How I Deal With Anxiety

Living in a big city like NYC, and especially since modeling, I’ve become prone to running a little on the anxious side. I like to think of myself as a calm and collected, easygoing Canadian who is down to go with the flow but oftentimes find myself getting worked up, whether it be easily justifiable or not. I’ve learned some coping mechanisms but I’m not perfect and sometimes I slip. My cuticles for instance are bitten and chewed up since I was 13 which is one way my body 'deals' with stress, sometimes without me even knowing I'm doing it. Whether it be from living in a city of constant overdrive, comparing myself to others, or dealing with unexplainable emotions, here’s how I try my best to stay sane, stay grounded, and keep on smiling.

Living in New York City I feel blessed. It’s definitely not for everyone (and definitely not permanent for me) but for now, I have anything and everything at my fingertips, no matter what time of day and am continually stimulated by the electrifying energy of the city. It has a way of sparking all the ambition and drive into my core that living in a smaller city doesn't give me at this point in my life. The streets are a continuous symphony of cars humming, horns honking, people yelling all on their path to achieving their dreams, not stopping for any slow walkers on the way. Move out of the way or get out of our city, is something that I think runs through a lot of our heads. While some can’t live like this, I truly believe New York is not for the faint of heart, it’s exactly where I need to be right now, but is definitely a temporary situation. My heart beats faster here, I walk faster here, I talk faster and get-shit-done faster, but a lot of the times I feel it’s at the expense of my health and wellness. To combat the anxiety and still thrive in the city of dreams, I find it’s important to remove myself every once in a while, if work allows it. I’m lucky enough that for modeling, I can decide which city to be based out of. I can go to Germany or Los Angeles for the month to get away, I recently did a month-long trip to L.A., which always helps calm my senses. However, come the last week of the month I will be itching to get back, to fill my veins with whatever potion New York uses on you to keep you addicted to the grind. It works. But it also really helps me to be removed from it for a while. Even if it’s something as simple as going for a hike upstate for an afternoon. That little burst of fresh air and calmness is all I need to feel rejuvenated and get back to the grind. 

A friend of mine recently said every Friday, instead of going out for drinks, her and her husband will cook dinner together, throw on some classical music and slow dance the night away. Just by themselves in their apartment. No one to tell them what to do or how they should be having fun. They’re not removing themselves from the city per say but they’re removing themselves from the idea that on weekends, we must go out and drink to relax. For them, simply enjoying their home life and a good meal and of course each other’s company is the reset they need to feel energized to get back to work each and every Monday. Find what that something is. Find an activity you like that isn’t dictated necessarily by the city you live in or the people you hang out with and enjoy it to the fullest. I challenge you do it and maybe not even post about it too. Sometimes our best memories are the ones we keep to ourselves. 

On that note, my boyfriend and I have been living together for nearly six years. We’re lucky enough to have almost the exact same living standards. But of course we get on each other’s nerves and I think what’s helped us stay so close after six and a half years together is the fact we’re able to separate for a weekend or a month, focus on ourselves and have our “me time” and then similar to when I leave New York, it’s like we’re starting the relationship from scratch each time we meet back up again. This past L.A. trip, I was home before he was back from work and while I was waiting for him I felt like a little teenage girl excited to go on a date for the first time. I was giggly and nervous and it was exactly what we needed to hit the refresh button and get our own shit done respectively. 

Beyond living in a big city, another thing that ‘gets me’, i.e. makes me a nervous wreck from time to time is the negative side effects of social media. I’m not one of those anti-social media people, for me it allows me to share the entire picture of who is Britt and what my passions and hobbies are beyond modeling. It’s my portfolio for clients to look at so they see what kind of personality they’ll get by booking me for a shoot. It’s a platform I’m privileged to have 20 thousand people listening to me to share what charities I’m passionate about or what causes I think people should learn about. It’s a privilege. But naturally it comes with a down side. I try and let the whole numbers thing not get to me and I hope all the young girls and guys who are growing up with social media (mainly my brother’s generation, ages 10-18) realize that there’s so much more to the number of followers you have or the amount of likes you get. For me, it’s exceptionally hard because I often won’t get booked because I have somewhat of a small following. I always joke, it’s quality versus quantity, but none of the clients want to hear that. While I really don’t think 100,000 potentially bought followers who are mainly creepy men will affect the sales of whatever top or lipstick your modeling, no one has really caught on/checked the analytics to see if the higher numbers are positively affecting sales. Naturally, this gets to me. I see all my friends with hundreds of thousands of followers booking all the jobs I had casted for, or didn’t even get a casting for, and generally speaking most people only post their best selves. I truly admire and appreciate the girls who show the full picture, show off their bad skin that they inevitably get every once in a while, and who use their platforms to promote good causes (check out @cameronrussell, @renee.elizabethpeters, @anja_rubik, to name a few…). This is what I try and emulate and is when I feel most positive about my Instagram use for instance. When people respond to an environmental post that they’re going to stop using plastic bags, I’m thrilled. When I look at whatever the next celebrity kid is booking or how the shoot turned out for the casting I didn’t get, I feel defeated. 

