Aveda Institute Denver

19 Mar Aveda Experience, Relaxed Price: The Art of Service at an Aveda Beauty School

Take time to indulge in being a guest and experience the art of service at a beauty school.
Blog originally written my team member, Alicia Christus and featured on her blog vedalifestlye.wordpress.com

I want to be very transparent about this post because I do work for Aveda Institute Denver. My intention in sharing this story was to highlight some of our services and shed light on what a salon/spa experience is like, at a school, being served by a student in training.

As I moved along through my services sharing pictures and quick little posts, the story became something more.

Working in the salon and spa industry so many of us rarely experience being THE guest. For those of you who are service providers I highly encourage you to take the chance to disengage  your role and truly become the guest receiving service. Think of it as a paradigm shift, an opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of your guests and see what they’re seeing, feel what they’re feeling and notice what they’re noticing. You may just tweak your process a little bit.

Some of the things that we do repetitively each day easily become monotonous. (For example, when I worked in our Experience Center and greeted hundreds of guests by standing in our front entrance with a cup of Aveda Comforting Tea and a friendly hello, I’ll admit it lost meaning for me until the day a guest share chow that welcome is what she looks forward to the oat when coming to Aveda. If it didn’t happen for her, that would change her whole experience, and it’s something so little in the grand scheme of her entire experience). Becoming the guest is a chance to read between the lines, see what you can do different or better, bring service to the next level, because after being the guest I suddenly realized how it’s the little things that truly deliver big result. Not only do I hope to give guests an inside look at some of our services, I hope to share my lessons of what it truly means to serve, to help others look and feel good about themselves in the beauty industry.

We often hear that hairstylists or spa therapists are often considered to be very  much like psychologists, teachers, mentors or even healers. Behind the chair, you suddenly become the person that is listening (truly listening), truly caring and becoming a game changer.

As a guest, or consumer, how we look and feel becomes vitally important in times of emotion and stress. In those moments, that one haircut, that one massage, that one facial becomes our whole world because we want to feel better, to be healed, to be nourished, to be taken care of. (That’s suddenly a high expectation for one service).

On the contrary, some of us might not always recognize the power of service until suddenly there’s a shift in emotion or state  being, we suddenly feel joy or sadness, we start talking about things that are stressing us out in our personal lives, we start sharing intimate details with the person providing the service (that we barely know) because if the service provider has created that safe space, we step into it and feel welcomed to tune in.

Part of this powerful expression comes from Aveda rituals incorporated into the experience. Let me begin by walking you through my day at Aveda Institute Denver. I purposely chose two services that I had never experienced and didn’t know much about: a back facial with the Ayurvedic eye treatment (enhancement). Spa services also include a complementary shampoo and style before or after the spa treatment (based on availability).

Here I am checking in at Aveda Institute Denver. I am scheduled on a Thursday morning for an Elemental Nature Back Treatment ($45) and I added the Ayurvedic Eye Treatment ($15).    

After checking in, I enjoyed the self-service Chakra experience display. Here, I can read a little bit about each Chaka, experience each of the aromas before choosing an aroma to enjoy during my service to bring me into balance before my service begins.
While waiting for my student esthetician, Aveda Advisors offer stress-relieving rituals like hand massages customized to an aroma of choice like Stress-Fix, Shampure, Rosemary Mint or Beautifying.

The sensory journey is also offered at the beginning of my service so I can choose my own aroma to enjoy. Erin, my student service provider, took me through each aroma by placing her thumb to the top of my nose and her forefinger to the crown of my head, as I breathed in the aroma she would slide her thumb up my forehead to help me breathe a little deeper. I chose Rosemary Mint to help balance my sluggish energy. After the aroma journey, we went through some questions before my service and she offered me a mini foot treatment.  After the educator confirmed our protocols, I was set up comfortably on the table while Erin left the room to prepare the products. She started with a few calming techniques, cleansed the skin on my back and applied the first treatment masque, shown here.

The table is lined with a heating blanket so I’m very warm during the service. The rooms are lined with curtains, so it’s semi-private but easy to hear conversation happening in the hallway or in the other rooms around me; however, because I know this is a school, I’m prepared to hear these other sounds so it doesn’t distract me from enjoying my experience.

