Let’s talk about holy grail products. I learned about this term from watching beauty gurus on YouTube years ago and it’s one that is not to be taken lightly! Seriously – HOLY GRAIL PRODUCTS. These are all products I’ve purchased and repurchased for myself at least ten times. They’re beloved even after many years and testing other alternatives. No matter what, I always come back to them and keep them in my bathroom. (Sometimes multiples.) I would never recommend a product I don’t love and stand by wholeheartedly. These are my tried and trued, repeat purchase, holy grail products.

Shop my beauty products on repeat

Glossier Boy Brow

Glossier products have my heart. They’re cute, come in fun packaging (hello, STICKERS!), and actually work well. Perfect for the minimal, fresh faced look. But the one product I buy again and again is BOY BROW. Trust me on this. If there’s one Glossier product you need in your arsenal constantly, it’s this. Swipe on for perfect brows in under a minute. The gel is just the right consistency and goes on smoothly and flawlessly, filling in and shaping your brows to perfection. Sometimes I add some powder or pencil if I’m going for a more dramatic brow at night, but usually Boy Brow is my daytime go to (I use the shade “brown”). If you’re interested in trying Boy Brow or any other Glossier brows, use this link for 20% off your first order.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara

Trust me, this is the best mascara I’ve tried. I’ve gone through countless tubes of this mascara. It’s pricier than drugstore but totally worth it. I won’t go anywhere without this mascara (especially when I travel) and I always get tons of compliments on my lashes and it truly multiples their length and volume.

Kopari Coconut Oil

So you’re probably thinking, can’t I just use the coconut oil from the grocery store? Trader Joe’s was my go-to for a long time, but after trying Kopari’s Coconut Melt, I’ve been 100% converted. Turns out there is a difference in food grade vs. beauty grade coconut oil and you really can feel the difference with Kopari. The coconut oil from the grocery store worked well for me as an eye makeup remover but always felt too slippery and didn’t absorb into my skin as a moisturizer. This coconut melt works well as a moisturizer, hair mask, makeup remover, shaving cream… the list goes on and on.

Becca Highlighter

THE BEST HIGHLIGHTER. Becca’s Champagne Pop gives the perfect glow. Just a little bit goes a long way – I really love the way it photographs and how build-able the color is. The only problem? I will admit it the powder breaks easily, so you do have to baby the compact a little bit. But it’s worth it! I’ve tried so many other highlighters but this color is my favorite by far.

Nars Tinted Moisturizer

Foundation for girls who don’t love foundation. Buildable coverage that creates a glow from within – and has SPF!! I love this foundation so much, I bought a couple shades so I could mix and match when my skin inevitably gets darker in the summer. Definitely a go-to daytime foundation that won’t make your skin break out and will protect you from the sun.

Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum

Bonus points because it smells soooo yummy, but this serum has done wonders for my skin. The hyaluronic acid helps your skin retain moisture and stay plump. Plus, Eminence products are all natural and organic so you don’t have to worry about nasty add ins that you’re putting directly on your skin everyday.

What are your “holy grail” beauty products??

xx, Amy

Sometimes it feels like social media has taken over the world. Don’t get me wrong – I use social media all the time and rely it on everyday as a blogger. But as they say, every rose has its thorn. And social media can be a thorny little guy. Ask anyone about their opinion on social media and you’ll get an opinionated answer. To some it’s the best thing ever, to others it’s the devil. As someone who has been on both sides, I’m coming out in defense of social media (with a few caveats, of course).

In Defense of Social Media | by The Luxi Look

Let’s talk about the obvious cons of social media.

Shorter attention spans. Using social media programs our brains to constantly feel the urge to check in on our accounts and see the notifications we’re receiving. This 60 Minutes segment blew my mind – our phones are actually programmed to be addictive.

– It cultivates and rewards narcissismStudies are actually linking social media usage to narcissism. It can especially have a huge impact on teenagers in their developing years. High school is tough enough, but now there’s the added pressure of living the “perfect life” where every moment is captured and shown to the world. Which leads me to my next point…

It’s not real life. You shouldn’t compare to your behind to scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. It’s easy to forget sometimes, but social media is NOT real life. No one is showing 100% of their life on social media and they are most likely leaving out a lot of the negative stuff. Still, it’s hard not to look at an image and think – why can’t I look like that? / why can’t I live that life? / why can’t I have that?

Social media can lead to insecurityConstantly being bombarded with images of people’s perfect, happy lives can be tough on your own self esteem. After all, comparison is the thief of joy. Especially when the comparison is being done through the screen.

