Dress For Success: Creating a Stylish, Professional Wardrobe on a Budget

One of the best things about attending college is that you can wear jeans and a sweatshirt on a daily basis and nobody will bat an eye. Unfortunately, this casual approach to business dress can be a liability in the professional sphere, where employees are judged as much on their attire as they are on their workplace performance. A stylish, yet conservative wardrobe is necessary for securing employment, but for the average, broke student, it’s difficult to acquire. Cheap, professional attire does exist, however; you just have to know where to find it.

Don’t exclusively buy designer labels

Although some designer labels offer superior style and durability, the name of the brand you buy does not necessarily speak to the quality of the item. Professionals are less concerned with labels than you think, so don’t worry if you can’t afford designer duds.

Check out premium outlets

If you prioritize designer labels, avoid standard boutiques and department stores, and instead, shop at premium outlet stores. These shops offer an array of professional items for less than half the sticker price listed at traditional shopping locations.

Explore high-end consignment stores

High-end consignment stores offer the low prices of premium outlets, as well as greater variety and personality. If you adore vintage style, you’ll love consignment shops, where you can find classy items that are no longer available at standard stores. High-end consignment shops carefully vet all items for quality, so you can rest assured, knowing that the consignment pieces you buy are just as durable as new items from outlets and department stores.

Go for quality, not quantity

Regardless of where you purchase your cheap, professional attire, it is imperative that you emphasize quality over quantity. It is better to own a handful of carefully crafted items than to possess an entire wardrobe of flimsy outfits. Employers don’t particularly care if you frequently wear the same suit jacket or pencil skirt, particularly if you mix and match with other high-quality pieces or add personality with cheery accessories.

How you shop is just as important as where you shop. Prior to each outing, draft up a specific list detailing the types of items you need and how much you are willing to spend. While scouring sales racks, do not be tempted by discounted items not included on your shopping list. If you absolutely must purchase a sale item, think long and hard about how it will fit into your existing wardrobe.

Tasteful business dress signals your professional demeanor while also providing a subtle glimpse into your unique personality. Dressing to impress need not break the bank; simply keep frivolous purchases to a minimum and avoid expensive designer boutiques.




Posted written by Josie Black

Sunscreen 101: What You Need to Know For Summer

Everybody knows that sunscreen is important, but few apply it as often as necessary. Clinical dermatology professor Neil Sadick claims that only one in five Americans utilizes proper sun protection on a daily basis. The devastating long-term consequences of poor sunscreen application can include wrinkles, age spots, and more alarmingly, cancer. Fortunately, a basic understanding of safe sunscreen practices and a commitment to sun protection can help you avoid a whole host of cosmetic and health problems. Clueless about safe sunscreen? Everything you need to know is outlined below:

Summer Bronze Tanned Woman Skin In White Bikini With Sun CremeDecoding SPF

Sun protection factor (SPF) measures the extent to which various types of sunscreen protect the skin from UV rays. Higher SPF is generally better, but only up to a point. For most people, an SPF of between 30 and 50 is ideal. However, with regular reapplication, an SPF of between 15 and 30 is acceptable. SPF 30 blocks nearly 97 percent of UV radiation; after this level, improvements in sun protection are incremental, at best.

UVA versus UVB

Most sunscreens provide ample protection against UVB rays but fail to address UVA, which penetrates even deeper into the skin than UVB. Vigilance is particularly important in the fight against UVA, as exposure can occur even when the sun is seemingly blocked by windowpanes. Broad-spectrum sunscreen provides full protection against both types of UV. According to experts at Mayo Clinic, sunscreen should emphasize broad-spectrum over high SPF although both are important.

How much sunscreen should I apply?

For the average sunscreen user, the efficacy of even broad-spectrum protection is significantly compromised by insufficient application. Most people apply just over half a milligram of sunscreen per centimeter of skin when they should be applying at least four times as much. Additionally, many fail to reapply sunscreen as often as necessary. At a minimum, sunscreen should be applied at least once every two hours. However, more frequent reapplication may be necessary during long days in the pool or instances of heavy sweating.

Sun protection for babies

Most baby sunscreen products damage infants’ sensitive skin, so it is best to avoid direct sunlight and instead keep babies in the shade whenever possible. Additionally, babies should be dressed in long sleeves, long pants, sunglasses, and hats prior to heading outside, even if they do not encounter direct sunlight.

