Latest Story

Facial Tips and Tricks

Woman getting facial.

An Aveda facial consists of an aroma sensory journey, a deep cleansing, skin analysis, having an educator look over your analysis, a refinement with a hand and arm rub, a facial massage, a mask with either a foot rub or a neck and shoulder rub, and ending with eye cream, serum, and moisturizer. You can also add on treatments such as a revitalizing eye treatment, a plant peel, enbrightenment, outer peace, or green science which targets certain skin problems.

Here are a few tips to really making your facial extra special and leaving your clients feeling pampered and relaxed.

  • Put essential oils — lavender, vanilla, rose, tangerine or bergamot—in your water bowl
  • Mix up different masks. For example, use deep herbal clay mask with exfoliant, enbrightenment toner, or green or sea science
  • Mix in tea with a mask
  • Use energizing composition oil during the hand and arm massage
  • Use a composition oil, mixed with the essential oil of their choice, during the neck massage
  • Place a hot towel on their back after the treatment. (This is such a crowd pleaser, it really ends the facial with warmth and soothing while also wiping excess oil off the skin.)

These are some techniques I have personally used in my treatments. The response is always great.

Making the treatment your own is a great way to please a client, and it is more likely that they will come back to you because you added your unique touch. And having some clients who follow you is really important when you’re looking for a job.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that has many uses. Historically, it was commonly used because of its healing properties. It can be used on sunburn, insect bites, rashes, dry skin, and as a base for many beauty products.

It is a very light fluid that is mostly water. The light viscosity of the gel makes it useful in things like masks, moisturizers, and makeup for people who are sensitive, have acne prone skin, or are concerned with using heavy makeup.

One must be cautious when buying aloe vera to be sure that there is no alcohol or irritants added. Generally, the aloe bought in a store will be modified because aloe naturally contains an irritant called aloin. This is the yellow fluid that lies directly under the surface of the plant. People who are allergic to latex, garlic, tulips, and onions will also commonly be allergic to aloe when the aloin is still present. People who are allergic should be very careful to only use aloe with the aloin removed. This means that if aloe vera makes your skin red, itchy, tight, or dry feeling, it may not be a good idea to continue use.

Aloe is also often taken internally but doctors are pushing people to be cautious of overuse. Many different ailments claim aloe as a solution, however, aloin can wreak havoc internally. Aloe was once used as a laxative but, in 2004, all of those products were pulled off the shelf because it was not FDA approved.

Magical Volume in a Bottle

Woman with Fancy Hairstyle

Who doesn’t love big, beautiful hair? Aveda’s Pure Abundance line specializes in creating volume. One of my favorite products from the line is Pure Abundance Hair Potion. Hair potion works great on finer textured hair, instantly creating volume.

Hair potion gives the hair a matte finish, thickening each individual strand of hair. This is the ideal product for voluminous updos or achieving that sexy, bed head look. Aveda uses natural plant-derived ingredients such as acacia gum and kaolin clay to give hair abundantly full volume.

Hair potion is an extremely versatile styling product. For a light amount of volume, spray into hands and work into dry or damp hair. For a stronger effect, spray (using the bottle as a pump) directly onto the root area to create instant volume.

Hair Potion can also be used as a prep for updos after shampooing and blow-drying to give the hair a gritty texture that makes it easier to hold, without weighing down the hair.

Is Beauty School For You?

Classroom at Cinta Aveda Institute

Should you pursue a career as a licensed cosmetologist or barber? Being a stylist isn’t for everyone. Some people may enjoy working in an office more, while others may dread it. But for me, a career as a cosmetologist seems promising. If you enjoy having the freedom to set your own schedule, work as much or as little as you like, and control your income, you may consider looking into a career in cosmetology.

Attending Cinta Aveda Institute was, for me, the first step toward a career that has a wide range of opportunities. Cosmetology always offers something new and interesting. Whether you’re working side-by-side with other stylists, helping celebrities look their best for the camera, or doing the hair and makeup for your clients (while they share new, interesting details about their lives), being a stylist is mostly about people. It’s about working with people you like, helping people you enjoy, and making a great living in an exciting profession.

Aspen Bark is a Natural Preservative

Aspen Tree Trunks

Most products need a preservative and many have them. Everything has a shelf life. Not having a preservative makes the product go bad quickly which isn’t beneficial to the retailer or the customer.

The most common preservatives found in skin care lines are parabens. There are a lot of different kinds of parabens, but they are problematic. Research in 2015 links even small amounts of parabens to breast cancer.

Aspen bark extract offers a natural alternative to traditional preservative systems, and it also has some benefits for the skin.

