Monday, January 23, 2012

Bartlett opposes HB1006

Tomorrow, January 24, 2012, Indiana House Bill 1006 is going to vote.
Today I got an emailed response from Rep. John Bartlett, House District 95. If you watched the debate, you heard from Rep. Bartlett several times as he expressed his concerns. 
Whereas everyone else sent me an automated "thanks for being a constituent" email, I actually got a - slightly less automated - response from him.

Hello Friends,

Thank you for contacting me with your opinion on HB 1006. I have received over 1,000! messages about this piece of legislation. I have read stories of single parents who struggled through school to become successful business-owners, healthcare professionals who have gone through years of professional training, and members of the public concerned about public well-being. I have heard from cosmetologists, barbers, dieticians, hearing aid dealers, private investigators, and more. Every single person has urged me to vote against this bill.

I agree with many of the points made by those who have contacted me. HB 1006 would damage the livelihood of many middle-class Hoosiers and endanger the safety of all Indiana residents. Cosmetologists use dangerous chemicals, hearing aid dealers work by sensitive portions of the ear, PIs can carry guns -- the reasons to oppose deregulation go on and on. I am strongly opposed to this bill and will be voting against it during committee and on the floor.

I was happy to see the overwhelming public participation this past Friday. I love to see my fellow Hoosiers involved in the legislative process. It is constitutents like you, who take the time to contact legislators or come to the Statehouse in person, that drive our system of government and help make us great. I hope to see more of you at the Statehouse on Tuesday, January 24, at 8:30 a.m., when the Labor committee will be voting on amendments for HB 1006. Please come and let Rep. Wolkins, the author of HB 1006, know how strongly the public is opposed to this bill. If you haven't done so already, please contact Rep. Wolkins' office at or 800-382-9841.

-Rep. John Bartlett, House District 95

Indiana cosmetologists are not out of the woods yet. We're literally fighting for our lives here. House Bill 1006 will kill our industry.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Nail Harmony Gelish is Amazing!

I cannot say it any other way. I started with potted brush-on coloured gels (think OPI Axxium but cheaper) and really kind of hated the idea. Not because it was cheap - I'm not a huge fan of Axxium either - but because it was clumpy and unwieldy.
Clumpy, gross off-brand gel.
I mean, look at that! And that's my non-dominant hand too! I tried it a few times but never really got better at what I was doing. Even worse, it would pop off each nail in a single solid piece within 2 or 3 days. SO not worth it.

I was convinced that gel was the nail colour of the future, though, so I decided to give Nail Harmony Gelish a try. It is inexpensive, has a very wide colour selection, and mini starter kits are available at Sally Beauty Supply.
Even so, this is another one of those things I'd recommend just to a professional. I know it seems as simple as normal nail polish but there's some stuff goin on and you don't want to get it all over your fingers or anything.
Thankfully, I'm a professional so I only screwed up my first try a teensie bit. ;)

The first time I used Gelish, I knew that I only had a Monday to do my nails for a dance the following Saturday. In between was 3 days of art classes where I deal with chemicals, abrasives, adhesives, solvents, and all mess of other nasty stuff and 2 days of work where my hands were going to be in the water all day long. If I used a conventional nail laquer, I would have had a chipped mess by the time Saturday rolled around.

It wore for a week and a half. One nail finally popped up when I slammed my finger in the door.

I've worn it a few times since then and each time I do my nails I get better and better at it. So today I decided to try some very simple nail art.

Here we have Gelish Black Shadow topped with very fine holo glitter in a reverse french then topped with one of their Aurora toppers before the final gloss coat. I'm not sure which topper I actually have. The name belongs to the pink one, but the fine holo shimmer is more blue.
Anyway, it's simply amazing not only in design (to toot my own horn) but also Gelish is amazing in its ease of application and longevity of wear. I can't wait to fully invest in a Gelish collection. It's just wonderful wonderful wonderful.

So enough words, check this out!

Legit, pics don't even capture it.
I could not be happier with this product.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

IN HB 1006

Up for vote as early as tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18, 2012 is Indiana House Bill 1006 - Deregulation of the cosmetology industry.
This bill seeks to completely negate the need for hairdressers and barbers to be licensed, will make attending cosmetology school an (expensive) choice for those wishing to join the industry, and will open the supply houses previously reserved for licensed personnel to the general public.

