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Working in the beauty industry doesn’t always mean you have to attend cosmetology school and practice hair design. Just ask Danielle Finney, a licensed esthetician and Clinique Business Manager in Kansas City. The team at BeautySchools.com chatted with Danielle about how her passion for skin and beauty began at a young age and how it shaped into a rewarding 4 years working with clients on a daily basis.
When did you decide you were interested in the beauty industry?
I became interested in the industry when I started visiting an esthetician for my skin. As most teens, I suffered from acne and just couldn’t get it figured out myself. Like many say, at that time I felt like I had “tried everything.” So I wanted a professional’s help! She truly inspired me by the way she helped me feel so much more confident in my own skin. That’s when I knew that I wanted to be able to do the same thing for others.
Why did you choose a purely esthetician school over a cosmetology school that offered an esthetics portion?
Personally, I didn’t have an interest in hair or nails. Learning all of the techniques for facials, waxing and treatments such as microderms and chemical peels was more in the direction I wanted to focus on in my career. When comparing esthetics programs, I wanted a tour of each school and exposure to the learning environment. I was interested in seeing the different treatment machines that we would have training on, treatment rooms, supplies provided and products used. I choose B-Street Design in Overland Park, now one of Marrinello’s Schools of Beauty, because it was centered on the core programs I was most interested in and best matched my educational goals.
What was your favorite and toughest learning experience during your esthetics program?
I loved how fast paced everything seemed. Having a class full of people that shared the exact same passion and interest makes practicing techniques easy! During downtime, that’s exactly what each of us classmates did on another. We practiced different facials or waxing components that we had just learned. The hardest part I would say was getting over the first few clients. In most esthetic schools, once you’ve completed a set number of hours, and passed the tests, you are able to perform services on the public. So gaining the confidence to start practicing everything you’ve learned on someone besides your classmate, of course was so nerve wracking at first. But it was also such a rewarding learning experience and I wouldn’t trade the nerves for anything.
How did your esthetic program lead you to where you are currently working?
I currently do not work inside of a medical spa or day spa. I’m now on the retail side of the industry. Although I miss performing treatments on a daily basis, as I did before I moved over to retail, I still have to opportunity to share my passion for skin care everyday. I truly enjoy helping others with their skin needs and feeling happier with their natural beauty. I also love the opportunity I have to be around the latest skin care products that are being made. There is always something new, and I have an interest in knowing what’s out there, how’s it’s made and why it may (or sometimes may not) work.
What continued education or training have you completed, and why do you think it’s important?
I have had the privilege of being trained on many different types of laser skincare. The school I attended did not offer such additional educational hours, but I do recommend that aspiring estheticians who would like to work in a medical spa, seek continued training. Many medical spas will offer training opportunities throughout the year once hired, but having experience and additional certifications to list on a resume are always a plus.
What advice would you give students who are interested in a career in esthetics?
Try to take your state board as soon as possible after graduation. Keep yourself educated, because this industry continues to change with the different technologies being used these days in skin care! There are so many opportunities in the beauty industry and experience is definitely key when looking for your dream job. Everyone has to start somewhere in life. Remember that you may have to start someplace else to gain the experience that your dream job would prefer to see on your resume. Most importantly, remember that you’re the expert in your client/patient’s eyes.