one, which we crafted with all sorts of fruits and veggies, is the perfect dish to pair with all those finger foods you’ll be munching on come tomorrow afternoon. Each ingredient works overtime, keeping you full and feeling good. Now, if only that extra helping of mac n cheese had the same effect!

  1. Strawberries – Feeling under the weather? Snack on some strawberries! Rich in vitamin C, the delicious fruit doubles as an immunity booster and a fast-acting antioxidant.
  2. Grapefruit - Low in calories and high in fiber, grapefruit is an obvious addition to any summer dish. Just in time for swimsuit season, it increases the body’s metabolic rate, leaving you feeling fuller for much longer.
  3. Cantaloupe - Prone to breakouts from stress and anxiety? Chow down on cantaloupe — since it’s packed with potassium (a mineral which normalizes heartbeat and promotes supply of oxygen to the brain) fans of the fruit feel more relaxed and focused.
  4. Walnuts - If bad hair days have become the norm, add walnuts to your diet. As an excellent source of biotin, the nutrient strengthens tresses and promotes quicker hair growth.
  5. Heirloom Tomatoes - Boasting serious amounts of Lycopene, heirloom tomatoes are known for lowering the risk of cancer. The more colorful, the more Lycopene — so don’t be shy.
  6. Sugar Snap Peas - A veggie after our own heart! Not only are sugar snap peas fat-free, but they’re a good source of folate, a.k.a. a vitamin that helps achieve good heart health.
  7. Blueberries - Ranked numero uno in the world of antioidants (blueberries feature anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc, and iron… just to name a few!), there’s no denying the fruit’s appeal. Did we mention the superfood keeps skin looking super firm?
  8. Yogurt Cheese Crumbles - Considering yogurt cheese is more concentrated than a regular cup of yogurt, each serving offers additional relief from dry skin. Sprinkle away!

Underneath all that, don’t forget these little guys:

  • Avocado – Don’t be frightened by the fact that avocados are full of monounsaturated fat — when eaten in moderation, the compounds reduce inflammation, giving you glowing skin.
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts - A great way to add protein to any meal, brussel sprouts help prevent hair loss and restore healthy, vibrant strands.

And make sure to top the whole thing off with:

  • Oranges - These guys are an obvious go-to for vitamin C.
  • Coconut Oil drizzle - This raises the metabolic rate and therefore helps the body burn fat more effectively.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – When you add this to any dish or drink, you’re instantly giving your body a tiny detox by maintaining a healthy alkaline pH level.

Now with all the beauty benefits you’re getting from every bite in this salad, you surely won’t want to miss out on trying out this healthy summer dish!

SHUTTER BUG

Like many Instagram worshipers, you’ll find us glued to our feeds whenever we catch a free moment. But, when it comes to the heart of our jobs — a.k.a. those gorg tutorials and how-tos, we’re often questioned about which camera we use. You’re most likely to find us behind  lens of a Canon 5D. Sure, you’ll find more filters on an iPhone than drink options at Starbucks, but no smartphone will ever deliver the same detail as an SLR camera. Whether we’re capturing a close-up on some nail art or documenting a certain hair texture (as seen in the photo  below), our Canon never leaves our side. We’re so smitten with quality, we’ve had zero qualms with leaving behind our touchscreens when it’s time to seek out inspiration for upcoming TBD posts. As evidenced by our office’s mood board, toting around pro equipment is essential for capturing vibrant colors and crisp images — now we know how photographers felt before cell phones were equipped with lenses!

photos: Kristin Ess, written by Sarah St. Lifer

Not only does our day-to-day life influence our work, but so do the iconic muses of yore. You know what we’re talking about: those gasp-worthy portraits of Bianca Jagger dancing at Studio 54, Jackie O. dodging the paparazzi, or Sophia Loren being a bona fide bombshell at the beach. You could say we’re constantly borrowing from the old-school icons, while staying on top of today’s trends. Without the trusty trigger of our Canon along with some old school vintage photographs, our day-to-day might be a little less inspiring.

