sign up for my weekly tip!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nail News

You will be happy to hear that UV lights that cure the instant dry nails are not harmful. When I decided to venture back into offering nail services I worried that I may be putting my clients at risk so I researched the subject.This new study from Dec 2012 set my mind at ease.
UV Nail Lamps Don’t Appear to Cause Skin Cancer
 Assuming 10 minutes of use per UV nail lamp session -- a common length of time of use -- the researchers calculated that it would take 250 years of weekly UV nail sessions to equal the risk of exposure associated with one course of narrowband UVB treatments for certain kinds of skin conditions.Based on this finding, the researchers concluded that UV nail lamps do not play a substantial role in the risk of developing keratinocyte carcinoma.
*(correction to above site quote, my gel cures for 6 minutes and 10 seconds per hand)*

This was my "planned entry" for a blog post that I had slated for May, right before peak pedicure season. But I decided in light of Dr. Oz’s recent episode on the dangers of gel manicures that I should put it out there now instead.
I am not sure how far in advance Dr Oz tapes his television program but I am wondering if he ever got the memo from the latest research regarding UV lights and gel manicures. I wrote to his producers and shared the above link with them to see if they had had a chance to look into this. I have not heard back from them to date and I am pretty sure I won’t but I had to speak up about my feelings regarding that episode. It is sad that TV works the way that it does and that the producers for Dr. Oz feel that the only way to sell his show is by sensationalism. Most of that particular episode was designed to gross you out and incite fear.
That being said, I do have to agree with his reporting on several issues.
  1. You get what you pay for, we (us, women) know that when we choose to go to a “chop shop” (this is what “we in the industry" refer to them as), you are asking for it. I am not going to call any place out. We all know who “they" are. They are assembly line workers. They get you in and get you out as fast a possible (which is what some people love about them) but they are not the most sanitary, skilled or professional environment. 
  2. Un-neccessary roughness to the nails when removing the gel manicure should never be tolerated. There is no need to be abrasive to the cuticle when removing the gel. In fact when following manufactures directions your technician should remove the gel from the cuticle to the end of the nail. The only time a “skilled manicurist” would be going from the tip of the nail to cuticle would be to “gently” push the cuticles back after having soaked them in a soapy bath for the purpose of removing overgrowth of cuticles. 
  3. Un-neccessary roughness to the nail plate before applying the gel manicure should not be tolerated either. A soft white buffer that barely removes any cuticle that has been removed from the base of the nail is all that should be done on top of the nail plate. The part of the episode that  said that these manicures would weaken your nails is untrue. If done properly your nail plate should be minimally effected. In fact, the top coat being applied will greatly strengthen your nails and allow them to grow naturally much longer than you can on your own. 
  4. Implements are an issue that I believe many "chop shops" short cut on. If you do not see your implements being removed from a sterile drawer or a barbicide bath, walk away. I did agree with his report that it would be excellent idea to bring your own implements if you want that peace of mind and you are unsure of the place you are frequenting. I give my clients the files, buffers and toe separators that I use on them to bring again if they would like. My environmentally conscience clients do bring them back and we use them again on the next visit. Otherwise Nevada state board requires that we throw all of that away. 
  5. I have seen some of the infections that where shown on his big screen that made all the audience oh and ah. I have three words for you: VICKS VAPOR RUB! I have had client after client come to me with fungus of that nature under their toenails, taking prescription medicine that was not working  for them having tried oils and potions galore. I would recommend Vicks on their toes before bed with socks and Viola! The fungus is gone before the next pedicure! The Eucalyptus, Menthol, and Camphor, mixed with the carrier oil that stays put like petroleum jelly is perfect for removing Fungus. That being said, however, I would not want to go someplace that isn’t properly sanitizing their foot baths and get it, so beware. Also be aware that there is a simply cure if you get it!  Please know that you can get a fungus from the gym, your children can get it from school, dance class, the list goes on. It is curable.
  6. In the 30+years I have been doing nails I have NEVER seen anyone come in or had any complaints of staph infection. This is new to me. Again, I follow the law requiring me to properly cleanse and sanitize my implements between each appointment. The only nail clients that I have ever had through the years that had issues with any type of infections at all were all nurses. That leads me to believe it is more about what "they" are exposed to on a daily basis rather than what “we" were all doing on their nails. Just my opinion there. But 30 years is a long line to draw from IMO. ;)
So at the end of the day I hope you will find some peace of mind in knowing that you do not have to give up your beautiful long lasting manicure. That going to lunch with the girls and doing pedicures together is still a luxury that you can enjoy without fear or worry. And that sometime even those we look to for advice are wrong on occasion. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Behind the Chair

Just sharing hair tonight! 
Cute messy bun on one of my sweet clients! I curl it all over and then add a little back combing, put it in the bun and then next day she can take it down or fix the bun. Sometimes lasts her three days.

