Archive | December, 2011

Histories Mysteries: a beauty perspective

29 Dec

Why hasn’t the History Channel come out with a documentary on the development of the cosmetic industry?  Clearly someone’s interested in this stuff if it’s a 14 billion dollar industry.  Yup. FOURTEEN BILLION.

Cosmetics have been used since Ancient History, and because one of my life goals is to be on Cash Cab (which is kind of like Jeopardy, but in a cab), I thought I’d investigate the industry a little bit.

In Ancient Times…

women would add rouge to their faces by grinding minerals into a powdered form and applying them to their face. They used things like slate as a mirror (vanity has a name… and it is: cave-woman?). They also used various minerals to adorn their eyes (think Cleopatra), and add pigment to their hair (ahhhh! greys!).

Word Origins

aesthëtikos – (should be an e with a bar over it… wordpress doesn’t have that character) The origin of aesthetic is Greek, and means perceptible to the senses.

sanitas per aquas – Latin phrase which the word spa may be an acronym for.  The term spa was first adopted

in 1326 in Belgium.

American Evolutions

1910:  Canadian-born Florence Nightingale Graham (related to the pioneer of Nursing?) takes on

the pseudonym Elizabeth Grady and opens her first salon, named The Red Door.

1937: Studies show 50% teenager girls argue with parents over wearing red lipstick (ohhhh the times have changed! I think I argued with my mother about blue hair). 

1946: Estée Lauder starts her first company with a jar of skin cream.  And the revolutionary marketing phrase

“Free Gift With Purchase”

came to be a favorite phrase in every woman’s vocabulary.

1968: Skin care is introduced in the department store.

1970:  Oil of Olay becomes a household name.  (Please stop buying this product.  It’s expensive and doesn’t work! (Refer to Step 2: Spend wisely.)

In Times of Depression…

Red Lipstick sales have always skyrocketed during tough times in American history.  In 1929, during the Great Depression, women were buying lipstick to make the day a little brighter.  This occurred again at the start of World War II.  Recently, sales surged again post- 9/11.  This theory of sales is referred to as the “lipstick index.”  Pretty interesting!

2002:  Botox is FDA approved.  Probably the best thing to ever happen to women besides red lipstick.

A Tribute to the Year of the 11’s

27 Dec
Allergan, the Botox Company, has used the "Year of the Ones" as a cleaver marketing campaign. 
Many women refer to their glabellar fold (between the eyebrows) as looking like a "1", "11", or a "111".

As 2011 comes to a close, and the “Year of the Ones” is over, I thought I’d go over a timeline of events in the history of this product.  It’s been around longer than you think (almost 60 years)! 

1950:  Scientists discover that botulinum toxin can reduce muscle spasms

1960’s & 1970’s : Studies explore botulinum toxin as a treatment for strabismis (cross-eyes)

1988:  Allergan researches other medical uses of botulinum toxin

1989: Allergan introduces Botox™, the first botulinum toxin with dosing approved by the FDA to treat blepharospasm (eyelid spasms) and strabismus.

2000:  FDA approves Botox™ therapy for cervical dystonia (spinal chord problem)

2002:  FDA approves Botox Cosmetic™ (onabotulinumtoxin A), the same formulation as Botox™ with dosing specific to moderate to severe frown lines between the brow (the 11’s)

2004:  FDA approves Botox™ for severe underarm sweating (hyperhydrosis) when topical medicines don’t work well enough.

May 1, 2009:  FDA approves Dysport™ (abobotulinumtoxin) for the treatment of forehead and frown lines.

2010:  FDA approves Botox™ therapy for increased muscle stiffness in elbow, wrist, and finger muscles with upper limb spasticity.

October 15, 2010:  FDA approves Botox™ for migraine headache therapy.

July 21, 2011:  FDA approves Xeomin™ (incobotulinumtoxinA) from Merz Aesthetic for moderate to severe lines between the brows.

Future Uses…

Botox has been approved in other countries for adult post-stroke spasticity and equinus foot deformity, and is awaiting FDA approval in the U.S.

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25 Dec

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Hey, You Look Just Like Me!

25 Dec

Let’s Face it (a little pun for you!), the generic face is not attractive.  Beauty should be individualized.  It includes style and personality.  That’s what sets you apart from being just “another pretty face.” Beauty Defined.

