When I first started thinking about a career as an esthetician more than 10 years ago, I merely thought of the words “beauty school” and I immediately cut to images of Frenchie from the 1978 hit film Grease. You remember her – the bubble-gum-chewing cosmetologist with matching pink tresses being crooned to by a dreamy Frankie Avalon.
Fast forward more than a decade and my interest in organic and natural beauty products has surged. I’ve been an independent representative for Miessence since 2014, and I finally decided that becoming a licensed esthetician would be a natural extension of connecting with all of you beautiful people through My Organic Beauty Bar.
I’d like to say that all beauty schools are NOT created equal. I’ve researched many schools in various cities that I’ve lived in over the past 5 years. Once my boyfriend and I decided to relocate back to Southern California, choosing Bellus was a no brainer.
And to boot, Bellus Academy won the prestigious award of “Best Academy in North America Continent 2015” by Intercoiffure, an influential organization in the beauty industry.
Bellus Academy came across professionally in all aspects of communication; from email and phone to the open house I attended prior to enrolling. See for yourself in this video that highlights the master esthetics program:
I’m not gonna lie. On my first day, I suspected I might be surrounded by bubble-gum chewing gossipers fresh out of high school. But much to my delight, there is a lovely assortment of mature and fun gals in my basic esthetics class. They range in age from recent high school grads who are very mature all the way up to women in my 40ish age bracket, as well as ladies in their 20s and 30s. I love diversity and our class is great mix of local San Diegans to girls who came from as far away as Seattle, Detroit, and even London!
We are guided by the confident and stunning Ms. Lorissa. She is the perfect teacher for esthetics if I could ever dream one up. She is a Russian beauty with an accent to match. She has a knack for balancing discipline, fun, and curriculum to a melting pot of eager students. She is like having a skin care fairy godmother. She tells it like it is but you can tell she truly loves her students and that she wants each and every one of us to succeed.
We have a test on the previous week’s theory every Tuesday. So far, I’ve scored a 92% or higher (but I’ve only taken 3 tests). They are typically multiple choice, but I wouldn’t call them easy. Just make sure you study, and you should be fine.
Classes run Tuesday-Saturuday. Tuesday through Friday, we usually have several hours of business and esthetics theory in class each week, practice for the state boards, a product/procedure demo, and practical hours where we get to practice what we’ve learned.
Saturdays are our “clinic” days. Right now we can invite friends and family to come to the school where we practice our newly learned techniques. In return, they receive a facial with professional Murad skin care products, and they only pay $15!
I was surprised at how confident I actually felt for my first clinic facial. I attribute that to our fearless leader and the support of the other girls in the class who have been very encouraging, along with my hours of facial massage practice. I also have my own mentors outside of school, including the talented and amazing Dawn Fall.
When I met Dawn, she was an experienced esthi (slang for esthetician!) at a local day spa close to where I lived. Today, Dawn is the proud principal of Dawn Fall Spa on Main. She is a HUGE reason why I wanted to get into this business. She was my esthetician for more than 10 years and I hope she will continue to be my mentor as I enter this industry. (If you’re anywhere near Hopkinton, MA, and want your skin to look and feel amazing, I highly recommend booking a treatment with her, pronto! Dawn is a natural in this industry. She loves what she does and she loves helping people to relax, feel pampered, and tackle their skin concerns. She uses amazing products and gives THE BEST scalp massage I have ever had.)
Getting back to Bellus, we each have a mannequin-type head that we can practice on, too. It’s mainly for when we take our state board exam, but it’s better than nothing when you don’t have a model to practice on.
I love, love, loved learning the facial massage techniques. I have always wondered how an esthetician can flow their hands over your face as it seems like they are never losing contact with your skin. I’m learning. It’s fun. And it’s a lot easier than you might think. It just takes a lot of repetition to get it down. I’m still working on perfecting it.
My biggest barrier so far: WAXING! I have been SO afraid of learning how to wax. I’ve only been waxed a few times myself. They weren’t horrific experiences, but I’ve opted for laser and electrology over the years, and have often wondered why anyone would ever opt for waxing. As it turns out, waxing is big business in the beauty world and can be a great way to keep your schedule full. Out here in CA, we have whole storefronts dedicated solely to waxing! I’m not thrilled about waxing, but I’ve already started visiting potential spas I’d like to work in, and many of them require you to be able to wax efficiently, so I’m determined to improve my technique and not be so timid.
