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Safe Manicures and Pedicures

Gel Manicure

In the age of corona virus, we all have to be concerned about whether our nail salon follows all the safety procedures they should. The average person wouldn’t necessarily know how to spot unsafe procedures at a nail salon, so I have rounded up a list of things to look for next time you’re itching to get a manicure or pedicure.

  1. Washing of Hands

    Both you and your nail technician should wash your hands before beginning a service. This gets your service off to a clean and germ free start. If you fail to see your technician wash their hands before beginning your service, you may kindly ask them to.

  2. Know Which Implements are Disposable and Which Can Be Reused and Disinfected

    You should be able to observe reusable implements such a nail clipper and cuticle pushers being soaked in a disinfectant. Disposable implements such as buffers, nail files, and manicure sticks should be thrown away after use. You can also request that new files and buffers be opened in front of you so you can ensure they have not been previously used.

  3. Beware of Illegal Tools

    Tools that have razor edges used to remove calluses are illegal and unsanitary. Your nail technician should never perform any services that affect the structure or function of living tissue.

  4. Documentation

    Your nail technician’s license should be visible to you. It must not be expired.

  5. Proper Disinfectant for Pedicure Baths

    The EPA requires that all pedicure baths be sanitized with EPA registered hospital disinfectant. You should be able to observe the words “Hospital” or “Medical” in the labeling.

If done properly and safely, few things are a relaxing and indulgent as getting a great manicure and/or pedicure.

How to Get Beachy Waves

Beachy Waves

Want to achieve beachy waves but don’t want to damage your hair with the high temperatures of hot tools? Beach waves can be easy to achieve with just a blow dryer or, even better if you have the time, air dry! There are some great Aveda products which help with this. Just follow these steps:

  • Prep your wet hair with Aveda Brilliant Damage Control or Pure Abundance Style Prep to detangle and provide heat protection from the blow dryer.
  • Lift your hair in sections and spray Aveda’s Volumizing Tonic at the base of the hair to add some lift and texture.
  • Use your fingertips to lift the roots of your hair in an upward direction while blow drying in an upward direction. Use the flat nozzle that comes with your dryer. This will help focus the direction of airflow and help you keep control of your hair. Blow dry until your hair is about 60-70% dry.
  • Spray Aveda’s new Thickening Tonic all over the hair, concentrating most of the product on the mids and ends of the hair. This will add the perfect amount of beachy texture and grit.
  • Part your hair where you prefer and section your hair into 2-4 sections, depending on how tight or loose you want the waves to be. Having fewer sections will create looser waves, and vice versa. It is best to create zig-zag parts in between each section to avoid any obvious splits in the hair when it is dry.
  • Next, take each section and either braid the hair, securing with a loose elastic at the end, or twist the hair into small buns, securing with flat clips or pins so as not to leave a crease. Tip: leave the ends out to create a more beachy look.
  • Hit each section with the blow dryer for 5-10 minutes or until the hair feels dry. Once dry, undo braids or buns.
  • Blow dry the hair one last time, scrunching to give it some extra bend and finish with the cool shot setting of your blow dryer. This will help the waves last longer.
  • Lastly, take some Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid and Light Elements Defining Whip, mix together a pea-sized amount of each in your palms, and run through your hair. This will add the perfect amount of shine, definition, and tame any frizz.

Skin Care Myths

Washing Face with Splashing Water

There are so many different skin care products, brands, and skin care treatments that sometimes the skin care industry can be overwhelming. Before you make choices when it comes to your skin care routine, you should figure out the truths and myths when it comes to skin care.

There are so many different ideas about skin, but the science of skin can give you facts and answers you need. Before you dive into the skin care world, let me, as a student studying skin care, guide you away from some of the myths about skin care.

  • Higher SPF Means More Protection

    85-90 percent of visible aging is caused from exposure to the sun and 3 million cases of skin cancer are found in the U.S. each year. Of course, sunscreen is very important. But buying any sunscreen just because it has a high SPF is not a good idea. There are two types of sun rays: UVA and UVB. For you to be fully protected, sunscreen needs to protect you from both these rays. Most sunscreens only protect you from UVB but not UVA. So make sure you pick up a sunscreen with a high SPF that protects you from both types of rays.

