Blog Archives

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.

Facial Process

Getting a Facial

A facial is not necessarily something that someone has to have to live. Rather, it’s a gift—to oneself or to others. It is like having a spa day or treating yourself to some relaxation.

As an esthetician, I know that performing a facial is very precise and has many small details to which you need to attend. It is important to follow each step by step procedure and make sure the facial is relaxing, yet beneficial as well. Some components of a facial include cleansing, a refinement, steaming, massage, a masque, a skin analysis, etc. Missing any of the steps can result in an incomplete service and a sub-optimum result.

For a basic one hour facial, the esthetician’s step by step process goes as follows:

  1. Opening ritual: Begin the facial with some calming inhales and slow exhales to relax the client in a calm setting. Offer them a calming essential oil that will remind them of something they can relate to in a positive way. They should be very relaxed before starting the facial.
  2. Cleansing: Cleanse the skin with an appropriate cleanser based on the consultation with the client. The skin has yet to be analyzed, so the cleanser has to be picked based on what you know their skin can tolerate.
  3. Analyze: After toning, analyze the skin with a magnifying lamp and determine their skin type, temperature, tone, dehydration level, and any other concern they have or you see.
  4. Refine: After determining what needs to be addressed, decide on a choice of products and determine which refinement and masque to use during the facial. Apply the refinement for seven to ten minutes depending on the client’s skin condition.
  5. Massage: After removing the refinement and toning the skin, move into the massage. Start from the décolleté up to the neck, from the bottom of the face and then upwards. It is important to use enough oil to smoothly move your fingers but to not slip across the skin.
  6. Masque: The masque is one of the most important parts of a facial. This is usually something that complements the refinement done or help to heal any extractions or intense work performed on the face. This also lasts after application for seven to ten minutes.
  7. Closing ritual: When the facial has come to an end, help the client adjust back out of relaxation and provide them with some stretches and movements to help them get ready to leave.
  8. Finishing touch: Before your client leaves, a nice thing you can do is provide a minimal makeup touch up. Offer them a quick lip, mascara, blush, etc. They will appreciate the offer and will remember the gesture.

Can ‘Expensive’ be Cheaper?

Tarte Cosmetics Product Collection

Before I started at Cinta Aveda Institute, I’d buy all my cosmetics from the Ulta Beauty Store. Ulta displays their pricy, high end cosmetic lines and products on the left side of the store. To the right, they have typical drugstore lines like CoverGirl, Maybelline, and Rimmel London. To me, makeup has always been a “Want to Have” rather than a necessity, so I always went for the cheaper side. I figured I could find some pretty descent stuff for a low price. For years—and I mean years—I had used Rimmel’s liquid foundation and CoverGirl’s pressed powders. I was happy with the products and I never noticed any problems that I might be having with them.

Once I started school however, some of the first topics we discussed were makeup. To my surprise, I found that it is a lot more important to use good quality makeup than I thought. I learned that you shouldn’t judge a line based on their price, and that the more expensive products can be the best for your skin. The cheap makeup I was using was actually the reason I was breaking out so much, and the more I broke out, the more makeup I used.

I finally decided to take the plunge and shop on the expensive left side of Ulta. To my surprise, a lot of the brands I was interested in weren’t that much more expensive. On top of that, I wasn’t going to need as many products. I started trying bare minerals first. I used that for a couple weeks, but it made my skin itchy and it basically covered up nothing. I used so much of it that it only lasted me 2 weeks. So I went back to find something I knew would be healthy for my skin and still give me perfect coverage.

I tried Tarte Cosmetics and instantly fell in love. Tarte has easily become one of my absolute favorite makeup brands and has really transformed my face. Tarte is made from Amazon clay which helps to really get the coverage you want, but it’s not heavy on your skin. You barely notice it’s there. It also lasts the entire day and doesn’t get greasy-looking. Finally, the company is socially aware. It does many things to help people and the environment with their profits. I love Tarte and my skin finally looks and feels great because of it.

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.

What’s Your Hue?

Exotic Lip Art by Girl Grey Beauty

Image courtesy of Girl Grey Beauty.

A lot of people have been trending new, upcoming, and out of the ordinary colors for lipsticks this past year. Colors from purple to blue, and now even green and yellow. Some of these colors have been around for years, but have not reached the surface of the high fashion pool until now.

MAC is a brand that is known for being bold and creative with their colors and matte looks. Having such a wide range of unique and intense hues has made them one of the most popular cosmetic line for lipsticks. This not to say that they were not already famous for their bold eyeshadow colors, blushes, and other face makeup. From their “Bronze Shimmer” to the “Up the Amp,” they have over 200 different hues including every color on the rainbow.

I am not much of a exotic lip color gal myself, however I have been dying to test drive a few “out of my comfort zone” lip shades. One of my favorite lip colors for myself would be a maroon or a deep reddish-purple color. But I want to discover what it feels like to explore purple lips. Strangely enough, these bold colors seem to not only bring out people’s personalities through style, but they also increase their confidence. I believe women (and men) feel so many different emotions just by adding some lip color to their look. It can make you feel sexy, subtle, happy, excited, bold, and so on. I know I feel like a million bucks when I rock a great red or maroon.

So challenge yourself to find a color that not only suits you, but brings out your inner, beautiful self.