While waxing a fellow classmate, I kept stopping to ask, “Are you okay?” I felt like I was torturing her. Waxing is a physical job. Very physical. But as our Waxxxpress demo teacher told us, “It’s just hair and skin.” If you can look at it that simply, I suppose you can just get down to business. But I’m still in the I’m-not-so-sure-how-I’m-going-to-do this phase.
Thankfully, most everyone in class is pretty new to it, too. So we’re all learning. Some are taking to it naturally and absolutely love it. I want to love it, but I’m just not there yet. (It’s only week 4! I’m thinking of signing up for private waxing lessons in hopes it will help me be more confidant so that I can tackle any wax before me. Stand by for that update!)
What do I love most about school so far? Connecting more with people. I love our clinic days when friends and family come in for facials and I get to show off my new vocation. Every week I have more and more services to offer, and my new clients are seemingly quite impressed with how professional my treatments are considering my short tenure at Bellus.
I also love my classmates. There is camaraderie among our class that I hope continues through to graduation. There’s no drama, no pink hair (though I love pink hair!), and no crooning Frankie Avalon.
During my first week of class, I had the pleasure of meeting with Lynelle Lynch who is the Bellus Academy President. I was so inspired by her story and how she is on a mission to revolutionize the beauty industry one student at a time. I’d say with all of the industry recognition that she and Bellus have already received, that they’re well on their way.
Week 4 started with a presentation from the folks at Oozle Media who gave us tips on how to promote ourselves online. Hopefully, these will come across seamlessly as you’re visiting my other social channels. 😉
The hardest part of my schooling, believe it or not, is the commute. I live about 45 mintues (without traffic) from the school. But since we are in Southern California, I’ve been averaging about 3 hours each day total drive time. That’s a lot of time to be in the car. Luckily, it’s only temporary, and it’s all for a worthy cause. And that makes my 5:45 a.m. wake-up calls much easier.
I only have about 4 months and 1 week left of my program. It’s zooming by and I still feel like we have so much more to learn, and I’m certain we do. Stay tuned for more updates on my Bellus experience.
Have you thought about going back to school for esthetics, maybe even at Bellus Academy? Let me know if there are any questions I can answer.
If you haven’t heard the exciting news, I’m walking away from a 17-year career to start a new one. And as exciting as it is, I’m also downright terrified.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but I’ve had plenty of inspiration that I hope will help you make changes big or small. But you can do it, too, and the sky is the limit. I know everyone says that, but if I can do this, trust me, ANYone can, even you.
I’ve wanted to make a career change for a long time now. I’ve been working in the same field for nearly 15 years. Almost half of that time I spent with one company. In most people’s eyes, I’ve had a fairly successful run of things. I’ve taken on more responsibility and more money with each job.
But eventually, I felt burnt out. I no longer enjoyed my job, the deadlines, the commute. There is nothing worse than waking up each day and not looking forward to what awaits you. I spent anywhere from 40-60 hours a week at a job that I eventually learned to loathe.
That should be inspiration enough to move on, right? Well, it can get comfortable bringing home that paycheck, racking up vacation time and 401K dollars, and commiserating with the same folks, day after day.
Read Between The Lines
While I’ve finally turned down a different path, it was quite a process to get here. Years ago I remember reading Dr. Susan Jeffers best-selling self-help book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyways.
After racing through it cover to cover, I thought my life had changed forever. I may have handled myself differently in different situations, but looking back, I don’t believe I made any monumental breakthroughs at that time in my life. But it’s okay. I think maybe it planted the seeds for creating great change down the road.
Creating Powerful Experiences
In my late 20s, I attended the BASIC and PSI VII events at PSI Seminars. These were game changers for me. They truly opened my eyes to seeing things differently. This helped me catapult my excitement for change, and I left feeling refreshed and energized for everything that came my way.
There’s Tony Robbins and women’s only events, yoga weekends and women’s only retreats. What do you want to get out of a workshop? Do a little digging. I guarantee you’ll find just what you’re looking for. It’s a great way to bond with others looking to make similar changes and to create a network to keep in touch with long after the event is over.
Try It On For Size
I thought about entering the skincare and beauty industry years ago. I was all wrapped up in my corporate career, but one year, in between jobs, I went and got a front desk job at a local day spa to see what I could learn.
