Sinful Sunspots

California girls have always had a love-hate relationship with our precious sun, and it can be a burden non-Cali women don’t get. While New Yorkers can pull off a vampire costume as fashion, bikinis and aviators are our kind of our thing. And because we are so damn lucky, our skin sometimes pays the price. No matter how many floppy hats we buy or how much sunscreen we lather on, we will eventually see one of those sinful sunspots in our mirror staring back at us.

It is no surprise that lasers are also kind of our thing. Laser technology continues to be a leading method for diminishing the look of pre-mature aging and environmental damage. Visible, quick results in eliminating unsightly sunspots can be done with laser light treatments and these treatments are powerful alternatives to peels and microdermabrasion with no downtime. These simple procedures have minimal discomfort, are non-invasive and show visible results after one treatment.

Cindy Kokesch, PA at Ma Maison De Beaute in Beverly Hills favors the Cynosure machine for sunspots. She has ten years of experience with the procedure and recommends the treatment for most all clients with the exception of darker skin types. The reason for this is because the laser detects the contrast between the skin and the spot, so the closer the colors are together, the more difficult for the laser to detect. The machine works through wavelengths of laser light targeting melanin, creating a small lesion. The lesion then absorbs the heat from the laser turning it even darker. The area crusts up and falls off the skin, removing any appearance of said lesion. An added benefit is improved collagen production in the surrounding tissue, which can improve the texture of the skin.


Pain is prevented through a tissue cooling device which continuously blows cold air at the site of the laser pulse so that the client feels the cold instead of the heat. Basically, it feels like a rubber band popping on the skin and small areas can be treated in under one minute. Once the laser stops, there is no pain.

Post-treatment, it takes about 20 minutes to see the slightly darker spot on the treated area and can take up to a few weeks for the discoloration to slough off. Sunscreens must be worn and the treated area should always be protected and moisturized.

Staying out of the sun at least four weeks prior to your appointment is best and when you do have to be in the sun, an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended.

by Bylle Breaux



Size Matters.

When it comes to lash extensions, clients are not always warned about wearing something too big. Knowing what size is right for you is important to protect your investment and your flutter!

What is safe and reasonable for a clients’ personal lash line is something all lash artists would for everyone to understand. While many lash professionals make big promises about what kind of look they can provide, what is actually safe for you to wear long term may be different than what you want. After seven years of doing lash extensions in Beverly Hills, probably the most demanding city for pushing beauty boundaries, I have had to have many awkward moments with clients who expect way too much. The truth is, we can give you whatever you want a small handful of times, but we could risk losing you as a long term client because there is a serious risk of damaging your own natural lashes. When a client wants a specific look for filming a movie, and that look is beyond what would be healthy for her lashes long-term, we consider how long they will have to be worn and rather breaks in filming will occur where we can fill her with a better size.

For a classic set of lashes, if clients have 60 workable natural lashes, I can only apply 60 extensions. Within those 60 extensions, three sizes are used to achieve the fullest look possible. Newer lashes that have just grown in are worked on first and this is where the smallest sizes are used. These small lashes provide a strong foundation of support for lashes that will be longer, so that they can lean on one another when possible to prevent twisting. About 50% of the lash extensions will be made up of the smaller lashes for optimal support. Then, the medium sized lashes are filled in and will make up another 30-40% of the lash line. By this time, all of the inner lashes nearest to the tear ducts will be full. Finally the longest extensions are applied, which make up only 10-20% of the lash line. This is the part clients have a hard time grasping. “Why can’t we just make them all long?” many clients ask. Here’s why:


#1 Too many long lashes look thin and spidery

This is the part of lash extensions where individual artistry and personal taste comes in but for the most part, lashes should never be more than 50% of your own lash for reasons we will explain later, but if every lash is your longest size, the lash line looks unnatural and thinner. Our lashes have three different phases of growth so they are never all the same length at once. This variety of sizes in lash extensions adds texture and fullness.

#2 Too many long lashes twist and can damage your follicle

When a lash extension has no support from a shorter neighboring lash, it can twist and either break or pull out from the follicle altogether before it’s naturallshedding time. This can cause temporary damage to the follicle, making the time in which a new lash grows back much longer than normal.



#3 Too many long lashes will leave gaps in your lash line

When all of your lash extensions are the longest length, shedding one or two will be much more noticeable than if your lashes are various sizes. This means touch up appointments need to be booked closer together, making a bigger dent in your beauty budget and possibly leading you to blaming your technician for why your lashes don’t last as long as your friends.

Finally, let’s briefly discuss why your lash extensions should not be more than 50% longer than your natural lash. The main reason is that most clients wear extensions long term, or at least plan to and you won’t be able to if you wear lashes that are too heavy for your own natural lash. Even though the lashes shed and grow, wearing a lash too heavy could cause lashes to break and can cause a condition known as traction alopecia, a change in lash growth from consistent long term pressure on the natural lash. So basically, when a lash artist says “Yes” to that long lash size you are requesting when you both know it’s too long for you, she is saying “No” to the long term health of your lash while padding her pocket with your money on the short term. Is this the relationship you want with your beauty advisor? Especially the one working so closely to the window to your soul?

by Bylle Breaux / SweetPea Lashes Beverly Hills