Beauty Business

Exciting Renovation at Cinta Aveda!

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

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

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

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

The Perfect Blowout

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

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

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

The Interview

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

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

For example:

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

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

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

Preparing for Life After the Institute

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

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

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

Hair Extensions: Balmain Certified

Balmain Hair Extensions - Before and After

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goal Oriented It’s Okay to Change Your Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) Build relationships in your business community.

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

2) Have your financial information organized

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

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

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

Good Luck and follow your passion!

7 Fun Facts about Make Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beauty and Art at Aveda

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

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

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

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

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

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

Extractions!

It was once said that a facial is not a facial without extractions. What are extractions, you ask? Let’s take a deeper look into the histology—or the study of the structure and function of the skin— to better understand what is happening when your esthetician “extracts” you.

The skin has two main layers, the top layer (really five layers) is the layer we touch and it is called the epidermis. The layer below the epidermis is the dermis.

The five layers of the epidermis are the stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and the stratum germinativum. Below the stratum germinativum layer lies the dermal layer, or dermis.

Estheticians are only licensed to work with the epidermis, so the dermis is reserved for the domain of doctors and nurses.

Excepting the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, the lips, and the eyelids, the rest of our skin surface has hair follicles from which our body hair grows. Hair follicles penetrate into the dermal layer and the hair grows out of the follicle, exiting through the epidermal layer. Along with hair in the follicle is also sebum, or the oil our bodies naturally secrete. Our skin secretes the most oil from our noses, foreheads, and backs, so these areas are common locations for extractions to take place. The sebaceous glands secrete oil into the hair follicle, which then travels up to the surface of the hair follicle and hair shaft to the stratum corneum layer, or the top layer of the skin.

Sometimes, especially for people with oily skin types, a hair follicle becomes clogged with keratinized or dead and hardened skin cells, also known as a blackhead. This can result from a lack of exfoliation. Estheticians are allowed to remove hair and also remove sebaceous matter and blackheads from the skin.

During a facial, the esthetician must prepare the skin first for easy removal. This includes cleansing with warm water and an appropriate cleanser, and using steam for 8 to 10 minutes while the exfoliating mask is removing the top layer of keratinized skin cells. Then the extractions may begin.

The esthetician must wear gloves for the extraction portion of the facial because there is a possibility of a small amount of blood to surface with the extraction. The esthetician may either use an extract ion tool or wrap his or her pointer fingers in a sterile, cotton disposable cloth on top of the gloves.

The extraction happens when either the tool or fingers apply pressure to opposite sides of the extraction site and a downward and inward massaging, milking-like motion is applied. If the skin has been properly prepared and the client’s skin is somewhat hydrated, the blackhead will emerge. It can be as long as a few millimeters in length, and sometimes even a centimeter or more. The purpose of removing blackheads is for a refined appearance of the skin and also to prevent the blackhead from possibly becoming a whitehead, or a pus-filled, closed comedone, commonly called a pimple. Once it evolves into the whitehead stage, your esthetician can no longer extract it.

After the deep cleansing extraction process, your esthetician may apply an astringent or bacteria-killing product like tea tree oil to the extracted area. Lavender essential oil may also be applied to calm and soothe the skin in some cases. The result is a fresh, clean complexion and a smooth skin surface.

If you are looking for a deep cleansing, transformative skincare experience, then make sure the next time you book a facial, you ask for extra time for extractions. They usually take about 15 to 20 minutes for a full, thorough extraction session on oilier skin types. This may reduce the time your esthetician can spend on the relaxing part of your facial like the hand and arm massage. Your esthetician will surely charge more for extra time during your facial, but it will be worth it!

Always Bring a Picture!

Salon Cartoon

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

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

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

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

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

Always bring a picture to the Salon

Makeup Artists Don’t Need to Wear Makeup

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

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

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

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

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

Teacher Spotlight: Ashley

As a student at Cinta Aveda Institute, one has so many expectations for their career after graduation. Whether working at a spa or salon, or owning your own, there are many directions you can take. Students often have peers or classmates within the industry, helping them to gain exposure and network.

We also have the fortune of having some of the best teachers within their field who are skillful at teaching techniques and modalities, both traditional and modern, that help students learn and cultivate their chosen area of expertise. Their one on one advice and tips, along with classroom demonstrations, expose students to new and exciting ways to enhance their skills.