  • Popping Your Pimple Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Acne

    I know it’s so tempting to pop those pimples on your face. But, please, this is not the way. When extracting your own pimple, you can actually push more bacteria and dead skin into the pore, causing more infection. This can cause your breakout to get worse and possibly end up scarring your face.

  • Tanning Can Cure Acne

    Long term exposure to the sun may help clear up some acne. However, all this exposure to UV rays can stimulate your sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This can lead to larger acne breakouts.

  • Scrubbing Your Face With Soap Several Times a Day Helps Get Rid of Acne

    Even though washing your face gets rid of surface dirt and oils, doing this too much can cause the skin to become irritated and dry out the skin. For best results, wash the skin twice a day (morning and night).

How to Diffuse Curly Hair

Here are some tips and tricks for diffusing curly hair.

First, shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo like the Be Curly Co-Wash and condition with either the Be Curly Conditioner or the new Detangling Masque for extra moisture.

Towel dry your hair and use a Curl Enhancer for tighter curls, or Curl Controller for looser curls on damp hair, paying extra attention to the mids and ends.

Then section off about 2 inches from the bottom hair line and take about a 2 inch square sub section of hair and twist it around your finger, away from your face.

Continue all the way up your head, twisting your hair away from your face until all of your hair is twisted.

Then use a diffuser attachment to your favorite blow dryer and use the hot or medium heat on low speed. Hold your blow dryer so the flat part of the diffuser is facing the ceiling, and gently place the mids and ends of your hair into the diffuser. Let your hair sit for about 10–15 seconds for every section of hair you take. Constantly move around, diffusing different sections of hair every time. Diffuse until 80-90% dry so your hair doesn’t get frizzy and let your hair air dry the remaining 10–20%.

Use a light weight oil like the Dry Remedy oil on your ends. Use 2–4 drops in your hands, rub it around to distribute evenly on your hands and scrunch it into the ends of your hair and use your fingers to gently comb through the twisted sections to break up your curls.

Then you have successfully diffused!

Tea Tree Oil Benefits

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree is native to Australia and its oil has been used and known among the original inhabitants of that continent as a cure-all medicine since ancient times. Since it’s made its way to us people are now starting to realize just how important it really is. The main substances in Tea Tree essential oil are Alpha Pinene, Beta Pinene, Sabinene, Myrcene, Alpha Phellandrene, Alpha Terpinene, Limonene, Cineole, Gamma Terpinene, Para Cymene, Terpinolene, Linalool, Terpinenol and Alpha Terpineol.

Tea Tree oil is an excellent expectorant. People who are suffering from cough and cold, congestion, bronchitis and other troubles associated with colds, can often get relief using Tea Tree essential oil. It can be rubbed on the chest and inhaled while sleeping, or a drop can be placed on the pillow so it can do its work at night also, and you can wake up feeling much better in the morning. I myself have used Tea Tree oil in this way and have come to realize that it really does work to help alleviate the symptoms of the common cold.

Lastly, this essential oil has a stimulating effect on hormone secretions, blood circulation, and most importantly, on the immune system. It boosts your immunity and acts as a shield against different types of infections. It is also quite popular in aromatherapy, because it blends well with many other oils and can also provide you with internal benefits that would otherwise be impossible, since you are not allowed to ingest Tea Tree essential oil.

Tea Tree oil is not entirely benign. You have to be careful with it. Be sure to read and follow all the warnings.

James Vincent—Celebrity Make-up Artist

James Vincent and Cortney Garig

If you aren’t aware of James Vincent’s existence, you should wake up and smell the make-up! He is a self made make-up artist who has came up on his own from rags to riches. A true Cinderella story, that is if Cinderella decided to cut off her long locks, shaved a mohawk, and added some flair and fought for equality while changing the world.

Now if you were expecting some DYI blog explaining how to do a smokey eye, skip this. Instead, this is a life lesson blog about a very inspiring man with some fantastic advice on the industry. Specifically, if you’d like to work in New York creating the latest trends, then read on fellow entrepreneurs!

Who is James Vincent?

Here comes this fuzzy man, covered in tattoos, glam rock, a bandana hanging out of his pocket, shaved head, big beard and completely metal looking to boot, yet when he spoke to the crowd at the Cinta Aveda Institute he introduces himself and gives the warmest smile. Growing up from a punk background myself, I was very excited to hear what this guy had to say.

