Winter Beauty on a Budget

Keep Your Hair, Skin, and Nails Warm and Healthy This Winter With These Helpful Tips:

Winter is definitely here, and along with it, icy winds, freezing snows and thermostats set to high. The extreme temperature fluctuations most of us face daily as we navigate our way from home to school to office and home again are hard on our hair and skin. It can make it challenging to look our best, but with the holidays (and all the photo ops that come with them) right around the corner, we obviously want to appear fabulous, not frizzy and frazzled. And we want to do it without spending a bundle.

Fortunately, it’s possible to look and feel beautiful all season long without breaking your budget. We’ve put together a few expert tips to show you how.

A Strong Winter Hair Game

That warm blast of air coming from your home or office heating vent might feel good after your freezing commute, but it’s also drying out your hair and making it more prone to split ends and breakage. Experts suggest combating this seasonal increase in dryness in a number of ways:

* Shampoo less frequently to avoid stripping away healthy natural oils. With the right tools, including dry shampoo and cute hair accessories, you may be able to stretch your time between washes by several days. Ask a Creative Images Institute hairstylist to help you develop a strategy.

* Once a week, hydrate your hair overnight with a moisturizing oil or serum.

* Never skip conditioner after shampooing and use a leave-in product to extend hydration and guard against static. While you’re at it, line your course-fabric winter hats with silk or satin fabric to reduce split ends and breakage. You can often find inexpensive vintage silk scarves at thrift stores.

* Keep up with those trims. You might be tempted to just let your hair grow all winter long, but having it trimmed regularly to remove dry, brittle ends will help reduce breakage and keep your style looking beautiful and healthy. Schedule an appointment with a Creative Images Institute hairstylist and you’ll save a bundle off of regular salon prices.

Radiant Winter-Proof Skin

Remember those temperature extremes and dry air we mentioned earlier? Well, they also tend to wreak havoc on skin if you don’t guard against them. From chapped lips and ragged cuticles to overall dullness, experts suggest protecting and perfecting cold-weather skin in a number of ways:

* Cracked, dry lips are a common winter ailment. Keep them baby soft with regular exfoliation. It’s as easy as massaging a generous coat of honey or balm into your lips with a super-soft toothbrush, then wiping away the excess and flakes with a tissue.

Do’s and Don’ts to Nail Your Next Interview

Do you ever get nervous for your interviews? Good! Being nervous means you care about how you’ll do which is first step when it comes to starting something new. In this article, you will learn not only how to work through those nerves but also how to nail your next interview!

A job interview is much like a first date. While it’s nerve-wracking and unlikely to go exactly as planned, it’s also your only chance to make a good impression. Fortunately, your education at Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology has provided you with the technical skills necessary to succeed in a hairstylist, esthetician or nail technician job. Now you just need to present your best professional self to land that position. Take note of these do’s and don’ts and you’ll have a new cosmetology job before you know it.

1. Do learn everything you can about the salon or spa before your interview. Whether you look the company up online through Google, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, check it out in person, or call the front desk for information, thorough research into the salon or spa you’re considering can help you decide if it’s really a place you want to work. You can also use what you learn during the research process to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of the company.

2. Do dress appropriately. While the beauty industry is a creative one, and dress code often varies by location, the outfit you choose to wear to your interview should demonstrate your respect for the opportunity. Did you happen to see any pictures of current salon or spa employees while doing your research? If so, those images can give you clues on how to dress. In general, it’s wise to avoid anything too tight, short or low-cut. If in doubt, ‘business casual’ is usually a safe option.

3. Do arrive on time. If you’re late to the interview, the salon or spa owner may assume you’ll be late to work as well. Not sure how long it will take you to drive there? Do a test run a day or two before the interview and plan your travel time accordingly. That said, you don’t want to arrive too early, either. If you get to the location more than 10 minutes before your interview is scheduled to begin, wait in your car to avoid making anyone feel rushed.

4. Do ask thoughtful questions. Yes, the interview is an opportunity for the salon or spa owner to learn more about you. But it’s also a chance for you to get details about the job that you couldn’t find online. Some of this information may even help you decide whether or not to take the job should you get an offer. Good questions to consider include:

• “What traits do your most successful employees share?”
• “How do you define success?”
• “How long do your employees work for you on average?”
• “Why did your last hairstylist/esthetician/nail tech leave the position?”
• “How would you describe a typical day in this role?”

5. Do follow up after your interview. To this day, nothing beats an old-fashioned, handwritten thank you note. Mail one as soon as possible, but don’t hesitate to follow up by email a day or two after your interview as well. Just thank the salon or spa owner for his/her time, reiterate the reasons you’d love to work there, and ask if there is any additional information you can provide to help with the hiring decision.

