5 Local Bloggers / IG Accounts You Need To Follow!

As someone who is constantly on the lookout for new and interesting content, I have always found blogger / Instagram round ups super helpful. As a blogger myself, I love that round ups make finding other like-minded people super easy and accessible because of the fact that a bunch of profiles are curated together in one post. I decided to put together my own roundup of my 5 favourite local bloggers and Instagram profiles that I have stumbled across over the past couple of months. I’m guilty of creeping every person on this list, so if you’re looking for new people to follow, look no further! (And even if you aren’t from Calgary, I still think all of these ladies are worth checking out!)


 

Chelsea Tan – IG: @chelseadaily.co / BLOG: chelseadaily.co

I found Chelsea’s Instagram profile through hashtags (seriously, they’re the one place I would recommend looking through, especially if you’re looking for local people to follow), and I’m really glad I did! It’s also how I discovered her blog. I really love her blog because she writes about her adventures around Calgary, which makes me want to go out and explore. I also love how she keeps it real and isn’t afraid to talk about more personal things, such as her mental health. I feel like I can relate to her in a lot of ways (My favourite blog post of hers is this one, where she talks about her university experience. I relate to this so hard, and I feel like a lot of my followers might too!), and I admire her realness and transparency. It’s something I think social media (and the world in general) could use more of.

Ally Rasmussen – IG @ally.raz

My local girl crush, in every sense possible!! First of all, Ally’s feed is goals. I love how clean she makes everything look. So aesthetically pleasing! I love her sense of style, and I get so much outfit inspiration from her. She also recently went blonde, so make sure to go and comment on her pictures and tell her how much of a babe she is!!! Ally is more than a pretty face and feed though. She also does tarot card readings, with more information all conveniently located on her IG profile!

Karleen Valencia – IG: @karleensamson / WEBSITE: karleen.ca

Okay, so I don’t know if this is biased because she’s my boyfriend’s cousin (also it feels weird to just type Karleen because ya girl is a respectful Filipina ok), but Ate Karleen is just goals in general. If you’ve read my blog post about representation, I talked about how I never really had any Asian role models that looked like me. But ever since CJ and I started dating, and I timidly introduced myself to her, Ate Karleen has become one of the strong (literally), female, asian role models in my life. She honestly drips in confidence, is effortlessly cool, she’s super involved in the community, and is an all-around powerful human being.  I love the way she takes and edits her photos, and I admire how she is just always herself. Ya girl is already working towards getting on her frequency.

Dezleigh Teodosio – IG: @dezleighh / BLOG: dezleighh.com

I have actually been following Dezleigh for a while now. She was kind of the first local “influencer” I found out about. As ignorant as this sounds, back before I started learning about blogging and making money through social media, I always just assumed people who have large followings and who work with brands couldn’t be from a place like Calgary. But Dezleigh has proven me wrong (obviously). Since I started following her, she has grown her audience considerably and has gotten to work with numerous brands, which is well-deserved because you can tell she works hard and deserves every opportunity that comes her way! Her blog is more than just your typical lifestyle blog. I love her outlook on things, and that she talks about more than just beauty and outfits. Dezleigh talks about a lot of personal life experiences, and she is continuously learning and growing. You can feel her bubbly personality through her posts, and is definitely someone who is worth a follow!

Shaleza – IG: @shaleza.yyc

I found Shaleza’s IG account on my Explore page. The one thing that really made me interested in her profile, and made me want to follow her right then and there were her flatlays! She composes them so well, and her flatlays never look too “staged”. Since I’m such a sucker, it makes me want to go out and buy all her favourite products. On her page, you’ll find lots of beauty and makeup related photos, outfit inspo, some quotes to get you through the day (which I personally love and think are so cute!), and nailfies! And if you know me, you know I admire a fresh set of nails, whether on me or someone else! Shaleza is totally relatable and her IG feed, to me, is one big mood board.


And there you have it! Please give all these lovely ladies a follow, I’m sure you won’t regret it. If you have any other bloggers or Instagrammers that you think I should check out, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments! And they don’t even have to be from Calgary, I love anyone with a pretty feed!

