Backpacks have a rep for being dorky and reminiscent of high school. Fair enough. I’ve always been a fan though – even if they look “dorky” (whatever!). The reason being they are 100% more practical and useful than a handbag and these days the options on the market are seriously cute. There’s no reason not to own and use one, and to be honest I’m totally digging backpacks over a purse.

5 Reasons Why I’m Digging Backpacks Over a Purse

  1. SO much more functional. If nothing else, you know you’re choosing the practical choice – it really does make your life so much easier!!
  2. They fit so much more than a crossbody bag or your typical purse.
  3. Multiple compartments. Need I say more?
  4. They’re travel friendly – you get to live your life hands free and don’t have to lug a heavy bag across town (I’m always super paranoid that I’ll somehow end up permanently lopsided if I carry a heavy tote bag everywhere).
  5. Say goodbye to back/shoulder pain. Beauty is (sometimes) pain, but it doesn’t have to be!

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Some of my favorite backpacks:

Botkier – this is the one I am carrying in the photos. It reminds me of the Prada Nylon backpacks people used to carry. I really like this one from Botkier – the material is easy to clean (especially when you are like me and somehow manage to get everything dirty) and all of the zippers and pockets make it easy to keep my bag somewhat organized. It also comes in a black leather and metallic leather (<< WANT!) that I love.

Sticks + Stones – I received SO many compliments on this backpack when I wore it to Coachella. The pebbled leather, studs, and foldover flap is really unique and unlike anything else I’ve seen in stores. I can absolutely vouch for the quality of the bag and know that this is a piece I’ll be wearing for years to come.

Hershel – where was this backpack when I was in school?! I actually stole my boyfriend’s because I just loved it so much. Call me basic but we’ve brought ours with us everywhere we’ve travelled to over the past two years. I recently got a floral version so now we have his + hers ; ).

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

Why I'm Totally Digging Backpacks Over a Purse Right Now

I’ll definitely be bringing a backpack (or two) along with me on my summer travels! Speaking of which, where is everyone off to for the holiday weekend?

xx, Amy

top: 12th tribe | shorts: re/done | bag: botkier | shoes: botkier

 

Summer dilemma: what to do when you crave that Vitamin D but are terrified of wrinkles? Describing yourself as both a sun lover and a skincare freak may seem a little contradictory. If you insist on catching some rays, be sure to slather on the sunscreen and always wear a HAT! See below for my picks for all the summer hats you need now – not only functional, but also super chic for the pool, beach, and everyday running around.

Summer Beach Hats You Need: L*Space White Hat | by The Luxi Look

Sunday Funday Beach Hat

WHITE is the must have color for summer. The name of this hat is very appropriate – perfect for your summertime “Sunday Funday” situations. Brunch, pool, beach, you name it. I especially love it paired with a maxi dress and sky high wedges.

Summer Beach Hats You Need: Melissa Odabash Straw Fedora | by The Luxi Look

Must-Have Straw Fedora

How cute is this straw fedora?! If your closet is filled with neutrals (think: whites, tans, blush pinks), this straw fedora is the perfect addition. Very safari-esque, which I love!

Summer Beach Hats You Need: Lack of Color 'Spencer' Wide Brimmed Boater Hat | by The Luxi Look

Lack of Color ‘Spencer’ Wide Brimmed Boater Hat

Lack of Color makes my favorite hats. They are so well made and last forever, not to mention the styles are always timeless and add a different touch to every look. Although their lookbooks tend to be very bohemian, their straw hats are a summertime staple. I have the shorter brim version of this hat and am seriously considering buying the wide brimmed version as well. 1. It covers more of your face, and 2. a wide brim is so chic.

Summer Beach Hats You Need: 'Marina' Visor | by The Luxi Look

 Casual Summer Visor

Not going to lie – really into visors right now. It brings me back to my childhood summers when my mom would force me to wear one to shield my eyes. Now that I’m older (and wiser? ha!), I’ve come to appreciate the functionality. This black version works perfectly for your summertime activities and sports – tennis, anyone?