Devan (the girl I live with on the North Shore 2 days a week), turned to me the other day and said, “we look like sisters.”  Well… we certainly did not start out that way.  I’m Boston Bred and Russian/Polish by descent.  She’s from Virginia and sports some very fair skin (more Eastern European).  Several spray tans, a couple of boxes of Juvederm, some cheek augmentation, and a splash of bleach later… and we look like sisters.  Either she’s blind… or we both have the same idea of beauty.

One thing that certainly sets us apart is our noses.  I’m of Jewish descent, and my nose isn’t small.  But it does fit my face.  And I would never change it!  I like classic beauty, and looking youthful… but generic is one thing I could NEVER be on the inside, and my idea of beauty will NEVER reflect that on the outside.

Do I love my nose? Eh.  But it’s me.  I feel like a lot of women complain about their noses.  This is usually because it throws off the balance of someone’s face if it’s not in symmetry or proportion to other features (Proportion: The Rule of Thirds and Fifths).

If it’s broke, let’s fix it, and if it’s not broke… Let’s fix it!

Aside from correcting breathing problems, I rarely recommend rhinoplasty (nnnnnoseeee jobs).  I have seen so many bad nose jobs.  A lot of surgeon’s just have this generic nose that they put on every face… and then your stuck with it.  Like tattooing your eyeliner… it’s forever.  And it’s maximally invasive!  And super expensive!

If only there were some alternatives…………

Oh, but there are!  Depending on what your issues are, there are several less invasive and cheaper options for you to change your nose to be more aesthetically fitting to your face.

Contour with Make-up (cost < $100)

Check out this site.  I think it shows a pretty good tutorial on contouring.  Also, check out YouTube!

http://makeupforlife.net/2011/07/makeup-tutorial-how-to-contour-your-nose.html

For a special event, or a night out, contouring is a cheap, easy way to make your nose appear more aesthetically pleasing.

Lip Augmentation (cost $700)

I have a few clients who have large eyes, large noses, and a wide face… with small lips.  This makes the face look unbalanced and makes the nose look bigger.  By correcting the volume/size of the mouth, the face is put more into proportion.  I have found lip augmentation to balance my facial features, and I am very happy with this option.  My nose is symmetrical, straight, and I have no trouble breathing (i.e. a deviated septum).  Remember, augmentation DOESN’T mean you will look like a duck.  Discuss with your Nurse or Doctor what you find attractive.  (I’ll have to take pics of this. Inbox me if you feel like this would be good for you!)

Liquid Nose Job ($700+)

I have been recommending this to a lot of people lately.   This minimally invasive technique is performed using Botox and Fillers to correct any parts of the nose which are a-symmetric, can raise the tip of the nose, and fix some crooked features.

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Non Surgical Nasal Augmentation

Nothing Replaces… Traditional Plastic Surgery ($$$)

If you have a deviated septum, and have difficulty breathing, or if you have a bump that really needs to be shaved… this might be the best option for you.  If you decide to go under the knife, I have a few suggestions.

Tip #1 : Ask to see LOTS of before and afters. 

It’s hard to get clients to agree to be a “before and after” example when it comes to your nose… because you really need to show the whole face.  And we all want to be “naturally” beautiful.  But your Board Certified PLASTIC Surgeon (see tip below).  A lot of surgeon’s will have a signature style.  If you see all the noses look EXACTLY the same RUN.  You don’t want to look like Michael Jackson.  A generic nose is NOT attractive.  Sometimes the signature style will be shaving too much off the bridge, or making the tip turned up (i.e. the Prince of Pop).  Look very closely at the pics, and if you do see something that resembles a personal “style” of the surgeon, think to yourself: does this fit my face?  my style?

Tip #2: Certifications

Never, ever, ever ever ever see a general surgeon for a plastic procedure.  They are NOT even remotely qualified.  Do you want someone who wears a bow-tie, can’t dress themselves, and doesn’t know the first thing about make-up to be working on your FACE?  Well… when I put it that way, I hope you say no.

Look into what those letters stand for.  Anyone can throw a bunch of letters on a page and make themselves look qualified.  I’m a Latisse Lash Expert (brush my shoulder off!) – this took me twenty minutes of watching a tutorial (ok, I fast-forwarded the whole thing and just took the quiz at the end).  But it sounds cool, doesn’t it!?!

Tip #3: Don’t Cheap Out

Dr. A will do a nose job for $2,500 and Dr. B will do it for $10,000.  Financially, seems like a no-brainer.  Realistically, Dr. A is probably not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon (or a Doctor at all for that matter) and your procedure will be done in a basement under local anesthesia smuggled in from Brazil. And please stay out of Brazil.  When you get your surgery botched (which you will) insurance will not fix it.

