Beauty Business

Going Beyond Skin Deep

Silhouette - Makeup Artist Applies MakeupBeing an esthetician allows you to meet clients, of course, but also possibly mentors and friends.

I had a makeup application and brow wax that took two hours. During that time, my client and I bonded over many topics. We talked about beauty, skin, hair and makeup. But we also talked about meditation, poverty, and nature.

Not only did I get to totally transform her face (and make her feel like a million bucks), but I got to go outside the realm of my practice. It was really satisfying for me to get a deeper understanding of someone by putting makeup on her.

I am a person who wants to know everyone’s story, I want to make a difference. This experience reaffirmed the path of my profession. I got to connect and transform my client and I could feel how much she appreciated it. She was more than satisfied with all the Aveda makeup I used on her. I used our copper and blue tones on her lid and taught her how to do a gentle and natural looking contour. I wouldn’t just use certain products and colors on her, I’d give her options.

I realized that, with a makeup application, you need to deeply communicate with the client. At the end of our appointment she asked me to take pictures of her, she was feeling so confident. That made me feel really good.

A makeup application can do so much more than just change someone’s face, you can really alter the way they see themselves. And you can go way beyond skin deep.

Starting as a Receptionist

Around the Institute at Cinta Aveda

When I started school at the Cinta Aveda Institute, I completely fell in love with the beauty industry. However, I’d never worked a job in the industry, and really wanted to get a jump start on my esthetics career. As I did not have my license—and most spas are looking for estheticians with at least two years of spa experience—my only option was to work the front desk.

I ended up finding a job as a receptionist in a spa and worked there for over a year. It proved to be an amazing entryway to the field and gave me an edge over other newbies.

During my year as a receptionist, I learned a lot about what it’s like to work in a real spa—how the clients are, what it takes to keep a spa running, how the team functions, retailing, inventory, and a lot more.

As a receptionist, I got to polish my waxing skills as well. Waxing was an aspect of the field that particularly intimidated me. I loved giving facials and pampering my classmates but, when it came time to wax, I was quite shy. Ironically, my first job was at a waxing boutique, where I had the opportunity to ask all my coworkers the tips and tricks of the trade.

One of the most valuable and surprising piece of information I learned was that most of my coworkers were also shy and intimidated when they began waxing. They were these incredible waxperts, but had started with a similar fear of waxing. They gave me great advice and even let me watch the occasional Brazilian so that I could improve my techniques. In addition, I learned a lot of the do’s and don’ts of waxing.

To this day, when I’m in a room with a client, what I learned at my receptionist job sticks with me. I received a lot of information listening to the estheticians talk to their clients.

Many spas hire from within, so it could be a great opportunity for you to work your way up if you work hard and show interest. For a first job in the industry, don’t discount the receptionist gigs! As an introduction to the spa world, it is a great learning opportunity.

Choosing the Right Job

Jobs want ads and magnifying glass

As you reach the end of your beauty school journey, you will have to start thinking about the next step in your career—finding a job.

If you are like me, you have spent endless hours obsessing over Craigslist job posts, and perfecting your resume and cover letter. At times it seemed a little dubious that I would find the right job—entry level, but still at the caliber that I feel I deserve. Although you might be fresh out of school, don’t settle for any job just because they are willing to bring you on.

Here are some ideas to carefully reflect on before choosing your first job. If you are lucky enough to be called in for an interview for a job that peaks your interest, really pay attention.

  • What is the atmosphere in this spa or salon?
  • Is this a place you would feel comfortable?
  • Is it aesthetically pleasing to you?

Ideally you want to begin a career and a relationship at this spa but if it does not align with your sense of beauty or ideals that may create a conflict down the line. You want to come to work and feel at peace in a setting that you like.

If you are interviewing with the owner or manager, make sure you ask exactly what his or her expectations of you will be. If it is a spa that expects a lot of retail, make sure you know this and are prepared to do your absolute best. In addition there are some very hands-on and demanding spa owners. If having someone watch you and give you very precise directions will rub you the wrong way, it’s best that you seek employment from a more relaxed individual.

Another aspect to consider: which products does the salon or spa carry? Are they organic, or are they more scientific or clinical? These are important questions to ask. Depending on your feelings and ideologies as a cosmetologist or esthetician, it’s important that you and your employer are in sync. Furthermore, I think it’s important that the products the salon or spa carries are products that you believe in. Have you used these products? Is this a line that you can work with and sell?