This bill is bad news for many reasons.

First of all, cosmetology is not only an art but also a science. In addition to the physical processes of cutting and heat styling the hair, there are clear chemical processes such as permanent waving and colouring. Even for the physical processes, textbooks serve ONLY as an outline for a teaching curriculum. In my own education, razor cutting was only theoretically taught. Even though I had studied the plain-language descriptions and the diagrams in my book for the technique called "razor rotation", it was not until I had gone to a razor-specific advanced class and saw it performed that I understood. The book doesn't give you the little tricks about on-scalp lightening that prevent severe chemical burns to the client. The book doesn't go in-depth on the pH factors at work with chemical processes. It tells you to put conditioning treatments under the dryer, but doesn't explain why - or why the new generation of conditioning treatments like Redken's Chemistry System do not require heat. Not only teaching you how to NOT hurt clients, cosmetology school teaches you the immediate first aid for when you do, inevitably, hurt someone. Cosmetology school is where we learn the "Universal Precautions" to prevent the spread of bloodborne illness and our license is the proof that we have been taught those basic skills.

Unlicensed practitioners hurt the financial abilities of licensed cosmetologists. Freelancers are, far and wide, more often unlicensed. In the case of "hair braiders" or extensionists, clients are subjecting themselves to someone without solid theoretical knowledge and often without the insurance backing that is expected from a salon. Because they have not taken the financial burden of schooling, insurance, or any overheads of the business, they are able to charge a lower price that usually goes 100% in their pocket.
As was told to me by a representative from Governor Mitch Daniels' office, I "chose" to go to school and thereby chose the expenses they are now making optional. Because I also am choosing to let a salon corporation pay my liabilities, I only take 20% of the price my clients pay. For braids and extensions, that means I'm not making as much money off a $400 service as the freelancers make off a $100 service.
If, as the Governor's Office argues, everything is equal why ever would a client pay for the overhead?

The Regulated Occupations Evaluation Committee (REOC) believes the average consumer of beauty services and products is informed enough to make a proper judgment on the competency of a practitioner.  In an industry where "fake it 'til you make it" is a motto and recent graduates practice along side seasoned professionals, there is no way for a consumer to be sure they will get quality service. Unlike a plastic surgeon who faces censure for falsifying experience, an unregulated cosmetologist has little reason to truthfully admit they have not been properly trained. In moving from a state where continuing education was required for license renewal to Indiana, where no further education beyond the 1500 hour cosmetology school is needed, I have already seen how stylists in this state are far behind the curve. They are not only the often-joked 10 years behind style (though modern connectivity has brought that to only about 10 months behind). Indiana's stylists are also unaware of recent safety issues such as formaldehyde-based straighteners.

HB1006 will also deregulate cosmetology instructors and schools. In a state where promises of job creation won several elections, allowing unlicensed individuals to give instruction will essentially shut down schools. In a city where cosmetology schools are the anchors of shopping malls, this has far-reaching consequences. A school is more than just walls and teachers. A school needs teachers, administrators, recruiters, and managers. Some schools even employ cleaning crews, towel services, and uniform services. Shutting down even one school due to deregulation will cause many people to seek out unemployment benefits, taxing the budget of this state more than the expenditures of maintaining regulation.

Finally opening industry-direct pricing to the consumer will completely shut down our professional distributors. Turn your shampoo bottle around. If you bought a salon brand like Paul Mitchell, Redken, TiGi, or even "house" brands like Design Line or Solutions by Great Clips, it will say "Guaranteed only when purchased in a salon".
There is a great problem within the industry called "diversion". This is when professionally labelled products are sold in outlets that do not have agreements with the producer. Paul Mitchell isn't a great product because it is superior (though, it is). Paul Mitchell is a great product because it has the recommendation of a great stylist behind it. To protect the reputation of the product, Paul Mitchell has decided that it will only sell products in salons where stylists are available to support the education. For example, Shampoo Three is available (without the sanction of the company) at Wal-Mart to be taken off the shelf at random. Is Shampoo Three right for you? If Shampoo Three leaves your hair brittle and discoloured, will you blame Paul Mitchell or will you blame your own ignorance?
Furthermore, an independant study found that professional products sold in non-salon retail outlets can often be outdated (yes, shampoo has an expiry), contaminated, or outright fake.
If Indiana no longer has a way to define between an individual with training and one without, the professional-only supply houses will no longer to honour their agreements with the manufacturers and promise the products stay out of uninformed hands. These brands are very hard lined on this matter. They will pull distribution privliges from stores that divert products. One-by-one, brands will disappear from the shelves for any of us to buy. The scarcity will actually drive up the prices of the necessary products as has already happened when WellaAG pulled distribution of their professional lines. The industry precedent for what happens when diversion becomes a problem has already been set. In this case, it is true that the cosmetology industry is self regulating - it regulates by shutting down.

