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Specializing vs. Generalizing in the Salon

Imagine yourself on your last day of cosmetology school. The world is now your oyster! So many decisions to make; and perhaps one of the most important ones to your career is whether or not you’ll specialize in either cutting or coloring, or whether or not you’ll generalize and specialize in both! Other than having a passion for either cutting or coloring, what are the benefits and drawbacks?

Why would someone Specialize versus Generalize?

  • Colorists, or Color/Cutting Specialists, kind of get to set their own prices once they’ve established themselves. Can you imagine deciding how much you want to be paid for doing something you love already?
  • You’d literally be filling your day always doing things you absolutely love to do—and only the things you love doing. If you really love one thing or the other, imagine only doing the one thing you love. Sounds glorious if we’re being honest.

Girl Thinking

Why would someone Generalize versus Specialize?

  • When beginning your career, it may be more financially beneficial to generalize. You get to do more, and can double book yourself.
  • Clientele can easily transfer from one stylist to you if you generalize. For example, if a specific cutting specialist isn’t available to do a haircut, but you are, you’ll be able to take that haircut and add that client to your clientele.
  • Plus what if you just love to do everything? Why would you choose to limit yourself to only doing one thing?
  • What if you don’t know which you enjoy doing more? What better way to find out, while furthering your education in a salon environment, and sharpening your skills? There isn’t a better way.

Before making serious decisions, it’s always good to reflect on the things you love to do, and the things you don’t really enjoy all that much. There are lots of things to take into consideration, make sure you think about all of them.

Most of all, enjoy your life as a licensed professional. You’ve absolutely earned it!

The Importance of Micronutrients

When aligning their diets, many people focus on macronutrients but neglect the importance of micronutrients. While macronutrients are the building blocks for overall body composition, micronutrients are vital for your immune system, internal processes, and even make a huge difference in skin health.

One of the most common micronutrient deficiencies is iron. Iron is vital to the process of producing red blood cells, and it is the only deficiency that is prevalent in developed countries.

There are serious diseases, such as scurvy, which are directly related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Vitamin C deficiency can prompt gum bleeding, failure to properly heal skin damage, and irregular hair growth.

Vitamin A plays a central role in skin maintenance and health because it controls cell division, differentiation, and growth. Not only does your skin need and love it, but it also aids your sight as well. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in infants.

This is why you will see micronutrient heavy foods used as ingredients in many skin and healthcare products. It is also an easy way to know if a food should be consumed or not when dieting. Most foods that are heavy in micronutrients will also help align your macronutrient intake.

The only thing you need to be aware of is natural sugar intake in fruits, which is why they should be used as snacks. But don’t be afraid to load up on vegetables during meals.

I Feel Disconnected

A hair trend that has been evolving over the last couple of years among the fashion forward is reaching a nexus as masses of men confidently let go of blended hair, transitioning to a far bolder and edgy disconnected look. This has laid way to a number of styling possibilities, maintaining options to dress it up, or down. Regardless of how it is worn, this style seems to represent a kind of collision of the popular resurgence of Don Draper-esque high and tights and DYI-ness of today’s younger culture. While shaving the sides of one’s head is not difficult, sculpting it into something of style and substance is quite a bit more.

This is an exciting looking way to creative and interesting variations.
Strip of Men's Hairstyles
Now wrap your attention around the interesting and somewhat unlikely evolution of this look: the top knot.

What happens when a style grows out? Well, for men’s hair, it’s typically a haircut, or a trim perhaps. It’s the hinge on which our business rests. But in the last year, an interesting look—the top knot—seems to have gained popularity, and not just among the trend-setters and hipsters of our city’s streets. Top knots are being spotted everywhere, abiding by a kind of natural law that if the hair reaches then the knot is fair game. Top knots are appearing in all shapes and forms, from short stem-like sprouts, to elegantly crafted chignons. Many men are opting to tap their creative/effeminate bone to perpetuate this style.

It has been interesting to see this look evolve from what I believe to be a pseudo-throwback, the high and tight to a kind of hybrid of masculine and feminine. Will it last? Time will tell. But one thing is for sure: it’s knot for everyone.

Why Tone? Not Talking at the Gym!

The most frequently asked questions after a facial are “Why should I use toner?” or “What does toner even do?” Toner is your skin’s newest best friend, ladies and gentlemen. Once you get close to toner you will never let her go! People who use toner swear by it!

So you’ve already got your skin care routine: wash, dry, done. On occasion, you might put moisturizer on if your skin feels dry. But that’s about it, right? Well, think of toner as the second step to your cleansing routine. Adding toner to your regimen can easily help you with any dryness or over oiliness. When you think toner think of this key word: “balance”.

