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How to Protect Your Skin with Natural SPF Oils

Natural sunscreen oils are much better to use as sun protection compared to artificial sunscreen creams. These oils contain Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that helps to protect the skin from darkening. The SPF number gives you the estimated amount of time that you can stay exposed to the sun without getting burned. For example, an SPF of 15 would allow you to be exposed to the sun fifteen times longer than you could without protection. Some oils have a natural SPF in them and most of these natural sunscreen oils also have other benefits on the skin.

  • Almond Oil—SPF 5

    Almond Oil

    Almond oil can give your skin a lot in terms of nourishment. Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E which keeps your skin soft and supple.

  • Coconut Oil—SPF 8

    2015-02-06_Coconut_Oil_60_150x97

    Coconut oil is one of the most versatile natural oils. You can cook with it, and apply it on your skin and hair. Coconut oil provides sun protection to your skin and it also protects your hair from nasty sun damage.

  • Raspberry Seed Oil—SPF 30

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    Raspberry seed oil is an essential oil that is rich in both Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. Aside from providing sun protection, it also helps prevent stretch marks on your skin.

  • Carrot Seed Oil—SPF 40

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    Carrot seed oil is a vegetable oil that has the maximum amount of SPF. It is also rich in antioxidants and has very good antiseptic properties.

  • Avocado Oil—SPF 15

    Avocado Oil

    Avocado oil has a high percentage of mono-saturated fats. These fats form a protective layer over the skin to prevent sun tanning.

  • Olive Oil—SPF 8

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    Olive oil is the healthiest oil for your heart. Even when it comes to your skin, olive oil can provide limited sun protection and unlimited antioxidants to repair cellular aging.

Pros & Cons of Waxing

Most women get rid of their hair with a razor. It’s painless, even if you accidently nick yourself with the blade; it’s fast if you do it while showering; and it’s a cheap method of hair removal. Yet waxing salons and spas are thriving. Why? Because waxing is able to last up to a month, it reduces in-between stubble, it is highly effective, and it removes hair right from the root. You get instant smoothness that a razor cannot deliver, even when it’s brand new.

The Cons

  • You have to wait for the hair to grow back again to a certain length. There is a re-growth cycle that hair goes through once removed.
  • Yes, it will hurt. No, do not drink first to ease the pain.
  • More susceptible to ingrown hairs if not treated with an exfoliant.
  • More pricey, but totally worth it.
  • You’re removing a layer of protection against infection. Our hair naturally protects us from outside environmental stressors and toxins.

The Pros

  • Smooth skin, no more stubble. Lasts for 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Hairless for longer, gets more hair than your razor could. Doesn’t leave bumpies.
  • It will stop growing in as thick after a while, and the re-growth cycle will get thinner.
  • Less effort, no razor cuts or burns.

There are also two types of wax used for waxing:

Soft Wax

  • Melts at higher temperature.
  • Stays soft after application.
  • Waxing strips, aka muslin, is necessary for hair removal.
  • Pulling soft wax off with a waxing strip often results in lifting and stretching of the skin along with the hair.
  • Can work only when you pull the strips in the direction opposite to the hair growth.
  • Cannot be reapplied to areas just waxed.
  • Can often cause rash, irritation, and redness.

Hard Wax

  • Melts at lower temperature.
  • Simply lift and pull the hardened wax. No strips necessary.
  • Hard wax hardens around the hair and not on the skin; only the hair is uprooted.
  • Does not require you to pull from the direction opposite the hair growth.
  • No rash, redness, irritation after.
  • Can be reapplied on the areas that are just waxed.
  • Good for waxing armpits and the bikini area.

Fashion Week 2014

As I reach the homestretch of my time here at Cinta Aveda Institute, I’m finding myself falling in love with my passion for makeup even more than I had before I attended CAI. With the help of our new educator, Shawn Peltier, I have been inspired to work hard to achieve my goals as a makeup artist. This week he had us focused on Fashion Week, its history, the artists/designers, the makeup, the models, and more. Fashion Week happens only twice a year in the major fashion capitals of the world such as Milan, Paris, New York and London. Fashion weeks are held several months in advance of the season to allow the press and buyers a chance to preview the fashion designs for the following season. In 1945, the first ever New York Fashion Week was held! Crazy to think how far we have come in the industry, huh?

As far as the makeup aspect goes, it has been more on the natural side. Polished but still with that lived-in look. Shawn had us specifically focus on Atelier Versace’s Spring 2014 Haute Couture look. This look involves natural complexion, brows, and lip. The eyes bring the most attention with gorgeous blue hues and a dramatic winged liner. Using the tools we have at school and the magic of makeup, we mimicked Versace’s look to practice the routine of Fashion Week and repetition of the look to get it just right.

