Thursday, April 26, 2012

Want to See Some Really Cool Hair?

I'm a licensed esthetician and I'm not above admitting that I'm hair styled-challenged. My strength lies in my passion for anything skin. When it comes to amazing hair, I leave it to the cosmetologists (AKA the Cosmos). If you're in San Francisco on Wednesday, May 2nd and want to see fierce hair, be sure to come to SFIEC's Debut and Hair Show: Dream.

When: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Place: DNA Lounge located at 375 Eleventh Street in San Francisco

Time: Doors open at 7pm. Show starts at 8pm

Price: FREE, but there is a $5 suggested donation at the door which goes to charity. VIP seat are available for $20, which also goes to charity.

Age Requirement: All ages, but the full bar is only open to those 21+.

Attending Debut is a great way to meet, mingle with and see the uber creative side of the soon-to-be-graduating SFIEC Future Professionals participating in the show. Come get inspired and see the talent that is about to graduate from SFIEC.

You can RSVP to the event either through email at or call 415-230-7417.

See you at Debut!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Picture of the Day: Getting Ready for Core at SFIEC!

Welcome April 2012 Class!
I remember my first day at SFIEC like it was yesterday. "Core" marks the beginning of the educational journey at SFIEC for an esthetician (esties) or cosmetologist (cosmos). Core is when you first get acquainted with the school and the Paul Mitchell culture. It's when you meet and bond with your fellow classmates. It's the part of the program when you take most of your theory classes and receive a majority of the items in your kit. It's also the only time in the program when you get a full hour lunch!!

Core for me was a time of true self-discovery. When I started my program at SFIEC, I still wasn't 100% sure as to what I wanted to do in the industry once I graduated. I had ideas, but I didn't have any concrete plans. Looking back at my time spent in Core, I realize that this was the time in my career when I got introduced to the beauty industry. I discovered that there was so much more to being an esthetician then just giving facials and performing wax services. I quickly learned that my career possibilities were endless. Ultimately, the license that I'd be earning in five months wasn't going to determine my career path. That decision would be entirely up to me. In Core, I found that my own self-confidence would able me to be anyone I wanted to be and do anything I set my mind to.

My bestie estie and I got to assist with the morning orientation for all of the new Core cosmos and esties who had their first day at SFIEC today. Talk about coming full circle. I remember being in my own orientation two years ago like it was yesterday. I even remember the exact table and seat I sat in. I also remember how nervous I was. I'm so happy that I got to share my own experience with the new Core class today. I only hope that I can have some sort of positive effect and influence on them during their program as my Learning Leaders had on me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Case of the Pre-Shift Jitters

Do you ever experience the jitters before starting a shift? For me, anytime I'm experiencing anything outside of my normal comfort level such as a new job, new routine, meeting new people or attending a new class, I'm always prone to a mild case of anxiety. I don't think it's anything bad. It's just my body's way of reminding me that I'm doing something new and out of my ordinary routine. I'm a creature of habit. I love my daily routines. I love being in a safe and familiar environment, surrounded by people I know really well and feel comfortable with. If you put me in a new place or situation around people I don't know, I kind of freak out inside at first.

So it comes as no surprise that I have been experiencing pre-shift jitters before starting any of my waxing services for the day. At first, I thought my jitters meant that I wasn't a good waxer. After all, waxing was one of those things that actually made me nervous in beauty school because I didn't get as much practice as I would have liked to. The truth is, you never get as much practice as you'd like to in school. It's impossible. In school, you learn enough of the basics to get you prepared to work in the professional world. Then once you start working in the professional world, you get plenty of practice to hone your craft, learn efficient time saving tricks and eventually develop your own style.

I've realized that my jitters aren't a reflection of my skills (or lack of) as a new waxer. My jitters are simply a self-imposed way of keeping my professional frame-of-mind in check. My jitters reassure me that I care enough about my craft to do my very best and give each and every client that I see 150% of my time, effort and attention to detail. Those pesky jitters always seem to go away once I get into my groove of the service with my first client. Once I've gotten warmed up, my confidence kicks in. I then quickly remember that I'm a great waxer who is performing a stellar service for each of my clients.