If you’re going to opt for surgery, let’s be real.  It’s expensive.  It lasts forever.  In this case, it’s your FACE.  Real Surgeon’s know what they’re worth and they are NOT cheap.

In the same respect, if the price is outrageous… you’re a sucker.  Which leads us to Tip 4.

Tip #4: STAY AWAY FROM NEWBURY STREET

You’ll be overcharged for a generic “masterpiece.”  Actually, stay off of Newbury for any type of beauty service.  I’ve heard more horror stories from that street than ANYWHERE.  (I will name no names).  Even for hair… I’m not impressed.  And fashion… Charles Street Hands Down!  (I digress).

Tip #5:  Have a consultation.  Ask the right questions.

Check out this post if you’re Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?.

There are always alternatives, and remember to always put safety first!

Happy Holidays Y’All

I think I’ve been hanging out with Devan too much!
 

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

22 Dec

As an employee in the field of plastic surgery, I meet some VERY interesting people.  Our office always have hilarious stories that would be PERFECT for a reality t.v. show, unfortunately… HIPPA (Health Information Portability Protection Act) would make it a little difficult.  One unfortunate, and fortunately small population of beauty-goers is the woman suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder.  This syndrome causes a person to be excessively concerned with body image.  The affected individual has such a strong negative self-image it affects their ability to function in daily activities.

As most of us are aware, when we look good we feel better about ourselves.

People with BDD are so critical of their looks, it affects their ability to function as a normal person.  It can cause anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

In my experiences, the clients I see that suffer from this disorder are GORGEOUS.

So why do they not see what I see?

Mental health disorders are caused by biological, psychological, and environmental factors. (I have a minor in Psychology, any of you UMASS Amherst alum will know the great Professor Halgen who taught Abnormal Pscyhology–one of the best classes I’ve ever taken).  I have observed very low self esteem with these patients.  I have found through talking to these clients they are usually in abusive relationships, and are looking for something they can physically change about themselves to make their abuser “love them.”  Usually people in abusive relationships have a history of emotional neglect and physical and/or mental abuse.

The syndrome typically manifests itself during adolescence (don’t worry, I’m not Botox’ing anyone under 18!) – a time where we all start becoming critical of appearance.  A time where most women start wearing make-up ;).

80% of people who suffer from this disorder have had suicidal thoughts.

For those of you in the beauty industry, you might run into these people from time to time (but probably not as much as I do in my office…).  The only thing you can do with clients like this is to be supportive.  Many of us establish strong bonds with our clientele (who doesn’t LOVE their hairdresser or aesthetician!) and they value our opinions.  If you feel you have a client who might suffer from BDD you should tell them.  This behavior to be constantly critical of yourself is not normal, and professional help is the only thing that can help.

  Do I treat them?

Yes, but I handle with care.  A client with BDD will go to whomever will treat them, and (I don’t know if you know this) but there are a lot of people out there that are driven by money and not morals.  I make it very clear that they have nothing physically wrong with them, and any treatments I agree to with them are solely for preventative purposes.  Beauty treatments are therapeutic to a lot of women, and although I am not a psychologist, I think when I sit behind these people in the mirror and tell them there is nothing wrong with the way they look they are agreeable to doing less drastic changes.

I like to bring up this AMAZING underground cult classic movie that inspired me during a bout of depression (not BDD).  The movie is called “What the Bleep Do We Know: Down the Rabbit Hole” and it is a docu-drama about Quantum Physics (and I bet my last blog post gave you the impression I was less than mature!).  Please, please, please take a minute to watch some of the clip below.  I hope you will find it as inspiring as I have!

After showing my friends the clip I decided it needed a preface.  The movie is about a girl who is deaf and is having a difficult time with life and has a poor self-image (that’s the drama part).  There are clips of Physicists discussing the Theory of Quantum Physics (the documentary part).
 

Quantum mechanics is the body of scientific principles that explains the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atoms and atomic particles.

Basically, your internal thoughts and feelings affect external outcome of a situation.

**If you’d like to know more about String Theory, ask my brother.  He’s the smart one in the family.

Women look in the mirror on average 32 times a day.  We always direct our attention to subtle flaws we have.  But most of us can name a feature that we consider “attractive.”  Everyone has their own unique beauty, and it is healthy to maintain or enhance your natural image.  But beauty starts on the inside, and sometimes we need professional help finding it.