– You end up living your life through the screen. Isn’t it more important to be present and enjoy the moment we are in with the people we care about? When did going to concerts and festivals become all about taking the perfect shot and Snapchat story instead of enjoying the music? Why do we care so much about curating our life to share with others?

– Fake news. Enough said.

In Defense of Social Media | by The Luxi Look

I totally get it. Social media can be all consuming. But I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. Before I started a blog, I think I posted to my personal Instagram account once a month, max. I didn’t care about my social media accounts and I never thought about posting photos at optimal times or curating the perfect feed. Until you’ve walked a mile (or more) in someone else’s shoes, you have no idea what it’s like to be them. After blogging for over a year, here are my arguments in defense of social media.

Social media can be tough on our self esteem and productivity. But I think it also fills some holes and can be used for good. Which can be really, really cool.

In Defense of Social Media | by The Luxi Look

Why I’m in defense of social media:

At the most basic level: social media connects us. It connects individuals, groups, brands, and businesses around the world. It allows us to stay in touch with the people we care about, interact with strangers that share similar interests, learn about new brands and trends, and meet new people.

The start of Myspace and then the introduction of Facebook allowed us to stay in touch with people near and far. The discovery aspect of Instagram has changed the way we consume content, learn, shop, and in general live our lives. With the rise of each new platform comes innovation in the way we conduct business and live our lives and, in many ways, benefits all of us.

+ Small businesses have grown. Social media marketing is often times the only form of marketing small businesses can afford. With the rise of tools such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, businesses are able to be created with nothing more than a social media strategy. I know several small business owners that rely entirely on word of mouth and a social strategy in order to grow. It’s crazy to think that many people depend on social media for their livelihood, but it’s an incredibly powerful tool that allows business owners to market and put their product in front of people that may have otherwise never heard of their brand. That’s pretty freaking awesome.

+ Artists have a platform to share their work and jobs have been created.  Bloggers obviously benefit tremendously from social media. But there are entire industries that have been propped up by the rise of social media. And now there are so many forums for everyone to share their art – whether it’s written, visual, audio, whatever.

+ Creative art and news are more accessible. It’s so much easier to discover new content and creators thanks to social media. It’s opened up a world of possibilities and completely democratized the way content is created. Social media is one of the engine that fuels creatives, small business, and brands. It allows breaking news and information to travel across the entire world quickly. We’re all more plugged in than ever – and while there are some downsides to that – there are some cool benefits as well.

What are your thoughts on social media?

xx, Amy

In Defense of Social Media | by The Luxi Look

sweater: minkpink | shorts: redone

 

Need some Monday Motivation? Then you have to meet boss babe and blogger Lisa of By Lisa Linh. I first came across Lisa on Instagram and instantly knew I wanted to connect with her. Her messages and images were no-nonsense, motivational, and powerful. No BS here – only passion, hustle, and patience. I love going to her blog for stunning editorial stories (the photography is SO on point) and creative writing. A few years ago, this boss babe made her side hustle her full-time job and hasn’t looked back since. If you’re in a creative rut or looking for a swift kick of motivation, read on.
Blogger Lisa Linh on Passion, Hustle, and Patience

Meet Lisa from By Lisa Linh

Introduce yourself and your blog.

My name is Lisa Linh and I’m a lifestyle, fashion, and travel blogger based in Los Angeles. By Lisa Linh was started in 2014 and is dedicated to inspiring, motivating, and encouraging readers to follow their dreams. My blog specializes in lifestyle editorials with topics allowing me to focus on vulnerability and honesty in everything that I write/publish.

How did you get into blogging? You used to work full time – how did you make the transition from that into blogging full time? 

I’m a writer first before anything else, so when blogging was introduced, I immediately jumped on using Blogger/Blogspot, then WordPress, and now my website lives on Squarespace. Creative writing is what I love best and combined with my interest in fashion, thanks to my aunt and grandfather, I was able to combine the two together.

I worked in the corporate world for over 10 years and quit April 2015. It was a decision I made unexpectedly and one I didn’t plan for, as I didn’t have a back-up plan, savings account, or family I could fall back on. I was on my own and that hit me harder than ever, realizing I had no excuses and no one else to blame but myself for failures. This ignited my passion even more and despite working more than I used to, I’m happier than ever and cannot complain about a thing.

What’s your favorite part of your job? 
The opportunities I’ve received so far have been absolutely amazing! Being able to travel and set my own schedule, be my own boss and work towards my own dreams is the best feeling. However, above all, the people I meet and work with, from brands to other bloggers is my favorite part.
Blogger Lisa Linh on Passion, Hustle, and Patience
Your messages and posts are always so powerful and badass. Where do you find your inspiration?

