Beauty School Directory Blog

Archive for April, 2009

Are you wasting your beauty school education?

Posted on: April 29th, 2009 by Beauty Schools Directory 13 Comments

shara-stevenson-esthetician-manicuristShara Stevenson is licensed esthetician and manicurist. She is also a marketing professional with a Bachelors of Arts from Georgia State University. Shara is passionate about multicultural beauty, fashion, market trends and branding. Follow Shara on Twitter @hellobeauty.

You purchased your kit, bought your uniform, and you’re officially enrolled in beauty school. That was the easy part. What you do next will determine whether you become a beauty school superstar, ready to conquer the world of beauty and esthetics, or, if you become just another person that went to beauty school and got their license but did nothing with it. You make the choice. Here’s how to make the most out of your beauty education.

Take Your Investment Seriously
You’ve invested the money in your beauty school education, so take it seriously.  Study your Milady book and take the practice tests. Participate in class discussions, and stay on top of industry trends by subscribing to publications like LaunchPad, Nail Pro, DaySpa, and Beauty Fashion. Memorizing theory is important, but it’s more essential that you can explain it. Many times students fall into the habit of treating cosmetology school like high school for adults. Instead of practicing hair cutting techniques, they’re gossiping with classmates. If beauty school becomes a chore, then reevaluate why you enrolled, and decide whether or not you want to continue your education. The amount of material that you need to cover can seem overwhelming, but don’t get discouraged! Don’t be the next beauty school dropout. Put your blinders on, stay focused, and keep unnecessary distractions at bay. You’ll thank yourself once you’ve completed your required hours.

Practice Makes Perfect
Okay, so your first five sets of acrylic nails popped off. The first time you did a perm it didn’t come out right. And, you haven’t quite perfected the effleurage facial movement. Now what? Keep practicing! The great thing about beauty school is that you’re not expected to be a shear genius overnight. Cosmetology school is structured to provide you with the foundation you need to perform basic services, and to equip you with information you need to pass state cosmetology licensing examinations. What you do with the training you receive is up to you. One way to get ahead is to practice, practice, practice.

Here are a few ways to sharpen your hands-on cosmetology skills:
-    Swap services with other students
-    Volunteer your services to community and nonprofit organizations
-    Offer services to your friends and relatives

Treat Yourself like a Business
Even though you’re a student, you are preparing yourself for a career in business so adapt the mindset of a businessperson. One of the most important things a business can do is maintain a consistent image. This is called “branding.” It sets you apart from competitors, defines what you stand for, and offers a way for customers to identify with your brand. If you’re studying to become a hairstylist, nail tech or makeup artist, would someone be able to tell by how you dress, and groom yourself? You say want to be the next hairstylist to the stars, but your hair is always messy. If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to become a representation of what you’re selling. Brand yourself. This means your clothing, hairstyle and color, and even your nails should reflect your beauty education and skills. It’s essential that your image is representative of your profession, and your target audience.

Take advantage of networking opportunities. Don’t wait until you graduate to attend trade shows and industry events. Research upcoming shows in your area and mark your calendar. Don’t have the money to attend? No problem. Most trade shows offer discounted rates to students. Another way to become acquainted with the industry is to contact other professionals that have become successful. You’ll be surprised how many beauty pros are willingly to give you advice, or even refer you for a position at a salon.

So Make the Most of Your Beauty School Education!

The statistics don’t lie. The increase in enrollment in beauty schools not only represents a need for people to diversify their skill sets, but it’s also a reflection of the growing billion dollar beauty, health and wellness industries. A career in beauty is a great way to take your passion for makeup, hair or nails to the next level. Study hard, be passionate about your goals, and position yourself as the next professional that sets trends, and becomes the voice of a booming industry.

Salons Go Green – Just in Time for Earth Day

Posted on: April 22nd, 2009 by Beauty Schools Directory No Comments

These days, many of us care more than ever before about taking care of Mother Earth. Whether we use reusable grocery bags and energy-saving light bulbs, or get that old bike out of the garage instead of taking the car, we all can find ways to do our part.

