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The Invati System

November 28, 2014
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The Invati SystemThe Invati System is a three-step system, created by Aveda, for people with thinning hair. “Invati” means invigorate in Sanskrit. This product was made and derived from India and contains a unique blend of herbs—97% all-natural ingredients—designed for thicker, longer lasting hair. The three steps are a shampoo, a conditioner, and a revitalizing spray.

The shampoo cleanses and exfoliates the scalp. It helps remove dry skin and products from the scalp, helping keep it healthy and moisturized instead of tight and dry. The shampoo consistency is creamy and runny compared to most shampoos, leading some to think that the shampoo does not cleanse well enough. But really, it’s actually the opposite. This shampoo helps exfoliate the scalp, which most shampoos don’t. It’s so important to exfoliate our skin and, to continue having healthy hair, it’s just as important to exfoliate our scalp. The Invati shampoo is very cleansing and healthy for the scalp even for those who aren’t worried about thinning hair.

The conditioner was created to thicken and strengthen the hair. This conditioner helps prevent more breakage and gives the hair more elasticity. The grape seed that is in the conditioner wraps around the hair cuticle and gives it its moisture and thickness. The conditioner also has nut oil which gives the hair its shine. The conditioner’s texture, similar to the shampoo’s, is runnier than most conditioners. But it does its magic when used correctly.

The revitalizing spray is the third step to this system. This product, sprayed and massaged into the scalp, helps rehabilitate the hair and scalp. The directions say that after shampooing and conditioning, the product should be sprayed six times on each side of the scalp while the hair is still wet. The revitalizing spray contains vitamin E oil that helps give the hair its strength. But the product is not oily at all. It is recommended to use the spray twice a day while giving the scalp a nice massage, which helps the scalp with circulation. The spray is an extremely important part of the Invati System, and it is important to follow the directions.

I used the whole Invati System for over six months. After just a couple of weeks, I experienced a significant difference in the amount of hair that I had been losing. Before I started using this product, my hair would fall out in significant quantities after a shower. But afterwards, I would come out of the shower and the hair that I would lose was countable: literally less than twenty hairs. I did a test and stopped using the Invati System and went back to use Aveda’s Scalp Benefits shampoo. But I noticed a dramatic difference and switched back to the Invati System. With the Invati System, my own hair has been thicker, too. There are also many more fine baby hairs than usual.

Because I personally used and believed in this product, I recommended it to a client that was experiencing thinning hair due to thyroid problems. I wasn’t sure that the Invati System would help because her thinning hair was caused as a side effect of a medication she was taking. But after a month, my client came back and told me that she had been losing less hair than usual and was extremely impressed and happy with the product. It’s a great feeling to be able to help someone with hair loss, especially because I know personally how bad it feels when too much hair is falling out.

I think the Invati System is amazing, but it’s important to be religious with the product. The Invati System smells great and leaves the hair healthy and clean. However, the product is on the pricey side. Everyone wants healthy skin, and everyone wants their hair to be as healthy and beautiful as it can possibly be. If you’re someone that cares about your hair the way that you care about your skin, then this product is worth the purchase. Because the Invati System is also helpful for preserving a healthy scalp, I recommend this product 100% even for people who don’t have thinning hair.

The History of Exfoliation

November 27, 2014
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Exfoliation is the process of removing the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin through either chemical or mechanical methods.

Mechanical exfoliation, the process of exfoliating the skin by hand by scrubbing with something abrasive, has been practiced all over the world and throughout history. American Indians used dried corncobs. The people of the Comanche tribe would use sand from the bottom of a river bed to scrub the skin. Polynesian people would use crushed sea shells.

Mechanical exfoliation was practiced in ancient Egypt where they employed a variety of methods. Pumice stones were popular abrasives as well as other minerals such as alabaster particles, and scrubs made from sand and the aloe vera plant.

Exfoliation through chemical means, as practiced today, is a science constantly updated with new technology and ingredients. But the practice itself also has a long history dating back to ancient Egypt when sour milk, which contains lactic acid, was used as a chemical exfoliant. Cleopatra is famously said to have frequently bathed in it.

In the Middle Ages, people commonly used old wine for its exfoliation properties. Old wine was effective because of its tartaric acid content. Various natural remedies of these kinds, containing naturally occurring levels of alpha hydroxyl acids, were the norm until the late 1800s. That’s when German dermatologist Paul Gerson Unna began scientifically formulating the earliest forms of chemical peels. His pioneering research with salicylic acid is still used today.

