Author Archive

About admin

Find more about me on:

Here are my most recent posts

The Foundation of Doing a Perfect Updo

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Erika Brown - Certified Hair ColoristErika Brown is worked hard and overcame all obstacles to become a proud graduate of Paul Mitchell School, an American Board Certified Haircolorist, and a Makeup Specialist. She works at a salon she loves and specializes in hair coloring and the art of special occasion styles. She runs her own cosmetology blog, Confessions of a Cosmetologist, and enjoys inspiring others in the cosmetology field. You can also keep up with Erika on Facebook.

Do you ever get that sunken feeling when you get an updo client but have no idea what you’re doing?  Or maybe you’re the type that jumps for joy and can’t wait for the challenge.  I want everyone to get that excited feeling when an updo is booked, and the most important reason is this:  Anyone coming to a salon for an updo is more than likely preparing for a special day or event.  Would you want to see a stylist that isn’t confident  about styling and struggles through it with an attitude?  Heck no!  You might be the kindest and most talented girl in the salon…but it won’t matter.  Clients can see that look on our face….when they know you’re clueless….and you both know it!

In my opinion the key to any happy client is a thorough consultation, whether it is an updo or a cut.  You may be confident as a stylist but if you don’t get a clear vision of what the client wants…you will not succeed.  Most people are unhappy because it was not what they asked for….don’t stop asking questions until you feel like you’re on the same page.

The Perfect Consultation = The Perfect Updo

The following is a list of questions that I always ask during an updo consultation.  It’s important because that bride-to-be probably chose a style months ago and you don’t want to be the one to give her the opposite….don’t rain on her wedding day!

1. What are you looking to get done today?

This seems too broad but it’s important because it tells you how much the client has thought about what she wants.  If she is unsure…you know you’ve got lots of questions to ask.  If she’s gung-ho on a particular style but says, “I do want this, and maybe I don’t like that, etc.”, then you’ve got to dig deeper.  Ask her what she does or doesn’t like about every point that she touched on.

What they say after the first question is so important.  Those are the things that concern her the most….if you get those points right you will have a happy client.

Did you bring any pictures or would you like for me to make a few suggestions?

Pictures have earned a horrible reputation when it comes to clients whipping them out at a consultation.  I have heard several stylists say, “Oh no, she brought pictures… I hate that!”  They are forgetting that without them you are left to rely on your conversation and their ability to explain what they want alone to come up with the updo hairstyle on the spot.

Prom Up-Do Hair

If a client brings more than one photo you should compare them, narrow down the options.  Tell your client, for example, “Two of the styles you’re showing me are half-up and the other two are completely up.  Which one do you prefer?”   This gives you a chance to let them know that they are sending mixed signals and makes them pick specific details out.  A brief conversation or just glancing at a photo without asking any questions is asking for trouble.

Always cover your back, if you ask and perform you will find a new spurt of confidence!  How much can a girl complain after you went out of your way to be so thorough?

3) What style is the neckline of your dress and are you wearing any accessories?

This gets their mind off the worries of the style and gets them talking.  It’s so hard to get direct details at times and anyone will chit chat about what they will be wearing!  It also helps to break the ice if you have a shy client or get them feeling more comfortable with you.

You can also determine if the style they want will look good with what they plan to wear.  You don’t want to cover up a beautiful neckline by leaving some of the hair down or leaving them too bare around the neck if they aren’t wearing any accessories.

4) How would you like the front to look?

Most people will show you a photo of the back of an updo…but not the front.  Don’t corner yourself…I always start in the back but I’m sure to leave what I need to create the desired look in the front.  Surprisingly, it matters just as much as what they requested in the back.

I like to ask if they want to keep their usual part or do something straight back.  This is HUGE because it greatly alters their look…and what’s in all the pictures?  The front…not the back…both should look great but for different reasons.

5) Would you like the back to be centered or to the side?  Low, middle, or high on the head?

