Summer Trends… TO AVOID!

Every year I see girls, some friends and some strangers, indulge in the following summer ‘trends’ and it takes everything in me to not shake them vigorously while shouting “Don’t you know how bad that is for you!?!?”

But of coarse I don’t, because i know they don’t! Here is my plea for women around the world to stop indulging in these summertime activities, I hope to guide you all into healthier and more productive activities.

LEMONS FOR HIGHLIGHTS

This is so terrible for your hair! Any kind of citrus, or sun-in product used to ‘naturally’ produce highlights is very damaging for your hair. Some people swear by it and defend it to their last breath- but these people are not cosmetologists! Hair has a pH of 4.5-5.5 whereas lemons (and many of these sun-in products) have a pH of 2. This might not sound like a big difference, what could be so bad about a 2 point difference you might ponder… well battery acid has a pH of 0, and I’m sure we can all recognize the jump from lemon juice to battery acid is huge.

Hair shafts are a lot like fish, they have scales- and when the hair is healthy all the scales are smooth and tightly lay over each other. Lemon juice breaks open these compacted scales and allows moisture to evaporate, taking the melanin that colors your hair with it. There is no stopping point for the lifting that lemon will do to your hair though, it will keep ripping away at your cuticle layer and leave it in shambles.

The best way to highlight your hair is to use professionally formulated products. These products do cause damage to your hair, but in a much more controlled way. Hair color has a stopping point, where the product will no longer rip open your cuticle and that is controlled by the volume level that is mixed in with the color. Bleach is a little more volatile, but again is much more controlled than lemon juice.

OIL TANNING

I don’t think I need to go into as much detail about why this is such a bad idea. Most people these days realize the health hazards that come with tanning but what kind of California girl would I be without mentioning this? I am half Mexican and half white, so I can go from being really pale to looking tan-orexic with just a few laying out sessions, but using oils and creams while laying out to enhance your tan’s tan are not worth it! Not only do these products do very little to actually deepen the color of your tan, they actually allow sun damage to penetrate deeper into your epidermis. If you insist on laying out or using a tanning bed to get a tan don’t over do it. Use sunblock to protect your skin from the stronger uv rays, the others will get through enough to give you a glow. Mostly I wish people would just accept their natural skin tones! You are beautiful the way you are! I think it’s a little ridiculous to dramatically change skin tones every year for a few months but if you must at least do it the fake bake route!

 

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Gels, Pencils & Shadows… Oh My!

eyebrow-pencil

Every day I have clients who come in with ‘problem’ eyebrows. Sometimes that means their shape is wrong for their face and other times it means they have hardly any at all! Either way, a good 50% are unsatisfied with some aspect of their brows and they turn to me for a solution.

This post is for the women who have dents, holes, or missing portions of their eyebrows. I’ve personally tested each product on myself and/or clients and this is what I feel provides the best looking results for a specific problem.

GELS

I personally use the MAC Fluid Line in Dipdown to fill in my brows. After years of over tweezing my eyebrows refuse to return to their former Mexican-Bushy-Glory. I find that this product really fills them in and gives them a pin up style density but also dries quickly enough that I can have it blend off into a soft edge. It is a dramatic change, but I rather like the boldness of it. Gel liners have amazing staying power too, I can swim, sleep, and do whatever without a care- as long as I am careful to wipe or rub around my brows to vigorously they aren’t going anywhere.

Gels work best for the most troublesome brows, I find that shortly trimmed brows also get the best applications. Gels are great for that bold brow that exudes sultriness and strength.

PENCILS

I’ve used several different kinds and they all provide great coverage, but are second to gel in staying power. I often feel like there are 2 ‘speeds’ of pencils- so soft and too light or super bold and too harsh. It can be tricky to master this tool but it can be a great product. I feel the best results come with a combination of a pencil and a clean lip liner brush. Waiting a few minutes after pencil application I find that a clean brush will give a gentleness to the edges and a more natural look.

Pencils are great for eyebrows that only have minor shaping issues like dents or length issues but can also be great for adding density. Pencils are great for adding a little spice to your eye make up.

