Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Christmas Chemical Adventure

Did you ever do something without really considering how things might play out?  I had one of those moments last week. I got a chemical peel. I got a chemical peel the week of CHRISTMAS. My class was certified in chemical peels the week before, and when Miss. Kellie asked for a volunteer for a demonstration on Tuesday evening, I jumped at the chance. I suppose the thought of getting a free $90 service did an override on my better judgment. But hey! Instead of sulking about how terrible my 2010 Christmas pictures would look for years to come, I decided to document my ignorance and share all the “flaky” details with you.  For those of you that have ever wondered what happens after a chemical peel, prepare to be enlightened - -with photographs no less. All these pics here where taken with the same camera, and no retouching.

The big question - Does it hurt? We’ve talked about this some in previous posts. Most of the time - yes. It depends upon how aggressive your peel is. Mine hurt, but it was completely tolerable - I never got above a 6-7 tingle factor. The chemical peel we used isn't considered an aggressive peel (like one done at a plastic surgeon or dermatologist's office). I had three layers done, which means that the chemical solution was applied three times before we called it quits (the max for this peel is 4 layers).  When we were done, my face was shining like a new penny - - literally. Everyone in class commented on how the light was reflecting off of my forehead. It was red, shiny, and tight - - like a sunburn. Here’s a pic of my face that evening after I got home.
Red faced and shining.

The next day my face was just as shiny. The skin was so tight that you couldn’t see even a faint wrinkle in my forehead. My pores were non-existent. It was like I had turned back time and was looking at 18 year old Rita again - - except for the redness and warmth of my skin. My face almost felt like it had a temperature. I needed absolutely no makeup on my face, nor did I want any. There was a slight sting when I touched it, so I only used a little eye makeup that day.

The next day was different. My face was still tight, but when I got out of the shower I noticed the tiniest flake of skin on my chin. I pointed it out to my dear husband and said, “I thought maybe I wouldn’t peel, but I've got a little flake here and there.” We prepared to start our drive home for Christmas, and decided to stop around lunchtime to grab a bite to eat. As I was eating my Arby’s market fresh sandwich, I felt a strange tightness in my face every time I took a bite. I glanced at my husband a couple of times and asked him if I was peeling and he replied, “It’s not that bad.”

Before we left Arby’s I decided to check it out myself. I walked into the bathroom and took a glance in the mirror. The tiny flake was gone, but the skin on both sides of my face around my mouth had separated and sheets of skin were dangling like Christmas tinsel. Not that bad? Not that bad?! How long had I sat there munching on my sandwich with skin hanging? I know the rules - - no picking at the skin after a chemical peel. I quickly took my hands and brushed away as much of the yucky skin as I could (with still being able to claim that I hadn't picked it), and I bolted from the bathroom straight out the door to the car. That’s where I paused to take these pictures of what was left.
Thursday around noon.

All I have to say about the next two days is…. thank God I have family that loves me through beauty school. Ha ha! I peeled Thursday and Friday. Thursday evening and Friday AM was the worst. By Saturday most of my peeling was over.
Thursday evening after sloughing away as much as I could.
Would I do it again? – absolutely. I plan to in about another six weeks. The peel I did was for fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and refining pores. My biggest success from this peel was seeing the four small spots of hyperpigmentation on my right cheek diminish. They'd been there for months. My classmates (who know my skin just as well as I do at this point) have all commented that the one peel improved them. I’d say with two more peels, they will probably be gone altogether.
5 days post chemical peel
So, while I don’t recommend a chemical peel over the Christmas holidays, I do think you’ll feel festive when it's all over (regardless of when you choose to get one). The best advice I can give you is to know what to expect and don't freak out over it! Inserting a little laughter into the situation only helps. Oh, and when your husband tells you it’s not that bad, you’ll probably want to check the mirror anyway.

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,

Rita

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

5 THINGS I HATE TO ADMIT ABOUT THE SUN


I was 16 years old and I needed a tan. All the cool kids were tanning. Their moms were even paying for it. My mom was the fuddy-duddy that stood her ground and refused to contribute to my premature aging and cell mutation.

