If you know me, you know I love a good fitness class. But the fact is, I simply don’t always have time to get ready and go to an hour long class – and you probably don’t either. And though any length of workout is absoltuely better than nothing, there are times when I want the most bang for my buck. A result-based workout that can be done quickly, for busy weeknights or when traveling. I’m a HUGE fan of interval training. I have found nothing gets me results faster than incorporating intervals into my fitness routine. As someone who used to run long distances regularly, intervals have been a godsend. No more hour long sessions on the cardio machine at the gym for this girl!

HIIT is a good example of that, and after taking classes regularly at Barry’s Bootcamp, I wanted to talk more about intervals. Interval training in general usually means you’re getting a great workout, and is why successful gyms like Barry’s are advocating for it. They’re definitely onto something worth sharing.

What are intervals?

To sum it up, intervals are working at different paces & intensities for a set amount of time, over and over. Working out in intervals keeps your body from feeling “comfortable” during your workout. When you disrupt it every minute or so to pick up or slow down your pace, you end up burning more calories and strengthening your heart, among other things.

Who should do intervals?

Anyone and everyone, though it’ll look different for each person. Intense intervals are something you build up to after spending a few months getting in shape. If you’re a newbie, find the variables that work for you (maybe you’re jogging instead of running – more on this below). Don’t push yourself too hard. Definitely don’t get down on yourself if your intervals don’t look like the person next to you. Believe me, I wasn’t nearly as strong as a lot of people at Barry’s, but I still felt great after each workout (and kinda dead, in a good way). You’ll get to where you want to be after consistently doing intervals a few times a week. Some benefits of interval training: better endurance for long runs, other cardio workouts, improved cardiovascular health, more calories burned, and the biggest one for me – losing belly fat! 

How do I incorporate intervals into my workout?

One of the most common ways to incorporate interval training into your everyday workout is to hop on the treadmill. I definitely understand the treadmill can be a bore, but stay with me here, it’s worth it! And yes, you can totally do intervals off a treadmill, but personally, I appreciate the effectiveness that a treadmill provides (a time clock, ways to monitor speed, stay efficient, etc.).

When you’re ready to take your workout to the next level, start adding in intervals by varying your speed on the treadmill. Make sure to get completely warmed up at a slow pace before you begin to increase your speed (avoid those injuries!) and then determine what your “fast” pace will be and what your “base” pace will be. Test your speeds and find out what works best for you!

Adding incline

If you feel ready to kick your workout up even more, consider adding an incline to your intervals. Don’t be intimidated – you don’t have to run at 6 mph while running uphill (unless you’re into that). You’re actually going to keep the speed the same on this one. Instead of changing the speed every other minute, you’ll increase and decrease your incline – simple! Doing this will definitely intensify your workout and burn even more calories. It’ll also make your heart and body stronger too.

Easy Treadmill Interval Workouts You Can Do

Luckily, I was able to steal a couple treadmill workouts from Justine Cuenco (follow her on Instagram @cococuenco) – if you look at her page you’ll see she is a total boss and a huge fitness buff. The girl’s dedication to fitness and working out is super admirable. So I had to get her custom “Coco Run” and try it out for myself. See below for three examples of interval workouts you can try on the treadmill.

Why Interval Training is the Best Thing Ever and How You Can Add it to Your Fitness Routine | by The Luxi Look

This run should take you to 4 miles, which is perfect if you’re training for a race! If you’re looking for something a little more quick or dirty, try some hill or speed intervals.

Why Interval Training is the Best Thing Ever and How You Can Add it to Your Fitness Routine | by The Luxi Look

Repeat 2-3 times for a KILLER workout.

Why Interval Training is the Best Thing Ever and How You Can Add it to Your Fitness Routine | by The Luxi Look

I used to hate, hate, HATE sprints, but now I love them! Love getting my cardio done for the day. Repeat this set at least twice for best results.