During the first and then second masque treatments, I received a foot and hand massage to further indulge my relaxation and stress relief. The masques chosen for my experience were customized for my skin needs, which was focused on dry skin. One was to exfoliate while the other was to rehydrate. This is a part of my body that I have never thought about receiving much focus our attention, other than a massage. Yet the skin on my back is hard to reach and I do often feel itchy, dry skin irritation so this was a lovely way to address those concerns.   This is the tools and products for the Ayurvedic Eye treatment. After flipping on to my back and settling in, a cool cloth was placed over my eyes. Then I felt a warming roller ball massaging around my eyes. As Erin had prepared me, I felt sensations of cooling and warming at the same time.

This was my favorite enhancement I have ever experienced! I usually enjoy the Plant Peel with my facials and that has always been my favorite. After this, my eyes and skin around my eyes felt so relaxed and rejuvenated throughout the rest of the day and even into the next few days as I write this.

As my experience wrapped up, the educator came back to check in on how everything went. This is a great opportunity to truly involve yourself in the education process and give positive and constructive feedback for students to continue to be successful.

Erin then brought me back up to the experience center, where she educated me on a few key products to help continue to deliver results at home. The Intensive Hydrating Masque was recommended to help quench my skin’s thirst, which I immediately noticed in my treatment.

I was then checked-in for my complementary shampoo and style (a $12-$15 value). Luis introduced himself and guided me to his station where we began our consultation on my hair.   

Luis asked me a lot of great open questions about my hair to determine which products and solutions would be best for my dry, thin hair. He was very detailed and genuine in his consultation. His educator also helped by encouraging us to look at photos for a good result.

Before the shampoo, I received a scalp massage. Now, having worked in the experience center, I know that the scalp massage is usually one of the most anticipated and well received rituals for our salon guests. Almost every single person will mention it being their favorite part of their experience and yet it’s only a small fraction of the overall service.

This is the power of connection where the service provider is going above and beyond to create a moment of care, relaxation, stress-relief or beauty for the guest. This may also be the tipping point when guests suddenly feel safe and open to sharing intimate details of their life, expressing their concerns or challenges in life, seeking the opinion of their service provider to help them experience looking and feeling good above and beyond the actual service that is happening. Powerful.  My shampoo/style felt like a game-changer. Luis provided a great blow dry and at the end of the experience it looked as if I had had a brand-new haircut and new style. My hair was healthier and I instantly felt better about myself. I was rejuvenated and I was excited for the rest of my day.

Later that night I went on to teach my weekly yoga class and after being taken care of all day and these wonderful services, it felt good to give back and take care of my students by being their guide on the mat.

My service experience as a guest gave me perspective on identifying the little things that can make a difference when providing a service to another. I was more hands-on with my students, I had intention to leave them feeling empowered about themselves so that when they left the mat, they go out and do great things in the world.

The intention all started with inspiration from a cup of Aveda comforting tea, and a process of service began to unfold…



Read More
Aveda water drop image.

10 Mar Water Tips in and out of the Salon and Spa

Water Conservation in and out of the Salon and Spa 
Prepared by Aveda

Take these steps in your salon, spa, institute, Experience Center, and even home to save water. By using water more wisely you can help to save this precious resource and save money, too.

fresh face

Identify and complete these simple water conservation measures which are applicable to your business:

Contact your water utility to schedule a water use survey of your facility. Surveys are usually free and provide an easy way to identify the most effective means to save water in your salon/spa.
Keep an eye on your water bill and the water meter. A higher than usual water bill could signal a leak. Learn to read your water meter and review your bill for unusual increases to catch problems early and prevent additional, costlier problems. Click here for more info

Simple Water-Saving Tips

  • Turn off water when not in use (e.g. between cleansing and conditioning hair) and when rinsing color use the following steps to save water:
  • Rinse with water.
  • Turn water off.
  • Emulsify for 1 minute.
  • Rinse again.
  • Take the Water Flow Test: Use a bucket and a timer to measure how many gallons of water you use per minute for sinks, shampoo bowls and showers. Aim for a goal of 2.5 gallons per minute or less to avoid water waste.
  • Regularly check for and repair all leaks in your facility.
  • Remind staff to turn off water when not in use (e.g. between cleansing and conditioning hair).
  • Change window-cleaning schedule from “periodic” to “as required.”
  • Use dry-floor cleaning methods, followed by damp mopping, rather than spraying or hosing
    with water.
  • Retrofit existing fixtures and appliances to realize greater water savings.
  • Replace pre-1992 toilets with low-flow 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilets.
  • Install water saving devices such as low-flow aerators in kitchen-type faucets, low flow showerheads, ultra-low-flush toilets, water efficient washing machines and self-closing faucets. Ask your water utility about available rebate programs in your area. www.h2ouse.org/action/index.cfm
  • Choose water efficient washing machines. Look for horizontal-axis washers that are ENERGY STAR qualified.
  • Look for the WaterSense® label when choosing plumbing and landscaping fixtures such as faucets, toilets, etc. You can view all current WaterSense® certified products at http://www3.epa.gov/watersense/products/