SHADOWS

These can be the trickiest to maneuver as shadows are harder to control. Shadows will add depth to your eyebrows if they are very fair without being too harsh as long as you can master the application. Some people feel that using a wet brush makes the process easier but If you’re making a shadow paste I think it’d be easier to buy a gel or pencil. Using a damp brush does help though. Keep concealer and another brush handy to trace the edge of your brows  after finishing with powder, this will clean up any shadow that got away from your eyebrows. Another trick to fight fading is to apply clear mascara or hair spray with a mascara brush.

Shadows can require more patience and cleaning up but work great for blonde brows that look barely there or ones that need a little oomph. With correct color choices shadows can create a subtle yet beautiful brow.

OH MY!

Which ever method you choose, the most important thing to remember is proper shaping and correct color choices, everything after that is personal preference and there are no wrong answers there! Below is a diagram to guide you in shaping, I’ll do another post soon with more details about achieving the perfect brow shape for your face.

eyebrowdiagram

Thank You

I didn’t realize how quickly I have been gaining a following! I know I’ve been blogging a few months but I was talking about it to a friend the other day and underestimated my number of subscribed followers! I am very glad to be wrong and appreciate that my thoughts matter to you!

I want to make this the best blog I can write so please submit questions to me! Anything that has to do with hair, make up, skin care, and animal related questions are my main focus but I am willing to take on anything. I started writing this blog because I believe that sharing knowledge improves lives and can improve our world. Even though sharing something like how to apply lip liner is a small thing, if it is shared with an audience of women from a nation that traditionally frowns upon make up then that means things are changing there!

Big changes always start small and I believe in inspiring small changes everyday.

I get inspiration from everywhere and I want to include more of you in that process, so please start a dialogue with me about what you want to know and what inspires you!

Find me on Instagram @dinacristina to discover the extent of  what a crazy cat lady I am!

Creating A Cat Haven Without Killing Your Furniture

(These are my kids Coheed and Taz)

My little fur balls of terror have given me quite the education on this subject. After years of struggling I finally found a balance that works for them and me.

Sharing a space with felines can be a challenge, specially while trying to preserve a level of style. Following these simple steps can help guide you towards a human/cat space balance that everyone can be happy with.

THERE ARE NEVER TOO MANY TOYS

Some cats have toy preferences, and these can change with age. Many kittens will be content with string but as they age they will need something slightly more stimulating. This was true for my cats, both were content with string as babies and now they each have their own preference. Taz is fetch driven with her toy choices and Coheed is sound driven. Taz has grown to love straws, hair ties, and stuffed mice- all of which derived from her love of fetch. Coheed also chases after the stuffed mice and hair ties but his toy of choice are balls with bells.

REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOR

Cat’s can be much harder to train than dogs. Dogs have a natural instinct to people please that we have literally selectively bread into them, cats however have a much more independent sensibility. Cats are much more likely to respond to positive re-enforcement because of this.

If your cat has a habit of clawing your couch even with their scratching post nearby try giving them rewards when they choose the correct item to kneed on. Finding a variety of rewards for them can also be a great tool. For some cats a food treat will be the best reward where others would prefer a good rub down or a toy. Providing a variety can help you determine which one means more to your cat and can help direct you to changing their behavior positively.

SENSITIVE SENSES

Cat’s are extremely clean animals. They are born with the desire to use a litter box, they understand that a box with loose gravel is a desirable place to relieve themselves. They prefer to drink moving water because it is reminiscent of a stream, where as still water in the wild is often stagnate and unsafe to drink. Because of this it is very important to keep their environment clean. Litter boxes should be cleaned daily along with water dishes to keep them appealing. If you have an automatic watering system make sure food or dirt does not end up in there as this will deter their desire to drink from it. Filtered water is also a good idea for cats, some chemicals used to filter tap water can actually build up in their systems and cause medical problems.

CAT PROOFING

Cat proofing your house is oddly very similar to child proofing your home. Tucking away cords and installing baby locks on cabinets are good beginnings for any cat owned human. This will not only save them from any medical issues but also damaging your expensive household items. This is another area where cat toys/furniture come in handy, by giving them things they can entertain themselves with they are less likely to look for their own ‘toys’.