Prom Up-Do by Erika BrownIf someone doesn’t bring you a photo this is a great tidbit to check on.  It also goes hand-in-hand with the accessories that they want to wear.  If someone is wearing stunning earrings, a middle updo is great because there is no hair behind them.  When wearing stud-like earrings or none at all I like to suggest a side style because it adds something around the neck.

Surprisingly, not everyone asks this question and it can change the whole look.  In my experiences I get more requests for mid to low updos.  High updos are rare these days unless it’s a ballerina or someone performing.  Obviously, if they want a high updo it will probably not be on the side!

6)  How much volume do you want?  Would you like it at low, mid, or high crown?

Have you ever made the mistake of assuming someone wants volume just because so many people ask?  I certainly have….and clients look like they saw a ghost when you go overboard and they weren’t expecting any extra volume!  Or maybe you leave that part out completely and they look flat on top.  Again, if there’s no photo you’ve got to ask….how much volume would you like?

There are many ways to create volume but knowing where to start is the key.  Some styles require volume at the high-crown area and some look best at the low-crown.  It all depends on what type of look you are trying to create!

The consultation is important for two key reasons:

1) To assure that you are doing the best you can to understand and perform what the client is asking. 

If you are not clear about the desired look and the client is unhappy then how will you know what you forgot to ask?  It’s also a great time to be honest and say, “I’m not great at incorporating braids into updos…do you mind if a fellow stylists steps in to help?”  Then you don’t have to sweat and the client will feel even more pleased because you admitted that they are asking for a skill that you don’t feel comfortable with.  It’s a special day….anyone would rather you let go of the ego and work together for their sake!

2)    To help yourself better understand where you went wrong and how to fix it. 

When the client says, “It’s just not what I wanted and I really don’t like how high it is on my head,” what next?  It’s not like you can undo it or fix it really quick!  Usually we don’t have time and besides, what a mess that would be. Knowing where you messed up when you know you did your best is the surest way to build your skills and have clients leaving happier every time!

Keep in mind that you don’t always need to ask everyone each question and sometimes you’ll need to ask some of your own.  It’s impossible to tell you everything you should touch on….the more you practice this method the better you will get.  Don’t cut corners on the updo consultation. Knowing all of the details is the first and most important step!

Washington State Changes Esthetician Licensing Law

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

In the field of beauty, the regulations are constantly changing. This is because technological advances are forever enhancing the treatments and services that can be given. The field of esthetics is currently being affected by advancements, and these changes are creating a need for adjustments to be made in the current regulations.

First and foremost, the beauty industry generated $60 billion in revenue in 2008, and by 2011, this rate rose by 5.3 percent. A portion of this profit was earned by estheticians who are currently employed by medical spas, clinics and even by dermatologists.

Esthetician Performing Laser Hair Removal

The state of Washington currently has laws implemented that require an esthetician to have 600 hours of training from a licensed school. A student must pass an examination given by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). Once the 600 hours of training have been completed, a licensed esthetician is able to use lasers under the supervision of a physician, according to the regulations enforced by the Medical Quality Assurance Commission. Seems simple, right? Well, the issue lies with the fact that during the course of a 600-hour training program, it’s not feasible to fit laser training into the curriculum; even basic laser training is difficult to be squeezed into such a short time span.

As of right now, the laser training rests on the shoulders of the business that hires the esthetician, and there are no set standards as to how it is done. In fact, the laser training can consist of a few hours of instruction from the person who sells the company a laser and that person then spreads the word to the rest of the staff. In some instances, an employee may go through private lessons, and who pays for it depends on the company that hires the esthetician. And some estheticians opt to go out of state to well-known facilities for more comprehensive training. One laser clinic has spent more than $25,000 to send her estheticians for out-of-state training.

Originally, the Northwest Aestheticians’ Guild proposed that schools begin offering a 1,200-hour training, but this idea was shot down, since it would cause people to have to learn more than just the traditional practice of esthetics. Not to mention, it would harm schools because it would lead to them being required to double their training, which could possibly put them out of business.

