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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

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

Back from Coachella and I am so excited to share photos from the weekend with you guys!! But first, a little much needed detox recipe – vegan coconut ceviche. I first tried coconut ceviche at Gracias Madre, a vegan Mexican restaurant in West Hollywood (best spicy margs and guac!!) and fell in love instantly. It tasted just as good as the real thing.

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Note – I’m not vegan. I’ve tried it in the past and it wasn’t for me. But I think the principles of veganism – more fruits, vegetales, healthy grains – is good for you. However, I found myself missing a lot of vital nutrients when I tried a vegan diet. AND I think a lot of vegan substitutes aren’t really that healthy for you! If it says it’s vegan, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. With that said, this recipe is delicious and super good for you. Why?

Because coconut does wonders for your bod!

Benefits of eating coconut:

+ Coconut meat is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants

+ Coconuts are full of healthy fats!! If you want to glow from the inside out, healthy fats including coconut and avocado are some of the best foods you can eat

+ Good for your skin and hair

+ Easy to digest

+ Full of MCTs (<< will do an entire post on this!) which may help with weight loss

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

The meat from a young coconut has a texture and taste that very closely mimics ceviche (the version at Gracias Madre almost tastes like octopus!) when you marinate it. It can be tricky to find the right consistency of coconut – you don’t want it to be too firm or soft. Whole Foods has pre cut young coconut if you don’t want to cut open your own. For this recipe, I asked my boyfriend (nicely) to assist with cracking open the coconut : ).

Once you figure out how to crack open a coconut and scoop the meat out, the rest of the recipe is easy peasy. Be sure to drink the coconut water inside as well!

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe

  • 1 fresh young coconut
  • 2-3 limes, juiced (depending on how much lime you like)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 1/2 cucumber (diced)
  • 1 avocado (cubed)
  • 1 jalapeno (diced)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Optional add ins: onion, cilantro, zucchini, mango

Scoop out coconut meat or take pre cut coconut and cut into small squares. Mix with chopped veggies and cover in lime juice. Marinate until ready to serve (recommend at least a couple of hours). Add avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more lime juice as needed. Enjoy!!

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

Vegan Coconut Ceviche Recipe by The Luxi Look

 

SUPER EXCITED FOR TODAY’S POST. I’ve been meaning to start interviewing badass boss babes that inspire me and share them and their stories with you on the blog!

One of the biggest reasons I started blogging was because I wanted to create a space to talk about real stuff and real issues. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good #ootd post and writing about my favorite beauty products, but I really wanted to get into topics with a little more grit and substance as well. Bloggers get a bad rap for being narcissistic, vapid, and superficial – and I don’t think that’s really fair at all. I’ve met a lot of incredible women through blogging and so many of them have stories that are worth sharing. I wanted to make sure The Luxi Look shared those stories and highlighted topics that should be discussed – one of them being career.

I have so much respect for the girl bosses I’ve met through blogging. So many of these girls are not only creating killer content on the reg and inspiring women (around the world!) with their style, they also balance a full time job, a family, or both. It’s really insane.
Interviewing TV Producer and Blogger Madison of Minimal Major | by The Luxi Look

I could not be more excited to introduce you guys to one of the inspiring I’ve met through blogging. My friend Madison, of the blog Minimal Major, not only has the most killer style and beauty tips (she has the most insane brows and hair!) but also works as a TV producer for E! Networks. Every red carpet segment – that’s her running the behind the scenes. Super cool, right? Oh, and she’s the sweetest and most genuine person you’ll meet. I’ll get right to our interview –

Meet Madison of Minimal Major:

Introduce yourself.
Hi guys! I’m Madison Williams – TV Producer, Fashion Expert + Creator of the blog Minimal Major. Also, dog mom to #oliverpeanut, lover of a spicy marg + gal pal to my fav girl, Amy Zhang!!

