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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.

Two Quick Makeup Tricks

Lash Stamping with Mascara, Before and After.

Add these two simple beauty tricks to your everyday makeup regimen.

Mascara Stamping

Eye with Mascara Wand

Everyone wants their lashes to look fuller and thicker. Often that means using lash extensions or serums such as Latisse. But this beauty trick won’t have you spending an arm and a leg getting that fuller lash look. Mascara stamping gives this full lash illusion, and it’s as easy as pressing the wand into the roots of the lashes while applying your mascara, in a stamping motion. This will deposit color to your upper lashline, giving an appearance of having fuller lashes. It may be a bit messy at first but, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked!

Foundation Layering

Contrary to what we may practice and have been taught about makeup application, apply a powder before a liquid foundation. It gives better coverage and a flawless appearance that lasts all day. This trick may save the day, especially for those with oilier skin.

Get your base makeup to stay on longer throughout the day by applying a loose powder before your liquid foundation. You can use any loose powder, but Aveda’s translucent powder would be perfect for this application method. Start with a good amount of your favorite moisturizer, set it with a powder, and finish by adding liquid foundation on top. This will give your skin a fully hydrated feel, but with a matte finish. This application style should eliminate the need to add a loose powder as a finishing step, leaving you with a budge-proof base that will last all day!

Starting as a Receptionist

Around the Institute at Cinta Aveda

When I started school at the Cinta Aveda Institute, I completely fell in love with the beauty industry. However, I’d never worked a job in the industry, and really wanted to get a jump start on my esthetics career. As I did not have my license—and most spas are looking for estheticians with at least two years of spa experience—my only option was to work the front desk.

I ended up finding a job as a receptionist in a spa and worked there for over a year. It proved to be an amazing entryway to the field and gave me an edge over other newbies.

During my year as a receptionist, I learned a lot about what it’s like to work in a real spa—how the clients are, what it takes to keep a spa running, how the team functions, retailing, inventory, and a lot more.

As a receptionist, I got to polish my waxing skills as well. Waxing was an aspect of the field that particularly intimidated me. I loved giving facials and pampering my classmates but, when it came time to wax, I was quite shy. Ironically, my first job was at a waxing boutique, where I had the opportunity to ask all my coworkers the tips and tricks of the trade.

One of the most valuable and surprising piece of information I learned was that most of my coworkers were also shy and intimidated when they began waxing. They were these incredible waxperts, but had started with a similar fear of waxing. They gave me great advice and even let me watch the occasional Brazilian so that I could improve my techniques. In addition, I learned a lot of the do’s and don’ts of waxing.

To this day, when I’m in a room with a client, what I learned at my receptionist job sticks with me. I received a lot of information listening to the estheticians talk to their clients.

Many spas hire from within, so it could be a great opportunity for you to work your way up if you work hard and show interest. For a first job in the industry, don’t discount the receptionist gigs! As an introduction to the spa world, it is a great learning opportunity.

Make Your Own Lotion Bars

Homemade Lotion Bars

Have you ever used any of Lush’s scented lotion bars? Amazing, right? Those lotion bars are super easy to make at home and half the price!

Lotion bars are solid at room temperature like a bar of soap, but when rubbed on the skin, they melt leaving your skin super soft and moisturized. You can add any mixture of essential oils to customize the scent. You can even add coffee beans to make a massage bar. These are fun presents, and can easily be made for baby shower gifts, birthdays, Christmas gifts, or just for yourself.

Did I mention the directions are super easy to follow? This recipe can be adjusted to make any quantity that you’d like. I make mine with 1 part=1 cup so I used 1 cup of coconut oil, 1 cup beeswax and ⅓ cup each of shea butter and cocoa butter (you could also just use 1 cup of any for the individual sized bars). I also added some vanilla essential oil. I set them in silicone baking cups, though any mold or shape would work. The recipe I used made exactly 12 lotion bars. You can store them in any plastic container. I keep mine in the fridge, labeled so nobody tries to eat them!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup shea or cocoa butter or a mix of both together equal to 1 cup
  • 1 cup beeswax
  • 1 tsp. vitamin E oil (optional)
  • 30 drops of essential oil like vanilla (optional)

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients, other than the optional essential oils, in a double boiler or a glass bowl over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it.
  2. Turn the burner on and bring the water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth.
  3. Remove from heat and add the optional essential oils. Gently stir until essential oils are incorporated.
  4. Carefully pour into molds or whereever you will be allowing the lotion bars to harden. I used silicone baking cups, though any mold will work. Different shaped molds can be used for holiday gifts (hearts for valentines, flowers for Mother’s day, and so fort) or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.
  5. Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds.

† If you add an extra ounce or two of beeswax, you get a thicker consistency, which leaves less lotion on the skin when used.

Exploring The Product World

Jumble of Beauty ProductsFinding the perfect products sometimes feels like a never-ending journey. I am still trying to find the perfect products for myself. The truth is you will never stop searching. Everything is in constant change—your life, your environment, your skin. What you eat, how much you sweat, cry, use the sauna, bake in the sun—it all changes constantly and affects which products you need.

