Archive for April, 2010

Beware Tangerine Aveda Salon at Summit Sierra

Posted in Health and Beauty on April 29, 2010 by sbulletforever

Went in for a hair trim, came out with a horrible haircut. It turned out to be a men’s haircut by someone with ’15 years of experience’. Too short, too razored, too chunky in the front.

Came in a day later for a complimentary cut to fix it. I now look like a bull dyke, and I will be wearing a hat for the next three months. THANK YOU AVEDA!!!

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Milan Institute vs. IAS

Posted in Health and Beauty on April 16, 2010 by sbulletforever

So I’m looking at starting aesthetician school in the fall. Yay me! With a handful of schools to choose from in the quiet area of Reno, Nv, I narrowed to down to two: Milan and IAS. Hopefully this review will help other people who aren’t sure where to go or what to expect.

IAS is a very small cosmetology school, but it recently had a MAJOR makeover. Clueless students man the desk area and unfortunately don’t even know how to hand out the basic packet of school info without asking five other people. But they were nice enough. It was pretty darn quiet when I walked in; only one older lady was sitting in the chairs-and-tables “waiting area” across from the desk. Behind that was a number of rows of hair stations, and it all looked pretty new and freshly painted. There was a handful of flatscreen tvs on the walls above the washing stations, repeating a video that went over the steps of foiling, washing, etc. In the very back were some nail/pedicure stations that had curtains for privacy. IAS recently converted one of the bathrooms in the back into a color room, which was lovely and well-organized.

There are pictures on the walls as you head upstairs, and you’ll notice that they aren’t pictures of happy customers or awesome haircuts the graduates did. Which they should be. Instead, the pictures are print outs from Google pictures search and MySpace profile photos of (mostly) emo girls. I’ve seen the pictures many times before when looking for color/cut picutres online. It was rather silly to see them on the walls of the IAS school… Anyways, upstairs there is a small office and a desk with chairs, some computers in a corner, and two hallways on opposite sides. One hallway contains all the classrooms, the other held the washing room and the treatment rooms.

The classrooms were only so/so. The aesthetician classroom is nice and small; there are a couple of small tables pushed together and some chairs, a few whiteboards, a project0r, and books and papers all over the place. It was cozy, but messy. The cosmotology room was much bigger, but definitely had been passed over when IAS did their makeover. The tile (or linoleum, can’t remember) floor has marks and stains on it. There are long, cheap, plastic tables and cheap chairs all over the room, and mannequin heads strewn about the place. Apparently I came just after a perm test. But it was definitely messy, and looked cheap.

I did like the treatment rooms- they looked good, and they had tons of wonderful gadgets in them to play with. I believe there were four different treatment rooms. The teachers were VERY NICE, and laid back. The school is definitely small, cozy, and not terribly busy, and the teachers wouldn’t be riding your case all the time. You can wear anything you want except head scarfs or hats, and no plastic flip-flops. You wear a black smock over your clothes, and they don’t care what’s underneath as long as you’re wearing something underneath. Aside from the fact that they use Redkin hair products, I don’t know what nail products/skincare line they use. They should have told me that when I toured the place and spoke to the owner and teachers. I think it’s Dermalogica?

Aesthetician school there is about $10,400, and it takes 900 hours to complete. HOWEVER, you do recieve with your tuition EVERYTHING you will need to be an aesthetician (except for makeup). You get a diamond microderm machine, a facial steamer, a treatment chair, a stool, a towel warmer, a UV steralizer, and other goodies. Buying those things on your own would cost both your arms and legs, so the fact that it’s included in your tuition is far beyond outstanding. However, they didn’t even metion makeup application when I spoke to them. You have different options on how long it takes you to finish the program. It ranges from, I believe, 5 months to 9 months. They weren’t terribly clear, but from what I understood ‘theory’ was from 9:00-10:00 in the morning, taught by an instructor. If you missed it, you could come in from 12:00-1:00 and learn it on your own without an instructor. Then you choose what hours you do ‘practicum’ for the week. Which is Tuesday-Saturday schedule, I believe. Or Tuesday-Sunday. Sorry, I lost the damn sheet and they don’t post their school information online. Financial aid is your own deal. You submit your FASFA, it takes a month for IAS to review it, and then you can start. Or you can file for PEL grants. School starts on the Monday or Tuesday of every months, so you can start class pretty much whenever.