Confession: A bunch of those brilliantly-lit photos we publish on TBD were taken at night. Did we fool you? Well, blame it on the Canon 5D. Since our days are often booked with back-to-back meetings, the only availability we have for tutorials is when the sun starts to set (What can we say? We’re a dedicated bunch!). Even in low light situations, you can still achieve that clear and bright shot, sans a vibrant light source. Added bonus: You can rock that fancy ‘do to dinner! Magic!

When it comes to social media, we’re all about natural light. But, while shooting outdoors, we’ll sometimes encounter direct L.A. sunlight. Way harsh, Tai!  In order to make those snaps as perfect as a Noxzema commercial, we bust out our trusty Canon (can you tell we’re a Clueless-obsessed crew?). Trust, we’re still learning the camera’s many settings! But, just switching the tab from portrait mode to landscape helped us achieve that softer light we were searching for. (If only choosing a nail polish shade were that simple!)

The trickiest tutorials to capture? Probably nail art. Those features are all about the details, and it would be an injustice to those dazzling digits if we photographed them with anything less than a pro lens. Whether we’re zooming in on some glitter or photographing the end result, the Canon takes care of business. Sweet dreams are made of this!

What’s the point in preparing a magazine-worthy photo shoot when the camera quality isn’t up to par? We want our readers to enjoy every minute detail, down to the petals on some pretty peonies! Textures tend to be much more dynamic, and you can’t argue with the color quality. Wowza!

Even the everyday items in our studio look like little pieces of art when we snap ‘em with our Canon. Hair and makeup tools never let us down, so capturing them in a flattering way is the least we could do!

sponsored by Canon

Even off duty, we can’t help but bust out our “big girl camera”. Whether we’re on a hike, BBQ’ing by the beach, or braiding each other’s hair in the park (seems cliché but we do it!), the camera goes where we go! Check out our Graphic Design Assistant getting her hair done by one of our writers! Those out-of-office moments are just as important to us as the how-to’s. We couldn’t do it without our 5D, a.k.a. our secret weapon.

Do you own a Canon SLR? Are you planning on investing in one for your blog? If so, what model? Tell us about it in the comments below!

WE’RE TRIPPIN!

We love sharing our beauty travels with you. Our latest + greatest trip was to Toronto Canada where all the cool kids are! We were honored to speak on Unilever’s Be Groomed, Be Gorgeous panel with the hilarious George Kotsiopoulos from E!’s Fashion Police. In case you don’t know about Unilever, they have brands like Dove, Clear Hair, TRESemmé, Ponds, St. Ives, Vaseline, Q-Tips and a bunch of other brands you probably have in your bathroom. We got to meet Sharon MacLeod, Unilever Canada’s VP of Marketing, and she gave us some great insight into what’s coming up with many of their brands and we have to say– there’s some exciting stuff happening. On our panel, we discussed lots of beauty trends for 2013, tips on controlling oily skin, how to make better decisions on product while staring at the shelves and we even tapped into men’s trends with George. After the panel, we all got to test out new products that hadn’t hit the shelves, which for people in the beauty industry is really exciting. Particularly obsessed with this Vaseline “Spray + Go” that you’re going to DIE for!! It’s just a simple spray-on moisturizer but when you’re rushing out the door and you don’t want to get lotion all over everything, this is going to be a life-saver. How did no one come up with that sooner?? We also got these CUUUUTE little blinged out jars of Vaseline– j’adore! Some of our fave things that we checked out were the ever-expanding St. Ives line, innovative new styling products by Dove, and seeing the science behind Clear Hair. It was a fun day and we got to meet so many sweet Canadians! Thank you to Unilever Canada for inviting us to Toronto to share all the excitement of 2013!

Side note– Toronto (aka T-Dot) is such a great place! It reminded us a lot of New York in some ways. We went to this place called “The Bay” to go shopping. Inside we stumbled upon “The Room” where they carry the most INSANE high-fashion clothing we’ve ever seen in one spot. We wanted to live in that place! We stayed at the Shangri-La and couldn’t get enough of the noodles at Momofuku. We heart Toronto!