You’ll Never Guess What I Tattoo’ed

17 Dec

My Eyeliner!

A Post About Permanent Make-up

My friend Sally (a gorgeous Moroccan woman) was telling me she really wanted her eyeliner tattoo’d.  Waking up looking the same as when I go to bed is my lazy life dream!  And before you respond that we’re nuts… Let’s look at the facts.  Do you agree:

– You spend about $100 a year on eyeliner.

– Perfect eyeliner requires a Masters in Art.

– Waking up next to someone with black raccoon eyes… shameful (on multiple levels!)

– Getting ready takes a really long, annoying time (Have you ever noticed? A Woman’s “I’ll be ready in FIVE minutes” & a man’s “I’ll be home in FIVE minutes” are exactly the same?)

– Tattoo’s are AWESOME.  (I have 3 extremely tasteful works of art. O.k., 2 are extremely tasteful and 1 is a tramp stamp that I got when I was 18, but I still love it!  And it’s over 10 years old… so HA mom and dad!)

The Research:

I research EVERYTHING before I do it.  And I do it from a medical perspective.  As a Registered Nurse, I have a lot more general knowledge about health and the human body than the average beauty writer.  Here is some interesting information I came across on my background search.

Permanent makeup: (noun) aka micropigmentation, is a
cosmetic technique in which an organic pigment is
embedded into the dermis in a fashion to resemble
make-up.  Common areas are lips, eyeliner, and
eyebrows.  It can also be used to disguise scars and
spots in the skin. FUN FACT:  You can use it to restore
or enhance the breast's aureola after breast
augmentation or reduction (I think this is
awesome...ly funny!  Who knew!).

History:

Dates back to the 20th century, with George Burchett describing it as fashionable in the 1930’s.  I was surprised that there was no information on tattoo’ing from any early cultures.  I figured surely the ancient Egyptians used needles and eyeliner!

Regulations:  In most areas it falls under the cognizance of the Department of Health, State Boards of Cosmetology are often the oversight agency.  In some areas, a cosmetology or esthetics license is required, while in others, these people are prohibited and only a nurse or doctor can perform these procedures.  Some states forbid it completely.  Fortunately, if Mass were to ever abolish permanent make-up, NH is only an hours ride away!

My Experience

It’s official.  I realized I’m insane!  I’m glad I didn’t REALLY think about it before I did it… because Permanent make-up is anxiety provoking!  I highly recommend taking a xanex or something before a procedure like this!

I would also like to note that I told my mother I was doing this and she didn’t even bat an eyelash.

Sally and I went to a cosmetic artist that came with stellar recommendations.  As we entered into her basement shop (just kidding!) … I was so excited walking in the door!

I went first, laying on the cosmetic bed.  We talked about tattoos while I lay with Emla Cream on my eyes.  The artist explained the whole procedure to me as I numbed.  We discussed what kind of style I wanted and what color would be best with my eyes.  I decided I just wanted my lash lines done in black ink.  I don’t like trendy things… I like a classic look.  Trends come in and out of style, and I didn’t want anything permanent on my face that might go out of style!

After a half hour with the numbing cream on my eyes, we started the procedure.  Lidocaine with epinephrine was injected into my eyelid to numb the pain and keep the bleeding to a minimum (I don’t think it bled at all actually).  I’m sure you’re all wondering:  Did it hurt?  No… It really didn’t.  It felt weird!  There was a buzzing and a vibrating and the knowledge that there was a needle… really close to my eye.  Anxiety!  Actually I think I was totally fine until we got to the lower lashes… When I needed to open my eye while the tattoo was being applied.  It was nuts!!!  I realized at this point that I am absolutely insane!  And I love it.

It took about two hours total.  By the end it was starting to hurt a little and I had enough.  Many people do tattoos in sessions because of swelling.  I had some ice on my eyes for a few minutes while the ink was cleaned off and the lidocaine wore off so I could open my eyes again.  Vaseline was put on the tattoo (I forget why).

I finally got to look in the mirror.  More anxiety!

It looks amazing and I love it!

I have a lot of friends with tattoos, I’d like to shout out to my friend Angel right here, who has a sleeve from some Gothic Artist.  Surprisingly, my friends with tattoos, ESPECIALLY Angel, were telling me not to do this.  Even Angel loves it though!

Follow-up and Post-care

I will need to go back in 3 weeks and have the line neatened and the rest finished.

