Alyssia Devia Hubbard, who started taking drugs at 18, reveals how she got clean and turned her life around – and now runs a successful beauty business.
The 31-year-old mom runs Luxe Lash, a beauty business in Los Angeles, USA, where she lives with her husband Karim, 32, and their daughter Brooklyn, six. She regularly shares her work on Instagram @luxelashincla to her 40k followers – but while she might be living the dream now, Alyssia harbours a dark past of drug addiction and depression. She has been clean for eight years and is sharing her journey for the first time, in the hope that it will help others.
Alyssia was raised by her aunt and struggled with self-worth throughout her teens. Feeling unwanted led her to develop mental health problems, which later became the catalyst to her addiction in 2007. At the age of 18, after years of emotional distress, Alyssia starting partying heavily with friends and took uppers for the first time. During this time she felt like nothing else mattered and she didn’t want to feel anything because the years of pain and self-hatred were exhausting.
Five years on, following a bad relationship, Alyssia found herself spiralling – taking drugs every week and was unable to function without them. She would sometimes get them for free, shared among friends or when she hung out with her dealer, but eventually ran out of money – and sold her jewellery to be able to pay for her habit.
Although she is naturally curvy, Alyssia’s weight also dropped to 135 pounds – which alarmed her family and friends. Alyssia says she was a high-functioning drug addict and was able to continue going to school and work. However, there were days where she was so tired she couldn’t get out of bed. The drugs made her crash and she didn’t crave the drug itself, but the experience that came with it. Alyssia’s family knew she liked going to raves and she thinks they probably suspected that she had done uppers of some kind, but they didn’t know the extent of her drug use.
In the last three years before she got clean she felt terribly lonely and remembers thinking ‘at least I will die young and happy’.
Rockbottom hit in 2011 and into 2012, when Alyssia moved up north, away from California. Her family begged her to return, bought a one-way ticket and were shocked by what they saw when she eventually agreed to come home. Her family had not known how bad her addiction was until this point. She was angry, fidgety and everything her family said or did felt like an attack. A turning point for Alyssia was when she furiously smashed a crystal wine glass at a table, which snapped a tendon in her finger. At this point she admitted to her herself that she needed help. At first, Alyssia went to a sober living home, which she says is different to rehab. She claims many of these homes are more concerned with taking your money than trying to get you to stay sober. While she was at the home she got into a fight and was eventually referred to a rehab in Malibu in 2012-13. At the time she couldn’t see a reason to stay sober and she didn’t care if she died. Alyssia wanted to appease her family and planned to keep doing drugs whilst in rehab.
But rehab did the trick and in 2012-13, Alyssia got her reason for staying clean: her daughter. Throughout her drug use and her time in rehab, she had met now husband Karim, with the pair marrying on Christmas Eve, 2014 and welcoming Brooklyn the following year. Now no matter what, she’ll do whatever it takes have to stay clean and be a good mum. When the couple first became parents they lived in a small apartment in LA and money was tight. Karim was working towards his bachelor’s in science and sound engineering and Alyssia was about to launch her own business. Alyssia, who had gone to cosmetology school, worked in salons and high end retail but quickly became tired of working hard for others for a low salary. And so, the mum decided to venture out on her own.
In 2015, she launched Luxe Lash – providing beauty services including her speciality, selling faux mink and cashmere lashes. Within a few years, the business was booming with Alyssia counting models and celebrities such as Paige Woolen as fans, among many others. The mum now earns between £5,000-7,000 a month through the beauty business but also dabbles in online marketing and mentors young women into becoming businesswomen.
In her old jobs Alyssia always felt she wasn’t compensated enough and wasn’t moving up in the managerial chain. One day she’d had enough and called her boss and quit. For a year after that, she did house calls, lugging around a massage table – even wearing a miner’s light while doing beauty treatments – and invested in herself by taking business courses. She rented a space in a hair salon until she could afford her own place.
Now, she has a private location for high profile clients, as well as a salon in Westwood and Rochester. Prior to the pandemic, Alyssia also had a bigger storefront space but decided to shut it in order to home school her daughter. She has also launched an online business at the start of last year. The mom says she started Luxe Lash because she had finally found a passion.
Although she is not proud of her past, she’s not willing to give up – she’s shown herself that she is capable of change. When she was using drugs, she says she could never have imagined that her life would be this good.
Alyssia takes pride in the growth she’s made, becoming a mother and a wife and launching a business on her own. The entrepreneur is in therapy to keep herself on track and says her experiences have shaped who she is today – and ultimately led to her success. She claims that if she can survive, then she truly believes anyone can do whatever they set their minds to. According to Alyssia it’s all a matter of making a decision and sticking to it. She admits she used to be ashamed about her past but now it’s what fuels her.