Archive for August, 2010

Week 6 as a Catherine Hinds Student

Finally, week 6, and our make-up lessons, arrived! Make-up was the week I had been waiting for! During college I worked in a Sephora-like boutique, though it never really felt like work.  Working there, I realized that I had a deep love of make-up because of its ability to enhance one’s beauty, and because of the art and creativity behind it.

Since make-up application is an art, we first reviewed the color wheel and did a small in-class art project to familiarize ourselves with colors, hues, and shades. I felt like I was in kindergarten again using fingerpaints, but it was a nice refresher. (Check out my beautiful color wheel in the photo album!)

After our art project, our first class covered the historyof make-up.  Even though I have read alot about the make-up industry, there was still a lot that I didn’t know. Our instructor took us from ancient times all the way to the present, teaching us what was used for make-up and why.  It was fascinating to find out that the first trace of make-up was in Ancient Egypt – they would darken their eyebrows with coal, tint their eyelids with green malachite, and paint their lips with red clay.  It’s crazy to think that this attention to one’s appearance has been a part of our culture for hundreds of years!

We then watched a documentary called, “Beauty in a Jar”,which explored the social, racial, sexual, and political history of the American beauty culture.  This documentary was inspiring because it focused on the women who are responsible for the now $30 billion a year industry. These incredible women include Madam Walker, Helena Rubenstein, and Elizabeth Arden.  The documentary also examined changing beauty ideals and what beautifying means to women and American life.  It was very engaging and the perfect thing to watch before actually entering the make-up room.

Once in the make-up studio we were given a demonstration onhow to choose the best foundation color for skin tones.  Our instructor told us that 80% of women wearthe wrong color foundation, and I believe it! We were taught to test three different foundations on the jawline of our clients, since this is the skin wewant to match the foundation to. I knew some of this from my experiences at the make-up store, but I think we all really benefited from the lesson and learned a brand new skill!  While in the make-up room we also got a sneak peek of a soon-to-be graduate doing her make-up practical exam.  It was awesome for us to see what we are going to have to do in a few weeks, but I don’t think she liked an audience of 15 students watching her!

Stay tuned, next week is facial waxing (yikes!) and more make-up!

Week 5 as a Catherine Hinds Student

In our fifth week of esthetics school at CHI, we dove head first into the science curriculum. I never realized that understanding the science of the human body was important for an esthetician, but as our lectures began, it quickly became clear to me that it’s extremely important. Bacteriology and sanitation were the main focus of our lectures this week.

We learned in bacteriology that there are hundreds of kinds of bacteria and that they are broken in to two types: nonpathogenic (beneficial bacteria) and pathogenic (harmful bacteria). I was surprised to hear that the body’s first line of defense against bacteria is clean, unbroken skin. Every time I learn something new about the skin I am surprised and impressed that it plays such an important role in our day to day life! The pathogenic bacteria are the reason why esthetics schools and salons must maintain certain sanitary standards. If an esthetician does not sanitize properly she could potentially spread disease. This is why it is imperative to understand how the spreading of disease can be prevented and what precautions we must take in a salon/spa to protect both our health and the health of our clients.

This made me think about how often I have read salon reviews on “Yelp” that mention the cleanliness of both the esthetician and the salon/spa itself. To satisfy my curiosity, I went online and read a few reviews of local salons. There was one review that really stood out to me – the reviewer spoke highly of her treatment but because of the lack of sanitation she said she would not be a returning client. This is when it really became clear to me why we are spending so much time on science, and specifically sanitation, in esthetics school.

During the last part of this week we learned how to give a European Facial. This facial is different from the American Facial because it uses a steam machine instead of a heat mask, and a finishing mask instead of the galvanic mask. The rest of the facial is the same and includes cleansing, exfoliating, massaging, and extracting. I think I prefer the American Facial, since the heat mask heats the skin to a deeper level than the steam machine. This allows us to extract more easily and for a longer time. Heating the skin is very important in order to avoid scarring and makes for a more pleasant experience for the client.

I can’t believe I have learned how to do TWO different facials in just five weeks! I am so excited for next week because we are heading in to make-up, which is heaven for me!

Week 4 as a Catherine Hinds Student

Every two weeks CHI gives me a progress report, and lucky for you, I am right on track with my education and will continue to keep blogging away! According to my progress report I have a 95.4% attendance rate – this one is definitely going on the fridge!

Week 4 is W(ax)EEK! Since day one our instructor has been telling us to grow out the hair on our legs, underarms, and bikini lines so that we can practice waxing. Thankfully the first few weeks of class went by quickly, as we were becoming a hairy bunch! We began the day with a lecture on hair removal. Our instructor walked us through examples of when waxing should not be performed on clients, like on someone who is sunburned. This was important to go over because waxing is a deep removal of the hair and can really hurt and/or disrupt the skin of people with certain conditions.

When we first arrived in the wax room I knew I was right at home. The wax was PINK and called Bombshell, to boot! I love anything pink, so the fear of waxing quickly went away. How could something pink be painful, right? Wrong! Bombshell is a hard wax that lifts the hair from above and below the surface of the skin, leaving you hair free for weeks.

Our instructor demonstrated how to properly sanitize our work area and then waxed one of my classmate’s legs. There is quite a technique to waxing. We learned that you apply wax in the direction that the hair grows and remove it in the opposite direction. It is great to first learn by watching and then be able to practice on each other. I had waxed before so I felt very comfortable with it. I could see that some of my classmates were nervous at first but once they practiced they seemed to gain confidence. Learning how to properly sanitize while waxing and hearing tips on how to cause less pain to the client emphasized to me just how important it is to be a trained esthetician and practice as much as possible while in school.