Ashley is one of those teachers. A former student at Aveda, and a staff member of Cinta Salon, Ashley has a wealth of knowledge to share. I had the opportunity of asking Ashley a number of questions to help perspective and current students make the most out of their experience at Cinta Aveda and ways to help them prepare for a career in the Beauty Industry.

Why did you choose Cinta Aveda?
The beautiful institute, having two programs in one, was better than the other schools I looked at.
What was your area of study while at Cinta Aveda?
The Esthiology program.
How would you compare Cinta Aveda to other institutes?
Better education, more professional, most educated instructors, great products.
What was your focus?
Makeup, skin care, eye lash extensions and to become a well rounded Esthetician and get my license.
How did you develop your skills?
Practice and obtain employment teaching makeup and giving personal beauty advice to clients.
How would recommend a student make connections within the beauty industry?
Take classes wherever you can, network with peers, take free beauty classes at Sephora stores, look into Model Mayhem and network with good quality photographers, and stylists. Volunteer at the Academy of Art to obtain photos for your portfolio. Connect with social networks and promote your skills on LinkedIn.
Did Cinta Aveda help you make connections?
With peers, new clients, Academy of Art Fashion Institute, new opportunities at my current job within Sephora.
How did your connections help you after graduation?
Continue growth at the Cinta Aveda Institute and the Cinta Salon.
Are you still in touch with your classmates?
Yes, on Facebook and phone.
Were you able to build a portfolio while in school?
Yes, but I had one before I started school and I continue to build it.
How should one go about building a portfolio?
Trade for prints with photographers. Use Model Mayhem. Photograph your work. Get certificates and put them into your portfolio book.
When applying for jobs, is a portfolio necessary to show perspective employers?
Yes.
Did you extern while in school?
No I worked at Sephora and in cosmetics for 12 years prior to attending school.
What was your favorite part about attending Cinta Aveda?
Learning facials, waxing, and taking real clients.
Would you recommend Cinta Aveda to other perspective Estheticians?
Yes
What should a newly certified Esthetician expect when looking for a job within the industry?
It’s competitive. You may have to start out as a receptionist or apprentice for a while before they hire you on as an esthi. I had some places tell me I needed to have a year’s experience at the location before I could take clients there. Be ready for baby steps into a clientele and continue your education after school.
What would you suggest people do to give them the cutting edge when applying for work?
Have as many skills as possible for the environment where you want to work. Project a professional, positive, personable attitude and be flexible.
Is there anything you’d tell a prospective or attending student to make the most out of their experience at Cinta Aveda?
You’re only here once so make the most out of it. Learn as much as you can, and have fun, but take it seriously. Be nice to your instructors, because they are here to help you grow and become the best you can be.

Being in school opens doors for you in ways that you may not have expected. There may be opportunities in areas that you never considered, like working for a magazine, film, theater, or in a spa. Read trade publications, blogs, and take advantage of making connections at school. That will help to broaden your perspective or even change your career path.

Having access to the Cinta Aveda job board, externships, the creative team, and talking with instructors like Ashley are helpful ways to gain insight and experience you need to help you build your career.

Specializing vs. Generalizing in the Salon

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

Why would someone Specialize versus Generalize?

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

Girl Thinking

Why would someone Generalize versus Specialize?

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

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

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

An Interview with a Former Student

I first heard about the Cinta Aveda Institute from my current roommate, Nora Romick, who attended the Institute in 2013. She is one of the reasons I took a tour and decided to pursue a career in the Beauty Industry.

Nora graduated from the Cosmetology Program in July of 2013, and has since gone on to assist at many high profile salons here in San Francisco. Since Nora has been so successful I have decided to share her wisdom here on this very blog.

Why did you choose to attend Cinta Aveda Institute?
I toured a lot of schools—Marinello, Alameda Beauty College, and Paul Mitchell. I chose Cinta Aveda because of the flexible schedule, and the price was lower than many of the other schools. And I liked Aveda’s mission.
What was your favorite memory or experience while attending school?
Halloween. Because it’s always fun to dress up, and we got to do hair while in costume. One of my classmates did a grandma’s hair while in a hotdog suit. I dressed up as one of my teachers named Joel.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a job right out of school?
Interview at multiple salons because it’s hard to tell what a salon will really be like until you’re there. Extern as much as you can, and go to the Career Fairs. You meet so many salon owners.