Eye Makeup Samples Side by Side

An example from the Haute Couture show in Paris (left) and an example done by Shawn on me during our Advanced Theory Class (right).

“With the return of the 1950s to the Atelier Versace runway, Pat McGrath echoed the decade’s emblematic curved-shouldered jackets with a vibrant doe eye: ‘Donatella wanted something graphic, aerodynamic and fun.’ The make-up artist drew a deep angled curve on the lids with blue-green eyeliner, before highlighting with a thick stroke of iridescent color for depth. Think Fifties meets fashion rock.” — Vogue

How To Know If Your Beauty Products Are Expired

Like most things we use in life, skin-care and beauty products don’t last forever. Once you open that jar of moisturizer, the clock starts ticking. Exposure to air, light, and bacteria can break down the product and eventually it will not work the same. It sounds crazy, but even if they are left sealed, heat and humidity can also cause your products to break down over time.

Expired products are not really a big deal every time. Sometimes it just means they lose some of their effectiveness. A vial of expired perfume could smell a little off or your favorite mascara doesn’t apply as smoothly and easily. But other times, an expired product can be irritating or cause other problems. Expired sunscreen, for example, might not work properly leading to a nasty sunburn.

Product Expiration Information on Label

This picture on a product shows “12M” on a little jar, which means the product should be good for twelve months after opening.

First things first. Most likely, you won’t find an exact expiration date printed on your beauty products because the FDA does not require it. If something like “Exp 12/2015” is not clearly printed on the packaging, look for what is called the Period After Opening (PAO) date.

Keep in mind that, just like things like milk and eggs, expiration dates on beauty products are not always reliable. My mom always taught me: “When in doubt, throw it out!” Check your beauty products out too, and toss anything that has changed in smell, color, or texture. Also be aware that most natural products have a more limited life span than products which include preservatives, and they will go bad much sooner.

Tip: If water is listed as the first ingredient, the product will have a shorter shelf life after opening than a product without water—all other things being equal—because water encourages bacteria to grow.

Here’s a list of some generalized guidelines for many different cosmetic products to have an idea when it is time to chuck those oldies.

  • Moisturizers, Face Creams, and Eye Creams

    Six months to one year. Products sold in a pump are less likely to introduce bacteria, while creams in jars should be tossed after six to nine months.

  • Sunscreen

    One year. Store it away from sunlight to prevent the formula from becoming unstable.

  • Anti-Aging or Anti-Acne Products

    Up to one year, depending on the ingredients. Anti-acne products containing benzoyl peroxide have a shelf life of three months once opened. Products with antioxidants such as retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C also break down more quickly.

  • Shampoos, Conditioners, and Hair Styling Products

    One to two years opened, three years unopened. Water and air that gets into the bottles could break down the formulas.

  • Perfume and Cologne

    Two years. As pretty as the bottles look on your counter, store them away from sunlight and humidity to be safe.

  • Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner

    Three months. Repurchase a new one every season and throw away even sooner if it’s dried out or if you’ve had an eye infection.

  • Liquid Foundation and Concealer

    Six months to 1 year

  • Powder-based Cosmetics (i.e., eyeshadows and powder foundation)

    Two to three years

  • Lipsticks and Glosses

    Two to three years. If you’ve had a cold sore, toss your lip products sooner.

  • Eye and Lip Pencils

    Three to five years. Sharpen before use to preserve them.

To make your beloved products last as long as possible, keep them away from heat, sunlight, humidity, and air. For sanitary reasons, choose pumps over jars and make sure your hands are clean before use so you don’t contaminate your products.

Five Minute Makeup

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.

Aveda Beautifying Composition Oil

Aveda Beautifying Composition OilI have been in love with the Aveda Beautifying Composition Oil since I first discovered it in Intro Phase. Whenever we used it during practicals, I was always eager to use it!

I felt all icky from wearing makeup all day and, as we began to perform practical facials on each other, I decided to give this product a proper test. Although I’m usually hesitant to try new skin products, I volunteered to go first. My partner used the Aveda Beautifying Composition Oil throughout my treatment, and confirmed what I already knew — I love this product. If I experience an amazing effect on me first hand, it makes a big impression on me.

The reason I love this oil so much is because I honestly do notice a real difference in my skin on a day-to-day basis. It removes my makeup — even waterproof and hard-to-remove eye makeup. It smells of organic lavender, rosemary and bergamot; the smell is so nice that you instantly become a little more relaxed.

The last new oil I tried from Aveda was Energizing, which I knew instantly wasn’t for me as soon as I rubbed it into my skin. The scent of the Beautifying Composition Oil, on the other hand, was love at first sniff! In addition it really helps moisturize skin and make it softer and smoother. Great for use as massage oil, dry skin, body, and a scalp remedy too!