Ombre is one of my favorite techniques! This is what was happening in the studio a few weeks ago. Love how it turned out! 

Fun for a night out or a day at the beach or... anytime really. Double braid with a flower tying it all together in the front. Loved this. She had super thick hair. It works best with this type of hair. 

One of my cute little teenagers wanted something special to mix it up with! Fun stuff! Reminds me of Hello Kitty for some reason! haha! 
And finally this beauty! I love doing the underneath hair darker and the contrast it  contributes to the overall look on a simple updo like this. Fun easy and super cute! 

Thanks for dropping by my blog. Leave me a comment if there is something you would like to see me create or post! I am giving away a free sample of shampoo and conditioner to some lucky commenter in the the comments below. Go ahead and leave a comment! You might win! 
Have a great hair day! 
Michon :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Letter to Dr.Oz

I am very disappointed with your recent show on gel manicures.

It looked to me like you were only showing “chop shop” manicure salons.  Where were the high end salons and spas?  I think the public would have been much better served by showing the difference between a high end salon that is running their business by the State Cosmetology Boards rules and regulations and then compare that to the salons that you actually went to. We all know what goes on in those shops, but you made it appear as if all salons are the same.  This is simply not true. It is sensationalism.  I am so disappointed.  You did a HUGE disservice to my fellow hard working ethical, law abiding nail techs and manicurists.

Did you contact the New York State Board of Cosmetology?  Where were the statistics?  Are gel manicures worse than any other type of manicure?  Are acrylic’s okay?  How many manicures are done a year and how many of these infections occur?  What are my chances of having a problem, really?  Where are the statistics? I am not sure when you taped this show, but I found this article last month and I wonder if you would consider taking some time to read THIS.

Manufacturer instructions say 10 secs for base coat, 2 minutes per color (usually 4) and 2 minutes top coat. So a total of 6 minutes10 seconds per hand every 2-3 weeks. Should I really be terrified of this amount of exposure? Again, I am going to call this sensationalism. Especially when you are using an oversized metal rod and shove it into a giant fake finger.  Manufacturer’s directions tell you to “GENTLY SCRAP THE LOOSENED GEL OFF WORKING AWAY FROM THE CUTICLES TO THE TIP”  It is unfair to an entire industry and many many law abiding, hard working people trying to make a living.  I think I may feel differently about this whole show if the professionals who are working under the scope of the law had been there to talk about the things to look for when you go into a salon. It was touched on briefly at the beginning but very briefly. And when you talk about infections and allergic reactions... just about everything in life can cause that. A trip to the grocery store touching an infected cart, showering at the gym... the list goes on.

This whole episode just makes me so sad that you would call out an entire industry of hard working individuals instead of calling it what it really was... STAY away from the chop shops that are being repeatedly cited by the State Board.  Do your homework before getting a manicure or a pedicure.  Make sure the implements used are sanitary.  Ask questions.   Maybe it would have been better that you made a call to action for every inspector visit.  Perhaps the checklist from the board should be posted in the front of the salon for all who enter to see what violations are being written up time after time?

I am not sure what the answer is, but I will definitely be looking at your future episodes with a much more skeptical eye.  I no longer believe.

