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Although I’m no stranger to aromatherapy and using essential oils in my daily routine, it wasn’t until recently that I began to regularly diffuse essential oils in my home. It’s kind of silly to even admit this, but properly diffusing essential oils is SO much better than using any old air freshener. I love my essential oil diffuser and incorporating it has become part of my routine. It’s so calming and relaxing – it totally sets the mood right.

Essential oils have long been touted for their benefits and ability to boost our mood. The science behind this is that our brain closely links different scents to feelings and moods. Who knew our nose and brain were so closely connected?

Diffusing Essentials Oils for a Zen Atmosphere at Home with Vitruvi | by The Luxi Look

Diffusing Essentials Oils for a Zen Atmosphere at Home with Vitruvi | by The Luxi Look

Why I’m all about diffusing essential oils:

Many people just take essential oils and apply them onto their skin, like a perfume or for an essential oil massage. This is completely fine! You’ll totally get the benefits of aromatherapy when you apply oils topically – but breathing in the essential oils will allow you to experience their full benefits. When you diffuse the oil (using a tool to push and send essential oils into the air around you), it changes the entire room.

Diffusing essential oils not only creates a natural air freshener (that smells amazing!) but it also triggers feelings and emotions when you smell the scent. Different essential oils can trigger different moods in the mind – so depending on the mood you’re in (or want to be in!), diffusing a particular essential oil can take your mind there.

Some popular essential oils and their benefits:

Lavender & bergamot – relaxation & stress reduction (these are my favorites for unwinding at night).

Citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit) – uplifting, mood-boosting. I often start my day with a citrus essential oil.

Ylang-ylang & jasmine – sensual

Peppermint – energy & focus (think: chewing gum before an exam)

Eucalyptus – immunity boosting, helps with breathing.

My go-to essential oils at home? Lavender, grapefruit, and orange. I really love setting the mood for a relaxing night in or bringing positive energy for the day ahead. You can also mix and combine different essential oils for a different scent or a variety of benefits.

Essential oil recipes

Morning Boost – orange & peppermint

Calm Home – lavender, lemon, & rosemary

Citrus Awakening – lemon, orange, grapefruit

Breathe Well – lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary

Depending on the time of day and mood I’m in, I’ll whip up one of these or try experimenting with something new!

Diffusing Essentials Oils for a Zen Atmosphere at Home with Vitruvi | by The Luxi Look

Diffusing Essentials Oils for a Zen Atmosphere at Home with Vitruvi | by The Luxi Look

How to diffuse essential oils:

The Process:

Take your diffuser and fill it up with water (there’s usually a line that shows how much water to add). Add ~5-10 drops of essential oil (you can use one oil, or try mixing and matching different ones!). Start with fewer drops and add more as you go – you definitely don’t need to start with more than 5 or 10 drops! Turn on your diffuser and set a timer (some diffusers come with interval timers!) and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy.

Safety:

As much as I love to diffuse essential oils, after doing some research I learned that there is a right way to diffuse oils SAFELY. Yes, safety is important when you are diffusing essential oils!

A Common Misconception:

First, a common misconception is that you can just keep your diffuser running all day long, like an air freshener. That is actually wrong! You should only diffuse essential oils for short periods of time – think 5-15 minutes (30 minutes max!). Why? Because after diffusing for that amount of time, you’re no longer receiving the benefits of the scent because you have effectively overloaded yourself with it and there is no longer any therapeutic value left.

Never Heat Your Oils:

Another important thing to note is to never heat the oil! Proper diffusers never use heat to disperse the essential oil (they use air). On that note, you should never warm your essential oils over a candle or warmer to diffuse the oil.

How To Clean Your Diffuser:

You don’t have to clean your diffuser often (even if you use different scents), but if you’d like to clean your diffuser, just make sure to dump out the water and clean the inside with a soft cloth or brush.

The Best Essential Oils Diffuser:

I LOVE this stone diffuser from Vitruvi. Not only is it absolutely beautiful (handcrafted from porcelain!), the ultrasonic technology it uses to diffuse the oils keeps them pure and fresh. The diffuser uses ultrasonic waves and water to disperse the essential oil into the air. I’m a total sucker for packaging, and this diffuser looks absolutely beautiful in my home. It’s also functional and getting a lot of use, especially now in the winter!

You can get it here and here.

I’m off to mix up a little nighttime essential oil concoction to help me get to sleep! Thinking lavender and bergamot with a drop of eucalyptus tonight.

