Category: Esthetic Education


Menopause is the 2nd big hormonal event in a women’s life, and even if you are nowhere near this stage of life, it is NOT too early to prepare. Like everything else, preparation and knowledge about the process of  “your change” will dictate your success in navigating through this natural occurrence.

So do as I say, not as I did. I saw menopause as something natural that I would float through seamlessly – didn’t I have my last baby at home? Super Woman! Not 😉 I mean I got through without a DNC, I let fibroids shrink on their own, I wore sunscreen, got moody, lived through night sweats, fought dryness, etc.

What I did not prepare for was the state of depletion that the declining levels of estrogen left me in. There are supplements to address these changes, but I didn’t see the need at the time. I do now, as a 55-year-old post-menopausal woman…better late than never!

But, I digress…let’s just stick to the skin part of this discussion.

The biggest skin bandit is undoubtedly the sun – which we love! but we must respect its power.

In 2nd position is the process of aging. First of all, can I just mention that I HATE the phrase anti-aging. Is it beneficial to be against aging? We, as women, spend our youth worrying if we are thin enough, pretty enough, sexy enough, toned enough…blah, blah, blah enough already! I like to call it healthy aging instead.

That said, let’s talk about what is going on behind the “skin scenes” in the aging process – and  what we can do to have the best possible outcome.

Decline in estrogen levels are the main culprit. This affects every organ skin of the body, including the skin. The estrogen receptors that carry this magic “women juice” are found most abundantly around the genital area (duh), face and lower limbs.

Dryness and wrinkling in peri and post menopause are the most noticeable effects on the skin and impact all women to some degree. But behind the scenes there are some other body systems that are changing:

  • The skin becomes less capable of storing moisture.
  • Collagen is breaking down.
  • The blood supply to the skin decreases.
  • The sebaceous glands shrink and produce less oil
  • The skin’s deeper fat layers shrink
  • Aging skin thins and becomes paler and more translucent
  • The skin bruises more easily and is generally more sensitive
  • Allergic reactions and body itching may increase
  • Risk of skin cancer, rosacia and other skin disorders increase.

Having fun yet? 🙂

Solutions:

  • Use a full spectrum block from an early age – or now!
  • Use Mineral Makeup , it calms, soothes, protects the skin from environmental factors and provides an SPF factor
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Start a preventative skin care regime, supervised by a skincare professional that addresses your skin type and issues.
  • Eat healthy raw foods regularly. Low-gylcemic index foods, will increase dermal hydration.
  • Consider supplements: especially a multiple vitamin, minerals and essential fatty acids like Omega 3
  • Use exfoilliants and/or get chemical peels regularly to increase cell turnover.
  • Moisturize using a formulation with hyaluronic acid
  • Practice regular/daily habits of elimination.
  • Develop stress management resources and a support system. Emotions create toxins that affect the skin.

The skin is a living, breathing organ of elimination. It also serves as a  protective covering and barrier – what works to keep it fit and healthy is constantly changing.

You have completely new skin cells every couple of months. Those new cells were grown in an ever-changing body, depending on: what you eat, drink, your skincare regime, hormones, the weather,  – even your thoughts and moods.

Note: When I do brow maintenance I also consult with my clients about the state of their skin, keeping them in touch with the changes the skin is going through, and how to best facilitate healthy, beautiful skin at any age.

See you at the spa!

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Aestheticians sometimes call their use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) when doing facials – chemical peels; but they are not peeling the skin, they are resurfacing. Whats the difference? There are 3 levels or strengths of AHAs available:

1. Cosmetic-you can get these at the drug or department store – see The Isles of Beauty

2. Cosmeceuticals-available to licensed skincare specialists.

3. Pharmaceuticals-doctors use these or write a prescription for them.

AHA’s work mainly as  exfoliants. They cause the cells of the skin in the upper layers to become “unglued,” allowing the dead skin cells to slough off and making room for regrowth of new skin deeper down.

AHA’s also stimulate the production of collagen and elastin and improve wrinkling, roughness, and mottled pigmentation or sun damaged skin.

Some examples of AHA’s are: Glycolic – sugarcane, Lactic – sour milk products, Citric – citrus fruits, Malic – apples and pears, Tartaric – grapes.

For home use, I love: Glyco-A Gel by Tu’el

There is also a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) called salicylic. All  the acids have different strengths and purposes. So, what’s the difference between the BHA & AHA’s? Two words: lipid solubility, aka a substance’s ability to dissolve in oil. AHA’s are water soluble, and BHA dissolves in oil. So…oily skin likes BHA and normal to dry skin like AHA’s.