He grew up in Rhode Island, the tiniest state in the US. Huge family, but surprisingly the first one to go to college. He studied social work. His family was always hard-working, and he never thought he would be a make-up artist, he believed that being stuck in an office was the way to live.

From social work to make-up? Yes. It is truly an odd transition, but as the wise Forest Gump said “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” He started off in the bath and body shop just to make some money through college even though he didn’t know the first thing about make-up. He enjoyed it and moved to Atlanta, Georgia to further his career. He then began writing papers about women of color in the make-up industry. At the time, the women in advertisements were usually Caucasian.

Through these blogs and the passion he had to change the industry from what was the standard to something unique, MAC Cosmetics discovered him and asked him to help launch MAC. At this time MAC was just starting out. He started doing make-up with them.

“Use what you have, make it work. It will work for you.”

At the time, cosmetic companies did not have much variety as far as contours and concealers go, especially for women with darker skin. One fine day, a girl came in to get her make-up done and he decided to use orange lipstick to conceal darker shades under the eyes. This woman got so excited, she offered him a job in the music industry. Little did he know, he would be working for TLC!

Domino Effect to Success

From then on people in the industry where discovering him left and right. Who did he start working for?

  • Special Olympics
  • America’s Next Top Model
  • Puff Daddy, Regina Spektor, Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga, Reece Witherspoon
  • Sex & the City, CNN

He began doing about 12 shows a season for different networks and television series.

Since then James is now a Director of Education for The Makeup Show, runs The Powder Group, and owns his own make-up line.

What are important keys to success in this industry?

  • Build a community of support networks/find a mentor
  • Work freelance work/build a portfolio
  • Buy a domain name, market yourself!

Some Important Key Notes From James Vincent Himself

“You are a small business, education does not end, beauty is 365 days a week.”

If you are unaware of this think to yourself, how dedicated are you to learning, to working hard, and to expanding your network to get your name out there.

“Now is the time to work”

Build a portfolio while in school, get out there, and show the world what you are made of.

“You are dealing with someone at their most venerable, you are there at the moment to help”

Treat everyone with respect!

“Too much information can hurt you.”

People want to know who you are and what you do. They don’t want to know your full novel.

“Your stuff lives forever.”

Be aware of what you post online. Know the limits between a personal social media page and a professional one.

“If you can not name a five people that inspire you, then you are not prepared.”

“Opportunity was mine! That situation becomes the right opportunity when you’re prepared.”

Seven Ways to Drink More Water

Water Splash

Not everybody has a taste for water, but we all need it to ensure that our bodies continue functioning at their best. A lot of people struggle with getting the appropriate amount that they need. If you want to drink more water, but aren’t crazy about the taste, here are some tips that can make it more enjoyable:

  1. Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits-lemons, limes, and oranges—are the classic enhancers. Put fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water or add strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well, especially in summer.
  2. Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices—cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple—are especially delicious and will have you craving more. Go for juices that are all natural with no added sugar. And remember that fruits and their juices don’t just taste good, they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can also benefit your health.
  3. Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn’t inspiring to you, try a mineral water or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your grocery store.
  4. Get icy. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that’s so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice. Add flavors to your ice cube tray along with the water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes like stars, circles, or fish.
  5. Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from.
  6. Try bouillons and broths. If you lean toward the savory, you may pass on tea and start sipping one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions. Since soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid intake.
  7. Add fast flavor. If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy flavor booster, you might also consider sugar-free drink mixes like Crystal Light.

Day Makers Movement

Holding Someone's Hand

Recently I learned about this new movement called “Day Makers”. It’s so positive and touching that I decided this is a movement I want to participate in.

Day Makers are people who perform intentional acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place. Day Making is to make a special effort to make someone’s day! Anyone can be a Day Maker. There are many ways that a person can do this.

In my field of work, I’ve learned just how important it is. I read an amazing story written by a cosmologist that touched my heart.

He had been doing hair for a client for several years. The woman came in and wanted a nice new hairstyle and that was just what he did. He explained that he had a little extra time and he wowed her. He made her feel special, but he was completely unaware of just how much that appointment had helped her.