The key is to find a base product that will take care of your needs now and one that you can be confident using into the future. Makeup, cleansers, moisturizers, and shampoos—products are never perfect and can always get better. You’ll need to do a lot of exploring and testing.

Going into the Esthetics Program at Cinta Aveda institute, I walked in with my nose up. I had no intention of giving their products a chance. I had it set in my mind that none of their products would work for me, and I wouldn’t want to offer them to my future clients. It took working on other students, and testing them on myself, to really see the magic Aveda’s products were doing to my skin. I can now honestly and confidently recommend these products, especially a few favorites.

Hand Relief is my go-to. I use it after every facial and, from washing my hands all day, it really saves my hands.

I like everything in the Green Science line, specifically, the face crème. Since I have dryer skin, the thickness of it just leaves my skin feeling new and fresh.

And I really enjoy the Tourmaline Skin Refiner. This exfoliant does great things for my skin. The fact that it is all natural and will dissolve into my skin just makes it even better!

We all need to keep our minds open to new products as our needs change and new products become available. I hope that you find a set of products that really work for you.

The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Since I started school, my friends have been asking for my recommendations on skin products. In particular, I have one friend with acne prone skin that suffers frequent breakouts. She has always struggled for clearer skin.

I started researching key ingredients more than product lines, hoping to find an active ingredient present in many products that would help her. I found tea tree oil, which has became one of my best friends because of all its benefits on the skin and for hair. Instead of using harsh topical ointments, like benzoyl peroxide, I suggested she tries an organic remedy. I recently heard back from her that tea tree oil has helped more than any other acne product she’s ever used!

Not only does tea tree oil help with acne, but it’s also great for use on eczema, psoriasis, ingrown hairs, itchy/flaky scalp, and fungal infections.

It kills bacteria in the skin, making it a natural alternative to benzoyl peroxide. Tea tree oil is much cheaper than speciality products, usually only costing between $3 and $10, and there are plenty of great products which contain tea tree oil as their main active ingredient. Here are a few I like:

  • Pure Tea Tree Oil
  • The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil line
  • Dr. Bronner Tea Tree Liquid Soap
  • Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner by OGx
  • Tea Tree Oil Skin Ointment from Vitamin Shoppe
  • Tea Tree Water from Lush

Tea tree oil may not be for everyone. It can have major side effects and is extremely harsh on the skin if used incorrectly. If you have sensitive skin, try diluting your tea tree product with water.

I have had outstanding results since I started using tea tree oil products, especially treating my dandruff and dry scalp, as well as on my constantly dried-out cuticles. I encourage any one suffering from dry skin, dry hair, dry scalp, acne prone skin, and even any rash or irritations to add a little tea tree oil to their lives.

Benefits of a Monthly Facial

Woman Receiving Facial

Unless it’s for a special event, most people don’t understand the benefits that a good professional facial can offer. They wait until they see a skin problem—weird breakouts, dry itchy skin, dark spots—before coming in for a facial. But these frustrating problems can often be prevented by receiving proper monthly facials combined with counseling on correct home care products.

Unless you have a specific skin concern you are trying to work on, such as acne, or hyper-pigmentation, then once a month is an ideal schedule for a facial. Your stratum corneum—the outermost layer of visible skin—completely renews itself about every 28 days. During this time, your skin cells are being replicated from the treated cells to replace the old cells. If you give your skin a head start with a great facial, your skin cells will replicate the now healthier cells. This results in a better complexion. Also, most skin products can take up to six to eight weeks to start to treat active skin cells. But by speeding up the renewal process with a facial, you can make these products work faster and more effectively.

Here are my top ten reasons why you should consider receiving monthly facials:

  1. Facials allow you to relax. They feel live heaven, and are healing to the soul. The power of touch, massage, proper technique, and professional products can heal.
  2. Facials increase circulation of the blood under the skin. That allows the skin to facilitate the renewal of skin cells.
  3. By manipulating the lymphatic system that lies just under the skin, facials can decrease waste underneath the skin that can cause puffiness and fluid accumulation. Facials also aid in detoxification.
  4. A good facial and facial massage can help smooth fine lines and promote collagen production—the builing block of the skin—to prevent premature aging, wrinkles, and sagging.
  5. A facial cleanses the pores on a much deeper level than home care. Even non-acneic skin can use a good deep cleanse. Extractions–cleaning out the pores–can help maintain clear skin and prevent acne formation and the appearance of larger pores. When left unchecked, pores can start to stretch and widen with the accumulation of oil and debris.
  6. Facials provide deeper exfoliation than you can achieve at home. Exfoliation smooths the skin, allows for deeper penetration of moisturizers or serums, unclogs pores, improves the skins ability to retain hydration, and evens skin tone.
  7. Receive counseling from a professionally trained esthetician on the best products for your skin that you should be using at home. This alone is worth the investment, as the skincare industry can be a difficult and expensive area to navigate without assistance.
  8. Facials can help even skin tone and lighten dark spots. Dark spots visibly age our appearance.
  9. Facials slow the aging process. They allow your skin to feel healthier, smoother, and look more radiant. Facials reduce fine lines, age spots, and relieve dehydrated skin. With these benefits, facials make us feel better about our skin. With the use of exfoliation, massage, and the penetration of nutrients and antioxidants, facials also fight to reverse aging. We will all age, but we can do it more slowly with glowing, firm, and hydrated skin.
  10. Although they are not a miracle in an hour, facials do give you a fresh start to a healthier and balanced complexion. Regular facials help you maintain optimal skin health.

