glowing from the inside out: a visual interview with the inspiring lady creators of Skin Food Talk
Better Happier readers, I'm so excited to introduce you to my new favorite duo.
My long lost spirit animal-soul sisters Tara and Hayley of Skin Food Talk truly inspired me during my recent week spent photographing Free People's Escape to Todos Santos, Mexico. Skin Food Talk is focused on getting you balanced and glowing from the inside out. As someone who is totally overwhelmed by which skincare product actually works best for me, and has many a dietary restriction, I was in love with their message from the first moment I heard it.
During our week in Mexico Tara kept everyone full and happy with amazing vegan & gluten-free smoothies, tacos, pozole and fajitas, just to name a few- all using local produce, inspired by the cuisine of the region. Hayley gave everyone new insight into their skincare routine, leading the group in a beauty workshop that made us all realize the importance of learning the proper method for our daily cleansing.
What I found more inspiring than Hayley's skin secrets, or Tara's delicious recipes were how relatable the two of them were. It's not a foreign concept to most that the way we treat our inside will in turn affect our outside, but it doesn't mean we practice it as diligently as we should. These ladies will inspire you to be diligent, be better and let yourself emphasize the need for self care. I consider myself relatively savvy when it comes to being in tune with what my body needs, but after spending time with these two, I left Mexico feeling like I finally had real tools to be the best, healthiest version of myself, a theme that seems to fit in seamlessly here at Better Happier.
Thank you ladies for sharing your wisdom and positive spirit with us all!
read on to hear from Hayley & Tara about skin, food, and what keeps them feeling fulfilled
What inspired you to become a nutritionist?
I started to dive deep into health and nutrition when immediate family became ill. I didn’t understand why, and what was happening and if I was predisposed to disease. So I started to research and make changes in my own diet. I grew up eating a lot of packaged goods, had the biggest sweet tooth for ice cream, cookies and peanut butter cups and never ate salad or vegetables. When I started to see the difference in eating real whole foods every day I realized I could help others and share my knowledge.
What do you tell people when they say that eating organically & sustainably is too expensive?
There is always a way to make it work and if you live in a city it’s even easier to find inexpensive ways to get real whole foods. Like shopping at local farmers markets, or co-ops and even Trader Joe’s. Meal prepping for the week can also help keep cost down. If you make a big pot of grains and chop of veggies and your choice of protein you can have that for lunch or dinner a few times over a week. It’s just about getting creative and thinking ahead. And in the long run your health can improve and you’ll end up saving on health care.
I'm curious what is the most common thing your
clients end up removing from their diet? If not the most common then what
do you notice people being the most sensitive to?
One common theme amongst clients would be becoming sensitive too is what they eat the most of. Say they have dairy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or red meat or gluten like pasta’s all day long. Getting people to add in variety is a common factor amongst clients.
Everyone loves to hear about a breakfast routine, or at least I do! What's yours?
I love breakfast! Like obsessed, I have to have breakfast food first thing or my day is just not right. My breakfast routine consists of drinking a large glass of water when I wake up and then typically I’ll make a smoothie (like the S/F/T smoothie). After the smoothie I would eat granola with a nut milk if I have in the house or avocado toast. If I’m eating out I’ll get eggs with avocado slices. I think it’s really important to start your day with something rather than waiting until lunch to eat your first meal. I’ll also make coffee with coconut oil and Sun Potion's Tocos or a dandelion tea with Tocos and coconut oil if I’m not on a caffeine kick.
It seems like slowly but surely there is less of a push for fad diets, and more of a focus on being balanced, and eating real food. Is there a diet trend you wish would go away already?
Yes, all of them lol but really just the word “diet” I wish would go away. We don’t need to live our lives on a diet to be our best. Let’s get back to eating food that grows from the ground, eat seasonally and often. Celebrate food, savor it, cook more and make your own rules.
What inspired you to become an esthetician?
A few things led me down this path but I guess it all started when I was 10 and got my first full on breakout. I remember waking up one morning and noticing that my forehead felt like mountains had grown on it overnight. It was heartbreaking and didn’t end for another 11 years. Years later while I was nearing the end of my first semester in college I visited my sister at the spa she was working at and she introduced me to the lead esthetician of her spa. This was the first time I had heard the term “esthetician” even though I had been obsessed with skincare and was struggling with my own skin for such a long time. It was literally like hearing a Beatles song for the first time because I was in love with everything about it and couldn’t figure out why it had taken so long for me to hear that magic word. I asked her how she got into her profession and she told me of her journey and it mirrored mine so much. She had gone to the Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Downtown Milwaukee, which coincidentally was just a quick bus ride away for me. So the next day, in the middle of a wintery day I took the bus to take a tour of the beauty school without telling my roommate, parents, boyfriend or anyone else. After taking a tour of the facility I knew this was what I was searching for all along and signed up without hesitation. I called my dad afterwards and he said he wasn’t surprised since I was so obsessed with skincare. And now I’m in my 11th year and can’t even recall what my life was like before I became an esthetician. It’s an extension of my being now and I love helping others with their skin. It’s my greatest honor to help anyone cope with a skin condition that I’m much too familiar with like acne.