💖, B

The Skin I’m In

For as long as I can remember, my peer group has always consisted of mostly Filipinos. Growing up, and even sometimes now,  the one thing that everyone seemed to always point out was our contrasting skin colors. A lot of my friends had lighter skin, and I always heard remarks such as “You’re so dark!” or “How do you get so dark?” as if it was something to be ashamed of. At first, this never really bothered me because it was something that was always said to me (which is the reason we should stop normalizing toxic Flip culture and standards of beauty!!!!!). But eventually, these remarks began affecting my self-esteem and how I saw myself as a person. My skin colour became something I was hyper-aware of. I always felt a bit awkward in the summer months whenever I would be wearing shorts and tanks every day while my friends would be wearing pants, jackets or close toed shoes because they didn’t want to get dark.

The sad thing is, I’m sure my friends don’t mean anything by their comments. And I definitely don’t hold it against them! The thing is, this is something that’s almost like common sense in Filipino culture. Whiter = better. This belief isn’t a problem exclusive to Filipinos, as I know many southeast Asian cultures promote the same thing. It’s just crazy to, me that in this day and age, someone’s worth and someone’s beauty can all be boiled down to the colour of their skin… It’s not okay!!!!

Besides the women in my family, I never had a role model that looked like me. Even when I turn to Filipina or Asian celebrities that I look up to, I can’t think of one person who had darker skin. It’s unfortunate. But I think things are looking up for the upcoming generation. I’m seeing so much more movements on social media and print that are helping empower the underrepresented women (see #MagandangMorenx, or @from.label on Instagram – a label started by one of my favourite Instagrammers, Jeanne Grey!). I think exposure to these types of movements is so crucial, because as Jeanne Grey says herself, no one is really talking about these things. Unfair expectations of beauty may be something we think about, but not many people take action to make a change because these expectations have been engrained in us for generations.

As I get older, I am understanding how important representation is. For this reason, I hope to always stick up for those affected by these standards of beauty, and become an advocate for all my sunkissed sistahs and bruthas out there. No matter what, people will be stuck in their ways and still believe that darker skin is less beautiful. And that’s okay. I’m not here to change that (although I would like to!). I love talking about makeup and beauty products, but I’ve come to realize that this issue really means something to me and it’s a topic I need to speak up and out about. I will continue to use my platform to help my fellow morenas see the beauty in our complexion. Brown is beautiful, and not something to be ashamed of. I haven’t always loved my skin colour, but I do now. I love the way gold jewellery looks on me, and I think bright colours look stunning on me. And I always get a kick out of the fact that white people are envious of my “year round tan”.

So just know that you are not alone. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it also just take one person to start change! Let’s bask in the beauty that is our brown skin, and not be ashamed of it. Let’s use our voices to help build confidence in those who haven’t found it yet. Also, let’s all be more aware of the words we use when talking to other people. Don’t make remarks about someone’s appearance if what you are commenting on can’t be changed in ten seconds. Words have weight, so use them to uplift others rather than dragging them down. If you have any stories or experiences with me, I would love to hear them!

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“When you love yourself, literally nothing anyone says about you can affect you. You know who you are, you love who you are, and that is enough.”

💖, B

Does Biotin Actually Work?

Last summer, I was diagnosed with alopecia areata. Basically, this is a disease that causes my body to attack my hair follicles resulting in my hair falling out in large chunks. Specifically, I developed three large bald spots at the top of my head. If you’ve ever had to wait for an appointment with a specialist (in my case, I was waiting for an appointment with a dermatologist), you know just how painstakingly long the process is. I went to my family doctor about it at the beginning of August of last year, and didn’t actually see a dermatologist until the end of November. That’s three whole months of watching helplessly as the spots grew bigger and more of my hair started to fall out.

I didn’t have very many options available to me, so I decided to try biotin. My intention was to use it as something to offset my hair loss, not as a cure (currently, there is no known sure for alopecia!). I’m sure most of you know that biotin is supposed to promote healthy skin, hair and nails, or you’ve at least seen one Sugarbear Hair ad on Instagram or Youtube. Being the skeptic that I am, I wasn’t about to spend money on Sugarbear hair because I didn’t trust it. So I just went to my grocery store and bought straight biotin supplements.

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I bought the Jamieson Biotin supplements, and each little tablet contained 10, 000mcg of biotin. There were 45 tablets and I took one everyday until I ran out. Then I went and bought biotin gummies at a lower dosage (which I still have because I stopped taking them, so they kind of just sit on my shelf). And long story short, I didn’t notice any change in my hair. There wasn’t anything growing where the bald spots were, and I didn’t notice a change in the length or thickness of my hair either.

