Work It: Career Spotlights

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One of the best ways to understand a career is to get in and experience it yourself. But in order to know if you want to even try your hand at something, you may find it helpful to hear stories about those that have been there and done that before you. I really do believe that reading a person’s story and journey to where they are today is truly inspirational. Many people take straight-and-narrow paths, while others have a bit more of a windy Yellow Brick Road experience. And that’s what makes these stories interesting.

The “Work It” section of SpaBeautySchools is a great place to find stories of those that have stories as to how they achieved success in their professional lives. Here, we have stories of an artistic colorist who is a master in his own trade, makeup artists who have been involved in special effects, and others. These are just some of the inspiring stories within our grand scope of concentrations on our site. But it makes sense to do your homework and read up on a potential new career possibility. And remember that career changes are possible and very popular these days. Though it may seem daunting to start from square one, once you get started on a new career, the time will fly by and you’ll get into your new life’s calling sooner than you think.

Research is key! Good luck in your search!

-Amanda Fornecker

Q&A: Foundation Expert

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Taneil Britton knows what it takes to make people feel good about themselves. That’s why she went to beauty school and has become an expert in foundation application with the camouflaging brand, Cover FX. She’s extremely dedicated to her makeup career, signing each email she sends with: “I can change someone’s life with the stroke of a brush!” Here, see what brush strokes she needed to take in order to get where she is today and apply yourself to your own makeup career.

What is a day in the life of Taneil like?
It depends on the day. The days when I’m in town (NYC and PA) things are great. My job is to go into my stores and educate the employees on the products, teach them how to become foundation artists, and show them how to grow their businesses to reach productivity.

When I’m out of town, life is a little more intense. I have limited time with my outreach locations so when I’m with them I have to really make it count. We all know traveling is not FUN!!!! But I love the experience and I would not trade it for the world.

What’s your educational background?
I graduated high school and then went into beauty school to study and master the art of makeup, skin care, and hair care. I have a license to do all three skills. Makeup has always been my passion. I change people’s lives everyday with something that I Iove and enjoy doing.

How did you get your start?
After I graduated beauty school, I worked in Nordstrom as a manager for the advanced skin care department. I came across Cover FX at a seminar and instantly fell in love with the brand. Cover FX launched in my location and in three months I sold so much of it that they came out to meet me.

I met with Jenny Frankel and she asked what I was doing to have such great sales. I told her it was amazing I could sit someone down and whatever the concern was it disappeared once the makeup was applied and it looked like real skin. The client was a new person — they looked younger, held their head higher, and they even walked away differently. I couldn’t believe it! Soon after our meeting I joined the Cover FX team.

Have you ever worked with celebrities? If so, who was your favorite celebrity client and why?
Yes, I have worked with some celebrities. My favorite hands down is Lee Thomas, news reporter for Fox in Detroit. He has a skin condition called vitiligo, which deals with the pigmentation of the skin. I recently did his makeup for his documentary on TLC and it was so amazing to work with him. He has a book and a website about “Turning White.” Take a look at his stuff – he’s great.

Please tell us a little bit about Cover FX.
Cover FX is a brand with a purpose! We are the foundation authority and global complexion experts. Our goal is to educate people to become foundation artists. It is the foundation destination. In my years of working with complexion products I have NEVER found anything close to what Cover FX is. I don’t say this because I work for them; I work for them because I can say this. The foundations are the truth in what foundation should be.

Tell us one of your beauty secrets.
Skin Prep FX is an amazing product that nourishes and hydrates the skin, has vitamins and antioxidants, and is a makeup primer. Nothing can take its place in my eyes.

What’s the best part of your job?
Changing peoples lives. I always say it, but nothing is more rewarding to me than making someone feel beautiful. When you look good, you feel good and like you can conquer the world.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Recently, traveling has been challenging for me.

What’s your advice to aspiring makeup artists?
Practice make perfect. Be playful and think out of the box. There are no rules in makeup application. Try it — you might like it.

The Steady Growth of Beauty Schools

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The economy may be quickly shrinking, but that doesn’t mean that all businesses are suffering. In fact, beauty schools are doing a pretty good job of staying afloat during this tough economic crisis, as more and more beauty-obsessed individuals ditch the cubicle for the beauty salon classroom in a variety of beauty school concentrations.

