About Cinta Aveda Institute

Wellness with Lavender Essential Oils

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

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

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

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

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

What to Remember When Taking the Esti State Board Exam

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is what to expect:

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!

The Trashion Fashion Show

March 2, 2015

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

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

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

  • Aveda Trashion Fashion Show

Cinta Aveda Institute and CIDESCO

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

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

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

Almost to the Finish Line

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

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

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

How I Chose Cinta Aveda Institute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Esthetics Intro Phase

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

July 2014 Cinta Aveda Institute Esthetics Class Group Shot

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

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

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

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

Esthetics—Alpha Phase

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fashion Week 2014

As I reach the homestretch of my time here at Cinta Aveda Institute, I’m finding myself falling in love with my passion for makeup even more than I had before I attended CAI. With the help of our new educator, Shawn Peltier, I have been inspired to work hard to achieve my goals as a makeup artist. This week he had us focused on Fashion Week, its history, the artists/designers, the makeup, the models, and more. Fashion Week happens only twice a year in the major fashion capitals of the world such as Milan, Paris, New York and London. Fashion weeks are held several months in advance of the season to allow the press and buyers a chance to preview the fashion designs for the following season. In 1945, the first ever New York Fashion Week was held! Crazy to think how far we have come in the industry, huh?

As far as the makeup aspect goes, it has been more on the natural side. Polished but still with that lived-in look. Shawn had us specifically focus on Atelier Versace’s Spring 2014 Haute Couture look. This look involves natural complexion, brows, and lip. The eyes bring the most attention with gorgeous blue hues and a dramatic winged liner. Using the tools we have at school and the magic of makeup, we mimicked Versace’s look to practice the routine of Fashion Week and repetition of the look to get it just right.

Eye Makeup Samples Side by Side

An example from the Haute Couture show in Paris (left) and an example done by Shawn on me during our Advanced Theory Class (right).

“With the return of the 1950s to the Atelier Versace runway, Pat McGrath echoed the decade’s emblematic curved-shouldered jackets with a vibrant doe eye: ‘Donatella wanted something graphic, aerodynamic and fun.’ The make-up artist drew a deep angled curve on the lids with blue-green eyeliner, before highlighting with a thick stroke of iridescent color for depth. Think Fifties meets fashion rock.” — Vogue

Choosing Aveda

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

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

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

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

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

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

First Graduation Celebration

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

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

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

Combo Image of Model as Peacock

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

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

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.

Learning Challenges at Cinta Aveda

Cosmetology school at the Cinta Aveda Institute was a good experience. There was so much to learn in so little time. It was quite an experience learning color, hair cutting, using different brushes, and all the different types of up do’s.

I think, at first, the most challenging thing for me was using the round brush. I never knew how to use a round brush, or how to use one hand with a brush while using the other with a blow dryer. To be honest, at first using a round brush made me feel like an idiot! But as my hands got used to the brush/dryer combination and as I learned the different twists and turns involved in a round brush blowout, it became really fun. It’s amazing how lifting the hair up in one direction and pulling it out in the other direction can create so much beauty and volume in a hairstyle.

I also thought that using a round boar-bristle brush to create slick straight hair was an amazing technique to learn. In combination with the Aveda product “Naturally Straight”, the boar-bristle brush could straighten curly Latino or African American hair into straight slick hair. I’ve used this technique on several clients and they’ve left extremely surprised and impressed that their hair could go from curly to straight without using a straightener. It’s always rewarding to see your clients happy and feeling great about themselves.

Another thing I’ve appreciated learning at Cinta Aveda was giving scalp and shoulder massages. I think I’ve gotten more complements on the massages I’ve given compared to the services I’ve performed. The different aromas that Aveda provides in combination with a good back rub or scalp massage gives the client a great sense of peace and relaxation before going into a hair cut or putting color in their hair. I always get a positive reaction or expression on my client’s face.

By the end of the Gamma Phase, we sometimes get lazy. But I strongly believe in a good scalp or shoulder massage! I enjoy giving a shoulder massage because it’s an extremely rewarding sensation to see someone physically feeling better.

Learning in Intro

Being in Intro, all we had to work on was other students or, on a couple of model days, we would work on someone from outside the classroom and perform what we had been doing in class.

Learning all the steps was both fun and super easy. We had videos to watch, and we actually performed on our classmates—which helped because they could give us immediate advice on things that we could improve while performing a massage or a facial.

It was also relaxing being in class. In the morning, we would always do wellness and deep breathing. We all got to try out each facial that we now perform on clients. So we have options to present to the client, which I feel is comforting for the clients.

Actually getting facials almost three days a week was great—but towards the end, it was a little much. Now, being on the spa floor, I’m craving a facial!

Learning to Love Makeup

Before I started my education at Cinta Aveda Institute, my interest in makeup didn’t go much further than wanting to know how to make my own face look presentable. I knew the basics—like how to apply foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick—but anything more than that made my brain scramble.

It wasn’t until we started learning about makeup at school that I really became interested. Some great things my educators demonstrated for us were contouring and bridal makeup, two things I knew nothing about.

This came to good use when I had my first bridal makeup application last weekend. I was caught off guard when the guest told me that she wanted to do a trial run for bridal makeup, but I thought back to what we had learned and put it to good use.

