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Aveda Products in Combination

Aveda Hair Products Collage

When I first started my trial and error journey with Aveda products, I admit to playing the guessing game. Luckily every product had a clear description on how to properly use it.

After a year of playing around with the wide variety of products, I found the perfect “go to” combination. Prepping the hair with some Brilliant Damage Control never hurts; everyone can use a little UV and thermal heat protection. I like to follow with a touch of Phomollient. I find this product helps limp hair hold a springy loose curl while also being beneficial to textured hair that needs to be blown straight. I like to finish with a couple pumps of Light Elements Serum. It smooths and weighs down those pesky flyaways I know everyone gets.

No matter the texture, length, or condition of someone’s hair, I find this combination of products always works for me. It’s definitely not the only combination, but if you ever find yourself stuck in a rut of not knowing which combination of products to use, grab these three and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

But if I had to choose just one product to take with me to a “stranded on an island” situation, I’d take Dry Remedy Oil. Everyone could use a little dry remedy oil, especially if you have chemically treated hair.

It makes your hair feel like it just took a big sip of refreshing water. A great thing about it is that it’s low maintenance. It doesn’t require any sort of styling or heat to work. You apply it as needed throughout the day to damp, dry, or even style hair. It also works when the wind trashes your hair. Sprinkle a few drops into the palm of your hands and gently glaze over that wind-induced frizz.

For those of you who don’t have chemically treated hair, you also can make use of this product. Textured hair, coarse hair, graying hair—throw this tiny travel-sized vial into your bag and run some through your hair when it needs some freshening. Did I mention that it smells pretty darn good too?

After applying, don’t be too hasty to wipe your hands clean. I personally like to let those natural oils hydrate my hands as well.

Aloe Vera Cooling Gel

Aloe Vera Leaf

Herbal medicines are natural, plant-derived treatments used for both internal and external health issues. One of the most common of these medicines is a succulent plant called aloe vera. Because it is so versatile, aloe vera is used by the cosmetic, medicine, and even food industries.

Aloe vera has many healing properties—soothing, cooling, and moisturizing. That’s why aloe vera is frequently topically applied to wounded areas including a sunburn, a sore, or a cut. Also, due to its moisturizing benefits, aloe vera is a common ingredient in cosmetics. Its moisturizing emollient effects aid in many products including soap, shampoo, and moisturizers.

With the sun becoming more present every day, sunburn is a high health risk for many people. Here is a sunburn repairing recipe that will cool any irritation on the skin as well as aid in healing:

  • 120 milliliters aloe vera gel (either store bought or from plant)
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 10 drops of pure lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops of pure peppermint essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a clean bowl and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a sealable container and store it in the fridge. The gel mixture may oxidize quickly, so use as soon as possible.

Vitamin E is an effective moisturizer and can neutralize free radical damage. Lavender is calming and antibacterial. Peppermint is cooling and antibacterial.

Why I Chose Cinta Aveda

Logo - Cinta Aveda Institute - San Francisco

San Francisco is known for their art and culture. Growing up in this amazing city has always inspired me to be creative. I used to do my own hair and my sister’s hair as a teenager. I did everything from bang trims and cute pixie cuts to coloring and bleaching. It has always been an underlying passion.

Choosing to start my journey and go to the Cinta Aveda Institute has been one of the hardest and most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I was nervous to take the plunge into something new and exciting, but I was frightened of being too old, not good enough, or even the possibility of failing.

On the first day of school, all those fears disappeared. There are students of all different backgrounds and ages trying to achieve the same goal—to learn. The teachers are really helpful and not intimidating at all; they seem like they really want to help you become successful. The staff really cares and values students opinions and views of what is going on around us.

This school amazes me every day with the education and outline of each phase. The curriculum is always changing and being updated for the benefit of its students. And the fact that it’s in the heart of downtown San Francisco is a big plus! I’m really happy with my decision to come to this school and am very excited for what comes next in my future.

The Benefits of Rice Water

Bowl of Rice and Rice Water

Rice water is rich in minerals and vitamins that make it fantastic for both skin and hair. What’s more, this beauty secret has been utilized by flawless-skinned Japanese Geishas for centuries. Rice is rich in a complex of B vitamins called “inositol” which helps promote cell growth, slows down the aging process, and stimulates blood flow.

Rice water can tighten pores, bringing an abundance of radiance to the face and body. Furthermore, rice water is moisturizing and contains antioxidant and UV-absorbing properties. It also has the ability to bind to naturally occurring copper in the skin, thereby preventing the formation of melanin (hyper-pigmentation) and age spots. Moreover, the soothing nature of rice water makes it an effective remedy for rashes and other irritating or painful skin conditions.