My will was strong and I was determined to get my glow on. To my mother’s dismay, I found a tanning salon that agreed to hire me to clean their beds for 3 hours a week in exchange for 4 tanning sessions a week.  “Old people” told me that it was bad for my skin, but I knew they were just jealous. I was the invincible girl that soaked up every ounce of sunshine I could during my teens and early twenties. 

As Cher would say… if I could turn back time. 

Being in esthetics school has only brought me closer to the truth about my time in the sun. While it’s still a little bitter-sweet to give up, I can no longer deny my skin’s frailty to her glorious rays. So, I’ve made a list of a few things that I hate to admit about the sun. If you’re anything like me, you’ll hate reading these as well. If you’re not like me, well….. congratulations - you won’t have to work nearly as hard as I will to bargain with mother nature.   
5 Things I hate to admit about the sun:

1. A tan is a scar.  
Harsh… I know. I also hate to admit that beer-battered onion rings have 24 grams of fat per serving, but it doesn’t change the truth.

2. Fungus
Yes, there is a fungus among us. We all have a yeast present on our skin (malassezia furfur to be specific). Most people don’t have problems with it, but the yeast is sensitive to heat and humidity. Without “getting all clinical” - - I’ll give you the highlights. The fungus is called “tinea versicolor” and it shows itself as a blotchy rash. Most people dismiss it as their skin’s reaction to the sun, so it’s quite likely that you’ve seen someone hanging out at the beach with this fungi before. (Now you’ll be able to share your knowledge when you see it – “Dude, that’s a fungus”.) 
Exhibit A - Tinea versicolor

Exhibit B - More fungus...
 3. Hyperpigmentation
This is a fancy word for the brownish spots that are left behind from the sun, an old pimple you squeezed to hard, etc. Just like my teenage will for tanning, UV hyperpigmentation doesn’t give up easily. These spots look rather innocent, but if you’re wanting a smooth even skin tone, these guys have something else in mind. Even when people use chemical peels to help soften or blend hyperpigmentation, it can often get worse before it gets better.   
UV hyperpigmentation
 4. Extrinsic aging
So, intrinsic aging is the way that we naturally age – I guess you’d say it’s how God designed our aging process. Extrinsic aging accounts for our contributions to the aging process. It includes smoking, sun exposure, environmental factors, free radicals, etc. The good AND bad part? It’s estimated that about 80% of our aging is the result of extrinsic aging. You get to decide how much of this one plays out...  

5. Cancer
I listed this last, but it is certainly not the least important. Unfortunately, people typically pay more attention to the aesthetic negatives of the sun than than those that are more life threatening. More than 90% of skin cancers are associated with sun exposure.This is one I’ve dismissed over the years with my “it won’t happen to me” attitude.  
Malignant Melanoma
Until a year ago, I prided myself in being the chick that never had to wear sunscreen. Fast forward one year, I’m putting my face through a hole called a Wood’s Lamp, which ultimately reveals all the bad decisions I've made about my skin for the past 20 years. Needless to say, I’ve taken on a new philosophy about SPF.

Before I close, let me share this - - WE ALL NEED SOME SUNLIGHT – for Vitamin D production, to protect us from other diseases, heck…. sometimes we need it just to keep us from being depressed. So, don't be afraid of  your 15-20 minutes a day. Just be sure to reconsider any tendencies that seem similar to my teenage baby-oil sun-bathing habits. Your youth will thank you.    

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,

Rita

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TEST TAKING, CHILDHOOD RUMORS, and THE ANSWER C.


This week I’ve been a little jealous.

I’ve felt like my sister must have felt as a child. Her asthma kept her inside while the other kids (myself included) got to go outside and play in the snow, and she was left to observe the fun from the living room window! 
 
While I don't have asthma, I’ve been pretty preoccupied with passing my chemical peel exam, and I’ve had to miss out on a couple fun Christmas activities. And since I’m whining anyway, I’d like to ask… has anyone ever heard of a test where you couldn’t miss ANY questions in order to pass? I hadn’t - - not until my chemical peel cert. exam.  It wouldn’t seem so bad, except for the fact that no test is complete without the notorious TRICK QUESTION.

Here is the trick question that irritated me more than a 45% lactic acid chemical peel -  

What is the recommended treatment frequency for sensitive skin clients?