I ended up working for the company for 5 months before I got a call to come back to corporate life. But it gave me a taste of what the industry could be like.
You could also look for part-time hours in another field, just to get a taste. I used to work part-time in retail at a high-end clothing store just to get a discount. I ended up spending more money there than I made at the store! But I had an amazing wardrobe!
I became a rep for Miessence a little over a year ago. I was looking for my own organic skincare to use daily and once I found the company, I was so impressed that I wanted to share it with everyone! Promoting Miessence is my part-time gig, but it helped fuel my desire to explore a new career in skincare.
Talk About It
Try to find an in. There’s always a way. Look for introductions from friends and colleagues or connections on LinkedIn. Seek out advice from anyone you admire in the field, and don’t be afraid to call on people if you don’t know any.
Most people are flattered to have someone seek their advice. When I was thinking about a career in the beauty industry, I spoke to my own practitioners, I went and visited vocational schools, I discussed my ideas with my boyfriend, friends and family, and I kept the dialogue open for several years.
These people are now my mentors. It took me many conversations, emails, and phone calls to help me make my decision. But talking it through so thoroughly really helped me to see things from all angles and feel empowered to finally make the change.
Take a Leap of Faith
In the end, I was excited about my new direction, even though I still wasn’t 100% sure. It was super scary to walk away from my 15-year career, the friends I made at work, the paycheck and benefits – essentially I am starting all over again.
But finally I just decided to take the leap and ever since I made the decision, I have felt more free, more relaxed and happier! Yes, even with very little income at the moment, I feel happier. Just having finally make a decision feels good.
I don’t know where I’ll end up in this industry, but I’m excited to find out.
Don’t Stop Believing
There is no magic to making change. What I’ve learned is that we all have to find those experiences, those mentors and that motivation. Your path is going to look very different from mine (I hope!). And just because I’m making a big change doesn’t mean I’m done evolving. Not by a long shot.
Keep dreaming, keep reaching, keep asking the important questions and eventually, your small steps will eventually lead you to the top of the staircase. You will get there.
What changes would you like to make in your own life? What changes are you making in your life that could inspire others? What’s holding you back? What’s one thing you can do today to help you feel like you’re doing something about it?
Winter is finally here, snowfall and all (Yes, poor me, blizzardless in sunny California). And I don’t know about you, but my skin is not enjoying this dry weather. So….it’s important now more than ever to understand your skin type so you can properly nourish and protect that beautiful skin of yours!
Skincare should be an essential part of your daily hygiene. This means daily cleansing, moisturizing, sun protection, and avoiding harsh products
In order to have an effective skincare routine, you need to understand what products will work for your skin’s unique needs.
The first step is figuring out…
“What’s my skin type?”
The type of skin you have depends on the amount of oil and water in your skin. If these are not in balance, your skin will pay the price. So if your skin has too much oil, you may be more prone to acne. If it’s too dry, you may suffer from tightness and unwanted peeling.
To help get the skin care party started, Miessence has created a line of purely natural, certified organic skincare products based on 4 typical skin types: normal, oily, dry, and combination.
Download this image by clicking here.
If you’re unsure which type of skin you have, here’s a great at-home method to help you identifying it.
Now you’re ready to answer the next important question:
“What products are right for my skin?”
Real Simple has a great survey to help determine what products are right for your skin.
Remember to avoid harmful additives that can hurt the skin. Refinery29 lists some great hints for knowing when to eliminate products from your regimen. After you do this, it’ll be far easier to figure out the right products for you.
Looking at the Miessence skin care profiles, each one has 3 basic Miessence products for each skin type – a cleanser, skin conditioner and moisturizer. But you can also mix and match products recommended for each skin type to create your own customized organic beauty bar.
There is a whole range of purely natural Miessence skin care products to add on to the basic skincare regimen depending on your skincare goals. For example, an exfoliator should be used 1-3x week to help remove dead skin and keep skin looking fresh and bright, a blemish gel can zap minor or sudden breakouts, or an intense moisture serum can help prevent signs of aging. If it’s a concern, chances are, Miessence has a product for that.
Once you’ve got your basic skin care routine in place, you can add additional products to create a luxurious facial experience at home. The Miessence Organic Facial Spa Ritual will leave your skin pampered, nourished and looking radiant. I do this at home once a week in between my professional monthly facials to help my skin feel balanced, and to create some extra-special “me” time. It’s also perfect for helping you look your best before heading out for a special event.