The bill that’s set to go into law will increase the 600-hour training to 750 hours. This will help familiarize students with the new technologies, and it will give the students more opportunities to practice. Laser services will not be part of the 750-hour certification curriculum, and all estheticians will no longer be able to give infections. A new license will be created known as the master esthetician license, which consists of 1,200 hours of training and includes instruction on lasers and medium-depth peels. Skincare professionals who have a 600-hour esthetician license will automatically be grandfathered into the 750-hour license. Anyone who now has an esthetician license will have five different ways to become eligible for the master esthetician license, and it gives current estheticians until January 1, 2015 to qualify for the master esthetician license by being grandfathered in.

Pennsylvania Changes Cosmetology Training Hour Requirements

Monday, December 17th, 2012

State Representative Keith Gillespie

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has signed into law a bill aimed at increasing the success rate for cosmetology students. Pennsylvania House Bill 1868 reduces the number of training hours required in Pennsylvania before the student can sit for the written/theoretical portion of the exam from 1,250 hours to 900 hours. The prior Pennsylvania cosmetology license requirements called for all 1250 hours to be completed before the student was eligible to take either or both portions of the exam.

Students at beauty schools in Pennsylvania are still required to complete 1,250 total hours of cosmetology training before they can take the hands-on/practical portion of the exam and become fully licensed. How does this help make students more successful, you ask? Because if the student does not meet the minimum score to pass the written portion of the exam, fortunately they are still in school and can get the additional help they need from their beauty school instructors to sit for the exam again and pass.

There are multiple beauty disciplines that are licensed in Pennsylvania, and each has its own number of required hours to be able to sit for the exams and become licensed. Barbers are required to take 1250 hours, the same as cosmetologists, but there is no word yet on whether barber licenses will get the same benefit cosmetology licensees do from the passage of this law. Other licenses are esthetician (300 hours), nail technicians (200 hours) and cosmetology instructors (500 hours), which will likely be unaffected by this change.

In the press release, State Representative Keith Gillespie, who is the primary sponsor of Tennessee HB1868, said this bill came to fruition after being contacted by Debbie Dunn, the director of the Lancaster School of Cosmetology. She proposed this solution as a way to help the students falling through the cracks in the process of getting their education, becoming licensed and getting gainful employment.

Brand You: Using YouTube to Make Your Beauty Mark

Monday, December 10th, 2012

For the longest time, I wanted be one of those cool girls who made YouTube videos. I am usually more action oriented than this but there was something about making YouTube videos that kept making me saying “One day….”.  After several years of having this on my to do list, I got the push that made me forget about the fear. You may be thinking, what could be so scary about it? For me, I was really stuck on the idea that I didn’t know how to film, edit and upload a video. When I saw a contest that L’Oreal put on through YouTube, I was not about to miss the opportunity to put my name in the hat.

When I found out about the contest, there was one week left until the deadline. I had just gotten a MacBook Pro and I didn’t know how to use it very well, but I learned quickly. I used my laptop to film myself doing the Red Carpet makeup tutorial for the L’Oreal contest. Then came the tricky part of editing it to fit into the under 4-minute time limit and learning how to do the voiceover to tell people what I was doing in the video. I think that the short time line made me forget that I was also a little nervous about looking silly. As it turns out, people want to see you having fun and being yourself. I was so overwhelmed but I really wanted to use the contest and this deadline to push myself to make my first video. Since then, I have learned some more tricks and I’ve gotten a little better. I am still learning but it has been so fun.

It is a challenge to come up with new content, but it is fun.  I really enjoy hair styling videos, like this one on how to do a sock bun or how I style my hair with hot rollers. Quick makeup tips are fun too, like this one on how I layer eyeliner for long-lasting results. I really get excited to share when I find awesome tools like this one, and people love to hear about a stylist’s favorite products.

