Whether you’re considering a career in the beauty industry or wanting to add some new skillsets to your resume, now is a great time to consider becoming an esthetician.
The New York State Department of Labor has projected skin care specialists to be one of the fastest growing occupations, with an estimated growth of 41 percent in New York City in the next 16 years.
“The skin care industry is growing rapidly and I don’t see any slow down in that for years to come,” says Annette Hanson Founder and President of Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics. “I get calls almost every day from spas and skin care businesses looking for highly trained, licensed estheticians.”
Annette recently answered a few questions for us about her interest in skin care and what a career in esthetics entails. Here’s what she had to say:
Can you tell us a little about your professional background?
After graduating from the University of British Columbia, Canada, I pursued my skin care studies abroad in France with Carita, Lancome and Payot. I continued my education studying internationally at the Nemectron Equipment Institute in Germany, the BCM Institute of Thalassotherapy in Brittany, France, and finally with the eminent aromatherapists Micheline Arcier and Eve Taylor in London. I was awarded my French Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP) as well my ITEC diplomas in Beauty and Facial Electrical Treatments, which allow me to practice worldwide. I opened the first ever Estée Lauder counter at Macy’s Department Store in New York City; and I credit that with igniting my passion for business. As the manager, I transformed it into the nation’s highest grossing sales counter in only three months. I later set my sights on opening my first educational facility in the Empire State Building.
My professional experience in skin care spans more than 30 years as an esthetician, body therapist, salon manager, educator and spa consultant for some of the most prestigious spas and salons in the United States. I also created two treatment lines: one for the face using GHK Copper Peptide Technology, and a Marine-Based body line from Brittany, France. I sold both lines to a biomedical company so that I could fully commit to running my esthetics school in Manhattan.
Why are you so passionate about beauty and skin care?
My father was a pharmacist and my mother was the first beauty advisory for DuBarry Cosmetics in Canada. Good customer service was their motto. So, that came naturally to me. Making people happier and getting results is what makes me happy, too! When I take a new client and start a series of skin care treatments and get them on a proper regimen, the results are so GRATIFYING. Not only is it noticeable on the outside; there is a change on the inside too. There is a glow and inner confidence. They radiate, and for that, I love what I do.
What is esthetics?
Esthetics is the business of beauty, and it focuses on skin care for the face and body, including waxing and makeup.
According to the New York State definition: The practice of “esthetics” means providing services to enhance the appearance of the face, neck, arms, legs and shoulders of a human being by the use of compounds or procedures including makeup, eyelashes, depilatories, tonics, lotions, waxes, sanding and tweezing, whether performed by manual, mechanical, chemical or electrical means and instruments but shall not include the practice of electrology.
Esthetics involves improving the appearance of skin in many different ways: performing facials or microdermabrasion procedures, waxing hair, conducting laser hair removal, doing extractions and exfoliation, giving facial massages, and recommending skin care regimes to clientele.
Tell us a little about Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics. What types of programs do you offer?
Atelier Esthétique Institute of Esthetics is a New York State licensing esthetics school and postgraduate facility. We are a member of the prestigious ITEC Colleges from London and the first U.S. school to teach its internationally accredited esthetics program. Atelier offers a New York State 600-Hour Licensing Program, a 75-Hour New York State Waxing Specialist License, a five-day Laser/IPL Hair Removal Certificate course, and a variety of advanced classes. All of our courses are approved by the New York State Education Department.
Can you describe your ideal student?
I have two ideal students. The first is someone who is passionate about learning something new, not afraid to take a chance, and driven to attain another goal: studying 600 hours of theory and practical education to obtain their New York State Esthetician’s license. At Atelier Esthetique, they can study days, evenings or weekends. We have a licensing program that fits virtually any schedule.
The second ideal student is someone who is already licensed but wants to continue learning. They want to add new skills to their resume. They understand getting licensed is only the first step. For these people, we offer Microdermabrasion, Microcurrent and Chemical Peels as well as two international diplomas from the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC). Students with these credentials can work anywhere in the world without having to take another exam.
What sets Atelier Esthetique apart from other beauty schools?
I would say it’s the quality of training, certainly, but also our focus and dedication to our students’ success. And it doesn’t end when they finish a course at our school. We’re here anytime for them. I regularly speak with students who graduated years ago. They call me for advice and guidance. Many of our students have gone on to start their own businesses in the skin care industry. I’m very proud of our graduates.
What are the advantages of having a license and/or certificate in esthetics?
I have always fought for professional standards and licensing in this country. A license protects the safety and health of the consumer. In the U.S., there is not one national license for esthetics. Each state is in charge of its own educational requirements, and all states except Connecticut have a separate Esthetics License with an average of 600 hours of education.
Legally, no one is allowed to perform makeup, waxing or esthetics without a state-approved license. This is a basic license that allows one to start their career.
However, in order to compete in the job market, a newly-graduated esthetician needs to add more education to their resume. These continuing education courses are recognized in other states as long as the course has a state curriculum code, the course is taught by a licensed instructor, and the course is taught in a licensed facility. A good esthetician completes many hours of post-graduate education and strives to stay abreast of the latest developments in skin care.
What trends or innovations do you think everyone interested in esthetics should be following today?
ANTI-AGING is the buzz, and clients are starting at a much younger age. More and more people in their 20s and 30s are beginning to understand that you are NEVER too young to start great skin care habits. Today, it is easy for people to incorporate a good routine into their busy schedules.
Skin care products are getting “smarter.” They are able to promote long-term health and appearance. Cosmetics can even be tailored to one’s own DNA and plasma.
Products and services for men are coming into their own. Now, 47 percent of all “SPA” guests at destination resorts are men.
Anti-Aging is multi-cultural. When you open a business, find out what the predominant ethnicities are and what their needs are.
Clients are looking for an alternative to surgery, so they are turning to Electrical Facial Treatments. In New York City, salons are making their name specializing in Galvanic Current facials, Microcurrent Lifting Facials and LED and Photolight Facials. Laser/IPL Hair Removal is still popular, but Waxing Studios using non-strip wax are equally prevalent. Medical Spas are using laser rejuvenation devices for resurfacing and tightening, as well as chemical peels.
What are your favorite resources for staying up to date with new treatments and trends in your industry? Who do you follow?
Dermascope, Skin Inc. and Les Nouvelles magazines are wonderful resources to keep up on new products and trends in the skin care industry. Become a member of NCEA and you will receive their NETT News, the Esthetics Resource. There are many Professional beauty blogs that I visit regularly.
Visit Beauty Academy to sign up for courses in your state.