For 4 days:

  • No make-up
  • Rinse the eye twice a day with saline
  • Apply Vaseline to the lash line
  • Ice, Ice, Ice!
*Note:  My eyes are really swollen in the pictures.  I didn’t Ice, Ice, Ice enough.
 
**Note 2:  I could not fill my eyelash extensions before the procedure.  That is why they look RIDICULOUS. 

Thinking about a NoseJob/Breast Aug/Lipo/Tummy Tuck? … Butt Implants?

15 Dec

I go with a lot of my clients to their consultations and watch a lot of procedures with a plastic surgeon.  My wonderful friend called me at 8 this morning to ask me what she should ask at her consult (apparently she forgot I am NOT a morning person).  I jumped out of bed though, because I remembered I had a lists!  I love lists ALMOST as much as I love white boards!

I know Plastic Surgery isn’t for everyone, but I think if you are contemplating it, you should be prepared from the beginning; starting with the right surgeon can make all the difference in the world!

Plastic Surgery:  Making the Best Decision

Brief important plastic surgeon qualifications

Please check out www.plasticsurgery.org to see if your surgeon is ASPS accredited.  If they are ASPS accredited you are in good hands.

Each ASPS member must meet the following:

  • At least five years of surgical training and a minimum of two years of plastic surgery training.
  • Board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
  • Trained and experienced in all plastic surgery procedures, including breast, body, face and reconstruction.
  • Peer-reviewed for safety and ethical standards prior to attaining the honor of active membership.
  • Only operates in accredited facilities.

When making the choice:

  • Use your head not your heart in making the selection.
  • Bring before and after photos, if possible, to show what you want.
  • Research the doctor, call other patients for recommendations.
  • Get a recommendation from your bariatric surgeon.
  • Meet the doctor and get to know him or her; you trust yourself to his or her care, so you need to feel comfortable with the person.
  • Use the term “reconstructive surgery” with your insurance company, since “plastic surgery” is often considered to be “cosmetic” or “elective” and hence is not covered.

Questions to ask:

1.  Are you an ASPS member surgeon? If he or she answers “yes” you can rest assured that your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery, has hospital privileges and only performs surgery in accredited facilities.
2.  Are you board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada?
3.  Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure?   If so, at what hospital? Is the surgical facility accredited?
4.  Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
5.  What will be expected of me to get optimal results?
6.  What are the risks involved with my procedure?
7.  Will I need to take time off work?  If so, how long?

What you should ask about the procedure

8.  What is the simplest and safest surgery to help me achieve my goals?
9.  How is the surgery performed?
10.  What is the expected length of operation?
11.  Are other options available?
12.  What results can I expect, and how long do the typical results last?
13.  Where will scars be located, and how noticeable will they be?

What you should ask about your surgeon’s experience

14.  How many times has the surgeon performed this procedure?
15.  How long has the surgeon been performing this procedure?
16.  How many times per year does the surgeon perform the procedure?
17.  How many patients have required re-operation or touch-ups?
18.  What complications may occur?
19.  How frequently do these complications occur?

What you should ask about logistical matters

20.  What preparation is required the day before and morning of surgery?
21.  Should my regular medications be taken on the morning of surgery?
22.  What time should I arrive at the surgery location?
23.  Should someone drive me?
24.  Should someone wait at the surgery location or come back later?

 

What should you ask about emergency plans

25.  What emergency plan and equipment are in place to provide for my needs in the event of an emergency?
26.  Are the surgeon and staff certified in Advances Cardiac Life Support? (ACLS)?
27.  Does the surgeon have admitting privileges at a local hospital should problems arise during my office surgery? (Call the hospital to confirm)
28.  How would I be transported to this facility?
29.  Has an adverse event ever occurred in the past?

What should you ask about the recovery process

30.  What kind of care will I require?
31.  When will I be able to go home? Is an overnight stay required, or is one available if I prefer?
32.  Who will attend me in the case of an overnight stay?
33.  Will I need someone to drive me home?
34.  If a problem arises after I go home, who answers calls after hours and on weekends?
35.  If I need to be seen after hours, where will this occur?

36.  If I need help in my home, is a private duty nurse available?  At what cost?

37.  Are any special garments, medications, or diets required during the recovery period?
38.  How much pain/swelling/bruising is to be expected? How long are these likely to last?
39.  How long does the entire healing process last?
40.  How many follow-up visits are necessary?
41.  Who performs the skin care/post-operative follow-up/suture removal?
42.  When can I wear makeup?
43.  When may I return to exercise/bathing/driving/normal activities/work?
44.  At what point will I feel comfortable in a social setting?
45.  What if I am dissatisfied with the results or with the degree of changes achieved?
46.  If touch-ups are necessary when would that be performed?

