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New Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight

September 19, 2014
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Product - Aveda Smooth InfusionHave you ever struggled keeping your hair naturally straight? Living in San Francisco and having curly hair, the fog always finds a way to bring back my curls. But with Aveda’s new Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight, I have found a balance. The other day I had a guest with curly hair. After her daily routine of letting her hair air, it always seemed to be frizzy.

I know what you’re thinking: “I thought that it was only for blowing straight and to help when flat ironing the hair.” But no, I’ve been trying new things. On the day that my guest wanted beach waves, I was very happy to hear it. I’d been telling her all day about the new Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight product. So I brought over the Dry Remedy oil, the Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight, Volumizing Tonic (for memory hold), and Air Control. They’re all light weight products, which I think is the best after a fresh hair cut.

I start with a little Dry Remedy oil and a little Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight (Naturally Straight also has heat protection in its formula), then I rough dry the hair to about 70% dry. Next, I take about a dime size of Dry Remedy oil and Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight, work into the hair starting from ends to root, then add the Volumizing Tonic spraying from end to root. I then choose the proper size round brush and section the hair into about 1/4 inch sections, split in two. With the round brush, I start with the brush under the hair and the blow dryer on top but not touching the hair or brush. I start directing the up and the down. Next I switch the round and the blow dry.

This next step is very important. I take the blow dryer and the brush and choose which way I want the body to flow. So I over direct the hair, flipping the hair the same way. Repeat throughout the whole head. Finishing touch with Air Control and a little lip stick or gloss to help polish off the new look.

Benefits of Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids

September 17, 2014
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We all have our issues with choosing products for our skin and finding the best effective products with ingredients that will benefit our skin! AHA’s and BHA’s are great ingredients for giving a youthful look to our skin. They both work in their own way for a particular skin type or skin problem.

AHA and BHA

Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is an acid that is derived from fruits that contain skin rejuvenating properties. Most commonly known are Glycolic, Lactic, Citric, Malic, and Tartaric Acids and are found in most skin care formulations as they promote the cell turnover rate. The process in which they work is by melting down the intracellular fluid letting dead skin cells to be removed from the surface of the skin. AHAs are water soluble and are best for the sun damaged or individuals with a thicker dermis. AHAs exfoliate the surface layers of the skin and help retain more water which, in turns, helps the overall moisture content. They do not penetrate as deep as BHAs; the overall effect of the AHAs is felt on the surface of the dermis.

Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) is specifically one organic compound—a salicylic acid. BHA will work in the same way as the AHA does by breaking down and exfoliating dead skin cells. The defining difference is that salicylic acid is oil soluble, which has the ability to penetrate pores filled with oil and exfoliate those pores. BHAs are great for those individuals with oily or acne prone skin. There is an anti-inflammatory property as well as an anti-bacterial affect from using a BHA. It is also great for sensitive skin types and those that may have a specific skin condition.

The Benefits of Sunscreen

September 13, 2014
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sunscreen_ultravioletWhy is sunscreen so important? This is the number one question people ask. There are so many reasons to use sunscreen or products with SPF. First, reducing the risk of skin cancer! These cancers strike more than a million each year. Melanoma is the deadliest and kills more than 8,000 Americans each year. Therefore, it is recommended to use a SPF of 15 and above.

Sunscreen is ideal for all skin types even if you have a darker skin tone. There is a common misconception that if you are dark-skinned, you don’t need sunscreen. But, in reality, we all need some type of protection from the harmful UV rays from the sun. Sunscreen also helps to reduce broken capillaries and any redness or blotchiness. It prevents your skin from getting sun spots which are darker spots which may appear like freckles and skin discoloration. It also helps slow down the development of wrinkles and premature aging.

Sunscreen or products with SPF come in many different ways and, if you are anything like me and feel like SPF creams are too thick or oily for acne prone skin, there is always an SPF powder.

