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Facial Self Massage Woman

Facial massage can be used to help stimulate and strengthen facial muscles in order to maintain muscle tone and help more mature skin to become bouncy and plump. In addition to muscle toning, facial massage has other benefits. It can help flush out toxins that exist in the lymph fluid just below the skin’s surface. Pressure point massage can help calm angry and congested skin.

If you can afford bi-weekly or monthly facials, then you can reap many of the benefits of facial massage during your treatments. In between treatments, however, you can make a habit of giving yourself a calming, purifying, or stimulating massage at home. Making this a nightly or weekly routine gives your “at home” regimen a boost. All you need is your nightly moisturizer or creme and a few basic movements. Once you have cleansed, toned, and applied your nightly serum, grab some of your moisturizer and follow these guidelines.

There are four basic Swedish massage strokes that you can incorporate into your massage routine. Don’t be afraid to get creative. As long as you aren’t too aggressive, any routine you come up with is sure to be beneficial.

The first movement to know is effleurage. This is a soft, smooth, gliding motion that can be used to warm up the muscles, as well as to calm muscles and move lymph. Remember when massaging to always move in an upward motion, as we want to counteract the effects of gravity that tends to drag our muscles downward.

The next massage movement is called petrissage. This is a kneading and pinching movement. Apply this movement near the jaw muscles to ease tension in the masseter, as well as to stimulate muscles around the jawline. In addition petrissage can be used to stimulate oil production in dry skin types or help to expel excess oil in more impure skin types. Pinch and knead in areas where these imbalances occur.

The third massage movement is called tapotement or percussion. This is a light tapping movement over areas that you wish to stimulate muscles. It works well to tap with all ten fingers—almost like playing the piano—around the cheeks, forehead, and very lightly around the eyes. This movement is amazing for toning muscles, as well as maintaining muscle tone in younger skin types.

The last massage movement is friction, which are small movements using controlled pressure over a certain area. It can be very soothing and relaxing. Use light pressure and compression along the cheekbones and the temples to ease tension. This will feel amazing and you may ease facial tension that you did not know you had.

Test out these basic Swedish massage strokes at home before going to bed. Just remember to be gentle, to work against gravity and, if you have extra sensitive skin, take care with the more stimulating movements.

Make Your Own Lip Scrub

Homemade Brown Sugar Lip Scrub

Crusty dry lips are gross. Lush makes a really nice lip scrub. But since I discovered that it’s so easy to make it at home, I’m no longer willing to pay Lush’s price.

There are many variations of the sugar lip scrub that you can make at home.

Ingredients (for single use)

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar, brown or white
  • 1 tablespoon of honey, or coconut oil, or olive oil, or even maple syrup
  • 1 drop of vanilla extract (optional)

Method

Combine the sugar with the honey or oil. If it’s too dry, add a bit more of the liquid ingredient. Stir in the vanilla. To make a reusable amount, scale up the ingredients and use a small glass jar or another sealed container. Stores in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

There are many ways to flavor this mixture to your liking. Add peppermint essential oil, or cinnamon for an extra kick.

Can ‘Expensive’ be Cheaper?

Tarte Cosmetics Product Collection

Before I started at Cinta Aveda Institute, I’d buy all my cosmetics from the Ulta Beauty Store. Ulta displays their pricy, high end cosmetic lines and products on the left side of the store. To the right, they have typical drugstore lines like CoverGirl, Maybelline, and Rimmel London. To me, makeup has always been a “Want to Have” rather than a necessity, so I always went for the cheaper side. I figured I could find some pretty descent stuff for a low price. For years—and I mean years—I had used Rimmel’s liquid foundation and CoverGirl’s pressed powders. I was happy with the products and I never noticed any problems that I might be having with them.

Once I started school however, some of the first topics we discussed were makeup. To my surprise, I found that it is a lot more important to use good quality makeup than I thought. I learned that you shouldn’t judge a line based on their price, and that the more expensive products can be the best for your skin. The cheap makeup I was using was actually the reason I was breaking out so much, and the more I broke out, the more makeup I used.