And our final lesson in the wax room? Brazilian. That’s all I’m going to say. Why I ever offered to be the model for this waxing, I’ll never know! But, the class really appreciated me offering to be the “guinea pig” for this wonderful waxing experience. Because of me, my classmates got to learn first-hand how to do a Brazilian wax from the instructor, and I think that is valuable to all of us. And now my good deed of the month is DONE!

I hope you’re all enjoying my time at CHI as much as I am! Is there anything I’m leaving out? Anything you want more inside scoop on? Questions, comments, and of course compliments are welcome!

Week 3 as a Catherine Hinds Student

It’s so interesting to observe a class full of women. The first week we were all very quiet and demure, but by week three we are babbling away, chatting with everyone! I’m sure all of the classes here at CHI are full of fabulous women, but I like to think that my class is a very special bunch of ladies!

We covered so much this week – mitts & boots, the heat mask, extraction, and the galvanic mask. These last remaining lessons finished our training on what is known as “The American Facial.” It was exciting to finish a unit and know all the steps for a service. If you haven’t had mitts and boots put on during a facial, you’re missing out. We massage your hands and feet, and then put them in warm mitts and boots to help you relax. It’s like a little bit of heaven!

The heat mask is a piece of equipment used to heat the skin so that it is in the proper condition to do THE EXTRACTION. Extracting sounded scary and it was definitely the part of the facial I was most concerned about. I was worried that I would hurt my partner, since I had really only performed “bathroom surgery” before. (That’s what my instructor calls it when you pick at your own face in the mirror.)

Learning the proper technique for extracting made me feel more confident in performing it on my partner. I think extracting will become more natural as we practice in the classroom. After we were done extracting we learned how to apply the galvanic mask. This is a piece of equipment that actually penetrates products in to the skin at the end of the American facial. The galvanic mask helps heal and firm the skin and is imperative after extraction.

It’s crazy how in three weeks we have learned how to do a complete facial! We were definitely given enough time for each section, and while I do want to practice more, I feel that I have a great foundation so far!

I’m looking forward to next week, when we head into the waxing room!

Week 2 as a Catherine Hinds Student

Week two of my journey is complete! This week we learned the facial massage and a fabulous exfoliation treatment. I never realized that there are 19 steps to providing a facial massage!

To practice the massage, we were paired up with a different classmate from last week. Changing partners helps us gain as much exposure to different skin types as possible during our time here. Our instructor led us slowly through steps one through ten during the first day so that we could truly master the technique. During the second day we learned steps 11 through 19, and then put all of the steps together at the end.

Surprisingly, it’s almost as relaxing to give a massage as it is to receive one! I found that while I was receiving my massage, I was still learning. The instructor was going through each step out loud and I could follow my partner as she did it. I feel pretty confident with my massage skills, but I definitely want to practice more. Our instructor said that if we don’t have anyone to practice on we can use our knee – my knee is sure to be extremely moisturized and massaged this weekend!

The best part of the week was learning how to apply the famous ENZYME treatment. The enzyme is an exfoliation mask that produces instant visible results. It is green, with an oatmeal-like texture. It was really fun putting it on because you use a tongue depressor and “decorate” the face. I’m very creative, so I made it into an art! After I removed the mask from my partner I could see that her skin’s texture looked significantly better and her pores appeared smaller. TOTAL SUCCESS! I have never loved bare skin more!

In addition to confirming that I am very happy with my decision to attend esthetics school, during week two I also realized:
1. You have to separate your personal life from your work if you want to succeed in this industry. Your client will feel any stress you may have during the massage.
2. Exfoliating is of the utmost importance in skincare.
3. I am officially an enzyme groupie!

Week 1 as a Catherine Hinds Student

Rachel is currently attending Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics and will be sharing her experiences each week.

Decked out in my white scrubs, white nurse shoes, and clear nail polish, with my long brown hair pulled back, and minus the 12 bracelets I have worn daily since I was 20, I sat down for my first day at the Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics. Not knowing anyone else in the class, I sat alone and pulled out my new notebook, pen, and highlighter. I felt like I was back in my freshman year of high school. It’s nerve-wracking to be 25 and starting the journey to completely change my career!

To start, the Director of the school gave us a short orientation and went over all of the rules and regulations. It was impressive to hear how seriously they take our education and how supportive they are of all the students. The best part of the orientation was when they introduced us to everyone we may need during our time here. We found out which people to go to for questions about financial aid, career services, and more. It really made me feel comfortable to know that if I ever had an issue I would know exactly where to go.

After the orientation we were introduced to our instructor. I could tell she really wanted to teach us all about the industry that she loves so much. We got started with class right away, and my 300 hour Esthetics education had officially begun. Our instructor didn’t waste any time and immediately assigned us a project! I was nervous diving right in, but thankfully it’s not due right away. We’ve been given a few weeks to complete the assignment.

The next day we got right in to all that is THE FACIAL! I couldn’t believe how quickly we got to start working. We paired up with fellow classmates and learned how to properly set up a station and cleanse a face. I love how hands-on everything is! It really makes the lessons much easier to understand and more enjoyable to learn.

The next night we learned how to analyze skin types. I was “diagnosed” with combination skin. I am extremely oily in my T-zone with large pores, but I have very small pores on other parts of my face, without excess oil. Some people think of oily skin as “bad,” but oily skin ages very well and is less prone to wrinkles. I say “keep the oil coming” for now!

My first week covered a lot, but these are three things I really took away from it:
1. Always have antibacterial hand sanitizer at your station. Sanitation is extremely important in any school or spa setting.
2. There are 5 skin types: dry/dehydrated, normal, combination, oily/problem, and sensitive.
3. Wearing white scrubs isn’t so bad after all – they are actually quite comfortable!