A Disappointed viewer,
Michon Kessler
cosmetologist of 30 years in the industry

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 Makeup Favorites

There is a new line of makeup that is just making its debut at Sephora this week that really got my attention! It is called HD Makeup Forever Pro Finish Powder. I excepted just another powder foundation but my mind has been changed. There are a couple of things about this product that make it different from my other favorite makeup lines. No mica! What that means is that I am not walking around with sparkles on my cheeks when I don’t want to see sparkles! And it has staying power. It literally lasted all day with a beautiful finish. It was developed by a woman named Dany Sanz  in response to professional makeup artists who needed products that could counter the unforgiving high definition camera lens.  It is recommended for normal to oily skin so bare that in mind. It can be applied wet or dry. Wet application gives you a sheer  coverage with a satin finish. Dry application for full coverage with a matte finish. Comes in 25 shades and retails for $36. Love, love, love this product. Can be found at Sephora at the Summit this weekend Jan 29th!
This is my all time favorite lip color product. This lipstick will literally stay on ALL DAY! I put it on at 7am and I have to take it off at 9pm!  My favorite color in this line is Boundless Brandy. The trick to getting it to stay on all day is the drying time. Apply the color right after you have applied your foundation on clean lips. (make sure you have no foundation residue) and allow it to dry while you do your eyes. Finish several minutes later with the glossing wand on the opposite end! Amazing product in my opinion. Can be found at most drug stores. I like to hit CVS when they have their makeup, buy one get one 50% off. Retails for $8-9 depending on where you get it.
This is my favorite new eyeshadow. Just out it is Urban Decay’s first matte palette.
I love the smoky effect you can create with this palette. Applying eyeshadow correctly can make your eyes go from plain jane to wow with the simply stroke of a brush! I have a simple recipe that I like to use to make your eyes have that bit of a pop for a special night out. 
See this tutorial for the how to. 
The Urban Decay palette has 6 colors, 4 that are brand new with this collection and retails for $27 at Sephora. 
I like this mascara because it is inexpensive and works every bit as good as mascara that retails for twice what this does. It is nice that you can get a product that is reliable and reasonably priced. The other great thing about this product is that while it is not waterproof and a nightmare to remove it is smudge proof. The problem is, Covergirl, in their infinite wisdom, has decided to discontinue it! Why do companies do this? They have a fabulous product that works and is amazing and they discontinue it! I have plans of buying and hoarding as much as I can find this weekend. So I will be on the search for something comparable. If you have any suggestions please leave me a comment below! 

So there you have. You now know what I have in my little bag of tricks. 
I would love to hear from you about your favorite products. Please leave me a list of things you like so that I can go exploring and find some new beauty products. Enable me! :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Eye Shadow Tutorial

Many of my clients tell me that they don't wear eye shadow because they don't know how to apply it. Here is a quick tutorial to get you started. You can go full blown as shown in the after picture or you can stop anywhere along the way and call it good depending on how heavy or how minimal you want the look to be.
So here is what we start with. Thank you Makayla for being such an awesome model! :)
Before without a stitch of makeup which is her preference, but today she succumbed to my pleading! haha
So we are going to start off with some primer and this is the palette and the primer that I used for this tutorial.
My favorite palette to date. The colors on this are not true to my computer screen. The second to the end called Creep, is really black or smoky black. It looks blue on my computer. Just FYI there. 
Anyhow we are going to start with the first color in the palette called Virgin. 

This is beautiful by itself. I just evens out the skin tone and makes the eyelid lighter and happier in general. This with just the creep at the end is generally what I wear on my days off. 
Add contour color. I used a combination of the Naked and Buck #3 and #5 together. Apply these colors over the crease of the eyelid, blending them as you go. 
Add the drama. This color is called Smog it is #7 from the inside edge of the iris to the outer most edge of the eyebrow apply shadow as shown and blend. This picture is showing the result before blending. 
In this step you can see that I have blended the last one and added a fine line with the brush provided in the palette to create a smudged line above the eyelid  and underneath the eye to create a smoky drama that will really WOW him! :)
Hope you liked this little tutorial! More to come. Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought of it and if it was helpful or not. 

Thanks for stopping by, 
Michon :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beautifully Sweet, NOT!

This weeks beauty tip will not only help you with your weight loss resolution but will help your skin look and feel younger! I came across this amazing study from the British Journal of Dermatology about sugar and the effects on the skin. Did you know that sugar actually attacks the elastin and collagen in your skin? Sadly it is true. I love sugar! So this is going to be especially challenging for me. But I have to say after researching and surfing the web over the last few days looking for details on this subject I am going to be watching my sugar intake much more carefully. Originally I was only looking for evidence on the effects it had on skin but after much digging I am more concerned with my overall health. Here is a video I watched that surprised me.
But to the reason you are really here... The beauty part.
Here are five reasons you want to stay away from sugar as much as possible!

