Body Wraps: Meh

Clearly I need to set up some sort of regular day to type up entries, because it’s been waaaay too long…my bad 😡 I’ve been ridiculously tired lately, partially because of the hour long drive to/from school, but also because I haven’t been falling asleep til 6 or 7 in the morning. Yaaay, sleep issues!

But anyway!

Honestly, things have been sort of boring lately. We spent what felt like a very, very long time on the anatomy chapter in our books. While I realize it’s important to know (to a point), I also really don’t care. I probably shouldn’t be typing this publicly, but…yeah. I don’t care about anatomy whatsoever. It’s really boring and I can never remember all the names of the muscles/bones. Why should I care, honestly??

Apparently I cared enough, because I ended up passing my anatomy test by one point. HA HA HA

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EVIL LAUGHTER

Right after the boredom of anatomy, we got into doing body wraps. Apparently that’s its own separate certification – meaning it’s not included for when we’re at the end of the program and take the test to get certified as estheticians. It sort of makes me wonder why we have to do it at all, because honestly…I don’t really like it.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it feels nice.  You get to be all wrapped up in a nice little cocoon for quite some time. If people hadn’t been talking to me the whole time, I probably would’ve fallen asleep.

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We call that blue/silver thing a NASA blanket. It feels very plastic-y, but it helps trap heat, which is why the experience is so relaxing~

Giving them, though…I don’t know. It’s weird to me. The first body wrap I gave was to a friend I’ve known since high school, and she was completely cool with me scrubbing her while she was basically half-naked. I’m honestly not sure how I’d feel about giving one to someone I don’t know. Oddly enough, facials feel a little less personal to me. Maybe because you’re focusing on one area instead of all of them? Who knows. Or maybe I’m just a weirdo who has issues with touching people.

Another reason I don’t really like them is because they’re bullshit – at least, the compression/inch loss ones are. There are definitely benefits to getting your body exfoliated and moisturized – I’m not denying that. And like I said, it does feel very nice and it’s awesomely indulgent.

But inch loss? Yeah, no.

Estheticians are not medically trained. I’m not going to have fancy letters or a fancy title once I’m certified. We basically work on the surface, though our tools/training and whatnot can help your skin way better than just washing your face at home can do.

With an “inch loss” body wrap, all you’re really losing is water weight. During the wrap process, you’re, well, wrapped up in a bunch of compression bandages (basically Ace bandages) and lay there for up to an hour in the NASA blanket. It’s like a more intense version of laying around wearing Spanx and sweating for a couple of hours.

But after you start eating/drinking normally after the treatment? Yeah, those inches are gonna come back – unless you have the process done daily or something.

The compression does help with certain medical issues (but it’s no cure/prevention/whatever) and it can help you look your best for a special event, like a wedding or whatever. But it’s not a weight loss solution and doesn’t have any sort of permanent, lasting effect. You’ll see some improvement, but it’s not like I’m performing miracles here.

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You forgot her arms, stock photo!

I think it’s partially because I know that the “inch loss” sort of body wraps are crap that I don’t particularly like giving any kind of body wraps. It just feels really awkward to me. I’d much rather work on faces and give people confidence that way, instead of with false claims.

I really can’t wait until we move on to something else. I’m sooo ready for it. I’m dying to learn about brow/lash tinting…hopefully soon!

❤RS

Facials are Magical

Over the weekend, I had an awful migraine that basically had me laying in bed staring at the ceiling. It made me reeeeally glad that I rarely get them – maybe once every three months or so – but when they hit, ohhh geez. Everything is pain and everything hurts 😦

Luckily the worst of it was over when I had to go to class on Monday, but I still had a lingering headache. I absorbed pretty much nothing my instructor said during lecture. Anatomy? Muscles??? No thanks, try again in a thousand years. It probably doesn’t help that I suck at anatomy and the names of all the bones/muscles/body parts just go right over my head.

When it finally came time to go over to clinic and actually do something, one of my very nice classmates offered to do a service on me since I wasn’t feeling well. I just really wanted to lay down, so of course I accepted.

She was going to try a high frequency treatment on me (especially since I’ve been breaking out like mad lately and totally have some spots that need zapping), but the machine was being used, so she just gave me a basic facial.

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That girl in the foreground was getting a microdermabrasion. She said it felt like an octopus sucking on your face. Not sure if it’s supposed to feel like that…

Like I said in my back facial post, this wasn’t a cure-all to my horrible headache. Far from it. But I have to admit, it felt much better afterwards, and I’m positive it wasn’t just from being able to lay down.

