Friday, October 30, 2015

How Do I Know If I am Hiring a Good Vendor?

I have seen this posted many times from friends and family on social media. When you are getting married you spend a lot of money. You want to make sure that every penny you spend is going to a high quality item or vendor to make your big day wonderful! But with so many shady people out there how do you know if your vendor is credible or not?

For example I had a friend who was looking for her photographer. Someone approached her saying they were a family photographer and commercial photographer for 12 years and after being the second shooter at over 10 weddings they were confident they could do one as the main photographer. They said because this was their first wedding they would charge only $250 for the full day. He sent her over 50 beautiful pictures of his work (some families, some editorial and some wedding work) and she booked him. Everything here seems right, but her photos were awful! The man who showed up was only 24. Now you can have a great 24 year old photographer, but this means he started his career at 12 years old... I don't think so! The photos were poor quality, and she didn't like most of them. She ended up paying someone to do pictures of her and her husband in their wedding day gear three weeks later so she could have a few beautiful pictures for her walls. We later did a reverse google image search to make sure the pictures he showed of us his work were his, they weren't. Half the pictures he showed us belong to other photographers.
Stories like this are not uncommon by any means. So how do you not get stuck in this trap? Here are a few ways to make sure your vendor is credible.

1 - Make sure they have a Website
Here is the thing, it is the 21st century people! There is no excuse for not having a website. It costs about $80 a year for the domain name and web hosting, and if you don't want to invest that amount into your business, then you aren't a real business owner. If you want someone who is experienced and making money, then they will have a website.

Facebook Business pages don't count. While they should have one, it is not the same. What also doesn't count is a website with a surname. Something like or is not a professional way of doing things. Square Space is a great site for hosting your website, but if you won’t invest the $40 into getting a custom domain and dropping the hosting sites name in your url, then you should not expect to be taken seriously. And I will admit I did have a site that had a surname at one time, it was when I was in cosmetology school and just after. Once I got serious that changed.

2 - Make sure The Pictures They Show of their work are THEIRS.
Reverse image searching is easy, free and fast. Drop 5 photos that they send you into an image search engine and see what comes up. If you see them anywhere that seems fishy ask the vendor about it. Don't just assume you know why they are on some else’s site. The thing is I can prove to you that all of the pictures of my work are mine. If someone else stole my work, I have proof it's mine, and I would like to know if you find my work somewhere else so I can get it taken care of. However big name photographers and Vouge do not steal work. If something someone sends you ends up on a really high end site, image search a couple other photos from them (to make sure the person isn't a total fraud) and then alert the vendor. Tell them you found their photos somewhere else and that you need assurance that they are using images that are of their own work.

3 - Get Reviews!
On most sites that collect reviews, the vendor cannot take down bad reviews. Google +, Wedding Wire, Yelp and Facebook are this way. On wedding wire a vendor can dispute a bad review if they think it is fake or fraudulent, however as long as the reviewer can show a contract or proof of agreement like messages via email, Facebook or text, they will keep up the negative review up. If you cannot find reviews for this vendor ask. How did you find them in the first place? A lot of people are using wedding groups and community groups on Facebook to connect with vendors. Go to that groups and ask if people have worked with ___ and what their experience was. Ask your friends on Twitter and Facebook as well. You will get candid and real reviews from people you can trust.

4 - Make sure their Business is Legitimate
Now a days anyone with a nice camera can say they are a photographer. In order to be a real professional though, you need to make sure their business is registered to the state. Ask any Hair or Makeup Artist if they have a business or cosmetology license. If they don't, do not hire them. If a photographer doesn't have a business license move on. Once again, it's about getting a vendor who makes enough money and cares enough to invest in their company and in their success. It separates the people who do this as a hobby and those who do it as a career.