You’re a TV Producer for E! – that sounds so exciting! Can you tell us what the job is like?
A “typical” day is anything but! It varies depending on the show I’m working on; from The Oscars to The Met Gala to The Grammys. But for the most part, I’m creating all of our fashion content and seeing it through from start to finish. I work with all of the major fashion houses, from Chanel to Dior to Giambattista to obtain the looks I’d like to talk about and from there, write and produce the segments. Once pre-production is over, I start working with our talent to make sure they’re prepped and understand what the show looks like. And then it’s show day! Aka a 3-cups-of-coffee-type-of-day! During our shows, I’m out in the field with a headset on, producing our talent and making sure everything is running smoothly because after all, we’re LIVE! (<< seriously, how cool is her job?!)

How did you get into production? And how did you get to where you are today?
I knew early on I wanted to be a producer. And even earlier than that, I knew I loved fashion. I really didn’t know if it would ever be a possibility to do both though. But knowing that TV Production + Broadcast Journalism was something that really interested me, I applied only to colleges with that major. As a sophomore, I met an Executive Producer at E! who took me under his wing and is still my mentor today. I worked full time for him in the summer as a Production Assistant, and would help out on show weekends. Sometimes, he would even let me film my own school projects from the red carpets. “This is Madison Williams reporting live from The Emmys!”…if you can imagine! Let’s hope no one ever finds those videos! Fast forward to post graduation, and I just continued working my way up. Now, I’ve basically made my own position on my team where I produce all things fashion and I couldn’t be happier. I think hard work, a good attitude and a constant hustle goes a long way in such a competitive business.
Interviewing TV Producer and Blogger Madison of Minimal Major | by The Luxi Look
What’s your favorite part of the job?

It’s so tough to choose! There are so many different elements that I love. In the pre-production process, I love being creative and coming up with our fashion segments and from there, writing and producing them. I love looking at the recent runways and being able tell our audiences what the next major trends are, and how they can incorporate those styles into their every day, on or off the red carpet. I’ll always try to add a little takeaway for our audiences at home. I also love our show days and the team I’m able to work with. It’s a total adrenaline rush once we go live but it’s a really amazing feeling to see everything come together!

Words of advice for an aspiring TV producer?

Network network network! This industry is not only mostly freelance, but a majority of the jobs are word of mouth. You always hear, ‘it’s who you know’ but it’s true. Don’t be afraid to find people on LinkedIn who are doing what you want to do and reach out. Grab coffee with them! The worst that happens is they don’t respond back – you have absolutely nothing to use. Fortune favors the brave!

How do you find balance and manage your time?
This is the hardest part of adulting! The struggle to find a good work-life balance is real. But having my blog has really helped. I was so used to spending my days writing about red carpet and couture fashion (which is not too shabby at all!), but I wanted to also write for myself. I wanted to have my own outlet, my own creative space where I could speak on a more personal level and create my own content. It’s important to work hard but at the same time, it’s equally as important to have our own “thing”; whether it’s a blog, a sport, a book club, a garden – whatever! (Couldn’t agree more! Life is alllll about balance.)
Interviewing TV Producer and Blogger Madison of Minimal Major | by The Luxi Look
 
How do you stay healthy?

GIRL, I try! It goes back to the idea of balance, doesn’t it? Even if I’m working a crazy 80+ hour week, I try to stay in the habit if waking up early and taking a class. Lord knows if I wait til after work it’s not going to happen! I’m big on Classpass though – I’m all about pilates, boxing and hot yoga! Here in LA, I love Carrie’s Pilates, Prevail Boxing, and Modo Yoga. Not to name drop but I saw Dakota Johnson in my yoga class last week and she was a true inspiration. Hah how LA do I sound right now?

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BLOG. Your style is amazing. Do you feel like growing up in Hawaii has influenced your personal style and blog?

