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.

MSC Participates in a Food Drive to Benefit Local Families

During the month of October, Minnesota School of Cosmetology participated in a food drive. Both our Woodbury and Plymouth locations took part. For every 5 items that were donated customers received $10 off of a service, packages excluded.

Our Woodbury location is donating the items they receive to Christian Cupboard at Woodbury Lutheran Church. The Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS) provides help for those in need in the Woodbury community. There are times in life such as a job loss or illness that puts you in a situation that you need help. Our goal is to provide food for those families in this type of transitional need.

Our Plymouth location is donating the items they receive to Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners (IOCP). Interfaith Outreach and Community Partners is staffed by 880 community volunteers. The food shelf distributed 909,453 pounds of food in 2014-15. The food shelf is available to people living in the service area.

“We have had a great turn out this month for our food drive between student and client donations!” explained Afton Starr, Front Desk Manager.

We have posted signage on our entrance door as well as advertised the food drive on our Facebook page and website.

Written by Amanda Phaysith, Front Desk Assistant

MSC Student Awarded TwinWest Foundation Career Path Scholarship

Kaboa Yang, MSC student and TwinWest Foundation Career Path Scholarship recipient“Don’t wait on your dreams. Just do it!”

That is the advice from Minnesota School of Cosmetology student, Kaboa Yang. She is one of 24 adult learners awarded the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce’s Career Path Scholarship during a luncheon on October 6, 2015.

The scholarship rewards adult learners who are pursuing career education, particularly those seeking vocational or technical skills. The scholarship creates a win-win situation by helping those who are motivated and passionate achieve the training they need, which in turn helps boost the skilled workforce for local companies.

Kaboa definitely has the motivation and passion. In fact, she has known since middle school that she wanted to pursue a career in cosmetology, but says nerves and cultural pressure side-tracked her for a little while.

“The Hmong community I grew up in does not look highly on cosmetology as a career,” Koboa says, “I not only want to change that perception, I want to show them how much you can do with a cosmetology diploma and the career options you can build off of it.” It was that passion and drive that impressed to scholarship selection committee.

Kaboa toured Minnesota School of Cosmetology when she was a freshman at Patrick Henry High School and says she knew then she wanted to come here.

Kaboa Yang and instructor, Dayna Hunt at the luncheon

“My cousin and aunt both went here and loved it. When I saw pictures of them doing hair, I knew I had to be here too,” she says. But she adds high school counselors, along with her family, really pushed the idea of a traditional college. Feeling pressured and nervous, Kaboa followed their advice and enrolled in community college after high school with the intention of pursuing a degree in business management. But that passion for cosmetology kept tugging at her, and she quickly realized she could not give up on her dream.

Kaboa began the cosmetology program at MSC in March of 2015 and has not looked back since.

“I have gained so much confidence, and unlike many students at a traditional college, I know what I want to do when I graduate,” she says. “By starting here, I am already on a career path.” Kaboa’s real love is makeup and she hopes to use that passion to help others feel great about themselves in the future.

“Kabao is hard working, professional, and great with clients. We are lucky to have her at Minnesota School of Cosmetology!,” says MSC-Plymouth campus director Elaine Vandenburgh. “She has a very bright future ahead of her!”

Kaboa says growing up in a family of eleven, money was always tight. With this $500 scholarship and a matching GEN Scholarship, she says she will be able to pay off her loans faster and focus more on her new career.

“I am very thankful to the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce for this honor and my instructor (Dayna Hunt, pictured above) who encouraged me to apply, as well as the Globe Education Network who matched the scholarship amount,” says Kaboa. “It only helps solidify my decision to follow my heart!”

What to Expect During Your First Trip to the Spa

Written by Afton Starr, Front Desk Manager

If you have never treated yourself to a day at the spa, it is common that you may have a few questions. As a front desk receptionist at a salon, I can answer many of your questions prior to your first visit.

Why do people go to the spa?

There are many different reasons why people go to the spa. Some individuals have aches and pain in their joints that need a good massage. Others may have troubled skin, such as acne, hyperpigmentation, dark spots and wrinkles that could benefit from receiving a facial. Lastly, there are times where you are stressed or needing a relaxing experience.

It is important that you determine what your needs are when going to the spa. This will make choosing the best spa for you easier. In your search for the perfect spa, check online for the services offered along with the descriptions of those services. Many spas may only offer facials or massages, not both. Some spas will offer a special or discount for new customers. If you have any other further or detailed questions about the services, make sure to call the salon to get your questions answered.

What to expect:

Give yourself plenty of time the day of your appointment. There is nothing worse than going to the spa on a time crunch. Dress comfortably, drink water, and make sure you use the restroom prior to beginning your service. But, most importantly, make sure you are relaxed during your service.

When you arrive to your appointment, you will have a thorough consultation about the service you will be receiving and discuss your desired results. This will help the therapist decide what procedure will work best for you, what type of products they will use, and which areas to focus on. Being honest and open with your therapist will aid in the outcome of your service.

