About Cinta Aveda Institute

What to Expect when Enrolling in the Institute

Exterior, Cinta Aveda Institute

I started my journey here at the Cinta Aveda Institute last October in the Cosmetology program. This last year has been one of the craziest, busiest, most exciting years yet, and it’s all thanks to this school! We hear it all the time: “Going to beauty school is going to be some of the best times of your life!” It’s so true! I have gotten a great education, and met some of my best friends, while attending cosmetology school. Here’s a run down of my experience.

The program begins in the Introduction phase and, from there, you work your way up to Alpha, Beta, and all the way through to Gamma—the final phase. During your time at the Institute, you learn everything from facials, nails, hair care, product knowledge, cutting, and chemical services. This is a breakdown of what each phase includes:

  • Introduction is exactly what it sounds like: the basics. In Intro, you are a scared little puppy version of your future self. You know nothing and that’s okay; you’re not alone in your lack of knowledge! For most of us, I think, this was the hardest part of school: feeling unsure of yourself. But you quickly realize it doesn’t last long. After the educators have drilled all of the color theory and haircutting basics into your memory, you move on to the next phase: Alpha.
  • Alpha is the first time you work with real guests: people who are actually paying for you to play with their hair! This portion of the program is when you make the majority of your mistakes and learn through trial and error. It’s great!
  • In Beta, you are literally moving up, meaning you are now on the third floor: the salon floor. This marks your halfway point in the program. All of the hard stuff is over with, or at least that’s what you’ve convinced yourself. You still get the occasional tricky guest who you don’t know how to deal with or a service you have avoided this entire time—*cough cough* a perm!—but it really is all about perfecting and feeling confident in what you already know.
  • Now on to Gamma, which is the final phase, and the last step in completing your education. Gamma is all about the State Board! We do theory in the morning, and guests in the afternoon. The theory time consists of State Board written theory and running through all of the practical operations that will be on your licensing examination. This is the second most important part of your experience here at the Institute, right after learning the basics in intro, because it prepares you to pass the State Board and become a licensed cosmetologist. Yea! So if you are looking to get the complete package out of your cosmetology education, the Cinta Aveda Institute is probably the place for you!

Teacher Spotlight: Ashley

As a student at Cinta Aveda Institute, one has so many expectations for their career after graduation. Whether working at a spa or salon, or owning your own, there are many directions you can take. Students often have peers or classmates within the industry, helping them to gain exposure and network.

We also have the fortune of having some of the best teachers within their field who are skillful at teaching techniques and modalities, both traditional and modern, that help students learn and cultivate their chosen area of expertise. Their one on one advice and tips, along with classroom demonstrations, expose students to new and exciting ways to enhance their skills.

Ashley is one of those teachers. A former student at Aveda, and a staff member of Cinta Salon, Ashley has a wealth of knowledge to share. I had the opportunity of asking Ashley a number of questions to help perspective and current students make the most out of their experience at Cinta Aveda and ways to help them prepare for a career in the Beauty Industry.

