What is an esthetician, and how do you become one?

by: Veronica Gorgeois

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hello again everyone today I'm going to answer one of the longest standing unanswered questions that I have ever had I've been getting this question for over three years and I keep saying I'll make a video about it and I just never do so today I'm just gonna get it out of the way what is an esthetician and how you become one I'm an esthetician as you guys probably know that means that in the United States I have a state license to practice skincare I am licensed in the state of California and that means that I went to a school that is most commonly referred to as a beauty school but also known as cosmetology school and I did a program that is six hundred hours of study and practical application and then I took a state-run exam to go license so what estheticians do estheticians in the United States I have no idea what the laws are in any other country but in the United States you have to have an aesthetician license to perform facials to perform waxing and that's kind of important because a lot of manicures perform waxing which they are not legally allowed to do in any state as far as I'm aware but aestheticians are allowed to perform facials waxing body treatments so things like body scrims depending on the state of variety of other things which could include eyelash tinting eyelash extensions makeup application I usually do not need a specific license to apply makeup but technically if you were a makeup artist and you started tweezing someone up someone's eyebrows you would be breaking a lot in many states including California people do it anyway it's not the biggest deal in the world but technically you need a license to do that as far as the more so uh have you become an aesthetician you go to a cosmetology school and just briefly it's not very important which school you go to because most cosmetology schools don't teach you very much they teach you what you need to know to pass your state board exam to get your license and then in my case in particular almost everything I know that is useful I learned after school I went to a school in California called Santa Monica College this was over eleven years ago but the school is still running its cosmetology program as far as I knew this was again 11 years ago College is a Community College it was the cheapest program I could find in Los Angeles because I'm super broke at the time and the 600 hours cost me I think with supplies and everything it was between like six and seven thousand dollars I want to say and that was at a time when the tuition rates were very very low so I imagine it's quite a lot higher now and that was the cheapest at the time so a cosmetology school is pretty expensive but it is a relatively short program with high relatively high earning potential as far as trade licenses go so the three licenses at a cosmetology school are excitation licensed manicurist license or nail tech depending on where you are and cosmetology license and cosmetology covers all three it covers hair skin and nails very few cosmetologist practice anything but hair maybe you know waxing and makeup but very few cosmetologist will also do facials and nails it's just not really something that they're interested in so there's a lot of debate about whether cosmetologist really need to do the extensive study and in skincare and nail application that manicurist in esthetician scene anyway so that is inter nutshell what an aesthetician is and how you become one the process of getting licensed is time-consuming and exhausting but it's not necessarily difficult if you are a relatively smart person going to be school is pretty boring it's not very exciting at least it wasn't at my school there are some schools that teach more advanced procedures these are going to be more expensive and those procedures like microdermabrasion or chemical peels or things like eyelash extensions may or may not be part of the state curriculum so to get a license you may not need to know how to do microdermabrasion but you need to learn how to do it at some point so a lot of schools offer advanced training on these types of procedures the state curriculum changes periodically and so beauty schools adhere to that very strictly because their purpose is to get you licensed their purpose is not to make you the best aesthetician you can be it's to get you your license so you can start working and where you get your knowledge is from independent study from trade shows from working primarily like the best thing you could possibly do is find someone who's experienced who will take you on to do simple tasks and to get you started or to work in a place that provides training and there are places like Brook Williams that I'm not a fan of because they basically want you to do like two months of unpaid training before you start working and then they don't pay you very much but for people starting out since you don't have a lot of skills and you don't have any experience it can be helpful to kind of learn how to do things so working for like a corporate type spa that provides a substantial amount of training can be beneficial you're just probably going to make less money which is normal because you're not gonna start out right out of beauty school making a lot of money so again beauty school is to prepare you for your exam unless you can afford a beauty school that is going to teach you more advanced procedures which absolutely do if you can if you aren't able to do that they didn't really have those 11 years ago this is a relatively new thing that I'm hearing about from other people and apparently some states are doing an additional tier of licensing for advanced procedures which i think is actually a pretty good idea that did not exist in the days when I was licensed though or when I got licensed so that would cover things like microderm chemical peels derma planing anything that might be done in a medical spot oh and if you do have an opportunity to work in a medical spa I highly recommend it not necessarily because I'm a fan of doctors but because you learn a lot of other kinds of procedures like you're not really going to do things like derma planing which is shaving the the surface of the skin with a surgical scalpel outside of a many spot and it's good to know about that stuff just to know what it does to get the experience working with it and also working alongside nurses who operate the laser procedures yeah you just learn a lot of other stuff about cryotherapy which is taking dried ice and running it over the skin with medical grade acetone it's like crazy crazy sci-fi stuff that you get to do which can be super fun and the procedures are quite effective they do have higher risks associated with them and they are more controversial but if you have the opportunity to do it I absolutely recommend that you do I did work in the plastic surgeon's office it was a very interesting experience to say the least and we did a lot of press events and yeah it was it was interesting and definitely worth the experience so that's all I can think of right now I hope that answered the question what is it what does an aesthetician an aesthetician is someone who is professionally licensed to practice skin care to practice skin care waxing and make up body treatments not spray spray tanning is part of our job usually but I don't think you need a license to do that as far as I know the licensing requirements will vary by state and definitely by country as far as I know Australia does not even have this profession there is no such thing as anaesthetic license in Australia from what I've heard and that may or may not be true where you live so if this is something you have thought about if you are researching the schools or just looking for something to do with your life that involves aesthetics that was helpful let me know if you have any other questions about being an aesthetician what we do about cosmetology school anything of that nature please do read the videos through description before you ask your question though because I do put a lot of information in the description and I will not answer questions that are answered in there and do check my facebook page as usual that whole thing



