Techniques

How to Create a Winged Eyeliner

You see it everywhere you turn; it’s the one thing that you can achieve when in rush but want some type of glam. I admit this is one of the more difficult beauty tricks to learn, but it’s quick once you become familiar with the technique. There are many ways to do a winged eye, but I am going to share my favorite.

Here’s what you will need:

  • Black eyeliner. Liquid or cream works.
  • If using cream, an angled eyeliner brush or a pointed eyeliner brush.
  1. Hold your eyeliner pencil at the end point of your bottom lash line. Point it upward diagonally ending at the desired length that you want your wing to stop.
  2. Hold the skin taut right at the temple with the hand that’s free. Now draw another line from the very tip top of that diagonal line to the middle of your eyelid. There should be a blank area left.
  3. Fill in that blank area.
  4. Now, continue inward, slightly thinning the line more and more as you get closer to the inner tear duct.
  5. You are going to proceed to fill in the area from the middle of the lid to the inner corner.
  6. If you realize your line is ridged or crooked, just take a little more eyeliner and draw from the tip to the middle of lid once more, and then from the middle of the lid to the inner corner once more. Only this time, you shouldn’t have to fill anything in because you’re only perfecting the line.

You’re done!

Tattoo Cover

Tattoos are a great way to express yourself in a visual way permanently on your body. It is not understood by all and is not always visually acceptable in some situations, so what do you do? You cover it up!

Before and After using makeup to cover a tattoo.You need a high-pigmented foundation. High pigmented/color payoff makeup lines include (but are not limited to): Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo, Make up Forever, Dermablend, and Ben Nye Tattoo Cover.

Other materials you’ll need are: a sponge, a small detail brush, translucent powder, and a powder puff.

The first step is to deposit a quarter size amount, for a medium-scale tattoo. The goal is to build up, not cake on, to the outer rim of the tattoo, slowly making your way to the middle.

With a sponge, you will not pull or push around the color but instead you will stipple, using an up and down motion, so there are spots of depth and small deckles left in the first layer.

Layers are needed for the deep black, but the biggest secret in tattoo cover is to powder in-between layers. Now powder.

Do one more layer; continue to stipple with the sponge but this time starting on the part of the tattoo with the most visibility. The stippling technique will help to soften the edges and give the illusion that the skin does not change. Powder again!

Now that the majority of the tattoo is covered, you might still have some bold outlining that is peaking through. Take your small detail brush and, with the brush on its flat side, stipple directly onto the lines or parts of the tattoo still showing. Then powder again. This detailing might need to be done a few times. Make sure to powder!

How to Create a Smokey Eye

The famous Smokey Eye as been around for a while and I believe it will never go out of style. This look is perfect for a night out with the girls or dinner dates with that special someone. While there are a couple of different ways to do this, I am going to walk you through the simplest steps to create a classic black sultry eye.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • Natural color eye shadow primer (with this look you don’t want creasing)
  • Three eye shadows. One for the lid (black); one as a blending, transition color (brown); and one for the inner corners of the eye and brow bone (a light shade)
  • A flat eye shadow brush and a blending brush
  • Black eyeliner
  • Mascara
  1. Prime your lid and bottom lash line with the natural color eye shadow primer. Blend from lash line up to the brow and bottom lash line with your finger.
  2. Then place the highlight color on the brow bone with your finger.
  3. Take the black eye shadow on the flat eye shadow brush and pat all over the lid, not going pass the crease.
  4. Next, take the blending brush with no eye shadow on it, and blend out the line where the black eye shadow ends.
  5. Take the same blending brush, but with the brown shadow, and blend where the black starts to fade.
  6. Line your water line with the black eyeliner. Apply it a little heavy so that you can smudge it out with your finger or the flat eye shadow brush.
  7. Optional: take a highlighting shade and apply it to the inner tear duct.
  8. Add mascara.

You’re done!