6. Don’t give in to nerves. Even if this is your very first salon or spa job, you need to project an aura of confidence if you want to make a good impression. Avoiding fidgeting (such as tapping your foot or twirling your hair) during the interview. Sit up straight, but don’t sit too stiffly. Keep your arms loose and relaxed rather than crossed. The right body language can go a long way towards convincing your interviewer of your professionalism.

7. Don’t forget to practice answers to difficult interview questions. To avoid rambling and keep your answers clear and succinct, it can be helpful to practice your responses in advance. Recruit a friend to help you polish your answers to common questions such as:

• “What can you tell me about yourself?”
• “Why should we hire you?”
• “Why did you leave your previous employer?”
• “What are your greatest strengths/ weaknesses?”
• “What are your goals for the next five years?”

You want your answers to show that you are honest, self-aware and passionate about the beauty industry. And you want to avoid distracting fillers such as “um,” “so,” “like” and “you know” in your responses.

8. Don’t speak poorly about previous employers or coworkers. It’s very likely that you’ll be asked why you left your last job, even if it wasn’t in the beauty industry. Even if you gave notice because every second of every day there was a nightmare of epic proportions, avoid saying this in your interview. You might also want to remove any negative comments of that sort from your public social media profiles, if you haven’t already done so.

9. Don’t ask about pay or benefits until you’ve been offered the job. Employers want beauty industry professionals who want to work at what they love, not just for a paycheck. You’ll have plenty of time to negotiate your wages and benefits after you’ve received an offer. In the meantime, however, it is acceptable to ask about the schedule and other logistics. After all, there’s no point in accepting a position with days or hours that ultimately won’t fit with your other commitments.

10. Don’t turn into a pest. Salon and spa owners are busy. Even if they’re eager to fill an available position, it can take awhile for them to make an employment decision. While reasonable follow up shows you’re proactive, professional and passionate about the opportunity, repeated phone calls and dozens of emails will cause nothing but annoyance. Remember: desperation is never attractive whether on a first date or during your job search.

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology

Simple Ways to Give Back to Your Community

At Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology, we believe that salon and spa professionals are powerful. As a hairstylist, nail technician or esthetician, you have the potential to change someone’s life for the better just by making a positive difference in their day. You can use that power to affect more than just the lives of your clients but you can also utilize that power to give back to your community in more ways than one!

Our beauty school loves to give back to society, whether we’re supporting the Dayton area’s cancer survivors or first responders and their families. As you graduate from your educational program and get jobs as beauty industry professionals, we encourage you to look for ways to continue to practice charitable giving. With today’s generation, people are more willing to participate with or buy from an organization that gives back to the community whether it be donations, food drives, or disocunted services. You’ll find many opportunities to do so, and we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to get you started.

Organize a charity benefit day at your salon or spa. One of the easiest way to give back, charity benefit days require little more than social media promotion to encourage bookings. Simply choose a local charity and pledge to donate a percentage of your service fees during the benefit. You can collect donations from clients as well to boost your impact. You’ll find a list of Dayton non-profits here.

Collect hair for Locks of Love. Whenever a client requests you cut at least 10 inches off his or her hair, get permission to save that hair for this life-changing charity that provides free hairpieces to disadvantaged children who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss. To make it super-easy for your clients, you can even offer to mail the donated hair in for them once they’ve completed the required form.

Mentor a beauty school student. Now that you’ve graduated from your beauty program and are working in the real world, you probably have valuable insight you can share to benefit others who are where you once were. Whether you reach out to Creative Images Institute to have your story featured on our blog or offer guidance to others on an industry forum, sharing your experience can make a difference.

Provide free services at a local nursing or retirement home. Contact local senior care facilities to arrange an event where you can provide residents with free hair styling, manicure or skincare services. Oftentimes these seniors no longer have the manual dexterity or financial means to maintain their appearance the way they might like. Provide a little pampering and you will do wonders for their spirits.

Offer free haircuts to the homeless. Take a cue from Southern California celebrity hairstylist, Jason Schneidman and offer free haircuts to area homeless. While Schneidman takes his tools to the street, visiting local shelters or handing out cards that invite those in need to visit your salon for a shampoo or trim are also options.

Volunteer with Look Good Feel Better. This national non-profit organization is a non-medical public service program that teaches beauty techniques to people with cancer. Through the program, volunteer beauty professionals instruct cancer patients on skin and nail care, cosmetics, wigs and turbans, accessories and styling in order to help them mange the appearance-related side effects of their treatment. Volunteers commit to three to five hours each month and must complete a certification class.

Volunteer with Dress for Success. A national non-profit with a mission to empower women to achieve economic independence, Dress for Success is often looking for beauty industry volunteers to educate disadvantaged women on work-appropriate makeup application and styling as well as mentoring.  While the organization does not have a branch in Dayton, their Cincinnati location is only a one-hour commute away.

 

By Angela Rose for Creative Images Institute of Cosmetology