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Beauty

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

Minor confession: I’m a total sucker for skincare products. My bathroom is a mess and my boyfriend hates it, but I can’t help it. I love testing and trying new products (even though I’m fiercely loyal to my favorites) and let’s be honest – there’s nothing better than a little at home spa day. Even though I recently discovered the wonders and benefits of finding a trustworthy esthetician and getting regular facials, I still like to do a little mask session every week at home. I swear at this point I’ve tried almost every mask on Sephora and the various K-beauty sites and these are my absolute favorites. Some that I thought would love turned out to be overhyped and too expensive (*cough SK-II*), but some clear front runners eventually emerged. I swear these are the face masks that will make you glow!

Face Masks That Make You Glow | by The Luxi Look

Fresh Rose Face Mask

If you have dry skin, this mask by Fresh will be a godsend. This hydrating mask is good for anytime and is full of ingredients your skin will love – rose petals, cucumber extract, algae, and aloe vera. I’ve had really good luck with this mask (goodbye, dry and flaky skin!) and love using it after traveling or whenever my skin isn’t feeling particularly fantastic. This one’s a heavy hitter in the regular rotation.

Face Masks That Make You Glow | by The Luxi Look

Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment

Another one my thirsty, thirsty skin loves. If dryness isn’t your problem, no problem. Whatever your skincare woes are, Glamglow has a mask to solve them. This one goes on in a thin layer so sometimes I’ll put it on before bed and let it absorb into my skin while I sleep before rinsing off in the morning. Your skin will literally glow after using this : ).

Face Masks That Make You Glow | by The Luxi Look

Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask

I’ve had luck with all sorts of sheet masks – you can generally expect to spend between $5-$15 bucks a pop on these babies. Usually I’ll just go on a beauty site and snag enough to last me several months, but I always make sure to include a couple of these masks. These “egg cream masks” are a good price and work really well in hydrating and brightening dull skin. I haven’t worn these on an airplane yet but I’m always tempted to, especially on particularly long flights. A sheet mask once a week keeps my skin happy and if it isn’t in your rotation yet, it should be (if nothing else for the frightening photos and reactions that ensue).

Face Masks That Make You Glow | by The Luxi Look

Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Mask

Have a little too much fun in the sun? Nothing is worse than getting sunburned, but it’s especially awful on your face. Soothe any red patches with this cooling and moisturizing cucumber mask to help your skin recover ASAP. Keep in the fridge for added comfort and relief. This one’s a must have with summer coming up.

Face Masks That Make You Glow | by The Luxi Look

Korres Greek Yoghurt Mask

This mask feels SO luxe and nourishing – slather on before bedtime and wake up to smooth, supple, and hydrated skin. It’s a major lifesaver in the winter!!

xx

 

 

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

Benefits of Amber Oil

Here’s the thing. When I find something that’s new (to me) and share-worthy, I’m going to spill the beans. What’s the fun in hoarding tips and tricks? My most recent discovery is amber oil. Specifically, how to use amber oil as perfume. If you’re like WTF is that?! – hear me out. It might just be your new favorite perfume.

A Little Secret, All Natural Beauty Tip - Use AMBER OIL as Perfume | by The Luxi Look

A couple weeks ago, I was standing in the elevator at work next to a girl I didn’t know. Now if I see a dress I love or a pair or shoes I just have to have on someone, I will always ask. Whatever perfume this girl was wearing not only smelled absolutely incredible, it was also unique and unlike any scent I’m familiar with. As much as I love my Le Labo 33, it seems like everyone and their mother is wearing that scent these days.

Naturally, I just had to ask (in the least creepy way possible).

“Hi, excuse me. Do you mind if I ask what perfume you’re wearing?”

Her response: “Amber oil. You need this perfume.”

A Little Secret, All Natural Beauty Tip - Use AMBER OIL as Perfume | by The Luxi Look

Not some big name brand of perfume from a department store, but a blend of essential oils that comes in a tiny little bottle. The craziest thing is she said she got it off Amazon.

I had to look it up right away when I got home and immediately ordered a bottle. Look for Nemat brand. While I was at it, I just had to pick up a bottle of the “sandalwood” scent as well.

A Little Secret, All Natural Beauty Tip - Use AMBER OIL as Perfume | by The Luxi Look

Here’s the thing about amber oil – it may not be for everyone. But, if you like musk and wood scents, you will love amber oil. The fragrance mixes with your skin and honestly blooms throughout the day.

Oh, and if you’re interested in trying it out – a small bottle is only $15!

A Little Secret, All Natural Beauty Tip - Use AMBER OIL as Perfume | by The Luxi Look

After doing additional research, I found out that amber oil is actually Kristin Bell’s favorite perfume (LOVE her!) and she even wore it on the red carpet. Not to mention, amber oil is amazing for aromatherapy and is even said to be an aphrodisiac and help calm the mind and body. Still not sold? Amber oil can be used in some many different ways.

Amber Oil Uses

+ As a perfume

+ Aromatherapy – the scent of amber oil can be incredibly calming and relaxing

+ Added to your skin or haircare products

+ For massage

+ Diffused as a scent around your home

If you’re into natural health and beauty products, definitely check out amber oil. Can’t wait to share more of the posts I’ve been working on with you guys!

xx, Amy

A Little Secret, All Natural Beauty Tip - Use AMBER OIL as Perfume | by The Luxi Look

A great lip color has the ability to instantly transform your look and pull together an outfit. In my daily life, I tend not to wear too much makeup. This can be problematic when I have plans after work or something unexpectedly comes up where I want to look a little more polished and put together. This is why I always, always keep a few luxurious lipsticks with great color on me – at my desk, in my purse, gym bag, and car. As I talked about in my last post, I’m a huge believer in little daily luxuries. Fancy, luxurious lipsticks definitely counts as well. I love the way high-end lipsticks feel, how pigmented they are, and how luxe the packaging is. Here are my favorite high-end luxurious lipsticks at the moment.

Favorite High-End Luxurious Lipsticks

Favorite High-End Luxurious Lipsticks

My current 5 favorite luxurious lipsticks

MAC – MAC was the first “high-end” lipstick I ever bought for myself. The formula isn’t always as creamy and luxe feeling as some other brands, but you can’t beat the color selection and the price is comparatively a steal relative to high-end brands. My everyday go to nude? Velvet Teddy. Date night red? Ruby-woo. And vampy dark color? Sin.

Nars Velvet Lip Glide – I LOVE this product. It goes on like a gloss, but has a satiny, velvet finish. I personally find super matte products to be way too drying and make me look older, but glosses are overly sticky. This is a beautiful marriage of the two.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – Damned has been my go-to for years. The perfect dark berry color perfect for nighttime.

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick – YSL makeup products never fail. The packaging is sleek and beautiful, the colors vibrant, and this lipstick is so moisturizing. It feels like a gloss/balm and has a shiny finish – I adore this product for spring and summer.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche – my absolute favorite luxurious lipstick at the moment. SO many colors, goes on smooth, lasts forever, and the texture is hydrating and rich. I have it in 4 shades, but my favorite is FIG.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day ; ). If you’re looking to complete your makeup look for Valentine’s Day, make sure you check out this list of the absolute best bronzers. What are your favorite luxurious lipsticks? I LOVE drugstore versions as well.

xx, Amy

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