What I find helps combat the part that makes me least confident, i.e. right after and endless scroll of social media seeing all the girls with better bodies, better skin, more work, more followers, is by getting off social media and not making it the thing that dictates my moods. Instead I know it sounds cheesy but reading a good book, writing in my journal or an article like this, going for a run or workout always leaves me feeling better about myself. Not working today but all the other models are? Use that to your advantage. They’re stuck in a studio all day, you get to go for a run, stay outside and lay in the sun or cozy up on the couch with a good book. It’s all about how you use the platforms and how easily it is for you to remove yourself from in once in a while. It’s hard not to compare yourself, no matter the career you’re in but always know that no one else can be you. You are your own self, you have your own beliefs and passions and things that make you unique and that’s what’s most beautiful about life, none of us are exactly the same.  When I post a decent selfie where my skin looks good, just know that’s me 10% of the time. The rest of the time I may have a zit or two or three and I may not always share the bad sides. Think Josh and I are always that sweet smily couple who look perfectly kept together and like we've never been in a fight? Hah!! We use social media to promote our best selves, often trying to be like the next best person but sometimes we can lose what makes us most unique in the process. So, as I write this (which is also an important reminder for myself to live by), I say be you, your full authentic self, nothing more and appreciate all the unique qualities you have and celebrate that!

Probably at the expense of living in a crazy city or being in an industry dictated by social media, sometimes the moods I get in feel completely unexplainable. I’m generally a pretty happy-go-lucky person but sometimes I’ll wake up in a funk that dictates how I feel and act all day, its unexplainable and it downright sucks. Generally speaking it’s because of something deeper I’m not tapping into like being overtired from work, an unresolved fight with a boyfriend or simply needing to relax and be by myself. So, if I find I’m in an unexplainable mood I always try and find out the root cause.  If I’m tired, I’ll skip the workout that day. If I have enough energy and think a workout will help get rid of the stress, I’ll do a little pump. If I’m feeling a lack of connection simply from grinding away too long, I’ll ask a friend to hang out together whether it be working at a coffee shop or going for a drink. A lot of the friends I surround myself with are always incredibly helpful in resolving whatever mood I may be in. The closest girls and guys I hang with are the types you leave each conversation feeling like you’ve learned something. The conversations are deep and exactly what I need to take my mood off of whatever negativity I’m feeling. Or we may be that ear they needed to talk to without any judgment and simply listen. Human interaction in a city like New York seems inevitable but oftentimes were so focused on all our work and projects we forget to make time for our friends. While this ‘solution’ is a little more far-fetched, I think a lot of the moods I get in personally can be solved if I try and find the root cause of whatever hurt I’m feeling. Whether it be writing in a journal, laying low with a good movie and comfy couch, a much-needed catch up with a friend or an adrenaline pumping workout, thinking deeply about all the ways your hurting and trying to fix them are a lot more helpful for me than moping around in my sorrows. 

This may seem like an oversimplified post that only affects a small population. I have an incredible job so how is it that I can get anxious or feel down sometimes? But I truly believe it’s something we all go through, to whatever degree, and I think taking time to think about your feelings and what makes you, you are what gets me through the hardest of days. If it’s unexplainable to a surmounting degree and it truly seems unexplainable, talk to a friend or loved one. Tell them you’re in a funk, you don’t know why and you just need a good hang or talk to get over it. Nothing is not worth reaching out to someone for, so always try and be true to your feelings and if it’s not something you can get up and change yourself, don’t feel bad. It’s normal to feel overworked, overwhelmed, unexplainably anxious and while the tools I share help me for the most part, a good chat with a friend is often the best medicine. 

A Little Reminder For The New Year...

There's nothing more satisfying than being able to hit the refresh button on New Year's Day as we set new goals and look back on ones previously written, a visual marker of your past year and what you have to look forward to. 

What I like about these lists are that they help me celebrate past accomplishments and gear me up for new ones ahead. However, instead of feeling good about ourselves, there's an endless amount of pressure on what we're meant to be for the next year, oftentimes a fabrication of the mass-media on what will make us 'better' people. Things like needing to lose weight, workout more, try harder, make more money, eat healthier, and the like. Pressure that amounts up to feeling 'less than' which negatively affects our emotional and physical state.  Not a good way to start any year!