Aveda water drop image


  • Mulch all non-turf areas.
  • Sweep your sidewalks and other hard surfaces with a broom rather than spraying with a garden hose.
  • Use repeat cycles when watering lawn or shrubs in clay soils (if you are planning to water for 8 minutes, water twice for 4 minutes each).
  • Modify your existing irrigation system to include drip irrigation, where feasible.
  • Test irrigation sprinklers 4 times per year to ensure proper operation and coverage.
  • Repair all broken or defective sprinkler heads, nozzles, lines and valves.
  • Adjust sprinklers for proper coverage—optimizing spacing and avoiding run-off onto paved surfaces. Your local water utility may be able to assist you with sprinkler adjustments.
  • Choose water-efficient shrubs, native plants and ground cover in place of turf.
  • If installing new turf, limit area and use drought-tolerant species.
  • Space sprinkler heads so the water from one sprinkler head reaches the adjacent
    sprinkler head.
  • Install rain shut-off devices as part of the irrigation/landscape control measures.
  • Renovate existing landscape to include native and drought-tolerant plants. (Water efficient landscape guidelines are available from your county extension service or local water agency/utility.)

protect what you love

Read More
Student Alexus, and educator Jenna.

19 Feb Day-in-the-Life of an Aveda Beauty School Student

What’s it like to go to beauty school? Well, not just any beauty school… Aveda Institute Denver, an Inspire Greatness Aveda Institute? Our cosmetology student, Alexus Gallegos gives us context from her point of view on a typical day-in-life for her as a student. Alexus toured our institute last year during our Earth Month awareness, which inspired her even more to choose Aveda. Here, at Aveda Institute Denver, the Aveda mission to care for the world we live in, truly comes to life each and every day through our team and students.

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

My day begins with all things Aveda, like Control Force, Smooth Infusion Nourishing Styling Creme, Volumizing Tonic and Pure Abundance Hair Potion to create lots of volume! #pumpupthevolume #avedaproducts

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Then it’s off to school, which begins at 8:30 am. Aveda Institute Denver is located on the 16th Street Mall between Stout and California streets, which happens to be the busiest block on the mall. We have over 20,000 residents and 120,000 workers in downtown Denver. Students offer all the salon and spa services at a relaxed price. Hair cuts start at $15, spa services range from $40 to $50. #downtowndenver #visitdenver

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

This is my pose! These two girls have made my life so much brighter! What’s beauty school without the amazing friendships? I can definitely say it wouldn’t be nearly as fun without them. #classmates #bestfriends #beautyschool

Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

My mentor and educator, Jenna has truly made learning the best thing it could ever be! I’ve learned so much from her, not only about beauty but also about life. She has helped me face all of my fears – head first. She has the sweetest heart and is by far one of the greatest educators I’ve ever had. Thank you Jenna, for everything! #inspiregreatness #bestteacher #avedaeducator

image 5 guest service

I learned what it truly means to be patient during this service. I did my first live color cleanse and, wow, was it an experience! Since I started the program July 2015 and began services in the fall. Since then I have completed over 50 services so far. I attend school three days a week so I am on the clinic floor for two and in class for one day each week. #colorcleanse #avedacolor #process

image 6 at home dinner Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

School is out! Dinner for two. Every night I cook dinner and it’s my favorite time of the day. I’m discovering that cooking is another passion of mine. #burritobowls #avedalife #topchefhairstylist

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Goodnight world. Wrapping up my day-in-the-life as a cosmetology student at Aveda Institute Denver. Time to sleep with soft, clean skin with help from the Botanical Kinetics line and then wind-down with some hot tea and a good book. I am a sucker for social media also. I love seeing all the new trends. #socialmedia #zzz #avedaskincare #industrytrends

~shared by Allexus Gallegos @allbyalexusg 2016

Our next programs begin soon! Enjoy our 3-day program for cosmetology, esthiology or massage therapy. For more information text or call Kristy at 720-560-2155 or email kfiore@avedadenver.com For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit www.avedainstitutedenver.com

Read More
IMB and ASI team

16 Feb Join Our Denver Team

Inspire Greatness flowers

We are hiring for our Guest Services Team in our Experience Center (retail store, salon/spa front desk) and our Reservations Center (call center / appointment booking for all Inspire Greatness locations, based in Denver).