5 - Make sure They Do Business like a Professional
Some vendors are higher end than others, then you have your average pricing, and then you have those who are undercutting the industry. Make sure you are working with someone who prices themselves closely to the average pricing in the industry. If you find someone you like, but their pricing is pretty high, or even pretty low ask them why. However someone doing hair AND makeup for under $100 anywhere is undercutting their industry and are probably not the most high quality professionals out there. On top of that make sure the professional you choose has a contract. Something that states a cancellation policy, refund policy and what you should expect on the day of. When you will get your photos back by, the time the makeup artist will arrive and at what location, these details matter and if they are in a signed agreement, then all parties can and will be held accountable for what is going on. Whether it is a contract, retainer agreement, or deposit agreement, a true professional will have one.

Monday, October 26, 2015

How can I get Beach Waves?

So first things first, beachy waves means a million things to different people. If you do a google image search on "Beach Waves" you will get people with loose ringlets, curling wand looks, messy looks, tighter curls, Victoria Secret curls, and what is crazy is different readers probably picture something different then I do as they read each of these descriptions. To me a beachy wave is like the one I have pictured on the left. Messy, inconsistent, fun and casual. This is the look I will be telling you how to do in just 5 steps.

Step 1 - Gather Supplies!
For this look you will need 1 flat iron (or 1 large barrel curling iron), a set of overnight rollers, a spray bottle with water in it, heat protectant and a texture spray. I recommend Redken Iron Shape 11 (pictured on the right) for your heat protectant, because it give a little hold and really works when it comes to keeping your hair safe.

Step 2 - Before Bed Prep!
First spray your dry hair with the water. You do not need a lot, just a little to make it slightly damp. The wetter it is the harder it will be fore your hair to dry overnight. Haphazardly put in the curlers. Let's be honest, getting those perfect rows is almost impossible, so don't try. Just put them in as best you can. Do not make a pattern. Most people like to use the tighter one at the base of your neck and the larger ones on top, don't. Don't roll them all up, or down. Some should be tight, some loose, some up, some to the side. If there is left out hair that is okay. Now go to sleep. :)

Step 3 - Post Sleep Prep!
After you have woken up in the morning you need to remove the curlers. The results will not be pretty. The hair will probably look a little frizzy and jacked. That is okay. Use your fingers to lightly comb through it (not to much because you don't want to make it frizzier), and then spray your Heat Protestant on the hair.

Step 4 - Curl
Take random sections and curl them using your implement. Try and do loose curls, and make sure they do not all go back or forward. I usually recommend doing a few in the front, and then the ugliest pieces from the rollers. Why are we not just curling them all this way? Using the rollers gives an inconsistent look and texture to the hair that is key for a messy and casual look.

Step 5 - Finish
Now you should use your fingers to lightly comb through the hair again. This blends everything. Once it is the way you like it (don't let it get to pretty though), use a texture finishing spray. My favorite is Redken Wind Blown 05 (pictured on the left). This is because it actually moves your hair while giving it hold to give it a wind blown look that is perfect for this!

I can't wait to see your best beachy looks!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

How to Beat Dandruff

Dandruff seems like one of those never ending battles. There is a million different things you are told to do to help combat dandruff, and honestly, most of them seemed to work very temporarily, and then it was back to where I left off.

However, after marrying the man with the most dandruff I have ever seen, I was set on figuring out a solution. I am a hair dresser people! I focus on hair more than a normal person, and I was tired of letting those ugly flakes take my focus away from his amazing blue eyes! So we tried it all and here is what worked.

Step 1 - Make sure it is Dandruff
Psoriasis is a skin disease that leaves itchy, scaly dry patches of skin. If you want to you are welcome to look it up on google, however most of the pictures are of extreme cases and they look very gross, so if you are eating I do not recommend it. But if your flakes are very large and you can get them out by breaking up the flakes with your hands and shaking them out, it is probably dandruff. Dandruff also usually accompanies an oily scalp and skin type (but not always). However if your dandruff seems pretty extreme, if your scalp is so itchy it hurts, or if your scalp is very dry you should go see a dermatologist. They will be able to give you much better advice than I kind, I promise.

Step 2 - Get a Scalp Treatment
This is NOT a deep conditioning treatment. A scalp treatment will exfoliate the scalp, stimulate hair growth, and control dandruff. Deep Conditioning Treatments are for your ends, and while the stylist may give you a scalp massage if nothing is being directly applied to your scalp, it is probably softening and healing your hair, not helping your scalp.

