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Beauty

If you’re into skincare, chances are you’ve heard of La Mer. Specifically, their famous Creme de la Mer. Celebs and beauty editors rave about this product! La Mer’s most popular product is touted as a “miracle cream” but it comes with a steep price tag. A 1 oz. jar of this stuff is $170! So, let’s get to the bottom of this. Is La Mer worth it?

To be honest – I was very, very skeptical. I mean, is any cream worth $170 an ounce?

For the price, I was hoping it would be the equivalent of putting liquid gold on my skin. I also had sky high expectations for the price. I mean, it better be damn good! Luckily, I received a jar of Creme de la Mer as a gift and I’ve been using it since.

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

My initial reaction to Creme de la Mer:

The cream is incredibly rich and thick. If you have oily skin or aren’t used to extremely moisturizing creams, it may almost be too much for you. For this reason (and for the sake of stretching out my jar of product as long as possible), I only use it at night. I have dry skin, so my thirsty skin soaks up the rich cream. It almost works as a sleeping mask – when I wake up my skin is hydrated, smooth, and supple. Not to mention unbelievably soft!

I really love the cream. I’ve had so many people compliment me on my “natural glow” – even on days when I wasn’t wearing any makeup or hadn’t gotten much sleep. My skin feels smooth, plump, and always hydrated (something I struggle with!). If I could bathe in creme de la mer, I would. When my jar is used up (RIP), will I repurchase? Maybe. The price tag is high enough that I have to think hard about it.

Is La Mer Wroth It?

So – back to the initial question. Is it worth it?  After testing it out myself for a few months, my answer is yes. It’s worth it – for me. I love the effect it has on my skin and it works noticeably better than other products I have in my bathroom. BUT, here’s my caveat: it is only worth it if you can afford it in your budget! If you’re on the fence about spending $170 for a jar of face moisturizer, you probably can find alternate products for a lower price! There are so many high quality skincare products on the market today, I guarantee you can find something that suits your skin and budget. It may take more digging and require looking into brands you haven’t heard of – but in the end, you’ll be happy to found the perfect products for your skin type.

So there you have it – my honest thoughts on Creme de La Mer and if it’s a must have in your vanity. All things considered, I think the product is amazing!

Are there comparable products on the market available for less?

Probably. I’ve heard Olay Regenerist, which can be found at a drugstore, is very comparable to Creme de la Mer! It really depends on your current skin, your routine, and your skincare needs. A little trick if you want to try it out – most department stores will offer a small sample for you to take home before committing to buying the full sized product.

In addition to this Creme de La Mer, I’ve been incorporating a variety of other products in my daily routine. I tend to get lazy with products, so I try to stick to the essentials and focus on problem areas when I can. I can’t deal with crazy ten step routines, it’s just unreasonable for my current lifestyle and my hectic schedule. Full disclosure – I do receive a lot of free products as a blogger. I do my best to try them all and provide honest reviews and feedback – I won’t mention one unless I absolutely love it and I would never endorse something I didn’t like or had a bad reaction from. Knowing that everyone’s skin is so different, I just wanted to share what’s been working for me since I do get questions about my skin often.

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

The rest of my current skincare routine:

Glossier Cleanser:

This continues to be my go-to cleanser. It takes off all of my makeup and is just a great basic cleanser. I keep one in the shower and one in my gym bag. I really like Glossier’s minimalist products, you can read my full review of their products here. I’m not a rep, just a normal girl that happens to love some of their products : ).

Skinesque Enzyme Washing Powder:

I’ve raved about this cleanser before. If you haven’t tried a powder cleanser or exfoliant yet, you really need to! This one is gentle enough to use daily and keeps my skin super soft and smooth.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum:

Filled with Vitamin C and antioxidants, this serum is great for everyday use. I’ve been using it pretty consistently for years and notice a big difference when I’m using it vs. when I’m not. Another vitamin C serum I love is this one by Eminence.

SENTÉ Bio Complete Serum:

Currently writing an entire post to retinol, but here’s the quick version of it. I read that your mid twenties are a good time to start incorporating retinol into your skincare routine (some people say as early as your late teens, but the majority of research I’ve come across suggests starting around 24-26). Why? Because retinol helps your skin cells turn over, producing more collagen which helps with skin texture and elasticity. If you’re looking into an anti-aging regime without opting for lasers or needles, definitely try a retinol cream to start! This one was recommended to me by Facile and I use it a couple times a week at night.

Is La Mer Worth It? | by The Luxi Look

Dr. Jart Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel:

My current daily daytime moisturizer. For daytime, I look for lightweight and moisturizing ingredients and formulas that work well on their own or underneath makeup.

Dr. Jart Water Fuse Hydro Sleep Mask:

Another one for dry skin lovers. I’ll layer a “sleeping mask” over my nighttime moisturizer for an extra boost of skin hydration. There’s nothing better than waking up to as close to perfect skin as you can get.