I finally decided to take the plunge and shop on the expensive left side of Ulta. To my surprise, a lot of the brands I was interested in weren’t that much more expensive. On top of that, I wasn’t going to need as many products. I started trying bare minerals first. I used that for a couple weeks, but it made my skin itchy and it basically covered up nothing. I used so much of it that it only lasted me 2 weeks. So I went back to find something I knew would be healthy for my skin and still give me perfect coverage.

I tried Tarte Cosmetics and instantly fell in love. Tarte has easily become one of my absolute favorite makeup brands and has really transformed my face. Tarte is made from Amazon clay which helps to really get the coverage you want, but it’s not heavy on your skin. You barely notice it’s there. It also lasts the entire day and doesn’t get greasy-looking. Finally, the company is socially aware. It does many things to help people and the environment with their profits. I love Tarte and my skin finally looks and feels great because of it.

Instant Eye Lift

Eye with makeup and individual false eyelashes.“Falsies” are my favorite part of any make-up routine. I believe every woman looks better with a little eyelash enhancement. Whatever look she’s going for — natural, voluminous, or dramatic — any woman can find the perfect lashes. But with all the different brands, styles, lengths, and colors, picking false lashes can be quite the conundrum!

My obsession with eyelashes began eight years ago when I first moved to Los Angeles. A friend I met had the longest, most gorgeous eyelashes I had ever seen. I knew I wanted mine to look just like them. I asked her what kind of mascara she used, hoping to learn about a new brand, when she told me that they were falsies. I couldn’t believe it! With no eye makeup on, I figured I would be able to see the ends of the strips she was wearing. But I couldn’t. I asked her to close her eyes. Still nothing. Then she opened her eyes wide and looked up at the ceiling. That revealed a bunch of little black beads on the inner waterline of her lids. She was wearing individual eyelashes, something I had never seen or heard of before, and she told me she put them on herself. That same day she applied individual eyelashes to me and I’ve been addicted to them ever since.

Since that day eight years ago, I have been taught different techniques to achieve many different looks. My personal technique for applying individual lashes is the one my old friend taught me.

With my non-dominant hand I hold the upper eyelid up and away from the eyeball, revealing as much of the waterline as possible. Then, using tweezers with my dominant hand, I pick up an individual set of lashes, dip them in a dot of individual lash adhesive (Ardell dark glue is my favorite), and place the lashes on the waterline. I start towards the middle and first work to the end and then move back towards the inner eye. I carefully place each individual bunch apart from the next to avoid the lashes clumping together.

Applying the individual lashes on the waterline and under your actual eyelashes gives the ultimate look of naturally long and voluminous lashes. The best part about individuals is that you can make them as thick and long as you desire! Stack them close, place them few and far between, or just apply to the ends of your eyes for a sexy winged eye effect. Whatever look you want or whatever the occasion you can achieve it without harming your real lashes. And, let’s face it, any woman’s beautiful face will always look better with a little lash enhancement!

Benefits of Lemon Water

Lemon Splashes in Water on Black

Lemons are with filled with nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Because of how hard lemon juice can be on the enamel of your teeth, it’s important to dilute it with water of any temperature (lukewarm is recommended). Drink it first thing in the morning, and wait 15 to 30 minutes to have breakfast. This will help you fully receive the benefits of lemon water, some of which are listed below.

  1. Reduces inflammation

    If you drink lemon water on a regular basis, it will decrease the acidity in your body, which is where disease states occur. It removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation.

  2. Aids in digestion

    Lemon juice not only encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract, it helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping, and bloating.

  3. Suppresses hunger

    Lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in fighting hunger cravings.

  4. Cleanses your system

    It helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver.