Here’s a little “Toner 101” to get us started. Everyone’s skin has an acid mantle made from sweat and oil that is naturally produced all day and night. We often strip away at the acid mantle when we cleanse the skin, changing the balance of the skin’s pH. Using a toner helps bring your skin back to the natural, perfect combo where oily meets dry!

Toner is also like a huge drink of water for your skin. Take a look at your skin up close in a mirror for a moment. Give a little push on your nose with your finger. Do you see lines? How about on your forehead? Yep! Your skin’s dehydrated! It’s okay, no need to worry. About 99.9% of people have dehydrated skin. Toner helps drench your skin with hydration.

When choosing a toner, you want one that is going to work with your skin. If your skin is dry, you will want a moisture-rich toner. Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Skin Firming/Toning Agent is perfectly suited for people with aged or drying skin. It cools and hydrates the skin. It is also a spray bottle toner so you can keep it in your purse and refresh your face all day long with a simple spritz. If you wear makeup, there’s no need to worry: spray right over it! The toner will set your makeup and give a nice, clean refreshing splash of confidence!

If you have an oily skin type, you will want to choose a toner like Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist. It helps minimize oil buildup on the skin. It’s a mild astringent, so it won’t over-dry your skin. Once again, it’s all about helping keep the perfect balance without stripping the skin of its natural healthy oils.

Lipstick Tips

Smile before applying. This is to stretch the lips a little so that, while applying the lipstick, it won’t drag. It also helps to get color into every nook and cranny.

If you are using lipstick in a tub, consider using a lip brush for the precise placement of color. If you do not have brush, try using your smallest finger. It does get the job done but it’s a bit messy, so wipe your hands right after.

If your lips are flaky, exfoliate first with a lip scrub, or a facial exfoliate, or even brown sugar. Then smooth on a lip cream or balm before applying the lipstick.

If your lips are always dry, choose a more hydrating formula, like a cream lipstick or a tinted balm.

Stains can take some getting used to. I recommend applying them from the inside of your lips out towards the perimeter so that you can avoid obvious mistakes around the lip line. If you want extra shine, allow a stain to set for a minute, then top with gloss.

Before walking out the door, regardless of the formula you’re wearing, stick your pointer finger in your mouth and drag it out slowly to capture any excess lipstick. Then it won’t end up on your teeth!

I don’t believe in rules to apply lipstick. Some women use lipstick brushes. Others use their middle finger. Most people apply it right from the tube. Choose the way that’s right for you; as long as the color gets on the lips, you’re good.

The Aroma Sensory Journey

Woman getting head massage.

As an Alpha Esti student performing elemental nature facials, my guests will often comment on how good everything smells. I agree, and I believe that the aroma-therapeutic benefit of an Aveda facial makes for an exceptional sensory experience.

Some of Aveda’s signature aromas are highlighted in The Botanical Kinetics line.

The toning mist and the Botanical Kinetics skin firming/toning agent both contain a calming aroma featuring rosewater.

The Botanical Kinetics liquid exfoliant is enhanced with soothing and familiar aromas of Lavender extract, Witch Hazel extract, Chamomile extract, and Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) extract.

While the use of essential oils are becoming more widely recognized as therapeutic, plant and flower extracts have always been an integral part of Ayurvedic healing practices. According to Ayurvedic traditions, there are essential oils that benefit each elemental nature type:

  • Infinity/air: Typically susceptible to dry skin, anxiety, and hypersensitivity. Avoid sharp or strongly perfumed essential oils. Use warm, energizing oils such as camphor, cinnamon, and cypress; combined with the stabilizing, calming oils such as sandalwood, jasmine, or rose; blended in sesame oil, as a carrier oil.
  • Fire: Prone to inflammatory skin diseases; would benefit from cooling, calming oils; flowery fragrances such as gardenia, jasmine, mint, rose, or sandalwood blended in a cooling carrier like coconut oil.
  • Water/Earth: Typically oily or combo skin types; would benefit from warm, light, stimulating oils such as sage, basil, cedar, pine, myrrh in very light carrier oils.

Over centuries and across cultures, the belief holds that essential oils have the ability to advance wellness, enhance product efficacy, and bring a deeply relaxing sensory experience.

YESto

YESto LogoYESto carrots, cucumber, tomato, blueberries, grapefruit and coconut! All of these fruits and veggies sound yummy to eat but our skin finds them just as delicious. YESto has found a way to harness these ingredients, and more, to give your skin the best nutrients and care.

YESto is a San Francisco based company offering affordable skin care with high quality ingredients. As a company, YESto products “are always at least 95% natural, free of parabens, petroleum, phthalates and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and made with recyclable materials.”