The Indiana Regulated Occupations Recommendations Report claims that the cosmetology industry is self-regulating. Most hairstylists do not believe this to be true. I put as an example the use of disinfectants in the salon. State law is explicit on the use of disinfectants such as Barbicide or Shear-X. All implements such as combs, brushes, and clips are to be cleaned of hair, rinsed, disinfected in an EPA-registered chemical, rinsed again, and stored in a closed container in which there is nothing non-disinfected before being re-used on a client. The only other legal option is disposal. My salon corporation, across the board in all their salons, does not provide EPA-registered disinfectants and tacitly discourages their stylists from obtaining any on their own. Such a blatant disregard from the established, though ill-enforced, law is one example of how self-regulation would lead to failure. I, myself, contracted a severe infection from improper sanitation in a nail-salon. If I cannot, as a consumer, trust a salon to conform to mandated regulations how can I trust one to regulate itself?

The REOC, in its report did make some very logical recommendations. In their desire to eliminate electrologist licenses, they cite that only 118 individuals hold this license and that 34 other states do not require separate licensing for electrologists. In Illinois, the only other state I'm familiar with, aestheticians are allowed to perform electrolysis. This is one service you do not want an untested technician to perform, but a complete separate license is unnecessary.
I also agree with the elimination of tanning licenses.
"Of even greater concern to the ROEC is the possibility that licensing these facilities with the State sends an unintentional message that this activity is safe. Consumers need to understand that they are responsible for their own safety during these activities. Therefore, the ROEC recommends that this license type be eliminated. A case can be made for a public health message to discourage excessive tanning but this activity belongs in a health department or physician’s office and is certainly not accomplished by governmental licensing of professionals."
Having worked in a salon where tanning beds were available, I found myself woefully unaware of tanning procedures beyond checking with the client for sun sensitivity, issuing protective eyewear, and ensuring the cleanliness of the bed. The ROEC also brings up the fact that tanning beds are available for home use. In most cases, these are the same beds available in the salon with budget being the only limiting factor - unlike salon chemical products being, currently, available only to licensed professionals.

The board's recommendation to streamline barbering and cosmetology licenses is agreeable. The streamlined regulation of of the types of licenses IS preferable to, as the ROEC says,
"Eliminate the Cosmetology and Barber Board in its entirety including each of the 25 license types (including 5 temporary license types) associated with the Cosmetology and Barber Board."
In the case of Cosmetologists and Barbers, historical tradition and semantics separates them. A cosmetologist can do everything a barber can do except for shaving with a non-guarded razor. A barber can do everything a cosmetologist can do except for certain chemical procedures. In the past, there were great differences in the field. Before unisex salons became the thing in the mid-70s, some municipalities prevented females from becoming barbers and servicing men. Because this distinction no longer exists, it makes very little sense to delineate barbers and cosmetologists.
Many salons are going more toward a one-stop-shop concept. Issuing separate Cosmetology Salon, Barber Shop, Mobile Salon, Manicure Salon and Esthetic Salon licenses makes no sense. A singular "Facility" license will not only streamline the process, but also will maintain the system of checks and accountability.

Elimination of the instructor licenses is problematic. Yes, cosmetology schools are private institutions. Many cosmetology schools do provide instruction to high school students. Not just high school aged, but students that are enrolled in Indiana's high schools. Other trades educations provided by high schools have the oversight of licensed or certified educators. Perhaps the question of cosmetology/barber instructor licenses should be further explored by the Indiana Office of Educator Licensing and Development rather than Board of Cosmetology.

Elimination of these licenses in their entirety is dangerous. It drastically changes the protections in place for the consumer and could possibly lead to lost jobs and lost revenues for those who are lucky to keep their careers. Any state monies saved through eliminating the Cosmetology Board are highly likely to end up spent on assistance programs to keep Hoosier families in safe homes with full bellies.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Iiiiiiiiiii'm Baaaaaaack!!!