REMEMBER WHY YOU HAVE THEM

I think the hardest part is understanding that having a cat comes with a responsibility to give them a happy life. Cats cannot be happy if they are not permitted to act like cats! If your biggest concern is about not having cat furniture because it does not agree with your aesthetic you have some soul searching to do. Cats need their own space to claw, scratch, and play on so unless you have no problem with them ripping your couch up you must provide them with cat furniture. Even if you cant afford the giant cat condos, a scratching post next to your couch can be just as effective so do your research and find one you can live with.

A cat’s natural instinct is to scratch and claw anything to keep their nails sharp and ready for a hunt. Scratching is also a frustration reliever for cats which is why they will tend to scratch more when their humans direct negative energy at them for doing so! By providing them with a space where that is permitted they will loose their desire to scratch the things that are for human use.

CAT HARMONY

Ultimately there are sacrifices you will have to make for your new family additions but those sacrifices will well be worth it! My cats bring me so much joy and knowing that I am providing them with a balanced home is as important to me as a balanced home for me and my husband!

15 Strange Facts About Cats That Actually Exist!

I’ve realized that I have not been living up to my name! Lovely hair has been covered but I’ve left bushy tails out in the cold!
I derived the name of my blog from my two great loves in life- being a cosmetologist and my amazing fur children- Taz and Coheed. I have a huge love of animals and these little fur balls are the center of my world. They bring me more joy then I ever thought possible and I am working towards improving the lives of other animals the way they have in mine.
I am currently working on a Dog Training certificate from Animal Behavior College and hope to work with troubled shelter animals to make them more adoptable. I have also been a foster mom for 2 cat rescue groups.
I found this interesting post and thought it would be a great introduction to the other half of what my blog with be about.

c o c o l o i d s ©

The main reason why I posted this interesting article is because I found five little kittens in our backyard and I did not know what to do with them.  

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Save Or Splurge

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There are a lot of differing opinions about seeking professional help for hair and beauty services vs doing them at home for cheaper. I hope to present an as unbiased as possible review of several services to help best guide you towards investing smartly in your appearance.

COLORING HAIR

This all really depends on what the final look will be like compared to the look your hair currently has. If it’s a simple all over color with only a small hue difference from your current color- go for it. Just buy smartly. Box color might turn out fine every once and a while but I HIGHLY recommend visiting a beauty supply and buying color and developer on your own. Some beauty supply stores will have licensed cosmetologists on staff who can help you find what you need but don’t assume they know what products will work for what you want to accomplish if they are not licensed. If you are going to take the time to dye your own hair do a little research and educate your self about the basics of hair dye.

If you have plans to lighten your hair with bleach or if you have ever dyed your hair before it is very important for you to visit a professional. Color cannot lift color and bleach is a very volatile product which can permanently damage your scalp or hair if you do not understand the basics of bleaching.

If you are trying to cut costs I suggest doing a mix of salon and at home. Go to your stylist for the bleaching and finish the color at home, just realize that you are risking spending more if you need to return to the salon to have the color fixed. You also might have difficulty getting your color formula from your colorist, many colorists will keep these secret to avoid loosing business or to prevent you from taking it to another stylist. This is a bit of a standoff in the industry- some colorists feel their service is about more than the formula its about the connection and luxury while others feel like constructing formulas is what separates colorists from box dye. If your colorist has a problem giving you the color formula don’t take it personally, instead maybe consider a color that will grow out in a more flattering manner so that you can skip a visit with out your roots looking like a nightmare when you return.

SKIN CARE

At home facials are easy enough, but have you objectively examined your skin type and correctly chosen products for it? This is one service that I think you need to only do a few times in your life. As long as you’re paying attention and asking all the right questions you will be able to fend for yourself for longer than you’d think.