  5. Keeps your skin clean and clear

    The antioxidants in lemon juice help to not only decrease blemishes, but wrinkles too! It can also be applied to scars and age spots to reduce their appearance and, because it’s detoxifying your blood, it will maintain your skin’s radiance.

  6. Boosts your immune system

    Vitamin C is very important for our immune system and lemon juice is full of it. The level of vitamin C in your system is one of the first things to plummet when you’re stressed, which is why it is recommended to take extra vitamin C during especially stressful days.

  7. Excellent source of potassium

    Lemons are high in potassium, which is good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function.

  8. Freshens your breath

    It helps relieve toothaches and gingivitis. Because the citric acid can erode tooth enamel, don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking lemon water. Wait a bit until the citric acid has been diluted from your teeth.

  9. Gives you an energy boost

    Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, and it also helps reduce anxiety and depression. Even the scent of lemons has a calming effect on your nervous system.

  10. Helps you cut out caffeine

    Replacing your morning coffee with a cup of hot lemon water can do wonders! You will feel refreshed, and no longer have to deal with that afternoon crash. Plus, your nerves will definitely be thankful.

  11. Helps fight viral infections

    Warm lemon water is the most effective way to diminish viral infections and the sore throats they cause. Plus, with the lemon juice also boosting your immune system, you’ll also help fight off the infection completely.

Braids For Days

Woman with Braid

Braids are nothing new in the world of hair but, right now, they are hot. From Youtubers to Rihanna’s ID Magazine cover, we can’t get enough of them. They’re a great way to give yourself perfect next day hair and to have an easy updo that can go from the office to a night out.

I’ve been wearing braids since I was just a kiddo and love them for myself and others. As in any styling situation, product options abound and it really comes down to the results you’re looking for. So, here are some top tips!

  • Easy “Day Two” Hair

    Try a little hair potion at your roots and a deep side part with a French braid resting on your shoulder. It emits a poised and understated elegance rather than a ‘no time to style’ vibe.

  • Commuter Hair

    A super easy option is to wash your hair and add your favorite prep or leave in conditioner. I’m a big fan of Aveda’s BeCurly Style Prep. Add to damp hair and dry it about 80%. Now you can add a little Texturizing Crème or a hold product, part your hair down the center, and braid into two buns. Let your hair air dry while you do your make up or commute, etc. When you take out your braids, you’ll have perfect beachy waves!

  • Fun Updo

    This is a fun option if you have more time and are happy to put in a little more work: start similarly to “Commuter Hair” but dry hair completely, substituting Smoothing Fluid for Texturizing Crème. This will help control fly-aways and leave your hair silky and smooth. Section your hair into a top and bottom half. Curl the bottom and leave it untouched. Begin a french braid where you normally part your hair and wrap it around so that you have a braid crown with romantic curls flowing beneath. Use a few bobby pins to hold it in place, spritz a little hair control, and you have a hairstyle that will break Pinterest!

Going Beyond Skin Deep

Silhouette - Makeup Artist Applies MakeupBeing an esthetician allows you to meet clients, of course, but also possibly mentors and friends.

I had a makeup application and brow wax that took two hours. During that time, my client and I bonded over many topics. We talked about beauty, skin, hair and makeup. But we also talked about meditation, poverty, and nature.

Not only did I get to totally transform her face (and make her feel like a million bucks), but I got to go outside the realm of my practice. It was really satisfying for me to get a deeper understanding of someone by putting makeup on her.

I am a person who wants to know everyone’s story, I want to make a difference. This experience reaffirmed the path of my profession. I got to connect and transform my client and I could feel how much she appreciated it. She was more than satisfied with all the Aveda makeup I used on her. I used our copper and blue tones on her lid and taught her how to do a gentle and natural looking contour. I wouldn’t just use certain products and colors on her, I’d give her options.

I realized that, with a makeup application, you need to deeply communicate with the client. At the end of our appointment she asked me to take pictures of her, she was feeling so confident. That made me feel really good.

A makeup application can do so much more than just change someone’s face, you can really alter the way they see themselves. And you can go way beyond skin deep.