Try: 5% Salicylic Acid Clarifying Pads by DermaQuest Skin Therapy.

Side Effects of these acids include; irritation, sun sensitivity, redness, and itching.

Rosacea is a skin disease that responds favorably to some forms of resurfacing, but because this condition is often red, irritable and swollen,a patch test on the inside of the arm to check for allergic response or sensitivity is recommended. The capillary walls are near the surface of the skin in this condition (hence the redness and veiny appearance) so the skin needs extra protection. The skin is also thin, so toughening it up and thickening it with AHAs can be helpful.

AHA & BHA products may reverse some of the damage caused by the sun, but at the same time they make the skin more susceptible to sun damage. When using resurfacers use a good sunscreen – see Sunscreen 101 , that contains UVA and UVB protection.

My favorite: Oil Free Essential Protection SPF 30 by Tu’el

See you at the spa!

Hypotrichosis is the name for having inadequate or not enough lash, it also can cause brow hair to be sparse. Not caring for the lashes properly can also thin them, as can certain prescription medicines and dare I say so does the aging process! So, if you fall into one of these categories–or if you just think your brows and lashes are too thin–listen up.

LashExtend by SeneGence is the newest,  most affordable  and safest product on the market to grow lashes, no prescription required! You can expect to grow lashes by 25% in two weeks and there are no harmful side affects.

Only $45!

And since we all want long, lush lashes, here’s a few killer ways to thicken them:

  • Use a lash growth product like LashExtend from Senegence (you can use it for brows too).
  • Dye your lashes (At Star Brows, you save when you do tinting (I use a vegetable dye) of brows or lashes with a facial or brow waxing service).
  • Learn how to curl or thicken your lashes without the extra chemical agents.  (Try Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler) To curl your lashes, take your eyelash curler and place it at the root of your lashes. Hold firmly for ten seconds and release. If your lashes are stick straight, you can move up slightly away from the roots, repeating the curl.
  • Use an eyelash primer. It conditions as it thickens.
  • Get a mascara that is right for you. Decide between normal wear, water resistant, and waterproof .
  • Don’t buy more help than you need. Get the one product that specializes/addresses the main issue for your particular lash type.
  • Use a clean disposable  mascara wand to un-clump and separate as needed after the mascara application.
  • Brush the roots of your lashes back and forth a couple of times before sweeping through to the tips.
  • Want  thick, Red Carpet lashes? Quickly apply ten thin coats of mascara (yes, ten!). If you let it dry between coats, you’ll ruin the effect and have clumps. Quick strokes are the key.
  • Choose the right color. Black lengthens, brown thickens. A fun look that will both thicken and lengthen your lashes is called minking. To mink your lashes, apply a coat of brown mascara. After that layer has dried, apply black mascara just to the tips of your lashes. Your lashes will look thick at the roots and phenomenally long at the tips.
  • Use eye make-up remover. Even if your mascara is not waterproof, using soap or facial cleaners can wreak havoc on your eyelashes. The best eye make-up remover is oil-free, witch hazel is inexpensive and works well as long as you use an eye cream afterward – it’s drying. Using LashExtend will condition the lashes.
  • Toss your mascara every three months, this is the longest shelf life any tube of mascara has.

Note: You can temporarily treat hypotrichosis with Latisse, which is a drug used in the treatment of eye disorders. Their literature says that the eyelashes will go back to their former short/sparse selves within 1 month of discontinuing the product. There is also a risk of darkening around the surrounding skin which “may” go away after discontinued use, and the iris may have color changes as well, which will not reverse. Yeah, not a fan.

See you at the spa!

Going bare ‘down there’ is an increasingly popular option for women these days, but things can get seriously ugly if you don’t take care of your sensitive nether regions in the weeks post-wax.

The bumps after waxing within 24 hours are called folliculitis or inflammation of one or more hair follicles. Common symptoms of folliculitis include a rash, itching, or pimples. There may also be ingrown hairs that grow – either way, the treatment is similar.

So, how do you take care of the skin before and after a Brazilian wax?

Pre-wax pointers

  • Your appointment shouldn’t be any closer than a couple of days before or after your period.
  • Don’t use any lotions in your bikini area before waxing.
  • You need 1/8″  hair growth for the wax to hold onto, no more – no less.
  • Take your favorite pain reliever/anti-inflammatory 30- 45 minutes before your appointment.
  • Prepare an after-care kit from the list below ahead of time, so you can begin caring for your waxed bikini area right away.
  • You may not be a good waxing candidate if you have very sensitive skin, herpes, genital warts, an STD or any other skin condition or contagious disease. Regardless, the technician should be gloved and a thorough pre-wax interview and education should be done.

