Smooth Infusion

Aveda Smooth Infusion Product Line

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

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

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

Beauty Hacks Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

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

  • Toner

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

  • Dandruff Relief

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

  • Hair Pop

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

  • Foot Soak

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

  • Mouthwash

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

  • Stained Nails

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

  • Bug Bites

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

  • Purifying Bath

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

Working While In School

Work School Balance

As a CIDESCO student, my life revolves around going to class three days a week for eleven hours and keeping up with my studies.

About halfway through my CIDESCO program, I chose to apply to a few spas near my home and see what was out there for a newly licensed esthetician. I was fortunate enough to get a position as a part-time employee at a spa and work three days a week there.

There are pros and cons to getting a job while still in school. With only one day off a week, I have learned a lot about time management.

The great thing is the experience. I have learned so much having this job, from different skin types, to working with new products, to different waxing techniques. And I’ve been building a clientele.

It has not been an easy ride, and I have had some setbacks. I haven’t had a lot of time to relax, and I’ve had to stay up late to finish my workbooks. But if I had to do it all over again, I’d have still chosen to get a job.

It has been a great learning tool and has helped me significantly in school. I’ve been working with other estheticians and clients. After all, most of us want to become amazing estheticians and getting some hands-on experience while getting paid isn’t too bad either.

When people appreciate what you have done for them, it is a very satisfying feeling.

Avoiding Cosmetic Acne

Woman Applying Makeup with Brush

Cosmetic acne is caused or exacerbated by cosmetic products for skin or hair. It can be unsightly and a bother to get rid of. Here are some tips and tricks to help lessen the problem.

When you can, keep your hair off of your face, shoulders, and back. This helps keep the product combined with your hair’s natural oils from clogging your skin’s pores.

When you are in the shower, wash your face, shoulders, and back after you’ve washed your hair. This keeps the hair products that you’ve used from sitting on the skin and clogging the pores.

Sleep with a new t-shirt or towel on your pillow every night. This helps keep a buildup of product and dead skin cells from irritating and clogging your pores.

If you wear makeup, wash your face every night to get it off. If you would also like to focus on skin issues, double cleansing is a great way to fully remove makeup and also treat skin imperfections.

Wash things like beauty blenders after every use. They absorb a large amount of product when used and need to be kept clean so that they will not add dirty makeup and bacteria to your face each time they are used.

Wash cosmetic brushes once a week.

Give your skin time to breathe. During that day when your brushes are drying, try to wear minimal makeup and less hair product to give your hair and skin oxygen. This break is good for your skin as it gives it a break from the cycle of wearing makeup and other products and then stripping it all off later.

Choose a Haircut that Flatters Your Face

Face Shapes

The shape of your face is an important factor to consider when choosing a haircut that flatters your features.

There are six basic face shapes: oval, oblong, round, square, heart, and diamond. In order to identify your face shape, it helps to push all the hair away from your face and hold it back in a towel or hair tie. Read on to identify your face shape.

  • Oval, considered the ideal face shape, gracefully tapers to the chin with a wider forehead and pronounced cheekbones.
  • Oblong also gracefully tapers towards the chin. The features are elongated and there may be a prominent chin.
  • Round faces have almost the same width as length. They are widest at the cheeks.
  • Square faces have almost an equal width of forehead, cheekbones, and jawline. The jaw is pronounced and square.
  • Heart shaped faces taper strongly toward the chin, which tends to be pointy. The forehead may be wide.
  • Diamond shapes are angular and widest at the temples. Diamond is the least common face shape.

Now that you’ve determined your face shape, let’s talk about which type of haircut may suit you!

  • Round faces can pull off asymmetrical cuts with a mix of different lengths. Side swept fringe with a deep side part also flatter round face shapes. Textured, long-ish bobs that hit below the jawline are also flattering. Long layers and triangular bobs are classic, A+ looks.
  • Oval faces can get away with the super short baby bangs that are trending now; keep them pieced and textured. Oval faces can also support blunt, straight across bangs.
  • Oblong faces look nice with a blunt fringe which hits at the brows. This breaks up the face so it doesn’t look as long. Oblong faces can work with a center part, adding some beachy textured waves to soften the look.
  • Square faces are complemented by a textured bob that hits at the jawline, which softens the overall shape. A shaggy cut with short layers also softens a square shape. Longer hair with a part down the middle will draw attention away from the jaw. Try adding some soft waves below the ears or keep it sleek for a refined look.
  • Heart-shaped faces can benefit from a bob with lots of volume just below the jaw, this de-emphasizes a pointy chin. A deep side part will also bring out the eyes; try pairing with a pixie cut for an elegant look.
  • Diamond-shaped faces can look very narrow when there is too much hair around them. With fringe, stick to a side-swept style. Diamond-shaped faces look great in sleek, pulled back styles, or hair half pulled back away from the face. Layers are a diamond-shaped face’s best friend: they soften the look and open up the face.

Hair Tricks

Woman Brushes Her Hair

I have discovered a few tricks along my path towards Cosmetology that I have found to be very useful. I’ve shared them with my guests and they come back asking for more.

  • A bit of eyeshadow can cure a little thinness.

    Using eyeshadow that’s in the same family as your hair color, dust slightly along your scalp’s part. This makes your hair appear thicker and fuller. It can cover up unwanted bald spots.

  • To create some texture in a pinch.

    Make a salt spray with seltzer water and a teaspoon of sea salt.

    Braid your hair, wet it with the salt spray, then run a hot iron over it to make quick, imperfect waves. This is my favorite for getting beach waves.

  • Apply mascara to conceal the regrowth of grays.

    This is a sure temporary hide that can be used between visits to the salon.

  • Bangs to braids?