Ayurveda Diet

Ayurveda Diet

Ayurveda, which originated in India in ancient times, is a traditional form of healthcare that uses holistic healing practices customized to each person which takes into account the need for nutrition, exercise, hygiene, social interaction, and other lifestyle elements. Ayurvedic theory uses the principal that everything in the universe is interconnected including mind, body, and spirit. And when we are in harmony with our environment, we’re able to keep a peaceful inner equilibrium. Aveda uses Ayurvedic theory to promote good health and keep the body in balance.

Each individual’s mind/body makeup can thrive in a particular environment. But when we are out of harmony with our environment, the body can suffer. As humans, we are constantly affected by everything around us including sights, tastes, smells, and things we hear. All the energy transfers we encounter can wear out the body. Ayurveda tries to prevent illness by using natural forms of medicine derived from plants, minerals, and roots to restore the body’s delicate balance through detoxifying, energizing, or soothing the individual.

Interestingly, there is even an Ayurvedic diet. Everyone has different needs but a basic introduction to an Ayurvedic diet isn’t what you might think—it’s not just beans, vegetables, and grains. It can be applied to any diet.

The saying “you are what you eat” is literally true, especially because what we eat affects our emotions. Our digestion is sensitive and, when we eat things that don’t agree with us, it upsets the stomach leading to an uncomfortable feeling. Bad digestion can be upsetting both physically and psychologically.

Ayurveda recognizes six tastes and it’s important to have all six of these tastes in your diet every day to contribute to feeling satisfied at the end of your meal. The six tastes are:

  1. sweet (sugar, honey, rice, pasta)
  2. sour (lemons, hard cheese, plain yogurt)
  3. salty (salt, cured meats, anything salty)
  4. pungent (chili peppers, ginger, hot spices)
  5. bitter (leafy greens, turmeric)
  6. astringent (pomegranate, green apples, cauliflower)

These are listed in the order they are digested by your body. Sweet gets digested first. So it’s a bad idea to have dessert at the end of the meal. It’s better to put it at the beginning. Salad, on the other hand, is good near the end of the meal.

The Ayurveda diet uses a holistic approach to caring for your digestion. You can learn how and what to use in order to apply Ayurvedic remedies into a balanced lifestyle by taking a Dosha Quiz. Good luck on your journey to balanced health!

Educators at Cinta Aveda Institute

Classroom at Cinta Aveda InstituteI had the privilege of getting to know and to bond with my educators at the Cinta Aveda Institute. Every single one of them has made my experience one to remember. They make me laugh constantly and always show me what a community should look like.

Being so comfortable with my educators has made my time at the Institute an experience of ease and warmth. I’m not afraid to ask them questions or express any type of concern because they will respond with only honesty and uttermost care. I’ve felt this deeply at the Cinta Aveda Institute; I felt no shame or embarrassment when I asked a question, even if I knew it was nonsensical. Usually, there was some real question underlying my query which the educators could also answer.

These are the mentors in this industry. They constantly display different approaches to skin care and technical matters. I’ve learned from them that the skin care industry isn’t black and white, there are so many variations on how we do things. Everyone has their own techniques or opinions about certain skin products or treatments. I’m always excited to see what they have in store to teach me.

Each one of Cinta Aveda Institute’s educators has their own distinct characteristics; class is never boring. I’m very grateful for these wonderful people who have enriched my journey here. I only hope to pay my education forward to upcoming estheticians.

The Beauty of a Rose

Rose IllustrationFew people can resist a rose. Fragrant, soft, blooming full–it demands that we smell it, touch it, and stop to admire its beauty. It is an iconic flower and also has a myriad of different uses in skincare. The Greeks and Romans would put rose petals in their baths to perfume them. In distilled forms, roses have been included in both in cosmetics and medicines for centuries.

Rose essential oil is important for more than its attractive scent. Rose helps rejuvenate and replenish skin. It can make your skin as soft and velvety as the petals. It also has anti bacterial, anti fungal, and anti viral properties. Rose water is known for its health and beauty benefits. You can pour rose water into a bath, or use it as a toner, or use in cosmetic formulations of lotions and creams. It can help treat acne and acne-prone skin. It also has cleansing properties. Rose oils help reduce swollen spots or redness on your skin. It has calming properties perfect to sooth rosacea and eczema.

When you’re next inhaling the fragrance of roses, or stopping to admire their beauty, give a little thought to the other properties of this amazing flower. Consider adding rose oil to your beauty regime.