Are you interested in becoming part of the‪#‎inspireaveda‬ family? Do you have a passion for people and service? Our Reservations Team and Experience Center is hiring for full and part-time opportunities. Please review the minimum requirements below before replying to this post.

Minimum requirements:
2 years experience in customer service,
At least 1 year experience offering phone customer service (for reservations position) or at least 2 years retail sales or concierge experience (for the Experience Center)
Good spelling and grammar
Loves to be of service
Must be self motivated and like to meet goals
Open to receiving and giving coaching and feedback

Preferred requirements:
Beauty industry experience preferred but not required
Aveda experience or knowledge of Aveda’s products and mission
Spa/Salon Biz operating system or knowledge of appointment setting
Willingness to continue education
Willingness to commit to at least 1 year of service (after 90-day evaluation period)

We are looking for hard-working, Aveda-loving team members that want to grow with the Inspire Greatness Institutes. Pay and benefits: $10-$11 hourly, based on skill set and experience. Benefits available after 90 days for full time (40 hrs/wk) employees including 401K, health & employee paid dental.

Please email a letter of intent including why you think you would be a good fit for this position and Aveda, and your resume in Word or PDF format. Submit to achristus@avedadenver.com

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 11.47.38 PM

Read More
2015 NAHA finalist Madison Wade's entry for Student Hairstylist of the Year

11 Feb Inspire Greatness Beacon Experience

Madison Wade working on her NAHA application.

Madison Wade working on her NAHA application.

As the deadline to apply for Beacon 2016 nears, we caught up with our graduate, Madison Wade to shed some light on how she got her start to success in this industry. Ironically, it all began with her application to Beacon.*

“My advice to students currently enrolled at Inspire Greatness Institutes is to apply yourself. Just try. Sometimes it’s intimidating but if you don’t try, you’ll never have the chance,” – Madison Wade.

Though she didn’t move along through the Beacon process back in 2014, she didn’t get discouraged or give up. It was the beginning of a journey where she learned to never give up. Madison eventually went on to take Editorial ReMix in Denver, London Study Abroad and eventually applied for NAHA, all while she was a student at Aveda Institute Denver.

Madison credits her NAHA experience in teaching her how to work with a team, and more importantly how important having a team is.

“I would never be able to do this without Brad. He’s been my mentor, my teacher and inspiration,” says Madison as she mixes color. She’s working with Brad Van Dyke, Education Director for Inspire Greatness Institutes as she prepares her next application for NAHA. Brad is coaching Madison and overseeing her finished looks.


Each Inspire Greatness Institute had one student finalist for the NAHA 2015 Student Hair Stylist of the Year!

Each Inspire Greatness Institute had one student finalist for the NAHA 2015 Student Hair Stylist of the Year!

Brad shares, “Madison being here today working with us in our Institute is a representation of how once you graduate from IG, you’re always a part of our family.”

She applied for NAHA 2015 in the category of Student Hairstylist of the Year. Madison, along with students from our sister locations in Tucson, Phoenix and Provo became a finalist for the competition. The winner was Dustin Villa from Aveda Institute Tucson but all four nominees, including Madison, were recognized at Aveda Congress this past fall and were able to be backstage working with the industry professionals, including the Aveda Institutes section which was formatted by our Creative Director, Heggy Gonzalez.

“Being a part of the NAHA experience has opened so many doors for me in this industry. I’m building an incredible network, sharing talent, meeting so many inspiring people and working more and more to build my career. NAHA was just the beginning,” says Madison.

Currently Madison is working at Matthew Morris salon but she shared it wouldn’t surprise her if becoming an educator is in her future, maybe even here at Aveda Institute Denver.

“Foundation is everything, it’s who you are. My foundation is here at Aveda Institute Denver.”



Madison Wade's collection for NAHA 2015 Student Hairstylist of the Year

Madison Wade’s collection for NAHA 2015 Student Hairstylist of the Year

 *NAHA, North American Hairstyling Awards, is a globally recognized opportunity to receive recognition in our industry for our technical skill. Our NAHA Experience continues to be a significant Point of Difference for our Inspire Greatness Institutes. We were excited to celebrate NAHA finalist from each of our Inspire Greatness locations in 2015 in the category of Student Hairstylist of the Year.