As nerve-wrecking as having jitters before a shift can be, I'm so happy that they are there to challenge me and inspire me to constantly be learning on this new journey along my career path.

Do you get pre-shift jitters?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Close Your Eyes!

Every now and then I'll have an eyebrow waxing client who tries to keep their eyes open during the service. I'm the type of person who almost nods off while receiving ay type of waxing service. There's something about the warm wax and closing my eyes that makes me kind of sleepy.

When I first started waxing, I was so nervous about the service itself that I didn't know how to politely tell the client to keep their eyes shut. Instead, I would just deal with them looking up at me and around the room while I waxed their brows. As you can imagine, having the client look at you while you're up close and personal waxing their brows is not only weird, but adds more pressure to an already stressful situation for a new waxer.

After talking with some of the other waxers, I know now that its actually quite common for a client to want to keep their eyes open during a brow waxing service. Thankfully, there are nice and tactful ways of letting a client know that you'd rather have them keep their eyes shut during the service. My favorite is to tell the client that by keeping their eyes shut during the service, you are less likely to wax off anything that shouldn't be waxed off such as lashes. That alone is usually enough to scare clients into keeping their peepers shut.

Unfortunately, my little friendly, standby line DID NOT work on my male client today. I don't know if he was nervous about having the service, worried that I would make his brows too feminine (because he made the point a few times at the beginning of the service that he didn't want his brows too thin or girly) or was just curious as to what I was doing to his brows during the service. I refrained from telling him that watching me would not make his brows any more or less girly. I did tell him that if he kept opening his eyes, he risked getting wax on his lashes. I then joked with him and said that the eyelash wax would turn into an upgraded service, one he probably wouldn't want. He laughed, but he still kept opening his eyes. Ugh! After the fourth or fifth time of telling him to close his eyes, I laid down the law and said, "Look, when you open your eyes, you mess with my canvas. I'm trying to create some magic with the wax and your brows. Let me make some art." I think it finally sunk in because after my comment, he kept his eyes shut for the rest of the service.

And of course at the end of the service when I gave him the mirror to check out his brows, he loved them. He told me that they were perfect and exactly what he had in mind. I then had to snatch the mirror back out of his hands because he wouldn't stop looking at his brows. Thankfully in the end he was happy and no eyelashes were sacrificed in the process,

Next time you go in for a brow wax, enjoy the experience by laying back and closing your eyes. Leave all of the work to your esthetician. You'll have plenty of time to check out your brows and the room you're being waxed in after your service.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Picture of the Day: Break on the 4th Floor

Here I am already three days into my brand new job at SFIEC. Amongst all of the crazy, hectic and busy busy that surrounds the four walls of this school, I thought it would be appropriate to share with you exactly how I have been feeling this week so far with a single picture.

I took this picture today while enjoying a rare, quiet 15 minutes all to myself, in the staff break room on the 4th floor. I had a few moments this morning to soak in and enjoy my experience thus far. I've been hitting the ground running since my first day at SFIEC, which was on Tuesday. New information, procedures, schedules and smiling faces have been coming my way over the last three days at lightening speed. It feels like I'm in school all over again! Two years ago this month I was just beginning my esthetics journey as a Future Professional at SFIEC. Now, I'm an employee. It's so surreal to think about where I am today and amazing to realize just how far I've come in the past two years.

My break is over. Now the hard work truly begins.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Update: New FDA Rules Regarding Sunscreen

Dr. Claudia Aguirre in action
Protecting your skin from sun exposure, premature aging and cancer are topics in the beauty industry that never go out of style. With the summer months right around the corner, consumers are on the hunt for their perfect sunscreen to use in anticipation of their own increased sun exposure throughout the upcoming warm season. The brand new FDA regulations for sunscreen and sun protection are set to go into effect as early as this June and have been a popular subject widely covered throughout the beauty industry over the past year.