Summer Beach Hats You Need: 'J'Adore' Boater | by The Luxi Look

Boater Hat

L*Space is just totally killing the summer hat game. And at a great price point – this straw boater is $59 and comes in a natural tan and black color. I wear mine all the time – it is also the ideal hat to bring on vacation because it goes with everything and is incredibly durable. If you’re going to invest in one hat, this is it.

Living in LA, protecting your skin from the sun is SO important. That’s why you’ll see me wearing a hat and covered in sunscreen all summer – safe sun is the way to go.

Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

xx, Amy

Currently on my way back to LA after spending a week in my hometown in Minnesota. To say the Midwest is different from the west coast would be a total understatement, but it was a much needed break. I took the opportunity to disconnect completely and it did wonders for my anxiety. Lately I have been really, really anxious. I try not to dwell on negative emotions, but avoiding the topic entirely feels fake – like I’m hiding something or pretending as though my life is perfect (which no one’s is). With that said, I know anxiety is something many people suffer from. I’m still dealing with my own, but I wanted to talk about my journey surviving anxiety and how I’ve learned to deal with it.

I guess I’ve always been slightly anxious – being Type A and a constant planner, it’s typical to think about the future/unknown and get stressed. But I never really let it bother me – I figured the anxiety drove me to work harder towards my goals and was a healthy motivator. It wasn’t until fairly recently that consistently feeling anxious became more normal and something I’ve struggled to overcome.
Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

A little over a month ago, I received some bad news about a close family member which was a total shock to me. It made it next to impossible to focus on my job, my personal life, and my blog. Especially the blog. It didn’t feel right to talk about outfits and trends and topics that suddenly felt incredibly superficial when there were other more important areas for me to devote my attention to. As much as I am huge believer in the power of positivity, my energy levels were completely drained.

Yes, it helps to smile when you’re having a bad day and release any negative emotions. But sometimes it’s too hard to just let go – and that’s ok too. Learning to be okay with negative emotions and anxiety was a huge lesson for me.

The reason why I share this is because I know so many of you have been through or are going through similar experiences.
Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Here’s what I’ve learned about surviving anxiety.

We all take different approaches to dealing with stress and anxiety. I try to turn to healthy practices, which I’ve found to have a noticeable impact on my mind and body. Friends and family have recommended the same practices, saying they’ve experienced immense benefits from them.

Exercise

My #1 release – there’s nothing better than a good sweat to let go of your problems and focus on yourself for an hour. I’ve been turning to my favorite spots in LA and making sure to remind myself that despite everything that may be going on, it’s still important to take care of myself. The rush of endorphins is one of the things I look forward to most every week.

Meditation

As important as it is to nourish your body, something I haven’t always practiced consistently is the act of nourishing your mind. We’ve all heard of the endless benefits of meditation, but do we actually make the time to practice in our daily lives? Even 10 minutes a day makes a difference (I love the app Headspace). A yoga class does wonders as well – especially the shavasana at the end of the class.

Communicate

Talk to your family and friends. Journal. See a therapist. Communicate in a way that feels wholesome and fulfilling to you. If you’re a private person, try writing down your thoughts and tracking them over time – you may find it to be more satisfying than holding everything in.

Get away

Even if it’s just a day trip or a staycation. Going to see my family and unplugging from social media allowed me to refocus, get past my creative rut and writer’s block, and go back to real life ready to tackle the week. Travel is always one of the best ways to grow, disconnect, and unwind. With summer basically here, I cannot wait to get away for some trips this summer.

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Hope everyone has a beautiful week! I’m excited to get back to a regular posting schedule and enjoy the sun and upcoming long weekend. Who’s with me?

xx, Amy

jacket: blank nyc | romper: flair the label | shoes: marc fisher

sunnies: ray-ban | bag: zara

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

Stressed Out? Here's What I've Learned about Surviving Anxiety | by The Luxi Look

What a time to be alive… in the sense that entrepreneurship as a career path is bigger than ever and many people are able to do so through the internet and social media. It’s crazy to think that the job title “blogger” or “content creator” was beyond foreign to most people a decade ago. And the idea of “social media influencer?” Forget about it. With so many blogs/podcasts/YouTube channels/Instagram accounts/etc. being started these days, it’s no surprise many people are searching for shortcuts to success. One thing prominent content creators always talk about? Being authentic. But what does it really mean to be authentic? Especially in today’s digital world?