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One of my goals this year is to create a more thoughtful wardrobe. I want to be more selective in the pieces I buy and minimize the number of clothes in my closet. This isn’t a new concept. Fashion magazines and bloggers love to talk about investing in “wardrobe staples.” The idea is, if it’s classic, timeless, repeatable, it’s worth spending more money on. Patterns, prints, trendy items should be bought from fast fashion sites and on the cheap. Sounds simple enough, right? But look through your closet and see how often you’ve actually applied that reasoning. I know my closet is filled with dresses, accessories, and shoes I’ve only worn once or twice, which makes me cringe just thinking about it.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize the pieces I wear the most tend to be more neutral and basic. Think: white tees, the perfect pair of denim, leather jacket, black boots. Not reinventing the wheel here, but when I’m throwing on an outfit to grab coffee in, it tends to be more laid back and simple. Now that I’m no longer in my early twenties, I’m slowly replacing my worn in basics with timeless, higher quality versions. As much as I love printed dresses and pieces that pop, at the end of the day, you can never go wrong with wearing all black. For me, a thoughtful wardrobe is a well curated one, filled with staples that fit perfectly with a splash of color and unique pieces scattered throughout.

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Easy tips for creating a more thoughtful wardrobe:

Wait before pulling the trigger.

Before you buy anything, wait at least 24 hours. You’ll find that once something sits in your cart for a day (or more), you might change on your mind on just how badly you *need* that new swimsuit.

Set an expiration date.

Determine what amount of time an item can go unworn in your closet before it gets tossed. I made a rule that if it doesn’t get worn in a year, it’s out. Don’t be afraid to throw out or donate clothes you don’t wear anymore!

Create a clothing hierarchy.

Not all items are created equal. Think long and hard about how much you’re willing to spend on clothes. Set some guidelines for where you’re willing to splurge. Ex: a good leather or denim jacket will last you forever. It will also most likely be pretty badass once it’s worn in and vintage. Sunglasses, on the other hand, often get lost (depending on who you are). So they might be an area where you want to spend less. Same goes for swimsuits – I’ve found that I’m in a swimsuit less than 20 times a year, but have enough suits that I could wear a different one each time.

Determine what pieces get the most wear.

I spend the majority of my week in clothes I can wear to the office (which luckily is fairly casual) and workout clothes. With that said, I’d still rather buy a classic pair of denim or a cozy sweater than yet another pair of black leggings.

+ Allow for some “fun” or one time pieces.

Sometimes you just gotta get a special piece for your birthday, or your friend’s birthday, or whatever. If it’s something you know you’re only going to wear once, think about if there’s any potential for it afterwards. Can you gift it to a sibling or friend? Maybe it has good resale value on a site like Poshmark? Or you’ll wear it again a few times a year for many years to come? (Ski clothes, a dress you’re determined to wear to more than one wedding, a beach cover up you’ll pack for every upcoming trip). If it can’t be worn to the office, needs to be reconsidered.

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Creating a More Thoughtful Wardrobe | by The Luxi Look

Some pieces of mine that have been getting a ton of wear lately? These striped pants from Flair the Label (surprisingly versatile – think with a plain tee or black turtleneck during the day or paired with a crop top or bodysuit at night), my favorite backpack from Sticks + Stones, and these white slides from Chinese Laundry.

top: similar pants: flair the label | hat: michael stars

backpack: sticks + stones | shoes: chinese laundry

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It’s Friday night after a long week. How do you unwind? In my early twenties, Friday nights were typically extremely boozy occasions with all of my best friends. Now that I’m in my late twenties, Friday nights are much tamer, to say the least. But they often involve unwinding with a glass of wine, an Aperol spritz, or spicy marg. But not this month. On December 31st, my boyfriend announced he would be doing a Sober January. I thought about it for a second and decided quickly I would join him. That means for the month of January, no alcohol. No evening glasses of wine, no cocktails with dinner, no drinks out with friends. So – what’s the deal with Sober January?

Kicking Off the Year With Sober January | by The Luxi Look

Kicking Off the Year With Sober January | by The Luxi Look

Kicking Off the Year With Sober January | by The Luxi Look

Why we decided to do Sober January

After the holidays, which were indulgent and booze-filled, to say the least, we were both ready for a reset. Combine that with a desire to get sh*t done in the month of January (hey, resolutions + goal setting!) and extremely busy work schedules, and we both knew we had to cut the booze.