I’ve gone through a lot of shit growing up, not anything too crazy but I suffered a lot of emotional damage. The inspiration honestly just comes from all the crap I went through and overcome. I try to be as transparent as possible with my followers and let them know that they are not alone – in whatever battle they are fighting. (<< love, love, love this!)

What does a typical week look like for you? 

It honestly changes every week. Sometimes I have showroom appointments, events, and end up chained to my desk editing photos, creating proposals, answering emails, etc. Other weeks, I’m traveling, hotel hopping, or on the road shooting an editorial for the blog.

Any advice for girls that are trying to do the same thing?

3 key words: passion, hustle, and patience. (<<SOTRUE!!) You need all three to survive because this business doesn’t grow overnight and you need thick skin to handle the bullshit that accompanies any career you get into – especially fashion!

Blogger Lisa Linh on Passion, Hustle, and Patience
How do you find balance and manage your time?

I’m still trying to learn how to manage my time better, but balance is easy. If I’m uninspired, exhausted, and not feeling it overall – I stop. I don’t force myself to write because I know the blog post will be half-assed and that’s not my style. I learned to worry less about the amount I produce and focus more on making sure I feel 100% about anything I publish. I also have an amazing and supportive group of friends and boyfriend that remind me to relax here and there 🙂

(Totally obsessed with this self-love message and couldn’t agree more – it’s ok to feel uninspired and give yourself a break!!)

You’ve been traveling a lot this year! Any favorite destinations?

Cabo is one I would love to revisit, that was hands down the best birthday I ever had. Miami is always gorgeous and fun! Canada will be a first for me as I’m heading out there soon so can’t wait for that trip. Asia at the end of the year is the big one that I’m looking forward to the most!

What’s on your travel bucket list?
What’s not on it? Zip lining through a forest, eating street food in the streets of Vietnam, visiting the robot cafe in Tokyo, and more.
 
How do you stay healthy when you travel?
I try to hit the gym wherever I am. I don’t always have time, but quick workouts help and I do a ton of exploring when I travel so I walk a lot too. I also do keep in mind what I eat, usually light meals and occasional savory dinners. All about balance!
 
What are you most excited about right now?
Life in general! Being able to wake up, do what I love, and see the world during the process.
Blogger Lisa Linh on Passion, Hustle, and Patience
Be sure to check out Lisa’s blog and Instagram. xx

Let’s have a little career chat. Specifically around success. We always hear about why it’s important to have a one year plan, five year plan, ten year plan. It’s great to be goal oriented – but keep in mind that goals change. My definition of success today is different than what it was five years ago. I’m sure if I was married with kids, it would be even more different. The way you define success is also probably very different from me. Point being: no two people share the exact same definition of success.

How Do you Define Success? | by The Luxi Look

How do you define success?

You guys, the quarter life crisis is real. Talking to my college friends and other people in their mid to late twenties, I quickly realized we are all kind of in the same boat. While it was comforting learning I’m not alone in not knowing what I want to do for the rest of my life, it still didn’t answer any of my own internal questions.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my career and the path I’m on. We recently took a “personality test” at work (similar to Myers Briggs) and I learned that my personality shows strong preferences for several different working styles and traits. While you shouldn’t take the results of these tests as gospel, it did do a lot in helping explain why I’m always so damn indecisive. Especially when it comes to my career.

I work a corporate job and I’ve always loved working. I know the 9-to-5 life isn’t for everyone, but in my early to mid twenties, the stability and routine was right for me. Getting solid work experience and learning a lot was very important to me. Now, I find myself asking “what’s next?” constantly and not knowing the answer. At the same time, I love blogging and would love to invest more time and energy into it. There are SO many posts I want to work on but I’ve felt restricted because of my schedule and time. With that said – I’ve never felt even close to being ready to pull the trigger and go all in on the blog. It’s not the right move for me. So in the meantime, I told myself I’d do it all and figure it out along the way. It’s been quite the journey filled with its own ups and downs.

How Do you Define Success? | by The Luxi Look

If you’re going through something similar, I highly recommend this reading. It’s a little lengthy but I really enjoyed the framework presented for thinking about success. I know it might sound silly to have a framework for success, but hear me out! By filling out your own personal “kaleidoscope,” you may find that you’re putting too much or too little emphasis on one area of your life, which may be why you are feeling unbalanced or stressed.