Milan was a bit bigger than IAS, but not enormous or anything. There is a very nice waiting area in the front with leather couches that isn’t mushed together with the hair styling stations, like IAS. There is a real receptionist at the front who isn’t a student, and she has you fill out information if you’re an interested student or a first time client. That place was BUSY in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday. Holy smokes, that place was cookin’. A whole lot of phone calls coming in, a whole lot of people walking in to get treatments, and students being called up to the desk via intercom in a constant stream. The receptionist was very nice, but a little stressed out. She gave me the wrong forms to fill out the first time, and then she ended up throwing them away and having me fill out a different set.

I didn’t like the fact that some of the students were openly bitching at the front desk. People were calling in to either cancel their appointments or say they were coming in late, and some of the girls were complaining about their clients. Which, considering they were standing in the waiting room with other people waiting for treatments, wasn’t professional of them. But the girls weren’t overly mean or anything, and they weren’t ditsy. The receptionist had to walk away to talk to someone, and one of the students just slipped behind the desk and helped out some customers that had just walked through the door.

There is a glass wall separating the hair stations on the right, just past the desk. On the left is a classroom with a glass wall that you can see into. Boy, the inside of Milan is NICE. At least, the classroom, waiting room, and hair stations were. The classroom is small, but organized and very clean. There are posters on the wall, a couple small clusters of desks and chairs, and a whiteboard. The girls were being quizzed by Jasmine, the aesthetician instructor. She seemed like a teacher who knew what she was doing and knew how to get things done, and the girls in the classroom looked like they were really working. Not nearly as laid back as IAS, but I liked that. Jasmine looks like she’ll end up drilling that stuff through my brain and teaching me how to do things right.

I didn’t get to see every inch of the place- there wasn’t a need for me to look at the nail stuff, color rooms and cosmetology stuff since I’ll be there for aesthetician school. There is another tiny waiting room across from the hair stations, but you can shut the door and keep the room quiet. There was a desk and two chairs, and their entire line of products for sale. Yes, you can buy everything they use on you at Milan. IAS didn’t have a ‘for sale’ area that I saw. Milan uses OPI for nails, BioElements for the skin (which I HATE), and Redkin for the hair. There is a door in the waiting room that leads to the treatment area.

The treatment area NEEDS A MAKEOVER. There are two facial chairs in the middle of the room when you walk in. There is a hallway to the right that has two private treatment rooms, I think. And a bathroom, which had a sink full of stuff. Not very clean or impressive… The washer/drier/folding area is in that hallway, so it’s kind of a tight squeeze. The treatment rooms themselves are very bare and need painting and a little love. They did have an adjustable light in there to dim the lighting, which was nice. I truly liked the hair stations, which far, far, far outshined those at IAS. The tile floor has a beautiful design, the stations are fresh and very tall and professional, the lighting is perfect, the chairs are awesome and new, etc. And a lot of the seats in the styling chairs had people in them, and they weren’t students.

I met with Monica, who sat me down in her very nice, professional office and spoke to me about my interest. Way nicer than the desk and chairs in the middle of the upstairs hallway at IAS. Monica was SO WONDERFUL! She had a clipboard and took down notes about everything about me. My schools I’ve gone to, my interests outside of aesthetician school, what made me interested, etc. We ended up chatting about my blog and my travels to Japan, where she visited often when she was younger. We looked through a quick slideshow on her computer that went through the benefits of going to Milan. Unlike IAS, Milan concentrates on medical aesethetician work. I would be certified to use an LED Light Therapy machine! But, in general, you learn the same stuff at both schools.

I ended up getting a certificate for a free facial! Which was lovely. It was a 45 minute basic facial, I think. My skin looked lovely afterwards, and the girl who did my face (Amy, I believe. I lost her card…) was absolutely wonderful and so sweet.

Anyways, here’s the skinny about Milan: It’s about $13,200 for aesthetician school. You receive a beautiful train case that holds everything you need for makeup application, your book, and “everything else you need to complete your schooling”. That’s what I was told. Was exactly is in it? I don’t know, they didn’t say. The IAS packet I received was much more informative. You might get your microderm machine and chair when you graduate, too, but I truly don’t know. It will take you 900 hours to complete the course, and you finish it in 7 months. You have a set schedule of when you come in, not a ‘make your own schedule’ sort of deal that IAS has. The schedule is Wednesday-Saturday, I think. Other than the fact that the students wear purple t-shirts with the Milan logo, I don’t know the dresscode. But I know you can wear jeans there because lots of the girls were wearing them. Milan will HELP YOU with financial aid. I have a meeting next week to go through things with Shannon to figure out what I qualify for, so I’m not totally on my own when it comes to financial aid. BUT, they have a $100 registration fee that IAS doesn’t have. When you graduate, Milan will help you create a solid resume/portfolio and do its best to place you in a job. School starts there like a regular college- the next semester starts sometime in August, and the classes (for aesthetician school) stay small and fill up FAST.

