Cornwall Ontario

Victorious Balm & Serum

Victorious Balm & Serum

Meet Victorious Balm & Serum!   For those serious about using natural ingredients, and serious about taking care of their skin.  Everything your skin needs, and nothing it doesn’t.

Victorious Balm & Serum are created from 100% natural ingredients.  Ingredients carefully selected for very specific benefits. I’ll only touch briefly on the ingredients because their benefits are many and I don’t want to science too much and put you to sleep 😉

Victorious Balm contains ingredients such as Cocoa, Shea & Jojoba butters and more, whipped into a pleasing texture.  It has the added benefits of natural Vitamin E (NOT to be confused with the synthetic colorless variety) for it’s anti-oxidant properties that benefit both your skin and to preserve the Balm naturally.

Cocoa Butter is derived from the Cocoa bean, which contains a significant amount of polyphenol and flavanoid antioxidants, and also has the ‘good’ saturated fats that are easily absorbed and beneficial for healing dry & cracked skin.  Anti-oxidants benefit your skin by limiting the production of free radicals that cause damage.

Shea Butter comes from the seeds of the fruit of the Shea (Karite) tree and that is naturally rich in vitamins A, E and F, and provides the skin with essential fatty acids and the nutrients necessary for collagen production.  A 2010 study by the “College of Science and Technology” found that “due to its cinnamic acid and other natural properties, shea butter was anti-inflammatory. One compound in particular, lupeol cinnamate, was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations.” This also makes it beneficial for some people with acne.

Now let’s talk about Victorious Serum. In the beginning, when I first launched it back in 2008, it was known as ‘Serieuse’ and had a base of Almond oil.  It has come a long way since and no longer contains Almond oil (which poses as an allergen for many).

Victorious Serum is a fusion of oils, some of which are Jojoba, Ricebran and more.

Jojojoba oil is derived from the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) plant (pronounced Ho-ho-ba). Jojoba oil contains beneficial ingredients, including vitamin E, vitamin B and more and a very high percentage of iodine which gives jojoba oil its power to heal. Due to anti-inflammatory properties, it can calm & reduce redness and soothe the dry and chapped skin.  Jojoba closely imitates sebum, produced by our sebaceous glands in our skin.  As we age our sebaceous glands produce less sebum, which is why we get dry skin and hair (leading to dandruff or itchy scalp).  On the other hand, too much sebum, which happens during puberty or when hormone levels are high, can result in oily skin and acne. However Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores so it keeps your oil levels balanced.  Studies have indicated that Jojoba oil can also accelerate the wound-healing process, and reduce skin lesions.  This is wonderful for Excema and Psoriasis  sufferers.

Ricebran oil is extracted from the germ as well as the husk of rice.  Rice bran oil is light and penetrates easily, with deep-moisturizing capability due to its combination of vitamin E and fatty acids, plus vitamin B to help firm and tighten your skin, maintaining hydration, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Rice bran oil is considered an anti-aging secret in Japan.  It is a good source of tocotrienols, an antioxidant that is more potent than Vitamin E.  Rice bran oil also contains “squalane” which is known to help your skin look younger and fresher.

Vitamin E is found in both Victorious Balm & Serum and is easily absorbed by your skin.  Vitamin E is not actually a single vitamin, but rather a group of fat-soluble vitamins with antioxidant effects.  Vitamin E will neutralize free radicals in the skin and this aids with healing and reducing scars.  As a natural anti-inflammatory, it can alleviate & soothe eczema or atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis symptoms. The article “Vitamin E & Skin Health“, brought to us by Oregon State University had this to say part “Vitamin E is an integral part of the skin’s antioxidant defenses, primarily providing protection against UV radiation and other free radicals that may come in contact with the epidermis.”   and  “Use of unesterified vitamin E, similar to that found in natural sources, has provided the most consistent data concerning its topical efficacy. The vitamin E family consists of eight different tocopherols and tocotrienols,”

Now these aren’t all of the ingredients, I’d surely put you to sleep extolling ALL of the benefits of ALL of the ingredients.  But you can find the full list on the packaging.