There are 3 stages of life that most affect the skin that I think are important to be aware of – teenager, adult, and post-menopause. Teenage years are of coarse everyone’s favorite, your body is full of hormones as your body goes through its changes from girl to woman and your face looks like a war zone. Adulthood for skin is reached mid to late 20’s which can be just as difficult as teenage years, or at least I feel so. Nothing is worse as a beauty professional than giving clients advice about skin care when your own is clearly not behaving. Finally the last stage is post-menopause, I think this is when skin type can change the most. The majority of my older clients have experienced very dry and thinning skin at this point which can be a nice break for those who were previously of an oily skin type but left unaware of how to care for their new skin type.

If you are in between one of these points of your life and your current routine is working well for you then stick to what you’re doing. What works for you works- so don’t let any one or thing change your mind.

EYEBROWS

I am currently working as an eyebrow threader so this will be a little less unbiased. I believe in having a shape that is specifically crafted for your facial features. As a threading artist I use your bone structure and natural growth pattern to determine the best shape of eyebrow for you. If you have a well balanced shape from your own tweezing then there is no real need for you to get them professionally done.  If you have any doubts or questions about your eyebrow shape then I highly recommend you find an eyebrow expert near you.

If you’re going to take the time and money to see a ‘professional’ do your homework on them too! Far too many ‘professionals’ in the cosmetology industry do not take eyebrow shaping seriously and all too often that includes rules and regulations about sanitation. Go somewhere that is know for doing eyebrows- just about every hair salon will offer it but not all of them will be skilled in it. It might cost you a little more for these places but it will be worth it.

Of coarse I truly believe threading is the best kind of experience you could have for eyebrow maintenance but to each their own. Check reviews of their work no matter what you choose- not all threaders are created equal! Eyebrows have the ability to change your face dramatically so only trust it to someone who will make you look amazing.

CHEMICAL STRAIGHTENING

This can be another tricky service that’s best to start off in a salon. There are 2 main types of straightening products: thio and sodium hydroxide. It is imperative to know which one is right for you. The wrong kind can either have little effect on your hair or leave you completely bald for life- literally.

If you start at a salon with a thio then doing your regrowth is less of a hazard but there is still a risk. Be extremely mindful about time and I highly recommend having a friend assist you with it. Your regrowth will take less time to treat than your initial visit did and it can be difficult to coordinate areas on the back of your head.

However if you are using a sodium hydroxide I do not believe that is something that should ever be done outside of a salon. Thios are much gentler and easier to manage but sodium hydroxide can have immediate scarring effects on your scalp. Sodium hydroxide is one of the main ingredients in Drain-o, it is safe to use in the right hands but if you wouldn’t imagine doing your own heart surgery I definitely advise against doing your own SH relaxer! There have been cases of scalps melting even in salon settings so this is not something to take lightly.

If you’re unsure of what kind of straightening system you had done, ask your stylist.

CONCLUSION

*Another cost saving option is to visit a cosmetology school, their prices might not be rock bottom but you will be giving a student a real client to work on and even if they don’t have much experience their instructors do and will watch over them closely. Personally I feel that community colleges are the best option, private cosmo schools are great but some will hire newly licensed cosmetologists as instructors or have students mentor other students instead of employing more instructors with more experience. Private schools have their benefits over community colleges but the instructor program for colleges is much more rigorous and often the instructors there will have quite a few more years of in-salon experience and teacher training.

So there are my as unbiased as possible tips about when to see a professional for beauty treatments! As always do your research before doing any service at home and don’t be afraid to talk to your stylist/colorist/esthetician about how do successfully do it. They will give you the best advice for what will work best for you, although slightly more biased, and can help guide you to safe savings.

Gordon Ramsey Knows How to Talk Some Shit

This has nothing to do with anything but I love watching Kitchen Nightmares and Gordon Ramsey is an absolute gem! I love his creative comments and this had me on the floor crying at work. And in case you don’t know or have forgotten I work at a kiosk in the middle of the mall so it was quite the spectacle.

Break Room Stories

There are few public figures in the food service industry that are as loud as Gordon Ramsey. No matter what you think of this guy one thing is undeniable, he knows how to talk some shit. This is a batch of Gordon Ramsey memes, enjoy!

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