In the early 20th century, dermatologists began to experiment with phenols in chemical exfoliation. That remained popular through most of the 20th century.

Natural Cleanser with a Twist

November 26, 2014
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Your face is the first thing people see when they look at you. Whether you are forty, twenty four, or fourteen, you don’t want to walk around with acne on your face. I have pimples and blackheads sometimes, so I know that when someone looks at me, they are thinking: “Why didn’t you take care of that before you left the house?” But you’re not really supposed to pop pimples, and when pushing out blackheads, you should be sure to steam your face first for fifteen to twenty minutes.



I’m always reading up on new things, and lately I’ve run across this natural way to cleanse the face that’s especially good for people with super sensitive skin. First, I steam my face and take a cotton cloth to gently push the blackheads out of my face once I’m finished. Then I rinse my face with slightly cold water. (Using water that’s too cold isn’t good for your face. You’re trying to close the open pores on your face, but you shouldn’t shock and stun your pores with extra cold water.) Then I’ll take about one fourth cup lemon juice, a half teaspoon of baking soda, and about a nickel sized dollop of honey. I mix them all together and gently start to apply and massage into my face. After two to three minutes of massaging, I’ll rinse my face. Then I’ll blot my face with a towel that has a light color to make sure it’s properly cleansed. For toner, I use witch hazel which is the best natural toner out there. Then I’m done. 

This cleansing ritual also works really well for people with chest and back acne too.

I’m taking Biotin. It’s helped my hair grow, but it has also helped my face. I’m not as oily and, at the end of the day, my skin feels a lot better—it feels firmer, replenished, and hydrated.

Try this little home remedy for yourself and let me know what you think.

Lemon Mask Setup

Beauty Trends for the New Year 2015

November 25, 2014
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The Holidays are just right around the corner. Are you guys ready for 2015? I know I am! This year has gone by so fast and what a journey it has been. I am as curious as you are to see what the colors and trends for spring 2015 are going to be.

This fall/winter 2014, we’ve seen lots of simple liner, metallic eye shadows, doll-eyed lashes, shades of purple and blues, and just very bare looks on the runway – simply no makeup at all. I don’t think I can ever do that. I can’t live without my foundation!

This coming spring 2015, we’ll be seeing more cooler, softer colors, but with some subtle warm tones – aquamarine, mint green, classic blue; to warmer colors like beige, and baby pink; to oranges and browns. Makeup-wise, we’ll be seeing some more doll eye lashes and very black inked liners on the eye—how Twiggy usually wore her eyes. There’s definitely some purples that pop up here and there. The makeup looks are still very clean throughout the season.

Pantone Color Swatches for Spring 2015Pantone, in their spring 2015 color report, writes, “this season, cooler and softer color choices with subtle warm tones follow a minimalistic en plein air theme, taking a cue from nature.”

I’m very excited to wear the mint greens and blues out this upcoming season. It’s going to be so fun playing with the 2015 colors.Collection of Faces in Spring 2015 Styles and Colors

Summer to Winter Skin Adjustment

November 24, 2014
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Climates are changing as we invite autumn in. Here in California, where we only really have two seasons, we experience Indian summers into October. The weather seems to be getting warmer versus taking a step back to cool off.

Other places that do not experience Indian summers actually have four seasons and are starting to become chilly. People there are preparing their homes to greet the snowy nights.

So our topic is climate change! Sudden climate changes can leave skin and hair a bit dull if not treated head on. So how does a warmer or cooler climate affect your skin?

Let’s meet the skin first. When dealing with extreme temperatures, the skin goes into a panic. She’s a tough cookie, but when it comes to dealing with drastic change, she puts her defense up.

Most people forget that the skin is an organ and its job is to protect above all. It acts as an external shield to the inner organs to keep the body within a normal temperature (37°C, 98.6°F) at all times. When the skin suddenly shifts locations to wildly different temperatures, it reacts. It happens all the time. Walking indoors from the hot, humid weather to a cool, air-conditioned building and, within a couple of seconds, the skin must adjust. Oh skin, don’t we all!