100%! Here’s the thing – when I lived in Hawaii, it was (for the most part) pre-online shopping. Everyone kind of shopped at the same stores (shout out Abercrombie!) and I hated it! I always wanted to be different so it forced me to style things differently. I also got really into vintage shopping, and cutting and sewing things myself to stand out. That stuck with me because I now covet those standout pieces I know a lot of people won’t have. I also think being from an island has kept my style a little more laid back.

What are your three must have trends for spring?

Bold hues, super graphic stripes…and, the ankle bracelet trend a la Chanel. I’m v into it, you guys.

What are the last three things you bought?

A Janessa Leone hat (it’s really become a problem), a little linen top via Reformation + pink printed Gucci slides (coming soon to a @minimalmajor Instagram near you!).

Must have beauty products?

I just did a project with Honest Beauty (check it out on their FB page!), and am really loving all of their products – especially their lip crayon! it’s super hydrating and gives you a good pop. If you follow me on my social you know I never leave the house without some lip. In terms of hair, I’m so loyal to Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray (<< ME TOO!!). It makes every day a good hair day.

What are your favorite LA spots?

Call me basic but you can find me at Alfred Tea (that kombucha on tap!), Gracias Madre (for a v good happy hour), The Line (alllll the Insta inspo), Melrose Place Farmers’ Market (fresh blooms on Sundays!), and if I’m feeling real fancy – The Now Massage.

Talk about career, style, and life goals, am I right?! For more on this LA cool girl, be sure to follow Madison on Instagram here.
 Interviewing TV Producer and Blogger Madison of Minimal Major | by The Luxi Look

Guys. Weekend hangovers are real. Some Mondays I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the new week, other times it can be a huge wake up call. Most weeks, the first thing I usually reach for Monday morning is a giant cup of coffee. Not a huge coffee drinker for most of my life, but when you’re trying to juggle different projects and tasks, I’ve found caffeine to be my BFF. Lately though, I’ve been going for yerba mate in the morning. Same boost of caffeine but different source. Let’s talk yerba mate vs. coffee.

What is yerba mate?

Yerba mate is a popular South American tea that is described as having “the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate.” In fact, it is significantly more popular than coffee in several South American countries. The reason for this? Yerba mate not only gives an energy boost from caffeine, it also has tons of other health benefits. Yerba mate is claimed to give a better energy boost, enhance mental clarity and alertness, and overall improve your health.

Yerba Mate vs. Coffee | by The Luxi Look

Yerba Mate vs. Coffee | by The Luxi Look

Yerba mate vs. coffee

Yerba mate is not only claimed to be better for you than coffee, it’s also been proven to be healthier than green tea. Yerba mate is filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Turns out this little beverage is a nutritional powerhouse! A couple reasons why yerba mate is better for you than coffee:

+ A smoother, calmer caffeine boost. Ever feel jittery from drinking coffee? Yerba mate doesn’t cause this. You’ll get the energy boost without the negative side effects that can come from drinking coffee.

+ Easier on the digestive system than coffee.

+ Yerba mate can boost your immune system.

+ Can help with weight loss.

Yerba Mate vs. Coffee | by The Luxi Look

Yerba Mate vs. Coffee | by The Luxi Look

My experience with yerba mate

I’ve been drinking yerba mate (but still having coffee occasionally) for the past few months. My verdict? Yerba mate is an easy drinking tea that provides a gentle boost of energy (and somehow doesn’t keep me up at night) and helps me focus at work. I love sipping on the tea throughout the day – it’s become a bit of a workday ritual. I don’t have a caffeine crash and because each cup of mate has less caffeine than a cup of coffee (80 mg in mate vs. 100+ in a cup of coffee) I don’t get caffeine jitters.

Not only is the tea cheap, it’s super easy to brew. I use a loose leaf tea infuser and steep the leaves in hot water for 3 minutes before drinking. Much easier than the process of hand grinding coffee beans and making coffee in the morning on those days when I just need some caffeine as soon as I wake up. In fact, going to brew a cup right now ; ).

xx, Amy

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