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask:

As I get older, I’ve started to experiment more with gentle peels. I haven’t gone full on yet with a spa-grade peel, but I have been testing different at home products. I really like this REN mask because it smells amazing and it leaves my skin just GLOWING. I’m a sucker for anything that has the word “radiance” in the description, only this product actually does that.

Kiehl’s Super Fluid Sunscreen:

I’ve been using this sunscreen everyday for the past five years. The formula is thin, easy to layer, and non-irritating. This sunscreen works well over your daily moisturizer and under makeup. I only wish I started wearing sunscreen religiously sooner… : )

Diet:

I really do believe diet is correlated to the texture and appearance of my skin. I try to drink at least 3L of water a day and I notice a huge difference when I eat junk food or drink alcohol compared when I eat less processed foods. Again, everyone’s skin is different and what triggers your skin may be different than mine.

I know environment also plays a huge role in your skin – for example my skin changed drastically when I moved to LA, it’s been pretty much nonstop dry from the desert climate, sun exposure, and crazy pollution. So I’ve been trying to adjust my skincare routine accordingly as well.

There really is a treatment for everything these days – and because everyone wants soft, moisturized lips along with just a little pout, I want to talk about why brushing your lips is a thing. Because it is!

No one wants dry, cracked lips, and sometimes layering on a ton of chapstick just doesn’t do the trick, especially in winter or dry climates. Insert a spare tooth brush and suddenly a quick trick for soft lips is born!

It might sound silly initially, but your lips are part of your skin, and if we exfoliate our skin, why wouldn’t we do the same for our lips? I mean, we put on lip balm, but we can definitely do more to take care of them! Plus, I’m all about giving new trends a try, so I had to jump on the bandwagon for this one.

How To Brush Your Lips:

It’s pretty simple to do – dampen your lips and grab an unused toothbrush. Softly brush (don’t push too hard!) in a circular motion. Just like you would when you’re exfoliating your skin, the circular brush motion will peel away any loose or dead skin leaving your lips super smooth and ready for gloss, balm or your favorite shade of lip color. If your lips are still dry, try adding a bit of salt to your toothbrush and that should help to deeply exfoliate – perfect before a red lipstick kinda night.

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish is also ah-mazing, which nixes the toothbrush but lends the same results. Just depends on if you want a home DIY option or a product for purchase. The Henne option has been great while I’m traveling and don’t always have an extra toothbrush or time to put the mixture together.

If you want to take it up a notch and try to get a pouty look, I’ve read you should dab your toothbrush in a little bit of cinnamon oil before brushing on your lips. The oil acts as a natural plumper because cinnamon actually slightly irritates the sensitive skin on your lips. With the irritation, comes a little bit of swelling.

Of course the swelling isn’t permanent, but it, along with brushing, is something you can do consistently if you like how it makes your lips look and feel.

If you’re not into the oil, but you really want those smooth lips, you can slip just the brushing in while brushing your teeth in the morning.

Follow any brushing up by a gentle lip balm and you’re good to go. So quick and easy!

Here are my favorite tools for brushing your lips and keeping them soft and smooth!

Glossier Balm Dot Com

I am the lip balm queen. It’s an unofficial title, but at any point in time you will find no fewer than 3 types of chapstick in my purse. Apparently you can be addicted to using chapstick, but I don’t care. I love Glossier’s Balm Dot Com because it functions as a universal skin salve. At least, that’s how they advertise it. It goes on my lips but it also goes everywhere else – my cuticles, my face, skin, really anywhere. I love it and a tube lasts seemingly forever.

If you’ve never tried Glossier before, be sure to check out my review of the entire Phase 1 and Phase 2 sets here. You also get 10% off here if you’re interested : ).

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish

Yes, exfoliating your lips is a thing. This stuff makes it super easy. You could make your own brown sugar scrub, but the convenience and packaging of this lip polish (seriously, everything from Fresh is so, so good) makes it an easy addition to my beauty vanity.

Sara Happ The Lip Scrub

Believe it or not I have the Fresh lip polish and this version by Sara Happ. Both are wonderful. I like that this one comes in some different flavors. I nabbed a “Red Velvet Cupcake” flavor last year and had to resist eating the scrub it smelled so good.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment

What I love most about Fresh lip balms is that they feel so incredibly luxe and they actually work. Plus they have SPF in them which is so important. The tinted versions are ideal if you want the tiniest hint of color without having to deal with lipstick. Multi-tasking, I say.

Kopari Lip Love

I’m totally obsessed with coconut oil in beauty products, and Kopari gets me. I’ve tried a bunch of their products (happy to do a review if you guys are interested!) and the lip balm is a constant in my purses. I usually just leave a tube of this in every bag so I’m never left without lip balm in case of an emergency (gasp!)

Have you tried brushing your lips?

 

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

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