*The Professional Beauty Association’s Beacon program is a renowned program designed to encourage and inspire beauty industry students to effectively and aggressively prepare for successful careers. This program provides the nation’s most promising cosmetology students with education and opportunities to network with the industry’s highest profile salon owners, professionals, and stylists during PBA Beauty Week.

To learn more about Madison Wade, visit her Web site or book an appointment with her at Matthew Morris Salon in Denver, Colo.


Read More
Ian Michael Black talking to students about color

09 Feb Ian Michael Black Visits Aveda Institute Denver

“Go as far as you can with that job and see how far you can go. If you keep changing careers, you’ll never get anywhere,” says Ian Michael Black to an audience of cosmetology students in all levels at Aveda Institute Denver. Today, we were humbled, honored and inspired to have Ian Michael Black, Aveda Global Artistic Director for Color, join our Institute to inspire greatness, share a few laughs and tell his story of how he came to be where he is today. As poised as we all were to be in his presence, many of us were crumbling a little inside at the notion of having an “Aveda celebrity” speaking casually to us like he was catching up with a friend. Meanwhile, there’s a huge parade in Denver to celebrate the Bronco’s winning the Super Bowl and we were all happy as could be staying indoors, cozy like with Ian.

IMB with students

He shared his timeline of his full career in the beauty industry, which began at age 16 when he started school. The program is much longer in England so he was 18 when he completed his education and started his career. Today Ian has been with Aveda for 17 years and as a part of the Aveda Global Artistic Team, Ian spends his days working on education pieces, discovering new ways of teaching others, overseeing how education is pushed out to the network, he collaborates on Aveda collections and product development, works with marketing and also travels and presents often. Though it may seems he spends a lot of his time on stage, he shared he’s literally only on stage maybe a few hours a year. Prior to Aveda, Ian got his start at Toni & Guy.

“Aveda is a company I can work for and feel really proud of.”

Having shared that he feels he could die happy tomorrow because he’s lived the life he wanted, Ian said that he still desires to take a few months off from work and spend some time in Cambodia to help young women trapped in sex trafficking.

Ian shared some of his work with Aveda and a teaser of never-before-seen images of some recent work he’s done on his own. Editorial work is hard work and Ian called it “grueling” when giving an example of the photo shoot in Hawaii for Aveda Damage Remedy. The rain, the lava rocks and the continued challenges with weather in creating a perfect image that was about beautiful, healthy, conditioned hair, that would tell the story of quinoa protein in the products.

“It’s not always about the hair, it’s creating the mood to create the image. And it’s not about YOU. It’s about the model. Editorial style is not the same in real life.”

Understanding what you want from a picture is unique to the subject, Ian says. You have to understand what you are trying to show, tell in the picture. Going back in time a bit to November, 2014 when Aveda shared on their Living Aveda blog Ian’s work featured on the cover of American Salon magazine, Ian spoke of seeking to inspire more diversity with models and how he loves the “in-between” when it comes to images – that place between the current image and the next one about to happen. The image that cannot be recreated, that’s what he’s capturing.

Color Wheel from Ian Michael Black Living Aveda Blog

Color Wheel from Ian Michael Black Living Aveda Blog

“What makes something great is when you create your own version of it.”

Ian doesn’t really think often about what’s happening tomorrow but he will question where he will be in the next five years. Will I be doing the same thing? Will it be different?

Ian didn’t shy away from sharing that this is an industry that requires hard work to start. He urged us to continue on our own journey and make it our own. First, we must master the basics. If we don’t learn to create perfection from the basics, we’ll never learn to advance. This is where establishing trust begins. Trust in the process. Trust in the unknown. Trust in the fear.

“You’ll learn the most when you’re uncomfortable.”

What else did we learn from Ian today? With over 150 of us in the audience today, I’m sure each of us learned something different and the journey will continue to unfold. Having personally watched Ian from afar, in the fan club of many, and seen his work come to life in our Aveda collections, seen him on stage at Congress, seen his work from a screen – having Ian walk from behind-the-scenes in what seemed like a far-away world and suddenly arrive in person, made me realize how our Global company is a community. I was most inspired by him sharing that at Aveda, “the people here work with each other out of respect. You build relationships.”