Overall, I liked Milan better. Sure, it’s more expensive, but I think it’s worth the extra money. And who knows? Tuition there might include equipment, too. But if it doesn’t include the equipment, IAS might be the better choice. Unless you work at a casino spa where equipment is provided, I’m told you are expected to buy your own equipment. Having everything you need right out of graduation would totally save you from being jobless and having to spend more money on equipment and having more debt. The teachers at IAS won’t bite your head off and seem really relaxed, while at Milan the teachers seem to be focused on teaching and being professional. Milan is busier than IAS, so you would have more chances to work and not sit around all day and do nothing. Neither of the schools have outstanding treatment areas, but both are equal. I got to watch one of the students do a back facial on a client in Milan (supervised by Jasmine), which was really cool, and I got to step in and listen briefly to a class going on there. I didn’t see any work done or teaching done at IAS, so I can’t comment on it. IAS has a very flexible schedule if you’re busy, but I don’t know how much flexibility is at Milan. Aside from the fact that they finish school in 7 months, I don’t know hours of work/teaching or anything. Milan helps you with a professional portfolio and resume and helps you find a job; I don’t know if IAS does or not. Milan has a $100 application fee, IAS does not. Neither schools are in very nice parts of town: Milan is kind of hidden away in an industrial-looking building a few seconds away from GSR and IAS is in a shopping plaza in a less-than-wealthy part of town (that’s a nicer way of saying it. I wouldn’t walk around alone too far from school). Milan concetrates on medical aesthetician stuff and makeup; IAS doesn’t focus on makeup, and they don’t train you for LED Light Therapy or anything like that. If you’re interested in cosmetology or nail technician school, all I can say is that Milan has nicer stuff.

Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadows

Posted in Health and Beauty on April 10, 2010 by sbulletforever

These brand new Stardust Eyeshadows ($20) promise 40% more glitter than normal UD shadows (which are mucho sparkly), sheer application, and no glitter fallout. Is it true? Here’s my take:

These beautiful shadows, 9 in all, are definitely full of glitter. But I would rather categorize it as ‘shimmer’ because ‘glitter’ usually implies chunky bits. The glitter in this is small, smooth, and blends like butter on your eye. No worries about rough application and uneven spreading! And it’s true- I didn’t have the tiniest bit of glitter fallout. Almost always, especially with UD shadows, glitter and shimmer ends up getting everywhere on your face after a few hours of wear.

The colors: 54 is a light purple shade, Atmisphere is a somewhat deep turqoise, Bobby Dazzle is white, Diamond Dog is a deep brown, Griffith is a medium green, Moon Spoon is grey, Retrograde is a dark purple, Space Cowboy is beige (has TWICE as much sparkle as the others), and Void is a grey/black.

54 was alright- you get a decent amount of light purple color, but it’s still very light. I’d highly recommend this under your brows and in the corner of your eye to add major highlight and sexiness to a purple eyeshadow look. But I wouldn’t use this as an eyeshadow color across your entire lid.

Atmosphere was a lot of fun. I pair it with my Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Peace and Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Electric. Those three colors compliment each other beautifully and you can use them in any wild combination you like. Atmosphere is dark enough to add real color and definition, unlike 54.

Bobby Dazzle is a PERFECT highlighter. It’s beautiful underneath your brows and in the corner of your eye for any eyeshadow colors and combinations you wear. It’s a bit too much to wear on its own, unless you want to look like a sparkly princess.

Diamond Dog is one of my favorites of the Stardust Eyeshadows. It has enough color (when applied with a dry dinger) to be a great crease shade. It’s very dark and really quite gorgeous and striking- deep, dark brown with pretty shimmer. How fun is that?

Griffith wasn’t bad. I’d use it as a highlighter/crease shade for a totally green eyeshadow look. Try using Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow in Graffiti on your base, Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Covet (lining your bottom lashes only) and the Stardust in Griffith in the crease, under the brows, and in the corner of your eye. How fun is that? I wasn’t fond of it enough to use it on my whole lid, though.

