For many years now at the beginning of the year, I choose a word as guide to help me make tiny and big decisions throughout the year. A feeling of some need determines the word, I try on several, like shoes, to see if it fits, feels right. "Competence", "Helper", "Variety" "Decisiveness" are all words of the past. Each one in their own way directed my choices, and thus enriching my experiences. I love the simplicity of it, baby stepping my choices into new directions. No goal setting, just gently guiding my way with the power of a need and a word that represents that need.
This year, based on significant reflections is: "uncomfortable" Yes, I want to be uncomfortable. Comfort is a wonderful feeling, too much of it can build "ruts", routines that don't energize or stretch me. So often I avoid situations that are uncomfortable because, "I don't know anyone there", "I might not be good enough at this new sport", "I don't know how to get there", "I don't want to go out, it's too cold" and on and on and on. Comfort is great! Being uncomfortable is an adventure! So this year it's about choosing to be uncomfortable more often.
Simple, but it works for me. I'm looking forward to new adventures this year!
Enjoy your time,
DON'T PICK THAT PIMPLE!!!! Geez louise, how many times have you heard that? It feels gigantic, it's red, it's sore, and it's white tip feels like a lighthouse guiding everyone's stares to it. Not the kind of attention we want! We all know that we aren't going ANYWHERE, not school, not work or anywhere until that thing has been picked, pinched and squeezed unmercilessly.
There is a right way and a wrong way to pick a pimple. Yes, it's ok to pick a pimple if you do it the right way. Shocking, I know, it goes against what everyone tells you, yet . . . here I am saying, it's ok!
Picking the wrong way, (pushing, pinching, squeezing till it pops) pushes the infection into the surrounding tissue, only to causing more problems. Yes, you may get some of it out, but trust me, it's not all gone!!!
So gather up your Proper Picking Tools: 90% Alcohol, needle or lancet, gentle cleanser, tissue, benzoyl peroxide (optional, but a really good idea, BP will kill the bacteria that remains in the pore) and concealer (optional).
Proper Pimple Picking Instructions:
NEVER pick a pimple that looks like illustration #3 above! IT IS NOT READY!!!
1. First park yourself in front of a mirror and a sink!
2. "Sterilize" the needle if you are using one. You can hold it over
flame, or let it soak in 90% alcohol (the kind you get in the Health and Beauty aisle), for 10 minutes.
3. Wash your hands & the pimple. Yes, really, take the time to do it.
4. Make an "opening" in the white (infection) part of the pimple.
Insert needle & wiggle it to make an opening.
5. Wrap tissue around your fingers and GENTLY PRESS in a circle
to EASE the infection out.
6. Gently wipe away the infection (pus). Wash the area with a gentle
fragrance free cleanser. Pat dry, then spot treat with Benzoyl Peroxide.
remember BP bleaches fabric, so wash your hands right away!
7. Finish with a concealer (one that matches your skin tone).
There! You did it! Don't get crazy and do every pimple, only the ones that are "ready"! Otherwise, you are just asking for trouble.
My last message is: Do you want to be cute in 10 years? Don't mess up your face with a bad picking job now. (I know you'll be cute anyway, but you will wish you hadn't over aggressively picked!) Read my post How Not To Pick A Pimple, to give you some incentive not to pick!
Take care of your birthday suit,
During the summer skin has 3 main concerns when you spend part of your day in motion outside in UV, (ultraviolet) & increased humidity. Sun Damage, Dehydration & Chafing
Hey! I’m Lisa, an Esthetician from Michigan, and the owner of the tiniest independent salon in the state. At least I think it is, I don’t really have proof, but I'm assuming that 100 square feet of treatment room and another 150 square feet of waiting room qualify at least in the top 5 smallest.
The picture is of our treatment room. It’s in a totally renovated 105 year old house in Lansing. You should have seen it before we got to it with the paint, and elbow grease! And the panic on my face after I painted it a soft lime green, which when empty looked like a nursery waiting for the crib! All I could think in my tired little mind was, “Oooh noooo, what have I done?” I had that same sick feeling after we painted the main living area, in our home deep lavender, purple. Boy did that take getting used to!
But we learned to enjoy the purply walls and lived with it for many years, and now its . . . yellow!
Once the Studio was put together, our clients love it and so do we. So just recently, in a bold move, I (my husband) painted my home office, “Frog Green”, like a lime on steroids, and it’s fabulous. The exact opposite effect the soft lime green of the treatment room. It's a color that helps you keep alert! No dozing when doing bills!
The “Studio” being so small, provides the privacy we like to offer for our clients. It’s a very restful, blue, green, brown, creamy cottagey salon. Our clients keep saying it’s “homey”. That’s good, cause we want to make them feel comfortable. We want to give them a memorable experience. we want them to feel special.
We want you to feel special too.
So after performing 1000′s of skincare and waxing services, here we are welcoming you to the "Studio" blog! A place where I will give skincare tips, ingredient and product help, paint color help (kidding), stories of real life clients (no names of course!) and inspiration so you can feel confident.
Hi, I’m Lisa . . . Glad to meet you, I'm here to teach you take care of your birthday suit. Someone's got to do it.
First thing clients do when they come in for their first facial, is fill out a skincare questionnaire. It gives me background into their habits and concerns about their skin. The second thing the client and I will do, is spend about a half hour going over the questionnaire. It really gives me a chance to ask and answer questions, and think through how I’m going to customize a facial for her.
When I first began my practice I thought it was my job to get EVERYONE on a 4 or 5 step skincare program. Crazy thought for me, because I WASN’T! So I felt guilty, (just what everyone needs, more guilt!)
After talking with dozens and dozens of first time clients, I noticed a pattern. Regardless of skin type or skin challenges, clients skincare routines fell into 1 of 3 basic categories. Looking back, it only makes sense, because as people, we are all wired differently! Brilliant observation, I know.
