Beauty, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized

It’s what’s inside that counts…

We all know this. Beauty comes from within. I agree, kindness, honesty, empathy – they are all good things and make a person more beautiful than any root lift, mascara or nail polish could. What I am talking about your heart rate, your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels etc… I know, who wants to think about such things when we are dealing with flyaways and frizz. Well my friends, what is happening on the inside could very well be the culprit of your beauty woes, skin and hair alike.

In these days of fads diets and extreme weight loss, what we seem to be losing is perspective. I am all for having the “junk in my trunk” that I had when I was 20, to have my arm stop jiggling after I have finished waving to my friend. We all want to look good, to feel as though we are on the catwalk in Paris or Milan. We all want the only muffin top in our lives to be on our breakfast muffin. Poor health and medications can not only decide what ride you can go on at the fair, it can affect how your hair takes color, retains curl, the porosity of the hair and the weakness or strength of your hair, skin and nails. Is it worth a lifetime of medication so you can fit into those size 2’s? (if you aren’t careful the money you save on food will be going to the hair extensions you may now need – not want).

Now, to keep you all off your soapboxes, I am not saying all “diet’s” are bad. You can shake, rattle and roll for all I care – be sure to educate yourself – and by the way – reading the bottle is not educating yourself. Talk to a doctor, get your base line bloodwork done to be sure it is safe for you, or just to be sure your heart can take it. Trust me, I know of what I speak. Last year two people very close to me suffered heart attacks and we didn’t see it coming – at all.

I am turning 40 this year and yes, things aren’t quite where they used to be – that’s what a great bra is for. Sure, my skin may not have the youthful glow it once had – that’s what lotion and bronzer’s are for. My hair may not have it’s luster except for the gray strands that shine on through – that’s what shine sprays are for. I know for a fact (because I just got back from the M.D.) that my health is intact and all my blood work is normal – so normal that my M.D. wondered why I was even at the appointment. I am not saying this to brag….”ooohhh – look who is soooo healthy”. The point is, if you don’t do it properly – you may finally get to the size you were in high school but your hair and skin look like you are heading for retirement , nothing may “get between you and your calvins” – what does it matter if you look great in your new jeans when the only person seeing it is the pharmacist?

Everything in moderation. Exercise 20 – 30 minutes a day. Eat your veggies. Educate yourself. Love yourself. You are worth it.



Wake up and smell the acetone

I am sure by now you have all heard of the newest trend in nails… Shellac. First and foremost let me say this, it is an innovative nail system that is an awesome idea. It is a great product and Creative Nail Design is a great company with terrific products for our hands and our feet. Shellac was created so women could have nice looking nails without chips and also to promote healthy nail growth. Shellac is a nail polish system that lasts up to two weeks without chipping, every woman’s dream. Unfortunately it is becoming a nightmare.

The reasons for the sleepless nights are these…poor application and removal of the product and not educating the client about what they are putting on their nails. At least four times a week I have a woman come into my shop either with red, irritated nails and cuticles wincing as she explains the horrors of Shellac or asking if I sell acetone so she can “soak her hands” to remove the Shellac – because that’s what her “nail girl” told her to do. YIKES!!! So I am taking  upon myself to give you all a heads up about this product…call it Nails 101.

(From the CND website) – Shellac is a breakthrough, patent-pending UV3 technology that combines the ease of polish with the permanence of gels.

So, it is a polish/gel product. It is not recommended to be applied to a nail bed that is damaged – peeling or splitting. It is not meant to be used as a nail strengthener. The proper removal process is to wrap each individual nail with a foil nail wrap that has been saturated in acetone, leave them on for approx. 5 – 15 minutes (depending on how long you have had the Shellac on your nails), remove the foil nail wraps, then gently remove the remaining Shellac with an orange wood stick. YOU SHOULD NOT PLACE YOUR HAND IN A BOWL OF ACETONE!!! Also, the nail tech should NEVER use a drill on your nail to remove Shellac. Ever.

Shellac is meant to be applied by trained Nail Professionals and removed by trained Nail Professionals. I stress the word Professional. Ladies, please, for the love of all that is great…when you go to get your nails done, ask what the Nail Tech is doing. Ask what she is using. Do not let her put your hand in acetone. Next time you sit down to get your nails done, if you are asked to “soak your hand in this” – ask what it is and unless you are at Home Depot, there should not be a drill in sight.

Beauty, Business, communication, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Some things you can’t “un-see”…

I am an inquisitive person. There isn’t much I don’t want to learn about or see. That being said, lets begin today’s tale, shall we?