The authors write:

“…many people assume success requires a winner-takes-all approach. They believe that success depends on putting all your energy into achieving one goal, be it a single-minded focus on your job or a commitment to being the best soccer mom in your community. But no matter how noble, one goal can’t satisfy all of a person’s complex needs and desires, as the examples at the beginning of the article demonstrate. The same holds true for the goals of a business.”

We all have different definitions of success, because we all have different goals. We’re never driving towards just one goal – we have goals in all aspects of our life, be it personal, professional, financial.

How Do you Define Success? | by The Luxi Look

What the article gets into is the idea of enduring success.

“We were interested in real, enduring success—where getting what you want has rewards that are sustainable for you and those you care about. This type of attainment delivers a sense of legitimacy and importance; its satisfactions endure far beyond the momentary rewards of a bonus or a new position. Lasting success is emotionally renewing, not anxiety provoking.”

The key is lasting success.

How Do you Define Success? | by The Luxi Look

What is lasting success made of?

Happiness  – feeling pleasure or contentment about your life

Achievement – accomplishments that measure up against goals you have strived for

Significance – feeling like you’ve made a positive impact on the people you care about

Legacy – a way to establish your values or accomplishments so as to help others find future success

While I can’t say I’ve figured it all out, I will say sitting down and thinking long and hard about my own goals and how I define success has been helpful in guiding me towards the right next step. By thinking about these components of lasting success – happiness, achievement, significance, and legacy – and defining them in my own terms – I find myself much more comfortable with the path that I’m currently on (and know what areas I may need some work in!)

SO. Please share – how do you define success?

Have a wonderful weekend!! I’ll be shooting some new recipes (including some summer cocktails!) that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon. xx

How Do you Define Success? | by The Luxi Look

How Do you Define Success? | by The Luxi Look

Another Coachella has come and gone. Every year, the festival is a completely new and different experience. It’s hard to condense three jam packed days into one post, so here are some of the highlights of my weekend and all the details on what I wore.

Coachella Day  1

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Straight to the festival! Dressing for the actual festival is always tricky because of the desert climate. It can be SO hot during the day but then temperatures plummet as soon as the sun goes down. For this reason, it’s important to 1. stay hydrated and 2. dress in layers! I cannot stress this enough. I have a slight tickle in my throat today so I wasn’t entirely safe from the post Coachella blues. But I am convinced that bringing a denim jacket (I think I’ve worn this one from Blank NYC almost every day since I’ve gotten it) saved me from a worse fate ; ).

top: similar | shorts: similar | denim jacket: blank nyc | shoes: timberland

backpack and jewelry: sticks + stones | sunnies: ray-ban

Coachella Day 2

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look wearing Spell Byron Bay

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look with Savvy Javvy and Minimal Major

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look with Savvy Javvy and Minimal Major

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look with Savvy Javvy and Minimal Major and Glamarosh

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look with Savvy Javvy and Minimal Major

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look wearing Spell Designs, Sticks + Stones, Sunday Somewhere

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look wearing Spell Designs, Sticks + Stones, Sunday Somewhere

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look wearing Spell Designs, Sticks + Stones, Sunday Somewhere

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look wearing Spell Designs, Sticks + Stones, Sunday Somewhere

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look wearing Spell Designs, Sticks + Stones, Sunday Somewhere

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look wearing Spell Designs, Sticks + Stones, Sunday Somewhere

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look wearing Spell Designs, Sticks + Stones, Sunday Somewhere

Spent the weekend without my Instagram husband in tow, what’s a blogger to do when she’s without her better half behind the lens? In all seriousness, I’m super happy and grateful I was able to snag some shots at The Zoe Report’s ZOEasis hanging with my girls Roshni, Madison, and Javvy. I was also able to meet up with one of my favorites photographers, Jordan, to sneak in a couple shots in the desert. Apologies for the lack of festival shots, I promise there will be more next year!

dress: spell | bag and necklace: sticks + stones

sunnies: sunday somewhere (<< how cool are these?!)

Coachella Day 3

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look Wearing Hot as Hell Queen for a Day

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look Hair by R+Co

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look Wearing Hot as Hell Queen for a Day

Coachella 2017 by The Luxi Look Wearing Hot as Hell Queen for a Day

The last day was a short one for me. I skipped out on the festival to stop by the Galore Brunch with R+Co before driving home – I had work Monday morning and to be honest was exhausted after two days of the festival… #old. For those of you going to Weekend 2, hope you found some outfit inspo from Weekend 1! The looks this year were killer. Until next time, Coachella!

dress: hot-as-hell | sunnies: pared | shoes: steve madden

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