Some salons (like The Salon at ULTA) have scalp treatments (like the Nioxin Scalp Treatment).This is a cream like substance with gentle micro exfoliating beads and exfoliating properties to help really cleanse the scalp. Another way of doing scalp treatments is when the stylist uses a boar bristle brush to physically exfoliate the scalp and  remove dead skin build up. After using the boar bristle brush, your stylists will probably use a stimulating conditioning treatment for your scalp. Both of these options are great and will help to prepare your skin to accept treatment and get rid of existing dandruff.
If you'd like to book a scalp treatment with me in Salt Lake City click here. 

Step 3 - Use the Right Products
You should change your shampoo and conditioner every 4-6 weeks if you have dandruff. This will help to make sure your scalp doesn't get used to the treatment in a shampoo or conditioner and that your scalp will continue to actively heal and accept treatment. I liked to get two different kinds and just switch between the two of them every 4 weeks.

There are so many great ones out there, These are my favorites though (click on any of these to learn more about them). My ultimate favorite is the Paul Mitchel Tea Tree Special Shampoo & Conditioner. I also love Kenra Dandruff Shampoo, Matrix Biolage Scalpsync, Redken Scalp Relief Dandruff Control Shampoo.

Step 4 - Get an At-Home Treatment
Of these for dandruff I have only seen two that I love. You do
not need to buy 2, only one. I love the Paul Mitchel Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment. It is best in my opinion for those with mild to moderate dandruff. For something more intensive I love the Alterna Exfoliating Scalp Facial Treatment. This product actually has a scalp brush as well as a product to stimulate the scalp and really treat it. I recommend using either of these only once every week or two.

Doing these steps helped my husband and I with his dandruff immensely!

Some of the things that we tried that did not work at all were:
Heads and Shoulders Shampoo & Conditioner
Using an Apricot Scrub or Facial Toner on the scalp
Doing a hair mask using any of these ingredients:
Raw Egg
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Baking Soda

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NEW: Favorite Eye Primer!

I usually don't do posts on here just talking about one product I love. But this is different. I am in love with a new product and I have to tell the world! I bought this product from ULTA Beauty not to long after it launched, because honestly I was curious. I just want people to know that the company did not send me this product, they are not paying for advertising, this is real! (p.s. I do not allow companies to pay me for good reviews EVER! My opinions are always 100% honest!)

This is the Benefit Air Patrol BB Cream Eyelid Primer.
I am in heaven. Seriously.

This is what the product is advertised to do:

  • lock in color and eye shadow
  • guard your lids and protect them from smoke, sun and pollution 
  • relieve dryness, while calming and soothing the eyelid
  • correct the color on your lids for an even and smooth look
Does it? YES! With flying colors! So how does it work? This product comes in a tube, you start by twisting the product up. I absolutely hate twist up liquid products. Even lipsticks! They are always messy. I feel like I have to wait a year for the product to come up and I am a super impatient person, so I always twist way to much. Then I have a big mess of product, an uneven application and a lot of waste. However the first time you use Air Patrol ever, you need to be a little patient, but it comes up fairly quickly compared to most. After you have used it the first time you literally only need one click per eyelid, and the product comes out in even amounts and almost instantly.

The product comes out on a clear-ish/pink cushion tip that they call the CushionCalm Tip. It is super gentle and amazing. Even when you put a little more pressure on your lid it contours nicely and is flexible so you do not hurt your eye. It is one of the best applicators I have seen in a long time.

Then you put the product on (I think they recommend you put it on in dots, but I just kind of smear it all over my lids haha) and sometimes I use my finger to dab it in and really set it. Putting it on is cooling and it looks and feels amazing!

I also like to use the Air Patrol under my eyes! It isn't shimmery and gives a soft finish that brightens my eyes and makes them look natural and awake!  Plus your under eyes need protection and color correction too! I have definitely seen an improvement over the last few weeks in my under eyes, they are not as dark and my eye lids also look brighter. I actually use Air Patrol eye single day, even lazy days where I don't wear makeup. When I do dramatic looks it is my primer that locks in color really well, and when I just put on mascara and liner, it brightens and opens up my eyes.