I have to admit, the more services I do/receive, the more I find myself interested in how the ~power of touch~ can really help someone. I think it’s why I’m not particularly interested in using the machines myself, although they do work and are very useful. I think I just like the thought of making someone feel better in ways that’s just beyond their skin. The nicer skin’s definitely a bonus, though ;D

RS

My Skin Care Routine

I’ve been off on spring break for the past week (and freaking out about all this Final Fantasy XV news ahhh), but I wanted to do an entry anyway. Gotta keep the blog up! I’m actually pretty eager to get back to classes, because when I’m left to my own devices, I pretty much just sleep the entire day and am a zombie all night. Braaaaaaaaaaaains…?

ANYWAY!

I thought I’d ramble about my skin care routine today! I feel like it’s kind of in between – not so simple as ~wash and go~, but it’s not like a 10-Step Korean kind of routine. Now I shall talk about it!

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I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my main concerns when it comes to my skin are acne and oil control. I probably have the most oily skin ever, or at least it feels that way sometimes. Pretty much everything I do is to try and contain acne, even though I’m close to 30 years old. Clearly my skin thinks it’s still a teenager.

These are all the products I use, and you’ll have to excuse the lame quality of the photos since my cat broke my (homemade) lightbox. Also it was around 4am when I took these, so that might be a contending factor…

Here’s the full list of these products:

Equate Blemish Control Scrub
Cetaphil Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30
SHISEIDO Perfect Oil
Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
Clarisonic Mia 2
elf Acne Gel
ZapZyt Acne Treatment Gel
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream

Obviously, I don’t use all of this at once, because that would be madness. Like most people, I’ve got a morning routine and nighttime routine.

Morning:

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The rule of thumb is that you’re not supposed to exfoliate more than 2 – 3 times a week. I’ve read this over and over for years and it’s even somewhere in one of my textbooks for class. Despite this, I use that scrub every morning and I love it.

Honestly, despite all my acne and oil, it’s hard to truly irritate my skin. I’ve been using this for years, though, so maybe I’ve just gotten used to it. My face just doesn’t feel clean in the mornings unless I scrub it, which I know is bad, but oh well. I actually prefer the St. Ives version, but my dad buys this for me (for whatever reason, but I’m not complaining) and he’s adamant that store brands are just as good. I have to agree, really. The Equate brand doesn’t really feel quite as gritty, but it works for me all the same.

I only put on the Cetaphil moisturizer if I’m leaving the house. I mostly just got it for the SPF factor, because my previous moisturizer only had SPF 15 and I am the palest in ALLLLL the land, so I wanted more protection. I really don’t think the ‘oil control’ part does much, at least for me. I still need fifty million blotting papers after a few hours. The moisturizer itself is fine; it rubs in nicely and doesn’t make my makeup pill or cake. No complaints!

Night:

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I have two different night routines, at least when it comes to face washing. Your skin repairs itself as you sleep and your body temperature rises as well – which means anything you use on your face is going to be more effective when you’re asleep.

If I’m wearing makeup, first I wipe it off with a cleansing wipe (I like the elf ones, or I’ll just use baby wipes). Then comes the Perfect Oil – I found it because I was looking for a dupe for the DHC oil. This works pretty well for me and it’s way cheaper. The only bad thing is that it typically ships from Japan, so sometimes you’ll be waiting forever to receive it.

I use the Perfect Oil on a dry face. I take 1 -2 pumps of it and just gently go in circular motions all over my face, and even over my eyes to get rid of mascara. This is true of all the cleansers – you want to be very gentle when touching going through the motions and not scrub super hard.

After I rinse that off, I rub in the Cream Cleanser and use the Clarisonic with that. I actually didn’t get the Clarisonic until I started school – it came with all of our supplies. I’ve been wanting to use one for ages, but I couldn’t bring myself to drop the $150 on it. I’m glad I didn’t ;D

I’ve used a couple other facial brushes, but I really like the Clarisonic. I think if you’re willing to drop the cash, it’s worth it. My classmates saw a difference in my skin texture after only two days and my face does feel a lot smoother immediately after using it. The only thing that sucks is that you have to replace the brush heads every 3 months or so, and they can get expensive. I’ve gotta see if they’re cheaper somewhere…

If I didn’t wear makeup that day, I just use the Acne Wash. I switch through the non-makeup cleansers fairly regularly, just to try them out – I most recently got through the Biore Charcoal one. I tend to come back to Neutrogena, though, because all the commercials brainwashed me as a teen.