If you’re ready to start doing intervals right away, here is some edgy workout clothes I am absolutely loving right now too!

xx, Amy

A Balancing Act

A Balancing Act | by The Luxi Look

The past few months, I’ve seen a slew of “Instagram vs. Reality” posts. Initially I thought they were super cheesy, but I’ve grown to love them. Why? Because for most people, what they show on Instagram isn’t their reality. I’m guilty of this myself. On my social media, I probably look like I sit around all day. The parts of my life I show: trying on outfits, going to events, eating, drinking, my dog. In reality, my life is much less glamorous. It’s very… normal. I wake up early and commute to work. Then I sit at a desk all day Monday through Friday, and oftentimes eat lunch at said desk. I go home, have dinner with my boyfriend, and am rarely out. Most nights consist of watching TV and going to bed early. But what’s the fun in showing that?

The thing with Instagram is, it’s a balancing act.

A Balancing Act | by The Luxi Look

A Balancing Act | by The Luxi Look

A Balancing Act | by The Luxi Look

On a side note, I’ve been meaning to give little life update to you guys! I recently started a new job (!!) – it’s a new role at the same company, and I have a LOT to learn! So if I’ve seemed distracted or not fully there lately, it’s because I have been. I haven’t been shooting and posting new content as much, and to be honest it has been a welcome break. It’s allowed me to focus more on one thing – which I really believe is so important.

After all, the way you do one thing is the way you do everything, right?

Speaking of a balancing act – how is one supposed to dress when it’s 94 degrees in October?! I honestly avoided being outside this weekend. Instead I stuck to hanging inside my air conditioned apartment. I bought this denim skirt last year (runs TTS) and I am so glad I did. I rarely regret buying denim, unless it’s a super trendy cut and I only wear it a couple times, but I have been loving denim skirts this season and will definitely continue to wear mine into the future. I’ve been wearing different variations of this look all season – denim skirt, cropped turtleneck, booties. Throw on a blazer and you’re good to go!

A Balancing Act | by The Luxi Look

A Balancing Act | by The Luxi Look

A Balancing Act | by The Luxi LookA Balancing Act | by The Luxi Look

Getting ready for a busy week and will be bringing you new content soon! In the meantime, I updated + added some new Glossier and Classpass Los Angeles reviews due to popular demand. Hope you all have a great week! xx

top: similar | skirt: grlfrnd | belt: b-low the belt | shoes: marc fisher

Boots will forever be the quintessential fall/winter shoe. With proper care, a good pair of boots will last for years. Some of my favorites are by Acne, Isabel Marant, and Stuart Weitzman. But every year, I also make sure to pick up a few pairs of more current, on-trend styles. Fresh off the heels of September’s fashion weeks, I’m rounding up the 3 types of fall boots you need to add to your closet this season. Click on the images below to shop!

3 Types of Must Have Fall Boots

Sock Boots

This trend isn’t letting up anytime soon. There are so many heeled varieties in every color and material. If you’re only going to get one pair, opt for black or tan. If you already have a couple pairs, consider adding some in a fun color. These shoes are a great way to add a little height without compromising your ability to walk. One of my favorite shoe trends for day OR night.

 

White Boots

White shoes are a bold move, but this trend has been going strong all year. Make sure to treat them before wearing or be prepared to clean them regularly. As much as I adore this pair by Stuart Weitzman, I opted for the more affordable Steve Madden look a likes.

 

Sparkle Boots

Add a little sparkle to your look with a pair of glittery boots. They range from less shimmery to full on glitter – but regardless of what level of sparkle you opt for, they’ll be a welcome addition to your close come holiday season. Wear them to holiday parties or just the office. Seriously, how fun is this pair by Steve Madden?!

What’s your favorite fall shoe trend?! xx

 

Even though it was 80 degrees outside today (in both Chicago where I spent the weekend and in LA when I flew back!), I still couldn’t help but dress for the season. Think: pants, a hoodie, and a leather jacket. And a giant cardigan in my tote bag. I did this partially because I packed incorrectly, but mostly because I am almost always cold. Whatever the case may be, taking on cold temperatures has always been my number one dressing concern. That’s why regardless of the weather, I always keep one piece of clothing on me. The one type of sweater I absolutely cannot live without – a sweater blanket.