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

In my experience – what you see isn’t typically what you get. It’s really difficult to be exactly the same person in real life as your online persona. It makes sense – you show the best parts of yourself and your life on social media. No one wants to see a page filled with complaining and photos that aren’t aesthetically pleasing! So how do you incorporate an authentic voice with an aesthetic people actually want to look at?

What does it really mean to be authentic?

Even with my own content, I find myself facing a dilemma. On the one hand, scrolling through Instagram I feel like I see the same flat lays and outfit shots so often it can be difficult to distinguish one account to another. On the other hand, this is because certain images really do perform better on social media. Product flat lays, palm trees, sunsets, cocktails, avocado toast, macaroons, flowers – there’s a reason why you see so many of these shots.

When it comes to brand collaborations, it can become even trickier for bloggers and content creators. You want to work with brands you love and actually use, but many people also rely on brand collaborations to make a living. So how authentic are these collaborations and #sponsored posts? It’s tough to say – a general rule of thumb is to only accept sponsorships that are “authentic” to your brand, but what this means between the lines is different for every individual.

Then comes the part of being authentic about your life on social media. It isn’t always possible to showcase every aspect of my life because I work full time during the week. This is why you won’t see me active on Instagram stories or Snapchat Monday through Friday. Is it not authentic to shoot batches of content and space them out over the week?

The reason why I bring this up is because I’ve been trying to figure out what it means to be authentic for me and what direction I want to take my content. Things with the blog have been quiet, but I’m ready to get back to posting several times a week. Writing and posting to my blog has always been my favorite component of everything that encompasses fashion/lifestyle blogging and I’m excited to get back into it.

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

For me, being authentic is incredibly important. To be authentic means to be myself as much as possible through my blog (although some parts are always kept private). I can say that in terms of the products and lines I promote on my blog and social media, they are always ones I love (and not every single one is sponsored or even gifted). I will not work with brands that I do not absolutely love and I will not post photos of products I do not actually use or have not tried. It’s hard to resist trying every new trend that comes your way, but it is important to stay true to your personal style and voice.

On that note – this LBD has been on heavy rotation this spring. I adore the open back detail and scalloped hem. I’ve talked before about how much I love Magali Pascal – the brand never disappoints and their new collections every season are always something I look forward to. Worn here with a wallet on chain bag and my favorite Botkier sneakers.

Now I’m off to finish the second season of Master of None and pack for a week back home in Minnesota!

xx, Amy

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic? | by The Luxi Look

Dying to learn everything you need to know about eyelash extensions and see for yourself what they’re like?

Trust me, I was too. I heard from friends who got them how life changing they were. How they totally open your eyes and let you waltz out of the door in the morning with barely a speck of makeup. How they made you feel instantly pretty everyday. On and on they sang the praises of lash extensions.

For the longest time, I held off. The process sounded way too high maintenance and costly. How was I supposed to carve out time for fills? What if my natural lashes got ruined permanently? What if I became addicted and could never go back to my normal routine of extreme mascara layering because nothing would ever be good enough?

Then I heard from Amanda from Iris + West Lash Co. You could say she’s a bit of a lash guru. SO – I went to find out for myself, first hand, what the fuss is all about.

You guys – the hype is real.

Lash extensions really are kind of life changing. Yes, they’re expensive and time consuming to maintain. But all the good things you hear about them are true. The key – as with any sort of beauty service you’re having done – is to find a skilled technician. More of an artist, to be honest. After visiting Amanda, I’m (not so) embarrassed to say I’m totally hooked.

