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Confession: I am a makeup hoarder. I buy makeup and I keep it in a drawer, rarely throwing product away unless it’s completely used up. I’m guessing some of you do this too? For the longest time, I didn’t think twice about this habit. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, I told myself!

Why you shouldn’t use old, expired makeup

The reality is, makeup expires. And it’s not pretty when it does.

I mean, you don’t eat expired food, do you? I’m not talking about a couple days… I’m talking about months or even years old expired food. You probably wouldn’t even think of it. Expired food can make you sick, plain and simple. So why do we continue using expired makeup?!

Whether you realize it or not, the process of applying makeup can be less than sanitary, especially if you’re using your fingers to apply product and not washing your brushes properly (<< will do a post on this!). Over time, products can change in color and formula, lose their effectiveness, and become a hotspot for germs and bacteria. Ew!

Expiration dates for some common beauty products

Foundation – 6 months+. Foundation can last up to 2 years, but this is one you want to pay attention to, especially because you’re putting it on all over your face.

Lipstick – 2 years. Totally guilty of keeping lipsticks for longer than this time (I rarely use them up). It’s hard to say goodbye, but for sanitary purposes it’s a good idea to toss shades that are older than a couple years.

Mascara – 3-6 months. This one is usually safe if you consistently use the same tube, they usually won’t last longer than that time anyway. Over time, pumping the brush also pushes air into the tube, which will dry the mascara out.

Eyeliner – 3 months (liquid or gel formulas) to 2 years (pencil). 3 months is not a long time at all! Chances are you’ve used expired eyeliner before. You might think oh it’s NBD but considering how close to your eye you’re applying this product, you definitely want to avoid the risk of getting a gnarly eye infection (definitely do not share eyeliner!)

Powder makeup (bronzer, blush, eyeshadow) – 1-2 years. You get a bit of a pass with powder makeup – because it’s dry, it takes longer to go bad. Still, it’s not a bad idea to keep track of dates and make sure you avoid stockpiling older product.

If you’re not keeping track of your makeup expiration dates, you should! Try keeping a list or writing down when you bought a product on the package itself. When I did an assessment of my makeup, I was shocked to find that more than half of it was expired! I was keeping around old foundations and shades of lipsticks that I didn’t want to throw away because “you never know when you might want to use them!” But rather than keeping a stash of “just in case” makeup, I’m trying to streamline my makeup drawer so it contains just the essentials.

Do you keep track of your makeup expiration dates? How do you organize your beauty products?

xx, Amy

All too often, we hear about the importance of taking vitamins. But with most things in life, consistency is key. I can’t even begin to tell you how many half full bottles of different vitamins and minerals are laying around my apartment. Many of which are probably way past their expiration date. It’s too easy to read an article about some hot new supplement you need to take, and thanks to one-click shopping and my Prime membership, get a package on my doorstep in two days.

Typically, what ends up happening is this: I get excited, take previously mentioned supplement for a week, and then forget about it. With that sort of behavior, it’s no wonder I never really saw any benefits from most of the vitamins I was taking! However, recently I tried Care/of, a new service designed to help make taking your vitamins fun and easy and couldn’t wait to share with you guys.

[ Full disclosure, this post is not sponsored – Care/of was kind enough to offer and send me a month of vitamins to try, but I really wanted to share my experience with you guys! ]

A New Way of Taking Vitamins with Care/of | by The Luxi Look

Why should you take vitamins?

First, let’s talk about supplements. There’s a bit of debate as to whether or not we need to be taking supplements at all. While I agree that it’s probably best to get our vitamins and minerals in their natural form through food, the truth is most of us don’t get the right amount of everything in our daily diets. Vegans and vegetarians especially. Once you start cutting out certain food groups, it becomes easier to be deficient in certain essential nutrients if you’re not careful. Even if you’re eating a balanced diet, you may still benefit from taking supplements.

Although health and wellness is something I’m very passionate about, I am fully aware that I’m not a doctor. SO – be sure to talk to one or get their advice before starting a supplement regime! With that said, if you are interested in trying vitamins, you may want to consider a personalized approach by the way of Care/of.

What makes Care/of different?

Care/of asks you questions about your lifestyle, diet, and personal needs in order to determine what supplements may be beneficial to you. They offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, herbs, probiotics, and more. The personalized approach helps you take only the supplements you need, with a wide range of benefits. A lot of the science behind supplements is debatable. Although, Care/of does the work in assembling the research and traditional uses behind all of the supplements available, so you can have the most accurate assessment of the products and read the evidence first hand for yourself.