How to Create an Ombre Lip

An ombre lip is basically a gradient effect in color. It smoothly transitions from one color to the next without any sharp lines being present. Ideally one shade should be darker that the other, if they are in the same color categories, so that you can really see the ombre effect. You can also pick two different colors; it’s your choice. Ombre lips are fun to wear and you can get really creative with the colors.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • Two lip shades of your choice. One could be a liner and one a lipstick. That way your lipstick won’t bleed.
  • Lip primer if you’re using two lipsticks
  • Some sort of lip moisturizer like Vaseline
  1. Add the lip moisturizer to your lips and rub it in. You don’t want your lips to be super slippery. This also helps blending the colors together. If you have dry lips, it will be hard to blend.
  2. Take the darker color, which for me would be a lip liner, and outline your lips. Continue to build that lip liner into a thicker lip line. Leave the center free.
  3. Now, rub your lips together to get rid of any harsh lines.
  4. Take your lipstick and put in the blank center areas, try not to be too heavy-handed. Rub your lips together again.
  5. You basically repeat steps two and three until you get your desired ombre effect.

You can create an ombre lip with as many colors you can fit on your lips.

How to Create a Strong Brow

Brows are very important to an overall look. There are many ways to create a brow, but the more popular way right now is the “strong brow.” This brow doesn’t play games. Most people want this look but don’t quite know how to perfect it, so I am going to tell you how to get the look you’ve been wanting to learn.

Before learning the steps, you will need to start with well-groomed eyebrows. It is hard to create this look with many hairs being out of place, so removing any extra hairs will make it easy to map out your brows. You also need to have clean skin.

  1. Start with the bottom of your brow, and using an angled brow brush, make a line using short strokes from the beginning of the brow to the end.
  2. Then repeat the same step at the top of the brow. When you reach the end, the bottom line and top line should meet, creating a point.
  3. Now you need to fill in between the lines. You want the end of the brow fuller and deeper in tone. As you work towards the front, you want to use less product, while also using a lighter hand when placing the product. This will create a gradient effect.
  4. Using an angled brush, or small concealer brush, you want to conceal right underneath and above the line you mapped out in the first step. Lastly, don’t forget to use your finger to blend out the concealer.

Four Ways to Dry Your Nails

One of the most frustrating parts of getting your nails done is thinking you have allowed enough time for them to dry, running out the door, getting in your car, only to find that you have smudged what moments ago was a beautiful manicure. It takes time and patience to sit in the salon after your nails are done waiting while your polish dries, and this is when times seems to pass incredibly slowly. Usually you decide to leave when your patience runs out, not when your nails are thoroughly dry. Here are four great tips to help nail polish dry faster:

  • Super cold water: Before you start painting your nails, fill a small bowl up with ice cubes and cold water. Once nails are painted, dip your hands into the bowl of freezing water. This will help set the polish. If you are at a nail salon and do not have access to ice cubes, just place your hands under cold water for about a minute.
  • Cold air: Your hairdryer works just as well as a salon’s nail dryer. All you have to do is set your hair dryer to the cool setting and blast your freshly painted nails with cold air.
  • Spray: Nail drying sprays work extremely well. They are not hard to find and can be purchased at your local drug store. But what works just as well is any type of cooking oil spray such as PAM—yes PAM! Just be sure that you wash your hands a few minutes after you spray your hands with it.
  • Thinner the better: Try doing three thin coats of polish rather than two thicker coats. Make sure you wait a few minutes in between coats. This allows the polish to dry evenly and faster.

A Step to Step Guide to Dry Brushing

Dry brushing has always been a part of Ayurveda’s cleansing beliefs. It is a form of exfoliation that sloughs away dead skin cells, unclogs pores, reduces the appearance of cellulite, and removes toxins that have been trapped beneath the skin. In addition, dry brushing is also said to stimulate the lymphatic system, essential in helping toxins flow throughout the body. This extremely simple and inexpensive beauty regimen takes only about 5 minutes. With the simple steps below, you will see results instantly.

  1. Use a natural, non synthetic, bristle brush. A long handle helps to reach areas of your body that would otherwise be hard to reach.
  2. Stand naked in your bathtub, or elsewhere if you have a towel underneath your feet to catch the dead skin that falls.
  3. You can start anywhere you like on your body, but I prefer to start at my feet with long sweeping motions towards my heart. Brush the area several times and move on to the next section of your body. Take note that certain areas of your body are more sensitive than others, so make sure you are not too heavy handed with your brush, which can cause irritation. The more you dry brush, the less sensitive your skin will be.
  4. Rinse off in the shower to get all the dead skin residue off of your skin.
  5. Pat your skin dry with a towel. Finish with a body butter or a natural moisturizing oil, such as coconut, to help seal in the moisture.