What about fees

47.  Does the cost depend on where my surgery is performed?
48.   Will I need to see another physician prior to surgery for examination or testing because of a preexisting medical condition?

49.  Who pays this cost? Will my regular family doctor suffice?
50.  If a complication causes me to be transported to a hospital or stay overnight, who pays for this additional cost?
51.  If I request multiple procedures, can they be performed at the same time? What are the cost savings?

52.  What options are available for payment?

53.  Does the office accept credit cards?
54.  Is a payment plan available to patients?
55.  What is the refund policy should I change my mind after paying in full?
56.  Is my surgery covered by my insurance plan?

After discussing all of the factors involved with your proposed procedure with the surgeon, you should have a sense of whether or not the surgeon is right to you.  Take note of and consider whether the surgeon:

  • Listen and understand your priorities, opinions, and requests?
  • Communicate concern, compassion, request and honesty?
  • Instill confidence in you?
  • Display confidence in his or her ability to care for you?
  • Seem distracted, or come across as arrogant or curt?
  • Seem patient and willing to spend time to answer all your questions and discuses your concerns?
  • Condescend; talk down or under estimate your intelligence?
  • Make eye contact or continually jot down notes in the chart as you spoke?
  • Display positive body language?
  • Confuse you or offer clear explanations?
  • Appear to be selling you the procedure?
  • Adequately discuss any preexisting medical conditions you might have?
  • Encourage your family to participate in the consultation and decision-making process?

Do you:

  • Feel that you have established forthright communication and a positive rapport with the surgeon?
  • Trust your life to this surgeon?
  • Feel the Surgeon is acting in your best interest?
Remember, Aesthetic Augmentation is no one’s decision but yours. 

I wouldn’t be a Barbie Doll if I didn’t have Fake

12 Dec

Hair. 

And you thought I was going to say “boobs.”  Not yet. 

I’ve had lots of different types of fake hair.  Lots.  Here’s a lil info written by myself and Mike Manzo (@MikeyManzo) of Michael O’Rourke’s “Rock Your Hair.”  (He rocks my life).

In the Beginning…

Picture from the Beginning

The first time I had extensions they were clips.  And it was love at first site.

Clip-Ins

These can be purchases for between $70-$100 at Sally’s Beauty Supply.  Make sure you get real human hair, and ask the people who work there to help you match it.  You don’t want to look like you got your weave at a mall cart.  They’re easy to apply, but take some practice.  By teasing the root of your hair, they stay in better.  Ask your hairdresser for some guidance!  They can be curled and flat ironed (I recommend doing this BEFORE you put them in).  Make sure you take these clips out before you sleep… mine make me break out.  The best way to clean these is with dry shampoo (I love Bombshell).  You should wash them every once and a while though with real shampoo.

Weave (Swing Wefts)

Swing Weft

My girl Ava did some very interesting techniques with my hair (microbeading, bonding… ect).  But my first step up from the clip-ins was as a model for Ava’s new technique with wire (like fishing wire… in fact… I think we went to Target and bought fishing wire).  She wired wefts of fake hair into my natural hair.  It looked awesome down, but was hard to put up (I only wear my hair up at the gym anyways).  The hair was totally re-usable.  Ava was awesome and gave me an hour long lecture on how to take care of my new hair.  I was so excited I think I paid attention to half of it. 🙂 I think this counts as white-girl weave?

Taped Wefts

Oh boy, did I have a bad experience with this one.  Mark from Dellaria’s in Newton convinced me they were the best thing.  Guys a great salesman.  But a horrible hairdresser.  My friend Nikki and I both got the extensions.  We both hated them.  You could see tape tracks in the hair.  Taking them out was a dirty gluey mess too.  Don’t Do It.  I’d like to thank Ava here for fixing this mess. Oh, not only did they look awful, but you couldn’t die them easily.  Bad for someone like me who highlights AND lowlights.

**No pictures.  Sorry.  I wore a hat most of the time during this phase!

Went back to clip ins about here.  Added some chemical free color.

A splash of color for concert going.

After my tape debacle, I went back to the clip-ins.  Had to let my hair recover.  It was around this time where my business was taking off in Newton Center, and I realized I couldn’t have fun funky hair anymore.  Or could I…

Red, blue, green, pink… clips from Sally’s for $3.99.