Finally, continuing education is very important no matter where you end up! I chose a place where I knew I would learn a lot.

Obviously things like salary and schedule are important to consider, but these other tips are important to really think about before accepting a job.

Gamma Phase for Cosmetologists

Many OptionsThe last phase in the cosmetology program is bittersweet. You’ve overcome struggles, learned more than just a thing or two, and have made friends over the thirteen-month-long program. Now are you ready to go out into the professional world? What’s next?

Cinta Aveda Institute has many opportunities to help aspiring hairstylists thrive and present their work to the public. There’s the Trashion Show, Career Day or Creative Team projects. They also help students find jobs in salons around the Bay Area.

Putting yourself out there, being passionate about what you do, and keeping an open mind help to achieve a successful career. Many students inspire others via social media such as Instagram or Facebook. This is a great way to spread the word that you’re ambitious and approachable for possible side projects, photoshoots, or weddings where hair and makeup services might be needed. Even if you’re not being compensated for certain activities outside of school, getting your feet wet helps you to become better and more comfortable working in the field. You’ll definitely come away with tips and tricks you can use for the future.

Settling into an assistant program in a salon is beneficial. One might not need to start assisting at the very beginning of their program however, towards gamma, it always helps to have yourself already settled in somewhere you enjoy working, getting a feel for salon life, and having a potential job lined up.

Thirteen months sounds like a long time, but it goes by in a flash! Being confident, eager to learn, and being a bit humble starting out in the industry is a sure way to a long and happy career full of opportunities.

Being Aware of Yourself

Word Cloud - ProfessionalismLife is full of ups and downs, but what you make of it is key. Committing to an education that will pave the road for your future is a hard decision to make. You might even think that after the 13 months of your cosmetology education, you are now a full-blown stylist. However being humble and willing to adapt and continue to learn is essential to becoming a professional in the industry.

What is a professional to you? It is someone who follows the rules with grace, is fair to others, is aware of their actions and consequences; and assures others around them that they are approachable and dependable, ready for the challenges to come—mindful that every day at the salon truly presents challenges.

Being in the position of a student, whichever establishment you might be in, we always tend to blame or feel contempt for those who have authority over us. However we tend to ignore the fact that our educators are people with feelings and needs as well.

It’s important in the customer service industry—as well as in life—to step back and evaluate your position and the energy you emit into the world. If you exude negativity into the workplace or school, the people around you will receive this energy and it will affect the teams morale, as well as your services with guests during the day. Unless you are a renting a chair somewhere and work only for yourself, being a hairstylist in a salon is a team effort. It’s what helps ease workflow and keeps the salon going.

Everyone is going through some sort of personal struggle, but when coming to work or school, kindly leave the baggage at the door. This will not only make you a better person, but will uplift the people around you in a positive way.

Careers in Cosmetology

Career Choices Illustration

When I started attending school here at the Cinta Aveda Institute, I wasn’t exactly sure where I wanted to be when I got done with the program. One of the reasons I decided to start with the Cosmetology program is because I felt it would open me up to a whole world of possibilities. There are a whole world of career options to choose from that are all covered under the umbrella of the cosmetology license and give the licensee tremendous choice between possible careers in the industry.

  • Most people that graduate from the cosmetology program will most likely go on to be stylists, color specialists, cutting specialists, general hairdressers, or maybe even salon owners.
  • Cosmetologists that want to work hands-on with the public can also become manicurists, skin care specialists, or makeup artists.
  • Those that love to teach can become a brand ambassador, institute instructor, or master stylist and educator at a salon.
  • Those who like to work on their own terms can become a freelance stylist.
  • Those who love the glitz and glam of Hollywood might be suited to movie styling or editorial photo shoot styling.
  • You can also get a job in theater, the fashion industry, as a platform stylist, sales representative, or at a hotel or resort.

Whatever your passion or skill set, a cosmetology license can give you the credentials to achieve your goals in the beauty industry.

Exciting Renovation at Cinta Aveda!

Cinta Aveda Institute after its new renovation.Cinta Aveda is an exclusive beauty school located right in the heart of San Francisco-the Financial District at Bush and Kearney, near the mouth of Chinatown and the well-known hustling and bustling Market street where most Muni lines and the light rail passes. There’s a Bart station just a few blocks away. Coming into the city via car? No problem! There are close parking garages including the Sutter-Stockton garage.