In addition, Care/of takes the mess and fuss out taking your daily vitamins. They the whole process fun and easy. You get deliveries of a month’s worth of vitamins at a time that come in pre-portioned daily packages. So you really have no excuse to skip your vitamins.

A New Way of Taking Vitamins with Care/of | by The Luxi Look

What was in my pack?

Based on my personal assessment, Care/of created a recommend pack of 5 different vitamins. You can also add or subtract other supplements based on your personal needs and preferences (packs range from 2-14 pills/day). Here’s what came in my recommended daily vitamin pack:

Digestive enzymes – although I was taking a daily probiotic before anyway, I’m glad I get one in my Care/of package as well. These help keep your gut healthy and happy and help tremendously with digestion and bowel movements. A healthy digestive system is so important for ridding your body of toxins!

Ashwagandha (try saying that 3 times fast!) – this was a new to me and exciting addition to my pack. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that is meant to support a healthy stress response. Although I’d like to think that I’m pretty chill, the truth is anxiety and stress can get the best of me at times. Ashwagandha is also known as “Indian Gingseng” and has been used for thousands of years in traditional Indian medicine.

Rhodiola – another herb used to help combat stress and fatigue. Apparently I said I was feeling burned out?! Anyway, this is a traditional Chinese herb that has been shown to relieve stress and promote feelings of well being.

I grew up taking traditional Eastern medicine, so Ayurvedic herbs don’t phase me. If you’re less sure about these types of supplements, you can totally pass on them!

These two recommended vitamins are much more established in the states.

Vitamin D – even though I live in Southern California, I don’t always get enough sun. Did you know a majority of Americans aren’t getting enough Vitamin D? Vitamin D is essential for strong and healthy bones!

Vitamin C – supports your immune system!

A New Way of Taking Vitamins with Care/of | by The Luxi Look

All of this comes to $34/month (just a little over $1 a day). The daily packages are pre-portioned and come in these adorable little pouches. The pouches are personalized with your name on them and are so easy to throw in your bag and go. I’ve been keeping a couple in my desk at the office in case I forget to grab a pack on my way out in the morning (depending on whether or not I’ve had coffee, I can be very forgetful!).

Also, V IMPORTANT tip. Always take your vitamins with a meal. I’ve made the mistake of downing 5 pills in the morning before ingesting any food. It leaves me feeling nauseous and queasy.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my experience with Care/of. I love the convenience of having pre-portioned packages that are easy to carry around with you and dispose of afterwards. Also, I love that I can customize the packets easily.  I can ensure that I am getting the nutrients need for my body.

If you’re interested in trying, Care/of kindly offers a discount code for my readers – use LUXILOOK50 at checkout for 50% off your first month of vitamins.

Would love to hear with you guys think!!

xx, Amy

Mondays can be a reaaaal bitch. Don’t get me wrong, I love starting the week feeling refreshed and ready to go. New week, new goals – am I right? However, with those new goals comes a laundry list of things to do. Raise your hand if you’re as obsessed with making lists as I am. Now raise your hand if you struggle with getting everything on said list done. If you’re still a little groggy from the weekend, it can be hard as hell to motivate yourself to even begin to tackle your to-do list. It’s a seriously daunting task!

How to Tackle Your To-Do List | by The Luxi Look

 

Here are the best ways to tackle your to-do list to have the most productive week ever.

Time block. This is probably one of the best productivity tools I’ve discovered. I am the biggest fan of time blocking. It really forces you to focus on the task at hand and nothing else. Short bursts of effort work well for me. 100% concentration for 20-30 min chunks, and then a 5-minute break. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll work for longer or shorter periods of time, and adjust my breaks accordingly. With that said, time blocking works best if you’re not being distracted by anything else.

Which leads me to my second tip…

Turn off social media. Nothing kills productivity faster than checking your phone or social media. If you’re serious about getting things done, turn your phone on airplane mode. Use a website blocker or browser extension to prevent yourself from using social media or browsing the web.

Do the hardest task first. Who’s guilty of doing the easiest tasks first, checking them off our list, and then getting stumped by the harder stuff after? If you do the challenging stuff first, the rest of your tasks will be completed in a breeze! This might be a bit of a personal preference, but I always like to get the tough stuff out of the way first.

Set realistic expectations. What does your to-do list look like? Be honest with yourself – is it full of little tasks and errands that you can get done quickly (laundry, cleaning, running to the drugstore, etc.) or is it more substantial? Maybe you’re studying for a big exam or applying for jobs or school. These tasks take time and a lot of concerted effort – don’t be upset or disappointed if you can’t get it all done in one go.

