What to do when waxing goes wrong #HelpASisterOut

I was recently having a conversation with a client, during which she told me a horrifying story of a girl using gasoline to remove wax from a botched “at home waxing” job. I was simply stunned. It compelled me to write a blog discussing the “do’s” and definite “don’t’s” of waxing.

  • DO prep your skin by cleansing it of all make-up, lotion and topical debris with soap and water. Be sure your skin is dry before applying the wax. Failing to do so could cause injury to the skin.
  • DON’T exfoliate before waxing. Soft wax (wax removed with cotton strips) will remove the first layer of dead skin when removed properly. If you exfoliate before you will most likely remove healthy skin as well, causing a painful rash or wound.
  • DO test the temperature of the wax by placing a small amount on your forearm. If it’s excessively hot, turn the wax down and allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes before applying to the desired area.
  • DON’T apply wax that is excessively hot as serious burns may occur. Burning the skin with wax can have long term effects, especially in sensitive areas. If this happens consult a physician at once.
  • DO use an oil or cream applied to a cotton ball to remove excess wax. In the event neither of those work, isopropyl alcohol 70% will break down the wax when applied with light friction. Be sure not get isopropyl alcohol in your eyes, noes, mouth or open wounds. This includes other orifices as well.
  • DON’T try to reheat the wax once on your skin! Neither a hot bath nor a hair dryer will work. Trust me, it’s been tried!
  • DO hydrate the skin after your hair removal session by using an alcohol, dye and perfume free moisturizer for at least 24 hours after.
  • DON’T forget to exfoliate you skin daily to prevent ingrown hairs.

Remember to always call a professional if you ever have any doubts about performing a waxing service on yourself or others. It’s always better to get it done right the first time, then to suffer through having to fixed. Be safe out there ladies!

Aloha, Sarah

Eyelash extension aftercare instructions

Eyelash extensions can be a wonderful addition to your beauty regimen. The best way to protect your investment is to follow these aftercare steps.

  1. Do not get your lash extensions wet for the first 24 hours after application.
  2. Do not use oil-based  eye products, eye creams, waterproof mascara or waterproof eyeliner.
  3. Cleanse your eyelashes daily with a soft clean makeup brush or disposable lipgloss wands.
  4. Use only water based make-up and make-up removers.
  5. Do not perm, tint or use an eyelash curler on you natural lashes while wearing extensions. (Damage to your lash extensions will occur)
  6. Be careful to avoid extreme heat near your extensions as the extensions can “singe” or loose their curl.
  7. Do not pull on your extensions or rub your eyes.
  8. If for any reason your extensions need to be removed, please do not attempt to remove them yourself! Contact a trained professional to avoid damage.
  9. To extend the life of your lashes, please schedule touch-ups every 2-3 weeks. Appointments after 4 weeks will need a new set.

What to look for when looking for lashes

When choosing to get eyelash extensions, your choice of an artist is key. What do you look for? Many people make their decision based on location or price but there is so much more to choosing the right lash artist than just those factors alone. Eyelash extension application is an art and should be treated as such. You wouldn’t trust you eyes to just anyone would you? Here are a few tips on how to choose the right artist for you.

Do your research!! What does that mean exactly? When choosing an artist you must first know what your looking for. Having a photo of your desired outcome to reference will always help you and your artist determine the style of lashes you would like. These days there are lash artist who strictly deal with one style of application or who specialize in a certain eye shape. Let’s discuss these differences to assist you in your choice.

Currently there are two styles of lash extensions on the market. Single or Classic lash extensions which are single strands of synthetic eyelashes applied to one natural lash at a time. This look can maximize your natural lash volume by adding a little more density and length giving the illusion of perfect mascara. Volume lash extensions are multiple strands of synthetic eyelashes applied to one natural lash. This look gives much more fullness then your natural lashes could ever dream of! If you have a specific look in mind let’s say the #kimkardashian or #kyliejenner , you need to make sure that you bring a photo of your desired outcome to your appointment. Please keep in mind that not all looks are appropriate for daily wear and may not be compatible with all natural lash conditions. Your artist should discuss this with you and adjust your extensions accordingly.

Check back soon to get more tips on how to select a the right lash style and stylist for your needs. A hui hou!

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Estheticians get “pimples” too!

Most of you must be thinking “Yeah right, you have access to all the best products and tools, therefore making it impossible to get a pimple.” Wrong! I get them as well but there is a right and wrong way to removing those unwelcome guests on our skin. Here’s some tricks of the trade to get you through a skin care nightmare.

Before we begin, I would like to define a few key terms.

  • Extractions – the action of taking out something, especially using effort or force
  • Comedones – the professional term for a pore blockage 
  • Closed Comedone – White head
  • Open Comedone – Blackhead

“To pop or not pop, that is the question?”
The first step in properly extracting comedones is to recognize which impactions can be safely removed and which can not. Closed comedones are pores filled with white sebum (oil)  and are surrounded by pink/ red inflammation. Trying to extract a closed comedone is not only futile but can be detrimental to your skins health.  By opening the pore before it is ready, you expose your skin to additional environmental contaminants making the problem worse and it can also lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark spots). Open comedones however, can and should be removed. The reason the open comedones can be removed safely is that the inflammation associated with the  impaction is no longer there and the pore has already opened, leaving you a safe pathway for extraction. With proper preparation this can be an easy process.