At the end of your service, your therapist should bring up any concerns they noticed during your treatment. They will discuss a follow up plan whether it be a new daily skin regimen, or to come back every 3-4 weeks to loosen up any tight muscles. Once you start seeing the desired results you were looking for, your treatments could change and you may not have to visit the spa as frequently.

According to Dr. Oz, massages will pump fluid out of your soft tissue, into the circulatory system and down to your kidneys (which makes many people need to use the bathroom after). Because of these effects after a spa service, it is very important to stay hydrated for the first 48 hours after any spa service.

If you enjoyed your spa day and want to make it a regular routine, be sure to pre-book your next appointment! If you do not know your future schedule, be sure to keep your therapists name handy if you would like to see the same person again.



Minnesota School of Cosmetology Spring Fashion Show

Breanna and Bailey

Minnesota School of Cosmetology hosted their first annual Spring Fashion Show recently.  The theme this year was Classic Hollywood Decades.

We set this year’s fashion show up as a reverse career fair.  Allowing for our students to create inspiration boards with their before and after photos.  We encouraged our students to have copies of their resumes available to hand out to the salons and industry professionals that would be attending the show.

After the show we give 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.

Our students were able to choose if they would like to participate individually or in a group.  As well as choosing the decade they would like to portray through their looks.  We encouraged students to have a few different looks for each decade, but to keep in mind time to get the looks together on the day of the show is limited. The students had been preparing for the show for weeks in advance 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 out to the shows 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 Spring Fashion Show!   Thank you for supporting our students!


European Wax Center

Fantastic Sam’s


Great Clips

Hair Expressions


Marc Daniel Salon

Pro Cuts

Regis Salons

Spalon Montage


Check out all the glamourous Hollywood looks on our facebook page!

Minnesota School of Cosmetology and Twin Cities Live Partner to Pamper Young Girl Looking for Permanent Home

Minnesota School of Cosmetology-Plymouth’s salon floor was buzzing with its usual load of clients on Thursday, May 7, but there was extra excitement on this particular day because a crew from Twin Cities Live was on its way to the campus.

The local lifestyle show recently partnered with MN Adopt for a weekly segment called “Kid Connection,” which shines a spotlight on children who are looking for permanent homes. In Minnesota alone, there are currently 600 school-aged kids who are living in foster care. One of those kids is 13-year-old Chanel, who loves giving makeovers. Twin Cities Live asked the students at Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC) to help give Chanel a fun experience by treating her to her own day of pampering.

“A makeover can change your whole attitude and make you feel really good,” explained Amos Thomsen, school manager at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. “We’re excited to be able to do this for Chanel.”

Upon Chanel’s arrival at Minnesota School of Cosmetology, Twin Cities Live reporter Kelli Hanson sat down to get to know her a little better. In addition to her love for fashion, Chanel said has a passion for drawing and wants to go to school to become an artist. That creativity was reflected in her new look, which included bright colors and unique styles.

To begin, MSC student Marquitta Woods gave Chanel a shorter, edgier haircut and used a flat iron to style it similar to a photo Chanel had shown her. Per Chanel’s request, Marquitta finished by giving her red tips using temporary hair chalk.

For her makeup, student Reca Reeves gave Chanel a fresh, natural look, using a pink gloss on her lips. Finally, Chanel’s spa treatment wasn’t complete without a manicure and pedicure. Yameika Gilleylen and Sheyen Vang applied the purple and lime green polish Chanel chose for her nails and added flower decals to her toes.

After taking a group photo with her stylists, Chanel left the salon with a new look, a few new beauty products and a boost of confidence.

“You look like you’re ready to walk the runway!” said Chanel’s social worker.

Watch the Twin Cities Live segment.

8 Beauty Hacks to Make Getting Ready Easier and Less Expensive

Written by Katie Savior, associate campus director, financial aid director

There are dozens of tips, tricks and hacks out there to make the beauty process easier and less expensive. Here we have found the top beauty tips to make your mornings easier while going easy on your wallet!Wella Trend Vision 2014 051

1. Nobody wants their foundation to look too pale or (gasp!) too orange. Matching your foundation color to your neck, not your cheek, will ensure a much more natural color.

2. Clumpy or dried up mascara? No problem! Add a few drops of eye drops or contact solution to make your mascara like new.

3. Create your own tinted moisturizer for light, natural coverage by mixing a bit of concealer with your favorite facial moisturizer.

4. Have a favorite mascara wand? Don’t throw it away! Instead, wash it and reuse it with your new mascara, use it as an eyebrow brush, or spray with hairspray to help your eyebrows stay put.

5. To give your eyelashes a curl that will hold all day, hold a blow dryer to your lash curler for 3-5 seconds.

6. Crush up your broken eye shadow and mix with petroleum jelly to make a new lip gloss.

7. Looking for an easy way to exfoliate your lips? Use a toothbrush!

8. Brushing a little eye shadow on your part will make your hair look thicker instantly.