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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.

page 4 of 6

April 16, 2008

On May 27, 2007, I graduated from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Illinois, with a bachelor’s degree in English. I started my college career at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and after two years there, I transferred to Elmhurst. When I was told that I had to declare a major, I went for something I knew best, something I was good at. Reading and writing. No math. I told myself I would figure out what to do with it later, and I really hoped that it would all come together.

Sitting at my commencement ceremony on that sunny afternoon, my head couldn’t have felt more clouded. I had no idea where I was headed next. I had looked at a few beauty schools before I even started college, but I was afraid I was making the wrong decision, and my family encouraged me to get my degree. I sat down with a few beauty school admissions counselors and flipped through the textbooks, trying to picture myself as a stylist cutting hair. Though I was somewhat interested at the time, I decided to put it off until after college. I made the decision that if I still hadn’t forgotten about beauty school after another four years of school, then I would definitely go.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in makeup and skin care because I have struggled with skin issues of my own throughout the years. This great passion of mine led me to explore esthetic schools after graduation, which really just confused me even further. Should I choose cosmetology school where they teach you hair, skin and nails, or should I specialize in esthetics and learn just about the skin? Most people don’t realize what a difficult decision that really is. Part of me wanted to know it all, so I was leaning toward a beautiful cosmetology school that I visited. The admissions advisor was so nice and so excited for me, but part of me was still unsure about what program I should to enroll in.

I remember looking at the styling floor and each individual station, trying to picture myself coloring, cutting and creating styles. I think it scared me because I am not even good with my own hair, so I feared that I would not be good at doing anyone else’s. I even e-mailed and called people who were already working in the beauty industry to get their advice, and they certainly helped, but the decision still needed to be made all on my own. It’s like I was waiting for someone to tell me what to do.