The best way to get great results is through careful preparation.
Prepping your skin for extraction is easy. It just requires opening your pores with the combination of heat, moisture and a little exfoliation. In a spa setting, a steamer is used to moisten the skin but at home a warm shower or a soft steamy towel will work just as well. (Some big box and drug stores sell table top facial steamers. These work, but can vary in price from affordable to luxury.) After your skin is warm and moist, you will need to remove any topical debris like dead skin cells, make-up residue, etc. that may hamper your efforts. The best way to do that is by exfoliating your skin either mechanically (by hand with a gentle scrub or with the assistance of a tool) or chemically (use of active ingredients such as Glycolic, Lactic or Salicylic Acid). Both methods are effective, you can use whichever works best with your current skin condition. After exfoliating your skin, rinse away any product or active ingredient that might be left on your skin. Pat dry your face with a soft towel but be sure not to completely dry your face. The reason being that your pore will quickly tighten after becoming dry in an attempt to seal in the skin natural oils. Moist skin is supple skin which will allow the comedone to be removed more easily. Now that you have the basics, let’s get into techniques.

Q-tip Removal Method
Believe it or not, Q-tips are my #1 recommendation for performing extractions outside the treatment room. The reason they are so effective is that they prevent damage to the skin by limiting the amount of pressure that you can apply on the impaction, therefor preventing any inflammation from occurring. The best way to utilize the q-tips is to treat the comedone like the letter “U”. (A “U” you say, what is she talking about?!) Let me explain. Your pore is shaped like a “U” and if you just push the side of the “U” together you will never extract the sebum lurking below. First you must use to q-tips to roll away from the center of the impaction in opposing directions (think north, south or east, west)  starting on each side of the comedone. Then re-position your q-tips in the opposite starting point (If you were north,south you now re-position to east,west) and again roll away. Now comes the fun part! Using firm pressure, roll the q-tips toward the impaction coming from beneath if possible. This will start to dislodge the comedone from the pore. Re-position your q-tips in opposing directions and repeat this pattern until the comedone is removed.

Extraction Tools
There are many tools on the market to assist you in removing your comedones. Everything from “peel away masks”, which from the YouTube videos look quite painful, to mini blackhead busting vacuum contraptions. None of these I would personally nor professionally recommend. One tool I would endorse the use of  would be the “loop” extractor; which essentially composed of a thin metal handle with a small rounded loop on one end and a large flat loop on the other. The smaller rounded edge is for removing open comedones and the larger flat end is for closed comedones. The best way to utilize this tool is to place it beside the comedone with the center of the pore in the middle of the loop, then gently apply pressure toward to impaction, always trying to come from underneath. Once one side is done you may re-position it to the other to ensure the entire comedone is removed. This may take a few passes but if it becomes painful or begins to bleed, stop immediately to avoid damage to the skin.

Esthetician’s Favorite Tool
I would have to say that my favorite tool of all time is my Sonophoresis machine.  Sonophoresis is a process that exponentially increases the absorption of topical compounds into the epidermis and dermis by using microvibration waves. You might be thinking “Absorption? Isn’t that the opposite of what we are tying to do here?” Interestingly enough, the same tool that can penetrate product into the epidermis can assist in extracting it. When using the Sonophoresis machine to penetrate product into the skin you would use the flat side of the spatula, adjusting the frequency as necessary; then slide it gently across the skin, carefully avoiding the eye area. When you are using the machine for extractions, you would turn the spatula over, using the rounded prong side. Again adjusting the frequency as necessary, then applying the tool to the side of the comedone with light pressure to remove.

The proper closing can leave a lasting impression.
Like many things in life the proper ending can be key…. You don’t want to do a load of hard work then leave the mess lying around do you? Here is the best way to finish your extraction session.
Weather its one comedone or twenty if its swollen, ice it! If inflammation is present you must reduce it as quickly as possible to avoid damage. If there is no swelling present or the swelling had reduced to a comfortable level, your next step is re-balancing your skin. You can do this in many ways but the best being a hydrating mask. Look for masks that contain Aloe, Allantoin, Honey, Lavender, Oatmeal or Shea Butter. Follow the instructions given on your chosen mask and once your hydrating mask has been removed, you may want to tone your skin with a non-alcohol based toner to again assist your skin with its pH. If you dont use one or have one available it is not nessesary. Now it is time to moisturize your skin to ensure that you either replenish the oils that your skin needs for drier skin types or to seal in the natural oils for more oil prone skin types to prevent an over production of oil. The final step is sunprotection of SPF15 or higher.
The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to skin care. An ounce of sunscreen can protect your entire face, neck and shoulders and it could save you a pound of flesh, if you catch my drift… Please wear your sunscreen! Your friendly Esthetician thanks you!


Aloha Readers,
Thank you so much for reading my first blog! I hope you enjoyed it and possibly learned something. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to comment below or write me an email. If there is a subject you would like me to cover, please share.
Mahalo for reading and a hui ho,