Some cosmetology schools experience low foot traffic so students don’t have the advantage of working with guests, but rather on their doll heads (mannequin heads) or on each other during their year long program. But luckily the Cinta Aveda Institute is so centrally located in a very heavy foot traffic zone, that students may be booked by up to five guests a day! How so? The building stands on a busy corner where the Aveda retail center invites tourists, locals, and even business people who work around the corner to come in for a quick touch up service at the salon, or perhaps a nice long massage, or a relaxing facial to freshen up and then head out to continue on with their day.

Great news for students, staff, and future guests: the Institute has expanded! The corner of Bush and Kearney, that used to be a restaurant, has been transformed to accommodate another student salon and a larger retail space. The new windows provide a clear view into the salon as guests are being served, an ability to see how students interact, and the beautiful work they create. It feels like a high-end salon. This is also inspiring to aspiring hairstylists that desire to further their career in the beauty industry.

In any case, the beauty industry is about being personable, flexible, and adaptable. With the many guests that come in and out of our doors, Cinta Aveda has gotten quite a lot of attention. Congrats to Cinta, and the amazing educators and students attending Cinta Aveda who have created a wonderful atmosphere to learn, grow, and become professionals in the beauty industry!

The Perfect Blowout

Blonde Female ModelDuring my education at the Cinta Aveda Institute, I have been assisting at the Zindagi Salon on Grant Street. Absorbing as much as I could in a real-life professional salon, I was able to perfect my skills in shampoo and style. It matters what tools you are using and, as a stylist, it is important to invest in the right tools. Although it may be pricey to have the perfect arsenal while in school, saving up and acquiring sturdy tools will help you save in the long-run, as cheaper tools, non-specific for hairstylists, will break or deteriorate faster. More expensive tools will produce better results and last you longer. The saying is true in this case: You get what you pay for. Be savvy and shop around; you can find discounts if you look hard enough.

Personally, I enjoy using the ceramic round brush, specific for volume and shine. My guests so far have all enjoyed having voluminous “Texas Hair”. This calls for the Aveda Pure Abundance line, which comes as both shampoo and conditioner to create grit and texture, allowing the hair to be more full. I like to be generous with the volumizing tonic, it’s my go-to for every style. It’s a sweet-scented spray, heat-activated, and helps the root elevate creating a nice 60’s beehive look reminiscent of Amy Winehouse. I like to keep the crown last, and when working on the section, spritz the tonic at the root of the hair again after blow drying the rest of the head. Then I divide the crown into sections small enough and narrow enough to fit my brush, then blow dry upwards making sure the root gets blasted with heat. I make sure to have a nozzle on; that concentrates the heat to flow directly onto where I’m concentrating to create volume. Hair has a memory, when you wet the hair and dry it into a certain shape, this shape will stay until you wet the hair again, so blow drying upwards will coax the hair at the crown into feeling and looking fuller. Pin these sections into curls as if you had hot rollers with small clamp clips. Pin at the root. Finish off the crown and let cool dry, then take those curls out, and spray them with some Air Control hairspray to maintain this style during the day.

There you have it! My perfect blow-out for any day of the week and any occasion.

The Interview

Picture this. You have found the perfect salon and you see yourself in the chair by the window giving your client the perfect balayage. There, you’d be working exactly where you want and you’ve never been happier. How are you going to make that dream happen? By having a great interview!

The interview is a crucial step in the process of finding a job. In preparation for an interview, you should always research the establishment. Be able to speak to how the company started, its mission and vision, and a little bit about the services provided. Additionally, you should have prepared responses to several common interview questions.

For example:

  1. What do you consider some of your strengths?
  2. What challenges have you encountered? How did you overcome them?
  3. Do you have industry experience? If so, explain. If not, explain.
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  5. If one of your peers were to describe you in a sentence, what would they say?

Your responses should be well thought out, but not rehearsed. They should feel natural, just as should your interview first impression. Dress professionally, and the greeting and handshake are key. Always bring a hard copy of your resume—it shows you are prepared. Upon meeting the people conducting the interview, you want to give a firm handshake and make eye contact. TIP: When being introduced, repeat the name of who you’re meeting with your hello. This will make it easier to remember the name when you’re saying your thank you at the end. Throughout the interview, avoid using slang terms, and null words such as “umm” and “like”. Simply pause with silence if needed, it shows you are taking time to think about your response.

