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Choose the Correct Sunscreen Product

Drawing of Sunscreen Bottle

Although many only use sunscreen during summer months, sunscreen is an essential skincare product we should use every day of the year. Of course the sun is brighter during the summer, so it is especially important then, but sunscreen protects against skin damage from UV radiation all year round.

It is advisable to apply sunscreen at least 15-20 minutes before going outside to allow the drying time on all exposed body areas. Re-apply every two hours when exposed to the sun in general, even on cloudy days as 80 per cent of UV rays can penetrate the clouds. When out on a beach, it is advisable to re-apply sunscreen every 15-20 minutes. Wash your face or wipe off the area with a wet tissue before re-applying.

But different skin types should use different types of sunscreen. Here’s how to choose the right sunscreen for you according to your skin type.

  • If you have normal skin:

    Normal skin types are the least problematic. The tissue does not reveal any traces of oil and looks clean, smooth and has a good circulation and a healthy complexion. Opt for a cream-based sunblock. In case of oiliness, dab with a tissue to remove the excess oil.

  • If you have dry skin:

    Dry skin has a low level of sebum and can be prone to sensitivity. The skin has a parched look because of its inability to retain moisture. The skin usually feels tight and uncomfortable after washing unless a moisturizer or cream is applied. Lotion or moisturizing SPF is the best choice for dry skin. When opting for the right sunblock, one has to keep in mind that a certain thickness is required in the base to protect the skin from sun damage. With this in mind, always opt for the ones that are thick and not light (matte finish, for example). The higher the range of the SPF, the more oily the formulation.

  • If you have oily skin:

    Oily skin is one of the most problematic skin types. The face has spots of facial oil, normally located in the t-zone. The face usually looks greasy, thick, coarse, and shiny and also has large enlarged pores and tends to breakout in acne. For oily skin, gel or aqua-based SPF formulations work the best. These have a drying effect and do not make the skin look greasy.

Styling the Man Bun

Man Bun Hairstyle

Attending school in the heart of San Francisco, we see a lot of interesting styles out there on the streets. One style in particular that has continued to grow in popularity is the “Man Bun.” Whether you’re the type of guy who likes to keep the sides nice and tapered with an undercut for a “semi-bun” or prefer to let the long luscious mane flow for a “full bun,” here are some pointers to help you achieve the perfectly styled Man Bun:

  • The Man Bun is typically worn at the crown of the head. But “full buns” can be worn lower towards the nape area of your neck.
  • Depending on Man Bun style—semi-bun or full bun—hair should be around 6 to 10 inches long.
  • Creating your bun:
    • Start at your front hairline and gather and rake all of your hair into one hand on the crown of your head. Once you have gathered all of your hair, secure hair in place with an elastic hair tie by pulling the length of your hair through the hair tie and then twist and wrap the elastic tie around your hair 1 to 2 more times depending on the thickness of your hair, each time pulling the length of your hair through the tie.
    • On the final wrap and pass through only pull the length of your hair through half way, allowing the elastic tie to close on top of the hair and create your bun. You can then wrap the remaining ends around the base of the bun so that no loose hair is visible or leave them free to create a Pony Bun.
  • Another way to style your Man Bun is to again begin gathering and raking your hair towards the crown of your head starting from your front hairline. Once you have gathered all your hair, begin to twist the hair like rope and coil it into a circle on top of your crown. Secure by wrapping an elastic hair tie around it one to two times depending on the thickness of your bun.

Here are a few helpful styling tips:

  • To add more weight to your hair, try washing your hair every 2-3 days. The natural oils that build up will actually help you achieve your desired style and create a better hold for your Man Bun.
  • If you are starting with wet or damp hair, consider using a leave-in conditioner or a styling cream with a waxy-like finish such as Aveda Light Elements Texturizing Cream to create some hold.
  • If you want your bun to look casual, use your hands and fingers! Using a comb or brush to style your Man Bun will cause it to look dressy and done.

Fading Dark Spots on Skin

Product - Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening SerumI’ve always been a picker. I can’t leave my skin alone and try to pick things that don’t even exist.

I’ve been using all these different products over the years, pro-active brightening spot treatment, Derma’e and other concoctions.

I walked into my favorite beauty supply and a friend of mine handed me a sample of Murad’s “Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum.” I saw my dark spots and pick marks start to fade in just two days. I couldn’t believe all the good it did for me in such a short amount of time. Murad’s product has really been a discovery for me.

It has two active ingredients: Hydroquinone, which is a progressive and intense bleacher, and Glycolic Acid. You have to use Hydroquinone sparingly because its effect can wear off; three days using it and two days off. Glycolic Acid is an AHA, which gently exfoliates the skin and sloughs away old skin cells.

This product doesn’t only get rid of old skin but helps renew skin as well. Though I love Murad products, I realize that what helps foster good skin and not having any dark spots is to also use vitamin C and exfoliate at least twice a week to help promote cell turnover and get rid of bacteria buildup.

For anyone out there who hasn’t found their answer to dark spots, I suggest using this Murad product. It worked for me.

