How To Prolong Your Pedicure!


With spring upon us and summer fast approaching here are a few tips to keeping your sun deprived toes looking their best as they finally get to enjoy the land of the sun!

Keeping your heels soft-

This can be difficult at times but the simplest way to keep that ‘just-got-me-feet-scrubbed’ soft heel feel is to keep an extra rough nail file in the shower. Large ones can be purchased for cheap at your local beauty supply and I suggest buying them in packs. Using a file on your heels towards the end of a shower will gently remove any calloused skin. Gentle removal is key, using overly abrasive tools or chemicals will actually cause your body to produce a callous and could lead to a permanent hardening of your heels if overdone.

Touching up the polish-

If you can, bring your own polish to the salon. That way if you need to repair or retouch the polish in between visits you can. Another easy and hugely helpful tip is to add an extra coat or two of top coat every few days to minimize chipping. My personal favorite is french tips because they are easy to top coat and if they chip beyond repair you can always turn that finger into an accent nail! (French tips are the easiest service to do at home, I’ll do a tutorial on how to get perfect tips every time soon!)

If all else fails buff them for shine-

If you are not blessed with repainting talents but want to keep them looking on point- invest in a buffer. Again, this is a simple and cheap tool you can purchase at your local beauty supply. Just remove the polish and use the roughest buffer first down to the softest, then use the soft sponge like side to buff the natural oils from your nail all over and it will make your nails shine bright like a diamond! (Que Rhianna song) This is also something you might be able to get for free from your manicurist/pedicurist, tools that cannot be reused are supposed to be thrown away after each client.  If they are following proper sanitation rules they should have no problem giving it to you.


5 Tips For Beauty Without Painful Experiences


(This is a picture of my work station, notice how shiny everything is?!)

There’s nothing better than a great salon service but all too often trying a new salon can lead to bad results and possible permanent damage. After getting my first surprise visit from state board official I thought it would be a good time to help average consumers spot the red flags that they look for.

TIP #1

Give the whole salon a once over. The first thing you should do before sitting down to receive a service is ask where the restroom is. Usually they are located somewhere in the back so it is a quick way for you to scope the place out. This will give you a general feel for the tidiness of the place. If there is hair left on the floor while the customer is receiving a color treatment or if all the nail stations are covered in nail dust these are bad signs. If the most basic housekeeping RULES are not being followed you can bet your bottom dollar sanitation RULES are being ignored as well. I intentionally capitalized RULES because they are in fact apart of a beauty technician’s job, sweeping and cleaning up after every client are not only a required regulation to being a licensed professional- they are the entire reason why states require licensing.

TIP #2

Find out who has a license so you know who doesn’t. On your way back from the restroom make a mental note of how many people are working on clients, if there are more people working then there are licenses posted that means some of them are working illegally! This can be harder to spot, some salons will have them posted in a group picture frame and others will have them at their work stations. Licenses are required to be displayed in an obvious location so if someone has to squirrel away for a few minutes to show you their license its best to take a good long look at it. It is well within your rights to ask to see a license so don’t take no for an answer!

TIP #3

All tools must be sanitized prior to each use, and in some cases a record must be kept to prove what kind of sanitation was done and when. The best example I can give is related to pedicure foot spas, which happens to be an area I find it to be of the utmost importance as well!

There are three levels of sanitation for foot spas, one for after each client, one for the end of each business day, and one to be conducted at least once a month. Failure to adhere to the sanitation guidelines can give way to the spreading of fungi, bacteria, and even blood born pathogens.

TIP #4

If it can’t be sanitized, it only gets used once. This will include anything that isn’t plastic or metal. This means one nail file per client and a new wax applicator stick for every dip in the communal pot. This is another very important step to keeping fungi, bacteria and other pathogens from spreading that is all too often over looked. Waxing in particular worries me the most because all germs thrive in dark warm places and that makes wax pots the perfect place for them. I’ve heard all kinds of horror stories, some of which I’m not entirely sure they could be true, but not too far fetched to be over ruled.