As I looked back on my resolutions from last year, I was happy to see I had certain things checked off the list. But this year, I didn't feel too bad about things I had left untouched. I gained weight, I didn't hit the 5k mark on the ODM/ODC social media, I wasn't even close to writing one blog post a week, I had become less patient than the start of the year, Instagram was still a daily ritual and money was being spent on car-ride services as if I lived in a city with dismal public transport... When I really thought about it, for what I 'missed' on accomplishing I had so many more experiences and memories that weren't even goals of mine from the previous year's resolution. And that is what we should be celebrating the most! 

As I move forth into 2018 I will now asses how integral it is that I get old goals done as I edit and add to the New Year's resolution. Let's be honest, as much weight as we all think we need to lose, when we look back on old pictures we're always stunned at how good we looked, even if we were so unhappy at the time. It's all about perception and prioritizing the important things in life. While I'd never want my health or wellness to deteriorate, I'm not going to punish myself by skipping the cake and overworking myself in the gym. I know I feel best when I get a good workout in and have a sense of balance with my meals. Weight loss, not integral. Feeling happy, healthy and confident, integral (whether I gain a few pounds or not).

Meditation was such a big goal for mine this past year and so to hold myself accountable I will write daily about my meditation experiences and how I feel before and after each practice. Meditating will inevitably help me with other things on the list as well; stress management, patience, and health and wellness to name a few. The structure I found that worked incredibly well was to organize my list by important categories in my life:

  • WORK
  • PERSONAL
  • RELATIONSHIPS
  • SIDE HUSTLE

Of course we can all afford to do better and goal setting is something I am extremely passionate about but as I continue forth with the new year, I am trying my best to not get down on myself for what gets left unachieved. Societal standards are set so high and with social media we're constantly left feeling bad about ourselves. We see first-hand what beautiful trips our friends are going on, who is skinnier, what friend got whatever promotion and we often forget about our own achievements. 

So, as we start the new year off on the right foot  remember to never stop celebrating all you have achieved, however big or small it may seem. Continue to set realistic goals for yourself on your resolution lists and don't forget about the ones you've left behind, there's always next year to get them done. Track your daily rituals with journal-writing so you can look back on things you may have forgotten. Be happy for your friends and family who are living their best lives all whilst knowing we often only share our best moments on social media. Don't compare yourself so much and always be proud of the work you do, the life you live, the health you have and the person you are. 

Some products to help you keep on track, revisit past goals and to celebrate the new... <3

An Inside Look at Prestidge Beaute’ Active Organics

I've worked with Shawnelle Prestidge for the past few years at Amazon Fashion, both of us with a passion for organic, natural products and sustainability. That is why I couldn't be more proud to hear she has started her very own new skincare line, Prestidge Beaute’ Active Organics.

If you want your skin to look clean and clear with an effortless glow (ahem Shawnelle, who looks 15 years younger than she actually is...), this is her secret my friends! Prestidge Beaute’ Active Organics is the perfect complimentary product to any ODM on the go. 

And it works. And I mean really works. Shawnelle used her product to prep my skin, which had seen better days, on a recent shoot. A mix of stress, 'that time of the month' and having recently traveled, my skin was a bit of a mess. Within an hour, the red bumps were fading, my skin was no longer blotchy and all the swelling had gone down. Not only does it do the trick but it's also (thank god!) organic! The food we eat has enough toxins, preservatives and chemicals that we should try to eat organic whenever possible. It's just as crucial we take care of our skin, our body's largest organ and make sure it's being fed the healthy, nourishing ingredients it needs to thrive.  

And lastly, it's made by one badass mom who knows her stuff.  Thank you Shawnelle for solving all of our skin needs. Without further ado, Shawnelle Prestidge on how she started Prestidge Beaute' Active Organics. 

1) Tell us about your background in skin care and beauty.

I started out very early on as an esthetician—obsessed with beautiful skin and the idea of preserving it (and extractions)–but with a deep desire to be a makeup up artist working in fashion ‘one day’…and here I am many years later having come full circle. 

2) When did the idea come to you to create Prestidge Beaute’Active Organics?

I guess it started when I was forty, about to give birth, the economy had tanked, my skin was starting to change, and I suddenly realized that I was ready to make the 'organic serum of my dreams'! I wanted something that truly worked. Something I could use on my whole family, as well as all of my clients of any age and with all different skin needs: from healing rashes on toddler skin, acne on teenagers or reducing blotchy tones and puffy under-eye pillows to firming, plumping, and tightening mature skin or getting the perfect balance for oily, dry, and sensitive skin types. In the world of excess, I wanted one single universal serum to address and treat it all...and then the little love of my life entered the world...long pause! 

3) Tell us a bit about your perfect customer. Who are they, what do they look like, and how are you helping transform their skin?

My perfect customer is absolutely everyone.  All my products are for all skin types, ages and genders…POW!

4) Why is it integral to you to use organic ingredients?

