“It’s a slow process, but quitting won’t speed it up.”
I receive a lot of questions about going to beauty school so I wanted to start implementing a few posts answering common questions, sharing my experiences, etc.
A little bit of a backstory, I graduated from the Esthetics program at a local academy in June 2012.
It is a 600 hour program - each state varies slightly in their requirements so do your research to find out what your state requires! (Cosmetology and nail programs vary in hour requirements as well.) I passed the state board exams and received my Esthetics license shortly thereafter. Once I was licensed, I focused mainly on makeup for the next few years before I started as the Esthetics educator at the school I graduated from. I taught the Esthetics program as well as the eyelash extension courses, the Makeup Designory courses and weekend workshops for 2 years before I made the move to work for myself. I'm now in my 2nd year of owning my business and have definitely had many highs and lows along the way.
Here are just a few things I've learned since graduating…
❀ 1. Make the best out of every situation. ❀
This goes for everything in life. But when it comes to school, we all go into it with certain expectations. I can just about guarantee that your time in school won’t go the way you imagine it will. That’s a pretty broad statement to make, I know, but trust me on this. Chances are, your career will end up being different than you picture it as well! Be open to everything. Learn as much as you can, soak up all the knowledge being thrown at you. Take the highs and lows as an opportunity to grow. Even when you have the chance to learn something you aren't particularly interested in, try it anyways. If you hate it, you never have to do it again because in this industry you have so many options... But you never know, you may find a new love you didn't even expect!
❀ 2. Graduation is just the beginning. ❀
Beauty school is to prep you to pass the state boards. Period.
You learn the basics - whether it is esthetics, cos or nails - if there are extra courses within your program (a makeup course, for example) consider that a bonus.
You learn a lot while in school… So much that your head will spin and you'll cringe every time you start a new chapter or have to take a test but you will be astounded at the amount you learn once you graduate. You think you've got facials down, you can do them in your sleep…. And then you'll start your first job at a spa and they will teach you an entirely different way to do them. You've memorized the product line at your school and could sell that charcoal detox mask to an 80 year old man but welcome to your new job - here's a big ol binder of an entirely new brand's products that you have to learn now.
The learning NEVER ends in this industry. There is always a new product, a new technique, a new machine.
Our graduation cake… This post is such a trip down memory lane! :)
❀ 3. Your vision will probably grow/evolve over the years. ❀
You may have started the program with visions of becoming a celebrity makeup artist: you follow over 200 beauty "gurus" and can slay your makeup to the Gods…. And then you learn waxing and realize… Holy shit, this is fun. I could totally inflict smallish amounts of pain on people every day (haha)
Or maybe you have the dream of starting your own business and having employees… But later on realize that you are totally not cut out to be the boss of anyone and prefer being able to leave work at work.
Whatever your vision is and whatever your vision becomes - is okay.
I think almost everyone starts off in this industry with the goal of working for themselves. It seems glamorous, but the truth is… It's not. It is balancing 50 plates at once. It's being the boss, employee, janitor, bookkeeper, salesperson, receptionist and customer service all in one. It's hard and it’s not for everyone. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an employee rather than a business owner. You'll find your place in this industry; there are sooooooo many different things you can do!
❀ 4. Some jobs will be really shitty. ❀
I hated my first job. My boss was terrible. I cried every single morning before work. It was really rough and it tested my love for this industry. For a solid year or so, I really wondered if this was what I was meant to do. Don't let a crappy job make you doubt yourself!
Insert rule #1 here…. You've gotta make the best out of it. Pick everyone's brain that you work with, learn as much as you can, practice as much as you can, build relationships with your clients and grow! Push yourself to succeed and plan for the future. This job may not be what is best for you but it will prepare you for the right one.
❀ 5. Find your tribe. ❀
A support system is key. Family/friends/significant other/mentor - you will need people in your life that you can talk to, share your ideas with, vent to when you've had a bad day, cry and laugh with. Starting a new career is draining and exhilarating all at once and having good people by your side, cheering you on, makes the ride a little bit easier. The friends I have made in this industry keep me sane. The love & support from my family and boyfriend have helped me through the darkest times and motivated me to start my business. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the help.
I'd also highly recommend finding a mentor when you are first starting out, it's one thing I still wish I had to this day. A mentor is someone experienced in the industry that can answer any questions you have, give advice/suggestions and guide you on your path. They are an invaluable friend to have!
These are just a few things I've learned over the years but there is plenty more! Please leave a comment below with any suggestions for these beauty school posts! Anything you'd like to see or have answered!