In a dermatological study at Brussels University, patients with atopic dermatitis—chronic inflammation of the skin—saw a 20% improvement after taking 15-minute baths filled with rice water twice a day.

Not only is rice water great for the skin, but it is also great for your hair. Rinsing or washing your hair with rice water improves manageability and protects it from future damage. In addition, the amino acids in the rice water strengthens the hair roots, adds volume and sheen, and makes hair silky smooth.

Now that you know about the benefits of rice water, your next question is probably: “How do I make it?” It’s super easy to make:

  1. Boil some rice, preferably organic rice boiled in distilled water.
  2. Pour the excess water in a lidded glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
  3. Once cooled, the rice water will be a potent ingredient for crystal clear skin and super-shiny hair.

Who knew that something we usually pour down the drain could be so beneficial?

Ultrasound Technology for Skin

Woman Receiving Ultrasonic FacialThere’s an amazing technology that any beauty therapist or Esthetician should be familiar with—ultrasound. If you’ve ever seen a pregnancy ultrasound, you’ve seen images created by sound and vibrations. In the spa world, ultrasound is primarily used to penetrate products into the skin.

The skin’s outermost layer—the stratum corneum—is waterproof and makes it hard to penetrate water-based products or nutrients into the skin. Some argue that lotions and serums can’t be penetrated beyond the first few keratinized layers of the epidermis. But an ultrasound machine can penetrate products deep into the skin, helping with a host of skin problems including dehydrated, damaged, mature, photo-aged, and acneic skin.

This machine uses extremely fast vibrations to penetrate serums, lotions, and creams for optimum skin health. Unlike older galvanic machines used to penetrate the skin, ultrasound is not painful or scary. In fact, you can barely feel the machine going to work. This newer technology works with more than just water soluble ampoules and serums. It can also help penetrate oil soluble products into the skin.

There are currently many other uses for ultrasound in the beauty industry. It’s used for anti-cellulite treatments to burn fat, and can dramatically reduce the appearance of scars.

If you are looking to incorporate machines into your esthetics practice, this is an amazing choice. It will keep your clientele very pleased and help them glow!

Mermaid Trend

Emma Stone with Pink Hair

Emma Stone

Women coloring their hair seems to be all the rage. Remember when the granny hair trend popped up?

If you’re tired of strutting around with silver locks, you’ll be happy to know there’s a beauty trend floating around social media and it is just to “dye” for.

Behold—glitter explosion—pastel colored hair!

Lots of women, including celebs like Kelly Osbourne and Katy Perry, are ditching “normal” colors for pink, blue, and purple shades.

Aside from looking fabulous, these vibrant shades pretty much make you look like a sparkling unicorn or a magical mermaid…and, if becoming a majestic mermaid isn’t at the top of your to-do list, you need to get your priorities straight.

These pops of color are fun and have a feminine vibe. Considering the number of shades available, there’s a pastel color that perfectly complements any girl’s personality.

Nail Maintenance

Biting Nails

Do you have a really bad habit of biting your nails? Does your manicurist go on and on about how damaged they are and how you need to take better care of them? Well, I feel your pain. I struggled with biting my nails and suffered from chipped dry nails and cuticles for years. It wasn’t until recently that I have taken better care of them.

For me, biting my nails was a way of dealing with stress and anxiety. It was easier to chew my nails down to the nub rather than to deal with my issues and nerves. It took a long time to beat my nasty habit of chewing them. I found a new way to deal with my stress through watching movies and spending more time with my friends. After spending time to rehabilitate my nails, I have found time to take better care of my nails, including trimming and filing.

There are plenty of ways to take care of your nail beds and cuticles to keep them healthy, strong, and looking nice. Here are five tips:

  1. Get a manicure: I know it’s a shock, but it’s important to have weekly nail maintenance to keep your nails strong and healthy.
  2. Wear gloves: When washing dishes, or being exposed to really cold temperatures, it is important to wear gloves to avoid having your nails become brittle. Then they will not chip as easily.
  3. Wear sunscreen: When getting your nails done, it is important to wear sunscreen on your hands and nails to avoid the LED light most salons use from internally damaging your skin and nails.
  4. Diet: adjust your diet to healthier foods, such as vegetables, fish (like salmon), and protein. These types of foods really help strengthen the nail and make your nails grow faster.
  5. Coating: always wear both a base coat and a top coat. Never skip one or the other. This process will help strengthen your nails and reduces the amount of chipping.