Seems pretty straight forward, right?  I’m actually ok with this question. The answer is EVERY 4 WEEKS. I even confirmed it on page 63 of my skin biology and chemical peel textbook (don't worry... I’m allowed… it’s an open book exam). The problem enters when you read the options in the multiple choice responses.

     Here are my choices for answers:
A.   Every 2 weeks
B.   Every 3 weeks
C.   Once a month
D.  None of these

Don’t test writers realize how important the details are to us type A crazies? You can’t just substitute “once a month” for “every 4 weeks” - - at least not in an exam. I mean, technically, some months have five weeks in them, right? So while “once a month” seems reasonable, "none of these" seemed equally reasonable to me.  My world felt perilous with one question, and it was only question #4 on the exam.

I thought about pausing my test to contact the chemical peel company and let them know how they had failed on question #4.  Instead, a thought came to mind.

Remember the fail-proof rule of test taking from back when you were a kid? Everyone used those long skinny SCANTRON answer sheets (with the only compatible #2 pencil). The rumored rule was this – if you don’t know the answer, always select “C”. Apparently, us fifth graders were well studied in statistics and knew all about how "C" had been determined to be correct... most of the time.

Since I could no longer rely on my diligent studying to answer the trick question, I decided to go old-school and apply the only rule I knew from Childhood Test Taking 101. I sucked it up, and knowing that the answer could only be C or D, I selected C (and sulked about the question through the remainder of the test).

Turns out the rumored rule actually paid off. My answer “C” was correct, I got the necessary 100%, and received the certification in chemical peels. Who knows? Maybe next week I’ll discover that your eyeballs really do pop out of your head if you keep them open during a sneeze. For the sake of my beauty school career, let’s hope not.  

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,
Rita   

Friday, December 10, 2010

RANDOM PHOTOS FROM BEAUTY SCHOOL

Hi all -
I thought you might enjoy some random photos from my studies at Nashvegas Beauty U. I couldn't quite work these into a blog, but didn't want them to go to waste! Enjoy!


LASHING OUT
Here's a pic of my beloved classmate and partner in beauty crime. I did full TAB LASH extensions for her. These lashes will last up to 5 or 6 days, depending upon how well they are cared for (being careful when washing your face, etc.). They are crazy comfortable - way different than a strip lash. We're super excited to learn how to do single lash extensions (one extension on each lash). BTW - I applied more for a more glamorous look, but you can go for a very natural look as well.

Bonnie before (with only her natural lashes)

Bonnie after (with a few rows of tab lash extensions)

PROJECTS? IN BEAUTY SCHOOL?
I recently completed a group project with two of my classmates. We had to do a model of the hair follicle, with all skin layers.
Initially, it was pretty unrecognizable.

We were pretty impressed with ourselves and the final result!(Side note - this was the first time I had ever used a glue gun!)



































NAILS FOR DUMMIES
Yes, this is just what it looks like. A leopard printed thumb nail. I've got a classmate that is a nail tech and I always ask for tips from her on doing my nails. Then I found these awesome nail paint pens that even amateurs like me can use and make designs on your nails. I wore leopard printed nails this week and got all kinds of compliments, so I thought I'd share info about the pens with you. You can find them at http://www.miginailart.com/. They have great tutorials that help you get the hang of it. If you're right handed, it will take a little getting used to when you switch hands, but other than that... it's so easy. (And no, I do not get paid to tell you about this stuff... but if anybody's offering, I'm listening! ha ha!)


Ok! That's all for now. Hope you enjoy the random pics! It looks like a worked these into a blog after all!