Aspen bark— Populus tremuloides —comes from the North American Aspen. The bark is rich in salicylates, which, for the tree, may function as a defensive mechanism against invading parasites. These salicylates are isolated from aspen bark and used in some cosmetic and personal care products as a natural alternative to more traditional preservatives. It is added to emulsions during the cool-down phase to avoid any destabilization issues. As a secondary benefit, aspen bark extract, a water-soluble powder, can also impart a smooth feel to skin.

Some of its benefits are:

  • It’s a naturally derived botanical extract
  • It’s a water-soluble powder
  • It possesses a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity
  • It has a broad pH range: 3 to 9
  • It’s compatible with a wide range of cosmetic ingredients.

Products for Damaged and Frizzy Hair

Aveda Damage Remedy

Do you color your hair often? Does your hair feel damaged and weak? Aveda has a solution for you with its Damage Remedy Reconstructive Treatment.

Once you start coloring your hair, it is difficult to stop especially with all the new trends and beautiful colors you can achieve. The Damage Remedy mask provides a solution for damage created through chemical services.

Packed with Quinoa protein, the Damage Remedy will strengthen damaged or chemically treated hair. By replenishing your hairs natural oils with jojoba, you will regain a healthy shine and feel to your hair.

I absolutely love this product because it is one of the only options on the market which delivers a protein-packed treatment that is derived from natural proteins rather than chemical-based proteins, eliminating the risk of adding too much protein to your locks. (If dryness is your issue, Aveda has a solution with its Dry Remedy Moisturizing Mask.)

How to use:

Use in place of conditioner once a week and leave in your hair for at least five minutes if possible. Pair with Damage Remedy Shampoo for optimal results.

Fight your Frizz

Aveda Smooth Infusion

Do you find yourself always fighting frizz when styling your hair? Is your hair in need of frizz control? Aveda has the answer for you in its Smooth Infusion haircare line. The newest member to the Smooth Infusion line is called the Nourishing Creme, which nourishes hair and helps fight frizz in intense humidity, making it perfect for us ladies in San Francisco.

Smooth Infusion Nourishing Creme aids in fighting frizz by utilizing botanicals, including certified organic cupuaçu and shea butters.

I find that this product works well on most hair textures, but proves most successful with curly or coarse hair textures. In addition to taming frizz, it replenishes dry hair giving it a softer smoother touch.

How to use:

Apply when your hair is about two-thirds dry after using any of Aveda’s style prep products. I like to pair it with the Smooth Infusion Style Prep.

The amount of product used should be determined by density and texture of your hair. I recommend starting small and adding more product as needed. Proceed by either air or blow-drying hair and enjoy your frizz-free style.

Beauty Ritual for Mind and Body

Woman Puts Makeup on Her Face

We live in a constantly changing environment full of work, family, fitness, and relationships. These rotate around our own clock of time and mostly we rush through life feeling disconnected from ourselves.

But we are made of cells, atoms, and water. Our body works 24 hours a day following our Circadian Rhythm—our internal “clock” linked with the sun. When it is dark, our body releases melatonin, the hormone that controls sleep; and when there is light, cortisol is activated in the body and makes us wake up.

So, what happens when this internal rhythm gets disrupted by stress and work? We lose the connection between our mind and body; our own internal engine starts to wear out, causing fatigue or even sickness.

As simple as it sounds, a way to find a connection with our body is sleeping in a regular way.

The body needs sleep. It is this regeneration time—when cells repair themselves—where our digestive and muscular systems get to rest.

From a skin therapist’s perspective, the evening is the perfect time to prepare your skin for the next day. In that way, you wake up in the morning feeling gorgeous and refreshed.

Choosing the right products for your skin type is essential. What we need for the night are nutrients—food for our skin. The body deserves attention; this is the best time to apply a rich body lotion with some aroma relaxing oil.

Self-massage also helps relax the body and prepare it for the night. Aveda’s Stress-fix body lotion nourishes your body with ingredients proven to reduce feelings of stress: lavender is soothing and calming, while clary sage has healing properties. While nourishing the skin, inhaling pure lavender aroma stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similar to the way some sedative medications work. It is a perfect way to prepare our bodies for night time. Relaxation before sleeping helps assure a good sleep.

As we wake up, a new day starts!

The morning is the time where our skin needs hydration to keep the skin protected throughout the day. It is a good habit to drink one or two glasses of water to wake up our digestive system.

Washing your face performs a light lifting self-massage. It’s helpful to bring oxygen back to the skin of the face, activate circulation, and flush toxins away via the lymphatic system. It helps you be ready to start your day!