Steam Your Face With Herbs

Face Steaming

When Spring arrives, it will bring an array of useful medicinal herbs and flowers. For skin health, one of the easiest ways to incorporate these herbs and flowers is to use them in steams. Even if you live in the city and don’t have the fresh plants around you, you can have these herbs on hand. They should be dried and stored in glass jars out of direct sunlight.

Why is it Important to Steam?

One benefit is that the vapor imparts a glow to your complexion, and you will find that your skincare products penetrate deeper and work more effectively. The heat and moisture also open the pores freeing dead skin, dirt, and bacteria. It brings toxins to the surface. Oily and acneic type skin can greatly benefit from steaming—it helps get rid of both blackheads and whiteheads by opening plugged pores and softening blockages. Those with rosacea, severe acne, sensitive skin, or coronary issues should skip steam or consult with a doctor.

The process of steaming is very simple. Bring a pot of water to a boil, toss in a handful of fresh or dried herbs and flowers, simmer for two to three minutes. If you are using essential oils, remove the water from the heat before adding a few drops of the oil. Move the water to a comfortable location where you can sit alongside and keep your face 8 to 12 inches above the water, drape a towel over your head and the bowl to hold in the steam.

Some good herbs for use in a steam are rose petals, chamomile, lavender, sage, calendula blossoms, fennel seeds, and rosemary leaves. There are many more options but do your research first. Steaming too often or placing your face too close to the water can lead to broken blood vessels. Once a week should be sufficient. Follow with a splash of cold water and pat dry. You can then apply your serum, facial oil, or moisturizer.

Introduction to Micellar Water

Micellar Water Brand ExamplesIf you follow fashion week beauty or even some beauty vloggers, you may have heard of micellar water. Bioderma is the most well known brand. I first read about it years ago when it was only available in Europe. But as soon as I got my hands on a bottle, I wondered how I had ever lived without it.

Micellar water is made up of micelles—tiny oil droplets suspended in water. They get rid of makeup, oil, and dirt from your skin with no need for rinsing. It doesn’t leave an oily residue on your skin nor does it dry it out. It’s also gentle enough to use as an eye makeup remover. Micellar water is great for sensitive skin types since it is formulated without harsh chemicals and soaps. However, if you are wearing heavy makeup, you’ll still need to wash your face or use makeup wipes in addition to micellar water.

I like to use it at night after washing my face for gentle, extra cleansing. It gets the traces of makeup that my cleanser may not have removed. I also use it as a substitute for washing my face in the morning, as I believe in a more gentle morning routine for skin.

It’s great a substitute for toner to freshen up and cleanse your skin without irritation while traveling.

Micellar water is no longer hard to find. As it has risen in popularity, many American cosmetic companies have released their own micellar waters.

Developing a Skincare Routine

Skincare Routine Application

Finding the perfect skincare regimen can be a hassle. Here are four essential must haves for developing the perfect routine to have flawless skin.

  • Skin Cleanser

    There are many face washes on the market for oily skin. I would recommend a gel cleanser. If you’re acne prone, it can contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. For sensitive or dry skin, you can use a cleansing milk or cream cleanser that is much more gentle and moisturizing.

  • Toner

    Start with a spray toner. These are easier to use and it’s just one or two spritzes and you’re done! Toners are good because they restore the PH balance in your skin and can be firming as well.

  • Moisturizer

    SPF, SPF & SPF! Make sure your moisturizer has sun protection factor in it. Depending on its strength, you may need to reapply it throughout the day. Also make sure it’s not a chemical SPF which can cause free radicals that can irritate and damage the skin.

  • Eye Cream

    Eye cream can be selected depending on your needs. There are a wide variety on the market, designed to treat different problems. Some are for moisturizing, some are for dark circles, some for puffiness, and so on.

Oh, and ask for samples! A lot of cosmetic stores offer take home samples so you can try out products before you buy them.