What question do you get asked the most from your clients?
I get questions all over the board but the one that most people who first meet me tend to ask is; “What is the number one thing you should do for your skin?” and I constantly feel like I disappoint since it’s not just one thing. We are all so unique and different that individual care and customization is key. There are definitely the basics like - drink water, wear sunscreen and get lots of sleep but I like to dive deeper.
what do you find yourself saying if people
think organic skincare & beauty is too expensive an alternative to the mainstream?
This drives me a little crazy because that statement is false in my opinion. I spend way less money on skincare now because everything is so much more potent since there are no filler ingredients to waste away the good stuff. It also depends on how you prioritize your spending in general, I have never had a hard time spending a lot on my skincare because it has always been something that brings me joy and my skin can tell such a difference. There is also such a range too from brands that are more affordable to those who are a little more expensive, so there is something for everyone in terms of quality, organic skincare.
Typical morning skincare routine. Lay it on me!
Morning routines are so much fun because they help me wake up in the morning! Before I start anything on my skin I drink a ton of water with fresh lemon to help flush toxins and rebalance my hydration as our skin sheds a lot of waste overnight. If I’m working out in the morning, I’ll do a mist of hydration just so I don’t feel too dehydrated but I’m not suffocating my skin before I sweat. I don’t wash my face in the shower either but I will do a mask instead if I think of it. I wait until after the shower to wash at my sink so I can make sure that I progress to the next step of my routine much faster and I can control how the water is touching my skin. Since most people tend to take super hot showers it can be a little rough on our skin and unintentionally sensitize us. Our skin needs to be balanced almost immediately after we cleanse since it will start to feel tight and dehydrated otherwise. So once I am done cleansing with a gentle cleanser like Easy Does It by One Love Organics or an exfoliating cleanser like May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt, I tone my skin with a rose or aloe based mist like Josh Rosebrook’s hydrating accelerator. Once my skin is still sort of damp I add in a few drops of an antioxidant rich serum to help protect my skin from oxidative stress that the LA environmental pollution could cause. Some of my favorites are Kypris’ Antioxidant Dew or Kahina’s Brightening Serum. Once I’m finished with that I add in a light layer of SPF minerals or moisturizer with SPF like Josh Rosebrook’s Nutrient Day Cream. Keep it simple, consistent and make sure you are protected with plenty of antioxidants and SPF.
I feel like I read a million different articles about "your skin needs THIS product NOW!" Are there any skincare trends you are so beyond over?
Can I just be over skincare trends in general? Your skin should not be thought of like your wardrobe, so populating a particular ingredient is not my favorite thing. I like knowing what people are talking about and are excited for but I also find that some people get too into it and end up wasting their money. Staying educated on what ingredients do is different and can be a really valuable tool when you are needing to tune in and make changes to your routine. Trending skin care is a little much but I’m all for spreading awareness and education.
Skin Food Talk
This year is off to an amazing start for you ladies, where do you see
Skin Food Talk growing as the year presses on?
Hayley: We have a lot of dreams which is exciting because so many of them have already been manifested. We are launching our first e-book in February so that’s huge!
Tara: Sharing our E books will be huge for us. Honestly S/F/T has been so organic from the start, taking on a life of its own that we never expected so I’m just excited to continue to watch it grow and go with the flow. We know what we stand for and want to share and create so I have faith it will just get better from here.
What was the biggest inspiration to hit the ground running as a team?
Hayley: I never would have been inspired to spread any information I have stashed in my brain if it weren’t for Tara. I have a lot of experience on doing events for other brands and representing someone else’s idea so I had no idea how fulfilling it would be to create our own talk. Tara has definitely been the mastermind in how we can spread the word since she is a networking queen and has a lot of experience creating incredibly successful wellness events. After our first talk last year at Soho House WEHO, we were asked what was next from us and it inspired us to keep the conversation going.
Tara: I knew just after meeting Hayley that we had to do something together it was just a matter of what. Our first talk came together so effortlessly that we knew we had to keep growing both individually and together. The biggest inspiration for me has been the community S/F/T events have gathered (really the attendees feedback and support has blown me away).
It's incredible to see two female peers pouring so much love andpositive energy into their business. What would you say keeps you feeling
fulfilled as Skin Food Talk evolves?
Hayley: I love it when we hear how someone shared our information from a talk because it means they learned something exciting enough to tell their friends or family about. Each talk we get different questions which also keeps us on our toes and I love that. I learned something new each time as well because we get great feedback from the audience. It becomes just a wonderful health conversation about how to care for yourself.
Tara: My feelings are the same as Hayley’s. I feel like I learn just as much as someone attending our events or working with us one on one.