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Reflections: The Making of an Esthetician

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: May 28, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Hi! My name is Sandra and I’m an esthetic student. I go part-time and I’ve been in school for six months. I also work full-time as the assistant controller for Allured Publishing Corporation and I’ve been there for eight years.

This is my first blog and I’m really excited about it. I hope everyone will enjoy reading about my journey going to esthetic school as much as I will enjoy writing about it. Before I begin, I’d like to thank everyone at Skin Inc. magazine for giving me this opportunity. I think it’s a great idea and I hope to get lots of feedback, as well as help or encourage others just starting out in esthetic school.

So, first off, a little about myself. I just turned 43 last week, I’m engaged to be married—although a date still has not been set!, and I am switching careers mid-life. It was really scary to think about, but I’ve been going through a HUGE adjustment in my life already, so why not add another one? My mom passed away April 15, 2007, and I was feeling really lost. I needed a distraction and something positive to focus on. My mom’s death made me question a lot of things in my life and one of them was my job. I’ve worked in an office since I was 17 and, although I like accounting, I didn’t love it and I really wanted to love my job. I also didn’t want to look at it as just a job. I started to reflect on my life and the things I loved to do, and figured out how I could incorporate that into making a living for myself. The road that led me to esthetics is a long one and, while it would’ve been nice had I made this decision earlier in life, I certainly don’t regret what I did up to this point. I believe that each job you have is a stepping stone to something even better for yourself, and you never know where it’s going to take you. I certainly didn’t, and, although a lot of people were surprised when I told them about my career change, looking back, it does make sense.

From the time I was 7 until I was 16, I wanted to go to cosmetology school. I loved hair and makeup—I couldn’t wait to wear makeup. When I was 10 or 11, I would sneak off to school wearing my mom’s blue eye shadow (it was the ’70s!). When I was a teenager, I practiced putting makeup on my friends and would style their hair. I even put makeup on my younger brother a couple of times and tried styling his hair! But when I was 16 and had the opportunity to go to cosmetology school, I turned it down. Why? Fear.

Science wasn’t my best subject and I had convinced myself that there was a lot of it in the book the school had given me. None of my friends were going and I didn’t want to go by myself. So even though that was it for my cosmetology career, my interest in hair and makeup never stopped.