Honestly, as long as you’re using one right for your skin type, I don’t think a cleanser matters as much as you might think it would – its main job is basically to give you a blank slate for moisturizers and whatnot. Any active ingredients aren’t going to do much because they’re not sitting on your face for long enough. As long as it’s not making your skin worse, I feel like any cleanser you want to use, regardless of price, is totally fine.

Bedtime:

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Like I’ve said, my main concerns are acne and oil. I’ve tried pretty much every acne cream under the sun, and for some reason, the combination of the elf gel and Zapzyt stuff actually works. I still get breakouts, but they seem to happen way less frequently, especially in the past year. I just roll the elf gel all over my face and use the Zapzyt cream on individual blemishes (or on places that always seem to break out, like my nose and chin)

I’ve only started using the Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle cream in the past month or so. I’m not all that concerned about wrinkles (yet). I mostly got it for the retinol factor, since retinol is supposed to help reduce the appearance of your pores by speeding up cell turnover. If there is a difference yet, it’s very, very slight. I mostly just got this cream in particular because it was the only one I could find at that moment that didn’t cost $25+. It’s probably fairly obvious, but most of my products are on the cheaper side. I’m a broke student, what can I say 😛

When it comes to creams and whatnot, it’s always best to layer them on thinnest to thickest – a thick cream kind of helps seal everything in there. Of course, you don’t want to pile on too much stuff, either, or you risk a lot of irritation. If nothing else, at least use a basic moisturizer before going to bed, no matter what your skin type.

I haven’t really changed my routine at all since starting school, except for the addition of the Clarisonic. I know this works for me. It might not work for you, if you had a similar skin type. Who knows?

Everyone is different and everyone’s skin is different. It’ll be up to me to eventually see individuals and recommend the right products for them.

RS

Galvanic: Weirdly Awesome

I feel like over the past couple of classes I’ve had, the instructors are just kind of throwing everything at us over and and over until it sticks. It’s a little hard sometimes, since there’s so much to remember and it feels like it’s gonna be forever until everything feels normal or like second nature. I guess it’s like riding a bike, and you’ve gotta practice until you can do it without really thinking about it.

In this particular instance, though, you’ve gotta practice on someone…and on Monday, the whole class totally practiced on me.

We’ve been learning about how machines are used in facials for the past three classes or so, and there’s quite a few of them. There’s a high frequency, which utilizes electric currents to help stimulate your skin (well, more or less; it’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it). It can also be helpful on acne – one of my classmates tried a high frequency machine on me on Friday, and used it to zap away one of my zits. It was gone by the next day 8D

There’s a vacuum, which basically sucks out impurities…of course, it’s not all high-powered like a floor vacuum or anything. I haven’t tried this one out yet. Nope, what I was subjected to on Monday was….the Galvanic.

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Where the magic and/or madness happens ;D

The Galvanic interested me when I first heard about it, because it’s really suited for oily skin, which I totally have. It first uses negative ions (I think it’s ions, anyway) to help soften all the sebum (oil) and impurities in your skin. My instructor actually singled me out to get this done because my skin is very, very obviously oily…also, I’m one of the younger students in the class, so maybe she thought I could handle it.

After the negative ions do their work, I got a bunch of blackheads extracted and then a volcanic/sulfur mask was put on my face. I wasn’t expecting that, but hey, free mask treatment, hell yeah. It sort of helped since the extracting was weird (my instructor found a blackhead IN MY EAR and just kind of dove in there without any warning wtf).

When the mask was taken off, I got a serum put on my face. The Galvanic came back into play here – now it was time for positive ions, to push all the good stuff in the serum deeper in. That’s the beauty of this little machine – it helps get the bad stuff out and puts the good stuff in. It was hammered into our heads over and over: negative out, positive in…I feel like that’s probably on a motivational poster somewhere………

The verdict afterwards?

My face felt freaking awesome. I kept wanting to touch it, but that’s pretty much the worst possible thing you can do, so I tried to resist! My skin actually still feels very nice. In fact, pretty much the entire class (they all rotated using the machine on me so everyone would get a turn) agreed that I look better without a lot of makeup on. I’m not so sure I agree, but if I’m gonna be getting facials a lot more often, then there’s probably no point in wearing so much to class. They’ve all seen my naked face now, anyway, so it’s not like I’ve got anything to hide!

