My Favorite Foil Placement from June 2013

This post will be most interesting to the hairdressers out there, but I have been playing around on a simplified variation on one of the block color techniques from the Doves, who were using a lot of triangles when I visited them in Santa Monica last summer.

This technique is great for clients that have a consistent part. I take that part and create a triangular section right over the part that is foil width at the front hairline and then comes to a point on the crown just beyond the part. From there, I take a section at the hairline and then follow them back to the point. Sometimes I keep the foils perpendicular to the part, other times I put them in diagonally for softness. What I love about this technique is that there is a subtle emphasis around the face. The hair is slightly lighter in the front and contains more of the natural or base color in the back. I also throw a few foils around the hairline on both sides just to further add emphasis to the front and also to give a soft natural look. To me, it mimics how hair would naturally lighten if you had it pull back in a low to mid pony tail.

I have been using this on just about everyone with longer layers or one length cuts. On shorter layers I would either take the triangle in more and mainly just focus around the face or go through the whole head with a baliage technique. Any foil techniques on shorter layers that focus on the top of the head will make the underneath area look too dark.

I made a crude headsheet to show the placement of the foils on top of the head.

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Another variation on horizontal partings or diagonal partings is to go diagonal in one direction with a lighter color and have every third or fourth foil be a lowlight crossing back in the other direction. I did this a few days ago on a client. I would do three thin slices going diagonal back according to the heavy side of her hair and then throw in a lowlight on the opposite diagonal on the smaller side, so the low light would still cross the part but there wouldn’t be as much of it.

Beautiful and natural with soft emphasis at the face and less work. Perfection.

Philosophy Oil-Cleanser

Recently I have started using a water-proof, silicone-based foundation on days when I need to look extra professional. (I have quite sensitive skin, but I am finding Face Atelier Ultra Foundation to work quite well for me, in moderation. Reviews to come at the end of the summer, as I am still experimenting with it on myself and others.) The problem is, my gentle face wash just doesn’t cut it! I had been resorting to washing my face over and over and over again and really scrubbing to get it off. Not very nice for my skin!

My skin care routine prior to all of this was all Philosophy: Purity in the evening and Microdelivery in the morning. I love Philosophy. They market themselves extremely well, with thoughtful packaging that has a natural, but also a very luxurious feel. Now, I would not necessarily recommend them to people who are devoted to natural products because Philosophy does use dyes and a few other very chemical things. There are many products in the line i cannot use for this reason. But the cleansers are so gentle on my skin, much more than a lot of natural products that can be quite harsh, going overboard on essential oils. Just about everyone in my salon/spa uses some combination of Philosophy products, despite having a lot of different skin issues. So I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for something new. Also, the cleansers last a long time! Much, much longer than your St. Ives drugstore cleanser or other department store cleansers.

So, naturally I wanted to try this oil cleanser. I must say, I have been very happy with it. I am even using it on some days where I don’t need it. It also gets all my eye makeup off. I don’t wear a ton but occasionally I will have some stubborn black eyeliner and I use the oil cleanser and a Q tip to get it off. It is simple to use, so great when I am a bit lazy before bed. All I do is poor a little in my hand and then rub all over my face, dry, then rinse off after massaging for a bit. Sometimes I will use Purity or Microdelivery after, but there isn’t a need to. The lady at the Philosophy counter also said you could add the oil to either of the other cleansers to change the consistency.

It also makes my face more receptive to moisturizer, which is great. I am the sort that needs to reapply moisturizer over and over, no matter how much I exfoliate and no matter how wet/dry my face is when I apply it.

All in all, I am a big fan.

OCC Stained Gloss Lip Tar in New Wave

I was dying to try the new lip stains from OCC, and I must say, I am in love with New Wave, which is a bright pink shade (but sheer and glossy enough for every day wear). I also have the color Meta and it is more of an orangey pink. Very pretty! Not quite as every day for me, pinks are a little easier for me to incorporate into my makeup routine, but it is very nice and great for people who wear more coral tones.