Whatever you do though… don’t flat iron or attempt to curl these.  They are synthetic and will melt.  And it smells.  Bad. 🙂

Next it was time for some Classic Bondage.

Classic Bonded Extensions

When I was ready to take the financial plunge and get real extensions, I had classic bonded extensions.  A tiny iron is used to melt the bond as it lies against your hair, which the stylist rolls until it cools and hardens with your own hair locked inside.  It takes FOREVER.  That’s why it’s so expensive. Accidental contact with a curling or flat iron could melt the bond, causing two to stick together or even to slip out of the hair. Removal requires application of a solvent, which softens the bond so the stylist can loosen it and slide it off (like the tape wefts).  Also, as your natural hair grows out… it can get a lil ratty looking.  And by ratty I mean dread-y.

Microbeading 

Straight from the bag (ie, i need to flat iron the layers together--pic pending)

This is the latest and the greatest. This method is one of the longest and safest for your natural hair.  Strands can be customized to different sizes for the most personalized fit.  A small bead is threadedaround a tiny section of your hair and a strand of extension.  The tube is then flattened with a plier-type looking thing, holding the two together.  It is perfect for those who like to highlight and lowlight (like me!).  There is no glue or adhesive, so it doesn’t ruin your natural hair when they are removed.  Removal is quick and easy with Microtubes. The now-flat tubes are popped back to their original shape and slipped right off.

Things I’ve never done… but you should know about.

Heat-Free Protein Bonds

These are the smallest fusion points available and also the hardest, yet they are as flat as a piece of paper. This makes Heat-Free Protein Bonds ideal for fine hair, because they are the least likely to cause visible bumps or be felt when running a hand over the hair.

What sets them apart from the classic protein bond is that they are applied using ultra-sonic vibration to soften them as they are attached.  This means that there is no heat applied to the hair at any time, and that it would require a much higher degree of heat to melt or damage these bonds. Blow-drying and irons are of little or no concern.

Shrink Tubes This newer technology uses a clear plastic tube to attach your new hair, and is the option which allows the most hair to be added. Your hair is threaded through the tube just like it is with the microbeading, but in this case the plastic tube is heated until it shrinks to half its original size, tightly gripping the extension and your hair together.

There is room for two extensions to be sealed into each tube, if your own hair’s root is thick and strong enough to anchor that. These are great for creating a “lion’s mane” type of look, or for curly hair.

Sewn-In Wefts AKA “weave”! Tried and true, sewn-in extensions have been done longer than any of the methods above. They are often more cost-effective, but can be heavy and even painful when first applied.  The hair can be re-used for many cycles, but can be difficult to blend with layered looks.

In Conclusion…

It’s always a good idea to talk to your hairdresser before spending money on extensions, and it’s also a good idea not to go cheap.  If your salon doesn’t have a stylist who does extensions, ask who they recommend.  It’s ok to schedule consultations with a few salons before choosing a stylist and extension method. This consultation should be free and take 15-30 minutes. You should be shown hair samples, color choices, and examples of the stylist’s work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Great Gifts for the Women in Your Life

7 Dec
Having a hard time finding the perfect gift?  Here’s a few things every female fancies (you can’t go wrong)! 
 
Gift Certificates For:
  • a manicure/pedicure ($15-$50)
  • a facial ($45-$150)
  • Her Favorite Hair Salon (be sure not to get just ANY salon)
  • a massage ($60-$100)
  • a day at the Spa
  • A nice robe/winter gloves/hat/scarf.  We all wear them… we can always use a new one.

A Little More Thoughtful:

  • A New Flat Iron (some good names: GHD, CHI, and BaByliss) ($150-$350)
  • Magnetic nail polish (from Nails Inc.)
  • Good Shampoo (like Matrix $13-$22/bottle)
  • a subscription to New Beauty Magazine (www.newbeauty.com) LOVE IT! $9.99/issue
  • NARS Turkish Delight Lip Gloss–looks good on literally everyone (Sephora $22)
  • Along the lines of Sephora (which is at every mall) there are some really cool, easy gifts in there.  My friend Allegra told me she wants some vibrating lip gloss (I have no idea WHY it vibrates)… and they have sample kits of things like “mascara’s” and “lip glosses.”
  • New Make-up Brushes (check out Sephora again)
  • Jewelry- but beware– jewelry is a very personalized gift.  Diamonds and pearls are always classy… but is she a diamond girl?  bling bling? or more subtle? like classy pearls?  Does she usually wear gold? or silver?  I once broke up with a guy who bought me aquamarines for an anniversary gift (not because I’m shallow, but because after dating someone for a year, you should know what kind of jewelry that person wears.  I realized it was a dead end relationship.)
  • Lululemon.  For your sporty chick.  (Has anyone seen the commercial where the chick is talking all about why she wears yoga clothes–she bikes, she does yoga, she hits the gym– and then she says “Who am I kidding, I wear Yoga pants because I’m lazy” ahahaha)