Dry Brush and Accessories

Pros & Cons of Waxing

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

The Cons

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

The Pros

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

There are also two types of wax used for waxing:

Soft Wax

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

Hard Wax

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

The Galvanic Machine

The beauty industry has many machines that can be used to achieve multiple desired effects. Machines are great because they give immediate improvement. Microdermabrasion helps exfoliate the skin. High frequency helps minimize the population of bacteria. Faradic helps improve muscle tone. Vacuum helps move lymph.

One of my favorite machines is the galvanic, even though it isn’t used as much anymore. It helps penetrate water-soluble products deep into the dermis. It does this by creating a chemical reaction within the pores, allowing them to dilate and be receptive to products. This is achieved by using the negative electrode with a sodium chloride solution on the surface, which creates an alkaline reaction in the skin which, in turn, dilates the pore. Then you continue to move the electrode around for about six minutes until we’ve achieved the process of saponification, which turns sebum into soap.

Once you are done with this process, you switch the polarity from negative to positive and begin to close the pores back up. This is when you would apply a water-soluble product, like a mask or serum, to push into the follicles of the skin. This process brings the skin back to its natural acidic state, and the client should see a significant increase in hydration levels of their skin.

In order to successfully complete a galvanic treatment, you also need to apply a damp electrode to the client, under their shoulder or on their arm but not on their face, in order to complete the circuit and achieve the desired results. This can be done weekly, but caution needs to be taken to constantly move the active electrode. Otherwise a burn can be caused on the skin, which will not make the client happy.

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

Coconut for Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic oral hygiene ritual that originated in India dating back over 3,000 years. This ancient practice is now making a comeback in the modern world. In 1992, Dr. F. Karach M.D. reintroduced this ritual claiming that it not only is great for your oral hygiene but it can cure a slew of illnesses.

This process entails first choosing your oil. Most people prefer coconut oil due to its antibacterial properties. You take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth for ten to twenty minutes per day and then spit it out. For some, this can be a definite struggle. Having oil swished around the mouth for that amount of time can be a bit nauseating. But, if you can stomach it and stick to a daily routine, the benefits outweigh the difficulties. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Oral Hygiene: Oil pulling pulls the bacteria and toxins out of your mouth. In the long run, this will reduce the buildup of plaque and prevent tooth decay. Not only that, this ritual gives you whiter teeth, healthier gums, stronger teeth, and fresher breath, as well as helping to prevent cavities and gingivitis.

  • Clear Skin: Any type of skin issue or rash can be reduced dramatically due to the detoxifying effect of oil pulling. By removing toxins from your body, your skin’s complexion will glow.

  • Detoxifies the Body: Our mouth is a gateway, and it’s where inflammation and diseases can form. By removing these toxins before they get a chance to spread, the body will experience a complete detox.

  • Reduced Headaches: Headaches can occur from numerous causes, but one of them is the body going through toxic stress. By the elimination of toxins through oil pulling, headaches can be significantly reduced.

Eyelash Tinting

People often tint their lashes as a good alternative to mascara. The three colors that are most popular range from the lightest brown to the standard black to deepest blue-black.

Along with your brow shape, eyelashes help to define your eyes. Having a deep dark lash line can take your eyes from barely noticeable to defined. Here are a few tips you can use when tinting your client’s lashes.

Make sure the lashes are clean and makeup free. If using a makeup remover that is oil-based, make sure that any leftover residue is removed as well.

Prepping the area is key to providing a clean and error-free application. Prepare the area around the eye with Vaseline. Use a q-tip and swipe the Vaseline under and above the lash line, making sure to stay clear of the actual lashes. This created a barrier and prevents the lash dye from adhering to the skin.

Place a clean protective pad under the lower lash line. This covers the skin below. The client will then close their eyes and the application can begin.