Whatever climate the skin is faced with, being moisturized is very important. The moisture—consisting of fatty acids, lipids, and natural oils—should be between pH level 4.5 and 5.5 (acidic) which is enough to repel bacteria. Doing this successfully depends on external factors (e.g. moisturizers) and internal factors (e.g. water bottles galore).

Sunscreen should always be used daily, no matter the weather and climate! And in any climate, moisturize the skin and make sure you’re drinking enough water.

Now, when the weather is warm, your skin reacts by sweating, which cools down the body. Heat and your skin tends to butt heads. This is the time where most breakouts occur because your skin is in overdrive producing oils already so people think: “Why even moisturize? It’ll only clog pores even more and cause more bumpity bumps.”

You do want to avoid the thicker, heavier creams for moisturizing during the warmer climate and stick to something light and noncomedogenic. But you still have to moisturize your skin. Botanical kinetics™ hydrating lotion is a great option because this quick-absorbing lotion—which contains emollients derived from coconut, jojoba and other naturally-derived ingredients—replenishes moisture with a gentle touch. Camomile and lavender blend helps promote a soft, supple skin texture.

Remember those tips for warmer weather. But now let’s add humidity. Moisturizers that contain humectants—a hygroscopic substance used to keep things moist—is ideal for humid weather. They prevent the loss of moisture so the skin retains the natural moisture it already has. According to a Mayo Clinic article, you should look at the ingredient list for urea, glycerin, aloe vera, or alpha hydroxy acids.

But if you actually live where fall transitions into winter, your skin functions differently. Circulation becomes sluggish which results in sensitive skin. Remember, your skin just went through a season of hot weather and is about to adjust to the colder weather. Keep those summer products to the side, or even toss them to avoid using them after expiration, and grab the thicker creams for the cold air.

In a 2011 article, Jessica Krant, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center said, “Winter brings dryness from every direction, which sucks the moisture out of our skin, lips, hair and even our eyes.” She makes a series of suggestions on how to combat the effects of winter cold.

In an article from HealthDay News, Dr. Amy McMichael, a dermatologist at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, offered the following tips for protecting skin during the winter months:

  • Switch to a thicker facial and body moisturizer.
  • Do not use indoor tanning beds.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and avoid hot beverages to minimize rosacea flare-ups.
  • Laser and chemical procedures are available that can help treat rosacea, melasma (a kind of skin discoloration) and other skin problems.
  • Take advantage of off-season or post-holiday sales on sun-protective clothing to help protect your skin all year long.

The Daily Glow, which is now EveryDayHealth, released a report on the Best and Worst Skin Cities. There’s also an infographic.

San Francisco is number two, yea!

Five Minute Makeup

November 23, 2014
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We can all be a little busy sometimes or have no time at all for something as simple as putting on some makeup. This post will guide you through a quick and easy five minute makeup routine that you can even do in your car! It will just liven up your face a little bit and make you look ready to go for your day.

Here is all you’ll need:

  • Eye Brightener / Concealer
  • Volumizing Mascara
  • Brow Gel or Wax
  • Cream Blush
  • Bright Lipstick
  • Clear Lipgloss
  • Primers (optional)
  • Eyelash Curler (optional)
  • Concealer/Brightener

    Woman with triangle under eye showing where to apply the concealer.

    Hides dark circles, bags, blemishes, and adds life to skin.

    Apply a little of your eye brightener or concealer in areas you feel need a little coverage. For example: under your eyes, around the nose, blemishes, etc. Blend in with a clean finger; no brushes for this.

    Tip: Apply concealer in a triangle shape. It helps the illusion of flawless skin under eyes.

  • Curling Lashes

    Eyelashes Being Curled

    Lifts lifeless lashes and makes eyes look more “awake.”

    Curl your eyelashes in a pumping motion. Be gentle. You do not want to pull your lashes out.

  • Volumizing Mascara

    Eyelash Makeup Being Applied

    Helps define lashes and open up eyes.

    Apply a volumizing mascara to top and, if necessary, to bottom lashes.

    Tip: Apply in a zig zag motion starting at roots of lashes. Make sure you coat every lash evenly. Do not apply mascara to tips of lashes, it only weighs them down.

  • Brow Gel or Brow Wax

    Woman brushing her brows with gel or wax.

    Smoothes eyebrow hairs down and keeps them looking fresh.

    Brush through brows with your choice of gel or wax. No filling in this time because we have no time! Au naturel it is.

