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Beauty

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

If you haven’t tried a powder cleanser for your face yet, you’re missing out. If you’re skeptical, try it out – it might completely change the way you wash your face (I know it did for me!).

Hear me out: powder cleansers are simple and effective, not to mention gentle and kind of fun to use. I’ve swapped out my normal liquid or gel cleanser for a powder version on more than one occasion. Powder cleansers are usually made with natural ingredients. Plus, they gently cleanse and exfoliate your skin at the same time. Powder cleansers  typically contain rice based ingredients because they are derived from ancient Japanese skin and beauty rituals.

I started using powder cleansers last year and quickly added powder exfoliants to my skincare line up as well – and my skin has never been so soft! Another bonus – powders are travel friendly! Read on for some of my favorite powder based cleansers and exfoliants.

My Top 5 Powder Facial Cleansers and Exfoliants

Add This to Your Skincare Routine Stat - POWDER CLEANSERS and Why They're the Bomb | by The Luxi Look

1. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

This product was used on me during a facial and I immediately had to ask what it was – this product leaves my skin super soft and cleansed. It’s gentle enough to be used daily (hence the name, duh), and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I like to mix this with a gel cleanser sometimes for a little 2-in-1 action.

2. Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant

Eminence is one of my favorite organic, natural skincare lines. This strawberry rhubarb powder smells delicious (like strawberry yogurt) and sloughs off dead skin cells on my face. This one is slightly more abrasive than the Dermalogica powder, so I use it every other day at most (I alternate between products every couple weeks).

3. Tatcha Polished Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder

This powder came in Rachel Zoe’s Box of Style and has a permanent spot in my gym bag. I love powder cleansers when I’m on the go, and this one has a tab that covers the opening so you don’t have to worry about spills. This one is gentle enough to use daily.

Add This to Your Skincare Routine Stat - POWDER CLEANSERS and Why They're the Bomb | by The Luxi Look

4. Skinesque Enzyme Washing Powder

Hands down my favorite powder cleanser. Skinesque is a Korean beauty brand that has a line of small but KILLER products. One of my blogger friends turned me onto this brand and I’m so glad she did. I’ll definitely be repurchasing this powder, in addition to more of Skinesque’s crazy cool 3 step face masks.

5. Josie Maran Argan Exfoliating Cleansing Powder

Josie Maran’s argan oils are some of the best on the market, and this cleansing powder is no exception.

Because most cleansing powders have similar formulas, you can’t really go wrong with any choice. I was surprised at how much I love using powder formulas, especially when it came to my recent trip abroad (no carry on liquid restrictions here!). I’m still loyal to a couple gel cleansers (especially when I want to get every last bit of makeup off), but powder cleansers have found a place in my heart – and they’re here to stay.

Have you tried powder cleansers? Yay or nay?

xx, Amy

There’s nothing better than a good tan. I’ve tried accepting my pale skin, but a little sun-kissed glow is flattering on basically everyone. With that said, I do my best to avoid too much sun because, well, wrinkles. The older I get, the more I take skincare seriously. Luckily, sunless tanning has come a long way. There’s nothing better than a good, all natural spray tan. If you’re thinking of the Friends episode where Ross gets a spray tan (too funny!), you don’t need to worry. There are safe, non-orange, organic spray tan options available on the market now. If you’re wondering what is organic spray tan, read on for a little interview I did with LA based spray tan queen, Valerie Mya of On the Go GlowSo, let’s get right into it!

Get an All Natural Glow - What is Organic Spray Tan All About? | by The Luxi Look

Hi!! Introduce yourself and your business.
Hey everyone! I’m Valerie Mya, the CEO & Founder of On The Go Glow. We are an organic mobile spray tanning company. We come to you in the comfort of your home, office or hotel. Open 24/7!

What inspired you to start On the Go Glow?
I’ve always loved being tan – I mean who doesn’t? – but as I got older I knew I had to get tan a healthy way. No more sun, no more tanning beds. I disliked a lot of the spray tans on the market because of the chemicals in the solution and the not so natural color. I also knew the experience of going to a salon and standing naked, in a cold uncomfortable room, didn’t sound appealing.

The idea of having convenience, comfort, and an organic solution was my plan. On The Go Glow was born. I now get inspired everyday when we make people feel comfortable in their own skin. The confidence a spray tan gives someone is remarkable. I was inspired to start On The Go Glow from my own desire to feel confident. I didn’t realize how rewarding it would be to give that to others.

Why should you get an ORGANIC spray tan?
Everything we eat or products we put on our skin absorb into our body. A spray tan covers all of your skin – so organic is the only way to go! The difference is pretty simple: non organic solutions have chemicals.

Why is organic better?
Would you drink chemicals? I didn’t think so. Your pores drink everything you put on it. That is why organic is better.

Get an All Natural Glow - What is Organic Spray Tan All About? | by The Luxi Look

I really, really don’t want to look orange – what do I do/say when I get a spray tan?
The worry everyone has and the question I always get, and I totally get it. Most chemical base solutions you just have to hope have natural pigmentation. So yet another reason to go organic. If it is an organic solution, you want to make sure ‘beets’ or ‘carrots’ are not in the solution. That causes a red/orange pigmentation which causes the orange look you’re not wanting. Our signature solution is made of brown sugar from apples, giving you that brown look.