Aloe Vera — a Powerhouse for the Skin

Aloe VeraEveryone is probably very familiar with Aloe Vera as a treatment for burns. However, Aloe Vera has a host of other skin and body healing properties. The Ancient Egyptians called it the “plant of immortality.”

There are many studies that back up the effectiveness of Aloe Vera in treating a variety of skin conditions, from flaky or dry skin, cosmetic ailments, and scalp problems.

Aloe treats sunburns through its powerful healing activity at the epithelial level of the skin, a layer of cells that cover the body. It helps the skin to heal quickly.

Aloe acts as a moisturizer without giving it a greasy feel, so it is perfect for anyone with oily skin. Aloe is also great for treating acne. The gel contains two hormones Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones contain wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema.

Aloe Vera is also widely used in anti-aging products. Aloe leaves many antioxidants including beta carotene, and vitamins C and E, that help improve the skin’s natural firmness and helps keep the skin hydrated. Aloe also lessons the visibility of stretch marks.

Besides being an effective skin treatment, Aloe is nutrient rich for good health. The solid material contains over 75 different nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, antraquinones, or phoenolic compounds, lignin, saponins, sterols, amino acids, and salicylate acid. It also helps to aid in digestion when taken internally.

Aloe Vera is one amazing, medicinal plant that anyone who cares about health and skin wellness should know about.

Facial Yoga

Face Yoga ExercisesYoga is a practice that is full of spiritual and physical techniques to connect the mind, body, and soul as one. Expected outcomes of yoga include ease of understanding, total relaxation, and even enlightenment. Full of both physical and psychological benefits, it is no surprise that yoga is done around the world; from serious, traditional classes in the heart of India, to the body-toning hot yoga class down the street.

While there are many different kinds, a form of yoga that has not gained much attention is a frontal muscle workout that goes by the name of “face yoga.” Face yoga refers to the exercising of the muscles in the face, and can be done to tighten, tone, and combat signs of aging.

How does it work? Well, the muscles’ movement increases blood circulation in the face, allowing more oxygen to pass through and replenish cells in the area. The techniques can also aid in the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in supple and smooth skin.

Some of the facial moves look odd as they include widening the eyes and sticking out your tongue. However the exercises are performed, here is a video that includes some methods you can try out.

Practicing face yoga for only five minutes everyday can bring great results in reducing signs of aging. Results can be noticed in as little as two weeks and, over time, the look of visible wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin can be reversed.

Simple Yet Versatile Hair Brush

Aveda Paddle-type Hair Brush

Brushing your hair can be a pain especially if your hair tangles easily. One brush I feel that is essential for any hair type is a paddle brush.

Aveda makes a great wooden paddle brush. I like this brush because it’s so versatile. I use it to detangle and while blow drying clients. It’s great for all hair types including curly, coarse, fine, short, and long.

Using the paddle brush as a styling brush is simple and easy. You simple blow dry the hair following the curve of the head. Once the hair is pre-dried, you can take sections and use the padding on the brush to smooth out the hair, perfect for a sleek look.

Also the brush is very gentle. My hair never snags on the brush and it easily detangles the most unruly hair. I would definitely recommend this brush to anyone who just wants an all around good brush for everyday styling and blow drying.

Do-It-Yourself Bath Bombs

Homemade Bath Bombs

Always on the go, we are so time sensitive that we never stop and smell the roses. But before we can take care of others, we must take care of ourselves.

I’ve found that a great way to relax is to take a luxuriating bath. Aromatic therapy can take you on a pleasant ride to a land of peace and tranquility. Many companies make bath salts, bombs, and oils; but you can customize your experience by creating you own.

Here’s how to create your own bath bomb.


  • 1 & ¾ cup baking soda
  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • food coloring
  • essential oils–peppermint or lavender for a stronger scent, lemon or grapefruit for a weaker scent.


  • spritzer bottles
  • glass bowl
  • baking molds


Sift baking soda, citric acid, and cornstarch to remove chunks.

To make different tints, fill small spritzer bottles with water and add about 6 drops of food coloring to each.

Pour 1 cup of sifted powdered mixture into a glass bowl. Lightly spritz, stirring after each spritz, until powder is the desired color. Add water slowly so mixture does not fizz. If mixing two tints, alternate colors as you spritz. Check the consistency of the powder with your fingers; when it can be tightly packed or shaped, stop spritzing. This may take a little while.

Add 5 drops essential oil for stronger scents or 6 drops for weaker ones. Mix well. Firmly pack mixture into small baking molds. I use ¼ cup for each fizzy, which is good for one bath. Allow mixture to set for two hours, then pop out of the mold carefully. Repeat, with different tints if desired, for remaining powder.

After you’ve made your batch, take one and enjoy it in a bath!

Choosing the Right Job

Jobs want ads and magnifying glass

As you reach the end of your beauty school journey, you will have to start thinking about the next step in your career—finding a job.

If you are like me, you have spent endless hours obsessing over Craigslist job posts, and perfecting your resume and cover letter. At times it seemed a little dubious that I would find the right job—entry level, but still at the caliber that I feel I deserve. Although you might be fresh out of school, don’t settle for any job just because they are willing to bring you on.

