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Here Comes the Bride... and a Lucrative Beauty Career

Soon-to-be-bride Kristen Rounds never had a reason to get a peel treatment for her face. But with her wedding day quickly approaching, she wants to look flawless. Just as important as booking her hall, the florist, DJ, and the photographer was finding a beauty professional who could help get her to become the vision-of-beauty bride she has always imagined.

Salon Services
Kristen, who plans to receive skin peel services in preparation for her wedding day, finds no reason not to splurge on her wedding beauty preparation. "A series of peels will not only rid my skin of brown spots, but will also brighten my skin. It's ideal for my big day."

According to The Wedding Report, there was an average of 2.2 million weddings in 2007, with about $169 spent on hair and makeup services at each wedding. This means that in 2007, the total average spent on bridal beauty services was approximately $370 million.

This is where upscale salons and spas, like Kimara Ahnert Cosmetics, located in a townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, enter in. A large part of the studio's services include makeup applications specifically designed for wedding preparation and day-of-the-event beauty.

"Brides want everything to be perfect on their big day and tend to spend more money to ensure that their special day is perfect," explains Ahnert, the salon's owner and founder. Also perfect, thanks to wedding mania? The job growth for cosmetologists, hair stylists, and spa professionals that specialize in such services.

Endless Opportunities
The most successful cosmetologists will be those with a top-notch cosmetology degree, ones worthy of bestowing upon clients the ultimate in wedding-day glamour, including makeup applications, hairstyling, facials, and other pampering services that help a bride look and feel her best. Schools like Empire Beauty Schools, which boasts 87 locations across 18 states, have placed great emphasis on integrating the needs of the ever-expanding wedding industry into their curriculum.

"Over the past 10 years, it has been interesting to see the bridal industry expand," says MaryAnn Batz, educator and executive director of Empire Beauty Schools' Pottsville, Pennslvania campus. "As a result, we introduce our freshman students to the basic techniques and theory of up-dos, long hair styling, and nail art. As they progress through their curriculum, the skills become more complex and refined. We also teach [students] how to do ornamentation with flowers and hair pieces, as well as veils into a wedding hairstyle."

Experience is Key For These Necessary Services
Even those that aren't so into the wedding details, like Kristina Grobosky, count beauty treatments among their must-do things. A self-proclaimed "Anti-Bride," Kristina says that she's still going to have her hair and makeup done. "As a bride, you want to feel that this is your day," she says. "You want to feel the prettiest you've ever looked."

When looking for a cosmetologist for her wedding, another bride-to-be, Mona Olsen, had her heart set on a professional with extensive experience so she'd know she was getting the best of the best for her special day. "I based a ton of my initial research on their website layout and look, response time, initial telephone conversation, and online reviews before completing a [hair and make-up] trial," says Mona. "I've also asked to see photos of their previous work at weddings."

Saying I Do
For those who work within the bridal beauty industry, readying women for their special day means "marrying" a professional's own passion with a lucrative career they love. "If you like an atmosphere that constantly challenges your creativity and keeps teaching you new things every day, this is the profession for you," says Batz. "I live for the fast-paced, changing nature of the beauty industry. Continue to be open to new trends and learning experiences after you graduate. Remember, this is an industry that thrives on change so you must aim to keep up with that change."

Kinda' like marriage, wouldn't you say?

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