I’m not a big drinker to begin with, but a glass or two of wine with dinner can quickly become a habit, especially over the holidays when I wasn’t working every day. Then, of course, there are the more obvious reasons to cut down on alcohol – it can lead to weight gain, interferes with sleep, is horrible for your skin, it’s filled with sugar, etc. etc. I could go on and on.

To be completely honest, we both wanted to debloat from the month of December and not have to deal with hangovers and all the other expenses of drinking. We honestly couldn’t afford to be out all night, wake up late in the morning hungover, and eat junk food. #adulting

It’s also funny how our minds work sometimes – I swear when I tell myself I can’t have something, I just end up wanting it more. Does anyone else feel this way? Even though I often usually go days and weeks without drinking, I noticed that when I set a challenge of having NO drinks, I found myself being more aware of the times I was in social situations and wasn’t drinking. I also quickly realized how much alcohol is ingrained in social outings and our culture in general. You don’t even realize how alcohol is everywhere and so many social situations often involve drinking. Now that we aren’t drinking this month, we’re definitely being more creative with the activities we choose to do with friends. Workout date, anyone?

Kicking Off the Year With Sober January | by The Luxi Look

Kicking Off the Year With Sober January | by The Luxi Look

It’s only been a couple weeks, but we’ve already noticed a difference in our bodies and energy levels. My skin has definitely cleared up and smoothed out. I feel way less bloated, and I’m sleeping well and waking up naturally. This isn’t to say I’ll never drink again. I definitely miss having the occasional glass of wine. The other night at dinner I definitely stared at the spicy margaritas at our table enviously. But the mental clarity and focus have been much needed this month to tackle our to-do list and I’m happy with the decision and the little mini-challenge we gave ourselves.

We kicked off the challenge after a champagne-filled New Year’s Eve… I loved the sequined dress I wore from Revolve so much. I know sequins are such a NYE thing, but I really think this dress could be worn during the year as well. Maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to wear it again ; ).

What are your thoughts on doing a dry January?

dress: its nbd | jacket: bb dakota | shoes: raye

Let’s forget about clothes for a second and talk about skincare. In my opinion, your skin is the most important thing you wear every day! I don’t know about you, but the texture and appearance of my skin can help make (or break) how I feel about my appearance any given day. That’s why I’m always trying out new products and skincare routines – because I’m all about that skin first motto (thanks, Glossier!). Full disclosure – as a blogger, I receive a lot of makeup and skincare samples from brands to try. There are so many incredible brands and products out there – it’s overwhelming! But recently I discovered one on my own, and these products are so good and so affordable. If you haven’t heard of the skincare line The Ordinary, you’re totally missing out. Here’s my honest review.

Review of The Ordinary Skincare Line

I came across The Ordinary on the internet, and instantly became obsessed with their minimalist, no nonsense packaging. But there’s more to a product than what meets the eye, so immediately I had to investigate further. What caught my attention next were the names of the products. No cutesy names here – each product was named after the active ingredient inside. No frills, no scents, no fillers – just pure, simple ingredients that are proven to work on skin. On top of that – almost every single product was under $10. I was instantly sold.

Almost everything on The Ordinary’s website was sold out or waitlisted for months, so I figured the rest of the internet had to be onto something. I waited patiently for a few simple serums before biting the bullet when the majority of the line became available on Sephora.

Review of The Ordinary Skincare Line And A List Of Their Best Products| by The Luxi Look

You guys, this stuff is SO GOOD. Whatever your skin type and whatever skin woes you have, The Ordinary has a product (or entire skincare regime!) for you. My skin tends to be dry and sensitive, so I have been loving the hyaluronic acid, rose hip oil, and Vitamin C serum. My boyfriend, who has oilier skin, has been digging the salicylic acid and caffeine serum (<< I steal his for those days when the under eye bags are out in full force!). The products are simple and help you streamline your routine by figuring out exactly what ingredients you need for you skin type.

Their motto – “clinical formulas with integrity” – is so spot on. These products aren’t messing around. Learn more about and shop some of my favorite products from the line below!

Best Products From The Ordinary Skincare Line

Review of The Ordinary Skincare Line And A List Of Their Best Products. Skincare Line to Know: The Ordinary | by The Luxi Look

1. Buffet – a combination of ingredients for maximum anti-aging benefits.

2. Hyaluronic Acid – hyaluronic acid is one of the best ingredients you can use for moisture and dry skin. Read more about hyaluronic acid here.

3. Vitamin C – such an important ingredient for brightening and maintaining youthful skin. They have different varieties of Vitamin C products with varying concentration levels. This is super helpful if you have dark spots or pigmentation from the sun.