Gettin' Beauty Schooled,
Rita

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

THE HUSBAND BACK WAX ADVENTURE

It was my first week providing services to the public at Nashvegas Beauty U. My husband graciously offered to come to NBU and allow me to do a “back wax” (and by graciously offered, I mean succumbed to my begging). My husband isn’t hairy by any means, but I really wanted to practice waxing on a larger surface. I’d waxed my fair share of brows and lips during theory - - and I was ready for a new challenge.  
The sexy, selfless husband.
He arrived right on time at 7:30 PM.  I had him complete our waxing consultation form and showed him to the dressing room. We made our way to the waxing room where he found himself laying face down on a waxing bed, with a bare back.
I gave him a quick run-down of what to expect - - warm wax, me laying down the strip, rubbing it, a quick pull, and a slight “sting", which would be soothed by me quickly returning my hand to his skin after pulling away the strip. He seemed fairly comfortable and happy to contribute to my learning experience.  We exchanged a few jokes and then it was all business for me.
I began the waxing process and took great care in making sure he was comfortable. Each step was completed with sensitivity to his “first time waxer” status. In particular, I paid special attention to quickly placing my hand on the freshly waxed skin to help calm it after each strip. Before we knew it, about 10 minutes had passed, and I completed about 1/3 of his back. It was bright red.
Miss Paula (one of the teachers) came in to check on my progress. She was very complimentary of the work I had done, but I expressed concerns about how long the waxing process was taking. Like any good teacher, Miss Paula asked me about my technique, and then she offered a few suggestions, then she asked if she might demonstrate a technique the industry calls “speed waxing”.  I was excited to see speed waxing in person, so I nodded my head yes.
The only problem? Despite the fact that the name “speed waxing” reveals the overall concept behind the technique, I really hadn’t mentally prepared my husband for speed waxing. Simply put, speed waxing is when you lay all your wax down at one time, and then you go back and quickly remove it all with the same strip, or very few strips. It’s ridiculously fast, but not for the faint at heart (and certainly not for an uninformed husband who usually asks for “a break” when I tweeze a couple of his stray brow hairs).
Miss Paula picked up a spatula and smoothed the warm wax across the remaining portion of his back. She quickly grabbed a strip and began a movement that made even me a little teary-eyed. She was so swift – she would lay the strip flat, press it down with one sleek movement, and pull it off with a snap of her wrist. My husband, unable to express what he was truly feeling in front of a stranger, began a nervous hysterical laughter.  Miss Paula did about six pulls in a row before sticking her hand out to me for a second strip. It was like we had teleported into a surgical suite and I was her tech. What she needed now was one thing - - a final wax strip, STAT.
I stood with my mouth gaping open.  I quickly grabbed another strip, placed it in her hand and she completed her speed wax – our patient was done.  The entire process took less than two minutes. My husband was still intermittently laughing the crazy laugh. I could only assume he truly was hysterical by this point.
Miss Paula returned to the other students and I cleaned the excess wax from my husband’s back. When he sat up on the wax bed we just stared at each other. I broke the silence. “Was it bad? Are you ok?”
With glossy eyes he looked back and me and said, “Um… yeah.... it’s cool.... am I bleeding?”  We both belly-laughed.
We LOVE to tell this story and laugh about it now.  I recently asked him if the payoff of a hair free back was worth the pain. Surprisingly, he said YES - - he’d totally do it again – speed waxing and all. He’s such a hairless back show off.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Middle Tennessee Fashion Week Model Casting Call (oh yeah... and a photo of me with NO makeup!)

This is my face.
(Please enjoy this totally makeup free peek. They do not come around often - for good reason!)
This is my face after hearing about Middle Tennessee Fashion Week.
In case my expression doesn't speak for itself -this would be "Oh yeah..."
Any questions?

I’m super excited to be a makeup artist at Middle Tennessee Fashion Week (MTFW) this coming April. Here’s a little detail, and if you know any models that are interested in strutting their stuff, please pass it on!

MTFW provides a creative platform for upcoming designers, make-up artists/stylists and models to showcase their talents. MTFW will spotlight the influence of world cultures on American fashion, prove fashion can be done with ecology and fair trade in mind, present an exclusive men’s fashion show, and complete the week with a mesmerizing International Couture Collection.

The events will launch April 12-16, 2011. The excitement will kick off with a press conference on the evening of the 12th, and the event will be produced by Sharon Cumberbatch, former Ford Model NYC.

Model Casting Call Details:

MTFW is looking for models of all ethnicities.
When: On December 11th at 11AM - MTFW will be casting models for April’s show.
Where: Paul Mitchell The School Murfreesboro, TN
What to Bring:  Your best walk. (Wear all black and bring a pair of heels no shorter than 3 inches)
                        A completed application (see the website below for application)
Two recent pictures, preferably with no makeup – a professional photograph is not required for consideration

For additional information about MTFW, you can visit the website at http://www.middletennesseefashionweek.com/. I'll update you when I have more info!