Regardless of age, consistent sun protection is essential. No one sunscreen brand is ideal for all skin types, so it may be necessary to experiment with a few brands. Once you find a brand you like, commit to applying and reapplying every day. Persistence will greatly reduce your risk of skin cancer and over time, can slow or even halt the pesky signs of sun-induced aging.




Post written by Josie Black

Minnesota School of Cosmetology Spring Fashion Show

Minnesota School of Cosmetology – Plymouth hosted their 3rd annual Spring Fashion Show on Saturday, May 14, and Monday, May 16. This year’s theme was “Behind the Mask,” and featured looks inspired by Harlequin, Masquerade, Carnevale, and Mardi Gras.IMG_8118

MSC fashion shows are set up as a reverse career fair. Students create inspiration boards with their before and after photos as well as what inspired their overall look, and salon employers and recruiters are able to meet and greet MSC students. We encourage our students to have resumes available to hand out to the industry professionals who attend the show.

After the show, we gave the salons and industry professionals the opportunity to meet our students and talk with them about how they completed their looks and their career aspirations.

We had our students choose the groups they worked with, as well as choose to create a look inspired by Harlequin, Masquerade, Carnevale or Mardi Gras. Our students also chose their own music for the show. MSC students prepared for about a month prior to the show, and all their time and hard work really showed through their looks.

Thank you to all the family and friends who were able to come to the event and for the continued support you give our students daily. They wouldn’t be where they are at today without you!

We would like to give a special thanks to all the Salons and Industry Professionals that attended our Fall Fashion Show! Thank you for supporting our students!
European Wax Center
Fantastic Sams
GENT Cuts and Grooming
Great Clips
JCPenney Salons
JUUT SalonSpa
MASK Hair Designs and Day Spa
New Reflections Salon
Regis Salons
Salon at Macy’s
ULTA Beauty
The Woodhouse Day Spa

You can check all the looks from the fashion show on our Facebook page!

5 Tips for Doing Your Friends’ Wedding Hair and Makeup

As a cosmetology student, you’ve likely been approached by multiple bridesmaids and brides-to-be. It’s an honor to be asked to do your friends’ wedding up-do and makeup, but it’s also a lot of pressure. Implement these essential tips to ensure that your loved ones look gorgeous while walking down the

  1.  Sometimes, simple is betterBeautiful bride doing her hair and makeup. Hairstylist spraying

The more you browse Pinterest, the more you’ll be convinced that you can handle complex hairstyles and bridal makeup. Unfortunately, many of the styles featured on Pinterest are challenging for even the most experienced professionals. Stick to simple, sweet styles that you can have looking flawless in less than an hour.

  1.  Tools of the trade

The tools you use are just as important as your technique. Ideally, brides and bridesmaids will use the same basic hair and makeup products that they rely on for everyday beauty. If your friends insist on trying something new, be sure to practice a few times to ensure that unfamiliar products don’t cause breakouts or frizzy hair.

  1.  Hairpins and primer are your friend

Hair and makeup may look perfect when first completed, but after a long day of posing for pictures and a long night of dancing, makeup may run and hair may fall out. Use plenty of hairpins to ensure that updos remain firmly in place – and a good primer to keep makeup looking fresh for hours.

  1.  Practice makes perfect

The need for a practice run cannot be overstated. Professional stylists and makeup artists practice the same handful of styles constantly, and even prefer to practice on brides and bridesmaids prior to the big day. Practice is even more essential for aspiring cosmetologists doing makeup for a wedding. Ideally, bridal makeup and hairstyles should be selected at least a few months before the wedding and then rehearsed multiple times. Practice at least once within a week of the wedding to account for any recent hairstyle changes or climate issues (especially humidity).

  1.  Prepare a backup plan

You could practice a beautiful hairstyle a dozen times and still have everything fall apart on the big day. Develop an easy, stress-free plan B that can be adopted if everything goes wrong. Backup makeup should be similar to the bride’s everyday look, but just a bit darker. Great backup hairstyles include simple curls with a tiara, a French twist, or an elegant side-swept bun. As with the official look, you should practice the backup style at least once prior to the wedding.

Give your friends the gift of wedding beauty and prove that you’ve been working hard at cosmetology school. You’ll come away with a very grateful group of friends and several beautiful pictures to include in your portfolio.




Written by Josie Black.