The One Type of Sweater I Can't Live Without | by The Luxi Look

The One Type of Sweater I Can't Live Without | by The Luxi Look

The One Type of Sweater I Can't Live Without | by The Luxi Look

The One Type of Sweater I Can't Live Without | by The Luxi Look

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Is it a sweater? Is it a blanket? Really, it’s the best of both worlds. To be honest what I call a “sweater blanket” it just a warm oversized cardigan or shawl. This piece of clothing has saved me in so many situations. I keep one in my car, I always pack one for the plane, and most importantly, I ALWAYS make sure to leave one at my desk at work. Because the office AC dilemma is real. I hate, hate, hate being cold. The solution is so easy and will almost certainly breed envy in those around you when they see how cozy and warm you are.

Go for a super soft and fuzzy sweater blanket – this BB Dakota shawl has been with me everywhere lately and saved me on many occasions. I’ve linked some similar ones below and some that are currently in my shopping cart. Neutrals are your best bet, they’ll go with anything you wear and people will be less likely to notice you’re draping yourself in the same giant blanket every single day.

The One Type of Sweater I Can't Live Without | by The Luxi Look

The One Type of Sweater I Can't Live Without | by The Luxi Look

The One Type of Sweater I Can't Live Without | by The Luxi Look

The One Type of Sweater I Can't Live Without: Fuzzy Sweater | by The Luxi Look

In terms of the rest of my outfit – I have been hearing about DSTLD forever and finally got to try some of their basics for myself. Seriously impressed and loving their denim + tees that are so affordable (think – high-quality pieces without the markup that comes with going through a retailer). If you are looking for basic pieces that look and feel luxe but won’t burn a hole through your wallet, definitely check out DSTLD. Their cuts and fabrics are really impressive for the price. Belt is by my favorite, B-Low the Belt and shoes are from Marc Fisher. Most likely wearing this outfit again to the office tomorrow.

Have a great week everyone! Feels so good to be back.

xx, Amy

cardigan: bb dakota | t-shirt: dstld | jeans: dstld

belt: b-low the belt | shoes: marc fisher

 

If you’re into skincare, chances are you’ve heard of La Mer. Specifically, their famous Creme de la Mer. Celebs and beauty editors rave about this product! La Mer’s most popular product is touted as a “miracle cream” but it comes with a steep price tag. A 1 oz. jar of this stuff is $170! So, let’s get to the bottom of this. Is La Mer worth it?

To be honest – I was very, very skeptical. I mean, is any cream worth $170 an ounce?

For the price, I was hoping it would be the equivalent of putting liquid gold on my skin. I also had sky high expectations for the price. I mean, it better be damn good! Luckily, I received a jar of Creme de la Mer as a gift and I’ve been using it since.

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

My initial reaction to Creme de la Mer:

The cream is incredibly rich and thick. If you have oily skin or aren’t used to extremely moisturizing creams, it may almost be too much for you. For this reason (and for the sake of stretching out my jar of product as long as possible), I only use it at night. I have dry skin, so my thirsty skin soaks up the rich cream. It almost works as a sleeping mask – when I wake up my skin is hydrated, smooth, and supple. Not to mention unbelievably soft!

I really love the cream. I’ve had so many people compliment me on my “natural glow” – even on days when I wasn’t wearing any makeup or hadn’t gotten much sleep. My skin feels smooth, plump, and always hydrated (something I struggle with!). If I could bathe in creme de la mer, I would. When my jar is used up (RIP), will I repurchase? Maybe. The price tag is high enough that I have to think hard about it.

Is La Mer Wroth It?

So – back to the initial question. Is it worth it?  After testing it out myself for a few months, my answer is yes. It’s worth it – for me. I love the effect it has on my skin and it works noticeably better than other products I have in my bathroom. BUT, here’s my caveat: it is only worth it if you can afford it in your budget! If you’re on the fence about spending $170 for a jar of face moisturizer, you probably can find alternate products for a lower price! There are so many high quality skincare products on the market today, I guarantee you can find something that suits your skin and budget. It may take more digging and require looking into brands you haven’t heard of – but in the end, you’ll be happy to found the perfect products for your skin type.