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,
Rita

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Flaky Reputation of the Beauty Industry


On the first day of beauty school at NBU, my teacher shared this statement. “If you want be in the top 30% of this industry, you just have to do one thing - be on time and ready to work.” I was baffled... and at the same time, my gut told me that I was already incredibly aware of Miss Kellie’s point.

Nobody at NBU wants to say it out loud. After all, beauty schools are notorious for building a culture that tells young students that they will never have to be concerned about losing their jobs, and that they'll spend the rest of their lives experiencing the bliss that is their dream - a fabulous career in the beauty industry. I’ve been in the real world for a while now, and I have a hard time not calling things as I see them.  I try to be very thoughtful about the discussions I have at school, but the other night, I could hold it in no longer. I poised myself and before I knew it I opened my mouth and said, “Miss Kellie, why do you think that so many people consider people in the beauty industry to be flaky?”

I looked around the room and everyone had a half-smile across their face - - even the licensed cosmetologist in my class seemed interested in Miss Kellie's response (it's beauty school.... the drama flows like Barbicide).
Miss Kellie put forth her best effort at turning the question into an opportunity for a progressive, energy boosting discussion. “Well, what do you think about that?” she asked. 

The fact is, I don’t know how the stigma began, but I won't deny that it exists - - I won't even deny that there are many examples to support it. I will say this - the perception of a group of girls, sitting around, chewing gum with their mouths open, while filing their finger nails and gossipping couldn't be more inaccurate for my part time life at NBU. On any given night, I run from the wax station to a facial bed to do lash tinting to a makeup application, and I pray I get 10 minutes somewhere in between to eat the microwavable soup I brought for my dinner. 

So, here's the only real conclusion I can draw. Consumers should expect no less from a beauty professional than you do from other services that you purchase. Just because someone's profession is in the "creative" or "artsy" category doesn't mean that they get to offer flighty or flaky service. There are too many professionals out there that are serious about their careers in the beauty industry (and maybe a little action will help the industry get a much needed reputation overhaul).

On a side note, my question did make for an interesting and culturally incorrect discussion in our class that night. As I said, in beauty school, everybody loves a good scandal. 

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,

Rita

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WHAT'S YOUR TINGLE FACTOR??


ABOUT THE “TINGLE FACTOR”

A few weeks ago we began studying advanced exfoliants at NBU.  And no, I'm not talking about that ancient St. Ives Apricot Scrub that people STILL list on their client forms. Advanced exfoliants actually have a chemical reaction on the skin that causes exfoliation.  
The ever popular St. Ives Apricot Scrub. 
Because people react differently to chemicals on the skin, you start new clients out with non-aggressive levels of chemicals, and you ask them about their “tingle factor” throughout the procedure. Asking about tingle factors is like another way of saying, “so, just how much more of this can you take?” - - except, it’s much nicer. It usually goes like this – “Mrs. Smith, On a scale of one to ten, ten being the most uncomfortable, what’s your tingle factor?”

You ask this question about every two minutes during a procedure. If the client’s tingle factor ever reaches 7, then it’s time to remove the chemical.

MY TINGLE FACTOR EXPERIENCE

After learning the theory on advanced exfoliants, we each selected one to try out ourselves.  I picked an exfloliant that acts a bit like a mini-chemical peel, and since we had an odd number of students that night, two of my classmates doubled up to give me my exfoliant treatment. Maggie applied it to my face, and Tracey sat beside me and observed.  

I felt nothing…. for about 30 seconds.

Being the control freak that I am, I decided to let Maggie know. I quietly whispered, “Hey. Ask me about my tingle factor.” Maggie was seated behind my head and leaned over displaying a smile. “Ok. Rita, what’s your tingle factor?”

Hmmmm… I was starting to feel something more. I smiled back and said, “Oh… I’d say about a three.”

About 45 more seconds passed. I knew it wasn’t time for Maggie and Tracey to ask again about my tingle factor, but since I was feeling a little more “tingle”, I prompted Maggie again.  “Hey, Maggie, I think you may need to ask me about my tingle factor again.” She looked down at me and said, “Why? Are you ok?”