4. Retinoid – I’m working on a full post on retinol and retinoid right now, but they’re some of the best anti-aging ingredients available. I’ve been doing a lot of research on it and most skincare experts tend to agree that your early or mid-twenties is a good time to start adding this to your skincare routine! Essentially it helps your skin cells turn over more quickly (as we age, our skin cells begin to turn over more slowly, leading to wrinkles) and promotes new cell growth underneath.

5. Rose Hip Oil – I love rose hip oil so much and really appreciate The Ordinary for coming out with a pure and powerful version that is affordable. This one I’ll be replacing on the regular! I use it all over my face and parts of my body that need a little extra moisture and it is the best!

6. Caffeine Solution – does for your under eye bags what a cup of coffee does for your energy level – amazing.

The Ordinary has quickly become one of my favorite skincare lines – and for good reason. If you’re on the fence, I definitely recommend checking out the website to find the products that will work best for your skin type. And with prices in line with your local drugstore, what’s not to love?

 

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been dealing with a bug for the past few days and am finally starting to feel better. I used to get sick ALL THE TIME and could never figure out why. Turns out what you do when you start feeling even the slightest bit under the weather goes a long way in nipping a cold in the bud or easing the symptoms. These days, the minute I start feeling a little off or the slightest tickle on my throat, I go into full on (slightly psycho) preventative mode. Personally, I would so much rather take it easy for a few days and nurture my health rather than be out of commission for an entire week. While there’s no cure for the common cold, there are some things you can to do take care of yourself and get better ASAP.

How to get over the common cold:

+ Cancel Your Social Plans

The first thing I do when I feel a bug coming on is cancel all of my social plans. I hate flaking, but when you’re sick, rest is the best thing you can do for your body! Also, your friends don’t want to get sick!! For some reason it took me years to actually do this. I’d feel a tickle in my throat and still go to my hot yoga class after work and then meet up with a friend for dinner after, only to wake up the next morning completely wiped out and unable to function for an entire week. When your body starts acting up, it’s telling you to stay home and get as many zzz’s as you can – this is the only way you’ll get better as quickly as possible! Staying in for a few nights and taking care of yourself is always worth it!

How to get over the common cold | by The Luxi Look

+ Try Various Cold Remedies

Next, I load up on all sorts of different remedies. A pain reliever and decongestant goes a long way to relieve body aches and pains and a stuffy nose, and cough drops always help as well. I also like to load up on Vitamin C packets and tons of tea. My favorite at home concoction is honey, lemon, ginger, and cayenne.

+ Incorporate the following immunity boosting ingredients into your diet:
  • Chicken soup – turns out there’s some truth to this old wives tale!
  • Echinacea + zinc – all natural supplements that boost your immune system.
  • Garlic – specifically, RAW GARLIC. Raw garlic has been shown to have some cold fighting benefits and is overall SO good for you. If you’re not sure about eating raw garlic, try adding it to soups or spreading it on toast. I usually mince a raw clove and eat it with a spoonful of honey (a little I trick I learned from the internet). Your significant other will LOVE you for doing this.

What to Do When You've Caught a Cold | by The Luxi Look

+ Drink up!

I cannot get enough fluids when I’m sick. I always make sure to drink tea, warm water with lemon, bone broth/chicken noodle soup, and juice. You can totally make your own juices and smoothies at home, but when I’m sick that’s usually the last thing I want to do. In LA, there are so many juice bars that make it easy to get all of the nutrients and boosters you want in a beverage. I always make sure to pick up a WELLNESS SHOT (varies from place to place, my favorite contains lemon, ginger, cayenne, oil of oregano, garlic extract, and echinacea). My favorite places in LA to get a smoothie or juice when I’m under the weather:

  • Beverly Hills Juice Company: get a shot of ginger, E3 live, wheatgrass together and stock up on the Apple Lemon Triple juice for a boost to your immune system. If you’re looking for something with a little more substance, I LOVE their Banana Mana shakes (with apple strawberry coconut or carrot coconut juice).
  • Earth Bar: I especially love the Amazon Immunity + Radiant Skin smoothies when I’m feeling sick. These are filling and easy to drink even if you don’t have much of an appetite. Their fresh green juices are amazing for a boost of vitamins and nutrients as well, and I always make sure to order a double Cold + Sinus shot.
  • Kreation: tons of locations around LA with some of my favorite cold pressed juices and made to order smoothies. They also have a variety of “wellness shots” for anything you need.

What are your favorite cold busting tips? xx

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