Finding the right products to a beauty routine is key. Choose ingredients that are hydrating and strengthen the skin’s barrier function.

Powerful ingredients like sodium hyaluronate found in the Aveda Green Science line is ideal for hydration purposes. This powerful ingredient can hold 1000 times its own weight in moisture content in the skin, providing extremely good protection. Other great ingredients are shea butter which is high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant perfect for dry or sensitive skin, and argan oil, which is rich in poly-unsaturated fatty acids that nourish and protect the skin.

Having daily beauty rituals and taking good care of our mind and body can help us reconnect with our selves. Morning and evening rituals help you reconnect to yourself with simply giving attention to what makes you live: your body. This practice can improve your health enormously and make you both happy and more beautiful.

Do-it-yourself Spa Baths

Bathtub

We all know there is nothing like a relaxing bath after a long day. Why not benefit your skin while you’re at it?

Let me fill you in on eleven ingredients that you can add to your bath that will give you a relaxing, spa experience right at home. And there are other benefits. I’m pretty sure that you have most of these in your kitchen right now.

  1. Green Tea

    anti-aging, detox, ph balance

  2. Honey

    soften and smooth skin, detox

  3. Jello

    hydrate, elevate mood, soften skin

  4. Milk

    calm, sooth, sun burn relief

  5. Olive Oil

    hydrate, anti-aging, strength

  6. Salt

    pain relief, reduce inflammation, relaxation

  7. Lavender

    muscle relief, stress relief, reduce inflammation

  8. Lemon

    refresh, revive, shrink pores, brighten skin

  9. Ginger

    detox, cold and flu relief, muscle relief

  10. Baking Soda

    calm, relieve irritation, sooth

  11. Cinnamon

    invigorate, detox, cures rashes

Smooth Infusion

Aveda Smooth Infusion Product Line

Aveda’s “Smooth Infusion Naturally Straight” progressively loosens curls with every use so your hair becomes straighter morning after morning, and stays that way day after day. As you straighten your hair, the lightweight creme’s unique plant fibers attach to the hair and hold your straight style in place, while a humidity barrier of organic tapioca starch, organic aloe, and maize fend off frizz in the most humid environments. The more you use it, the easier it is to create your straight look, allowing you to spend less time styling each day.

All of the products in the Smooth Infusion line contain babassu oil, often referred to as coconut oil’s cousin. It is a lighter-weight emollient that improves elasticity with extreme penetrating moisture. Additionally, they are all plant-infused with blends of organic aloe, maize, and guar bean that all work to create a smooth surface and prevent frizzing on straight styles. This line is specifically designed for straightening wavy, curly, and coily textures. They work well with colored hair as well. Because the ingredients are mostly plant-derived, they do not permanently modify the hair’s natural bonds or curl pattern. Each product is formulated with tapioca starch and maize, which help block humidity and smooth the cuticle to reduce frizz.

I love that these products are made to moisturize, but with light-weight, concentrated formulas. That means the hair won’t be heavy or greasy, and you don’t have to use a lot of it to get the desired results. Another thing I love is the smell! This line has a blend of sandalwood, mixed with rose, and a fresh citrus-floral blend that is noticeable, but not overbearing, and definitely holds true to Aveda’s principles of botanical, therapeutic, green-science beauty products.

Beauty Hacks Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Many of us have a bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting in our kitchen cabinet, but few know just how many uses there are for it.

  • Toner

    Mix together some organic apple cider vinegar and distilled water for a great all-natural toner. The antibacterial properties in apple cider vinegar make it ideal for acne or facial blemishes.

  • Dandruff Relief

    The acidity in apple cider vinegar clarities the scalp, and fights off yeast, which can cause dandruff.

  • Hair Pop

    Make the natural tones in your hair pop by rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar. By clarifying the hair, natural underlying tones will seems brighter. This works well for both blondes and brunettes.

  • Foot Soak

    The anti-fungal properties in apple cider vinegar make it a great foot soak, especially for those that suffer from excessive foot sweat or bad foot odor.

  • Mouthwash

    Simply swish some apple cider vinegar in your mouth for a half a minute for fresh breath, the natural way.

  • Stained Nails

    The high level of acidity in apple cider vinegar makes it a great stain fighter. Soak stained nails in a bowl of apple cider vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Bug Bites

    Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful for irritated skin, whether it be acne, skin blemishes, or pesky bug bites.

  • Purifying Bath

    Throw a few drops of apple cider vinegar in a warm bath. Post-bath, skin should feel more soothed, and less irritable.