So there you have it – my honest thoughts on Creme de La Mer and if it’s a must have in your vanity. All things considered, I think the product is amazing!

Are there comparable products on the market available for less?

Probably. I’ve heard Olay Regenerist, which can be found at a drugstore, is very comparable to Creme de la Mer! It really depends on your current skin, your routine, and your skincare needs. A little trick if you want to try it out – most department stores will offer a small sample for you to take home before committing to buying the full sized product.

In addition to this Creme de La Mer, I’ve been incorporating a variety of other products in my daily routine. I tend to get lazy with products, so I try to stick to the essentials and focus on problem areas when I can. I can’t deal with crazy ten step routines, it’s just unreasonable for my current lifestyle and my hectic schedule. Full disclosure – I do receive a lot of free products as a blogger. I do my best to try them all and provide honest reviews and feedback – I won’t mention one unless I absolutely love it and I would never endorse something I didn’t like or had a bad reaction from. Knowing that everyone’s skin is so different, I just wanted to share what’s been working for me since I do get questions about my skin often.

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

The rest of my current skincare routine:

Glossier Cleanser:

This continues to be my go-to cleanser. It takes off all of my makeup and is just a great basic cleanser. I keep one in the shower and one in my gym bag. I really like Glossier’s minimalist products, you can read my full review of their products here. I’m not a rep, just a normal girl that happens to love some of their products : ).

Skinesque Enzyme Washing Powder:

I’ve raved about this cleanser before. If you haven’t tried a powder cleanser or exfoliant yet, you really need to! This one is gentle enough to use daily and keeps my skin super soft and smooth.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum:

Filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants, this serum is great for everyday use. I’ve been using it pretty consistently for years and notice a big difference when I’m using it vs. when I’m not. Another vitamin C serum I love is this one by Eminence.

SENTÉ Bio Complete Serum:

Currently writing an entire post to retinol, but here’s the quick version of it. I read that your mid twenties are a good time to start incorporating retinol into your skincare routine (some people say as early as your late teens, but the majority of research I’ve come across suggests starting around 24-26). Why? Because retinol helps your skin cells turn over, producing more collagen which helps with skin texture and elasticity. If you’re looking into an anti-aging regime without opting for lasers or needles, definitely try a retinol cream to start! This one was recommended to me by Facile and I use it a couple times a week at night.

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

Dr. Jart Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel:

My current daily daytime moisturizer. For daytime, I look for lightweight and moisturizing ingredients and formulas that work well on their own or underneath makeup.

Dr. Jart Water Fuse Hydro Sleep Mask:

Another one for dry skin lovers. I’ll layer a “sleeping mask” over my nighttime moisturizer for an extra boost of skin hydration. There’s nothing better than waking up to as close to perfect skin as you can get.

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask:

As I get older, I’ve started to experiment more with gentle peels. I haven’t gone full on yet with a spa-grade peel, but I have been testing different at home products. I really like this REN mask because it smells amazing and it leaves my skin just GLOWING. I’m a sucker for anything that has the word “radiance” in the description, only this product actually does that.

Kiehl’s Super Fluid Sunscreen:

I’ve been using this sunscreen everyday for the past five years. The formula is thin, easy to layer, and non-irritating. This sunscreen works well over your daily moisturizer and under makeup. I only wish I started wearing sunscreen religiously sooner… : )

Diet:

I really do believe diet is correlated to the texture and appearance of my skin. I try to drink at least 3L of water a day and I notice a huge difference when I eat junk food or drink alcohol compared when I eat less processed foods. Again, everyone’s skin is different and what triggers your skin may be different than mine.

I know environment also plays a huge role in your skin – for example my skin changed drastically when I moved to LA, it’s been pretty much nonstop dry from the desert climate, sun exposure, and crazy pollution. So I’ve been trying to adjust my skincare routine accordingly as well.

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