I prefer using a plastic cuticle pusher to get as close as possible to the lash line. Once the tint is mixed, I then apply the product by pressing it into the lash line and sweeping it down the lashes. I start from the middle and work my way to the outer ends making sure the lashes are completely saturated. Check to make sure there is no dye on the skin. If there is, immediately use a q-tip to remove the product, as it will stain.

Make sure the client is in a comfortable position as they will be seated with their eyes closed for about twenty minutes. Once the time is up, I remove the cotton and then dampen 4×4s with warm water and gently swipe the lashes from the inside out until all the product is removed. I have the client look up and I gently swipe the lower lash line as well.

Hand your client a mirror to see the ending results. Ta da!

Extractions vs. Waxing

Lately, the girls and I—all current Alpha’s—have been discussing the “great debate.”

What do you find more personally satisfying, performing extractions or waxing?

Personally, I love popping zits: extractions.

There, I said it. You can think I’m weird, gross, and all sorts of other things. But I’m positive there is at least a 75% chance that you secretly enjoy picking at your skin. For those who don’t, and rely on your estheticians, don’t worry. I’m a professional (in training). I now know the correct way to unblock clogged pores by pressing lightly to release a comedone—and I know when to stop. For safety, I use sterile equipment, wear gloves, and clean the area with preventive products from Aveda.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “How can you find unclogging pores pleasurable?”

There’s science behind it! Many theories have been proposed as to why it can be pleasurable from primitive habits from our remote past to grooming as a sexual stimulant.

I favor the theory expounded by Helen Fisher, author of the bestselling book “Anatomy of Love: Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray.” She explains that among hunter-gatherer societies, the brains and physiques of females are simply better at the fine motor-coordination necessary for good grooming, as well as certain other skills such as picking berries and making textiles. “In primate societies, females groom more than males: their children, their relatives and individuals that they are going to copulate with,” she says. “And they’ll do it for hours.”

If you are curious, you can read more at Salon.com—“In grossness and in health: Psycho-dermatology, female gorillas, and why women love to pick their boyfriends’ zits.

Extractions, to me at least, are very relaxing. But the other half of the Alpha ladies prefer performing waxing services for different reasons. So the debate continues—where do you stand?

Threading

Threading ProcedureThreading is an ancient method of hair removal. It originating in India and can be traced back over 6,000 years. It is one of the oldest methods of hair removal still practiced.

When shaping eyebrows, threading allows for a more precise shape. Rather than tweezing single hairs—or waxing clusters of hair—threading removes lines of hair at a time; this results in a crisper, defined line. Because it epilates hair at the follicle, threading is a longer-lasting method of hair removal. Threading is also completely sanitary. The only object which touches the skin is the thread itself, which is disposed of after each use.

The threading technique uses no chemicals, and the top layer of the skin is left untouched. This makes threading superior to waxing because it is safe to use on all clients—even those with rosacea, or those being treated with Retin-A or Accutane.

Because the threading procedure is safe for everyone, it has been growing rapidly in popularity. Now salons and spas everywhere are offering threading as a service to their clients.

Film Makeup of the Silent Era

One of the greatest inspirations for makeup artists is film history, be it the glamorous looks of the fifties or the more natural looks of the later 20th century.

When we look back to the silent era, makeup from the 1910s and early 1920s looks intensely dramatic and often ghoulish. You might think the makeup style of pale skin and dark and almost black lips and heavily-lined eyes from the silent films of the era had to do with accentuating facial expression and creating contrast, but it had more to do with technical limitations than it did creative choices. This is because the type of film used was orthochromatic, or blue-sensitive.

Orthochromatic film was used universally until 1922 and did not fall out of use completely until the 1930s. Blue colors registered as white on orthochromatic film, and red and yellow registered as black with varying shades of gray falling between those colors rather than indicating any degree of darkness or lightness in reality.

This created a unique and difficult challenge for film industry makeup artists of the day. They used heavily layered pink and white grease paint to get a reasonable skin tone. The eyes weren’t visible with this masklike foundation and blue-eyed actors weren’t even employed because their eyes would not register at all. Makeup artists used heavily applied red shadow around the eyes to make the eyes stand out. The signature look was completed with red lipstick which registered on film as black.