  • Sugar speeds the degradation of elastin and collagen. Collagen and elastin are both key proteins that your skin needs. 
  • Sugar triggers a process in the body called glycation. The molecules bind to your protein fibers and make them brittle rather than elastic. 
  • Glycation causes your proteins to mutate, creating new molecules that are harmful and cause inflammation and damage. 
  • Sugar has been linked to cataracts. We all know those are not pretty! 
  • Sugar has been linked to arthritis. Again not a pretty look. 
There are a number of things that we can do to combat the sugars that are bound to get in there. Sugar is hidden in almost every thing you can imagine. Check this link out to see what I mean. 
To fight the sugar war in your body try these tips.
  1. Don’t drink your calories. Most drinks are full of sugar check this link to see what I mean.
  2. Avoid condiments. Try using vinegar and oil or make your own dressings.
  3. Avoid processed, prepared and packaged foods.  
  4. Take vitamin B1 and B6 to help combat the effects of sugar on your system. 
  5. Green Tea and white tea are good antioxidants that will help to neutralize the sugars in your system. 
  6. Eat omega-3 fatty foods such as salmon, walnuts and flaxseed. 
  7. Take a daily DHA tablet; fish oil or krill oil. 
At the end of the day I have no intention of passing up an occasional cupcake or drinking my favorite red wine. But I will have to say this has had an eye opening effect on the way I will be feeding myself and my family from now on. We will still be celebrating on occasion. But maybe I just need to find less reasons to celebrate with food and drink and more reasons to celebrate with a outing to the lake or a hike on the trails. 

Since we can’t use all that sugar up for eating let’s make a quick and easy body scrub of it? 
Lemon Green Tea Scrub
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of strong green tea, cooled
one fresh lemon
Brew two green tea bags in hot water. Remove bags and place aside for future use*. Add coconut oil to warm tea. Stir until coconut oil is dissolved. Allow tea to cool to almost room temp.

Add zest from one lemon to tea and begin to add sugar 2 Tablespoons at a time. Stir in entire sugar a couple spoonfuls at a time to ensure complete absorption. Voila!
Not the prettiest presentation but it is just for me. I will have to
work on some labels and make it pretty to sale someday.

Put jar in your shower and use at least twice a week to slough off that dead winter skin on your legs and feet and entire body. *Place the teabags in baggie and save up to three days in the refrigerator to use as a toner after cleansing to close pores and add antioxidants to your skin or use under eyes for bags!

One of the tricks that I loved as I was searching the net for all the amazing body scrubs out there was found on this blog. I loved her suggestion of mixing them together in the container you are going to be using rather than transferring them after it was all mixed.

Thanks for stopping in and please feel free to share any ideas or tips in the comments below on what you strategies are for eliminating sugar from your diet are if you have any! I would love to hear what has worked for you or not worked for you in the past.

Sources: science daily, kitchen daily, mail online, dr. brandt, discovery fit, prevention

