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Beauty

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 you probably already know, skincare is seasonal! Changing temperatures and climates brings about very different reactions in our skin. Right now, it’s winter, and you might be suffering from major dry skin. I know I am! Even more so than usual, my skin is THIRSTY and soaking up every last bit of moisturizer and hydrating ingredients (think: hyaluronic acid). Facial oils have been popular for a while now, but I wanted to share one that I’ve been particularly loving – argan oil.

I was introduced to argan oil through Josie Maran’s incredible all natural argan oil line, and so far every product I’ve tried has been incredible – soothing, moisturizing, and non-pore clogging. Whatever your skin type, chances are you could likely benefit from using some kind of oil on your face! To find out if argan oil might be the missing product in your winter skincare arsenal, read on to learn more about all of the different argan oil benefits.

Using OIL for Your Best Skin Ever: Argan Oil Benefits | by The Luxi Look

What is argan oil and how do you use it?

Argan oil comes from the kernals of the argan tree, which is found in Morocco – you probably have heard of Moroccan Oil, but did you know that it is the same as argan oil? It can come as a pure oil, or mixed into a product for its many benefits. It’s completely all natural and organic – Josie Maran makes some of my favorite argan oil products!

Argan oil benefits for your skin, hair, and nails:

+ It’s very hydrating! Argan oil is most often used to moisturize and soften skin and hair. It can be used on your whole body – including your lips, nails, and feet.

+ Filled with vitamin E, antioxidants, and fatty acids that are good for your skin.

+ It smooths and conditions hair.

+ It has anti-aging benefits for your skin.

+ It absorbs easily into the skin, is not greasy, and doesn’t clog pores – believe it or not, it is actually often used as an acne treatment and is safe for oily skin as well!

+ It’s all natural and organic.

Shop my favorite argan oil products + more below. Some of my favorites: Josie Maran 100% pure argan oil and Pure Argan Milk, which I use after washing my face and largely credit for bringing moisture back to my skin this winter.

 

 

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Another day, another buzzy skincare ingredient. You’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid, but are you using products with this simple moisturizing ingredient? At this point it’s overwhelming to shop for skincare and beauty products – there are just so many and new ones hitting the shelves every day. If you’re wondering what creams and products contain hyaluronic acid, and if it really works, read on.

First things first – what is hyaluronic acid?

It’s not some crazy lab made ingredient that goes into your skincare products. It actually exists naturally in our bodies! Hyaluronic acid (HA) holds and replenishes moisture in our skin by lubricating our joints and connective tissues. What it does is keep our skin moisturized and firm over time, which is so important when it comes to maintaining healthy, youthful skin! Think plumping, glowing, softening benefits. Who doesn’t want that?

Skincare products that claim to have HA in them contain sodium hyaluronate. Sodium hyaluronate is made in a lab and gives your skin the same benefits as the HA that naturally occurs in our bodies!

Ok, but does it actually work?

HA is a humectant – aka it allows our skin to grab and retain moisture. It can hold up to 1,000x its weight in water! It’s also present in fillers, which plump your skin and give it a more youthful, fuller appearance. If there’s one ingredient that’s worth its salt, it’s hyaluronic acid. You can find this ingredient in several skincare products ranging from serums to thicker creams. It’s definitely one worth adding to your routine! Adding HA to your skincare routine helps deliver a huge boost of moisture and anti-aging properties to your skin. The best part is, it doesn’t have to break the bank!

The best picks to incorporate hyaluronic acid into your skincare routine:

1. Youth to the People Kale and Spinach Cream

2. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream

3. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid

4. Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Skin Cream

I am really loving the line of insanely affordable, no frills serums from The Ordinary. A dermatologist turned me onto hyaluronic acid a few years ago and it has honestly made such a difference in my skin, which is naturally VERY dry. However, even if you have oily or combination skin, hyaluronic acid can provide important benefits! Anyone who is looking to take better care of their skin as they get older needs to incorporate this ingredient into their skincare routine!

xx, Amy

Love these beauty posts? See also: Powder Cleansers & Brushing Your Lips

At the beginning of the summer, I got lash extensions for the first time and instantly fell in love. I mean, who doesn’t want to wake up with dark, full, and perfectly curled lashes? For the majority of the summer, I was diligent about getting my extensions filled. Every 2 weeks on the dot, I went in for an appointment so I could maintain my perfect lashes. They were such a lifesaver on vacation and seriously cut down the amount of time I spent getting ready every morning. So what wasn’t to love? Well for starters, the price. Biweekly fills add up! Not to mention the time. And I couldn’t help but freak out and wonder what was happening to my natural lashes underneath. I knew it was time to remove them, even if only temporarily.

What Happened When I Removed my Lash Extensions | The Luxi Look

Here’s what happened when I took my lash extensions off.

First, you have to get your extensions off. Let’s talk about how to remove lash extensions. At the end of my last cycle, I could see my natural lashes growing at the base of my lid and the thicker, darker extension would stand out. Seeing it dangling on the middle of my lash was so distracting, all I wanted to do was pull it off. DO NOT DO THIS! It will more likely than not damage your lash by ripping it out or weakening the hair. If you’re thinking about removing your lash extensions, do not do it yourself.

How To Remove Lash Extensions Properly:

Go see a professional. Removing your eyelash extensions at home just isn’t worth the risk of damages your natural lashes. Think of it like a gel manicure – you can pick it off yourself, but you’re better off going to a professional. It’s worth the $10-$20 price tag.

