Benefits of Waxing

Brazilian Wax Bikini Area

From the start of my program, I’ve fallen more and more in love with my career choice. I’ve always been interested in the beauty industry from makeup and skin care to aesthetics and reconstructive surgery. I’ve always been fascinated on how seemingly little changes can make a big difference to a person.

But now, I’ve found a new love for waxing especially Brazilians. I first started with shaving. Big mistake. Thinking about it now makes me cringe. Once I started waxing I noticed how nice, smooth, and silky it leaves my skin, along with the reduction of hair growth. It also exfoliates your skin which can lighten the area you are waxing.

Benefits of waxing:

  1. It gives you smooth, silky skin that lasts
  2. No skin damage, if done by a professional that knows what they’re doing
  3. Finer hair
  4. Double function of both hair removal and exfoliation
  5. Diminishes hair growth
  6. Best of all, it is long-lasting: three to eight weeks depending on the individual’s speed of hair growth.

For first-time waxers, it is going to be a little painful due to the depilation of shaving. From shaving, your root tends to be a deep and thick bulb. As long as you stick to waxing religiously, you will be fine. From the first service, you will notice the difference in your skin texture and the reduction of hair growth.

Aveda Comforting Tea

Aveda Comforting Tea

I thoroughly enjoy Aveda’s comforting tea.

Ever since I started as a student in the Alpha phase, I’ve been drinking a cup at home at least three times a week. It has this sweet root taste that soothes the throat and stomach.

The tea bags are licorice root and peppermint-infused. The licorice gives it that smooth earthy and smoky note, while the peppermint gives it a refreshing and cooler sensation, creating a perfect blend to calm me down.

The peppermint herb is known to be a great way to calm and sooth any stomach discomfort. Peppermint also has many immune system benefits, carrying multiple vital vitamins to the body. Sometimes I rub peppermint oil on my stomach or I’ll just use the herb in a tea bag to make a pure hot peppermint drink.

Licorice root has a long list of benefits. It helps menstrual cramps, gastric issues, and skin problems. Many Aveda skin products have licorice extract which helps with disorders such as rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Licorice extract is anti-inflammatory, which can be especially helpful for treating skin rashes and swelling.

Anyone who feels stressed, or just needs a soothing drink, should definitely try this tea. It doesn’t just keep you cool, calm, and collected, but it also tastes really good!

Biohazards in Skin Products

Biohazard Symbol

Here is a list of some common, harmful ingredients that can be found in skin care products.

  1. Phthalates
    (pronounced f-THAL-lates)

    These are added to plastics to make them flexible. They are also used as lubricants in products. They can be found in perfume, hair spray, deodorant, almost anything fragranced, nail polish, insect repellent, carpeting, vinyl flooring, the coating on wires and cables, shower curtains, raincoats, plastic toys, and your car’s steering wheel, dashboard, and gearshift. They are responsible for that “new car” smell.

    Why are they bad?

    Phthalates are known to disrupt hormones, especially in men. They have been linked with many sexual developmental and birth defects.

    Recommendation

    In cosmetics, opt for natural perfumes. Look for products that do not contain synthetic fragrance since most all synthetic fragrance contains phthalates. Instead, try products that are scented with essential oils or are specifically labeled “phthalate-free.”

  2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (also called SLS)

    Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant in most products, meaning that it reduces the surface tension between the product and your skin. In many products, it is the foaming agent, which makes it popular for use in toothpaste, shampoos, facial, and body cleansers.

    Why are they bad?

    Although the evidence is controversial, there are many documented links between SLS and cancer.

  3. Parabens

    Parabens are chemical preservatives added to many products to increase shelf life.

    Why are they bad?

    Parabens mimic estrogen in the body, making them endocrine disruptors. While controversy surrounds a 2004 study where parabens were found in breast tumors, many scientists believe that parabens are a known carcinogen, especially when applied directly to the skin. Parabens are easily absorbed and enter our bloodstream intact. This results in a higher probability that they may affect hormonal function.

Coffee Beauty Benefits

Coffee Cup and Beans

I’ve been drinking coffee for more years than I can remember. A good cup of coffee is what most of us prefer to jumpstart the day. Recent studies suggest that we can gloat about the health benefits of that morning cup of joe, too. Coffee can reduce stress and make you smarter!