I started off with a clean face, then applied a light layer of Aveda Tinted Moisture. This was great for my guest since she wanted a beautiful but natural look. I then went in with different shades of pink and purple, with a touch of gold for her eyeshadow. I was a little unsure at first, but as I continued to blend all the shades, it looked really beautiful. We finished off the look with a neutral lip with a touch of pink.

I was nervous to show her the final look, as this was my first bridal makeup, but was relieved when she looked in the mirror and told me how happy she was. The smile on her face was infectious. I left school that day feeling really proud of myself, and with a bit more confidence in my ability to do makeup.

Great Memories from Intro Phase

Graduation Celebration with Pop Art Make UpMy first day of school was actually pretty exciting! All the students were really nice. The teachers were all super awesome and so willing to help us. They made us feel comfortable with asking them questions.

A memory from my time in the Intro Phase was doing a graduation celebration with Pop Art make up! I thought that was such a cool and fun experience! I have never had my make up done and then walked a catwalk showing it off! I would love to do something like that again, but with me being the one doing the make up and having my model show it off! That was a great school day at Cinta Aveda.

Embracing a Holistic Approach Toward Skincare

November 20, 2014

When I first enrolled at Cinta Aveda, I knew that I had an obscure fondness for extracting sebum from the skin—and that’s it. I wasn’t too sure that I cared much about creating an urban retreat “getaway” type of experience, or making people feel at ease, or even treating people’s skin and creating long-term solutions addressing their concerns. I really just wanted to squeeze gunk out of pores and call it a day. Boy, has that changed dramatically!

Don’t get me wrong, I still love extractions. However my educators, along with experiences with my clients, have shaped my outlook to one that’s much more holistic: to treat the client in his or her entirety. Now I want to not only address the skin in its present state, but to address the roots of any problems—whether it be lifestyle, stress levels, medications, overall attitude, etc. One’s skin, after all, is an organ. It absorbs external free radicals, and is a reflection not only of the foods and beverages you put in your body, but also of the hormonal highs and lows, emotions, sleep quality, and an endless list of other life circumstances. To neglect these forces, therefore, would leave my work incomplete.

Personally, I think the holistic outlook will prove to be much more effective—for the mind, body, and soul. I am so grateful to have had by horizons broadened during my time here at Cinta Aveda, and I look forward to incorporating the mission of Aveda into all of my future endeavors.

Getting a Facial

Getting a FacialBeing a student at the Cinta Aveda Institute includes many benefits. My favorite is being exposed to all of the incredible products and services.

If you are a student on the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday side of the program, you can come in on Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays for any service, hair appointment, or facial/massage. Being in the cosmetology program means that most of my time at the Institute is consumed doing hair or occasionally getting my hair done. After a long week of school and work, nothing sounded better than a day of pampering. Because I don’t do facials myself, I decided the next best option was to come in to the Institute on a day off and book a facial. This is my review of the experience.

Being a student myself, I was more than confident in my fellow classmates’ ability to provide excellent service and I was right! When I arrived with a friend, we were both greeted promptly and offered water or tea. Then we were escorted to our private rooms and asked a few questions about our skin and our daily routines. This was one of my favorite parts of the service, because it really showcased how customizable each facial was. After explaining my skin type along with all of my problems and concerns, I was given some very helpful tips, tricks, and solutions to help improve my skin in days to come.

The facial itself was about an hour long and included a foot, and neck and shoulder massage. When the service was over, we were both taken downstairs to the experience center where we did the basket program. The basket program is essentially a run-through of all the products that were used on our skin, and what our esthetician recommended for a new and improved skincare routine.

Overall, we both had a great time and would definitely come back again for another facial!

First Day

Everyone knows that the first day of anything can be terrifying. That was certainly true the first day at Cinta Aveda Institute. There’s the alarming sense of nervousness and the million things running through your head first thing in the morning. You end up skipping breakfast because your tummy is unsettled with the endless possibilities of what might happen. As you head towards Kearny Street, you feel a tug of doubt and questions begin to pop up in your head. Did I put deodorant on? Did I turn off the coffee machine? Did I choose the right outfit? Oh lord, please don’t let me be late.

If you didn’t react this way, congratulations! I know most of the girls, that are now my classmates and friends, had some level of this panic. It was the worst when we first entered 305 Kearny and saw each other all waiting for orientation to begin. As women do, we judged one another. I’m not going to lie: I thought some were mean-looking, some relaxed, and some inattentive. Others looked as sacred as I did.

If I could have given myself advice from what I know now, it would be:

  1. Prepare the night before.
    • This includes what you will wear. It took me an hour to figure out what I wanted to wear, even though it was in black, because I wanted to appear professional and trendy.
    • Make sure you have a note pad, pen, gum, and a snack in your purse or bag.
    • Exfoliate. I don’t need it, but it leaves my skin super smooth, which makes me feel confident.
    • Look up directions and calculate how long it will take to get there.
  2. Wake up an hour early.
  3. Listen to some upbeat music. Motown brings good vibes for the day.
  4. Do some light stretching. It invigorates the muscles and allows you to steady your thoughts.
  5. Eat breakfast. Even if you’re not very hungry, eat something light.
  6. Make sure to have fresh breath.
  7. Arrive five to ten minutes early.
  8. Smile.
  9. Don’t be afraid to begin a conversation with someone.
  10. Enjoy yourself.
  11. I hope these tips work for future students attending Cinta Aveda.