It is also a good idea to have a few questions prepared in advance to ask your interviewer. You may find that you have inquiries during the interview as topics arise, but in case your nerves get the better of you, having calculated questions in advance will help. At the end of your interview, be sure to make eye contact with your goodbye and also include a firm handshake and thank you. Be sure to get your interviewer’s business card so you can follow up with an email thank you. Depending on when the company plans to make their hiring decision, you should follow up with an email one to two days after your interview. Thank your interviewer again and express how eager you are to join the company. If it’s a right fit for you and the employer, these are sure fire steps to help secure your dream job!

Preparing for Life After the Institute

Graduation caps thrown in airAs I near graduation from Cinta Aveda Institute, I am beginning to explore the many options available to me once I complete my program. Once I pass my State Board Examination, I will officially be a licensed cosmetologist. What exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, the world is my oyster! As a cosmetology graduate, I can work in a salon, spa, blow dry bar, makeup counter, cruise ship, and much more! I can take private clients, work on photo shoots, participate in magazine editorials, and maybe even do some bridal styling. The possibilities truly are endless. In fact, some might say we have too many options. How do I figure out what is right for me?

Given that there are so many opportunities in our trade, it is important to explore each and every one. Immerse yourself in the industry and all of its components. Buy fashion magazines and take note of the hair and makeup in the editorial spreads. Try out different blow dry bars in your area. (Tip: you can always find a cheap deal on Groupon!) Talk to people who have been in the industry for a while, in different capacities. Those who own their own salon, or rent a chair in a salon versus stylists who are an employee of a salon and work on commission. Each situation yields a different experience, which may or may not be right for you. If you have a passion for travel, maybe working at the salon or spa on a cruise ship is the perfect opportunity for you.

The important thing to remember is be true to yourself, your talent, and your customer. Many people get caught up in what they think they should be doing as opposed to what is right for them, and as a result do not end up being prosperous. If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work–you’ll never work a day in your life!

Hair Extensions: Balmain Certified

Balmain Hair Extensions - Before and After

Many celebrities over the years have worn wigs, toupees, and hair extensions to accentuate a certain style, to wow their audience at an award ceremony, and to eliminate the long wait for hair to grow out naturally. Extensions are quick and easy; one can feel like Pamela Anderson running down the beach with wavy long locks of sexiness.

Extensions give instant gratification with longer, more luscious, and a fuller head of hair. We no longer have to accept the fact that our hair is too fine and flat to achieve the look we want or, perhaps, that our hair grows slower than others. The beauty industry today offers possibilities limited only by your imagination. Extensions are another tool of the trade to enhance one’s outer beauty. No need for countless medicines and magic remedies, a full head of extensions can be put in sometimes under less than 40 minutes and you can leave the salon feeling like a new person.

Balmain, an established well-known Parisian brand that started out in the 1940’s as a respected fashion house, has extended the brand, starting out with wigs and toupees as well as extensions as early as the 1960’s, evolving into what it is today: a glamorous haute couture clothing line as well as a distributer for 100% human hair originating from India and China serving celebrities and the girl next door. Where else than the famed Cinta Aveda Institute, located in the heart of San Francisco, to host a Balmain workshop?

At the Balmain extension class held at Cinta Aveda, Julie Johnson was the teacher. Julie is an entrepreneurial woman who has traveled all over the world. She visited Paris, France to meet with official representatives from Balmain where classes and demos are held, and went to Holland where the headquarters are located. There, she obtained the title of Master Trainer for the United States.

She began the class by informing us about the history of the brand as well as where the hair originates from and how her own business grew. Julie and her team then started demos on the different hair extensions that Balmain offers and what their purpose are; each client might need different systems to achieve the look they desire. Julie and her assistants checked in with each student as we learned about the brand and how to apply their line of extensions. Not only was it a fun class to attend, but it was empowering to know that we can always further our business if we are ambitious enough to succeed in the industry.

The class ended with everyone excited to start talking about extensions and hopefully start practicing what we learned, building a loyal clientele of extension “lifers”.

Goal Oriented It’s Okay to Change Your Mind

QFPLU2WT-Z_95FKt4TwCbjZRbzOqNTLF580EODd4TDkI have had plenty of chances and opportunity to do freelance work throughout school, and after I got licensed. I even got pinged to do a runway show from one of my Creative Team photos I had posted on my Instagram.

However, with the way my life sort of ended up panning out–I moved, I changed jobs, I started CIDESCO–I began evolving through my education, my focuses changed, my priorities changed, and I even changed a bit as a person.

I have always been one to never settle on doing one single thing for my entire life, but I finally decided two years ago that the beauty industry is the place for me, so that helps, I guess. However, I realized I don’t want to schlep around with a rolling makeup case and a wax warmer all my life. So, I changed my mind.