Depending on how ambitious you’re feeling, try to set one to three tasks a day that you HAVE to get done. Start small and work your way up. For example – some days, I make my main tasks 1. working out, 2. writing a new blog post, and 3. meditating for 10 minutes. Other days, it can be cleaning for 15 minutes and reading 20 pages of a book. It changes every day. Point being, mix it up and keep it spicy (can a to-do list be spicy?).

Some of the things on my to-do list this week? Work on my content calendar for the next month (any posts you’re dying to see?), visit the flea market for some home decor, organize my closet, and possiblyyy a trip to Ikea if I’m feeling REALLY ambitious.

How to Tackle Your To-Do List | by The Luxi Look

How to Tackle Your To-Do List | by The Luxi Look

Speaking of organizing my closet – do you remember this dress from Arrive Clothing? I am so obsessed with everything in the collection, I had to scoop up another piece to add to my closet. This romper is everything I want in a summer outfit – floral, ruffles, and cut out details. And yes, I am still following my rule of getting rid of a piece when I get buy something new.

Check out some of my favorite Arrive pieces below (love how they make so many different pieces with the same print!). I’m off to catch up on Game of Thrones xx

romper: arrive | bag: gucci | sunnies: ray-ban | shoes: similar

Remember the 90s when fats were the devil? Well, now it’s sugar’s turn. Except the negative effects of sugar are well documented and research has shown that healthy fats are actually good for us! Unfortunately, all signs point to sugar having ZERO health benefits. There’s no silver lining when it comes to sugar. That’s why doctors, scientists, nutritionists, etc. are telling us to stay away from it – probably more than any other ingredient or food group. Not only is it fattening, horrible for energy, more addictive than drugs, and slowly killing us, it’s also processed like crazy. Bottom line, it provides zero goodness to our bodies and instead does a lot of harm.

But the problem is complicated: 1. It’s really, really good (looking at you, donuts!) 2. It’s proven to be as addictive as hard-core drugs (our brain responds similarly), and 3. It’s in everything. So even if you aren’t buying ice cream, you’re still consuming sugar regularly – at least I am – in things like condiments, salad dressings, etc. that you would never even think it was in! 

With summer travel and a busy schedule overall, I’m trying (key word, trying) to limit sugar, and more specifically, sugar cravings – which go hand-in-hand. To not eat as much sugar, at least consciously, it’s important to get a handle on cravings first.

If you’re in the same boat and either want to eat less of it or be more conscious of sugar, we’re in it together.

Here are my tips on how to cut down on sugar cravings and sugar altogether:

Watch your fruit intake. Fruit is so tricky. Yes, it should be part of a nutritious diet, but it still has plenty of natural sugars in it (different from processed sugars found in candy, cake, etc., but still a sugar). Natural is way better than added, but it should still be monitored. Try to eat your fruit early – that way your body has time to break it down rather than at night when it will likely get stored and turn into fat. “Healthy” breakfasts like acai bowls have a ton of natural sugar, so even though you’re getting nutrients here, save the fruit-heavy meals to once or twice a week – at least when you’re trying to cut back.

Know the hidden names. There are at least 60 names for “sugar” on food labels, so even when you think you’re eating something with zero sugar, check the ingredients. Some examples: sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, barley malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup. Anything that ends in the letters “-ose” is typically a form of sugar! 

Speak with a dietician. When you’re making big life changes, especially ones that could affect your long-term health, you should always consult a health professional. A dietician can walk you through how much sugar someone your age and weight should have and where you should be getting it from, etc. And this is different from your general medicine doctor – you want a certified dietician or nutritionist. They are FULL of knowledge, motivation, and help.

Avoid processed food. Processed foods like spaghetti sauce, cereal and dressings (and a million more) can appear to be healthy but actually contain loads of sugar. Switch gears and start focusing on buying whole, natural foods at the grocery store. Your best bet is to buy foods with limited ingredients. Items with 5 or less ingredients rarely are processed enough to contain sugar (except fruit). And if you can’t pronounce something – chances are you probably don’t want to be eating it! I also rely on making my own salad dressing. A little lemon, olive oil, red wine vinegar, local honey, and salt & pepper go a long way.

Find an alternative. If you love baking or can’t imagine life without cookies, find an alternative to sugar. There are tons of non-refined and natural options like coconut palm sugar and stevia, although I try to steer clear of these as much as possible as well. Sugar is sugar, you know?