IMG_5825 But, I did notice that my nails were stronger and grew faster than normal. I normally wouldn’t be able to grow them out as long because they were usually brittle and broke easily. My nails in this screenshot may not look very long to some, at least in comparison to the claws I have now, but back then, this was considered a big achievement for my natural nails (so you could imagine how cheesed I was that I broke one of them).

From my personal experience, I can vouch for the positive effects biotin has on nails but it didn’t do anything to help my hair. Obviously, my circumstances were quite different from the average person, but I didn’t lose all my hair, so I expected at least some change to occur.

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Taken from: https://www.sugarbearhair.com/collections/popular-vitamins

In terms of Sugarbear Hair, I can’t speak on it because I have never tried it before. On their website, they do have a breakdown of all the ingredients in the gummies. They use more than just biotin in their gummies, so maybe the combination of ingredients helps to better promote hair growth. But I would still take this with a grain of salt. Keep in mind that while Sugarbear Hair says that their products are manufactured in facilities that use FDA approved guidelines, they aren’t actually an FDA approved product.

I asked my dermatologist about biotin at my first appointment, and he said that there hasn’t been solid, conclusive evidence and research that shows that biotin actually helps your hair. And I’m not going to lie, I did try to look for research articles using my school’s database (yes, I ACTUALLY researched this… old habits die hard) and I couldn’t find many articles that supported the use of biotin for hair growth. In fact, a lot of the ones I came across concluded that there is a lack of evidence to support healthy individuals taking biotin for hair growth, and that biotin supplementation is actually unnecessary in healthy individuals as the daily amount that we need is usually obtained through our food.

My hair is still in the process of growing back, no thanks to biotin, but from the Kenalog injections I receive from my dermatologist. My take on this is that I personally don’t think biotin products work for hair growth. I trust my own results and what has been presented in scientific research. I’m not trying to bash anyone that uses or wants to try biotin supplements. But if you want to try other options, my dermatologist told me that Rogaine works (don’t be fooled by the fact that there is a Rogaine for men and women, he said that women can use the men one, and it’s cheaper too), and there’s some evidence (not conclusive) that fexofenadine aka Allegra aka a type of allergy medicine, can help with hair growth in alopecia areata patients as well.

DISCLAIMER: Please use common sense, and don’t start popping allergy medicine like candy or start using a men’s hair growth cream, before talking to your doctor. This advice was given to me by my dermatologist because I was dealing with a disease resulting in major hair loss. Strong hair is nice, but health is wealth!

I hope this post has helped to open your eyes on this topic and I’m curious to know your thoughts on this. If you’ve ever tried Sugarbear Hair or biotin supplements, did they actually work for you?? Let me know!

💖, B

Date Night | National Music Centre

Hi everyone! Before I begin, I just wanted to apologize for not posting on Tuesday. I thought that since I am in summer mode, I would have lots of time to dedicate to my blog, but that really hasn’t been the case. I’ve been working more, and when I’m not working, I’ve been spending a lot more quality time with friends and family and enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve been having lately! I’m sure you all understand though.

Anyways, my boyfriend and I finally got the chance to visit the National Music Centre in Studio Bell (or is it the other way around? Idk. This always confused me…). The last time we were planning on going, we didn’t check ahead, and found out it was closed after paying for parking. Bummer. CJ is a DJ (please don’t make jokes and call him CJ The DJ. LOL. He hears it all the time. It’s not funny anymore.) and absolutely LOVES anything and everything to do with music, so he had the time of his life. Even if you aren’t a music aficionado, like myself, I feel like this is the kind of place where everyone can have fun and learn something. I also just really love museums, so I loved being here. I included some pics under the read more if you’re interested in seeing what we got up to. As always, thank you for reading, and I hope to see yall soon!

💖, B

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Date Night | Clear Float Spa

On Wednesday, my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to try floating! This has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, ever since my best friend did a float and raved about it to me last summer. CJ and I are constantly entering Instagram contests for activities to do around Calgary, and he just so happened to win us two floats (shout outs to @datenightyyc!) at Clear Float Spa. Click the read more to find out more about my experience! Hopefully this answers any questions you might have if you’ve ever wanted to float yourself.

💖, B

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