I like to line up my products along the edge of my tub, light a candle and fill a hot tub. While soaking, I go through the Miessence facial steps, and when I’m done, I’m feeling relaxed and oh-so pretty!
But getting back to your skin type, if you’re still not sure what you skin type is, I highly recommend that you see an experienced esthetician or dermatologist who can look at your skin and help pinpoint your skin type and recommend a skincare regimen.
Once you know, email me for personal, certified organic skincare recommendations based on your skin type.
Here’s to staying beautiful, naturally and creating a skin care routine that can help keep your skin looking pretty all year long.
One of my intentions for the year is to lead by example. One way I plan to do that is to trade sugars and sweets for more healthy indulgences. So when my fellow Miessence representative shared this mouthwatering recipe that combined one of my favorite treats (whipped cream) with one of my favorite Miessence super foods (Miessence Complete Protein Powder), I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. Here’s to a sweet and satisfying 2016!
- 2 cans of full fat organic coconut milk (do not shake; you want the water and cream to separate)
- 2 tablespoons of Miessence Complete Protein Powder
- 1 tablespoon organic maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of Himalayan salt
- Refrigerate coconut milk for 24-48 hours.
- Place a metal bowl and beaters in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes to an hour prior to starting the recipe.
- Remove the coconut milk from the refrigerator (should be separated – cream on top and coconut water at the bottom). Scoop the cream out and place it in the chilled bowl. You can keep the coconut water to make ice pops or smoothies.
- Incorporate all the ingredients in the chilled metal bowl. Beat on high, until the whipped cream is nice and thick.
- Serve immediately on top of fresh fruits, your favorite desserts or even on pancakes!
Happy New Year MOBBsters!
I don’t know about you, but I was so unbelievably ready for 2016. After a massive (but successful) move across the country, I’ve settled in and am full of excitement and motivation to plant some roots and make big changes.
In fact, the first change I made was to throw my list of resolutions right out the door. (Yup! Out the door!) This year, i’ve opted for intentions instead. In the past, I’d usually feel defeated by now, having lost sight of my resolutions by mid January. This year I’m feeling empowered by aligning my thoughts to my goals. And you can, too, with this subtle shift.
Setting powerful intentions is important because it helps you visualize and feel the purpose behind your goals. Whether you believe it or not, you tend to achieve what you set your mind to if you are determined enough. By setting your intentions, you align your thoughts and gracefully remind yourself of the mindset you want to be in. This will lead to a happy and healthier you!
Deepak Chopra advocates intention setting and explains it as: “the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love. Intention is the starting point of every dream.”
I first learned about intentions…
I first learned about intentions in a yoga class about 10 years ago with Susie Masters at State of Grace Wellness. My lovely teacher taught a mind-body practice that incorporated quieting the mind, developing the breath, and learning to listen to your body.
Susie would lead the class by asking us to set an intention, either something for ourselves, or by dedicating our practice to someone else. This was a powerful lesson for me. In the beginning I would lay there with my eyes closed trying to figure out the perfect intention or dedication.
But after becoming more comfortable in my practice, I learned to let go. I began to set my intention or dedication with the first thing that came to me. I learned to trust my instincts and stopped trying to control every little thought.
Meditation, even in it’s simplest form, can truly help you quiet your mind and learn to trust your truest intentions. It may not be pretty in the beginning, it may feel uncomfortable. But most anything that is new and requires change, will not always be comfortable, and that’s ok. Keep practicing setting intentions. It will become more natural to you over time.
I’ve shared my 2016 intentions with all of you below:
Feel free to some of mine, or have fun creating your own. For even more inspiration, Mind Body Green’s list of the top intentions for an authentic life include:
– I intend to manifest happiness naturally
– I intend to respond first, and then react
– I intend to forgive others, and myself
– I intend to make someone smile every day
Powerful intentions are shaped by knowing what’s most important to you. So, now that I have given you some examples of intentions, it’s your turn to ask yourself,
“What intentions am I setting for the new year?”
Please feel free to share them below!
Remember when setting your intentions to “keep at it” and learn to listen and trust yourself. My hope for you in the New Year is that you remain focused on your journey and not your destination. Leave behind what doesn’t allow you to grow and find what inspires you. Let your intentions fuel you, guide you, and nourish you.
Here’s to hoping 2016 is your best year yet!