Moon Spoon is a lot like Diamond Dog in that it’s a great dark color that adds real color to your lids. The other shades are much too light to use as crease shadows, but these two rock it. It’s a lighter grey (Void is a dark grey) that would look super sexy on a smokey eye.

I was least fond of Retrograde. You oculd use it as a crease color for a purple eyeshadow look, but I personally prefer a true dark purple for my crease (not a semi-sheer color like this). It’s pretty, but I probably wouldn’t end up using it.

Space Cowboy is by far my FAV! Ooh, I love it. This is such a nice color to wear bare, and ANY AGE can wear it! I’ve seen older ladies wear sparkly shadows before, but usually in peaches or purples. Those colors don’t really flatter older eyes, but the beige in Space Cowboy definitely will. It’s Urban Decay Eyeshadow in ‘Midnight Cowboy Rides Again’ without any glitter fallout!!!! I’m in love.

Void is basically a darker version of Moon Spoon, and wears the same exact way.

Here are some tips on wearing these sparkly shadows:

  • Put down your sponges and eye applicators. These are finger paints only!
  • Be sure to wear a primer underneath to ensure the shadow lasts longer and the glitter stays put. The primer will give the glitter and shadow a base to hold on to when your eyelids become too oily or too dry.
  • For the most INTENSE color payoff, get your finger wet and then apply these. They will dry the same dark, intense color and will look more like a full color shadow and less like a semi-sheer one.
  • Use these to update your normal shadows- just wipe some over your regular eyeshadow for a sparkly perk!

Bare Escentuals Buxom Lips

Posted in Health and Beauty on April 7, 2010 by sbulletforever

I love lips, and I’m very picky with my lip colors. Buxom Lips ($18) is Sephora’s #1 lip gloss and has been a best seller since it arrived in stores. Of course I had to try it!

There are 31 different colors of the Buxom Lips, and three different types of gloss: Diamond, Tint, and Original. The Original is a sheer, shimmery gloss, the Tint is a sheer, non-shimmery, highly flavored gloss, and the Diamond is basically the Original with LOTS of glitter and shimmer. (There is a separate line of Buxom glosses that are full-color glosses, but I’m not as fond of those.)

My specific favorite of the Original glosses is ‘Sandy’. It’s a nude color that helps cover up the insane chaps and tears on my lips, a savior in winter. But it’s hard to dislike any of the colors- they all look good one way or another. But they are sheer and have gentle amounts of shimmer, and they have glorious shine without being sticky. If you’ve never tried on Buxom glosses, you need to prepare yourself. You get an INSANE rush that blows your mind and forever changes the way you’ll think about lipgloss.

The Buxom glosses are very gentle plumpers and inject a wildly cool sensation throughout your lips. It’s hard to describe the delicious and almost intoxicating feeling. You’ll literally be distracted by the way your lips look and feel. It freshens your breath and quite simply gives you a kick in the pants. There are no other glosses like this. Even regular plumpers, like DuWop or FusionBeauty, taste like cinammon and sting a little. This just…dips your lips in icy wonderfulness. And every time you lick your lips, the sensation starts all over again. A simple kiss turns into something out of this world. My boyfriend thinks it’s the weirdest sensation EVER…in a good way.

The Tints have more flavor and are more intense, but they are matte and don’t have that sweet shimmer I love so much. Much more sheer than the Originals, in my opinion. But I’ll tell you that, hands down, Margarita is my favorite. It tastes like a limed and salted classic margarita on your lips. It’s a party and a half! I obsessed over it for more than an hour until it finally wore off.

The Diamonds are just the Originals with lots more glimmer and shimmer. Not all that different, but they look great for evenings out. The shine in these is just outstanding.

These glosses, however, aren’t perfect. They do wear off after short while- you will need to CONSTANTLY reapply. I don’t recall mine really lasting more than a couple of hours, especially if you’re out eating/talking/drinking. And the tubes have minimal amounts of product (only .15 ounces!!!!). The average gloss is about .29 ounces for the same price. You’ll go through these regularly, which isn’t such a bad thing. It’s not like you’re paying Dior prices for it (ha ha). If only the formula would last longer, and if only they put a little more product in the tubes, I’d NEVER buy another gloss again.