Why did you choose Cinta Aveda?
The beautiful institute, having two programs in one, was better than the other schools I looked at.
What was your area of study while at Cinta Aveda?
The Esthiology program.
How would you compare Cinta Aveda to other institutes?
Better education, more professional, most educated instructors, great products.
What was your focus?
Makeup, skin care, eye lash extensions and to become a well rounded Esthetician and get my license.
How did you develop your skills?
Practice and obtain employment teaching makeup and giving personal beauty advice to clients.
How would recommend a student make connections within the beauty industry?
Take classes wherever you can, network with peers, take free beauty classes at Sephora stores, look into Model Mayhem and network with good quality photographers, and stylists. Volunteer at the Academy of Art to obtain photos for your portfolio. Connect with social networks and promote your skills on LinkedIn.
Did Cinta Aveda help you make connections?
With peers, new clients, Academy of Art Fashion Institute, new opportunities at my current job within Sephora.
How did your connections help you after graduation?
Continue growth at the Cinta Aveda Institute and the Cinta Salon.
Are you still in touch with your classmates?
Yes, on Facebook and phone.
Were you able to build a portfolio while in school?
Yes, but I had one before I started school and I continue to build it.
How should one go about building a portfolio?
Trade for prints with photographers. Use Model Mayhem. Photograph your work. Get certificates and put them into your portfolio book.
When applying for jobs, is a portfolio necessary to show perspective employers?
Yes.
Did you extern while in school?
No I worked at Sephora and in cosmetics for 12 years prior to attending school.
What was your favorite part about attending Cinta Aveda?
Learning facials, waxing, and taking real clients.
Would you recommend Cinta Aveda to other perspective Estheticians?
Yes
What should a newly certified Esthetician expect when looking for a job within the industry?
It’s competitive. You may have to start out as a receptionist or apprentice for a while before they hire you on as an esthi. I had some places tell me I needed to have a year’s experience at the location before I could take clients there. Be ready for baby steps into a clientele and continue your education after school.
What would you suggest people do to give them the cutting edge when applying for work?
Have as many skills as possible for the environment where you want to work. Project a professional, positive, personable attitude and be flexible.
Is there anything you’d tell a prospective or attending student to make the most out of their experience at Cinta Aveda?
You’re only here once so make the most out of it. Learn as much as you can, and have fun, but take it seriously. Be nice to your instructors, because they are here to help you grow and become the best you can be.

Being in school opens doors for you in ways that you may not have expected. There may be opportunities in areas that you never considered, like working for a magazine, film, theater, or in a spa. Read trade publications, blogs, and take advantage of making connections at school. That will help to broaden your perspective or even change your career path.

Having access to the Cinta Aveda job board, externships, the creative team, and talking with instructors like Ashley are helpful ways to gain insight and experience you need to help you build your career.

Why the Cinta Aveda Institute?

Being from out of state, and already having started studying cosmetology at a different institution, I was looking for an experience better than the one I’d had.

I moved here in the beginning of 2013, and I was in kind of a weird funk. Stuck between nanny jobs and doing nothing, I realized quickly that what I missed the most, besides my family, was doing hair. So I started shopping around for a new institute to start my career over again.

I came across Cinta Aveda’s website kind of randomly one evening, and decided to request more information. Katie Phillips, in the admissions department, gave me my tours and helped me to enroll when I decided the school was the best fit for me.

The beginning phases were rough for me, but I found my groove in Beta and really became comfortable with my style and the work I produce. I heartily believe that the education offered through Cinta Aveda is a step above most other cosmetology institutions. I’ve been told that the work my classmates and I are able to produce is often comparable to that of high end salons, and sometimes better.

When you’re looking for somewhere to start your career, make it an Aveda Institute. I was lucky to find one so close to where I was living. I’m happy every day I go to school and learn something new. It has been an honor to meet the people I have met. I’ve made lifelong friends here and I’ve worked with and under fabulous educators.

Cinta Aveda is worth it.Students in class at the Cinta Aveda Institute.

Makeup Educator Shawn Peltier

Portrait Shawn Peltier

Instructor Shawn Peltier

I met Shawn Peltier for the first time during my transition to Alpha Phase. He performed a demonstration of low effects makeup using toilet paper to create a bloody gash and some other products to create scarring. A couple of weeks later, my class had the pleasure of having Shawn Peltier as our makeup educator. Little did I know, he had a plethora of tricks up his sleeves.

Shawn came into our class and forever changed our makeup education. He taught us how to work with whatever tools and supplies we were given. It’s amazing to experience it firsthand because most of my classmates, myself included, have difficulty working with some of the products. But within three days of being there, he created such beautiful looks. I was pretty much in awe. He showed us that it was possible to achieve something great even with limited resources.

Shawn has been such a wonderful addition to this program. In five short weeks, I’ve been educated on lash application, bridal makeup, 3D art, runway makeup, and the history of makeup trends each time we cover a certain topic. He is very meticulous yet incredibly patient and kind in instructing his students. Sometimes for us to work on just an eye look, it can take up to two hours, but he works through it with each and every one of us. I specifically enjoyed learning how to apply feathers to create a 3D art look. This is something I can use for any costume party like a masquerade ball or animal-themed party.