That’s what it was all about for me today. The inspiration to continue to live the Aveda mission, inspire others and build relationships. And also keep posting Instagrams about my new #avedacolor

Ian Michael Black with Alicia Christus, the voice behind this blog today.

Ian Michael Black with Alicia Christus, the voice behind this blog today.

“What I love most about this career is you don’t have to fit a mold. You don’t have to be anyone else. You don’t have to be the best but you need to be consistent and be consistently good. Do your own thing, don’t be like everyone else.” – Ian Michael Black

Aveda Institute Denver is a school for cosmetology, esthiology and massage and is a part of the Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes in Colorado, Arizona and Utah. We also offer an Editoril ReMix class, a week-long course focusing on editorial photo shoot practice for hair, makeup and the full production of a shoot. For more information about Aveda Institute Denver, visit our Web site or follow along on Facebook: Aveda Institute Denver or on our Instagram or Twitter feed @inspireaveda.

Read More
Aveda Rituals book cover

24 Jan Balancing Beauty and Wellness during Kapha Season

Aveda is rooted in the traditions of Ayurveda, an ancient healing system originating in India. Ayurveda has influenced all forms of modern and alternative medical and healing practices and involves the art of balancing mind, body and being. Fast-forward to today, Aveda’s products and services are inspired by the idea of it’s founder, Horst Rechelbacher, that beauty and wellness work well together. Horst’s vision is also rooted in the Ayurvedic tradition. Products should be healthy and made of pure ingredients rather than toxic petrochemicals and synthetics. Products can be a part of the wellness process.


Ayurveda focuses on balance of the three doshas: Vata (air/infinity energy), Pitta (fire/water energy) and Kapha (water/earth energy). Each of us has a blend of all three of the doshas that govern our mind, body and soul (being). Some of us have more Vata energy so we experience more air and infinity qualities like being cold, dry, quick in movement, enjoy change, have high energy and have a lighter, thinner body frame.

Vata doshas also exhibit dry hair and skin, usually show more nervous energy and have active, restless and creative minds. Vata’s can also be inconsistent and unreliable. Those who have more Pitta energy show more fire/water qualities like being determined, strong leadership, strong focus and sustainable energy. Pitta’s usually have an athletic build, have sensitive skin and have a higher body temperature. They are natural leaders and inspire easily but can also have high tempers and get angry easily. Kapha’s are considered the most fortunate in Ayurveda because they are less likely to become ill and are able to stay in balance more so than the other doshas. Kapha’s usually have thick, lustrous skin, hair and nails. They tend to carry more weight and move slower. Kapha’s are methodical thinkers, loyal and trustworthy.

The doshas also represent the three seasons in Ayurveda and govern certain times of the day:


Kapha season = mid-January to mid-May
Pitta season = mid-May to mid-September
Vata season = mid-September to mid-January

Kapha time = 6 am to 10 am / 6 pm to 10 pm
Pitta time = 10 am to 2 pm / 10 pm to 2 am
Vata time = 2 am to 6 am / 2 pm to 6 pm

Currently we are in Kapha season so no matter what our dominant dosha is, we all experience the elements of water and earth this time of year: slow, thick, heavy, dense, cold and fluid. This is the time of year to slow down, catch our breath and reflect inward more. It’s a time to eat heavier and nourishing meals, rest more often and take time to enjoy life. There’s a delicate balance to drawing in the richness of Kapha energy to soothe and nourish without becoming too sluggish, tired or withdrawn. Daily rituals involving beauty and wellness will help to ensure there’s balance during this time of year.

Kapha daily rituals:


  • rise between 2 – 6 am, waking after 6 am is Kapha energy so it’s more difficult to wake up during heavier, slow energy
  • start with morning stretches, yoga, exercise or meditation to get the body and mind moving and unstuck
  • take pride in self-grooming with hair, skin and aroma – use only natural ingredients and non-synthetics so as not to add more toxins to the body
  • dry brush to help boost skin circulation, remove dead skin cells, and increase skin elasticity
  • drink two glasses of warm water with lemon or apple cider vinegar to help purify the body of toxins
  • enjoy a simple yet hearty breakfast every morning between 6 – 10 am
  • make lunch the biggest meal of the day between 10 am – 2 pm
  • enjoy time to be creative and inspired
  • take time to tune-in and appreciate life
  • eat a simple dinner before 7 pm and allow time for the body to digest and rest before bed
  • minimize TV and screen time, especially before bed


Too much Kapha energy can increase feelings of depression, withdrawal and disconnection. To balance the winter blues, it’s important to stay on routine and make the effort to be social and stay active. There’s less sun energy this time of year so it’s also important to enjoy sunshine by being outdoors when possible as well as increase Vitamin D3 intake. This is a great time to indulge in personal stress-relieving rituals like massage, facials, and play with new hair styles or makeup.