TIP #5

If it hurts, burns, or feel uncomfortable in any other way something is wrong. I had a client come in the other day with a fiery red scalp, and I commented that she must have just dyed it to its current shade of red. To my shock she informed me that it had already been a week and that she could keep the color on her head more than 5 minutes at a time. It is very common for a colorist to slap color on to the heads of anyone who walks in off the street but this can be a very dangerous practice. The chemical composition of the color and your genetics will determine how your body reacts to it, in most cases only a sight irritation will occur and any dye residue will leave the scalp in about 2 washes. It is also possible to have an allergic reaction to products you have used before so don’t assume you’re safe because everything was ok before. There is a procedure called a patch test that will determine if it is safe for you to use hair color and must be done 24 hours prior to the service. It might be a pain to wait an extra day or go to the salon the day before but this small inconvenience is much better to deal with then the repercussions of a bad allergic reaction. Some of the top services to keep this in mind for are bleaching/highlights and any kind of chemical straightening.


The first line of defense against a bad salon is you! State board officials will asses the salon before it opens but are only able to check back anywhere from every 6 months to a year after! If you encounter a bad service and suspect that the rules and regulations of running a safe salon are not being followed inform your state board. Most states want a complaint in writing so be prepared to write something out. Each state has their own reaction time to letters, but they are often handled swiftly. I once wrote a letter about a nail salon, mailed it through the USPS and an inspector followed up the next day with over $2,000 worth of fines. Your complaint might not shut a business down but it will affect them monetarily and hopefully make them think twice about their business practices.


Don’t let this discourage you from trying a new salon or service! If you come across something that worries you research it with your states board and ask lots of questions at the salon. Any reputable salon staffer will be more than happy to explain every step of a service to you.

What Tools You Should Be Using

Hair brush 2

A non-ventilated ball tipped brush (this kind should be used on dry hair)

Just about every one I know are using the wrong kind of tools for their hair type. You might not realize how much damage you are causing with them!


The best tool for wet hair, specially when you have curly hair, is a comb. Wet hair will stretch more than dry hair and is easier to damage. It is very important to work out knots from the tips up to the roots. Combs with out ball tipped ends are the gentlest.


Ventilated brushes are just as important as using a blow dryer instead of a blow torch. In fact, if you’re not using a ventilated brush your blow dryer is effecting your hair more like a blow torch! The open spaces in ventilated brushes allow the heated air to easily pass through the brush and around your hair, this allows hair to dry faster and more evenly. A solid backed brush will not allow air to flow through your hair and will most likely only dry the front layer. Attempting to dry the entire section at once will result in burning the front layer. There are several different kinds of ventilated brushes for different effects- round brushes will help give your hair body whereas a flat panel brush will help keep your hair straight.


Flat and curling irons can also help create different hair effects but be mindful not to use tolls on a setting too high for your hair type. It is very important to have a tool with some kind of temperature control, preferably in degrees, so that you can best monitor the health of your hair. To properly assess your hair I suggest asking your stylist what hair type you have so that you can be sure to use the correct amount of heat.

Below is a general guideline to give you a starting point, but find the range that works best for you.


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How You Should Be Washing Your Hair

Washing my hair

How to properly wash your hair

All too often I hear complaints from friends and relatives about how their hair is too this, too that, or cant do this. And often I’m finding the true root of their problem is with how they wash their hair!

You may think it’s silly of me to dedicate an entire post over washing hair but because it is the first building block to any hair style it has the potential to make and break the final look.


Make sure you are using the right kinds of products for your hair. If you’re an artificial platinum blonde your products will be wildly different from a natural platinum blonde’s! Curly hair has different demands than straight hair and chemically treated hair will need different things from virgin hair. Your best bet is to ask your hairstylist next time you get a service.

Another big thing for me is to not skimp out on the quality. I know how tempting it can be to buy whatever smells good when you’re in the grocery store but the ‘name brands’ sold in these places are NOT the same products you will get in a salon. Many companies will often sell out the rights to other bigger companies after they reach a level of popularity. These bigger companies will then use the same or similar ingredients- but of a lower quality to lower their bottom line, when this happens your hair is no longer getting the full benefit of the brand names original formula.