First off, while very pigmented, they are not as intense as I expected. They can be layered to become brighter but they certainly don’t have the punch of the original lip tars. They are quite sheer, which disappointed me a little at first and then five minutes later I was ecstatic. They are the perfect pop of color for summer. My main lip stains I used prior are the Vincent Longo stains and Benetint. I expected the OCC stains to be very similar to the Vincent Longo stains based on the description (like stained glass) but I am finding them more similar to my Benetint, although not quite as sheer. I am curious if the darker colors would be more like my Vincent Longo stains, since the ones I ordered were brighter. I would probably still prefer my Vincent Longo stains for formal occasions.

My favorite thing about the OCC Stained Gloss is the texture. I hate gooey gloss and I have to say, these have a nice sheen without being sticky at all. They make my lips feel naturally moist, and that is very important to me.

The color lasts very nicely, too. Similar to my Benetint, it will subtly fade over the course of the day without flaking or peeling. It is sheer enough I am fine to just dab it onto my lips with or without a mirror over the course of the day if I want it to stay perfectly bright. However, even though there is some fading it keeps a nice color all day. It doesn’t fade to any strange tones. At the end of the day (14-16 hours later) my lips are still pink, just not quite like they were in the morning.

These will still be too bright for some people (those that like a very nude lip), but I absolutely love them. And it makes me feel great to know how natural and conscientious the brand is.

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Natural is Not Necessarily Best for Sensitive Skin

I truly believe that the trend towards more natural foods and cosmetics is a wonderful development. It is a great step and it is a necessary step. I think there are a lot of unknowns in regards to all of the chemicals we consume on a day to day basis. That being said, I do not see why people see the words “natural” and “organic” on cosmetics and believe that they are fundamentally unable to cause irritation.

It is completely bizarre to me that some women will smell a flower, sneeze countless times, and yet believe that their skin will only improve if they rub a concentrated essence of that flower on their face. A few weeks ago, while visiting Portland, Oregon, I had a lady at a department store cosmetic counter doing a makeup application on me. I told her ahead of time my allergies/sensitivities and yet she didn’t look at the back of any products. Luckily I knew the product line fairly well and knew I was mostly safe, but she snuck a serum on my face and the tingling turned to burning. I told her how my face felt and she looked at me like she didn’t even believe me and said, “Well, I don’t know how that could be, everything in this line is completely natural.”

First off, not true, it is a brand I like quite a bit (so I won’t mention the name here) but it does use dyes and it does use fragrance that isn’t denoted as organic, on top if the natural oils it uses. This sort of miseducation bothers me a lot as a cosmetologist because it gives us a bad name. The general public doesn’t believe us when we talk because department store workers who are on commission occasionally lie (or say the “correct” answer without checking) to sell more product. I also don’t like the fact that they feel a need to lie because the public is so obsessed with the elusive “truly natural” product.

One argument in favor of organic products is that the ingredients have been around forever so we would know if they caused significant harm to humans. However, it is not the actual substance that is the problem, it is how it is processed and the concentration. A hundred years ago people may have been using perfumes but not in the quantities we do today. Natural or otherwise, how much do we really know about any kind of fragrance used multiple times a day in virtually everything we use on our skin. Products aside, just the frequency with which we use everything is crazy relative to how much people used to shower.

Even natural substances our occasionally found to be harmful, for example, coumarin, a popular choice in men’s fragrance (for that earthy, fresh cut grass scent), used to be in many food additives before it was banned by the US, and other countries, because it was toxic to lab mice. There is no evidence at this point to necessitate banning it in fragrances, but between an unknown synthetic fragrance and a mildly toxic natural fragrance I would probably prefer the synthetic.

Most of us are not chemists, which makes us extremely vulnerable to marketing. Things can say sulfate free and call something that is basically sodium lauryl sulfate organic coconut oil. If you go back far enough, everything is from nature.

All I am trying to say is: listen to your skin! It will tell you what it likes, and it won’t necessarily be any old thing that says “organic” on the bottle.