I firmly believe that we as a society are suffering all sorts of allergies, ailments and far worse because of the poisons that we have been prescribed and encouraged to use in this ‘modern’ society, and in addition to putting clean nourishment into my body, I wanted to create something purely organic, that is highly effective, that will hydrate, heal, soothe, lift, firm, tighten, even out, de-puff, lift the spirit and bring our skin (the largest organ we have) into balance.

5) You use Miron Violet Glass for some of your packaging. What are the benefits of using this glass and how did you find out about it?

By doing my research, I discovered that Miron violet glass has outstanding proof of being able to preserve substances contained within it for long periods of time. Normal tap water, for instance, has been kept fresh in dark violet glasses for over 3 years without any problems and without any preservation or other techniques.

6) What does your daughter think about the new line? She must be excited to see you start and execute your own company.

To be honest, she's both excited and resentful…she loves the products and is very knowledgeable about the uses, but she would prefer that any time I spend on the business (particularily when it’s via my phone), be spent with her-and I agree…I am working on trying to balance my work/family balance.

7) You work with a lot of celebrities doing their skincare and makeup for events. What do they think of Prestidge Beaute’Active Organics?

Everyone is pretty excited about how their skin feels and looks…and often are floored by the results they witness within mere moments-it is one of the most thrilling part of this whole experience for me! It’s like they’ve witness a “miracle” or “magic”…and I sort of pinch myself, every time!

8) What makes you stand out against your biggest competitor?

Well I make this product by hand, and it is my own original formula, and results in an extremely effective, highly active organic skin care line that delivers results immediately!  I guess it can be said, the proof is in the pudding! And I have come up with some seriously supreme pudding!

9) You make all your products in your home, performing a Reiki ceremony to raise the healing vibration of your products, which I love! Do you think you’ll continue with hands on production in the future as you grow?

I would like to continue this process for as long as I am able…I have been putting a lot of thought into how to keep this going in this manner… 

10) How important is it to you to be sustainable and ethical?

Extremely!  The more companies figure out how to do it, the better off we will all be.

11) What are your biggest dreams and goals for the evolution of Prestidge Beaute’ Active Organics?

I would love to have everyone (who is drawn to what I have to offer) using the products and experiencing the incredible results that they’re certain to deliver, knowing that they are lovingly made with beautiful organic ingredients (and Reiki).

***BONUS***

USE CODE BB02 FOR $15 OFF YOUR AGELESS SKIN SERUM AND CODE BB03 FOR $15 OFF THE COLLECTION SPECIAL!! Join her mailing list and receive an extra %15 off your first purchase. 

Up and Down

All the glamour and dream building
Roller coaster soaring
High up in the sky, feeling light
More glitz, more glamour.
The rollercoaster stalls
Stuck in the middle trying to climb up
Sun begins to fade, she wipes away her tears.
Stopped in motion, friction, rejection, crowd pleaser.
Pinching and screaming and belittlement. Is it a nightmare?
Little girl lost, soul searching no where to be found.
Was the line up worth it?
Up and down.
Calm thoughts. 
The spark is lit. Carry on up, lift your chin up love, you have the world
High at the top. She is her best self. Authentic. She found her inner compass.
She’s living in the now. Detached from the screen. Fire blazing.
Soaring high into the heavens. 
When will the ride end..

Healthy Light Recipes, Perfect For Summer

ZUCHINNI NOODLE SALAD WITH TURKEY MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS

  1. 2 large zucchinis
  2. 1 lb ground turkey meat light fat
  3. 1-2 cans of tomato sauce (as little sugar as possible)
  4. Fresh garlic
  5. Fresh basil
  6. Cumin, smoked paprika, basil, oregano 
  7. Salt & pepper to taste
  8. Parmesan cheese 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Spiralize zucchini noodles until you get desired amount. Squeeze zoodles with paper towels to get rid of excess water
  • Mix ground turkey with spices in large mixing bowl
    • I like to use cumin, oregano, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, , smoked paprika and fresh garlic
  • Place cans of tomato sauce into large pot and begin to heat up
  • Roll into small balls and start to pan fry in 1 tbsp of coconut oil until browned
  • Place balls into pot with tomato sauce and let simmer for ~30 minutes
  • Top meatballs with fresh basil and parmesan if you like. Bon Appetite!

FRESH WATERMELON, MINT, FETA SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 Watermelon
  2. Fresh feta
  3. Mint leaves
  4. Balsamin glaze
  5. Olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut watermelon into bite size chunks
  • Crumble feta into bowl on top of watermelon
  • Cut up some fresh mint and sprinkle on top
  • For a little more flavor, I like drizzling a bit of olive oil and balsamic glaze on top (not pictured below)
  • Enjoy!

CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1/2 Cauliflower
  2. 2 Eggs
  3. Some non or light fat mozzarella cheese
  4. Light tomato sauce
  5. You can really top with whatever you feel like or have in your fridge! That’s what’s nice about your own personal pizzas

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Line baking tray with tin foil and spray generously with non stick spray (very important!)
  • Grate raw cauliflower with some type of blender until finely chopped (steam in microwave after grating. If you don’t have microwave, steam before on pan and then grate up in blender)
  • Squeeze all water out of cauliflower. I used a paper towel which was kind of messy and ripped up a bit. A thin, clean dish towel would be ideal to get all moisture out and ensure crisp crust
  • Mix in large bowl the raw cauliflower with salt, pepper, eggs (I used one yolk and just used the egg whites for the second) and 1/4 cup of cheese
  • Mix well until all is combined and then spread out on oiled baking sheet or tin foil until about 1/4 of an inch thick
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes on 450°
  • Take out and put all your ingredients on top, tomato sauce, maybe some more cheese, veggies, etc. and broil for 6-10 mins (watch so it doesn’t burn)

SMOKED PAPRIKA 'FRIES'

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1-2 Eggplants
  2. Olive Oil (or coconut oil) spray to spray bottom of pan and top of fries
  3. Smoked Paprika
  4. Stevia 
  5. Sea salt to sprinkle

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Cut up eggplant into thin strips about an inch wide and a couple centimeters thin
  • Spray pan with olive oil and cover pan completely with fries
  • Cover fries with smoked paprika (I like a lot of flavor so I sprinkle quite a bit on top)
  • Shake one packet of stevia over top- this will give them a bit of caramelization
  • Sprinkle with desired amount of salt
  • Bake at 450° for 15-20 minutes (the blacker they become the more bacon-flavored. I like them a nice dark brown but not burnt)
  • A side of reduced sugar ketchup won’t disappoint;)

INGREDIENTS

  1.  1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  2. 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  3. 2.5 tbsp maple syrup
  4. A pinch of sea salt flakes (to stir into chocolate mixture and to top cups with at the end)
  5. 1/4 cup nut butter (try and find one with no sugar)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Whisk cacao, salt, and maple syrup into melted coconut oil until smooth
  • Pour 1 tsp of choco mix into muffin/cupcake tin cases and place molds into freezer for 5 minutes until firm
  • Remove from freezer and place 1-1/2 tsp of nut butter into center of each chocolate. Then place back into freezer so nut butter can harder a little bit
  • Remove from freezer and top each with 1 tbs of remainder of the chocolate mix. Place in freezer for 30 minutes minimum. (Take out 5 minutes in and sprinkle with sea salt flakes if desired. Then place back in freezer for remainder of the 30 minutes.)
  • These are raw so eat immediately or store in an airtight container in fridge. (I made about 8 large cups with this recipe but you could use smaller tins and get many more.)

The No-Make Up Make Up Look, Here's How!

It took me a while to learn how to properly do my makeup, you know the kind that looks natural enough it seems like you’re not wearing any, but just enough that you can leave the house with confidence.  I don’t know about you but in high school I did my make up as if I was going out to a club, every day. After a few years of my mother pleading with me to wear less or at least blend better, in addition to getting my makeup done daily by professionals, I like to think I’ve learned enough that  I can help you achieve the off-duty make-up look.

Less is more, as I’m sure you’ve heard before. When starting with my face, if I find I need a full coverage I’ll apply a thin layer of tinted moisturizer all over. The tinted moisturizer takes away some redness but also helps keep my face hydrated so it won’t look too cakey or dry like a full foundation would.  RMS Un Cover-Up is made with coconut oil, thus hydrating the skin while providing a thin layer of coverage. Sometimes I’ll even add a little of my own moisturizer into the mix, (Pai is great and smells devine) so I can have a little extra glow. If my face is relatively clear of redness and spots, instead of adding full coverage I’ll simply add a little concealer to each spot and let the rest of my skin breath. I just tried out Nu Evolution and love their camouflage cream. It has a bit more coverage than RMS but is still hydrating and leaves the skin looking fresh and clean. 

 

After my face is taken care of, I’ll move onto my cheeks. If it’s summer I’ll add some bronzer to the high bone of my cheeks, extending all the way to my hairline, up around my brows and even the top of my forehead. I want it all to blend in and think adding a light layer all over my face ends up looking best, rather than just on my cheeks. Instead of spending hours under the sun, I recommend getting a spray-on tan or applying a light layer of bronzer if you're after that glow. It's important to put on sunscreen everyday before you add anything to your skin. You can find ones that are light enough for your face and similar to the amount of water you drink, sunscreen will help you look youthful as you age. 