I learned more, I researched more, I reevaluated myself, and what was important to me. I basically overhauled my career/life goals. I have never been happier. I stopped listening to what others thought I should do (they thought becoming an Esthetician was like, the coolest thing ever) with my license once I got it. I actually took some great advice: Be your own board of directors.

So now, with an unlimited amount of options, I implore you to consider them all: change your mind, change it again. This industry is about expressing your creativity, so try everything, at least once.

3 Main Principles To Follow when Opening Your Own Salon or Spa

When thinking about starting your own salon or spa here are some points to consider:

1) Build relationships in your business community.

Small business lenders want to know that the companies they’re investing in are headed for success. That’s why it’s so important to establish yourself within your local business community before you try to apply for a loan. It is especially essential for female business owners to build relationships in their business communities. Part of being a trusted small business is building these relationships, and this can take time. Look for small business support groups in your area, such as university mentorship programs or small business development centers. Many advisers at these organizations work with lenders, and their professional relationships can benefit you in the loan application process.

2) Have your financial information organized

Nothing will get your loan application denied faster than having your finances in disarray. Lenders need to verify all the information you give via documentation, so having the necessary statements and reports organized and ready for review will demonstrate that you’ve done your homework.

3) Make sure you’re paying your bills on time.

Seek out women-specific lending programs. Lenders also generally require that recipients have some sort of collateral to put down on their loan, so be sure you have some money put away before you apply. In sum, know what you need and prove you’ll use it well. Being able to explain to a lender the exact proposed amount and purpose of your loan is perhaps the most important factor in getting approved, next to proving financially stability. Vague loan requests often make a lender wary, so being prepared with specific information can only help you in the loan application process.

Good Luck and follow your passion!

7 Fun Facts about Make Up

LZ9jn0KvmAM9lfJohtp_dMigriLVEGMePhQadGQEhvEDuring our Esti Intro phase we studied a little bit about the history of make up and how beauty trends have evolved. Here are 7 fun facts to remind us of our beauty ancestry.

1. The first nail polish was invented in China in 3000 B.C. Unlike the formula today, the original version was a mixture of beeswax, gum, egg whites and colored powder.

2. During Cleopatra’s reign, she would soak the sails of her ships in perfume so the scent would drift to Rome before her arrival. Between this and statement eyes, she truly represented Egyptian queen beauty.

3. In the 18th century, England almost passed a law that allowed men to divorce their wives if they caught them wearing makeup. Can you even imagine that today?

4. Every year there are close to 900 million lipsticks sold worldwide. That means almost every single person in the United States could own three tubes of lipstick!

5. Neon nail polish is illegal in the United States. While many brands tout neon shades, their colors do not possess the true neon colorant. Neon within nail polish is not approved by the FDA, thus you’re most likely to find a real neon nail polish in other countries.

6. The first mascara was created by Eugene Rimmel in the 19th century. Ironically, the word Rimmel closely translates to mascara in many languages, while the word mascara means mask or stain in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

7. Some laws never get tossed out no matter how outdated and absurd. In order for a woman to wear makeup in Morrisville, Pennsylvania she must get a permit first. Luckily, no one is enforcing this law!

Beauty and Art at Aveda

lScxstwxfLTdsxTKuWtji72xyFERrKPMAg7Qn8aYIRoWhile at an Aveda Concept Salon or an Aveda Institute, one can’t help but notice the allure of beauty and art all around. The Aveda style uniquely speaks of etheric images beckoning us to a moment of visual wellness.

Like a palette of nature’s colorful expressions, the subtle and bold vintage water color wash you from the moment you step in. You become excited and sun drenched. In other words, an experience at Aveda is an immersion into fine art.

As an Esti student I am often reminded that my education is not just about technique, application, and product knowledge. While those subjects set the foundation to build a life long professional career from, I believe the true essence of Aveda training and service is about creating art through bringing forth each guest’s individual beauty.

I have found that the “compliment sandwich” is a chance for me to share with my guests what makes them unique. To emphasize a person’s individual and personal assets, I sometimes mentally say to myself, “what makes this guest specifically beautiful?”

I have found that a sincere compliment really helps to ease a guest into their service. I believe this gives them a feeling of connection and lets the guest know that I see and I care about them.

A finishing touch of a lip or cheek color is another opportunity to introduce to the guest the Aveda allure, so when they step out of the experience center they feel as if they have experienced not only moments of wellness from their service but have participated in making the everyday into an expression of beauty and art.

