Hey, it’s Makeover Time! Or for those who want to look like Gwyneth Paltrow—or, at least, who want to be decently good looking through the workweek—it’s Makeover Monday every week.
Nowadays, it does take a fair amount of effort (and a good part of your salary, too, if you don’t know what you’re doing) to look good. But, banish the worry lines and thank your beauty stars, there’s excellent beauty work from the experts.
Educational credentials, as well as professional pedigree, are increasingly becoming important in a beauty professional’s career advancement, what with Hollywood sense and sensibility being the current norms for beauty. To have the right stuff and to prosper in such an environment, it helps a great deal that a cosmetologist or esthetician can brandish the right certifications. After all, the customer who wants to look like Gwyneth would likely choose an experienced esthetician who has a certificate from esthetician school over someone who only earned her beauty chops from Planet Medusa. The same applies of course to a cosmetologist from a reputable cosmetology training program.
(A short detour: an esthetician is a beauty professional who specializes in hair removal and skin-care techniques and treatments for enhancing an individual’s appearance; a cosmetologist, on the other hand, specializes in nail, hair, and, also, skin care. There’s considerable overlap in their fields of expertise, and either would do wonders for a person’s overall mojo.)
What’s in store for the beauty expert, whether esthetician or cosmetologist?
For starters, an average of $13.81 per hour and close to $37,000 for the typical full-time salon manager, according to snagajob.com. That’s not a bad start by any means, but, of course, higher rates await the beauty professional who’s best equipped to meet his or her client’s beauty-care needs.
Snagajob.com lists three essentials for the salon professional to be successful in the beauty business. The first one is a given, but the other two may surprise many.
Technical skill. It’s not enough that the esthetician or the cosmetologist knows how to do all the usual beauty-care procedures and techniques. It’s one thing to know; it’s a wholly different makeup kit to know and be really good at it. Beauty is not just in the eyes of the beholder, it’s very much also in the hands of the salon professional. In caring for the skin, the esthetician needs to have a thorough knowledge of skin types and the allergies or complications that could arise from certain treatments.
Education. It may surprise many would-be estheticians and cosmetologists that most states now require a license to practice cosmetology or the other beauty-care services, chiefly to address public-health issues and professional-service concerns. To earn these licenses most states require formal training and a licensure exam. License requirements differ from state to state.
Empathy. This is the X factor. Appearance is a sensitive topic for a lot of people and expressing directly and clearly what they want done (or what they think of the result of a treatment) is difficult for them. They may hem and haw or they may react exaggeratedly. The beauty professional who can tread lightly through all this and has empathy—who can best pick up and understand subtle cues from the client—will win a loyal clientele.