Waxing after-care

24-48 hours after

  • Don’t take a hot bath (shower is OK).
  • No tanning beds, saunas or steam rooms.
  • Use a cold compress to soothe the area.
  • Sexual activity should be avoided. Friction on the skin can cause it to become inflamed.
  • Don’t use products with harsh chemicals, perfumes, or dyes.
  • Apply only gentle moisturizers.
  • Keep hands away from touching freshly waxed skin, as this can encourage irritation or small pimples.
  • Avoid using a bar soap; it leaves a film on the body that could cause ingrown hairs.
  • Use tea tree, lavender oil, antibiotic ointment or hydrocortisone cream.
  • Wear loose cotton undies.

48 hours +

  • Exfoliate using a mold resistant material like Ayate (made in Mexico from the fiber of the agave plant) so you don’t introduce bacteria.
  • Use an acne medication or AHA lotion.
  • Try to gently tweeze out ingrown hairs.

What to do if “problems” occurs:

  • Resist the temptation to pick.  If ingrown hairs are not remedied with gentle tweezing, the use of regular exfoliation and the correct products, then it is a good idea to go back to see your waxing specialist who should be trained to extract stubborn hairs.
  • Call your health care provider if symptoms last longer than 2 or 3 days or  if the infection spreads. If the area is infected,  a doctor may prescribe a topical antibiotic lotion or a systemic antibiotic if it is severe.
  • There are other reasons for bumps and redness, that may be unrelated to the waxing like warts, STDs, herpes, fungal infection etc. Practice safe sex, just in case it is communicable.

See you at the spa!

So many uses for these little reusable spoolies. You can pick them up at Sallys, drug stores, department stores or get them free at the nearest makeup counter!

  • Unclump mascara
  • Separate lashes with the tip
  • Use when you have an eye infection so you don’t contaminate the mascara tube
  • Position your brows so you can trim them
  • Put gel on you brows to keep them in place
  • Brush the brow to eliminate dead skin flakes under the brow hair
  • Clean your diamond ring (use toothpaste too)

Other uses you’ve tried?

See you at the spa!

Brazilian Waxing

As I write my very first blog post, you may be thinking about getting your very first “Brazilian” wax. There are other methods of hair removal, but nothing takes the place of waxing.

Here’s why:

1. It is fast. (The first time, allow up to an hour or so, but it normally takes 20-50 minutes.)

2. Maintenance can be done monthly (as opposed to shaving, which needs to be done almost daily).

3. For the results you get, it is well worth the cost. I charge according to how long it takes. (There is a maintenance price offered if you come on a regular basis.)

4. The hair follicle is pulled by the root, so over time (barring hormonal and other unforeseen variables) it is discouraged from re-growing, and the hair can become softer and less dense.

5. The discomfort involved with this procedure is mainly associated with a sudden sensation as the hair is removed, but quickly diminishes.

6. It is a professional service and feels like pampering. I use essential oils, light candles, play music and use clean, fresh sheets.

7. Women prefer the “clean” feeling they get.

8. Skimpy swimwear requires grooming.

9.  Ingrown hairs mostly associated with shaving are painful.

10. Body hair is not considered fashionable.

Exactly what is Brazilian waxing?

It is a type of waxing  involving the bikini area. This procedure normally involves the complete removal of all hair in the bikini area, front to back. Some types of Brazilian waxing leave a small line of hair. It is named after Brazil, the country with which it is most often associated and from which the modern practice originated. In Brazil itself, it is not called Brazilian waxing, but simply depilar (to wax, to pluck hairs). In Middle Eastern societies, removal of the body hair is considered a proper form of hygiene, necessitated by ancient local customs. Contemporary sources indicate that the French nobility also practiced waxing during the 17th century.

And what is the process, you ask?

The client begins by completing a Wax Questionnaire. If this is not done where you go – run! The lack of a proper intake shows the level of care the salon takes in general.

You will remove your clothing from the waist down, use a disinfectant wipe and apply Lidocaine – a topical anesthetic. The procedure starts with the professional trimming the hair to about 1/8 of an inch, if needed. (Some service providers like to have you come already trimmed, but don’t overdo it or the wax won’t be able to grab the hair.) Then, a light application of oil is spread over the area to be waxed. This prevents the wax from sticking to the sensitive skin. Next, wax is applied in sections over the area from which hair is to be removed. The wax is allowed to harden briefly, then one edge of each wax strip is pulled off in the opposite direction of the hair growth. The waxer then works  her way around the body. This procedure removes the wax, hair, and any dead skin cells lying on the skin surface. Finally, a soothing and healing post-wax essential oil  is applied, as well as an antibiotic ointment.