The great part is enjoying what I’m learning and being able to walk away with the knowledge. In each makeup theory class I have been in, I have always been able to take something away at the end of the day. Shawn is personable, upbeat, fun, and energetic, but what I admire is his passion for makeup and his willingness to share his tips and tricks with us. I hope he’ll be staying for a while to spread his knowledge to future CAI students.

An Interview with a Former Student

I first heard about the Cinta Aveda Institute from my current roommate, Nora Romick, who attended the Institute in 2013. She is one of the reasons I took a tour and decided to pursue a career in the Beauty Industry.

Nora graduated from the Cosmetology Program in July of 2013, and has since gone on to assist at many high profile salons here in San Francisco. Since Nora has been so successful I have decided to share her wisdom here on this very blog.

Why did you choose to attend Cinta Aveda Institute?
I toured a lot of schools—Marinello, Alameda Beauty College, and Paul Mitchell. I chose Cinta Aveda because of the flexible schedule, and the price was lower than many of the other schools. And I liked Aveda’s mission.
What was your favorite memory or experience while attending school?
Halloween. Because it’s always fun to dress up, and we got to do hair while in costume. One of my classmates did a grandma’s hair while in a hotdog suit. I dressed up as one of my teachers named Joel.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a job right out of school?
Interview at multiple salons because it’s hard to tell what a salon will really be like until you’re there. Extern as much as you can, and go to the Career Fairs. You meet so many salon owners.

From the Graduation Celebration of June 2013.

Farewell Cinta Aveda

When I decided to enroll at Cinta Aveda Institute, I came with the quest to acquire a skill to which I could apply my talents. I knew I needed somewhere that would offer me the best of the best: indepth hands-on training that went above and beyond the simple skills necessary to pass “some scary test.” I wanted to learn the techniques that would set me apart from the rest.

What I didn’t come to school for was to make friends. I came in with a selfish mentality. To me, this wasn’t a time to make friends. I had no idea when I began at the institute that I would meet some of the best people in the world. Aside from an amazing education, I met amazing people. Not only did I receive a great education, but I became friends with people who shared the same interest in their career as me. And it wasn’t just my classmates who became my friends, but it was my educators as well.

This industry can be tough at times. But not once did I ever feel discouraged. I had a whole team of people rooting for me. Everyone was so unique; it made for the best of times. As I move on to the next chapter in my life, I am not just taking my amazing training with me. I’ve also been blessed with an awesome group of friends and mentors.Cinta Aveda Institute Graduation Celebration

Why The Cinta Aveda Institute?

After working in corporate America for over 12 years, making a career change was not a decision I could take lightly. I was successful, had somewhat climbed the ladder, and was making a decent salary. However coming home every night and not having a feeling of fulfillment was eating at me more and more. Until one day about three years ago I randomly decided to look up schools in the Bay Area on Google and make appointments to view them and see exactly what it would take to attend.

Part of the reason I was hesitant in making my career change to follow my passion was due to the fear of the unknown. I was not satisfied at the end of the day with my current profession, and I definitely knew there was a void due to the lack of passion, but that didn’t take away the anxiety of the unknown.

The unfortunate thing is I never ended up going to school that year or the next or the next. My nerves go the best of me. The best way to say it is that I was scared. I was scared to drop everything I had worked so hard for: my career, my salary, the job I went through a ton of interviews to secure. However every day, month, and year that went by, I just kept wondering if I was making the wrong decision.

In 2014 I felt it, I knew it was my time. I live in Vallejo, CA and there isn’t much here in the way of beauty trade schools. I chose three schools in three different locations. All were locations I knew I could get to on a daily basis: Napa, Pleasant Hill, and San Francisco. I knew that San Francisco would be the most challenging but hey…why not? Plus it was Aveda, I have used their products for years. Cinta Aveda Institute was the one I was most interested in based on their website.