The most common substitute in conditioners are various forms of wax. Wax is cheap and coats the hair in a way that makes if feel like it has been repaired but do not be fooled- your hair is not any healthier. Truthfully your hair is worse off because not only is it over coated in waxy build up but the wax will also muddy your hair color and give you a false sense of strength in your hair. Without a realistic sense of how strong your hair is it is very easy to over work it and damage it beyond all hope of repair.

And as a general rule any product that is a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner isn’t worth the cost to bottle it. Nothing that removes dirt from your hair can deposit a conditioner at the same time- if you mixed a shampoo and conditioner in the shower they would cancel each other out and leave you with one messed up looking head.


Knowing how much product to use is key, too much and you could end up with dry hair or end up with an oily nape (the portion above the back of your neck) if you use too little. The exact amount will depend on the product and how much hair you have.  What ever amount you are using it should be enough to cover the first 2 inches of all your roots with a sudsy goodness. If its more or less than the first 2 inches that’s a good indication you’re using the wrong amount.

The act of shampooing should be in one of two motions: back and forth or in small circular motions. If you have curly hair I’d recommend using small back and forth motions to avoid over tangling your locks. Using these movements deposit the shampoo evenly starting at the top of your head and moving towards your nape. while you are moving from one area of your head to the next make sure to have as little of your length between your shampoo covered hands and the roots of your hair- this will probably mean picking up your locks with the back of your hands to slide them into place.

Shampooing your hair from roots to tips will cause more tangles than necessary, don’t worry about the main body of your hair that will be cleansed when you rinse out the shampoo. If you are worried about all of your hair not being product or oil free the first time you switch to this new routine just shampoo rinse and repeat.


Shampoo is for your roots and conditioner is for your tips. Using an appropriate amount for your hair spread the conditioner between your hands and run your hands from the bottom towards the nape. After reaching the nape you should comb through your hair with your finger tips, again from the bottom up to the top of your head. by the time your fingers reach the roots of the top of your head there should be only a small amount of conditioner left. Finally, using the same motions you used to shampoo, thoroughly rinse the roots free of conditioner but leaving some in the main body and the tips.

That’s it! Hopefully this can help some of you attain better looking hair! Next week I will be going over some basic tools and tips for styling that I hope will also help you create fabulous hair! Please feel free to leave comments, questions, and suggestions below!

I found this wonderfully detailed hair tutorial and just had to share. All too often tutorials leave out those small tid-bits that make a world of difference in the final look but this one is right on point.

A few extra tips from me:

1. If you don’t like mousse try setting lotion. It can be found at any beauty supply, and it should be diluted with water in a spray bottle. Setting lotion dries hard but combs out feeling oh so soft with all the strength of your hardest hairspray.

2. If you are using a curling iron use a comb to hold hair in its curl as you work the iron out without unraveling the curl and clip near the base of the curl to your roots until it cools- this will keep more of your curl intact than letting it fall while hot.

3. I have found that using a boar hair brush in the finishing stage can give hair a high polished look with out a ton of effort. To achieve it takes lots of practice and a light hand as brushing to hard will flatten out your curls.


How To Get Sexy Cover Girl Hair:

Cover Girl hair means big gorgeous tresses. It’s a kind of hair every woman wants to have because every man wants to touch it! The crucial elements that make these manes so irresistible: softness, shine, voluminous body, and most of all, a tousled quality that gives them a touch of between-the-sheets sultriness. Read on for the step-by-step instructions for creating these luscious looks.

Step 1Mousse Your Hair: The ultimate goal is to create hair that has a tonne of body and texture but is still soft and shiny. So your first step is to use a styler that will pump up your strands without dulling or shellacking them. Experts recommend applying a volumising mousse to freshly washed, still-damp hair and working it through from roots to ends. You can use 3-4 palms full of this on this style. After saturating…

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