These are some reasons to choose to take care of your skin from the harmful UV rays that the sun produces. We all want to make sure that we protect ourselves and start reducing skin cancer and deaths associated with skin cancer. Sunscreen can also help keep your skin looking healthy and young. And who doesn’t want that?

Waxing

August 10, 2014
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Cinta Aveda Institute Facilities. Image by Pipsqueak Productions.With a cosmetologist license you are also allowed to do waxing as well. I have come to find I love waxing! Waxing eyebrows, arm pits, nose hairs, legs, just about anything you need waxed, I will do, except for Brazilian waxes.

With waxing you have to be very careful in the way you apply it, the way you pull the wax off, and what you use afterwards.

When applying the wax, you have to examine the growth pattern and see which way the hair grows, and from there, you apply it with the growth pattern not against it. Also make sure the hair is long enough to wax. It has to be at least one half of an inch.

If it is honey wax, after you have applied it, apply the strip with the same way you applied the wax. Smooth down over the muslin strip with the growth pattern. Make sure to pull the skin taut before pulling the strip off. You want to pull the strip against the growth pattern, so pull the skin the opposite way.

With hard wax, you do not use a muslin strip, you simply let the wax harden. This type of wax is great for waxing the nostrils.

When finished with waxing, make sure to remove the wax with oil. The best oil to use is tea tree oil for it is used to help swelling and is antibacterial.

Make sure, before applying wax, you exfoliate the skin and take off any make up. The area must be clean.

Three Ways to Wear Your Pixie

July 30, 2014
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Short shaggy crops are fun and playful, and can be worn so many different ways! Depending on your styling routine, you can wear a pixie elegantly, edgily, or softly. I’m going to show you several different ways to wear your short cut and different styling techniques to prep your perfect coif.

Let’s start by assuming you have a finger length pixie cut, or perhaps a bit longer. Like this:

Short Pixie Cut Trends - Cute Short Cut with Bangs

This model has a slightly messy, yet dressed up look. You can do this by using a product that has some shine to make it look polished, or a product with a matte finish for a more casual look. I like to use AVEDA’s Texturizing Cream to create piecey-ness and then finish with the Light Elements Smoothing Fluid to add some glossiness.

To wear your short look for a more sophisticated event, create a side part when the hair is wet. Beforehand, towel-dry and apply a gel like Confixor, and then comb through. Like this:

Emma Watson attends the Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 World film premiere at Odeon Leicester Square on November 11, 2010 in London, England.

Let’s say you want to get a little crazy and spice up your image. Maybe you’re bored and ready for a change. You can use a product that has maximum hold to edge up your look and go punk! AVEDA’s Shaping Wax, Grooming Clay, and Control Force are a few favorites of mine that leave your hair with stand up results!

There is no reason to feel boxed in by your pixie cut! The short length makes it easy and quick to experiment with endless ways to style! And don’t be afraid to get a little messy!

Girl with Scrunched Expression

Applying Makeup

July 25, 2014
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With beauty school you earn all kind of beauty, such as make up, waxing, nails, a basic facial, tweezing etc. Well I think my favorite out of all of these is make up.

I have learned so much from YouTube, the internet and going into sephora and Mac. One thing that I did not know was how to apply and in which order. All I wore was powder foundation, mascara and eye liner.

Foundation has become my favorite thing as well as eye shadow application. People always wonder why it looks so “cake-y.” It could be a number of reasons. They may put on powder foundation and then a liquid/cream concealer or they just simply put way too much make up on. So I will tell you the correct way to apply foundation and the rest of your makeup.

  1. Have a clean and moisturized face.
  2. Apply your liquid foundation, as much 1-2 layers depending on the coverage.
  3. Apply your concealer, to your under eye area, and any blemishes you wish to conceal.
  4. Apply your setting powder or your foundation, depending on the coverage.
  5. Go into your contouring and highlighting. Make sure your contour is not shimmery, because then it defeats the purpose of contouring. Contouring is for making something look farther away. Shimmer does the complete opposite. It’s okay for your bronzer and highlight to have shimmer though.