The Napa school was not my at all interesting and a huge disappointment especially since it was in my hometown. I did like the Pleasant Hill school and went through all the paperwork and application process and almost passed up on my Cinta Aveda tour. But something told me to move forward with it and I’m glad I did. The Cinta Aveda website absolutely portrayed the image that I got on my tour and the people I got to meet on my short journey at the institute that day. It was trendy, fun, full of life, pop culture, science, art and heart. It displayed a culture that the previous two schools could not match with the Student Salon and Spa.

The truly great thing is that when I went in to see the admissions counselor at the Cinta Aveda Institute she did her very best to help put all my worries to rest even though I myself wasn’t completely sure which directly I wanted to go in. I also went through paperwork and spoke with financial aid that day and knew that this was going to be my institute. I should be behind those red bricks getting my Aveda education.

After our tour we spend a good chunk of time going over the several professions and doors that I will have opened for me as an Esthetician, and where and who I could work: Makeup Artist, cosmetics company (Mac or Benefit), working with burn victims, salon/spa, hotel/resort, wax specialist, educator…and the list goes on from here. So after our appointment—and yes that was the same day I signed my contract—I had a new challenge. Admissions was so sweet and had me enrolled in the next Esthiology class, and I got the last spot. What was is it I wanted to specialize in?

I have always had a love for makeup, so I sort of knew I would love to deal with makeup. I also am obsessed with my brows and making sure they are absolutely perfect. But would that same desire filter through to what I want to do for work? Well, surprisingly enough, it did. Now that I’m more than halfway through, with what I call one of the best decisions I’ve made to date, I realized that one of the things I excel at are brow waxes and eye makeup. I am also amazing at being able to provide a fantastic facial. This is not to say that I do not have a ton to learn—don’t we all?

I have not decided exactly where I’d like to work after school, but I still have a little bit of time left. I’m confident I will have made that decision when it is time to graduate. The great thing is that I’m in a great position. I have too many options rather than not enough. That is just another perk of such a great industry!

Treat Yourself to Cinta Aveda Cut-A-Thon 2015

March 11, 2015
By

Protect what you love.Help us reach our $19,300 Earth Month Goal

April is almost around the corner, and with that comes the celebration of Earth Month. Cinta Aveda Institute is participating in its annual global Cut-A-Thon & Beyond event.

This two-day long event allows Cinta Aveda to do what it does best for the environment—give fabulous haircuts, hairstyles, and other salon and spa services using natural-based Aveda products. Every appointment helps our school raise money to protect water locally. Yep, that means your city, San Francisco. All the proceeds from Cinta Aveda spa and salon services during this event on April 13th-14th will be donated to our clean water partner, the Clean Water Fund.

How does the Clean Water Fund assist with keeping our local waterways clean and sustainable for future generations? Organizing grassroots efforts to stop the pollution of our waterways, promoting at a local and national level the importance of water conservation, protecting families from toxic chemicals, reducing plastic pollution that also kills wildlife, and ensuring that safe affordable drinking water is available for all Californians are just some of the ways that the Clean Water Fund protects the environment. The Clean Water Fund also works to protect our air and water from pollution due to oil and gas drilling.

So before you book an appointment at your usual salon, consider treating yourself to Cinta Aveda’s top-notch services and protect what you love: water. Book an appointment today—call our guest services at: (415) 989-4400.

Cinta Aveda Institute’s mission is to preserve our environment! Help us spread the word and make a real impact by sharing this post. You can follow our Cut-A-Thon board on Pinterest, follow us on Twitter @cintaaveda and Instagram, to stay updated on our upcoming Earth Month events. #CutAThon15

  • 2013 Cinta Aveda Cut-a-Thon Event

Wellness with Lavender Essential Oils

In my esthetician program, during the intro phase, I was first introduced to essential oils and how the body reacts to them. At the beginning of the day, we would always start off with wellness, with a guided meditation to put us in a positive mood.