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!

Always Bring a Picture!

Salon Cartoon

The communication between stylist and client is of vital importance. How can you get exactly what you want if you and your stylist aren’t on the same page? Being on the same page starts with a really thorough consultation, and often, that begins with you.

Always bring a picture in of what you have in mind for your hair. This provides the perfect starting point. And it lets you know exactly what can be done in that visit. Sometimes, when you want a completely new color, it may take a couple of trips to the salon to achieve that. The best way of knowing where to start with your hair is if you have a picture of what you want your end result to be.

It also lets your stylist know exactly what you have in mind for styling it, and it allows them to let you know if they think it is something that can be realistically achieved for your hair type and for the time you typically allot yourself for doing your hair every day.

Never be afraid of being specific. Most stylists prefer it when a client knows exactly what they want. Have a good idea of what it is you want, but also be open to suggestions. No two hair styles, cuts, or colors are the same. What works on one person may not be what’s best for you.

In the end, it’s always best to bring a picture!

Always bring a picture to the Salon

Makeup Artists Don’t Need to Wear Makeup

I believe makeup should be used as a tool to enhance natural beauty, not as a mask to hide behind. I would like to reset the standard—makeup artists should be skincare professionals and have some background knowledge of what skincare products can do to improve the canvas upon which they work. But they don’t need to wear makeup themselves when they work.

In the world of esthetics, it is our job to help uplift and encourage the confidence and inner radiance of our client. We wear black as an industry standard and, in my opinion, it is so we blend into the shadows and make our clients shine. When our clients leave our chair, we want them to feel like they are as beautiful as they can be.

Wearing makeup is often done to show that we have the answers to help our clients find what makes them feel beautiful. But I don’t we need to wear makeup ourselves. Instead, we need to exude the passion and confidence in our skills. Hopefully our skin is clear. Our kind, helpful personalities are all we need to help our clients in finding the right colors for their personal color palette to achieve the look they want.

In the film and television industry, makeup artists work hours that are very long. Their days can start as early as it takes to get everyone done and camera ready for the time the day’s first scene is scheduled to shoot. In my life, that has been as early as 3:30 am or sometimes even an all-nighter. Our job is to care for the talent and their look, not for ourselves. If a makeup artist was on set and dolled-up over the top, it could be considered a distraction to the crew members—it tends to be a male dominated field — or the actors who don’t want a member of the crew stealing the spotlight.

Makeup artists should be able to talk about their products with confidence and ease. Most importantly, they should be able to use their true skills to use the makeup on the client. Since we are in the beauty world, some makeup artists want to show that they are up with the latest trends and always have a full face on. I’m not trying to take anything away from anyone. But I’d like to suggest that a bare, fresh face is something to be valued and acceptable in the workplace for makeup artists and skincare professionals.A makeup artist applies makeup on a woman.

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.

Specializing vs. Generalizing in the Salon

Imagine yourself on your last day of cosmetology school. The world is now your oyster! So many decisions to make; and perhaps one of the most important ones to your career is whether or not you’ll specialize in either cutting or coloring, or whether or not you’ll generalize and specialize in both! Other than having a passion for either cutting or coloring, what are the benefits and drawbacks?

Why would someone Specialize versus Generalize?

  • Colorists, or Color/Cutting Specialists, kind of get to set their own prices once they’ve established themselves. Can you imagine deciding how much you want to be paid for doing something you love already?
  • You’d literally be filling your day always doing things you absolutely love to do—and only the things you love doing. If you really love one thing or the other, imagine only doing the one thing you love. Sounds glorious if we’re being honest.

Girl Thinking

Why would someone Generalize versus Specialize?

  • When beginning your career, it may be more financially beneficial to generalize. You get to do more, and can double book yourself.
  • Clientele can easily transfer from one stylist to you if you generalize. For example, if a specific cutting specialist isn’t available to do a haircut, but you are, you’ll be able to take that haircut and add that client to your clientele.
  • Plus what if you just love to do everything? Why would you choose to limit yourself to only doing one thing?
  • What if you don’t know which you enjoy doing more? What better way to find out, while furthering your education in a salon environment, and sharpening your skills? There isn’t a better way.

Before making serious decisions, it’s always good to reflect on the things you love to do, and the things you don’t really enjoy all that much. There are lots of things to take into consideration, make sure you think about all of them.

Most of all, enjoy your life as a licensed professional. You’ve absolutely earned it!