Just last week, International Dermal Institute's very own neuroscientist turned skincare pro, Dr. Claudia Aguirre posted a fantastic article on the IDI blog covering all of the new FDA regulations pertaining to the testing and labeling of sunscreens that will be coming into effect over the next few months. Not only does her article summarize all of the upcoming regulation changes, but she also discusses the major differences between a drugstore sunscreen and a professional skin care product with sunscreen. Hint: it has to do with how the product itself is formulated.

Dr. Aguirre also stresses that it's not only important to wear sunscreen, but that it should be always be worn correctly and in adequate amounts for your own sun exposure.

Be sure to read Dr. Claudia Aguirre's article, Update: New FDA Rules Regarding Sunscreen

Sunday, April 8, 2012

So How is MY Life as an Esthetician?

Fun. Busy. Challenging. Exhausting. Exciting. Scary. Fulfilling. Crazy. Hectic.

These are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of how my life, as an esthetician, has been lately. As many of you know, I have been training to be a Wax Specialist at the European Wax Center for the past two weeks. In the midst of working full-time (along with a bunch of overtime) at Sephora, I've also been waxing models for free under the watchful eye of my trainer, three days a week.

I know some of you think I'm crazy. The people who know me in real-life know that this is just who I am and what I do. I'm a hard working, workaholic. Work-life balance is my biggest challenge. I mean really? Who in their right mind has a full-time day job and then works a part-time job on their two days off? If you're someone like me who loves the industry you work in and loves the work you do, then it doesn't really feel like work. It feels more like a career. Putting in the extra time and energy to improve my own skill level and build up a clientele is what I felt like I needed to do to get to where I want to go within this amazing industry.

When I first started school over two years ago, I wanted to be a wax master. Half way through my program, I shifted gears and realized how much I really loved the business side of the industry. I discovered that I was truly a product junkie. Not only did I love using products, I also loved educating my clients on the salon floor about products. This became obvious with my hefty take-home percentages during my time on the salon floor at school. That's why it wasn't a huge surprise when I landed a full-time gig at Sephora educating and selling products to clients, within a couple weeks of graduating from school.

Even though I was still happy with my job at Sephora and doing quite well in my position a year and a half later, I couldn't help but think that there was something missing from my career. Here I was surrounded with products and an endless opportunity to talk to clients about products all day long. In the back of my mind, I knew there was still a void I wanted to fill. I missed touching skin. I missed being in the treatment room. The little wax master inside of me was starting to get restless.

Over a month ago, I took an advanced waxing class at Eve's Esthetics, just to see how I felt about waxing in general. I hadn't waxed a single body part since I'd graduated from school in 2010. I figured taking the class would be a great indication of how I really felt about waxing. In school, waxing kind of scared me. Not that there was anything scary about waxing. I just didn't have a whole lot of experience waxing outside the comforts of my school's waxing room with my learning leaders. I knew the proper techniques that helped me pass the State Board exam, but I wasn't confident in my own skills to consider myself a waxing licensed professional.

The class I took ended up sparking my "waxing" fire. I forgot how much fun waxing could be. I decided right after I finished my class that I wanted to pursue a part-time job as a Wax Specialist. I've always been one of those people who has always worked multiple jobs at one time. Having a part-time job and a full-time job at the same time was nothing new to me. When I was a bartender, I always worked at two bars at one time, sometimes even three and four. Why should it be any different now that I had my esthetician license? Instead of slinging drinks behind the bar, I want to use the skills I developed in school and in my recent waxing class, but in my own treatment room with my own clients. Since I already knew that I had a passion for waxing, I decided to find a place that specialized in just body waxing.