Make sure your contour color is a mate brown color. You could even use a foundation that is two to three shades darker than your skin tone.

Makeup Kit from Cinta Aveda Institute.  Image by Jeffry Raposas.

The Difference Between Ombre and Tipping

July 15, 2014
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So many people don’t know the difference between ombre and tipping. They are very similar and it’s understandable why they wouldn’t know the difference. In alpha we learned creative color and found out what the difference really is.

With tipping, you divide the hair into six sections just like a haircut sectioning. You use your foiling comb and starting from the nape, you section out two 1/4 in sub sections and you drop those down. On the third section, you tease the tips so there is no distinct one when you apply color or enlightener. And you continue on with that two to one ratio.

With an ombre it is more than two colors on the hair. The beginning on the midshaft, what some would call roots, would be one color fading into another color in the middle of the hair shaft, then on the ends it would be another color. This is a technique that not everyone can do. They may not know how to tease in a way that it makes that blurred line.

I have been able to do this kind of style on a couple people and I am so thankful I have great teachers that have shown me how to get it to come out beautifully. When we learned, they did my hair, since I was bright blonde. It started out with this really pretty pinky-purple and faded into this gorgeous purple/grey color. I had this for awhile and had a lot of fun with it, until I had to cut my hair off because of it.

Woman Getting Her Hair Prepped with Foil in Her Hair

Surviving the Beta Blues

July 15, 2014
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Congratulations! You’ve made it to the halfway point of your education. By the time you reach Beta you’re at about 800 hours, half of what you need to get your Cosmetology license here in California. You’ve survived Intro and Alpha and now you’re starting to get more comfortable on the salon floor as well as with your class room. But you have no idea what’s in store for you yet!

A Row of Heads and Sinks at Cinta Aveda Institute.  Photo by Pipsqueak Productions.

The Beta phase will start to test you as a student as well as a stylist. If you were lacking when first in Alpha, you’re starting to get better. Your services aren’t taking as long (hopefully) and your skills are getting better with each service. You’ve probably spent your fair share of time in dispense as well as at your station with guests. You’ve gotten used to the six hours on the floor and four in theory. But now that’s changing. All your service times need to be faster. You don’t get to spent as much time in dispense coming up with color formulas. Your classmates are starting to wear on you. In Beta, things start to change. Gone are the cheery “We’re the best friends” and now it’s all about focusing on where you’re going to end up after you leave school. You tour salons to see what’s out there and possibly where you’ll want to work (or not want to work). While in Beta, you’ll hit the hour mark when you can start externing at a salon, something that will really open your eyes to how things are outside of school.

All of these things start happening faster and faster all the while you’re still trying to learn what you need to do before taking your state board test. But what really starts to happen is the blahs. You’re done with being at school. You’re done with some of your classmates. You feel as if those last 800 or so hours are simultaneously speeding at a million miles an hour and crawling like a snail up hill in a head wind. You get the Beta Blues as they’re called. If you don’t take care of them, just like the real blues, the emotions start to get the best of you. Myself, I let them get a hold of me a bit too much but there are things you can do to make sure they don’t get you for too long. Here’s what I did:

  1. Stay focused—Write down what your goals are: for school, work, life, etc. Keep those goals in a place where you can see them every day. Memorize them. Burn them into your head. Remember that those goals might not be attained in a day, a week, a month, a year or soon, but they will be attained when you remain focused.

  2. Acceptance—This goes along with staying focused. Learn to accept that some things are not going to go your way when you want them to. That’s all right, it happens. Learn to accept that not everyone is you and people do things differently. That’s what makes us all unique and similar at the same time. Have a fellow student that grates on you like nails on a chalkboard, accept them for who they are.