Anyway, I named each of these categories with equally brilliant names:
Hit or Miss: These clients have a routine that is, if I think about it I will get to it, if I’m not too tired, hungry, distracted, sore from working out, (fill in the blank). This is the category I fit in for most of my life! Our faces, got washed with whatever was in the shower, and moisturized only when we noticed our skin was so tight it hurt to smile.
Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea.
Steady Eddie (or Edie): These clients have a very simple daily routine, which they perform almost always. They arn’t real picky about the products they use, and tend to stick with the same products. Their routine, usually consists of washing their face (possibly with bar soap) and a simple moisturizer, (possibly a body moisturizer).
Treatment Oriented: These clients have a very specific targeted routine, which usually involves 3-5 products. They may be be concerned with acne, aging or rosacea. Often they are interested in trying the latest and greatest product and want my opinion. They are faithful to their routine and want to see results!
So which basic category do you fall into? Remember, there’s no judgement from me! (remember I was a hit or miss girl)
What I try to get across to my clients is, you were only issued one skin body suit at birth, so we need to take care of it. With that and their routine personality in mind, I educate, and provide suggestions based on what they are willing to do!
So, for my “Hit Or Miss” clients, I say “BRAVO” you are here getting help! Lets take this one simple step at a time. Buy a cleanser let it “live” in the shower, so you know where it is, and use it 5-7 days a week. After you get the hang of that, we’ll work on a moisturizer.
If you are a “Steady Eddie”, you’ve got it made! You have a stable routine! We will take a look at the products you are using and see if any of them could be switched out for a more nourishing skin building one.
For you “Treatment Oriented” clients, we will review your concerns and see if your products are really addressing them. We don’t want to have you “over do” treatments, especially with chemical exfoliants. That creates additional problems.
I love all my clients. They, (we) are just wired differently. How dull if we weren’t!
Take care of your Birthday Suit!
One of my very first make-up clients as a brand new esthetician was a 29 year old bride with a bright red dot on the tip of her nose, that I had a terrible time covering up. Whatever I did, it would show through, unless I really caked on the cover-up.
She wasn’t born with the red dot, she got it at age 12 when her mother attempted (out of love:-) ) to pick a pimple on the end of her nose. 15 years later, she has a permanent reminder. It was the size of a pencil lead, and my client had a “whatever” attitude about it. She had learned to live with it.
That’s reason #1. Cause you just don’t know how it will turn out.
Reason #2 is: When you push down on the pimple, (especially if it is red, sore, infected), you’ve now pushed that infection into the surrounding skin tissue, and like bunnies, there’s a good chance they will mulitply! Kind of defeats the purpose huh.
And reason # 3: Occasionally, I have clients that pick and pick and pick and eventually, they can’t stop break the habit without a HUGE effort. The habit gets obsessive and their skin pays a huge price! The pimples take on a very flat reddened, appearance. When I see that, I know “H0uston we have a problem.”
I know pimples can be aggravating, embarrassing, painful, and affect self esteem. But the reality is, If you pick wrong, you can get bad results that make the problem worse!
There is a right way (in another post) and a wrong way. Please, please, please respect yourself enough to learn the right way!
As Always . . .
Take care of your birthday suit, Lisa
The Acne Detective
Lights up, client enters stage right: She walked into my room, I motioned her to sit. This wasn’t Madelines* first visit, but this visit was different. She was desperate, I could see it in her eyes. Sitting on the table, I looked at her, an attractive young woman in her 30s, a professional in need of answers. She pointed to her mouth, yes there it was, the first clue.
Odd, I thought, her past included a course of Accutane*, a drug strong enough to K.O. acne like a prize fighter.
Something was hinky, not kosher. I continued with my questions, watching and listening, looking for more clues and bam, there it was.
She was chewing gum, like her life depended on it. She was pulling it like taffy, her teeth holding on one end, her fingers on the other, mopping up around her mouth, then pushing it back in. She kept repeating this, only interrupting it to answer my probing questions.
I was on to something. I continued to push for answers:
“What kind of gum is that?“
“Peppermint” she answered, seemingly surprised the inquiry had taken a turn.
“How many sticks a day are you chewing?” I persisted
“About 30” she answered
“How long have you been chewing 30 sticks a day? And why”
“For about a month, cause I quit smoking”
Eureka! I thought. Case Closed!
I gave this doll my recommendations and told her to come back in a month.
Client exits stage right. Lights dim.
4 weeks later “Madeline” (not her real name of course) returned, the breakout area clearing nicely, and she was thrilled!
The culprit aggravating the acne, was the peppermint in the gum, and the frequency it was exposed to that area.
Peppermint is classified as a “counter irritant”. It’s part of the menthol family, and when applied to skin it irritates it, causing an increase in blood flow, heating up that area. (that’s how “BenGay” and other analgesic type lotions work to soothe sore muscles)
Heat is an acne aggravator. Repeatedly aggravating an area prone to acne will increase breakouts.
So my recommendations were, to find a “non menthol” flavored gum to chew, and start using her over the counter acne products consistently to clear the area. And viola! It cleared AND she didn’t start smoking again!
“Mint” is found in alot of skincare products, because it gives a “cool tingly” sensation. It gives the product a feeling that “it’s working”, when it could really be aggravating.
Look for it in, lip balms and acne products, and avoid them if you are breaking out.
Remember, take care of your Birthday Suit sweetheart, it’s the only one you’ve got!
Lisa the acne detective
P.S. *Accutane is a VERY powerful drug (controlled substance) that is a form of Vitamin A, which will shrink the size of the skins oil glands, in turn reducing or eliminating acne. It should be considered only if acne is severe, and other treatments haven’t worked.
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