In my years in the beauty biz I have had many questions posed to me… “What is the difference between Root Boost and Mousse?”, “What is a good conditioning treatment?”, “How do I get the brassy tones out of my blonde?”. Many times I have had women (and men) show me their receding hair line, or their hang nail and ask what to do about it. There are a few things I nor any other person except your physician should see. “Excuse me…can you help me” is what I hear. As I look up, I see something I will never un-see. I kid you not, there was a woman standing by the counter, showing me the red bumps on her bikini line (and she did not look like Christie Brinkley nor have the body of Jillian Michaels – yeah – I said it). “Do you have anything that would help with this?!” As I looked over my shoulder, praying to see a camera, I answered “uh…yes, I do. You can cover that up now.”. I kindly let her know that next time all she has to do is tell us she has red bumps from waxing, we know what she is talking about, we know what it looks like.

Another thing for the physician – if your scalp has bleeding, oozing scabs on it, please don’t show me. If you must tell me..alright ….but don’t show me…I am sure I can picture it in my head. I know I am in a Salon, I know I have masses of product to sell you – what you need in this situation is a physician, pharmacist, exorcist…take your pick.

Last but not least….Hands. I know we have nail biters (I was when I was a child – no judgments), I know some of you pick at your cuticles…don’t recommend it but hey…whatever floats your boat. Just so you know (feel free to share this tidbit of info. with the masses), when your nails or cuticles are bleeding – not a good idea to be touching all the product on the shelves or opening up said products.

I wonder what I will see today….

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Do you know where that has been?

So there I was, restocking the shelves when out of the corner of my eye, I saw her. Standing in front of the 8 x 10 sign which read “please do not try on the polishes – we have color swatches to show their true color” she was opening up the bottle of China Glaze Kiwi-Colada and just before the brush hit her nail I stopped her. “Please do not try on the polish unless you are planning on buying it” (service with a smile as usual). Then another favorite of mine “Well….how am I gonna know what the color’s gonna look like?”. (Did I mention said customer is in her 40’s?). So, I showed the sign, and the array of color swatches in front of the China Glaze collection and assured her that is the color after two coats had been applied which she responded “How do you know?”. Really? Do people hear themselves? So I let her know that I was the one who had made the swatches, had applied the colors, and labeled them to make her choice that much easier. (What I really wanted to say was “you aren’t Cinderella and this isn’t a fairytale”, alas….I kept my decorum. ).

Ladies and gents, I know you all like the newest things, the shiny packages, the pretty little bottles. I know you are itching to try that new cream or try on the new scent. If the package is labeled “tester” – go ahead, test it out….proceed with caution, but go ahead. I say proceed with caution because you don’t know who just tested the tester. At my shop we clean the lids and bottles of the testers we use. Most of the hair products our stylists use in our Salon, so our customers are invited back to the Salon to try the hair products. In the store, it’s mostly just the hand creams. Why you ask? As I just stated – you never know who just tested the tester. That being said – if there is not a “Tester” label – do not try it. Seriously, would you want to buy a used product? Didn’t think so. I may be turning 40 but I can still hear the crack of a lid opening 500 feet away. (and by the way…at my shop…you open it and try it… buy it sweetheart).

Back to the tale of the misguided polish painter. After she realized that I was telling her the truth, she told me she always tries on polish…everywhere she goes, that she had just tested colors at WalMart. I told her that I didn’t think that was a good idea, since she didn’t know if the woman she just saw do the same thing had a fungal infection on her nail. I swear I saw her shoulders roll forward as she looked down at her multi-colored nails. To top off the conversation and to make my day I got to hear the best question of the day… “Does this mean that I shouldn’t try the lipstick testers on my lips?”.

Common sense isn’t that common.

Beauty, health and wellness, Uncategorized

Nailed it!

As a follow up to “Put my hand ….where?” here is a tale of recovery. I know there are many nail products on the market. The one I am familiar with and have seen the results first hand (and nail) is OPI Nail Envy. If you suffer from weak, brittle or damaged nails, OPI has an answer for your every need. Nail Envy by OPI.

OPI offers 6 solutions to your nail ailments.

Nail Envy Soft & Thin – fortifies soft, thin nails with a boost of extra calcium (if your nails bend but not break – this baby is for you)

Nail Envy Sensitive & Peeling – for post acetone abuse – a formaldehyde free formula that soothes sensitive nails with aloe vera and protects against peeling with vitamin E

Nail Envy Dry & Brittle – moisturizing formula that helps maintain flexibility with vitamins E & C (if your nails break instead of bend – this is the ticket)

Nail Envy Maintenance – great to use once nails are in optimum condition. Not recommended if you are using Nail Envy Sensitive & Peeling (nails may still be too weak from prior damage)

Nail Envy Original – Maximum strength formula -helps nails grow stronger, longer and harder. (recovering from poor gel removal – stick with Sensitive & Peeling until peeling stops)

Nail Envy Matte – Same formula as Nail Envy Original but has a natural matte finish. * Perfect for men (yes gents, the jig is up….we know about the manicures).

A great addition to this recovery process is a cuticle oil. OPI Avoplex cuticle oil hydrates and replenishes the cuticle which in turn helps promote healthy nail growth.

I know, you are thinking who has time? You do! Do it while you watch T.V., or check your Facebook or even while you read my blog.