What l love about YouTube is that is an incredible platform for establishing yourself as an expert. I add my videos to my blog. My readers love to see me in action and it has really expanded my followers. You can also Pin your videos to Pinterest. I have a board that is just for my vlogs. Pinterest has been a great resource for growing my audience.  Every time you upload a video to YouTube, that is posted to Twitter. You can also share your pins, if you are pinning your videos on Pinterest, on Facebook and Twitter. So that one video gives you a great deal of exposure on many social media outlets and can help you connect with a wider audience. You have been working so hard to build your skills as a stylist, now get out there and show them off!

I want to share this with you for several reasons. The first is that if I can do it, anyone can do it! Seriously, I feel so silly now after waiting so long, how easy it was once I decided to just do it. Video is a really easy to use DIY outlet for showing the world your skills. What better way to establish yourself as an expert than to show people how to do something. People love to see people, like you, who are talented and passionate about their skills. So get out there and show them what you’ve got.

Social media is a great (and FREE way) to show off your skills and build your business. With all social media, consistency is key. I challenge you to set a goal for yourself. If you are utilizing YouTube, set a goal to do one new video each week or month. If video isn’t your thing, you can also use Instagram to your advantage. Challenge yourself to post a daily look of the day or favorite product shot. Follow other stylists and makeup artists to stay inspired. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Emily Hudspeth - Beauty Blogger & CosmetologistFrom a long line of women in the beauty industry (3 aunts and 3 cousins are stylists), Emily Huspeth grew up in a beauty shop in central Louisiana. Emily is also addicted to education and learning everything she possibly can. While studying Public Relations and Business  at Louisiana State University, Emily worked at an Aveda Salon in the mall. Immediately after graduating, she enrolled at Aveda Institute to study cosmetology. With cosmetology license in hand, Emily ran to the West Coast to work as an apprentice in a Santa Monica salon with some of the best stylists in Los Angeles and became an official stylist herself. From there Emily started working as a freelance artist, doing hair and makeup for special events and commercial film and print advertising. Emily has created a program to help others who are working to build a profitable career as a freelance artist. View Emily’s videos on YouTube or visit her site,

Rwanda Dream Beauty Academy Opened by Academy of Hair Design in Springfield, MO

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Students at the Academy of Hair Design in Springfield, Mo. have taken on a unique challenge to give back to the human family by helping build up future cosmetology professionals halfway around the globe. The Academy of Hair Design has partnered with Africa New Life to establish a sister school of cosmetology in Rwanda, Africa.

Burundi Salon“Our goal was to create a unique opportunity for our students to be involved in an ongoing way,” Academy of Hair Design Superintendent Linda Daugherty said. “We are planning a trip to Rwanda in July 2013 where a delegate of Academy students and staff will go over and visit the Dream Beauty Academy.”

After the 1994 Rwandan Genocide that cost the lives of some 800,000 people in the African nation, beauty salons were among the earliest to recover from the tragedy and begin to get the country back on its feet. However, the country still needs adequate training for cosmetologists and barbers. The unemployment rate in Rwanda is nearly 40%, and the Academy of Hair Design is doing their part to help build jobs with lasting benefits to families and children for generations to come.

Owners David and Christie Gonzalez are no strangers to altruism through the Academy of Hair Design. They have also participated in numerous local fundraisers, as well as contributed to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Young Life, Boys and Girls Town and their local school district.

“Our owners met the founder of Africa New Life and in talking with him they found out that there were no cosmetology schools in Rwanda, Africa,” Daugherty said. “They decided to partner with them and create this school. Africa New Life already had a school of carpentry and seamstress and was familiar with how to establish trade schools in their country.”

Ribbon Cutting at Dream Beauty Academy in Rwanda

The Spring 2011 session began with a series of “Project Africa” planning meetings and fundraisers, and they even had a visit from Charles Mugisha Buregeya, the founder of Africa New Life. All proceeds from salon services at the Academy will be donated to Africa New Life. In November, the “Dream Academy of Hair Design” in Rwanda opened.

“Our school has worked to raise money for the project by participating in many different activities,” Daugherty explained. “Our instructors have helped through Skype calls to establish the curriculum that is needed and our students have created demonstration videos as well.”