If you’ve made it this far through all that sciencey’ jargon, I’ll tell you a little bit about the packaging.

Yes. It. Is. Green. Of course it is! That’s my favorite color! However, that’s beside the point.   I have always packaged my products, since 2008, in containers that inhibited UV light.  Why?    To protect your investment!

Natural butters and carrier oils are photosensitive to UV light. It ages them and by doing so, reduces their valuable properties and their effectiveness.  When we visit the Salon or Beauty supply and see products on the shelves, ever wonder how long they sat there? Ever wonder for how long they were exposed to UV light? I do, which leads me to question the integrity of the product; how old is it and has it been compromised?  For this reason, to insure the full lifespan of the products, they are packaged in containers to inhibit UV light.     The Serum bottles have the secondary protection of serum-dispensing caps.  By not needing to remove the cap to access product, you reduce the circulation of oxygen in the product. Oxygen can also speed up the aging process of natural ingredients.  An added benefit of these particular serum dispensing caps is that they dispense the exactly right amount of product. One squirt for light treatment of 2 hands, or 2 squirts for a more intense treatment.  Last but not least, the serum-dispensing caps also prevents contamination of your products.  This is ideal for use in a Salon environment, or in a home where you share your products and maybe your cohabitants <cough cough your kids cough cough>   don’t share your your hygienic habit of washing their hands.

I hope you’ve found this information to be as interesting as I did when I began my research back in 2008.  Both products have been through some changes over the years, in an endeavor to reap the best results.

To hear what someone else has to say, please feel free to read this blog post from 2014 regarding my Balm, Victorious Balm Claims A Real Victory.

Victorious Balm really is a BOMB 😉

 

 

In a perfect world.

In a perfect world, there is a long list of things that I could do.  In a perfect world, money would be no object and I could rescue every unwanted & abandoned dog that I see on Facebook and give them a happy home with me.  In a perfect world I could buy whatever vehicle I wanted for my family so that I could travel anywhere with BOTH my kids AND dogs in the same vehicle.  In a perfect world, I could go on vacation 3 times a year and travel to new places around the globe.  In a perfect world, I could do nails for free for my ‘clients’ so that any woman who wanted pretty nails could have them with all the swarvoski rhinestones their hearts desired.

We don’t live in a perfect world.  We live in a real world where just about everything comes with a price tag. Often, those things feature a price tag that we can’t afford.   So we work.  We work to pay for those price tags, and budget ourselves accordingly.   When we can’t afford it, we go without.  We leave it on the rack at the store, or in the car lot at the dealership, or in the display case at the jewelry store.    We go without it.

We.Go.Without.   So can someone please explain to me why “we go without”, but don’t expect others to do the same? WHY do we go without, so that others can have what they want? Why do we go without so someone else can go on vacation, buy a new ring, drive a new car, talk on a new phone?   Frequently in the nail tech forums there are discussions about service or class prices and without fail the following statements will be made “I can’t charge that, no one will pay it”  or “Everyone deserves to have pretty nails, so I price myself to what they can afford”  or as stated by many educators  “I do it because I love it, not for the money”…. Why?   Aren’t you worth it?   I think you’re worth it!  Can’t you do what you love AND earn a living?  When do you EVER hear other Professionals in other industries make those statements?   I’ll tell you when.  Never!

We are in Business. What is Business?  Business is defined as “1.a person’s regular occupation, profession, or trade.”   AND  “2.the practice of making one’s living by engaging in commerce.”   What is “making one’s living”?    It is “To earn enough income to support oneself and, if applicable, one’s family.”  So if we aren’t making enough income to support ourselves and our family, then then we’re not running a business but a charity.  Because if you’re giving yourself away, isn’t that what charity is? Giving away products and/or services for free?

The majority of Professionals that I know in this industry are “Independent Contractors” and not employees.    From a Canadian Site (https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/laws-regulations/labour/interpretations-policies/employer-employee.html ) please review this table  that defines the differences if you’re uncertain.

As Independent Contractors, our prices are determined by a multitude of things, not just product costs or an hourly wage.    The obvious expenses are products, tools & equipment, business cards, advertising, licensing, insurance, rent, electricity etc.   Don’t forget TAXES and Unemployment contributions, Pension Plan, etc This all needs to be included in your math.  The government wants their cut.  How about vacation pay or sick pay? Did you figure those into your calculations?  The list goes on and on because we are independent contractors.  We are not employees that can collect our paycheck at the end of the week after the Boss/Business owner has paid the rent, product costs, overheads and tax contributions etc.  Nope.    We have to take care of that ourselves.

I’ll stop for a minute to mention that Math is NOT my forte and I’m certainly no business expert.  That’s why I have an accountant. I do the data entry but she does the math.  If you want a Business Expert who EXCELS at math  (see what I did there?), check out Tina Alberino’s articles and calculators. https://www.thisuglybeautybusiness.com/ She’ll help you sort out the math. That’s not what I’m doing here.

Ok, back to what I was saying. The list goes on and on and then on some more.  Once you reach the end of it and you’ve added up the cost of everything on that list, you have some heavy lifting to do called ‘math’ (insert shudder here, what a horrible word).   I refer you back to Tina’s expertise for that.    But in a nutshell, you need to cover those expenses, earn a living wage AND a profit (to reinvest into your business).   Whether you’re doing mani/pedi’s all day or teaching, the point of it all is “Making one’s living”  “To earn enough income to support oneself and, if applicable, one’s family.”

If after it is all said and done, you’re not “making a living” as defined, nor turning a profit to reinvest into your Business, then you’re doing it wrong and running a charity, not a business.  In a perfect world, I’d love to be a charity.  Everyone loves to be on the receiving end and get stuff for free. I would love to teach for free and share my passion with anyone aspiring to be a nail tech. I would LOVE to dole out swarovski crystal rhinestones by the tonne for any client that wants them, and do freehand extreme nails that take 4hrs to do and charge a pittance just because the client deserves pretty nails.  But….what do YOU deserve?  What do YOU get out of being a charity?    Your bills are still waiting for you.  That car you want is still at the dealership.  That vacation you have dreamed of is still just a dream.

 

 

 

 

Get your Horsey Hands here with IBX Boost!

Howdy ladies and gents!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  It’s been a while since I posted, but I hope that 2018 gets off to a rolling start for all of you.

Now let’s get down to business.  How many of you recall my Feb/2017 blog post about my gal Marie and her Horsey hands? If you don’t, please take a look here “She has Horsey-Hands!”.

It’s been a year since then, and there have been some changes in Marie’s nails.  First of all, there was the launch of Famous Names Products IBX Boost in Vegas last year.  Free free to visit my album on Facebook about that trip. It was quite the event!  Facebook Album- Best Lil Nail Show In Vegas.

IBX Boost was added to the Famous Names Products product line-up in 2017.  First launched in the UK, then the US and now arriving in Canada.  It is a “FLEXIBLE and STRONG over the top universal nail coating that is the perfect compliment to the IBX System”.   In my salon, I use it under Gel Polish services for added strength, like a lightweight armor. It gives that extra ‘boost’ of strength for those clients that struggle with gel polish but don’t quite need or want the strength of traditional Acrylic or UV Gel enhancements.   It’s a soak-off gel, so right there is an added bonus in my eyes. I don’t like to use products that are buff-off.  The less I buff/file the natural nail, the happier I am.   Even under the lightest touch, buffing over time can thin out the nail plate.  Nail plates that are thinned are compromised and weakened; providing a poor foundation for future services and more prone to breaking.  Additional bonus- you do NOT have to soak it off. You can refill it!   So now, for my gel polish services, I opt to file off the color until I reach the thin clear layer of Boost underneath.  Then I refill the Boost, and reapply my color.   This approach is FANTASTIC in two ways.  1-the client’s nails don’t have to soak in acetone which is drying (easily countered by Dadi’Oil, but drying none the less) 2-Less waste (I’m not contributing to landfills with tin foil and acetone saturated cotton  3- It saves me & the client TIME.  Saving time means happier clients and that I can add more services to my schedule.  It’s far quicker to file off than to soak off.  Which is why many techs already file off gel polish for the purpose of saving time.  I heavily frown upon this practice, unless there is IBX Boost or similar underneath because it’s physically & scientifically impossible to remove all the color without buffing the nail plate, which compromises the health of the natural nail which I am DEAD-SET AGAINST.   I am in the business of beautifying natural nails, enhancing natural nails; NOT damaging them.  So moving on, because that’s a whole blog post on it’s own.

When I went to the Best Lil Nail Show In Vegas, the Famous Names Pros’ Educator’s team attended a full day of training at the FNP Headquarters.  We were updated on current products, we learned more about the chemistry behind the product line (ooooohhh  that was my favorite part!), AND we were introduced to IBX Boost.   I had the lovely opportunity to meet an online colleague and friend, Tracy Anne Shelverton, who flew in for the occasion.  She had months of experience using and testing IBX Boost in the UK where it launched first. It was a fantastic afternoon!   Now I need to point out before I continue: IBX Boost is NOT intended for extensions or for making nails longer.  It’s a very soft product that flexes beautifully WITH the natural nail.  It’s intended as a lightweight armor with only the occasional teensy weensy extension to even out an edge of a nail (let’s say a couple of millimeters?).   BUT… (and you knew there was a ‘but’ coming) I like to push the envelope because that’s my way. Big surprise, right?

Once I received my own IBX Boost and brought it home to my salon, I started pushing the envelope right away to see how far I could take it.  As noted in a previous Blog Post,  “She has Horsey-Hands!”,  we discussed the many ways in which Marie works hard with her hands.  In her own words, she is a “Horse-Girl” and “Country Girl”.  She’s not a city girl working in an office, wearing suits and going on business lunches.   She gets down and dirty in the muck and stalls doing horse-stable work.  Marie, as it happens, is my PERFECT test subject.   She works very hard with her hands BUT she also follows my aftercare advice perfectly; using her Dadi’Oil and my Victorious Balm frequently throughout the day. She does NOT use her nails as tools, and wears gloves where appropriate. She is mindful not to bang them against things.

At Christmas, she had busted a nail so I applied a tip under her IBX Boost and Gel Polish so that no one would know and so that her holiday nails would be perfect.  Can you tell which of those nails is not like the other’s?

In our Educator’s class we were taught to extend only marginally.   Please note:  IBX Boost is NOT as hard as traditional Acrylic, nor UV Gel and it’s NOT intended to be.  It’s not intended for tip&overlay services, nor for sculpting typical extensions.  I would equate it’s strength  to a strong natural nail.  Natural nails are between 50 to 100 layers.  Clients at the 50 layer mark have thin, floppy, bendy nails that don’t hold product well.   Clients at the 100 layer mark grow their own nails quite easily and rarely if ever suffer product chipping because they have a strong foundation.  In my humble opinion – IBX Boost is like a nail at the 100 layer mark.

At her appointment after Christmas, she had busted another nail. I was going to apply another tip only to discover that my nail-resin had sealed itself shut. Now what to do?  Well… time to push the envelope.  I had done so previously on another client, but not quite as long as this. We discussed the option together and she agreed to let me experiment.  We did a LONG extension with the IBX Boost. Please note the Index finger. That is IBX BOOST, not hard gel or acrylic!

 

How are the nails faring?  How is that IBX Boost Extension holding up?

Have a look. What do you think? I spent the afternoon with her in the stables yesterday. I personally witnessed how hard she works, mucking a stall, dealing with tack, cleaning the hooves, etc   Reminder: It’s the index finger of the right hand.

From this happy experiment, I learned that for clients who are mindful of their hands and who usually manage a bit of length quite easily, you CAN extend IBX Boost longer than a few millimeters.  That extension will equate in strength to a strong natural nail (ie: about 75-100 layers).

If you don’t have IBX Boost, maybe it’s time you did so that your clients can have Horsey-Hands too!

PS: Thank you Marie for your Horsey-Hands and Friendship xoxo ❤