Here are some ideas to carefully reflect on before choosing your first job. If you are lucky enough to be called in for an interview for a job that peaks your interest, really pay attention.

  • What is the atmosphere in this spa or salon?
  • Is this a place you would feel comfortable?
  • Is it aesthetically pleasing to you?

Ideally you want to begin a career and a relationship at this spa but if it does not align with your sense of beauty or ideals that may create a conflict down the line. You want to come to work and feel at peace in a setting that you like.

If you are interviewing with the owner or manager, make sure you ask exactly what his or her expectations of you will be. If it is a spa that expects a lot of retail, make sure you know this and are prepared to do your absolute best. In addition there are some very hands-on and demanding spa owners. If having someone watch you and give you very precise directions will rub you the wrong way, it’s best that you seek employment from a more relaxed individual.

Another aspect to consider: which products does the salon or spa carry? Are they organic, or are they more scientific or clinical? These are important questions to ask. Depending on your feelings and ideologies as a cosmetologist or esthetician, it’s important that you and your employer are in sync. Furthermore, I think it’s important that the products the salon or spa carries are products that you believe in. Have you used these products? Is this a line that you can work with and sell?

Finally, continuing education is very important no matter where you end up! I chose a place where I knew I would learn a lot.

Obviously things like salary and schedule are important to consider, but these other tips are important to really think about before accepting a job.

Lemon Water and Vitamin C

Glasses with Lemon Water

Drinking a certain volume of water daily, depending on your weight, can do wonders for your body and skin. Some of you add a lemon to your water when you’re out at a restaurant, but do you know the benefits of drinking lemon water?

When you add lemon to your water it adds vitamin C, which has numerous health benefits. Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. A single lemon contains around 30-40 mg. of vitamin C in comparison to an orange which contains around 80-90 mg.

Vitamin C has been studied extensively and shown to have a myriad of health benefits, protecting against: prenatal problems, cardiovascular disease, eye diseases, skin wrinkles, and immune system deficiencies.

Putting lemon in your water brings your water, eventually, to an alkaline state. Water, for the most part, has a neutral PH of about 7.0, which means it is neither basic (alkaline) nor acidic. Anything above 7.0 is considered alkaline. The alkalinity of water is a measure of its ability to neutralize acids. A fresh lemon added to your drinking water will also make your purified drinking water more alkaline. Though it seems counter-intuitive to think that adding an acidic lemon to your purified drinking water could ultimately produce an alkaline result, it’s important to remember that fresh lemons are also anionic. Once you drink the acidic lemon water, it will become alkaline as your body reacts with the lemons’ anions during the digestive process. Use fresh lemons that haven’t been exposed to air for more than 30 minutes; do not use lemon juice that you can buy in a container from the store.

Vitamin C keeps you healthy and fit in five important ways:

  1. Helps treat common cold symptoms. Although there is no proof vitamin C can prevent cold, studies do show that vitamin C can reduce the severity of cold symptoms and the duration of the cold. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine; it reduces the levels of histamine.
  2. Can be a natural cure for skin problems. Vitamin C is used to treat a lot of skin related problems. It is now used in moisturizers and masks for a natural glow to the skin.
  3. Regulates sugar levels in diabetics. Diabetics can definitely benefit from foods containing vitamin C. It helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  4. Improves asthma symptoms. Vitamin C, being an antioxidant and antihistamine, improves the function of the lungs and airways.
  5. Helps reduce arthritis symptoms. Arthritis is caused by the collapse of cellular process the help in the production maintenance and repair of cartilaginous tissues. Since Vitamin C is required for collagen production, it helps to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling of joints in people with arthritis.

Gamma Phase for Cosmetologists

Many OptionsThe last phase in the cosmetology program is bittersweet. You’ve overcome struggles, learned more than just a thing or two, and have made friends over the thirteen-month-long program. Now are you ready to go out into the professional world? What’s next?

Cinta Aveda Institute has many opportunities to help aspiring hairstylists thrive and present their work to the public. There’s the Trashion Show, Career Day or Creative Team projects. They also help students find jobs in salons around the Bay Area.

Putting yourself out there, being passionate about what you do, and keeping an open mind help to achieve a successful career. Many students inspire others via social media such as Instagram or Facebook. This is a great way to spread the word that you’re ambitious and approachable for possible side projects, photoshoots, or weddings where hair and makeup services might be needed. Even if you’re not being compensated for certain activities outside of school, getting your feet wet helps you to become better and more comfortable working in the field. You’ll definitely come away with tips and tricks you can use for the future.

Settling into an assistant program in a salon is beneficial. One might not need to start assisting at the very beginning of their program however, towards gamma, it always helps to have yourself already settled in somewhere you enjoy working, getting a feel for salon life, and having a potential job lined up.

Thirteen months sounds like a long time, but it goes by in a flash! Being confident, eager to learn, and being a bit humble starting out in the industry is a sure way to a long and happy career full of opportunities.