But did you know that there are coffee beauty benefits worth noting too?. Coffee is packed with antioxidants that can prevent premature aging. And some research suggests coffee can decrease your risk of skin cancer. Here are three beauty benefits of coffee:

  • It gets rid of puffy eyes. Caffeine helps to reduce swelling and irritation. Rather than drinking coffee, applying eye creams that contain caffeine is best, because topical treatments target this skincare problem faster.
  • It temporarily minimizes the appearance of cellulite. Unfortunately, the skin-firming effects will only last for about three hours.
  • It exfoliates dry skin making it silky smooth. While coffee beans may be a bit too harsh to use on your face, using a homemade scrub made out of coffee bean grounds is a safer option for exfoliating the body.

Curly Hair Love

Woman with Curly Hair

Having naturally curly hair can seem like the biggest blessing and the biggest curse all on the same day. I’ve been a natural curly gal my whole life, but I haven’t always been accepting or knowledgeable of my wild and unruly main. I remember struggling with my big frizzy hair as a child to the point of tears, never wanting to wear it down out of fear of being unable to tame it afterward. It wasn’t until I was about 14-years-old that I began to embrace my natural locks and attempt to learn how to “train” my hair. Every curly head’s curl pattern is unique and special to them, some are frizzier, kinkier, wavier, looser, or wilder than others, but all are beautiful. It took years of trial and error to find a great daily routine, but I finally got it down and offer it to all curly heads to try on their own:

  1. I shampoo once a week, and condition every other day using the Curl Perfection line by Pantene Pro-V, then towel dry a bit using a Turbie Towel. All of these products can be bought at any Target or Wal-Mart.
  2. I apply oil to my scalp and ends of my hair, constantly rotating the type of oil I use to make sure my skin and hair don’t get “too used to” any one particular product. My top three pure oils of choice are olive oil, Moroccan argan oil, and tea tree oil. There are many different manufacturers of these essential oils and I’ve been open to try them all. I usually find them at any Target, Wal-Mart, beauty supply store, or the beauty aisle of any local drug store like Walgreens or CVS.
  3. I use Moroccan Oil brand Curl Defining Crème throughout my entire head. I separate my hair into five parts—two on the back half of my head, two on the front sides of my head, and one section at the crown—and work two pumps of product carefully through each part, separating my curls as I go to really add long-term definition. This crème is a bit harder to find than the other products because not all beauty supply stores carry the brand, but I find mine at a chain of beauty supply stores in the East Bay called Beauty Center.
  4. I apply a handful of gel over the already defined curls in three sections—the crown being one, and the rest of my hair parted down the middle into two sections. I use a really inexpensive gel—less than $5 at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and CVS—called LA Looks Sports Gel. I’ve used other gels throughout the years when stores are out of LA Looks and I need gel, and usually, any maximum hold gel will suffice. Tip: LA Looks Sports Gel is blue so I tend to get whichever other blue gel is available when I need a substitute.

Now I understand that what works for me might not necessarily work for all curl types, but I would definitely recommend trying all the products I mention here to every single curly-haired beauty to see what results you get. My curls are always soft, tight, bouncy, and defined for days when I complete my routine. My hair has never looked healthier or more beautiful, and that’s my wish for all my curly-haired brethren around the world.

About Sun Protection

Sun Rays Diagram

The Summer is almost over and we’re heading into Winter. Why do I need to worry about Sun protection?

The sun exposes us to two different types of radiation:

  • UVA (Aging Rays)
    • Makes up most of our UV ray exposure
    • Longer wavelength, which means it penetrates deeper into the skin
    • Main ray for tanning and aging
  • UVB (Burning Rays)
    • Can burn year-round
    • Shorter wavelength, which means more visible damage to skin
    • Main ray for sunburns, redness, and skin cancer

The Effects of Sun Damage

  • Fine lines/wrinkles
  • Dark spots/uneven skin tone
  • Sun burns
  • Darkens acne spots and prolongs fading
  • Skin cancer and melanoma

When choosing a sunscreen, consider the following:

  • Physical: Deflects/ blocks rays from the skin and is very stable. This type of sunscreen usually leaves a white cast over skin. Ingredients to look for in a physical sunscreen are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.
  • Chemical: Absorbs rays to prevent penetration, generally stable though some chemical sunscreens are not, and usually does not leave white cast over skin. Ingredients to look for in a chemical sunscreen are avobenzone, oxybenzone, helioplex, mexoryl, uvinul, homosalate, octisalate, and octylcrylene.
  • Mixture: Mix of both physical and chemical sunscreens and leaves minimal white cast. Ingredients to look for in a mixture of both would be a combination of either type of sunscreen.