So yeah, I guess you could say I recommend this product. Oh and so does Opera, I believe it won an O-Ward from Opera, I would win one from me too. :)

You guys can buy it here for only $29 ↓

Friday, October 2, 2015

What to use in a DIY Facial Mask?

Some people have been asking me abut ingredients for home made facial masks. Here are some grocery store ingredients that I have seen on pinterest and other DIY facial recopies that are supposed to be good for your skin (specifically the skin on your face). I discussed with an esthetician about each one to see if it did something good for your skin, bad for your skin, or nothing at all.

  • Lemon - brightening and invigorating (but only in small amounts! To much can be harmful!)
  • Lime - brightening and invigorating (not as effective as lemon though)
  • Orange - brightening and invigorating (not as effective as lemon or lime)
  • Ginger - if it is powdered it is generally ineffective, and minced won't do much, however juiced ginger provides antioxidants and improves circulation.
  • Sugar - Harsh Exfoliant that Strips the Skin! Do not use this on your face! 
  • Avocado -moisturizing 
  • Tea Tree Oil - clarifying (helps with acne) but make sure you only use 1-4 drops in your mask! To much can do more harm than good! 
  • Dry Oatmeal - Nothing
  • Cooked Oatmeal - calming, great for sensitive skin, and is a good base or filler for your mask. This however needs to be real and natural oatmeal, not Quaker Oats instant oatmeal.  
  • Coconut Oil - antibacterial and hydrating
  • Olive Oil - hydrating
  • Banana - nothing
  • Lavender - calming and reduces redness
  • Apple - nothing
  • Kale - antioxidants, can help rebuild cell wall strength and lessens the appearance of dark circles. Most effective when lightly cooked in the base of the mask
  • Cocoa Powder - some anti aging effects
  • Pomegranate - Anti-aging
  • Cucumber - Hydrating and refreshing
  • Cinnamon - Clarifying for Acne
  • Honey - Antibacterial and Pore Refining
  • Raw Eggs - the white do nothing, but the yolk has proteins in them that can be good for skin and help reinforce it. 

So what is the key for making a goo at home facial mask? You have to start by choosing the masks overall function. If you are wanting to brighten and hydrate, clarify and fighting acne, calm your skin and reduce redness, or do an anti aging mask. You need to choose a base (cooked oatmeal, coconut oil, olive oil, and mashed avocado are recommended) that lends itself to your cause. For example avocado would be a great base for something hydrating, but might not be the best choice for something clarifying. Then choose no more than 3 ingredients to add. If you have to many they may trip over each other and cancel each other out, or be to strong for the skin on your face! You also want to make sure your base and ingredients mix well together. Choosing a lot of liquid ingredients with nothing thicker, paste like or powdery  may cause you to end up with a mess at the end that is less than effective.

Here are a few of our favorite combos! The best way to combine these is with a food processor or a blender on a low speed setting.

Brighten and Hydrate
2 mashed Avocados
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tbs Juiced Ginger (OR 1 tbs coconut oil)
1/4  mashed Cucumber

Clarify and Fighting Acne
1/4 cup of Honey
3 Drops of Tea Tree Oil (we like The Body Shops!)
3 tbs or Cinnamon
1 mashed Avocado

Calming to Reduce Redness
1/2 cup of Cooked Oatmeal
4 drops of Lavender Essential Oils
1 raw Egg Yolk

Anti Aging Mask
1/2 cup of Coconut Oil
Warm it on the stove (do not boil it) and then add 1/4 cup of chopped kale
Let the kale simmer in the coconut oil for about 10 minutes
Now add 1/4 cup of Cocoa Powder
and 2 tbs of Pure Pomegranate Juice
Stir together and removes from the stove before applying

***Thanks to Ayla Farmer for answering my questions, skin therapist at the ULTA Salon in Salt Lake City and to Shay, Sierra and Britt82 for asking this question***