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The Making of an Esthetician

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: April 29, 2009, from the May 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

In the spring of 2008, Skin Inc. magazine launched “The Making of an Esthetician,” a blog that followed the education of two very different corporate-culture women journeying into the world of esthetics. Colleen is a fun-loving 20-something who decided to set aside her English degree in order to pursue a career in esthetics. As a 2007 graduate of Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois, Colleen had chosen English as a major because she was good at it. She’d always considered having a career in beauty, but had to overcome expectations and fears to take that first step and enroll in esthetic school.

Her co-contributor, Sandra, is a 40-something who decided that nurturing the soul was more important than spinning the numbers. She became a part-time esthetic student while also a full-time assistant controller, which she has been doing for eight years. Sandra is engaged to be married and is switching careers midlife.

During this blogging experiment, Colleen and Sandra offered insightful and candid posts, sharing their successes and failures with an audience of concerned and helpful spa professionals. Now, almost six months into their time as licensed professionals themselves, Skin Inc. magazine has asked Colleen and Sandra to share some of their favorite posts, as well as the comments they found to be most helpful in their rookie year in the industry.

Colleen’s lessons

Colleen has decided to remain at her full-time job at a retirement planning company, but also is involved in two separate esthetic ventures. “I am working for two hair salons that have spa rooms in them, and it’s been so wonderful getting to know all of the other employees and also getting to do a little bit of hands-on training. One of the salons has been around for 14 years, and the woman who is training me is a licensed cosmetologist who gives an amazing facial, and we take turns practicing on each other to help me learn. I have successfully picked it up and I am now taking clients!” says Colleen. “The other salon opened at the end of summer 2008, and the stylists, the massage therapist and the other esthetician have come from other places, so they brought over all of their clients to the new place, which is great for me. They introduce me to everyone and it allows me to chat with them, get to know them and let them know what kind of treatments I can offer in the spa room.”

Looking back, she says she received many great comments, especially on the post “The Importance of Home Care,” which details Colleen’s own battles with acne and the scars that resulted from past extractions. In the post, she explains how working with good products at home helped her overcome her skin concerns, and she reveals her desire to help clients choose the right home care products, as well.