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An Industry of Progress, Part II

By: Mario Montalvo
Posted: October 28, 2011, from the November 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 6 of 8

7. Voila; madame was done!

This type of curriculum was universal in most cosmetology schools well into the 1970s and early 1980s. Most instructors and cosmetology school owners were simply following criteria set by the state’s cosmetology board and, for many years, curricula never changed or adapted to fit the times. This was due, in part, to the fact that board members were often politically appointed and were not necessarily cosmetology instructors or school owners. The main focus of these boards was on public safety, not education.

As luck would have it, new changes were looming, and schools would have no choice but to expand in a different direction or remain dinosaurs in a career field that was on the brink of a new frontier. Fortunately, many of the schools became esthetic pioneers and implemented esthetic curricula that impacted the skin care industry positively. Curiously, the very same thing is occurring today, but with happier results as more and more schools are adopting readily to changes.

The introduction of the estheticienne

In Europe, education, beauty products, equipment and practitioners were burgeoning at a prolific rate, so North America was in perfect alignment for the introduction of the estheticienne, and two female pioneers, Edith Serei and Christine Valmy, were destined to make esthetic history in North America.

Edith Serei. Based in Canada, Edith Serei was a Hungarian-Frenchwoman who received her first formal training in Paris under Dr. Simon-Alban Peytoureau, considered one of the founding fathers of modern esthetics. In 1956, Serei opened her first beauty institute in Montreal. Realizing that there was very little formal esthetic training there, she soon opened the first of four schools in Montreal. Serei devised one of the first training programs for esthetics in North America and together with Fernand Aubrey, created a makeup method application based on psycho-morphology. In 1962, she founded the Canadian Aesthetics Committee, which was affiliated with CIDESCO.