Wellness generally means a healthy balance of the mind, body, and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. Aveda is centered around Ayurveda which is an ancient holistic system of healing that strives to create balance in body, mind, and spirit, which is something I like most about Aveda. Not only are you using the best products but there is a greater balance within them.

I had never done any type of meditation to bring myself into a healthy balance, but I have seen how much it helps in my daily life. I continue to do guided meditations with essential oils at home.

One of my favorite oils to use on myself is Aveda’s essential oil in lavender. I notice most of my clients choose that scent as well during their treatment. Lavender essential oil has a fresh, sweet, floral aroma that is soothing and refreshing. Lavender is an adaptogen, which is a unique group of herbal ingredients to help improve health, and therefore can assist the body when adapting to stress or imbalances. Not only does it help to relax the body and mind but it is also soothing for the skin.

I highly recommend, when you come in to a get a facial, that you choose the lavender essential oil to relax and de-stress during your treatment!

What to Remember When Taking the Esti State Board Exam

If you are at the point of taking your Esti State Boards, please read this! I just finished taking this test, and I have to pass on my experience.

I wish I would have been more confident. First of all, You will be the only one prepared for the exact test…written and practical! What Shayna taught you is the exact practical, period!

The study guide…study it! It is the best!

When taking the test, try and stay the night there. Don’t stay by the testing site because there isn’t much to do there. Go a couple of exits up and stay where the mall is. You have to relax and have dinner. There are lots of restaurants to chose from. Do not study! Go get your kit the day before. They walk you through the mock test, about 20 mins, to get to know your kit. Just separate the massage and mask bag. You can do that at the rent a kit place. After you go through your kit, do not open it again until your test time! Don’t! What we have at school is the exact version of this kit! By the way, your fellow test takers have no idea what they are in for, but you do! Keep that in mind!

Be confident! That was my problem. I knew everything, but I was scared of the element of surprise! There is none! I’m here to tell you that!

Hopefully at least one of your classmates has the same test date as you. If so, get a room at the same place or share a room.

Here is what to expect:

It’s very institutional and they keep it mysterious. So you wait in a very plain waiting room. They call your name and separate the applicants between two proctors, but you will be in the same testing room, all computer workstations. The picture you take at test time is the same picture you will have on your license. Just so you know! Take your time to answer; you can go back to it if you are unsure. It’s not final until you are very, very sure! You have two hours. Study what Shayna gave you to study!

Practical: For the love of all the money you’ve invested, you’ve got this! You will be nervous! Get over it! They know it! Just pretend you are in theory preparing for this. It’s literally the exact environment. I messed up on the stupidest things. You might, but not nearly as much as you think. If you forget to do something, go back and get cover it. Sanitize!

The only thing that was frustrating was at the end. All the people you take the test with are in the same room finding out if you passed or not—which you will not fail! But they call each person up to the “window.” You’ll see what I’m talking about. When the agent asks to verify your address, you passed! I think they leave the ones that don’t pass—which is highly unlikely for any of you—until last to save them from humiliation. Everyone passed, and even the ones that I know that were totally screwing up!

It’s truly a bonding experience with those you will never see again in life. I just wanted to shed some light on what to expect.

You have this! Cinta Aveda Institute totally prepares you for this wonderful career you are embarking on!

Good luck!

The Trashion Fashion Show

March 2, 2015
By

Cinta Aveda Institute is a strong supporter of the environment. Every year, around the time of Earth Day, the school is brimming with activity. Students work for donations for clean water initiatives and other environmentally-friendly causes.

One of the highlights of this season is the Trashion Show. It’s a simple premise—a fashion show where every garment is a student creation made from recycled materials. All decorations are hand-made, all make-up is environmentally conscious, and the overall style is meant to promote a healthy and balanced world. While this vision is simple, the student work and dedication is anything but. Here is a gallery of the Cinta Aveda Institute 2013 Season Trashion Show with all of the fun and creativity in plain view. We hope you spread the word about this event, buy tickets, participate, and have an extraordinary time, all to raise awareness of Earth Day.