The school has hit many milestones along the way, such as securing the building, finding the necessary products and finding the right instructors for the program. Five students started classes in November, and 10 more will start in December. The students’ tuition is subsidized by donors, and to date, all 15 students have been sponsored – another enormous milestone for the Academies.

“Seeing the school open and Skyping and meeting the new students was truly the highlight for our Academy students and staff,” Daugherty said.

Hey Estheticians! 50 Incredible Facts About Skin

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
I’m sure most of this is old news to you estheticians and esthetics students in training, but we still thought this was a fun infographic about the largest organ of the body – your skin! Special thanks to Beauty Flash for putting this gem together. :)
50 Incredible Facts About Skin


New Kardashian Trend? Wearing Makeup to the Gym

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

There was a time when going to the gym was akin to waking up in the morning without any makeup on. Going to the gym was an effortless task-simply throw on some shorts and a t-shirt, and you were good to go. These days, going to the gym is a full-out production for women like Kim Kardashian. Women who want to emulate the celebrity’s style have been seen sporting medium brown shadow, gloss and deep shades of lipstick to the gym.

It seems that there is now a huge trend where women want to look like glamourous celebs at the gym. According to a recent survey, seven out of ten women reported that they wore makeup to the gym on a regular basis. Just this past July, Kim Kardashian was seen wearing berry lipstick and eyebrow pencil to a Studio City gym.

The most popular workout make-up trick has been to sport mascara to the gym. According to a recent survey, women reported that lengthening their lashes with mascara is their favorite beauty boost before the gym. 34 percent of women reported that they love to wear foundation to the gym. Lastly, 21 percent of women reported that they love to wear lip gloss to the gym. In last place, 17 percent of women reported that they are always sure to get a spray tan before heading to the gym.

There were also women who reported that they love to spend over 15 minutes in getting ready for the gym. Looking good for the gym does require a bit of a time investment. One needs to find the perfect pair of shorts and that cute tank top for the gym. Of course, completing the look means doing one’s hair and applying just the right amount of makeup for a workout session.

If you want to find the perfect hairstyle for the gym, then you may want to ask your hair stylist about different hairstyle options at your next appointment. Your hair stylist will be able to help you find a hairstyle that is easy to manage for the gym. You may also want to try the salon that is available at cosmetology schools. Cosmetology students are always on the latest cutting-edge of hair styles that are flexible and easy to manage. You may be able to get great advice from a student who works in one of the student-run cosmetology salons.

lee james cox /

Get a City-Chic Look with Metallic Hair

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Just when you thought that hair extensions were the hottest trend of the moment, metallic shades of color begin to pop up all over the runway. Metallic hair shades have become the leading hair trend, and it is easy to see why. Metallic hair shades like silver and gold simply have a deep, alluring sex appeal that is irresistible. A woman looks powerful and a bit on the dominatrix side with this new hair trend. At the same time, there is something highly professional and stylized about metallic hair shades.

Look around the streets of London, and you will notice women sporting this trend everywhere. Fashion designers have been incorporating metallic hair shades in their runway looks for the fall season. Celebrities from the United States like Lauren Conrad and Paris Hilton have been seen donning a few strands of silver in their hair styles.

Silver and gold tend to be the hottest hair shades of the moment. The key to achieving a subtle metallic look is to incorporate only a few highlights into your hair style at a time. Because these highlights tend to stand out and are quite noticeable, you do not need that many. A hair stylist will be able to help you place the highlights and figure out the number that you should receive to complete your look.

A hairstylist will also help you figure out whether silver or gold highlights are better for your current hair shade. Gold highlights look great on women who have dark blonde or brown hair. Silver highlights look incredible on women who have dark black hair. If you have a deep shade of gray as your current hair color, then a few strands of silver highlights will also look great with this color.

One of the other reasons to consult a hair stylist before attempting this look on your own is for the hair tips that you will receive. A hair stylist will help you learn new tricks to emphasize your highlights. You can include a bit of gloss on your roots to make your highlights stand out.