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Beauty Resolutions

New year resolutions are not the easiest to keep. In fact many of the friends and clients I have spoken to claim they didn’t even bother with it this year. I decided to keep it simple and start with my face first. I have had problem skin my entire life so this comes from my heart. This isn’t just for the ladies. Gentlemen, listen up as all the tips below are just as important for you and your skin. So here is my short list of tips to better, more beautiful skin for the new year. Good, New Year resolutions for anyone.
  1. Wash your face before bed. Even if you are not a make-up wearer it is a good practice to wash your face before retiring. The pollution, oil production, sweat and bacteria from the day is sitting there, waiting to turn to acne on your face while you sleep. Best practice is to wash with a gentle cleanser, tone and then apply an active serum to do some overtime work and a moisturizer. Your skin will have the evening to repair itself from the wear and tear of the day. 
  2. Exfoliate once a week. The process of exfoliation will rid your face of dry, dull skin by removing dead skin cells from the surface. This ritual helps to keep pores from becoming clogged and leaves the skin refreshed. Exfoliation reduces the size of pores and speeds up the skin renewal process, allowing healthier more radiant skin to take its place. This week’s recipe is a homemade exfoliating mask you can whip up at home to enjoy. Check it out! 
  3. Apply SPF every morning. It is important to protect your face from the constant amount of UV that it is getting daily. Remember to choose one that has at least a 30 SPF, is non greasy, and free from parabens. The one I use also has antioxidants including photosomes, roxisomes and ultrasomes that protect against free radicals and enhance DNA repair. (Fancy, huh?) :)
  4. Take your vitamins, Vitamin D3 oil specifically. This fat soluble vitamin is an essential nutrient for skin cell growth and replacement. Vitamin D helps your skin form a barrier that locks in moisture and helps keep your skin soft and supple among other things. I found a fascinating article on the web while doing research for this article. Read more at this link.
  5. Eat more raw foods. Raw fruits and vegetables are full of water which is what our skin needs the most of. Eating a diet centered around fresh, plant based foods gives your skin elasticity. Raw plants are also high in antioxidants. Think of your plate as a clock, ideally 45 minutes of your plate should be filled with raw fruits and veggies. 
  6. Get more sleep. Your skin, eyes and body will feel better and look better when you are adequately rested. Sleep deprivation shows up on your face. A study published in the British Medial Journal, participants rated photos of sleep-deprived faces as less attractive, less healthy and more tired. 
Pretty easy stuff eh? 
Keeping it simple but with things that we will get a big benefit from in the end. If we all do this over the next year we should be looking and feeling 10 years younger by 2014 right? :)
Share this with your friends, and leave me a comment below with your favorite tip for the new year and your beauty resolutions. I would love to hear what you are doing to make positive changes. 
Cheers to a beautiful new year and a beautiful new you! 
Thanks for stopping by, 
Michon :)

Rise and Shine Face Scrub
1 TSP of heavy cream
1 TSP of honey
1 TSP of brown sugar
1 TSP of finely ground coffee

Clean face with regular cleanser to remove any makeup.
Mix ingredients in a small bowl.
Steam pores open with a HOT towel.
Apply mixture to face with a soft wide paint brush. Allow it to penetrate for 5 minutes.
Gently scrub in circular motions over entire face. Be careful not to get too vigorous with the scrubbing or you could aggravate or complicate any skin condition.
Remove with warm wash cloth.
Apply cool clean washcloth to finish and close pores. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

To A Beautiful New Year!!

I really do believe that what you are on the inside is what reflects to the outside.
As we come into 2013 I hope you are all feeling as optimistic about the future as I am!
Here’s to change and positive movement forward as we start our New Year’s Resolutions with some things that will benefit us all. 
Tips for feeling beautiful from the inside out:
  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal. Jot down a couple of things you are grateful for. No matter how mundane. Write something different everyday. Think simple things... flowers, snow, ice, dogs, children’s laughter, snow tires... 
  2. Imagine the possibilities. Anthony Robbins says, “If you can’t imagine or “see" yourself doing something, you will never be able to achieve it”. So whether your goal is to be a size 9 or your goal is to run a marathon, you need to visualize yourself everyday doing this thing you hope to achieve. 
  3. Uplift others through your words. Say a positive word. Every day, in your contact with others try to find something to compliment them on. "Awesome scarf." "Nice jeans.” "Love your smile!" No matter how small the gesture seems, this is something that makes everyone feel beautiful about themselves and what better gift can you give? 
  4. Create a sanctuary.  We are "the Refuge" from the outside world for our families. Whether you are someone’s big sister, a little brother, a husband, wife or mother, it is easy to do some little random act of kindness. Try something as simple as a post-it note with a sweet message. It is our privilege to protect, nurture, care for and compliment our loved ones. It will make you beautiful in their eyes.
  5. Take time for yourself. When you fill your cup, you are much more able to to be there to “fill others”. Take a long bath, a hot cup of tea with a book, a facial and a pedicure. Whatever “your” indulgence is... It is important that you refuel. They are going to need you when they get home! And you are going to be much more patient with everyone when you are taking care of yourself. 
I would love to hear about things you do to make yourself feel beautiful, physical or metaphysical. 
Please feel free to share in the comments below any ideas or tips that help you. 
Good luck to you on whatever lofty New Year’s resolutions you may have. 
To a fresh new beginning and a beautiful new year inside and out!