CoBeautifying Radiance Polishming soon to Aveda is the new Beautifying Radiance Polish – the perfect balancing solution during kapha season. This rich and luxurious body scrub will slough away dry skin cells and stimulate skin’s circulation, creating a nourished and beautiful glow.

Aveda’s services are rooted in Ayurveda and use the principles of this healing system to create balance through the products and services. Experience an Elemental Nature spa treatment that is customized to your current dosha or elemental nature of earth, water, fire, air or infinity. For more information about rituals and Aveda products visit www.aveda.com or check out the book Aveda Rituals, by Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Aveda.

Prepared by Alicia Parks Christus for Inspire Greatness Institutes. Alicia is the marketing team lead at Aveda Institute Denver and a certified yoga instructor. She teaches Ayurveda and yoga classes and has led Ayurvedic wellness programs and yoga teacher trainings. For more information email achristus@avedadenver.com or follow along @aliciaraeyoga.

Read More
Indian Sunset giveaway promo

23 Dec Indian Summer Giveaway

Inspire Greatness Institutes is hosting a makeup giveaway on Instagram at @inspireaveda

Enter to win the soon-to-release spring/summer 2016 Aveda makeup collection: Indian Summer. This limited-edition, 10-piece palette highlights the warm colors that burst to life at sunset and the cool, crisp colors of dawn. The colors will create bright, sparkly and also sultry looks perfect for the new summer trends. The winner will also receive a signed copy of the collection book from Aveda Global Artistic Director for Makeup, Janell Geason!

Contest details: Visit the Inspire Greatness Instagram page at @inspireaveda and like the page, the post and tag three or more friends. That’s it! See full contest rules in the post.

Indian Sunset instagram giveaway

About Janell Geason:

Aveda Global Artistic Director for Makeup, Janell Geason, is known for her awe-inspiring creativity, her technical expertise, and her innate ability to connect and inspire her students. Janell was awarded the 2008 and 2009 North American Makeup Artist of the Year and is again nominated in 2013. Her work can be seen in publications such as ELLE, Redbook, Lucky and Women’s Health.

Janell began her career working in Minneapolis as a hairdresser after graduating from Horst Cosmetology School. Her desire to further explore her creativity led her to pursue makeup as an art form. She moved to Europe and worked internationally in the fashion, video and print industry for nearly 9 years.

Upon returning to the United States, Janell’s talent and passion for makeup and education led her to the role of Aveda as Global Artistic Director for Makeup.  She travels globally to teach professional makeup artists and do stage presentations.  Her role includes leading education for Aveda makeup, collaborating on seasonal makeup launches, shade animations and products and images. Every spring and fall, Janell works with a multitude of designers as a lead makeup artist at New York Fashion Week.

Read More
Aveda holiday gift boxes

18 Dec Live the Mission

Live the Mission – Holiday Edition
By Aveda Institute Denver Cosmetology Educator, Danell “D”

The holidays bring a lot of hustle and bustle. This year, think Green when it comes to holiday traditions. With a little effort and imagination, we can reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season.

aveda holiday imageBuy Less = Less is More

Some holiday gifts are more practical and need to be brand new but many gifts are really gestures of thoughtfulness. You can give more while spending less. Not all gifts have to be store-bought. You can give more while spending less by giving gifts that are personal and unique.

Look for locally made gifts. Many gifts in today’s marketplace come from halfway around the world, and the impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation. Gifts made locally often have a story which goes with the gift, since the artisan and the origin of the gift are known.

Support a Cause

Aveda’s gift sets give back this holiday by supporting a small community in Nepal. Aveda purchases the eco-friendly hand-made Lokta bark paper which helps this community thrive. You can learn more about this story by following #LoveForNepal. Each gift set is adorned with a beautiful story about the products and packaging.

Shine Brightly – Minimize Energy

Use LED lights for house and Christmas tree lighting LED (Light Emitting Diode) holiday lights use up to 95 percent less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors.