Eat one less thing. Going cold turkey is hard, so I try for one less sugary thing a day. This actually helps for any elimination-type diet and is proven to be much easier to handle. One less cookie, one less sugary condiment, one less sugary drink. In my experience, when you say I can’t have something I just want it more. And TBH, a life without dessert isn’t really one I want to be living! I’m taking baby steps, ok?

Change your drinks. Speaking of sugary drinks, unfortunately, a lot of the best kinds of drinks are loaded with sugar. It might make them taste good (and look pretty), but they’re leading to sugar spikes, calories, and hangovers (I’m looking at you, alcohol). Cut out wine, champagne, tonic waters and sodas, and generally anything darker (like rum). Clear alcohol tends to have the least amount of sugar, so try vodka or tequila (< my drink of choice!) on the rocks with lots of lemon, lime and cucumber.

I’m not saying you have to cut out sugar entirely – I’m not a total monster! And let’s be real, I’m still going to indulge when I can because life is about #balance. Sadly, my sweet tooth is probably here to stay (and if you don’t have one, lucky you!) – but that doesn’t mean I won’t make a more concerted effort to check my labels, say no to dessert more often, and limit the booze (sad).

How are you staying healthy this summer?

I started researching copper water bottles and was so intrigued by all of the reported health benefits of using one. I knew right away I had to go straight to the source and learn more – luckily, I was able to meet up with Jessica, the owner of Copper H2O, who was kind enough to tell me more about copper bottles and all of their amazing benefits.

Read on to learn more about copper water bottles!

Introduce yourself.

Hi! My name is Jessica, and I’m the founder of Copper H2O! Copper H2O is a small business based on the west coast that makes beautiful handmade copper water bottles with amazing ayurvedic health benefits. We’re a bit unique in that we’re a “social enterprise”. In short, that means that our primary goal is to do our part to make the world a better place. We do that by donating a very substantial portion of our profits to non-profit organizations that work to supply clean drinking water in developing countries.

How did you get the idea to start your business?

I came upon the idea while researching ayurvedic medicine. According to ayurvedic medicine, drinking water stored in a copper water bottle or other copper vessel (which is known as “tamra jal” in ayurvedic medicine) balances the three doshas in your body (vata, kapha and pitta) << (will do a post on doshas soon!)by gently infusing the water with the positive health properties of copper. When I learned that, it occurred to me that copper might be the perfect medium for water bottles. Especially since the world doesn’t need another disposable plastic bottle!

What are the benefits to using a copper water bottle?

There are so many reasons to use a copper water bottle! Copper is anti-bacterial, acts as an effective anti-oxidant, improves immunity, supports good health, prevents aging, eliminates toxins and free radicals, and stimulates the brain. In addition, water stored in a copper water bottle will also become natural alkaline water, which helps balance your body’s pH levels. Also, because copper is naturally anti-bacterial, copper water bottles are naturally self-sterilizing and do not require as much cleaning as other water bottles.

In addition to the health benefits, our copper water bottles are also beautiful pieces of functional art. We believe that copper is the best material from which to make water bottles and have worked hard to produce an aesthetically pleasing product that suits an active lifestyle, supports the maintenance of good health, and helps the environment by avoiding the use of disposable plastic bottles.

How do you care for a copper bottle?

Caring for a copper water bottle is easy! Our copper water bottles are made of 100% pure copper, so they will naturally patina over time. Many people love having the exterior of their bottles age gracefully into a beautiful copper patina.

If you prefer the shine of copper, it is very easy to remove. Simply sprinkle a pinch of salt on a slice of lemon. Allow the salt to dissolve. Then gently rub it on the surface of your bottle. The lemon and salt will form a mixture that will naturally remove the patina and restore the copper’s shine. Once done, rinse with water and dry well. The inside of a copper water bottle will also patina over time, but this has no effect on the quality of the water stored inside the bottle. We recommend cleaning the inside of the bottle every now and then with warm water and a drop of liquid soap, and then rinsing it well.

What’s the hardest part of running your own business?

I think the hardest part of running your own business is also the best part of running your own business! In particular, running your own business generally means you sacrifice the stability of a traditional career path. It can be daunting. At the same time, not being locked into the usual “9 to 5” means you have much more flexibility to be creative and follow your passions!

Any advice for new entrepreneurs?

My best piece of advice for new entrepreneurs is to work hard, be patient, have faith in yourself, and never give up! Every entrepreneur faces hurdles, so don’t be discouraged by them – they are a normal part of the job description! Instead, look at the hurdles as opportunities to grow your entrepreneurial muscles. Just like trees, entrepreneurs are made stronger by bending in the wind!

Check out Jessica’s copper bottles here for yourself! So far I am loving mine : ).

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