    Tip: Use a spooly to brush through if needed.

  • Bright Lipstick

    Lips with Bright Lipstick

    Adds color to the face and makes you look put together without trying.

    Apply lipstick in a dabbing motion.

    Optionally, add a clear gloss for some extra shine if needed.

    Tip: Make it look like you just bit into some berries and they stained your lips.

  • Cream Blush

    Cream Blush Applied to Face

    Gives a ‘dewy’ flush to the cheeks for a more natural looking complexion.

    Use fingertips to dab it on the apples of your cheeks and blend upward along cheekbones.

And there you have it, a look completed only in five minutes. Of course you may add your own twist on it if you feel you are missing a must have. I love putting this look to use on days when I have long errands to run or when I’m running around chasing kids as a Nanny. It’s perfect for one of those days and super basic. Anyone can pull this off.

Fall/Winter Hair Color Trends

November 22, 2014
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Combo image of five female hair styles.Fall is here, and that means the holidays are at hand! You can’t go into the holidays looking a mess. It’s time to change up that color! Shake off the lighter tones of summer for some richer ones to ring in this new season.

As always, the holiday season means warmth. Add some warm tones to your hair! Aveda Full Spectrum Color offers complete customization when it comes to your hair color. Want that gorgeous ombre? Take a picture of what you have in mind to an Aveda salon near you, and get your very own, completely customized color.

Want to rock some beautiful red locks? Done! Aveda colorists can make your holiday dreams come true.

Great Memories from Intro Phase

November 21, 2014
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Graduation Celebration with Pop Art Make UpMy first day of school was actually pretty exciting! All the students were really nice. The teachers were all super awesome and so willing to help us. They made us feel comfortable with asking them questions.

A memory from my time in the Intro Phase was doing a graduation celebration with Pop Art make up! I thought that was such a cool and fun experience! I have never had my make up done and then walked a catwalk showing it off! I would love to do something like that again, but with me being the one doing the make up and having my model show it off! That was a great school day at Cinta Aveda.

Embracing a Holistic Approach Toward Skincare

November 20, 2014
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When I first enrolled at Cinta Aveda, I knew that I had an obscure fondness for extracting sebum from the skin—and that’s it. I wasn’t too sure that I cared much about creating an urban retreat “getaway” type of experience, or making people feel at ease, or even treating people’s skin and creating long-term solutions addressing their concerns. I really just wanted to squeeze gunk out of pores and call it a day. Boy, has that changed dramatically!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love extractions. However my educators, along with experiences with my clients, have shaped my outlook to one that’s much more holistic: to treat the client in his or her entirety. Now I want to not only address the skin in its present state, but to address the roots of any problems—whether it be lifestyle, stress levels, medications, overall attitude, etc. One’s skin, after all, is an organ. It absorbs external free radicals, and is a reflection not only of the foods and beverages you put in your body, but also of the hormonal highs and lows, emotions, sleep quality, and an endless list of other life circumstances. To neglect these forces, therefore, would leave my work incomplete.

Personally, I think the holistic outlook will prove to be much more effective—for the mind, body, and soul. I am so grateful to have had by horizons broadened during my time here at Cinta Aveda, and I look forward to incorporating the mission of Aveda into all of my future endeavors.

Make Up

November 19, 2014
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When putting on facial make up, you have to decide what look you’re going for. Just a natural look? Or an exotic look?

First, you have to figure out what kind of coverage you need or like. Do you want a soft look or full coverage? If it was up to me, I’d go light during the day and bam it out for the evening. The cool thing about makeup is that, if you begin light, you can start off with one look, and then dramatize it for the evening.

To me, someone’s every day face should consist of some powder, blush, mascara and, of course, a lipstick. That way your skin is not clogged by a bunch of product throughout the day. In the evening, looks can be a little more dramatized depending on the outfit or where you’re going. My favorite part of an evening look is that there really is no limit. Get that full coverage foundation with a bronze and a blush. You also have so many options for your eyes. Either black Smokey eyes or even just different shades of brown with some black liner.

But an evening look is never complete without some eyelashes! And, of course, your lipsticks. Depending on the color of your eye shadow, you can pick out whatever lipstick you want. If you do a dramatic eye, stick to a simple lip. If you do a simple eye, go for the dramatic lip!

There are endless options when it comes to makeup. Just try whatever works best for you!