Just So You Know…

Bags–A crash course

  • Dooney and Bourke (otherwise known as D&B) $$
  • Coach $$$
  • Chanel/Gucci/Burberry/Louis Vuitton $$$$$$$$$

Don’t even think about buying her shoes. — however the book “100 Shoes: the Costume Institute/the Metropolitan Museum of Art” with intro by Sarah Jessica Parker… that’s a great gift!

100 Shoes: The Costume Institute / The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Ask a Chick!

My friend Megan swears by “asking Steph at Nordstrom’s in Natick;” all you need is a size and she can style you up (remember to check the tag of your girls clothes… and also keep in mind every brand is different, confusing and annoying–yea we know!).  If you can’t make it to Natick, that’s ok.  A lot of the high end stores have staff that are MORE than helpful.  I know you don’t like to ask for directions… but the perfect gift can gift is the gift that keeps on giving… when the kids are sleeping.  Just never NEVER mention that the chick at the desk was cute.  In any way. Ever.

Wrap It Up. 

Gifts should come in an exciting box.  You’ve heard this saying before.  Wrap it up.  In something nice.

Anatomy of a Facial

3 Dec

A facial is a procedure involving a variety of skin treatments, including: steam, exfoliation, extraction, creams, lotions, facial masks, peels, and massage.  Facials can last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour and range in price depending on the types of products used for the treatments.  They are professionally recommended every 4 weeks for maximum results. Step 1: See a Professional.

All facials follow the same basic structure and order. They will begin with makeup removal and cleansing.  Then comes some method of exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and smooth the surface of the skin. A massage is then performed that can include all or some of the scalp, face, neck, shoulders, back and even the hands or feet.

Facials are then classified in two ways:  hands on treatment or electrotherapy.

“Hands-on” Treatment

The aesthetician will use her hands to perform the facial treatment. Sometimes, a steam machine is incorporated in these facials during or after cleansing, to open up the pores and allow a deeper cleansing action.

A facial mask is a creamy paste (or gel) that often contains minerals, vitamins, essential oils, and fruit extracts is the main step in the hands on treatment.  There are different kinds of masks for different purposes: deep-cleansing, by penetrating the pores; healing acne scars or hyper-pigmentation; brightening, for a gradual illumination of the skin tone.

Gels are mostly used for oily and acne prone skins and oils or moisturizing creams are used for dry to normal and matured skin types.  A clay or mud based face pack is used after the cleansing process and steam process (optional) is over to close the open pores and to provide nutrition to the skin.

Masks are removed by either rinsing the face with water, wiping if off with a damp cloth, or peeling off of the face by hand.  Duration for wearing a mask varies.  The perceived effects of a facial mask treatment include revitalizing, healing, or refreshing; and, may yield temporary or long-term benefits.

Electorotherapy Facials

Use machines as part of the treatment; there are several different types, which are suited to different skin types. Some of the most popular variations of this type of facial are:

  • Galvanic treatments: metal rollers or applicators are used to either produce a deep cleansing effect.  Depending on the active product being used, this will help reduce spots and blemishes (making this a good facial for an oily skin type), or to help infuse active ingredients deeper in to the skin (for a variety of skin types).
  • High frequency treatments: uses a glass electrode passed over gauze placed on the skin. This helps dry out spots and has an antibacterial effect, so is good for oilier skins or those with a few specific blemishes.  An indirect high frequency facial uses a saturator held by the client to draw a moisturizing massage medium deeper in to the skin, and so is best suited for more mature or dry skin types.
  • Microcurrent treatments: also known as non-surgical face lift, this type of facial uses a current to lift and tone the facial muscles and also to improve the colour and texture of the skin and soften lines.

During most of the electrotherapy treatments you may experience a slight tingling effect on the skin, but this is quite normal.

Facials are key to having nice skin!  They need to be maintained with a home care regiment that is not OTC!

Check out these posts as well:

Evaluating Your Skin.

 

Step 2: Spend wisely.

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