As much fun as this whole experience has been, its also been quite exhausting. I haven't had a day off in three weeks! There are days where by the time I get home, I'm too tired to blog, let alone even eat dinner. I am enjoying being challenged both mentally and physically every step of the way. Even though my days and nights are action-packed and non-stop, they are extremely satisfying. I feel such an amazing sense of accomplishment not only in my daily productivity, but seeing and feeling my waxing skills improve with each shift I train. There was a time in school when waxing kind of intimidated me. Now, I feel like the act of waxing kind of relaxes me. As I start my third week of training, I'm finding that I can get into a groove of laying down strips of wax in a pattern and removing them with ease, all while chatting up the client on the table.

This has been quite the hectic and fulfilling journey. At the end of the day, I can honestly say that I am truly happy. I now know that I am now on the right path.

Next stop: starting my brand new full-time day job at SFIEC on Tuesday, April 17th. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Want to Get FREE Waxing Services?

For a limited time, I am offering FREE body waxing services at European Wax Center in Daly City. Part of my training at the salon means having to practice all of the various wax services European Wax Center offers on both men and women models. It's a win-win situation. I get to practice perfecting my technique and the models get to experience the EWC's amazing wax for FREE.

Be sure to check out my post on Broke-Ass Stuart's website:
Hey San Francisco, Wanna Get Waxed For Free?

I only have three days left of training:

Thursday, April 5th from 4pm to 8pm
Saturday, April 7th from 8:30am to 1pm
Monday, April 9th from 4pm to 8pm

Here’s where I’ll be waxing:

European Wax Center
518 Westlake Center
Daly City, CA

Call to book an appointment at 650-991-9900. You have to schedule an appointment in order to receive the FREE service. Make sure to request me, "Kathleen". Space is limited so if you're thinking about booking an appointment, do it sooner than later.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Road to Healthy Skin Tour is Coming to a City Near You!

Want to get a full-body skin cancer screening but don't have access to healthy insurance or a dermatologist? If you could get a FREE, full-body skin cancer screening by a local dermatologist, would you go? For the fifth year in a row, The Skin Cancer Foundation's Road to Healthy Skin Tour is heading to a city near you, offering FREE full-body skin cancer screenings at every stop. This skin cancer awareness crusade, presented by AVEENO and Rite Aid, teams up with local dermatologists all over the country who volunteer their time to provide free screenings that have helped to identify skin cancer and potential skin cancer, while raising awareness about the importance of protecting the skin from the sun. Beginning in March, The Tour will be on the road for six months, making 85 stops in 27 states.

Want to hear some amazing statistics? Since 2008, The Tour has:

  • attracted over 45,000 visitors
  • screened more than 13,000 people
  • identified more than 5,200 potential skin cancers and precancers, including 239 suspected cases of melanoma-the deadliest form of skin cancer

Interested in checking out The Skin Cancer Foundation's Road to Healthy Skin Tour when it comes to your town? Be sure to visit for tour dates and the locations of scheduled stops. This could be the one FREE event saves your life.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Beauty Turnoffs, According to Allure Magazine

I came across this article from Allure Magazine a few weeks ago written by Catherine Devine. I wanted to share this article because I found it pretty entertaining. Allure Magazine recently polled a few men in the male population to see which of the beauty products and routines women use that they hate the most.

In no particular order:

1. Too much fragrance. I think this can definitely go both ways, don't you?
2. Cakey foundation
3. Obvious false eyelashes
4. Dry skin
5. Leg stubble or red razor bumps.
6. Yellow teeth
7. Sticky lip gloss
8. Self-tanner that looks more Oompa Loompa than sun-kissed.
9. High maintenance hair styles
10. Super dark smoky eyes
11. Too bright or too dark lipstick
12. Hair add-ins like feathers, extensions or bells
13. Nail art

Are you guilty of any of these? I know I am. I don't care what this article says. I still refuse to give up my MAC lipglass and my favorite smoky eye combo. What on the list are you guilty of?

Read the full article here:
Beauty mistakes that turn me off by Catherine Devine, Allure