The skill and experience of the service provider is key. The first time you do it, you may need “breaks” and a slower pace to acclimate to the new experience. Most say they have less discomfort during subsequent treatments. There are over-the-counter products available if you are very sensitive. I don’t recommend any waxing immediately before (or during) your period when you are generally most sensitive. About a week after your period, if you can time it that way, is the ideal time.

I recommend working with a licensed  Esthetician (skincare professional) to perform this procedure. There can be complications, side effects, or contraindications to the treatment, and a skincare professional can address these best.

As a professional, I need to include a few words of caution:

  • There is a risk of infection if done on a person with a weakened immune system.
  • Folliculitis can occur with sensitive skin. It usually appears as small, white-headed pimples around one or more hair follicles — the tiny pockets from which each hair grows. These may itch, but on occasion they’re painful. While most cases are superficial and short lived, often clearing up spontaneously within a few days, deep or recurring folliculitis may need medical treatment.
  • On rare occasions tearing may occur and an MD will need to do a stitch or two. If a thorough health questionnaire is not given, contraindications may be missed.
  • It may flair a Herpes outbreak if you are prone. (You can take a medication from the MD to prevent this.)
  • Waxing during a “healthy” pregnancy is fine.

Here are my tips for a successful experience:

  • Use a licensed professional (an esthetic or cosmetology state license is required to be posted for public view).
  • Check to see if they carry professional insurance in case something goes wrong. (You can ask to see a certificate, but even so, some insurance companies that cover all other waxing won’t cover this procedure).
  • Make sure the working conditions of the waxing salon, as well as the  supplies, are clean and sanitary.
  • Get all your questions answered up front before you start (preferably on the phone when making the appointment), and be sure to discuss medications you take, medical history, contraindications, and other concerns.
  • Think about taking an anti-inflammatory  before your appointment to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Discuss post waxing care before you leave the salon. I use a special essential oil to help calm and soothe the area after the treatment. At home you may need to use a product that helps prevent “acne.” Again, ask your professional what she recommends for YOU.
  • Hard (strip-less) wax is best, it is designed for sensitive areas – I use Berins.

See you at the spa!

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Shaping Your Eyebrows with Perfect Precision Part 3

See Part 1 and Part 2

Let’s get started:

1. Placement is first. Are the brows placed too high or low in relationship to the eyes? Is the head and tail of each brow sitting on the brow shelf? Adjust by removing hair on the top line to bring it down, and remove hair from the bottom line to bring it up. Over time this can improve as regrowth happens. Adjust only a few rows of hair at a time.

2. Trimming is next. Be conservative and cut following the angle you want the brow to move to. The brow hair should not be longer than the width of the brow base. Trim the hair by combing up and cutting, then comb down and cut. Be conservative and cut following the angle you want the brow to move to. The brow hair should not be longer than the width of the brow base.

3. Next, remove hair in between the two brow heads. A good rule of thumb is to line the brow head up with the inside edge of the nostril. If the brow starts at the tear duct it will draw attention to the “well” under the eye, as this creates a circle visually. You want the viewer’s eye to travel from the brow down the nose and into the aesthetic triangle or mid face triangle.

4. Shape the beginning of the brow first. The head lines up with the vertical nasal edge, closer to the bridge of the nose than the tear duct. It should be gauzy; I prefer a natural irregular border on the head of the brow. This is where hand tweezing comes in; several hairs can make all the difference. You may also need to ventilate the hair in the head. This is usually a thicker area and may be out of balance with the tail.

The width of the head should be 1/3 that of the arch (if from the crease of the lid to the high point of the arch is 1 inch; the head should be 1/3 of an inch). The head is the thickest part of the brow.

5. Now let’s shape the arch. The arch is proportionate to the structure of the face. It should echo the shape of the eye opening. The head of the brow should gradually taper to the high point of the arch which is located just outside the iris and is 2X the width of the lid. The arch moves into the tail slowly, without an abrupt angle.

6. Finally we shape the tail. The tail will end in a soothing airbrushed point in an imaginary line directed to the top of the ear, never toward the jaw. As you age you may prefer the tail lifting somewhat. The shape of the tail will echo the upper lip when properly placed. If the descent of the arch is too steep it will not be long enough to end on the brow shelf with the head.

The eyebrow should make a soft movement from thicker to thinner. No bows, swoops or extreme egg shapes at the arch. Fashion may dictate thicker or thinner, but the silhouette is always defined as what looks best on your own face.

Linda Ruberto

http://www.starbrows.com

IMG_4526

Stop! Read this before removing any hair.