    Bangs to braids are an easy trick when you’re growing them out or wanting a little change to the shape of your face. Just braid the bangs along your hairline and bobby pin them in place.

  • Blot away oily scalp.

    In a similar way that you’d use blotting paper to remove excess oil on your skin, you can blot away oil from your hair and scalp. In a pinch, grab a clean toilet seat cover from the restroom and blot your hair instead. Usually made of similar material to blotting paper, they can help you soak up that excess oil.

Benefits of Serums

Serum applied to a woman's face.

Serums differ from creams or lotions by what isn’t in them. Serums leave out occlusive (airtight) moisturizing ingredients such as petrolatum or mineral oil that keep water from evaporating. They also contain fewer lubricating and thickening agents such as nut or seed oils. Most serums are water-based, eliminating oils altogether.

Serums also have a smaller molecule, which means that it penetrates much more deeply than creams and lotions can.

If you want to brighten the skin, brightening serums will definitely get the job done. They penetrate deeply into the skin where melanin is produced.

Serums are useful to diminish the appearance of acne, and can help reduce the pigmentation appearance of sun damage.

Serums are very beneficial for your skin regimen. The good thing about serums is that there are so many different kinds that each have specific targets and can treat areas of trouble. Also, serums help moisturize the skin and having dehydrated skin is not a good look.

Here are some benefits of using a serum:

  • Serums have a better anti-aging benefits the longer you use them.
  • Serums can target areas of specific concern.
  • Serums help with hydrating the skin and locking in hydration as they are water-based.
  • Serums have high concentrations of vitamins C and E.
  • Serums are beneficial for people that have oily or acne prone skin.
  • Serums help regulate oil production.

Say Goodbye to Brassy Tones

Aveda Blue Malva Conditioner

Let me tell you: for us brunettes trying to maintain cool or neutral tones in our blonde locks, the struggle is real.

I have been using Aveda’s Blue Malva Color Conditioner since I transitioned into a level nine neutral blonde in hopes to fight the brassiness that always finds its way back into my hair’s tone. I had been using it once a week in the shower, leaving it on for at least five minutes when possible. To my disappointment, I was finding little to no results when using the Blue Malva this way so I decided to try a different approach.

I applied the conditioner on my hair when it was dry, rather than in the shower. After leaving on my hair for around ten to fifteen minutes, I hopped in the shower and shampooed and conditioned as normal. Not only was I able to successfully eliminate the brassiness where my blonde balayage meets my natural pigmented hair, but I was also able to achieve a beautiful ash tone blonde that will provide more longevity for my overall tone.

Aveda’s Blue Malva Color Conditioner is an absolute must-have for anyone fighting to maintain gorgeous brass-free color between trips to the salon. Not only does it neutralize brassy tones, but it also deep conditions your hair while leaving it lightweight and manageable.

Dealing with Rosacea

Cheek Displaying Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic but very common skin condition. Cheeks, nose, chin, eyelids, or forehead become inflamed and red, often with small, red, pus-filled bumps. On some cases skin gets coarser and thicker with a bumpy texture.

Although rosacea can occur in anyone, it tends to be more common in middle-aged women and those with fair skin. If left untreated, it tends to worsen over time. It is also important to know that sometimes it can be confused with acne and, if treated in the wrong way, it can lead to a worse problem.

While there is no cure or proven cause, rosacea can be controlled by avoiding certain triggers:

  • Spicy foods
  • Very hot or very cold showers
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Extreme exercise
  • Stress
  • Sun Exposure
  • Hot foods and beverages
  • Some drugs such as cortisone

Natural Remedies for Rosacea

  • Licorice is a very strong anti-inflammatory. Look for this naturally sourced ingredient on over the counter rosacea ointments or creams.
  • Rosehip seed oil strengthens distended capillaries and reduces redness of the skin due to its astringent qualities.
  • Chamomile , applied in cold compresses, is a terrific anti-inflammatory and skin soother.
  • The feverfew herb in capsule form can be used as an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for rosacea or severe acne.
  • Tea tree oil is a potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Be sure to make a patch test before using it because it’s strong and doesn’t work for everyone.

To minimize rosacea symptoms, avoid the above triggers, protect your face using sunscreen, manage stress levels, eat a proper diet, try out some of the above natural remedies, and use products indicated for sensitive skin: no harsh ingredients, colorants, and perfumes.

If you experience signs of rosacea, see your doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment.

Why is Vitamin C Important?

Orange and Vitamin C

Time and again, we hear beauty experts praise vitamin C. You probably know that it prevents scurvy—the disease that afflicted sailors on long sea voyages without sources of vitamin C—and you might have heard Linus Pauling’s controversial theory that it helps prevent the common cold. There’s only one catch though—your body doesn’t store or accumulate it. That’s why daily intake is important.

But why do beauty experts feel it is so important for your skin, hair, and nails? Here are some of vitamin C’s beauty benefits:

Skin Benefits

Vitamin C is responsible for creating and maintaining collagen. Specifically, this antioxidant strengthens blood vessels and helps give skin its elasticity. For a vitamin C-rich face mask, blend one kiwi and a half-cup of papaya, and apply the mixture to your face for about five minutes.

Hair Health

Vitamin C works to help grow and strengthen hair. To do so, blend a partially-boiled sweet potato, a half-cup of gooseberries, a few strawberries, and half of a small red bell pepper until you get a creamy smooth mixture. Then apply it to your scalp and hair. Leave the mask on for 15 to 25 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.

Nail Health

Because vitamin C strengthens nails and helps them grow, it can help prevent hangnails. Ingesting vitamin C is the best route for nail health, so remember, since your body doesn’t store vitamin C, you have to eat citrus fruits often.