  3. Don’t Get Cocky—While you’re starting to get better at things you still need to remember that you’re still in school. What you think you know, you don’t know. While you might have a different, faster way of doing something, that doesn’t mean that you are a gift to the world and that everyone should bow down to you and worship the ground you walk on. Remember this: The higher you climb up that pedestal, the farther you have to fall.

  4. Get Rid Of The Negative—A negative attitude will suck the life out of a room quick. Think about it, the last time you walked into a room with a bunch of people and one of them was in a bad mood, you could feel it. Negative energy brings not only yourself down but those around you. Get rid of that negative energy. Having a bad day? Write out a gratitude list, listing everything you’re grateful for at that time. It will change your day immensely. Have a friend that is negative, talk with them about it. See what you can do to help. If you can’t, try not to let it affect you. Just because someone else is having a bad day, doesn’t mean you have to have a bad day.

Surviving Beta isn’t that hard but during those fourteen weeks, it seems like an eternity. With the right frame of mind and focus, you can do it! If you think you can’t, talk to someone. Talk to someone that went through what you’re going through, you’ll see that we’ve all been there. You’re not alone and you don’t have to do it alone.

Students at the Cinta Aveda Institute Campus.  Photo by Jeffry Raposas.

What You Can Expect to Find After School

July 10, 2014
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A Teacher in Esthiology at Cinta Aveda Institute.  Photo by Jeffry Raposas.

So you’ve spent the past 14 months working your tail off at school and now with license in hand you’re ready to hit the big time, right? Well, kinda. Yes, you’ve attended one of the better schools for your field and yes, you’ve received a plethora of information. But does that make you ready to start your own salon or spa? Sadly, I must pop that balloon.

What we learn in school is leaps and bounds over what other schools are teaching. And if you’re ready to scoff, then I don’t think you’ve had the luxury of taking your state boards yet. When you do, talk to the other applicants. Listen to their stories, to the way they were taught. In some cases, you don’t even have to hear them speak, you can just see from the way they do their tests that they didn’t get the same education as us.

But does all this education mean that we’re ready to be at the top? Not necessarily. Speaking from experience, what I learned in school got me far in school, but there is so much more to learn outside of school. And once you’re done with CAI, don’t think you’re done learning. Most salons that are hiring out of school expect the former student to take another year or so of their classes to learn the way of cutting hair.

In short, what you can expect to find out of school is pretty much the same as in school: a bunch of learning. But what you might not expect to find is: a new way of learning. Keep on learning folks!

Students work on a Male Client's Hair at Cinta Aveda Institute Salon.  Photo by Jeffry Raposas.

My Own Hair and Its Journey Through Beauty School

July 5, 2014
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Being in beauty school, it is inevitable that you’re going to change your hair. This I knew, but I did not want to cut my hair off. I was blonde with long beautiful hair when I started. I love my long hair and I was not ready to give it up at all!

At the time I wanted to do something fun, so my hair dresser gave me pink tips. And that was so fun. What I didn’t know is that hot water makes your hair fade. So my pink tips faded fast and I was sad. So we got rid of them and did a color cleanse on my ends. Color cleanse is 30 grams of enlightener, 30 grams of developer, and 30 grams of Shampure. And it took it right out!

After that I decided I did not want to be a warm blonde! I wanted to be cool. So we toned my hair. Then in alpha we did purple to grey ombre! This was the craziest I have ever gotten with my hair. It faded so fast that I just wanted to redo it.

Unfortunately that destroyed my hair and my ends were so straggly. So then, we cut it all off. My teacher at the time, Chelsea, gave me a super cute concave graduation. I’m going to be honest, I cried a little. But I got through it. After that I went back to blonde to start over in my growing out process, which then, in turn, I realized was way too much high maintenance to stay blonde. And I went red/brown. Yes red is high maintenance but I have no problem with the red fading. The best part is that I can’t even tell I have new growth!

And that has been my experience throughout beauty school with my hair.