See Part 2 and Part 3

  • Waxing and tweezing damage the hair follicle root. Over time you may not grow hair back where you want it and hair thins as you age. I recommend keeping a very natural brow in your youth, so you have hair left to work with when you get older.
  • I almost never recommend shortening the tail of the brow. There are very few sebaceous glands in this area and regrowth is negligible.
  • Hard wax (strip less) is best for the delicate eye area. It doesn’t adhere to the skin and is designed for sensitive skin. I like Berins or Cirepil.
  • You will need to use sunscreen after you wax for at least 3 days – make sure it offers full UV protection (zinc oxide is one ingrediant you want to see on the label).
  • Don’t tan or use products that contain AHA or BHA for at least 3 days before (or after) you wax.
  • If you are on an RX for a skin condition, waxing may not be recommended. Hand tweezing is best in this case.
  • First consider your style: Natural (some clean up mostly on the underside of the brow), High Fashion(strong arch, crisp lines, tweezed to perfection, hair from above and below the brow), Bohemian (take out the obvious hair but leave the top of the brow untouched, keep a shaggy head, and lightly tweeze the underside of the brow).
  • Consider a practice run: Use cosmetics to experiment with the look you want. You’ll need: an eyebrow pencil (to draw in “faux hairs where you want regrowth), brow powder (to soften the pencil and fill in gaps), and a white highlighter cream (to erase hair you want to remove).
  • To access the proper placement of the brow, stand about two feet away from the mirror.
  • Consider the width of the bridge of the nose and how the closely the eyes are set when following the recommended guidelines. Some adjustments may need to be made. Use eyebrow cosmetics to experiment.
  • Consider base cutting before removing hair from the root when you are unsure of the outcome.
  • Look for scaring or growths in the body and border of the brow and leave hair longer around these areas (the “comb over” effect). No hair will grow in the scar tissue.

See you at the spa!


We all want gorgeous skin right? Read on, you’ll be glad you did ;).

The most important ingredient in a moisturizer is an ingredient known as: hyalurnan, sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid (HA). This is a natural substance which is found in all living organisms and is the main component of the connective tissue in the human body.

HA can hold moisture at 1,000 times its molecular weight, which is more than any other natural substance.

HA is involved in tissue repair. When skin is excessively exposed to UVB rays, it becomes inflamed, causing sunburn. The cells in the dermis stop producing as much HA, and increase the rate of its degradation. Topical use helps hydrate the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Oily skin benefits from this substance as well, as the skin may be “water dry” and have some compromised barrier integrity or imbalance.

Watch labels to make sure your moisturizer contains it. It is great for all skin types, and as I like to call it “underwater”  because it goes on under sun protectant during the day, and night serums and preparations at night.

I love Hy-Drate for the face,( this is the ultimate moisture gel) and Hydrating Body Tonic, (it tones and improves skin elasticity), both by Tu’el. This company was founded by Eva Friederichs who is one of the founding mothers of the professional skincare industry. Hy-drate has been a #1 seller for 20 years with this company – long before it was ever even known about by consumers or even industry professionals.

What’s in Hy-Drate?

Purified Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyquaternium 10, Dimethicone Copolyol, Camelia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizinate, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate. 2 oz. $42

A sister product to Hy-Drate is Hydrating Body Tonic. here is what Lori, Eva’s Esthetics president has to say:

My favorite product

I love this particular body product!!! Yes, three exclamations.  Why do I love it so much?  Absolutely, nothing comes close to how it makes my skin feel when I use it UNDER my body lotion.  This may seem like too many things to put on, but we skin techie’s get quite skilled at layering.  The interesting part is that the active ingredient is Sodium Hyaluronate which is the same ingredient in Hy-Drate (our number one product).

Another thing I really like is that since it is in a water base I can add my pure essential oil to it (about 5 drops to the 8 ounce bottle) and this essential oil becomes my very own perfume. Because it is a water solution the best way to apply it is directly after your shower.  Get out, towel dry and apply the Hydrating Body Tonic.  Be sure to do all parts like the undersides of your arms into your arm pits, which is an area that especially shows dehydration or age.  Pump some into one hand and just bring it over to the area you are applying and rub in.  Do your entire body and then layer your body lotion directly over that.  No need to let it dry.  You will actually use less body lotion.

I travel a lot which is really hard on the skin and so dehydrating. I promise you, this is one item I never leave home without.

– Lori Nestore

What’s in Hydrating Body Tonic?

Aqua (Purified Water), Methyl Gluceth-20, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Hydrolyzed Protein, SodiumHyaluronate, Eucalyptus Oil, Polysorbate-20, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Lactic Acid. 8 oz. $23

See you at the spa!

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