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Video Notes: How to find a good esthetician: http://on.fb.me/1qTUw7H

Esthetician license program hours vary by state, but it is usually around 600 hours. In a full time program, that works out to about 6 months. States with dual-tiered licenses will obviously have other requirements. The reason I say beauty school is boring is that you spend a lot of time learning the extremely specific and tedious state board rules, which you must know to pass your board exam. There are rules about *everything*, from how to store cotton pads to what kind of garbage cans you must use, how you must lay implements on a surface, and how many exits a business must have. The state board may inspect your business at any time, and you will be fined for breaking any of the rules. Otherwise you spend the time in school learning anatomy, basic techniques and procedures, some chemistry, and you spend a large percentage of your hours working on clients in the practical lab. You must perform a certain number of each type of service under your license (facials, waxing, eyelash/eyebrow tinting, makeup), then you just work until your hours are complete. You usually will only work with one or two different product lines (SMC used Bioelements when I was there), and a lot of your knowledge of products is based on how many lines you work with over time. Go to as many trade shows as you can, and take classes--preferably non-branded classes, like CIDESCO certification courses (which are great for your resume), but expose yourself to as much as possible. Santa Monica College's website: http://www.smc.edu/academicprograms/cosmetology/Pages/default.aspx

Costs will vary by state and program. Tuition when I was in at SMC was very low--around $13 per unit--and has skyrocketed due to cuts in education funding. It's now $46 per unit. :/ The state board exam is done in two parts: written and practical. The practical exam was quite easy imo, you just need to show that you understand the (extremely specific and tedious) state board rules for procedures. The written test is substantially more difficult, and will cover all of the information you learned as part of the state board curriculum, including the specific and tedious rules. Please don't ask me what I think of a particular school--I have absolutely no idea. Check reviews and ask around your area to find out what a program is like. But again, state board curriculum is strict, and aside from schools that offer advanced training (or something like Aveda that has its own corporate branded techniques), the programs won't vary much. Licenses must be renewed every two years, by mail or online. Your license is only valid in your state, unless you complete what is called "reciprocity" with another state (states with programs under 600 hrs may not be eligible for reciprocity with other states). Check with each state's cosmetology board for reciprocity requirements. Good luck to anyone pursuing your license! I do not give personalized recommendations in video comments or answer private messages. It is just not feasible for me to do so. I will try my best to answer questions in future videos, in facebook notes or (whenever I get around to it) in blog posts, but I regret that it is not possible to answer thousands of questions individually. Please check my back catalog of videos and facebook notes--there is a lot of information in each! ---------------- Hi, I'm Veronica! This is my 10th anniversary of becoming an esthetician, and I'm happy to share the wisdom that I've gathered over the years with all of you. My resume includes practicing in a famous LA plastic surgery center's medical spa, a five-star hotel and two of the most famous waxing institutions in Beverly Hills. My skin care philosophy may be a bit different than a lot of what you hear about on the internet, but it's based on many years of professional and personal experience and study. If anything that I say is helpful to you, I would sincerely appreciate if you take a moment to share my videos! Thank you, xo
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