How much SPF is appropriate?

  • Make sure to apply a sunscreen with the SPF of at least 30!
  • Make sure to apply enough! At least ¼ teaspoon for face and neck and about 1 ounce for body
  • Reapply often. UV rays are the strongest from 12 pm to 4 pm. Make sure to reapply every two hours.

Style Strut: The Long Bob

Woman with Bob Cut

One of the most popular cuts being requested in salons today is a Long Bob, or Lob for short. Women are looking for a style that is easy to maintain but still gives them some length to play with. Whether you’re currently rocking an awesome lob and looking for a few different styles to mix up your styling routine, or are considering joining the lob mob, here are a few lob styling suggestions to get you through to your next shampoo from a fellow lob mob member.

Straight and Sleek

This is a great way to start your three-day style strut. Starting with wet hair, apply a heat protectant all over your damp strands and lightly brush through. Aveda’s Brilliant Damage Control is a great product as it is suited for all hair types, protects against thermal damage, reduces breakage from combing and helps to protect from UV Damage.

Next, grab your handy dandy blow dryer and a paddle brush. Flip your head over and as you blow-dry your hair, brush your hair against your scalp—this is called flat wrapping. To create more volume at your roots, brush the hair in the opposite direction of that which it falls. If you have fine to medium hair this should take no more than ten minutes to get your hair dry. If you have a natural wave or curl to your hair, make sure that you are using a lot of tension with your brush as you are flat wrapping your hair to really get that wave pattern straight.

Once your hair is completely dry, plug in your flat iron—I usually like to wait until after blow-drying to plug my hot tool in, so that I can get a little break from the heat and apply my makeup. When your hot tool is ready, grab small sections of hair starting at your nape and, working upwards, lightly graze over the mids and ends of your hair to finish your sleek and straight style. If you have any fly aways, be sure to smooth down with a finishing product like Aveda’s Light Elements Smoothing Fluid.

Beachy Waves

In the spirit of the late summer, what’s a better style than sun-kissed, wind-swept, beach inspired waves? Begin with a one-inch barrel curling iron or wand. As the curling iron (or wand) is heating up, lightly dust your hair with a light hold hair spray like Aveda’s Air Control. Once your iron is ready, begin by loosely wrapping random sections of your hair around the barrel of your iron. Be sure to wrap the sections in different directions so that there is more movement and irregularity to the overall style. When done, lightly mist with another spurt of light hold hair spray. To add definition to the ends, smooth on a small amount of Aveda’s Light Elements Defining Whip.

Baby Got Bun

Using a brush, pull your hair back into a ponytail that sits on the crown of your head. Using the tail of a rat tail crown, loosely pull the hair around your hair line forward to create a little lift and to help avoid making this style look too done. Pull your ponytail straight up and using your rat tail comb or a brush, depending on tight you want your base to be, backcomb your pony so it is nice and full, it should almost resemble a tuft of cotton candy. Next, beginning at the front of your pony, begin to sweep the hair around itself from right to left to create your bun. Secure with bobby pins or hairpins as you work your way around, creating a nice, full, and fluffy bun. Spray the bun with a firm hold hair spray such as Aveda’s Control Force, then lightly spray the rest of your hair with a light hold hair spray and smooth down any fly aways.

The Last Three Steps

Aveda Botanical Kinetics

During our morning skincare routine, how many of us run out of time and rush out the door? ME Do you sometimes cut out the last steps of your routine? I’m here today to tell you to stop doing that! The last three steps—toning, serum, and moisturizer—are essential to the rest of your day.

  • Toning

    Toning is incredibly important to the last two steps. When cleansing, the skin becomes alkaline. This is good because it allows the skin to be thoroughly cleansed. However, if the skin is too alkaline for too long it can cause problems. The skins natural pH ranges from 4-5.5 and sometimes 6. The skin needs to be slightly acidic to fight off bacteria and to keep the natural acid mantle healthy. Toner helps return the skin to an acidic state. It also helps serum and moisturizer absorb better into the skin.