Holiday candle 2015

Reduce and Reuse  

Large wrapped presents usually have large enough uncreased sections to be reused for wrapping smaller gifts. If you open large gift packages with care, the paper can be set aside for re-use for other gift-giving occasions. Fancy ribbons and bows, of course, can be stored in a box till next year when you’ll appreciate having them around and not having to buy new ones. Aveda gift sets boxes, designed with handmade Lokta bark paper from Nepal, are easily reusable for future gifting or storing holiday ribbon, ornaments and treasures. Another easy tip is to re-use holiday gift cards. Simply cut out the portion that wasn’t written on and re-use as a postcard or make it into a new card, or even a beautiful paper ornament. Get crafty! 

Read More
Shiv Nath speaking at Aveda

17 Dec Shiv Nath Tandon, Aveda Tribal Elder, visits Inspire Greatness

Shiv Nath Tandon, Aveda Tribal Elder
Aveda Institute Denver Master Series

Jamie and Shiv

“It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about what you can create.”

It may seem like a simple message but when it’s delivered by an Aveda legend, the words suddenly have more meaning and the impact of the message becomes a sensory experience. Aveda Institute Denver had the honor of hosting Aveda Tribal Elder, Shiv Nath Tandon as a special guest speaker this week and his message continues to be digested in the hours and days that have followed.


“If you pay attention, you’ll see the answer.”

Shiv’s wisdom was shared through story-telling of his roots with his teacher and how he came to know Horst Rechelbacher, found of Aveda. The two met in India and were both disciples of Swami Rama who comes from the Jnana yoga tradition.* Swami Rama met with Horst when the idea of creating Aveda was just a thought in his mind. He told Horst he should create a cosmetic company and that Horst should take Shiv Nath with him back to America, and so he did. It was here that their bond began and soon they would refer to each other in the highest regard as brothers.


“Logic or trust, which comes first? To believe in the logic, you must establish trust first.”

In India, Shiv studied with Swami Rama and wanted to continue his studies in the mountains but his teacher told him that was not his path. Shiv knew nothing about the industry he would soon spend over 40 years being a part of. He and Horst created the first Aveda product ever, Clove shampoo. In the telling of this story, he giggled his way through how he learned about this industry through Horst’s vision.


Shiv Nath speaking

“If you believe in it, create it.”

When Shiv started working for Horst he was making $2.35 per hour. As Shiv told this story he referred to himself as a money miser, one who is very careful with monetary transactions. He was very clear in stating that this was not a negative for him. He saw value in what he was doing with Horst and felt the love and intention that came with the work he was doing.

“Working hard is about imagination, dedication and sincerity. To live to your full potential, you must be willing to work hard.”

Shiv shared the story of how Horst started his career and at a young age began earning distinguished awards in the industry. He brought the ideas of his mind to life. He saw something and he would work at it till it came to light. This started with Horst walking to his traditional school and on the way he would pass a hair salon.


“Wisdom comes from experience, not from books. Knowledge in books is someone else’s experience. You can’t live on other’s experiences, create your own.”


This is where he felt a calling. One day he walked in to the salon and asked for a job. The owner told him he would hire him and give him a job if he could do two things; keep the water hot (back then it took a while to warm the water before shampooing hair) and keep the salon clean. He did this passionately and in between these duties, Horst would practice his skill set.


As the audience asked questions about what it was like working with Horst, Shiv shared that he was very determined and had the highest expectations when it came to the quality and source of the ingredients. Horst questioned himself and asked Shiv if he was too demanding. With a sincere smile, Shiv told Horst he must be true to who he is.


Shiv and students QA

“Humbleness requires flexibility, which is more important that originality.”


In preparation for Shiv’s presentation, he prepared his mind and body with a 90 minute yoga and meditation practice, noting that this is why he is able to be in balance. Without this practice he couldn’t do this. He only hinted lightly at his teachings and roots in yogic traditions, which are the heart and soul of Aveda today. However, he did take time to share the science behind the power of breath in life with a story of how a cloudy day can change from the light of the sun. This too is how the mind and body become clear of imbalance, through the breath.

As the session came to a close, students had a chance to meet with Shiv individually. He asked each one about their goals, their vision. Each time a student showed a moment of hesitation, he immediately drew them in by reminding them the importance of intention. He didn’t hesitate to connect with touch by a hug, holding hands or a smile.


“It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about what you can create.”

* Jnana yoga is one of the branches of yoga (among Bhakti, Karma, Raja, Tantra and Hatha.  This traditions focuses on knowledge, education and wisdom as the source to understanding true Self.

Read More