How I Took Control of My Skin

Product - Clinique Number 4

I have extremely oily skin that is prone to breakouts, and I have always had a difficult time finding products that work for me. Products formulated for acne would always irritate and over dry my skin to the point of it becoming flaky. It was a constant battle to find a good system that controlled the oil and breakouts but still left me hydrated. This battle continued until I found my way to Clinique.

I was skeptical at first because Clinique is a brand directed towards sensitive skin. I had it in my mind that something made for sensitive skin could not possibly help control the excessive oiliness of my skin. I was so wrong.

Clinique has a few different skincare systems. They have their regular three-step system that is broken down into four groups and numbered one through four.

  1. very dry skin
  2. dry to normal combination skin
  3. oily combination skin
  4. oily skin

They also have an acne line. I was still nervous about over drying my skin so I avoided the acne line. I tried their 3-step system using number four. This system consisted of a gel cleanser, a clarifying lotion (similar to a toner), and the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.

I used these three products twice a day, morning and night. To see a difference in your skin after switching skincare products, it is recommended that you use the products for at least one full month. This is so your skin has a chance to go through one full cycle of renewal which on average is 28 days. I kept this in mind when I began using the products.

However, in two weeks I saw a dramatic difference in my skin. I was not having consistent breakouts, my skin was nowhere near as oily and it wasn’t dry either. I’ve been truly happy with this skincare regime. I switched my skin care system to Clinique five years ago. I have tried others in the meantime but I always go back. It really works.

Cucumber for Healthy Skin

Woman with Cucumber on Eyes

Cucumber slices can fight dark circles and puffy eyes.

Cucumbers may do more for your skin than for your palate. These fruits, members of the melon family, have properties that soothe and soften the skin. For an easy do-it-yourself skin treatment, reach into your refrigerator and pull out a cucumber. You can use it to make a toner, or a mask, or simply lay slices over your eyes to help you look refreshed.

  • Antioxidant Power

    The older you get, the fewer antioxidants you have in your skin to fight wrinkles and sun damage. Because your skin has the ability to absorb antioxidants, cucumbers can help restore some of these. Cucumbers are a source of several compounds that fight inflammation and aging, including cucurbitacins and cucumerin.

  • Vitamin Rich

    Cucumbers contain vitamin C, an antioxidant. They also have plenty of vitamin K—also an antioxidant—which fights dark circles under the eyes. That’s why a couple of cucumber slices placed over tired, puffy eyes in the morning helps you look refreshed. Vitamin B-5 is another compound found in cucumbers that helps your skin retain moisture. The vitamin A, or retinol, in cucumbers fights dark spots and freckles because it helps control your skin’s production of melanin.

  • Wrinkle Fighter

    Cucumbers are a source of silica, which, as a precursor to collagen, can help fight wrinkles. A May 2011 issue of the “Archives of Dermatological Research” published a study concluding that the presence of ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, makes cucumber juice a particular effective ingredient in anti-wrinkle products. You can add cucumber juice to your favorite lotion; or make a toner by grating a cucumber, straining out the juice through cheesecloth, and mixing it with an equal amount of witch hazel or rose water. Use a cotton ball to apply it to your face.

  • Skin Irritations

    Cucumbers have high water content and a cooling quality, making them appropriate to help soothe mild burns, particularly sunburn. They can also reduce swelling and relieve minor skin irritations.

How to Find the Right Curling Wand

Curling Wand Tips

Gone are the days of curls crimped and crunched by the clamp of a curling iron. The curling wand is here to stay! It’s a great tool to get effortless curls and waves without the spring and hinge contraption of yesteryear. Curling wands are essentially just curling irons with no clamp. They can provide most of the styling options that curling irons create but with a more natural, lived-in look.

The top things to look for in a curling wand are:

  1. Protection

    Many curling wands come with a glove to protect your hand from the heat of the tool. Without a clamp, you’re going to be interacting with the heated portion of the tool a lot more. This is great for getting just the right shape from a curl or wave, but the heat safe glove is a must have for protecting your hands during styling.

  2. Heat

    How hot will it get? How long will it take to get that hot? Check that there are multiple heat settings so your tool can both be customized to your needs and is flexible enough to be shared with friends and family.

  3. Material

    Wands come in a variety of materials from titanium to heat resistant plastics. Look for ceramic or tourmaline ceramic that protects hair during heat styling and reduces frizz.

  4. Size

    The look you’re seeking can be found and a lot of it comes down to the size of the wand’s barrel. Some curling wands come with removable attachments so you can mix it up. If you’re seeking big bombshell curls that fall loosely, then a larger barrel is for you. For shorter hair or tighter curls, you’ll want a smaller barrel.

Using these four criteria, you can narrow down the vast selection of curling wands to find the right one for you.