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A Casual Sit-down With Michelle Obama's Esthetician

Posted: March 5, 2013
JoElle Lyons-Lee, esthetician for Michelle Obama

page 8 of 13

Well, first of all, you’ll find the bulk of people of color having and delivering services in major cities. Let’s begin with the cosmetology boards in those cities. They need to increase the hours for esthetic training. I did an initial 750 hours, another 1000 hours to get a teacher’s license and felt as though I could have easily used another 1000 in foundational education.

So you don’t think the 300 hours required in certain states is sufficient?

Well, I don’t know what they could learn in that time. Maybe working at a corporate spa is different because it’s more about what you sell, not so much the service.

But the estheticians at hotel spas are not taught sales skills or engagement either. They’re taught product knowledge. We both know it’s not the same.

I think the hotel is saying, look, our customers are transient anyway. They’re in and out; they probably have their facialist at home. And here’s the other issue; most estheticians go somewhere to work and there’s a manual. And they read if the client’s skin is a certain type, then they should do this facial. And if it’s another type, then they should do that facial. I call them cookie-cutter estheticians. And the five star hotels and signature brand spas are like factories. I think it is necessary to teach the estheticians to do a quick accurate skin analysis so that the client leaves feeling educated and buying products based upon knowledge,, not just someone selling. But honestly I’ve taught many students, and I find that a relatively small percentage of girls are really doing what they want to do anyway.

See JoElle Lee speak at Face & Body Midwest!

Join us at theFace & Body Midwest Advanced Education Conference Program, where JoElle will kick off the day with an inspirational presentation! She will talk about her career trajectory and motivate you on how to make the most of your journey; how to remain successful in this ever-changing industry; and how to set attainable goals while increasing your self-confidence. Register now!