What’s the best way to prep for a spray tan?
Make sure to have nothing on your skin. No lotion, makeup, deodorant. It is best to exfoliate to get off any dead skin. Really scrub any dry areas – feet, knees, elbows. Shave. We recommend shaving at least an hour before your appointment. Run cold water to close your pores if you can’t shave. Do waxing and manicures/pedicures before your spray tan.

Any tips for making the spray tan last longer?
Our solution lasts 7-10 days. The main after care is to lotion. This locks in the solution. Other tips to prolong the spray tan – take quicker showers, don’t use super hot water, and obviously no scrubbing.

Get an All Natural Glow - What is Organic Spray Tan All About? | by The Luxi Look

Are spray tans safe?
Spray tans are the safe way to get a tan, but ask for organic.

How often can you get a spray tan?
As often as you like! We have clients who do it every week, every other week, or just for special occasions. Just depends on how consistent your want your tan. I usually recommend at least waiting a week in-between tans so your not laying solution on top of solution causing too much build up.

Any other skincare tips and tricks you have up your sleeve?
We have our secret tricks we do while spraying to give the most natural look. But for the clients, a great tip if you’re wanting to get sprayed and go out, use baby power or face powder and put it in the creases (where your knees & arms bend etc.). This stops the solution from rubbing while its developing.

What are your favorite at home tanning products for girls that want to DIY?
Most at home spray tans can be tricky! My tip is to get something that is in an aerosol can. They come out more even, less likely to have streaks. St. Tropez has a great aerosol at home tanning product.

What’s next for On the Go Glow?
We are expanding! On The Go Glow was started in Los Angeles 2013. We opened in Las Vegas October 2016 and now opening in San Francisco Sept 2017. We hope to continue to grow in other cities and boost confidence in women and men!

Will be sharing more sunless tan tips and tricks as the summer continues!

Finally, LA ladies – be sure to check out On the Go Glow for the most convenient organic spray tan you can get (seriously, nothing better than a spray tan that comes to you!).

xx, Amy

You know the saying, “beautiful inside and out”? Although it’s often used as a compliment, maybe it should also be something we strive for in our daily routines. After all, we’re constantly talking about what we put into our bodies, but what about what we put on our bodies? Many of us stop and think before going in face first into a plate of fries or a slice of cake (but not all the time – balance is key, right?) because we know it’s not the best thing to eat for our bodies. But we rarely think about what our foundation is made of or what chemicals are in our skincare products.

Clean beauty has been becoming more and more popular over the past few years, and while I’ll be the first to admit I can’t say goodbye to my beloved Armani foundation or Nars bronzer, it has been fun to dabble in clean and organic beauty brands. Although I was initially hesitant to use clean beauty products, I’ve found some brands that I really do love and think are worth trying out. The best part is most of them are available on Sephora now!

Clean beauty products that should be on your radar:

Clean Beauty 101 | by The Luxi Look

Ilia

Ilia is a brand I discovered last year and their lip products have since become one of my favorites. Clean beauty products tend to lack the punch of color and staying power as other brands (in my experience), but Ilia’s tinted lip conditionermulti-stick adds the perfect layer of color and hydration for day and night. It doesn’t go on like a matte or liquid lipstick and needs to be reapplied every now and then, but the berry shades are some of my go-tos in the winter. I’m a huge fan of the as well (who doesn’t love a good 2-in-1 product?!).

Clean Beauty 101 | by The Luxi Look

Kjaer Weis

If you think clean beauty products aren’t luxurious, think again. Kjaer Weis is a super luxe brand of clean and organic beauty products. The line was started by Danish born makeup artist Kjaer Weis, and you can see the simplicity and quality of the products immediately (Danish women are so naturally stunning!). The mascara is as good of a natural mascara as I’ve found, and the cream blush and bronzer go on so smoothly.

Clean Beauty 101 | by The Luxi Look

rms beauty

My first foray into natural beauty. The entire line is simple and holistic, made entirely of raw, food-grade, and organic anti-aging ingredients. But that doesn’t mean the products are weak! The living luminizer is a cult classic (before highlighting was the craze it is today!) and gives you that lit from within glow (it’s also tough to overdo, so if you have heavy hands you won’t go overboard!). The concealer is effective yet lightweight and clean enough to use every day. Also, the pots are really cute!

Clean Beauty 101 | by The Luxi Look

Tata Harper

Clean makeup is a little harder to transition to fully, but skincare is something I can get behind. I’ve been trying samples of a lot of different brands and had heard amazing things about Tata Harper. I love the brand’s mission to create luxurious yet natural products! The purifying cleanser is especially wonderful if you have oily skin, my dry skin has responded well to the face oil.

Clean Beauty 101 | by The Luxi Look

Herbivore Botanicals

I can’t get enough of these facial and body products!! The minimalist packaging and design caught my eye right away. Although what I really love is how gentle they are! My skin doesn’t usually have issues with natural and organic skincare lines. Which is exactly why I tend to gravitate towards them. The coconut + rose body scrub (YUM) smells amazing and leaves your skin so soft, and I’ve been using their masks regularly ever since an aesthetician recommended them to me!

Clean Beauty 101 | by The Luxi Look

Coola

I don’t mess around with SPF. Sunscreen is an absolute must if you’re going in the sun. All natural sunscreen is even better! Coola smells like the best possible version of sunscreen (coconut everything!) and gives you the right amount of protection from UV rays. The #1 thing I hear every dermatologist say is WEAR SUNSCREEN. If you’re going for color, FAKE IT! I will have safe ORGANIC sunless tanning tips on the blog soon!

What are your favorite clean beauty products?

xx, Amy

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

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