It made for an intensely dramatic face on film that looked almost nothing like what it looked like in real life. The film image though is what remains and still gives inspiration today.Greta Garbo

High Frequency

High frequency is a very useful, effective, and simple machine that is very beneficial to the client. When used properly, it can be used every day.

The machine consists of a glass electrode that can be used for different purposes. Within the electrode, there is neon or argon gas, and when turned on you can see the color of the gas and hear it. It has an oscillating current that is at a high frequency of over 10,000 Hz. — hence the name.

There are two ways the machine can be used: the direct or indirect method.

The direct method benefits the skin of acne prone clients by minimizing the population of the bacteria on the skin. The electrode is applied directly to the face using talcum powder or gauze to help with slip over the skin. It is most effective against papules — not whiteheads — because there is no chance of the possible spread of bacteria. This is done for about 5 minutes.

The indirect method is much more relaxing, and is more suitable for the mature or dehydrated client. The client holds the electrode while the therapist massages them. It is important to ensure that contact is not lost or else you could shock the client, which is the opposite of relaxing. This method is very stimulating to the skin without drying out or causing overstimulation.

Both of these methods can be done every day, as long as you don’t over stimulate the follicle which could be damaging rather than beneficial.

These machines are sold by themselves or as part of a multi-functional machine.

A Chip-free Manicure that Lasts

Even though gel manicures are becoming the new norm, many of us girls still prefer the basic manicure with all its flexibility. I like to be able to change my polish color more often than once every two to three weeks. Chips are inevitable. But with a basic non gel manicure, together with these tips, chips are more manageable.

We all know a manicure often won’t last a full week with our daily routines. Here are a few of my favorite ways to extend the life of my manicure and keep my polish looking fresh.

  • Keep nails short—by keeping a shorter nail length, you can prevent snags and tears from occurring. Even if you don’t have beautiful hands, a clean polished short nail can make all the difference.
  • Prep the nail—using a product to remove any oils from the nail bed is an essential step before applying polish. Removing all the oils from the nail bed will allow your polish to best adhere and helps ensure your polish doesn’t chip.
  • Apply a base coat—sometimes we think we can skip this step, but if you want to keep your nails from discoloring while also keeping the polish in place, a base coat is key. The product I favor is Sticky from CND.
  • Apply a top coat—a good and fast drying topcoat should always be the final step. This effort will create a sleek and shiny seal for your polish and keep your manicure from chipping. My go to product is Sech Vite.

Always remember that it is important to keep your hands and cuticles hydrated throughout the week. Solar Oil is my favorite all around great oil.

Basics of Highlighting and Contouring

How to Contour

Learn how to contour your face to create the illusion of perfect symmetry! Contouring and highlighting are makeup techniques used by nearly every makeup artist designed to bring light to certain features on your face while creating a shadow effect on others. The goal is to create an illusion with makeup that draws attention to specific areas while diminishing the look of others. Depending on your skin or preference, you can contour and highlight using creams, liquids, or powders. For highlight, you will want to use a shade lighter then your skin tone. For contour, you will use a shade darker then your skin tone. I prefer to always use a highlight color that has a little bit of shimmer to give a glow to the face. For contour, use a matte color for the perfect shadowing.

  • Cheeks

    I like to start with my contour to map out my face. Start by applying a darker shade to the hollows of your cheekbones from the hairline down the cheek about halfway and blend. If you have trouble finding the hollows of your cheeks, suck in cheeks like a fishy face and you will find the hollows. You can add as much dark color as needed but always start out light and build up. You can also bring the contour up the sides of the forehead near the hairline to create a smaller forehead. Apply highlight right above the contour on the tops of your cheekbones where light naturally hits the skin. When applying blush, concentrate on applying it to the apples of the cheeks.

  • Nose

    The nose can be a little bit tricky, but with more practice it looks amazing! Apply your contour color on each side of the bridge of your nose. I like to start the contour from the tip of my nose and bring it upward to ensure a straight line. Apply the highlight color down the very center of your nose.