She later wrote him a letter. She told him that the reason she had wanted an extra special hair style was because she wanted to look her best for her own funeral. She had planned on committing suicide the evening after her appointment with him. But the extra attention that he paid to her in that one appointment—just that small window of time—made her change her mind and feel that her life was worth living.

I get choked up every time I hear the story. It’s changed my view on every person that sits in my salon chair. You never know what people are dealing with at home.

Being a Day Maker to me has become a every day effort. If I can make someone feel special and look amazing maybe, just maybe, I can make their day.

As a cosmologist, we tend to constantly fight against time, to stay on schedule for the next client. But, if we can take a minute to go the extra mile, you may be making a huge difference in someone’s life—perhaps you’ll even save it!

You don’t have to be a cosmologist to make someone’s day. Anyone can participate in this incredible movement. I know that I will for the rest of my life.

When I make someone’s day, it feels amazing.

Magical Relaxation

Bathtub

I’m sure I’m not the only one that finds myself feeling overwhelmed and stressed at the end of a busy week of work and school. I’ve explored different ways to unwind and let go of the stress I’ve managed to bottled up through the week.

While I’ve always known how stress affects my mood, through my classes at the Cinta Aveda Institute, I’ve learned of the physical effects of stress on our bodies. Stress can make us feel drained and helpless, lower the activity of our immune system, cause skin breakouts, and, in time, potentially lead to serious illness and disease.

Learning how to dissipate stress should become a priority. Personally, my favorite way to relax and de-stress is by enjoying an Epsom salt bath with aromatherapy. The combination of the Epsom salts and the aromatherapy oils is magical.

Epsom salts are not actually salt but rather a natural mineral combination of magnesium and sulfate. Both of these minerals are easily absorbed through the skin, making it easy for us to enjoy the large variety of benefits provided by Epsom salts: they reduce inflammation and help ease muscle pain or cramps, they relax the nervous system, and they help to produce serotonin by adding magnesium back into your body. When your adrenal system is overworked from stress, you are depleted of magnesium. Soaking in Epsom salts is a good way to replenish the magnesium in your body and create a feeling of calm. It even helps to heal cuts and detox the body.

Aromatherapy is a great tool to use in your life for transforming your state of mind and mood. Some of my favorite oils for a bath are lavender, bergamot, and peppermint.

A lavender bath is soothing and relaxing. It cleans the mind and body. Lavender also has wonderful benefits for the skin and can help with reducing discoloration. It’s also an antimicrobial.

Bergamot is great for an uplifting bath. It is known to work as a mild anti-depressant, is energizing yet also calming, and is also an antimicrobial.

Peppermint creates an energizing bath. It stimulates your mind and body. It helps to clear congestion, ease headaches, and perk you up after an exhausting day.

Aveda also carries single note essential oils that are wonderfully pure and effective. Pick yours up today and try a few drops in your next Epsom salt bath. I promise it will provide magical relaxation!

Tech Tips for Coloring Hair with Foils

Applying Hair Foils

When you foil with color, formulate your color one level lighter than the target level. For example, if you want to end up with a level seven highlight, mix your formula as though you want level eight highlights. Since the color is processed in foils, it’s not going to oxidize enough, and your highlights are going to end up a little lighter than they otherwise would

In similar fashion, when doing lowlights, I like to formulate a level darker to add some dimension to the existing color. If the color of the lowlights matches the existing color precisely, it will look too monochromatic.

Highlights and lowlights should be at least two levels apart from the background color in order to be visible.

When highlighting with color, remix your formula every twenty minutes. The trick here is to put the tint and the developer together in the bowl but don’t mix them until you are ready to apply.

You don’t need many foils to create special effects. Remember that highlights are just that: highlights. Fifteen to twenty foils are enough for partial highlights; quite often the desired effect can be achieved with ten to twelve foils. Thirty to thirty-five foils should be plenty for a full head.

Concentrate on the visual area of the head: the top and the front. That’s what everyone sees.

Stay ¼ inch away from the scalp to avoid bleeding. Remember that the thickness of a slice or a weave will influence the distance that you should stay away from the scalp.

There is a great technique called shadowing when you put highlights and lowlights in the same foil. The results are very impressive. Another way to do it is to weave highlight in one foil and then put pieces of the same weave into a different packet. You will have two back-to-back foils.