When you want to try out a new look, metallic hair is the way to go. Metallic hair will make you look gorgeous, and you will look like you just came off of the runway. Now is the time to try out a new look that has a bit of edge and is quite chic.

Right On Target, Beauty Concierges Now In Big Box Retail Store

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Women who want to learn all about the latest beauty products can now do so with the help of trained beauty concierges at Target. A Target retail store that is based in Chicago is launching the concept of providing customers with the assistance or trained beauty professionals who have knowledge about all of the cosmetic products that are offered on Target shelves. Customers can also receive samples from these trained beauty professionals, and they will be able to receive makeup tips from them too.

The trained beauty professionals are from a marketing agency that is based in New York City. The marketing agency, Brand Connections, now offers beauty consultants to chain stores like Target. Target has been testing out the new marketing strategy for about 10 months. If the strategy proves to be successful, then it plans on featuring the strategy at other retail stores around the country.

Target opened its first store 50 years ago in May 1962 in Roseville, Minn

The whole idea behind the new program is to provide customers with as much information as possible. The program aims to help customers become more knowledgeable about all of the products that are offered on the beauty department shelves at Target. If the program proves to be successful, then Target will be expanding it to over 400 stores throughout the country.

One of the ways in which this program will help customers is by helping them choose the right shade of make-up for their “daily look.” There are many women who shop for make-up at Target stores every day, and they may not know exactly which shade of lipstick is right for their daily look. A beauty concierge will then be able to help a woman choose the shade of lipstick that is best for the type of look that she wants to achieve. The beauty concierge can essentially help customers complete a total makeover.

A customer may also want to know more about the ingredients that are contained within certain beauty products. One of the tasks of the beauty concierge is to inform customers about all of the ingredients that are contained within beauty products. The beauty concierge understands all of the ingredients that can be found in beauty products. He or she may also be able to help you determine whether you are allergic to certain ingredients contained within beauty products. Lastly, the beauty concierge is able to provide customers with coupons for their future purchases on all types of beauty products.

Attract A Jughead – Archie Themed Make-up Line Now Available

Friday, October 12th, 2012

MAC is one of the most innovative and creative cosmetic companies in the marketplace. Known for offering women a selection of makeup that is theatrical and stunning, MAC continues to find new ways to intrigue its customers. Just recently, the brand line has decided to introduce a line of Archie-themed cosmetics onto the marketplace.

Maybe you’re not sure whether you look more like a Betty or a Veronica. A MAC makeup artist can help you figure out your inner Archie character. At the San Diego Comic Con, MAC plans to host some of its makeup artists at the event in order to help comic fans glam up their looks. Dan Parent is an Archie comic sketch artist, and he will actually be at one of the MAC stores in San Diego on the day of the comic con festival. During the festival, Parent will show fans how he completes his sketches. Fans will be able to ask him any questions that they have about the Archie comic series.

In addition to meeting Dan Parent, comic con fans will be able to schedule a makeup appointment with one of the MAC makeup artists. During their appointment, fans will be able to receive a comic-con inspired look. They will be able to extend their eyelashes or add glitter to their eyelids. Perhaps one wants a dramatic deep shade of lipstick to entice other fans at the festival. Whatever one wants, a MAC makeup artist will be able to help him or her achieve.

The fact that MAC is hosting its makeup artists at the comic con festival is no surprise. For years, MAC has been one of the leading makeup brands to supply makeup for celebrities and actresses on Broadway. MAC is synonymous with individuality and a city-chic look. It is the perfect type of makeup to wear out for a day on the streets of New York City. When one wants to add some drama to his or her daily life, MAC makeup products will help him or her with the task.

Archie and the gang go to Riverdale High School

MAC is known for helping individuals find their inner sense of self. If you decide to attend the comic con festival, you should let MAC professionals help you express your inner beauty and goddess. MAC professionals are on hand to help you learn new makeup tips. They will also help you add a bit of edginess to your daily look.

nadi555 /