Come one, come all! Bring friends and family! Support our school and our students’ spirit!

  • Aveda Trashion Fashion Show

Cinta Aveda Institute and CIDESCO

I chose to go to an Aveda School for their commitment to create beautiful and healthy people as well as their commitment to the environment. I specifically chose the Cinta Aveda Institute because of their CIDESCO program and their knowledgeable and accountable staff. Completing the CIDESCO program, I feel much more prepared for the world of esthetics, and ahead of many of my counterparts. The competence, knowledge, and compassion every one of my educators embodies is remarkable. Their dedication to the school and the program is demonstrated through their well-thought-out curriculum, practical work, and their help getting us through the ten hour day with laughter and encouragement.

The CIDESCO program as a whole has been an educational adventure. It has inspired and reminded me why I chose this career. The vast amount of advanced topics covered in the program has only made me want to uncover more. Everything from skin diseases and disorders in dermatology; to anatomy and chemistry in relation to electrical machines. It is an all-encompassing course that excels in quenching the thirst for knowledge in the skincare and wellness industry.

I’m energized to begin my career as a CIDESCO Diplomat. Knowing that I have such a supportive and accredited Alma Mater behind me helps fuel my passion.

Almost to the Finish Line

I am two weeks away from finishing the esthetician program, and I couldn’t be more excited. This journey has been awesome. I first inquired about the program in April and to see it all come to a close feels incredible. Whenever I share my experience with others about Cinta Aveda Institute, I have nothing but good things to say. I am most impressed by the wonderful educators I have had the honor to learn from. Not only are they incredibly knowledgeable, but they are warm, friendly, and willing to assist the students in any way they can. To me, that is one of the best traits an instructor/educator can have—to create a learning environment where students feel at ease in approaching their educators with questions.

In addition to having great educators, I’ve also had the opportunity of meeting a caring group of girls who are humorous and spunky in their own special way. I am thankful to have come across such individuals that I am able to call my dear friends. Getting through the day is definitely easier with them because the laughs we share make ten hours feel not so long.

Through speaking to other students of their experience from other schools, I feel the level of training I have received from Cinta Aveda Institute surpasses what other schools can offer. I appreciate the chance to work with actual clients and the school creating a spa setting as close to reality as possible for me to practice in. Being able to receive and take tips home are also a great motivation and a good way to reflect on the service I have provided. If I had to do this all over again, I still would choose the same school to help me succeed in my future goals.

How I Chose Cinta Aveda Institute

Exactly one year ago, I was bored and not happy with my career. I needed something else, something that would make me happy by helping others.

Colombia, were I was born and raised, is a country where the beauty industry is always ahead and people want to look their best no matter their age, gender, or even religion. I’ve had the opportunity to always be surrounded by this amazing world, discover its beauty, enjoy its benefits, and finally see a lot of happy and satisfied faces after they get in touch with its magic.

After realizing what I wanted, the quest for the best training started. It wasn’t easy at first. I knew I wanted to explore a new country and, for the first time, live by myself. My options for this big decision were Miami, New York, and San Francisco; each of them had something special.

Miami is a city were beauty is a must, and sometimes it’s all about it. New York has it all: culture, beauty development, business. Finally, San Francisco is a city full of diversity, culture, beauty—more naturally focused than Miami—entrepreneurship, and of course, everything much more expensive than anywhere.

After doing my city research, I started searching for schools. This is when I discovered CIDESCO and the advantages of graduating from a certified school. For me, this was especially important because I am an international student on a visa and, with this diploma, I could work almost everywhere. Summarizing my options, considering the pros and cons, weighing the different variables and the infinite possibilities, the filters for my school research came down to: CIDESCO certified, schools that openly showed their esthetics program, exceptional comments on social networks from students and people that had visited the school for services, location, professionalism, and excellent job placement statistics.

I applied my filters to the list of schools that I was considering, reducing my list of 15 to just four schools: two in New York and two in San Francisco. Finally, I called each school. One school didn’t have permission from the government to issue paperwork for international student visas.

