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Extractions!

It was once said that a facial is not a facial without extractions. What are extractions, you ask? Let’s take a deeper look into the histology—or the study of the structure and function of the skin— to better understand what is happening when your esthetician “extracts” you.

The skin has two main layers, the top layer (really five layers) is the layer we touch and it is called the epidermis. The layer below the epidermis is the dermis.

The five layers of the epidermis are the stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and the stratum germinativum. Below the stratum germinativum layer lies the dermal layer, or dermis.

Estheticians are only licensed to work with the epidermis, so the dermis is reserved for the domain of doctors and nurses.

Excepting the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, the lips, and the eyelids, the rest of our skin surface has hair follicles from which our body hair grows. Hair follicles penetrate into the dermal layer and the hair grows out of the follicle, exiting through the epidermal layer. Along with hair in the follicle is also sebum, or the oil our bodies naturally secrete. Our skin secretes the most oil from our noses, foreheads, and backs, so these areas are common locations for extractions to take place. The sebaceous glands secrete oil into the hair follicle, which then travels up to the surface of the hair follicle and hair shaft to the stratum corneum layer, or the top layer of the skin.

Sometimes, especially for people with oily skin types, a hair follicle becomes clogged with keratinized or dead and hardened skin cells, also known as a blackhead. This can result from a lack of exfoliation. Estheticians are allowed to remove hair and also remove sebaceous matter and blackheads from the skin.

During a facial, the esthetician must prepare the skin first for easy removal. This includes cleansing with warm water and an appropriate cleanser, and using steam for 8 to 10 minutes while the exfoliating mask is removing the top layer of keratinized skin cells. Then the extractions may begin.

The esthetician must wear gloves for the extraction portion of the facial because there is a possibility of a small amount of blood to surface with the extraction. The esthetician may either use an extract ion tool or wrap his or her pointer fingers in a sterile, cotton disposable cloth on top of the gloves.

The extraction happens when either the tool or fingers apply pressure to opposite sides of the extraction site and a downward and inward massaging, milking-like motion is applied. If the skin has been properly prepared and the client’s skin is somewhat hydrated, the blackhead will emerge. It can be as long as a few millimeters in length, and sometimes even a centimeter or more. The purpose of removing blackheads is for a refined appearance of the skin and also to prevent the blackhead from possibly becoming a whitehead, or a pus-filled, closed comedone, commonly called a pimple. Once it evolves into the whitehead stage, your esthetician can no longer extract it.

After the deep cleansing extraction process, your esthetician may apply an astringent or bacteria-killing product like tea tree oil to the extracted area. Lavender essential oil may also be applied to calm and soothe the skin in some cases. The result is a fresh, clean complexion and a smooth skin surface.

If you are looking for a deep cleansing, transformative skincare experience, then make sure the next time you book a facial, you ask for extra time for extractions. They usually take about 15 to 20 minutes for a full, thorough extraction session on oilier skin types. This may reduce the time your esthetician can spend on the relaxing part of your facial like the hand and arm massage. Your esthetician will surely charge more for extra time during your facial, but it will be worth it!

The Beauty of Makeup

The purpose of makeup is to transform the face to appear more beautiful to other people. It is used for people to look more presentable by covering up redness, patchy and uneven skin tones, and to accentuate the best features of a person’s face, like their eyes or lips, for example. In turn, since one’s appearance to the outside world is improved, makeup helps to boost one’s self-esteem. However, if makeup is applied in a way that draws too much attention to an unattractive scar or neglects to cover up a blemish, it can have the opposite effect and detract from one’s appearance. For this reason, a good makeup artist knows how to enhance the best features of any person’s face. Some main points to consider when applying makeup:

  1. The Consultation: A good makeup artist needs to know the occasion for which the makeup is being applied. Daytime makeup is much more subtle and has a lighter application than makeup for a nighttime event. To choose the appropriate color palette, the makeup artist also needs to know the color of the clothing that will be worn for the occasion.
  2. Preparation: Practicing proper sanitation methods in station set-up is key—no one will return to a makeup artist who uses dirty brushes and equipment, or who does not wash their hands before applying makeup. Also, understanding a client’s skin type and properly prepping their skin, whether oily or dry, is very important before applying makeup. It is so important to start with a clean canvas! Cleansing the face of any oily buildup or old makeup is important as a first step. Applying the best toner and moisturizer for a client’s skin will allow for a smooth makeup application.
  3. The Application: Apply a primer and then foundation as the first step. There should not be a line of demarcation between the makeup and the client’s skin on their neck, so be sure to blend, blend, blend until there is a gorgeous flow from face to neck. After the foundation, apply bronzer, if desired, and some blush to the apples of the cheeks. A light dusting of translucent powder will do two things: It will help set the foundation and blush, and also give a nice matte or glowing finish, depending on the powder used. Next, apply eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara, always taking into account the client’s eye shape and color. The finishing touch will be a lipstick or gloss that either subtlety complements the eyes, or perhaps, by using a richer lip color and liner, is the main feature that is highlighted on the face.
  4. The Presentation: After the makeup is applied, hand a clean and lovely mirror to your guest to see their glowing and transformed new look! The beauty of makeup is that it is temporary. If your guest is unhappy with their new look, simply remove the makeup and start over.

Have fun! Applying makeup should be a fun and creative process for the makeup artist and their client, so get out there and have a blast!