The process was totally painless and honestly felt like a breeze. Most girls say they fall asleep while getting lashes done, and I can totally see why. It’s strangely relaxing and therapeutic to close your eyes and either nap or disconnect from the rest of the world for a couple hours. Once I was done, I was surprised by how comfortable the extensions felt on my natural lashes. I honestly couldn’t tell a difference at all.

And the results? I like a dramatic lash (LOTS of mascara) when I go out, but for the most part I’m a no fuss, light makeup kind of girl. Getting lash extensions has made getting ready for day and night such a breeze. For daytime – a little swipe of brow gel and I’m good to go. For nighttime – foundation, brows, bronzer, highlighter, and a bold lip.

I knew I just had to interview Amanda for the blog. SO if you’re curious at all about lash extensions (and just Amanda’s story in general – she’s a total badass entrepreneur!), read on.

Iris + West Lash Co Amanda Robinson Interview: Everything you need to know about eyelash extensions

Introduce yourself.

Hi! I’m Amanda, the founder of Iris +West Lash Co

How did you get into the business of eyelash extensions, and how did Iris + West originate? 

I started my career as a hairstylist and makeup artist in Seattle, Wa. which is also where I learned how to do eyelash extensions. During that time I became really passionate about creating easy beauty regimes that require minimal steps and effort but left my clients looking and feeling polished. Lashes fit perfectly into that attitude, and I fell totally in love with extensions.

What inspired you to start your own boutique lash studio? 

When I first started working in L.A. four years ago, I was seeing a lot of bad extensions and hearing that a lot of women were having bad experiences with their lashes. I started Iris+West because I’m obsessed with giving my clients eyelash extensions that are not only comfortable and easy to wear but that are safe for their natural eyelashes. (<< she really is amazing!)

What has been the biggest challenge in owning and operating a boutique beauty studio in a city filled with big names and companies? 

Valuing my own time and work. Being a small business owner means doing all sorts of jobs, not just applying eyelash extensions, so I have to check in with myself a lot to make sure I am putting my energy towards the most important task at hand.

How did you go about growing Iris + West? 

Mostly word of mouth and social media. I have a very loyal clientele and they are the best advertisement! Instagram has also been a great platform to showcase the work that comes out of the studio, and the diversity of our clients. (<< SO COOL. Love seeing businesses grow from social media.)

I’ll be honest, eyelash extensions totally intimidated me for the longest time! What’s the key to finding the right technician and the right set of lashes for your face? 

Do your research, and don’t compromise quality for a cheaper price. Look for good reviews, and check out their website and social media for pictures. 

Top 3 care tips for eyelash extensions?

1. Don’t pick or pull at them 2. Avoid oily products on or near your eyes. 3. Brush them a couple times a week.

Can you still wear eye makeup? Take showers normally? Work out?

Yes, yes, and yes. Just make sure you are using an oil free remover to take off your makeup. You should also try to avoid getting your extensions wet for the first 12 hrs after you’ve had them done, but after that you should definitely wash your face and eyes like normal.

True or false: eyelash extensions make your regular lashes fall out. 

100% FALSE! Your natural eyelashes shed, just like any other body hair, so when it’s time for a natural lash to come out, the extension just comes off with it. The only reason extensions would ever pull your natural lash out is if they’re being applied incorrectly. 

True or false: lash extensions are addictive (ha!) 

True! Jk, but because they are so easy, and simplify your beauty regime most clients never want to go back to their “pre-lash life”. 

What are your favorite LA spots? 

I try to hike up to the observatory a few times a week. It’s really peaceful early in the morning and I love being able to disconnect and spend some quiet time on my own. I also LOVE a good cup of coffee, and my current favorite is the Tesora blend with a splash of almond milk from Philz Coffee.

Beauty trends / lash trends do you see in the next year? 

I think that soft, fluffy, dimensional lashes are always on trend. I’m hoping to see more fresh, dewy skin and graphic eyeliner. My favorite artists to watch for makeup trends are @violette_fr and @katiejanehughes (following them now!). 

Be sure to check out more of Amanda’s work on Instagram! And for my LA babes, if you’re looking for a lash artist/expert – go see Amanda at Iris + West!

xx, Amy

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