The process takes less than half and hour. The specialist will use tiny tweezers and other tools specifically designed to remove lash extension.

Keep in mind, you have the option to wait it out and let our lashes fall of on their own. This can take up to five weeks depending on your lash growth cycle. I personally do not recommend waiting it out. Your false lashes will start to fall off, which creates opportunities to pick them off. As I mentioned above, avoid picking off your lashes yourself AT ALL COSTS.

What Happened When I Removed my Lash Extensions | The Luxi Look

Will Lash Extensions Damage Your Natural Eyelashes?

My lashes looked pretty close to what I recall before I started getting extensions (IMO). I made an effort not to pick my lashes, always went to a specialist, and took good care of them.

If you’re wondering if lash extensions will damage your lashes, I think it really depends on the specialist you go to and how long you’ve had them for. Most lash specialists will say that when done properly (with proper skill, equipment, and individual lashes vs. volume lashes), lash extensions will not damage your lashes. However, I’ve heard that many people think their lashes look thinner or shorter than before their extensions.

The reason for this is twofold – on the one hand, you may have just gotten used to the look of having extensions and forgot what your actual lashes look like. Or, there is the chance that the extension and glue weakened your natural lashes (which have been delicate to begin with), leading to thinner and weaker lashes.

What Happened When I Removed my Lash Extensions | The Luxi Look

Dangers of Lash Extensions:

I’ve heard about some of the dangers of lash extensions (thinner natural lashes, eye infections from improper sanitary care), but that isn’t why I chose to have mine removed. I really did feel like I got all of the benefits of lash extensions – I loved look of extensions and how they really simplified my daily beauty routine.

When I first had my lash extensions removed, I initially felt kind of naked. My eyes looked more bare than I had seen them in months. However, I quickly got used to the appearance of my natural lashes. I wasn’t sure if I was being paranoid or not, but I quickly researched all of the ways to make my lashes grow back fuller and thicker (just in case, or at least to give the illusion of fake lashes).

What Happened When I Removed my Lash Extensions | The Luxi Look

Do Eyelashes Grow Back After Lash Extensions?

If you’re wondering – do eyelashes grow back after lash extensions? The answer is, yes!! There are many serums and products on the market to help your natural lashes grow back stronger. Some of the lash boosting serums kind of freak me out, so I’ve been sticking to a more natural remedy: CASTOR OIL.

Most people say that their lashes are back to normal within just a couple of months. Your real lashes go through natural growth cycles. They are constantly falling out and new lashes are constantly coming in. So don’t stress!

Are Lash Extensions Worth It?

At the end of the day, when I think about my experience with lash extensions, I have no regrets or real complaints. I LOVED having lash extensions and will definitely be getting them again in the future – for vacations or special occasions. If you’re wondering if lash extensions are worth it, I would say YES! Just know that the upkeep and maintenance can be high, which was really the biggest and only downside to extensions.

I miss my lash extensions, no doubt. But thanks to using castor oil regularly and my go-to mascara layering combo of Lash Primer + Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara, I’m happy with the appearance of my natural lashes. Now I get to use oils and creams around my eye again (you’re supposed to avoid using cream based products when you have lash extensions because it weakens the glue), any kind of eyeliner I want, and I can rub my eyes!

You win some, you lose some.

Have you had lash extensions? Love them/keep them/lose them?

xx, Amy

The amount of makeup and hair products and brands available on the market right now is insane. On one hand, there are so many options at every imaginable price point, you’re bound to find something that works for you. On the other hand, it can be overwhelming to try to find the best products. I’ve tried a LOT of hair product lines over the years and can finally say the search is over. I’m always open to trying new brands and products, but when it comes to my tried and true brands that never let me down, there are a few that come to mind. If you’re looking for quality hair products with something in their line for everyone, keep reading.

These are the only three brands of hair products you need to know:

1. Oribe:

This is really the gold standard for hair products. Yes, Oribe products are expensive. But in my opinion, they are absolutely worth it. Quality hair products are worth it, especially if you color your hair because they will help extend the life of your expensive highlights. I also don’t style my hair every day, so I usually can get my hair products to last a while.

I’ve gushed about their Dry Texturizing Spray before, and I’ll say it again. If you’re going to splurge on one hair product, it should be this. It adds the perfect amount of texture and grit to your hair, doubles as a dry shampoo, smells amazing, and will help even the limpest strands come back to life.

I’ve used so many products from Oribe and love them all, but two of my other favorites are the Gold Lust Nourishing Oil and the Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream, which I swear make such a difference on days I do decide to blowout my hair!

2. Ouai:

Even though this line has only been out for a couple years, it’s already made a huge splash. Ouai products are more reasonably priced than high-end brands such as Oribe and Kerastase. But that doesn’t mean they sacrifice quality. The sleek packaging doesn’t hurt either. My favorite products from the line: Smooth Spray for untangling the most gnarly knots in my hair, Rose Oil for my hair and body, and Memory Mist as a heat protectant and style extender.

3. R + Co:

Not only do I love R + Co’s products, I can’t get enough of their colorful, quirky branding. These products are among my favorites, especially the ones I keep in my gym bag: the Palm Springs pre shampoo treatment for when my hair needs a little extra conditioning, the Pinstripe spray to detangle and moisturize my hair after washing, and the Death Valley dry shampoo (<< seriously one of my faves!!).

I included some of my other favorites below, if you’re interested in trying them out you can get $10 off your first order here using the code FAMILY + FRIENDS.

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