I feel in love with this line when I found YESto Carrots. I have the driest of skin, but yet I still have oil production. It’s very frustrating to find the right balance for it all. YESto Carrots uses carrots, pumpkin, shea butter, sweet almond oil, and avocado to help nourish my skin. Then the YESto Tomatoes line has helped clear my now minimal acne. YESto Carrots is not heavy and never leaves me feeling greasy. They use vegetables backed with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E to help feed my skin and hydrate it.

I use their YESto Tomatoes Acne Roller ball for my spot treatment. That has tomatoes, ginger root, bisabolol, salicylic acid, and tea tree oil. It gives my skin a natural way to balance out its oil production using fruit acids and then salicylic acid/tea tree oil to help with exfoliation and to minimize bad bacteria growth in the pores. It then finishes by using a ginger bisabolol combination to help calm irritation and inflammation.

YESto is a great line to experiment with that won’t break the bank. It might even be your last stop.

Why the Cinta Aveda Institute?

Being from out of state, and already having started studying cosmetology at a different institution, I was looking for an experience better than the one I’d had.

I moved here in the beginning of 2013, and I was in kind of a weird funk. Stuck between nanny jobs and doing nothing, I realized quickly that what I missed the most, besides my family, was doing hair. So I started shopping around for a new institute to start my career over again.

I came across Cinta Aveda’s website kind of randomly one evening, and decided to request more information. Katie Phillips, in the admissions department, gave me my tours and helped me to enroll when I decided the school was the best fit for me.

The beginning phases were rough for me, but I found my groove in Beta and really became comfortable with my style and the work I produce. I heartily believe that the education offered through Cinta Aveda is a step above most other cosmetology institutions. I’ve been told that the work my classmates and I are able to produce is often comparable to that of high end salons, and sometimes better.

When you’re looking for somewhere to start your career, make it an Aveda Institute. I was lucky to find one so close to where I was living. I’m happy every day I go to school and learn something new. It has been an honor to meet the people I have met. I’ve made lifelong friends here and I’ve worked with and under fabulous educators.

Cinta Aveda is worth it.Students in class at the Cinta Aveda Institute.

Take the Mess Out of Statement Lips

Setting lipstick with tissue and translucent powder.

Statement lips have become such a popular trend for any season. Personally, I love the dark, bright, and matte trends, but they seem to be more of a hassle and mess than they are a fun fashion statement. They smudge, bleed, fade, and dry and, for matte colors, leave your lips looking cracked only a few hours after application.

Here are some tips that will keep your fun colors fresh and intact.

For long wearing purposes, use a similar-colored lip liner. Don’t only line your lips to stop the color from bleeding, but fill in all of your lips before applying your lipstick. This will ensure that your color stays on longer.

To set your lips, pull the sheets of a tissue apart so you have one thin sheet of tissue, and place on top of your lips. With a fluffy makeup brush and translucent powder, blot the powder onto the tissue. In the same way that powdering your face keeps your foundation on, this trick will set your lipstick so that it stays all day!

To avoid the cracking dry look of matte colors, apply lip balm before you apply your face makeup. By the time you are done with the rest of your makeup and are ready to put on your lipstick, your lips will be moisturized but not too slick to keep your color in place.

To keep them hydrated all day, dab a bit of lip balm on top with your finger to lock in the moisture without glossing your matte look.

Makeup Educator Shawn Peltier

Portrait Shawn Peltier

Instructor Shawn Peltier

I met Shawn Peltier for the first time during my transition to Alpha Phase. He performed a demonstration of low effects makeup using toilet paper to create a bloody gash and some other products to create scarring. A couple of weeks later, my class had the pleasure of having Shawn Peltier as our makeup educator. Little did I know, he had a plethora of tricks up his sleeves.

Shawn came into our class and forever changed our makeup education. He taught us how to work with whatever tools and supplies we were given. It’s amazing to experience it firsthand because most of my classmates, myself included, have difficulty working with some of the products. But within three days of being there, he created such beautiful looks. I was pretty much in awe. He showed us that it was possible to achieve something great even with limited resources.

Shawn has been such a wonderful addition to this program. In five short weeks, I’ve been educated on lash application, bridal makeup, 3D art, runway makeup, and the history of makeup trends each time we cover a certain topic. He is very meticulous yet incredibly patient and kind in instructing his students. Sometimes for us to work on just an eye look, it can take up to two hours, but he works through it with each and every one of us. I specifically enjoyed learning how to apply feathers to create a 3D art look. This is something I can use for any costume party like a masquerade ball or animal-themed party.

The great part is enjoying what I’m learning and being able to walk away with the knowledge. In each makeup theory class I have been in, I have always been able to take something away at the end of the day. Shawn is personable, upbeat, fun, and energetic, but what I admire is his passion for makeup and his willingness to share his tips and tricks with us. I hope he’ll be staying for a while to spread his knowledge to future CAI students.