Suddenly my tingle factor went from 3/4 to about a 6. I replied and said, “Yeah. I’m about a 6 tingle… I think… I’m not sure. Maybe we should just go ahead and take it off, since this is my first chemical.”

There were no objections or questions from Maggie. She immediately wet her hands and began to properly remove the product with a cleanse. As soon as her hands rubbed across my face, it lit up like a Christmas tree.  I knew I was a 7 or above. “Seven”, I said without hesitation. “I’m a seven now. Definitely a seven.” Even though she was upside down, I could see that Maggie was beginning to move faster with her cleanse. Tracey actually reached for my hand as if she were my Lamaze partner and we were going to start breathing together.  

Miss Kellie walked by as she was supervising and said, “How are things going? What’s your tingle factor, Rita?” At this point, my nerves got the best of me and I played out the next few minutes in my head. I would stand up, run to the bathroom like a crazy person, throw water on my face, and look in the mirror to discover that my skin was peeling off like a lizard. I was speechless, so I closed my eyes and held up my response on my hands – five fingers on one hand and three fingers on the other. I was an eight. I was sure of it. Miss Kellie smiled, “Ok, Maggie is cleansing it off now.”

We all laugh about this adventure now. I know Miss Kellie wasn’t being insensitive to my number 8 tingle factor. She was just more experienced - - she’s seen many nervous newbies use chemicals and overreact. If you subtract the nerves and the drama, in hindsite, my tingle factor was really probably only a proud 4.

I woke up the next morning and my cheeks and forehead were a little pink. Over the next two days the smoothest skin began to reveal itself. My pores looked so much smaller and my face looked brighter and toned.

Monday evening when I sat down in our classroom my conversation with Miss Kellie held great conviction. It started something like this - “So, just how often can I have one of those exfoliant treatments?”

Gettin' Beauty Schooled, 
Rita 

Monday, November 15, 2010

MAXIMIZE YOUR MAKEUP - #2 - FACE atelier


Here we go - -a makeup brand you'll want to know about - - FACE atelier.

I’ll be the first to say that mineral foundations have failed me. I know I’m not in my twenties anymore, but you can’t blame me if I still want to try to look like I am. Powdery mineral make up has a flaw that is so hard for me to get over - - by hour three it sinks into every line and pore in my skin.

Debbie Bondar must have had me in mind when she developed her brand, which specializes in foundation – FACE atelier. It was originally dubbed as makeup for “mature skin” - - but now everyone wants a piece of this action!
The size of the FACE atelier sample container.

FACE is a Canadian based company that is now sold across the globe. There are a couple of things that I find fabulous about FACE:
  • The silicone based foundation – it acts like a primer & foundation in one. FACE’s silicone molecules float on the skin, so it’s designed not to crease. It’s described as a "breathable second skin".  
  • FACE has NO SPF. I know…. I know… some people would say that is a bad thing. BUT hear me out on this one. Have you ever had a picture made of yourself and looked at it afterwards and had ghost face? You know what I’m talking about… your face comes across much paler than the rest of your body – UGH! Ever wonder what causes that? It’s the SPF. Our skin actually absorbs the flash of a camera, but SPF reflects it, so when someone takes a pic, if you’re wearing SPF in your makeup, it sends the reflection of the flash back to the photographer and it is captured in the picture - - and you’re stuck with ghost face. Not the case with FACE!
  • You can order $1 samples from FACE!! This is so awesome. FACE has TONS of samples that you can try on their website. You can order eye shadow pigments, foundation, concealer, and lipsticks, all in $1 samples. (And let me tell you, I’ve ordered EVERY pigment they have… and they are NOT stingy with their samples… see my pics below).
A sample of translucent powder by FACE (in my own container).

A sample of Ultra Foundation by FACE - already used twice.
 (This is how you will receive it).

This is how much pigment I received from four of my samples!
 (show here in my own kit storage container).

The sample I received of FACE's concealer
(called camouflage on their site).
While FACE is still a young brand, they've made their presence known in the makeup scene. They’ve already hooked celebrities  like Fergie and Lady GaGa, and they’re the official makeup sponsor for Madonna’s current tour. So, if you’re looking for a new foundation, or just want to make sure that you don’t have “ghost face” in your holiday pictures, give FACE atelier a try.