From the Graduation Celebration of June 2013.

Why The Cinta Aveda Institute?

After working in corporate America for over 12 years, making a career change was not a decision I could take lightly. I was successful, had somewhat climbed the ladder, and was making a decent salary. However coming home every night and not having a feeling of fulfillment was eating at me more and more. Until one day about three years ago I randomly decided to look up schools in the Bay Area on Google and make appointments to view them and see exactly what it would take to attend.

Part of the reason I was hesitant in making my career change to follow my passion was due to the fear of the unknown. I was not satisfied at the end of the day with my current profession, and I definitely knew there was a void due to the lack of passion, but that didn’t take away the anxiety of the unknown.

The unfortunate thing is I never ended up going to school that year or the next or the next. My nerves go the best of me. The best way to say it is that I was scared. I was scared to drop everything I had worked so hard for: my career, my salary, the job I went through a ton of interviews to secure. However every day, month, and year that went by, I just kept wondering if I was making the wrong decision.

In 2014 I felt it, I knew it was my time. I live in Vallejo, CA and there isn’t much here in the way of beauty trade schools. I chose three schools in three different locations. All were locations I knew I could get to on a daily basis: Napa, Pleasant Hill, and San Francisco. I knew that San Francisco would be the most challenging but hey…why not? Plus it was Aveda, I have used their products for years. Cinta Aveda Institute was the one I was most interested in based on their website.

The Napa school was not my at all interesting and a huge disappointment especially since it was in my hometown. I did like the Pleasant Hill school and went through all the paperwork and application process and almost passed up on my Cinta Aveda tour. But something told me to move forward with it and I’m glad I did. The Cinta Aveda website absolutely portrayed the image that I got on my tour and the people I got to meet on my short journey at the institute that day. It was trendy, fun, full of life, pop culture, science, art and heart. It displayed a culture that the previous two schools could not match with the Student Salon and Spa.

The truly great thing is that when I went in to see the admissions counselor at the Cinta Aveda Institute she did her very best to help put all my worries to rest even though I myself wasn’t completely sure which directly I wanted to go in. I also went through paperwork and spoke with financial aid that day and knew that this was going to be my institute. I should be behind those red bricks getting my Aveda education.

After our tour we spend a good chunk of time going over the several professions and doors that I will have opened for me as an Esthetician, and where and who I could work: Makeup Artist, cosmetics company (Mac or Benefit), working with burn victims, salon/spa, hotel/resort, wax specialist, educator…and the list goes on from here. So after our appointment—and yes that was the same day I signed my contract—I had a new challenge. Admissions was so sweet and had me enrolled in the next Esthiology class, and I got the last spot. What was is it I wanted to specialize in?

I have always had a love for makeup, so I sort of knew I would love to deal with makeup. I also am obsessed with my brows and making sure they are absolutely perfect. But would that same desire filter through to what I want to do for work? Well, surprisingly enough, it did. Now that I’m more than halfway through, with what I call one of the best decisions I’ve made to date, I realized that one of the things I excel at are brow waxes and eye makeup. I am also amazing at being able to provide a fantastic facial. This is not to say that I do not have a ton to learn—don’t we all?

I have not decided exactly where I’d like to work after school, but I still have a little bit of time left. I’m confident I will have made that decision when it is time to graduate. The great thing is that I’m in a great position. I have too many options rather than not enough. That is just another perk of such a great industry!

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 Beauty of Makeup

The purpose of makeup is to transform the face to appear more beautiful to other people. It is used for people to look more presentable by covering up redness, patchy and uneven skin tones, and to accentuate the best features of a person’s face, like their eyes or lips, for example. In turn, since one’s appearance to the outside world is improved, makeup helps to boost one’s self-esteem. However, if makeup is applied in a way that draws too much attention to an unattractive scar or neglects to cover up a blemish, it can have the opposite effect and detract from one’s appearance. For this reason, a good makeup artist knows how to enhance the best features of any person’s face. Some main points to consider when applying makeup:

  1. The Consultation: A good makeup artist needs to know the occasion for which the makeup is being applied. Daytime makeup is much more subtle and has a lighter application than makeup for a nighttime event. To choose the appropriate color palette, the makeup artist also needs to know the color of the clothing that will be worn for the occasion.
  2. Preparation: Practicing proper sanitation methods in station set-up is key—no one will return to a makeup artist who uses dirty brushes and equipment, or who does not wash their hands before applying makeup. Also, understanding a client’s skin type and properly prepping their skin, whether oily or dry, is very important before applying makeup. It is so important to start with a clean canvas! Cleansing the face of any oily buildup or old makeup is important as a first step. Applying the best toner and moisturizer for a client’s skin will allow for a smooth makeup application.
  3. The Application: Apply a primer and then foundation as the first step. There should not be a line of demarcation between the makeup and the client’s skin on their neck, so be sure to blend, blend, blend until there is a gorgeous flow from face to neck. After the foundation, apply bronzer, if desired, and some blush to the apples of the cheeks. A light dusting of translucent powder will do two things: It will help set the foundation and blush, and also give a nice matte or glowing finish, depending on the powder used. Next, apply eye shadow, eye liner, and mascara, always taking into account the client’s eye shape and color. The finishing touch will be a lipstick or gloss that either subtlety complements the eyes, or perhaps, by using a richer lip color and liner, is the main feature that is highlighted on the face.
  4. The Presentation: After the makeup is applied, hand a clean and lovely mirror to your guest to see their glowing and transformed new look! The beauty of makeup is that it is temporary. If your guest is unhappy with their new look, simply remove the makeup and start over.

Have fun! Applying makeup should be a fun and creative process for the makeup artist and their client, so get out there and have a blast!

The Importance of Customized Salon Hair Color

Good Hair ColorIn the age of Pinterest and Instagram, it’s hard to tell if the hair you’re looking at in a picture is gorgeous because someone went to a genius colorist, or if it’s gorgeous because someone likes to go a little heavy on the photo filters.

You can guarantee breathtaking hair color for yourself by going to an experienced colorist who takes pride in the art they create on the canvas that is your hair.

If you’ve ever been to a hair salon before, there’s no doubt you’ve heard stylists talking about how awful drug store hair color can be for you hair. It’s not an unfounded claim! Drug store hair color is something you have to hope works. I just feel like you should know your hair color is going to look the way you want it to, not just hope that it does. The only way to absolutely guarantee that 90% of the time is to get your color at the salon.

There is no knowing the exact amount of hydrogen and ammonia being used in store-bought hair color. When you get a color service done at the salon, however, they can tell you the exact amounts of all ingredients being used. This is essential information if you know that you have allergies, or are particularly sensitive to certain chemicals commonly used in any artificial hair color.

Health and safety benefits aside, it’s important to get your color services done at a salon because of the quality of the experience. If you want to look like you have expensive hair color, but only want to pay $7.00, you’re going to go walking around looking like you have seven dollar hair. Most people don’t trust themselves to cut their own hair if they know that they don’t know the science behind hair cutting. Why should hair color be treated any differently?

Leave the hair coloring to the people who know it best!

Indie Cosmetics

The majority of makeup brands you find commercially can be traced back to just a handful of umbrella companies. Makeup tends to use the same ingredients so it’s not unusual to notice similar results and ideas across brands.

An alternative to this is to seek out small independent cosmetics companies. The indies are taking off in this culture of easy online marketing and social media. They occasionally have a small presence in shop displays or sell at craft or trade fairs, but the majority of indie business is done online.

These cosmetics are often handmade—not made in mass batches—and are always cruelty-free. Small companies can’t afford the expense of animal testing anyway. Many indie companies are vegan or offer information about any animal ingredients they may contain.

It’s a requirement for all U.S. cosmetics that they have their ingredients listed somewhere—often on their website. If they don’t, beware.

It’s nice to support a small business instead of a big corporation, and the people in the indie cosmetics world tend to be a community of people who have a real passion for makeup and beauty. If you worry about the accountability and quality of these products, look up reviews. They should be easy to find on social media, blogs, and review sites. These companies are also relatively easy to personally contact with any questions through email or social media.

Often beauty blogs are a good resource to find hidden gems. Etsy can be a great place to find these businesses as are Pinterest and Instagram. Indie makeup can be a lot of fun and open up a whole new world beyond the usual cosmetics counter.