I've finally gotten my life to a place where I have been able to equalize and get back to enjoyable things. I'm now living somewhere with no nail supply shop and only one Sally Beauty, but I think I'll make do.
In addition to living somewhere safe with people who wish to ensure my success in life, I now live somewhere with several amazing manicure salons. 2 days ago, I went to Pro Nails down the street from my salon. It was pretty solid. Could have had a better massage, but I'm happy about the shape and length of my nails. Even better, my technician Robin made sure to get into those pesky sharp corners.

No, I take that back. Even better, they had Nails Magazine available to read. I disagree with industry publications being available for clients to see, but I guess I'm not really your typical client. In the magazine, I saw an AWESOME advertisement.

I'm so glad that, during my blogging hiatus, I went for the Gelish system. I know it's not as well known as OPI or Shellac, but I don't see them getting magnetic polishes. China Glaze is due to have them out soon but not in gel form. I can't wait to get them and post the results!

Friday, May 20, 2011

China Glaze Crackle Glaze is HOT.

I feel like I'm late to the Crackle/Shatter party here. Just because I haven't purchased or wrote about it doesn't mean I didn't desire the ever living heck out of it.
I've just had a lot on my plate.

Yesterday I took a bit of time for myself and went over to Sally Beauty after work. The one down the street from my salon is open until 9, which is totally awesome because I get off at 8.
I was gonna check out the new Finger Paints, but as soon as I walked in China Glaze was sitting right there in front beside the register!
Oh, let me tell you I wanted to buy every single one but I had a slow day at work and didn't have much in the way of tips to be spending. I started my collection with Cracked Concrete and Broken Hearted.

1 coat Broken Hearted over 2 coats OPI Who The Shrek Are You?
The premise behind these crackle and shatter nail polishes is pretty simple:
1. Put on a base if you like to (I didn't here)
2. Put on a coloured nail polish.
3. Wait for that coloured polish to completely dry. Not tacky dry. Not "yeah, this'll do" dry. TOTALLY dry.
4. QUICKLY brush on a coat of crackle. I doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it's probably not going to be so I wouldn't try if I were you. Besides, it's gonna crack up undoing all the smooth beautiful work you just did.
5. Watch the cracks form! For this China Glaze, it started happening almost immediately. The tag on the bottle says 3-5 minutes but my first finger was already cracked when I moved on to my next.
6. The crackle polish dries with a matted finish and is bumpy, so finish up with a good thick top coat. I used 2 coats of OPI Rapid Dry, but only because that's what I had handy right there. I'm not sure that was the best for this polish.

I can say with absolute certainty that I LOVE crackle polishes. It's such an easy way to have interesting nail art that everyone will go bonkers for. I like that I was able to wear my two fave colours without looking like a kandyraver kid. Not that there's anything wrong with kandyravers, I just think I'm too old for that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong

Did I ever talk about the Milani One-Coat Glitters?
I got them on Christmas at the only open store that day: CVS.
I had to go for the whole collection because they were aaaahhhhh-MAZE-ing!!!

One of my favourites is Gold. Yes, just Gold. No clever names. Gold.
Ya know why? Cuz it's gold. Very very gold.

I wanted this one to last and BLING for days so I got:
1 coat Orly Bonder
2 coats Milani Gold (Honestly, none of them are "one-coat glitters")
1 coat OPI Gold Glitter Top Coat (part of the holiday collection a few years ago)
1 coat Out The Door
1 coat OPI Rapid Dry

It lasted through 3 days of work. A record!

I can't wait to put this back on. It reminds me of this album cover:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bundle Monster Contest!

A few weeks ago, I got my first Konad set. I loved it. LOVED it! So of course my broke ass went out and got the Bundle Monster set. It's way cheaper than Konad and works really awesome. Sure, it has some problems - the plates are un-backed and kinda sharp and the full-nail designs are too skinny for thumbs - but there is a whole new set coming out that addresses those issues!!

To celebrate, Bundle Monster is doing a contest where the winner gets the new set!
I'm sure all the established nail bloggers have this wrapped up, but even so I'm entering. I love doing the stamping plates so much and I get so many complements on my nails. Today, the lady at the bank was gaga over it!
I feel so pretty!