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,

Rita 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

2 Months Down - Reflections of My Beauty Education to Date

It’s been almost nine weeks since I began my beauty school adventures. The past two months of my life have triggered a mix of feelings about the beauty industry,  but have brought great fun and a multitude of hilarious “discoveries” for me - -like the time we were practicing makeup techniques on the dim clinic floor. Once we returned to our bright classroom we discovered that Maggie had coated me with enough blush to embarrass Tammy Faye (we blamed it on the 80’s music we were listening to at the time). There was also the first time we practiced eyebrow tinting. We weren’t very precise with our application of the dye, and I ended up looking like Bert from Sesame Street.

In reflection, here’s an inventory of stuff I’ve learned over the past eight weeks:

  • European Facial
  • Lash and brow tinting
  • Brow arching
  • Waxing – everything from brows to arms to armpits (yes, armpits), to legs and bikini
  • Makeup application – eyes, lips, cheeks, contouring, and corrective makeup
  • Face vacuuming (yes, it is exactly what it sounds like)
  • Rotary brushes and skin scrubber machines
  • Galvanic current and high frequency for acne (“zapping” zits)
  • Advanced exfoliants (mini chemical peels)
  • Strips and tab lash application (one of my faves)
  • Sanitation procedures (not one of my faves, but necessary)
  • Back treatments
  • Hand rescue treatments
  • Skin analysis and mapping
  • Extractions

And here’s a list of the stuff that is still to go:

  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical Peels
  • Airbrush Makeup/Tanning
  • Skin Diseases
  • pH Testing
  • Nutrition for the Skin
  • Aromatherapy
  • Facial Acupressure
  • Advanced Lymphatic Drainage
  • Body Wraps


Only about 7 more months to go…  and I’m sure there will be many, many more “discoveries” made. Let’s just pray they involve aromatherapy and not chemical peels.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the ride so far…

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,

Rita

Thursday, November 4, 2010

“And Milady wants you to know…"

Whenever we have theory class Miss. Kellie always has a clever way of emphasizing content that will be on our state board exam. She always says, “And Milady wants you to know that…”

Remember Milady? It’s my textbook - -  “Milady’s Standard Esthetics Fundamentals.”

Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered that Milady must think most of us esthetics students have a lot of learning to do. In fact, I'm beginning to think that Milady believes that none of us have ever held a job before. I'm not sure she even gives us credit for remembering to shower every day. Regardless, Milady tickles my funny bone with her words of wisdom - - and it’s clear that she takes the term “fundamental” literally.
"Pitching in wherever help is needed is part of being a team player."
Here are a few gems that our class has found humorous since day one of reading the Milady’s textbook:
  • Personal hygiene includes bathing and showering, brushing and flossing your teeth, and using underarm deodorant.
  • Dress for success. Specifically, Milady says that we should wear clean underwear, and that undergarments should be out of view. “Underwear elastic peeking out of your pants, exposed bra straps, and bare midriff are inconsistent with a professional image.”
  • Dangling jewelry is hazardous to your clients.
  • Reward yourself with a special treat for work well done and time managed efficiently. Your reward might be a fruit smoothie, a movie with friends, or any other enjoyable activity.
  • Socks and hosiery should be free of runs and should harmonize with your attire.
  • Unless an esthetician is also a licensed dermatologist, he or she cannot prescribe medication.
  • Remember the appointment is about the client and her skin, and you are an esthetician, not a counselor.
Milady has a way with sharing her knowledge, yes? Thank God. I’ve always struggled with trying to decide if clients enjoy it when my long necklaces graze across their forehead during a facial. And that sock thing? I mean, it's the age old question - harmonize them with your attire or not?  And knowing that I can’t write prescription drugs for my clients? Now what am I gonna do with 100 prescription pads I ordered online under "Dr. Rita, SkinCare Diva Extraordinaire" ? 

Ok. Enough silliness... I’m off to reward myself with a fruit smoothie. Thanks, Milady!

Gettin’ Beauty Schooled,
Rita