    Tip: The more you blend, the more natural your contour will look!

  • Eyes

    When it comes to highlighting the eyes, apply highlight underneath the brow. That will help arch the brow and make it look clean. Also you can apply highlight color into the inner corners of the eyes for a more awake look.

Holiday Party Hairstyle

Holiday Hairstyle

To achieve this look, you should prep your hair with:

  • Pure Abundance Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Pure Abundance Style Prep
  • Volumizing Tonic
  • Phomollient Styling Foam

You’ll need these thermal styling tools:

  • Blow Dryer
  • Medium-sized Round Brush
  • Thermal Styling Iron/Wand

Use these products to add volume and texture:

  • Aveda Hair Potion
  • Aveda Air Control Hair Spray

Begin by spritzing towel-dried hair with the Pure Abundance Style prep, and then add the Phomollient Styling Foam and Volumizing Tonic. Work this into your hair so that everything is evenly saturated. Comb through the hair to ensure thorough saturation.

“Rough dry” the hair. This means to dry hair to about 80%. It sounds crazy, I know. But trust me, it makes styling much easier!

Section the hair into three to four equal horizontal parts. Begin in the lowest section on the back of the head and blow dry with the round brush. It’s okay if the curls you form aren’t perfect, as you can touch them up with a thermal tool later. Continue working this way up the head until all the hair is 100% dry.

After all the hair is dry, add Aveda Hair Potion to the root if more volume and texture is desired. Then section the hair again to begin adding finishing curls and waves. This is a deconstructed look; remember, it doesn’t have to look perfect; the messier, the better!

Section it one final time, into a half-up-half-down pony tail, and secure it with a hair tie. Use bobby pins if required. Finish the style with a little holiday ribbon tied in a bow, and enjoy yourself on your night out! You’ll look great!

The Power of Positive Energy and Intentions

One of the most important things I have learned while being in school is the power and importance of positive energy and intention.

I have always been a strong believer in the power of positive energy. I believe that if you stay positive in your thoughts and actions, good things will happen. However, I really was unfamiliar with what was meant by intention.

I first heard about intention from a massage therapist with whom I work. She said that if you always have good intentions during a massage, then your guest can only receive those positive intentions. But if your intentions are in the wrong place, they are almost guaranteed to be felt by your guest.

I heard this discussed again while in school and, by that point, I was really interested in trying it myself.

Now, I practice positive energy and intentions during every facial I perform. I like to spend a few moments before and after the treatment, with my hands touching my guest, either on their shoulders or on the sides of their head. I take a few deep breaths, and think to myself what I hope my guest will receive during their treatment, both physically and mentally. Maybe it’s glowing skin or the gift of relaxation. By just taking these few moments to pass along my energy to my guest, I have found that it really does result in a better experience.

There is nothing I love more than the feeling I get when someone is genuinely happy with the service I performed, and they leave feeling better than they did when they arrived.

Memorizing Facial Massages

Memorization can be one of the hardest things for some people, especially memorizing hand movements.

When I began learning to give facial massages, I thought, “Oh great. I’m only going to remember a few moves and forget the rest.” Thank goodness that our instructor allowed the video to run while we practiced the motions; it was a very soothing process. It wasn’t until a few weeks later, when she told us that she wasn’t showing the video anymore, that my heart stopped for a second. I thought, “Oh snap. I don’t know it!” I should have given myself more credit. To my surprise, I had remembered it. From that moment, I began to practice more. It shouldn’t just be in class; I highly recommend practicing at home.

I practice on my cat, Boo. Although it’s completely different, remembering the motions was the key to my success. Also, it was very amusing to watch my cat enjoy his personal massage while watching a movie.

Another form of practice is upon friends and family. If you have a very tight schedule, like I do, it can seem impossible to put the time aside to do this. I practice in the shower or on a small pillow. Making different fun learning environments can be better than always practicing on friends and family.

Working on learning through different avenues allows you a chance to become more adaptable and plays with your senses. It gives you a chance to become sensitive with your finger tips—playing with different textures and thus developing your senses. I find this beneficial because it allows me to become more detailed-orientated when I conduct skin analysis.