Before I made up my mind, I had the greatest opportunity of my life: I was able to travel to both cities and see by myself what I was going to pay for. Both schools in New York were great but what Cinta Aveda Institute had to offer was highly superior to everything else I saw. This school offers the whole package: very knowledgeable and experienced educators, real life experience with clients, recognition and professionalism in the beauty industry, amazing reviews on social networks, and a great location.

After being at Cinta Aveda Institute for almost five months, I am extremely sure I made the best decision. I am grateful for the knowledge I have received so far and I’m very excited for what is coming next with CIDESCO.

Esthetics Intro Phase

My esthetics class was the biggest class thus far. With 21 women crammed in a small room and all kinds of personalities, even I didn’t know how I was going to handle it.

July 2014 Cinta Aveda Institute Esthetics Class Group Shot

Thankfully Kim, my educator, was the best intro educator anyone could ask for. Her loud, fun-filled personality really lifted the energy of a room full of reserved women who were unacquainted with one another and unsure of what to expect these next ten weeks. Kim made me feel at ease even though many of the topics that were covered were initially quite unfamiliar to me. I was the girl who had all kinds of questions. I wanted to know! I highly encourage future students to ask as many questions as come to mind because this is your learning environment. Once you’re at work, not everyone has the time to address your questions.

I remember the first day. We were introduced to hands-on training—the hand ritual. It hit me then that we were going to be moving at a faster pace than I had anticipated. The first day is usually chill and relaxing, right? Nope! You dive right into it. Within a few weeks, I was already doing facials. There was a lot of information to absorb. I gained so much information about interesting subjects—holistic health approaches, types of skins and conditions, skin diseases, hygiene, lash extensions, massages, makeup, and waxing. All of which I can actually apply to real life! No more learning calculus which I would use never!

My school days were flying by quickly. When I was told that the facials I was performing needed to be done in under an hour, I thought, “Are they crazy? I’m not going to be able to do that. It took me two hours to complete this facial, there is no way I’ll be able to reduce that to under an hour!” But amazingly, at the end of the intro phase, it did happen. I was really worried about passing all the facial practical tests, but I did so well and realized I needed to give myself more credit.

Ten weeks really went by like nothing at all. I was sentimental on the last day of intro. It was a great experience, and now I am looking forward to applying my knowledge with actual clients and receiving their feedback on my work.

Esthetics—Alpha Phase

I’ve been in the Esthetics Intro Phase about three months, getting down to the basics of facials, skin analysis, learning about skin disorders and diseases, and about the pressure points of the face and body. I always thought that esthetics was only about facials. I never even thought waxing was involved until I first went on my admission’s tour where they explained to me what I would be learning.

Now that I’ve absorbed and learned all the basics, it was time to move on up to the Alpha Phase—the Spa Experience Floor. There, I get to work on real clients instead of just doing practice facials on fellow students in class. I remember the first day on the spa experience floor—everyone was just everywhere: nervous, scared, anxious, and excited. But, eventually, we all nailed it and got everything down.

By this phase, you’ll get to find out what your weaknesses and strengths are. You’ll also find out what you like doing best. So far, I love doing facials because I get to make someone’s day better and also help make their skin look healthier. It’s just an amazing feeling. I also like waxing, especially legs and arms. I still need more practice waxing eyebrows though. Waxing eyebrows can be a bit tricky depending on the amount of hair and the desired shape. Soon enough, I’ll nail that one too with more practice. Thank god I haven’t waxed off all the hairs on someone’s brows yet!

Choosing to attend Cinta Aveda has been the best decision I’ve made in my entire life. And if I had the chance to change my past educational experiences, I’d make going to Cinta Aveda my first choice.

Wellness

When I began as a student at Cinta Aveda, first thing in the morning we would go into the main room and conduct “morning wellness.” This normally consisted of meditating before we began to dive into our long day ahead.