 In winter I prefer using blush as I find it goes better with pale skin to have a light flushed look. RMS has a great product called "Lip 2 Cheek" where you can blend in their cream on your cheeks for a flushed look or add some to your lips for a little more color. I find it looks more natural if you end up using the same color for both. Oftentimes, make up companies use the same formulas for eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, etc. They market it differently so you end up buying more. To save money, buy one color you love that you can use on your eyes, cheeks and lips. Click the images below for some of my favorite colors. 

I’ll then move onto my eyebrows, something I consider to be the focal point of many people’s faces when done right. I love using a brow brush and very lightly filling in the missing areas. EcoBrow has a great defining wax that is tinted and helps keep them in place because of the wax. I may extend the end of my brows a bit and then brush them out so they look full and healthy. After filling in the missing spots, I love using a toothbrush with hair spray! It holds all day and brushes them out nicely, sometimes better than a lot of eyebrow brushes. 

I tend to not do too much to the eyes. I may curl my lashes a bit and leave it at that or add a bit of mascara if I find I need some definition. 

If you literally want to shine you can add a little sparkle to your high cheek bone and high-brow area with a little shine stick. This gives you a little more glow and helps add definition to your face so your make up doesn’t look too flat. If my skin looks dehydrated, I'll use Weleda Skin Food as a highlighter. It provides the perfect amount of shine and moisture to the face. Tata Harper and Ilia also have great illuminators. Try putting them on the high of your cheekbone and extending near the hairline, the bridge of your nose, the high bone of your eyebrow right above your eyelid and right at the top of your mouth where your lip dips. 

For my lips, chapstick is my go-to. It’s the one thing I would bring with me if I was stranded on an island. To look more dressed up I’ll use one that has a little tint to it. Otherwise I’m all set with my Mongo Kiss Eco Lips that has a sheer shine to it. 

After the eyes and lips are taken care of, I may touch up some of the spots with concealer that got smudged and finish off with a little matte powder from RMS in my T-zone. Et voila! A natural off-duty model look ready for a casual outing with friends but nice enough if you happen to run into a colleague or client you don’t have to worry about your brows being out of place. 

We’re putting this stuff on our skin, our body's largest organ so why wouldn’t we consider using the best, organic ingredients? All the products I've shared with you heal and nourish our skin so we don’t have to think twice about leaving it on for too long. The key is to drink lots of water, keep your face as hydrated as possible, moisturize and exfoliate when you're at home and let your skin breath with these light products that are yes, even good enough to eat!  

 By Taea Thale for Self Magazine&nbsp;

By Taea Thale for Self Magazine 

How to Make Every Day Earth Day!

What an incredible past month we’ve had in taking strides towards becoming more transparent and cognizant with sustainability and our environment. I’ve become more inspired than I knew was possible with events ranging from discussion panels at Fashion Revolution week to the People’s Climate March in Washington, and of course, Earth Day [which I celebrated a few weeks ago with SoRipe]. In light of this important month, I thought I’d share a bit of information on Earth day, some takeaway points and how you can make simple changes to contribute to the movement.

Earth Day was formed in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin as a way to spread awareness nationally about the environment. He was inspired by the anti-war movement and saw Earth Day as a way to teach others about air and water pollution, which was especially important after a massive oil spill that occurred in Santa Barbara in 1969. [1]

In just one year Earth Day was so popular that it led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency which subsequently led to the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. By 1990, Earth Day had become a global event. 

Present day, there are unfortunately still many people refuting the idea of climate change; well-funded oil lobbyists, the disinterested public and our newly appointed President Donald Trump. The sense of urgency to spread awareness and fight for a clean environment is still strong and perhaps it’s even more crucial as our President shares his negative views of climate change, especially as he looks to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement.  Fortunately, there are still over a billion people celebrating Earth Day each year and who continue to make it their mission to do good for our planet. [2] 

Mia Yamaguchi, coordinator at the CoolClimate Network at University of California, Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, brings up a good point about the importance of an individual’s impact on climate change in an article on Life Science. We have the power to significantly improve and manage our own environmental impacts by making small changes; taking mass transit instead of driving, recycling, and ditching the plastic utensils are a few that first come to mind. With other things like foreign relations, or national debt, it takes a lot more political involvement to make a small change with a lot less participation from the individual. [3] 

Having lived in New York for the past five years, I have become extremely aware of my carbon footprint and how I can make a change. From the amount of taxis I was taking to castings to the waste as a result of the fashion industry I work in, I began to realize that I was a lot more part of the problem than I thought I was and have made small adjustments in the way I live to ensure I’m a bigger part of the solution. 

On that note, for Earth Day this year I teamed up with SoRipe, an organic health food catering company to go to New Hampshire for a retreat where all 25 of us would get out of the city and surround ourselves with nature. My friend and fellow model Dani Seitz helped organize the event with activities ranging from a hike up Mount Sunapee to candlelit yoga to an organic spa night. We not only wanted this retreat to be a celebration of our Earth but to also raise awareness about the impact we all have on the environment. 