Also, because the machine was (obviously) electric, I was told that I was supposed to feel a “tingling” during the treatment. I’m not sure if it’s just my high pain tolerance or I literally have thick skin or what, but I didn’t really feel much of anything. They cranked it up the highest it would go and still…nothing. Someone with more sensitive skin or a lower pain tolerance might feel different, though.

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This is sorta what the tool looks like. It can vary, of course. Even if you don’t feel tingling, it ‘s like a nice little face massage and it’s super awesome.

I’m hoping I’ll get to try the machine on someone soon, though I have to admit, it feels a little weird and kind of out of place at a salon. I did use the high frequency machine on a classmate, and it just didn’t feel right to me. They’re definitely beneficial, but it felt oddly impersonal. I think overall, I’d prefer just working with my hands, but we’ll see what happens in the future.

RS

I Got a Back Facial

For a good six or seven years now – maybe even longer – I’ve had some problems with my left shoulder. I’m not exactly sure what’s wrong with it, since I’ve never been able to get it checked out and people making minimum wage don’t get (good) health insurance. Pain usually flares up in it when I’m standing or walking around for long periods of time.

But even though I was on my feet for a lot of the day on Friday, my shoulder actually feels pretty good – and I’m going to definitely assume it was from the awesome back facial I got from a more advanced student.

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Totally legit representation. Not even joking.

It probably should’ve been obvious, since ‘facial’ is right there, but I had no idea that estheticians did them on your back. I always thought that was more of a masseuse thing. The more you know!

A back facial is a lot like a regular facial…only on your back, of course. But for some reason, it feels a billion times more awesome. There was a lot of massaging involved (because you can be a little less gentle on someone’s back than on their face, since the skin is generally tougher on your back), which probably helped cement that idea. Plus, I’ve always been the person who loooves getting their back scratched, but nobody ever does it for me anymore :c

Besides all the massaging and feeling like I was being pampered (I almost fell asleep!), I think a lot of it was just the sense of touch. I know it sounds like a lot of New Age babble when people talk about ~the healing power of touch~, but I honestly think there’s something to it. My family’s not really the hugging type and I don’t have a significant other, so I’m not really used to people touching me. I generally try to avoid it.

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My cat is definitely an exception ;D

I’ve only had seven classes so far and don’t know the other students that well yet, but for some reason, having a near stranger pay so much attention to my back felt awesome – good enough for my shoulder to stop hurting as much, even. Maybe I was just really, really relaxed, but am I complaining? Noooo way.

Is a back facial a miracle cure for aches and pains and bacne? No, probably not – but there’s no denying that it absolutely helps. In addition to less shoulder pain, my back feels way smoother than it ever has. I kind of want to get another one…

…but my instructor would definitely frown at that and make me give someone one instead. I guess I’ll eventually figure out if that ~healing power of touch~ works the other way around…

♥RS

 P.S. I’m amazed at how many people have stumbled across this blog already! Thank you all so much C:

 

 

 

Say Hello to Your Future Esthetician

Confession: I’m horrible at introducing myself. Or talking about myself in general, unless I’ve got some specific topic in mind. Luckily, this blog totally has a specific topic, so maybe I won’t spend a thousand years staring at a blank post.

(Several hours later)

Uh….

HELLO WORLD! You can call me Serenity or RS. I’m definitely not picky.

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(This is my face at a really, really long stoplight. Note the barely concealed rage)

I decided to start this blog because after years of hemming and hawing, I’m finally attending school to become a professional esthetician – which, if you stumbled here without any preamble, is a skin care specialist. I’ll basically make you look super awesome 😀

I chose to go into this field because my idea of a fun Saturday night has always been to sit around with a mask on my face and deep conditioner in my hair (as you can probably tell, it takes quite a beating). When I was younger, I subscribed to a ton of different teen magazines, and my favorite sections were always the makeup/beauty ones. I have over half a lifetime of random skincare knowledge and figured that maybe I should do something about it.

Plus, anything’s better than being stuck in retail forever and ever…ha ha haaaaa.

I don’t have any particular ~dream~ or anything; I’d just like to make people feel better about their looks. Ideally, I’d like to travel and learn about skincare practices around the world, especially in Asia. I also wouldn’t mind eventually writing for a beauty blog or something, which was also a motivation for starting this one.

Mostly, however, I’d just like to document the process of becoming a professional. I think it’d be interesting to see how involved I get, or if there’s any particular thing that I feel like I enjoy doing.

I guess over the next year – I’m set to graduate February 2017 – I’ll find out, and until then, I’m taking you all with me!

♥RS

P.S. I’m still getting used to WordPress and setting this all up, so please excuse any lamery!