I’ve always had a love of makeup. And I think this economy has kick-started those who have felt the same way — into a new career where they can pursue their passion and make a different life for themselves. While they may be changing their paycheck just a bit (cosmetologists average between $30,000 and $48,000 before tips, according to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, AACS), they are pursuing something that can have a large payout in the long run, especially if they own their own salon or spa.

Take this recent NY Times article, for instance. It’s interesting to see all the beauty school professionals talking about beauty school popularity. Lynelle Lynch of Bellus Academy says in the article, “The industry is much more sophisticated than it once was.” This is definitely true as I believe the industry has moved away from the negative stigma that once was associated with the beauty industry. It takes a quite skilled, creative, and dedicated individual to pursue a beauty career. And an even more daring person to change careers entirely.

Beauty school isn’t just about the particular trade you’re about to study. It’s also about getting a well-rounded education that will give you the skills to really go out and conduct business. Classes in ethics and business practices are generally included in a curriculum that also emphasizes the history and chemistry of your desired profession. It’s quite a diverse field and students work hard to learn both on paper in the classroom and on mannequins (and eventually people) in the salon.

The NYT article also brings to light the fact that beauty schools are increasing in locations and enrollment:

At this time in 2008, Bellus Academy had 180 students; today it has 240. The number of students at Empire Beauty Schools, which has 89 locations, was up 17 percent from April 2008 to April 2009; enrollment at Paul Mitchell Schools, with 91 locations, increased 14 percent from May 2008 to May 2009.

Additionally, the AACS suggests that this is a wide open field. In fact, in January 2007, there were practically 1.7 million individuals employed in the beauty industry. And it continues to grow. “Salon owners reported 484,660 job openings were filled during 2006,” says the AACS. “This represents an average of 1.3 openings per salon. Nearly 40 percent of all new positions were filled by inexperienced workers.”

This all just goes to show how many opportunities exist within the beauty industry. There is lots of potential to get the job you desire. If you’ve always had a passion for beauty careers then maybe it’s time to consider the career change. Schedules are flexible so continuing to work and taking night classes is certainly possible. You just need to find the right school for you. Let us help you begin your search and even do some research about some of these accredited programs.

-Amanda Fornecker

Popular Beauty Schools

The MUA

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I did a makeup consult the other night and let me tell you – I had fun! I love working with new people and getting to pass on what I’ve learned about the makeup industry. And when you look at this industry, there really are so many possibilities, especially with various events.

First I’d like to say that I’m completely self-taught. It is through reading and doing that I actually was able to get a grasp on what I love to do. Makeup artists don’t necessarily need any formal training, but sometimes it’s a really good way to get more information and some sort of backing. I’m just getting started myself, and although I may pursue some sort of esthetician program eventually, I’m really working on getting my name out there through word of mouth – it’s very powerful!

In any case, here are a few events where a makeup artist is certainly necessary:

Weddings
Even the girl who never wears an ounce of makeup wants to look her best on her wedding day. And it is that girl that would especially get her makeup done. Even I would get my makeup done because it’s a way to pamper myself, not stress, and look my best. Most makeup artists do a trial run beforehand so they’ll be sure they will like the makeup job on the big day. In fact, some wedding parties also get their makeup done. Really there are many opportunities to be had within the wedding industry.

Proms
Prom season is upon us! Well, almost. It is April, after all. So lots of excited teen girls want to get their makeup done – and their parents are prepared to pay for this service. This might be a good opportunity to get some extra pocket money.

Birthdays
For milestone birthdays especially, everyone wants to look their best. And getting their hair and makeup done will help make them feel beautiful. Whether they are just going out on the town or they are going to an actual party, there are those that would delight in having their makeup done by a professional.

These are just some of the occasions that keep a makeup artist employed. If you’re passionate about this then get going on expanding your career possibilities. And if you want to get more involved with techniques and patterns and color theory, then explore the benefits of a makeup career.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The middle 50 percent nationally earns $35,250 annually.
  • In the decade from 2006-2016, it is estimated that the makeup field will increase by 40 percent. However, it is currently small in size so this will really only add a few hundred workers (hey, an increase is an increase, right?).

-Amanda Fornecker