The hike we did on Earth Day, April 22, proved to be the medication we all needed, whether we knew it or not. It didn’t matter how hungry we were, how tired we were, or if our broken toe was hurting or not (sorry Doc, the hike was definitely not flat and I definitely made it worse than it was) but it was worth every minute of the four-five hours we were there. Everyone couldn’t get over how full of life they felt taking in the fresh air as we made our way to the misty mountain top. 

In addition to our hike, we reached out to a few environmentally conscious companies to provide some samples to test out and use. These companies take environmental protection to heart and are fully transparent with all of their practices.

Health-Ade Kombucha
Health-Ade ensures high-quality and good taste for their fermented teas, also known as kombucha. Everything is certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, raw, vegan, and kosher. They look to inspire people to look good and feel good; something that they believe comes from having a healthy gut. 

Herbivore Botanicals
Herbivore values safe, non-toxic products that are good for you and made with natural ingredients from our environment. Every ingredient they use are there for a specific therapeutic reason with no fillers of any kind used. They’re not tested on animals and are made with an emphasis on high quality food-grade ingredients. Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything we put on it into our bloodstream. Herbivore ensures everything you use is just as good as the organic food you feed yourself. 

Justin’s
Justin’s is a nut butter company that values innovation and corporate consciousness. Integrity and transparency with their staff and consumers is of up-most importance to Justin’s every step of the way. They take care of the earth by sourcing local, high-quality ingredients, simplifying the supply chain and by mitigating their environmental impact. 

Keap Candles
Keap was created to provide consumers with a middle ground; a candle that was neither full of harsh chemicals nor overly priced. In addition to making candles that are better for our health and our pockets, Keap started as a Public Benefit Corporation to provide better access of affordable, sustainable living to people outside of the electrical grid. They’ve partnered with SolarAid to provide solar light to communities in need through their Buy a Candle, Light a Home program. 

Prana
Prana considers every type of person when they make their clothes with sustainability, style and versatility always to heart. They go out of their way to ensure every part of their supply chain is sustainable from the materials they use to the suppliers and factories they work with. The doers, makers and shakers that wear their clothes not only value style and design but are also environmental enthusiasts that need their clothes to last more than a few washes. 

 

It’s important for us to remain conscious of our habits whether it’s Earth Day or not. We have made significant victories since Earth Day’s began 47 years ago [6], and should continue holding ourselves and our policy makers accountable to our environmental footprint so we can continue with victories. 

While I consider myself a feminist, an organic food advocate and a democratic health care proponent, none of that matters in comparison if we’re living on an unstable planet where communities are forced to migrate because of climate change or if the health of certain neighborhoods are compromised because of their geographic location. Our planet cannot sustain life if we continue to ignore the signs it’s sending us of how unsustainably we’re living. I don’t want my grandkids to ask me why we had the resources (and common sense) to protect our planet and why we chose to ignore them. 

Here are some small steps you can take towards living more sustainably. You shouldn’t feel the pressure to change every way in which you live but as Yamaguchi of CoolClimate stated, we as individuals can make crucial, positive impacts on our climate in small ways and all of that starts with self-awareness.  

1.    Donate
•    If you don’t have the time to get as political as you’d like, invest in companies that are doing the work and research for you! 
•    Project Tsehigh is a nonprofit that provides renewable energy sources to impoverished communities around the world.
•    Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. 
•    EarthJustice is the legal backbone helping back organizations big and small that protect our environment.

2.    Go for a hike
•    Explore the outdoors and enjoy what mother nature has to offer you. It’s a natural remedy that will calm your nerves and lower your stress levels. It’s a great workout and an awesome way to bond with friends and loved ones.

3.    Use mass transit (or better yet, walk or bike!)    
•    Public transportation dramatically reduces vehicle emissions and pollutants that create smog. 
•    Transport accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions just from the U.S. Public transportation will help significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile. [7]

4.    Air dry your clothes
•    In most households, the dryer is the third-most energy-hungry appliance, after the fridge and washer. If we air dry, we have the potential to lower our average household carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds per year. [8]
•    Dryers account for almost six percent of a household’s annual electricity consumption. You can dramatically reduce your spending if you decide to switch to air drying. [9]

5.    Stop using plastic water bottles, straws and utensils. Use reusable water bottles and carry reusable utensils with you. 
•    Over the last ten years, we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. 
•    Enough plastic that is thrown away each year is enough to circle the earth four times. 
•    Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles per year. 
•    It takes 500-1000 years for plastic to degrade. [10]
•    Need a reusable water bottle? Find ours HERE!