  • Serum

    Serum is your best friend if you don’t like too many steps in your skincare routine. It has the most concentrated ingredients. Especially when paired with a good toner, serum can penetrate the skin well. This will deliver the ingredients deeper into your skin and keep them working for you all day.

  • Moisturizer

    Moisturizers are also important to keep your skin healthy and balanced. If your skin is too dry, it can cause excess oil, and leave your skin open to bacteria. Moisturizers don’t have to be super thick or have complex ingredients, but they do need to have ingredients that work for your skin type. Dry skin may need something with more oils and butters, whereas oily skin needs ingredients like aloe vera and those which are lightly hydrating.

I know you’re super busy, but don’t skip these important steps.

Making Waves—Fingerwaves

Woman with platinum blonde hair in fingerwaves style.

Fingerwaves are a glamorous look that is timeless. It’s perfect for that special occasion: a wedding, costume party, or even a night out on the town. The hairstyle that was popular from the 1920s through the 1940s has been making a comeback in recent years, with some modern twists to update this classic look.

Fingerwaves can be difficult at first but, once you get the waving motion with your comb and fingers, you’ll be fingerwaving like a champ in no time. There are countless tutorials out there on this look which can be achieved with either a wet set—the old fashioned way, using gel and setting lotion—or with a hard set, which involves a curling iron. I’m going to explain how to achieve this look with a curling iron, which is a bit quicker because you don’t have to wait for the hair to dry.

  • Start with a clean side part that starts behind the arch of the eyebrow. Section ear to ear, creating two side panels.
  • Curl the hair vertically in sections no wider than the barrel of your curling iron, but roughly twice as tall.
  • Alternate curling towards the face and away from the face with every row—this encourages the hair into that S-shape pattern.
  • Use a workable hairspray as you curl, such as Air Control.
  • Curl the rest of the hair in the same way, continuing to alternate the direction of the curl.
  • Hard set the curls and allow them to cool completely.
  • Now use a Mason Pearson brush to brush out the curls. Don’t worry about brushing away the curls; they will stay. You want to make sure the hair is thoroughly detangled, otherwise, it will be difficult to form your waves.
  • Using your comb, begin carving your c-shape wave in whatever direction the hair wants to go. Take your time and be patient. A weaving comb can be helpful here.
  • Use the metal end to drag the hair into a more dramatic “C” shape.
  • When you have the wave you desire, use a duckbill clip to hold it in place. Between each wave there is a ridge, use your fingers to hold the ridge, and move on to the next wave, which will be a c-shape in the opposite direction.
  • Move downward from the parting until you have completed the side panel and repeat on the other side of parting.
  • Use a strong hairspray like Control Force to hold your style into place.
  • I like to use the barrel of my curling iron on either side of the ridge to accentuate it and lock it into place.
  • When the hair has cooled completely, give it one last mist with Brilliant Spray on Shine for a nice glossy finish.

Now you have a beautiful fingerwave style!

Ways to Prevent Hair Loss

Human Hair under Electron Scanning Microscope

Did you know breakage is the most common reason for hair loss? Using the wrong brushes, hair products, combs, or hair accessories can really take a toll on your precious hair strands. Simple steps like choosing the right products for your hair-type can result in longer-lasting breakage-free locks of hair. Here are some other tips which may help.

  • Don’t Scratch

    When people scratch their scalp they’re actually scratching their hair which can lead to breakage. If you have dandruff try an anti-dandruff shampoo.

  • Be Gentle with Longer Hair

    Longer hair is actually more fragile, especially at the ends since its the oldest part of the strand. Don’t yank or pull on it; get a trim more often.

  • Avoid Over-Coloring and Bleaching

    Getting your hair colored often weakens it and can lead to over processing. Know your hair’s limits and don’t overdo it.

  • Use Less Heat

    Skip the blow dryer every other day and only use a flat iron or curling iron a couple of times a week. Watch the temperature you’re using. Typically you don’t want to go over 320° degrees. For finer hair, go even lower.

  • Be Careful with Tight Ponytails and Clips

    If used improperly, these accessories can cause breakage and even snag on your hair.

  • Check Your Shampoo

    Using a damage repair shampoo can help repair the damage. Use low sulfate or sulfate free since sulfates strip your hair of its natural oils. You can opt for a more natural brand like Aveda. Skip the shampoo every couple of days—over washing can leave hair dry and damaged which can also cause breakage.