We still continue to have ‘wellness’ during theory as Alphas. I love it! Not only is it a pick-me-upper from the long mornings, it allows me to look internally to make sure that I have a positive mindset. I truly believe that we—people in general—give off energies. And being in the beauty industry, estheticians must have a positive vibe so that we can care for our clients and give them the best service even if they are having a bad day. We intake that negative energy and in return fill them will new providential energy.

Major factors to our health are our perceptions and attitude. Jen, one of Aveda’s beautiful instructors, showed us a Youtube video “The Science of Happiness—An Experiment in Gratitude” that demonstrates how happiness can affect people.

This video made me think of myself and how I can continue to strive for good chi and find outlets to let go of the collected energies from our long days on the spa floor.

First is a hot shower to wash any unworthy emotions and promote a good night’s rest. On occasion, a glass of red wine or sleepy tea is needed. I think we need to focus our energies in the morning, since most of us wake up tired, sluggish, and dreading the day ahead of us. Apart from getting more sleep, there are a few quick and easy things we can do to help start our days off on the right foot.

  1. Wake up to great music. I think most of us are energized and motivated by great music.
  2. Floss. A lot of people don’t floss everyday. If you do floss first thing in the morning, that tiny action can make your mouth tingle and can make you feel like you’re doing something great for your health. Because you are.
  3. A quick workout. Yoga. Ten sit ups, ten push ups, and ten squats.
  4. A quick note. Write a quick note to your significant other, friend, or to yourself. Starting the day expressing gratitude for the little things in your life can make you amazing.
  5. Eat breakfast. Too many people skip out on breakfast, but it really boosts your mood and metabolism.
  6. Smile. Say good morning to strangers.

Setting the tone for the day is so important and it begins as soon as we wake up. Do what makes you feel good and alive. Get moving and attack your day with a smile.

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

Choosing Aveda

Finding your place in the world can be a nerve wracking, exhilarating, and just downright scary.

I lived in Denver and I was figuring out what I wanted to do. Because I knew that I wanted to be involved in beauty and nurturing, a close friend suggested that I investigate the Aveda Institutes.

A week or so later, I called and made an interview. I instantly knew that this was the place for me. As I was going through the process, I explained I wanted to travel and really dive deep into skin and makeup. They mentioned the CIDESCO program here in San Francisco. So I left my life in Denver and enrolled here at the Cinta Aveda Institute.

I can honestly say this was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. This school is filled with the most amazing staff and educators; they are incredible! I am receiving a great education and I couldn’t be more grateful for the immense dedication and hard work everyone does here.

Originally, I thought that after my training, I would just be giving facials and working in a cute spa. But after seeing my own potential, and seeing the opportunities this school opens — I feel I have the world at my fingertips, literally. With my CIDESCO diploma, I can travel and practice esthetics all over the world.

I am incredibly lucky to attend this school; I highly recommend it. If you want a job in the beauty industry, this is the place for you.

First Graduation Celebration

Graduation day was just a couple of weeks ago! I was super-excited for this event. Not only were we graduating, but we were allowed to bring in our own model and do their makeup. The best part was that it was animal-themed!

The days before the graduating, we picked the animal we wanted and we strategized and planned what we wanted to do with our models. We felt very confident because we had lots of help from our teachers and they taught us how to apply feathers or glitter or, since it was animal-themed, even gills! We were able to practice on our classmates to try out our ideas and see if we liked them or wanted to do something differently.

I choose to do a peacock for my model. Peacock’s were my grandmother’s favorite bird; we used to have them at our house when we were younger. And no one else chose the peacock. My model was my little sister. I liked bringing in my little sister and showing her where I was going to school and what I was learning. She’s interested in some of these things as well, so I think it was a great experience for her to come in and be a model.

Combo Image of Model as Peacock

We had plenty of time to work on our models. We also had the cosmos come in and do our models’ hair. They had a walk thru of what to do, how to walk and pose. If they had costumes, they were able to put them on. Then it was show time! Our friends and family showed up to watch our graduation accomplishments!

I had a great time with my sister, and also it was such a great moment of accomplishment. I loved having my family come and watch. I can’t wait for my next graduation for CIDESCO!