6.    Become a conscious consumer. Buy less, buy better!
•    The pattern of consumption has changed so dramatically; we now purchase 400% more than we used to only 20 years ago. [13]
•    Especially in fashion, we’re taught to buy into seasonal, trendy clothes that often only last a few wears, if that, before they’re tossed into landfills.
•    The average American throws away 82 pounds of textile waste each year which end up in landfills, often taking over 200 years to degrade [13]
•    Buy less, buy better; invest in fashion that will last many wears, won’t go out of trend and are made by companies that value an ethical and sustainable production chain. [14]

7.    Educate yourself
•    There are a ton of amazing books, documentaries, and bloggers out there taking charge to raise awareness on climate change and environmental harm. If you’re looking to learn more, start small by educating yourself. 
•    EcoCult, Sustaining Life and Huffington Post Reclaim are all great resources to get in the know.

8.    Get political
•    I myself never considered myself a political person until I realized the importance of each individual to speak up and get involved
•    By voting, donating, or going on a march, you can add to the masses and stick up for change. The fact that we live in a democratic society is so important and often overlooked. We have this incredible privilege to be political so don’t let it go to waste!

9.    Lower your red meat intake
•    In the U.S. red meat, especially beef, accounts for a lot of resources that cause a lot of waste and global warming emissions. [15]
•    Animals require an enormous amount of water to grow crops for the animals to eat. A single cow will drink up to 50 gallons of water per day. 
•    It takes almost 20 times less land to feed someone on a vegan-style diet. [16]
•    Red meat specifically causes 10-40 times as many greenhouse gasses as vegetables or grains. [17]
•    If you’re a red meat fanatic, simply consider lowering your intake or making sure the meat you have is from organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed animals. Small steps can create a huge change for the better! For the better of our environment and for the betterment of your health! [17]

 

Healthy Restaurant Cheat Sheet

Here's a list of healthy restaurants so you can stay on track wherever in the world you may be...

NEW YORK

LONDON

PARIS 

TOKYO

TORONTO

MIAMI

LOS ANGELES

SAN FRANCISCO

 

HELP US FIND MORE

Do you have a healthy restaurant you absolutely LOVE? Submit your suggestion here, we’d love to check it out!

 
*All pictures found on restaurant's Facebook pages, Yelp, or restaurant's web pages

How I Stay Healthy When I Travel

You’ve been extremely healthy, working out before work five times a week, even getting some gym time on the weekends while everyone’s out boozing at brunch. Your lunch consists of delicious fresh salads that you prepared at home and hey, you even get a compliment or two from your friends about how great you look. Unfortunately for you, you’ve got a trip coming up which you know will lead to the inevitable decline of your healthy routines as you are forced to pick away at the airplane food and way are too tired to hit the hotel gym (if you’re lucky enough to have one). 

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot for work and have tried to figure out the best way I can stay healthy on the go. If I’m about to have a treat meal, I want it to be the best pizza I’ve laid my hands on, not something stale and defrosted that I have to take out of a plastic wrapping on an airplane. 

The best tip I can give you is to prepare ahead. It may take 20 extra minutes of your time but it saves you a ton of money and calories in the long run. 

To start, I always think about where I’m going, what time the flight is, if and when I’ll be hungry and to always plan for delays. I’ll usually make a simple salad before my flight, carry it in my own Tupperware that I can later use to make more meals for the flight home. If I’ll be overnight and need breakfast at some point, perhaps at the hotel, instead of spending $8-10 on oatmeal that I know should only cost $4 max, I will wash the salad container I used on the first flight and mix my oats in them the next morning. If I have time, instead of relying on room service for dinner I’ll try to hit up a grocery store and find an easy pre made salad or something I can quickly whip up. I’ll even buy a bit extra to throw back in that same Tupperware for a meal or snack on the flight home. Tupperware=GOLD! 

Some of my favorite go-to travel snacks:

  • Apple slices
  • Raw almonds & walnuts
  • Goji berries
  • Bananas
  • Chia seed bars
  • Seaweed snacks
  • Protein powder and rolled oats
  • Coconut flake chips (unsweetened)
  • Berries
  • Carrot sticks
  • Empty water bottle to refill past security
  • Gum, mints & candies
     
 
 
 

Mix 1/2 cup of oats and a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Cut up 1 banana into slices and mix with the dry rolled oats. Add hot water (no need to boil). Mix together until you get a consistency you like.

 

Preparing ahead of time can ensure whatever you feed yourself when you travel is healthy. Let’s be honest, a lot of the hotels won’t have a gym, let alone you having enough energy after that eight-hour flight to consider working out. So why not take the time and invest in what you’re feeding yourself? You can always get back on your workout routine when you get back. Your seatmates on the plane will be drooling over your brown rice chicken salad while they have to eat that pizza. Savor the flavor and savor those looks, you worked hard to prep and you deserve all the credit! 

Here are a few of my favorite protein powders: