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First Impressions: Tips to Enhance Your Image

First Impressions: Tips to Enhance Your Image

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First Impressions: Tips to Enhance Your Image

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Sep 1, 2012


Seven seconds! That's how long it takes most people to form a first impression. Joni Craighead offers insight from her years of experience as an image consultant and owner of a multi-store, retail cosmetic business. Her practical advice will help you make a winning first impression. Carefully organized and easy to read, the book offers useful tips on: Skin care, Color analysis, Makeup, Wardrobe, Bath shower, Clothing maintenance, Hair care, Your professional image, Nail care, Health and fitness, and Fragrances.
Sep 1, 2012

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First Impressions - Joni Craighead



First impressions are formed within the first seven seconds of meeting someone. Once formed, those impressions are not readily changed. Accordingly, I believe it’s important to cultivate a pleasant image—both for others and also for your own sense of well being.

I believe beauty and image are both internal and external. Hair, skin, makeup, nails, clothing, and accessories are important for creating a positive first impression. Likewise a proper attitude and good nutrition foster both inner peace and beauty. Yet often a woman’s image is based solely on her external features. That is why I’ve addressed both dimensions in this book.

Why did I write First Impressions? For nearly a decade, I owned and operated a multi-store cosmetics and personal image business. My staff and I focused on teaching customers about skin, makeup and overall image. We wanted them to understand exactly why they were using certain products and services. Repeatedly our customers asked, Have you written down this information? No, we repeatedly answered. Then why don’t you?

At last I have committed our ideas to paper. This book is a compilation of tips shared with our customers and with the thousands of women who have attended my First Impressions Seminars. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. My book does not encourage you to change all your beauty habits overnight. Rather, select and work on one or two areas or consider just a few of the tips. I wish you well in enhancing yourself and in creating lasting first impressions.

Skin Care

We’ve seen it on television hundreds of times: a woman washes her face with a bar of soap and pronounces herself beautiful. But we all know it’s not that easy. Good skin care is a lifelong process. You may have been born with a beautiful complexion. But during your lifetime, the sun, wind, stress, and your diet affect the texture of your skin. Of course, aging—a universal experience—will take its toll.

Taking care of your skin makes good sense. You can have younger-looking, healthier skin. This chapter offers tips on good skin care regimens that will help you retain your skin’s natural beauty.

Skin Types

Oily skin contains too much oil. Pores are often enlarged and may resemble the peel of an orange. Oily skin is more prone to blemishes and blackheads. However, oily skin does not wrinkle as quickly as dry skin.

Combination-Oily skin has an oily T-zone—forehead, nose, and chin—with normal cheeks or O-zone.

Normal-skin is soft and smooth with the right amount of oil to hold in moisture. Pores are not enlarged. Women under thirty-four rarely have this skin type.

Combination-dry skin tends to be dry with an oily nose.

Dry skin is tight and firm with small pores and may have a rough, flaky texture. Dry skin lacks moisture. Too little oil or sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands. The sebum is not sufficient to create a layer of oil over the skin, which helps to retain moisture. Dry skin is easily irritated when exposed to the sun, wind, or to cold, hot, or dry environments. Dry skin wrinkles more easily than does oily skin.

Sensitive skin looks tight and the pores are difficult to see. It is often dry and dehydrated and is sensitive to any change in climate, especially seasonal changes. Sensitive skin may lose its elasticity and firmness earlier than normal skin, developing lines and wrinkles sooner. Sensitive skin should always be product tested for allergies.

Note: Skin type can change over your lifetime. As we age, sebum production slows, usually causing skin to become drier.

Cleansing Your Face

Cleanse your face twice a day. In the morning, wash, freshen, and moisturize. Before bed, remove makeup, cleanse, wash, freshen, and moisturize. Once or twice a week, remove impurities with a mask.

Use tepid, not hot, water when washing and rinsing your face. Hot water makes the skin oilier or drier, depending on your skin type, and may break capillaries. Face may become red and blotchy.

As you rinse your face, splash it with water fifteen to twenty times to remove soapy residue. Soap can irritate if left on the skin.

After washing, pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel.

Gently rub, never scrub your skin. Harsh handling of your skin could also break capillaries.

Do not neglect your decollete—neck, breasts, and chest. Delicate as the skin on your face, this area should also be cleansed, freshened, and moisturized.

For a smooth, soft complexion, apply rose water to your face. First, simmer a handful of rose petals or rosebuds in water for thirty minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, then strain it into a bottle. Apply the rose water with a cotton ball to your freshly cleansed skin. Store extra rosewater in your refrigerator. It will last about two weeks.


Avoid touching your face. Hands carry bacteria which can cause breakouts and blemishes.

If you have oily skin, wear a hairstyle that keeps hair off your face. Change or wash cosmetic brushes and powder puffs frequently.

Don’t squeeze blemishes or blackheads. You may push sebum deeper into the pores causing a larger pimple to form and increasing the risk of inflammation and scarring.

Use an oil-free gel containing glycolic acid to heal blemishes and blocked pores. Glycolic acid sloughs away dead cells and allows pores to drain more efficiently.

To reduce blemish flare-ups, apply a non-oily, alcohol-free astringent to the face, back, chest, and neck. Astringents remove excess oil and help reduce acne.

To eliminate pimples, use products containing benzoyl peroxide. The newer formulas don’t dry surrounding skin, only the blemish.

If your skin is oily, sleep on one side of your pillowcase one night and flip the pillow over the next night. You’ll avoid exposure to leftover oils, which can cause breakouts.

If the sides of your face are blemished and, if you spend a lot of time on the telephone, clean your telephone weekly with alcohol to remove oil and dirt.

To help improve blemished skin, practice good hygiene, eat a balanced diet, and follow an effective skin care regimen.

Cleansing Products

Carefully read the labels of skin care products. Ask questions to find the best products for your skin type. No skin care line works for all skin types. Oily skin, normal skin, and dry skin require different products.

Purchase facial cleansing products that are pH-balanced and slightly acidic. Skin has a pH of 4.2 to 5.6, which is slightly acidic. So, choose soaps with a pH below 7 which is acidic. Those above 7 are alkaline; they can dry out the skin surface.

For best results, select a line of skin care products of the same brand. The products will complement each other.

Don’t expect all hypoallergenic skin care products and makeup to protect you from an allergic reaction. The dyes, preservatives, and emulsifiers may still cause sensitivities.

If your skin is sensitive, always test skin care products first on your inner forearms or inner elbows. If your skin becomes red, itches, or burns, you are most likely sensitive to a product. Rinse your skin immediately with cold water. Test no more than three skin care products at a time; you’ll avoid confusion if one of them causes sensitivities.

Before you purchase skin care products, ask a skin care specialist or makeup artist to explain any ingredients with which you are unfamiliar. Purchase products only where you receive satisfactory answers to your questions.

Never feel pressured to purchase skin care systems. Sample products, and wear them for a day. If you like the products, return the next day to purchase them.

Once you begin a new skin care regimen, several weeks may elapse before you notice improvement.

Avoid using commercial facial tissues on your face. Tissues are made of wood pulp which may scratch your skin. Instead, use inexpensive washcloths to remove makeup.


Alcohol dries the surface of the skin; oil glands are activated and produce too much oil in an effort to relubricate the surface. The end result is a dry surface and too much oil which can cause blemishes.

Do not use plastic puffs to exfoliate your skin. They will scratch your skin, and may cause capillary breakage. Instead, use the smooth side of a "scruff puff—a natural loofah pad. Very gently massage your face each morning. Remember to rub, not scrub.

Use only white cotton balls for cosmetic and skin care purposes. Be sure the cotton is not polyester. Synthetic fibers like polyester may scratch the skin. The dye in colored cotton balls may cause skin irritation.


Fresheners, which are also called toners or astringents, help cleanse the skin. They remove soap residue, return your skin to

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