Now salons and some cosmetology schools are joining the green movement, too. For example, Leon’s Beauty School in Greensboro, North Carolina has been taking steps to make some environmentally responsible practices a way of life. Many of the employees and stylists at Leon’s hope their efforts will inspire other salons and beauty professionals to find new ways to be more environmentally friendly.

Do you work in a salon or teach/study at a beauty school that is striving to be more Earth-friendly? Here are a few green ideas that have worked in Leon’s Beauty School and in other salons across the country:

• Bring in recycling bins! – Businesses like salons go through a lot of disposable containers. Recycling those containers is much friendlier to the planet.
• Switch from commercial cleaning products to home-made or natural cleaners! – For example, Leon’s Beauty School uses a natural water and vinegar solution to clean their windows instead of the traditional chemical-ridden glass cleaner.
• Ban Styrofoam cups! – Leon’s stylists and employees bring their own reusable cups to use throughout the workday.
• Offer discounts to customers who bring back empty plastic hair care bottles for refills.
• Replace old appliances with newer, energy-saving hair dryers or curling irons.
• Use natural beauty products like mineral-based makeup (try Bare Escentuals Get Started Kit), natural henna hair dyes and sugar and water solutions to set hair curls.

Leon’s Beauty School even took their green ideas to a more creative level recently by hosting a “RecycleRama” hair and fashion show. Instead of showing off clothing made of expensive materials by A-list designers, models in this show sported creations made of second-hand fabrics, cardboard boxes, magazine pages and soda cans to spread awareness about being green.

But even if you don’t go the route of designing your own soda can couture, you can still make green beautiful! Got other green tips that you’ve used on the job? We’d love to hear ’em!

Beauty Schools Go Green, Inc.

Graduating Beauty School – Now What?

Posted on: April 15th, 2009 by Beauty Schools Directory 2 Comments

It’s almost that time of year – graduation season! For graduates of all ages, it can be an exciting, yet anxiety-inducing time. Some are preparing to complete their education from traditional institutions, while others are about to graduate with a more specialized skill set. If you chose to pursue an education in cosmetology, esthetics or makeup and you’re about to transition to the “real world,” you may have more career options waiting for you than you realized.

Here are a few outside-the-box career ideas for beauty industry job seekers from Marianne Bockheim, a columnist for The Michigan Beauty Examiner:

1. Entrepreneur: If you’re a no-nonsense, business-minded individual, you could become your own boss! Entrepreneurs with a cosmetology background could start their own salons, spas, schools or beauty product lines.
2. Platform artist: If you thrive in front of an audience, working as a platform artist at hair shows could be an exciting career choice. Many platform artists act as ambassadors for professional hair care companies. They often travel to hair shows around the country and demonstrate new techniques or products.
3. Makeup artist for a major line: This is a prestigious career choice for talented, dedicated cosmetology professionals. Many makeup artists pick a product line, and begin their career track at the retail level, and work their way up.
4. Beauty Educator: Many companies value educators with a background in retail or marketing. Earning your cosmetology license will most likely be the best way to get your foot in the door.
5. Cosmetology Teacher: If you thrived during your time in cosmetology school, maybe you’re cut out to help cosmetology students work toward their own career goals. If you like to teach, and love cosmetology, this could be a great career path for you.

Need some more tips for landing the perfect job? Marianne says it always pays to be assertive and ambitious. In the beauty industry, networking is key. Make sure your professional beauty connections know what you want – you never know who could help you get somewhere. Finally, discover your own traits and skills that set you apart from the crowd. When you know more about your own strengths you can make others see why you’re the right one for the job!

What’s your plan for after beauty school graduation? Have any beauty job search tips or stories of your own? We’d love to hear them!

Kiva Loans Help Build Beauty Businesses Worldwide

Posted on: April 1st, 2009 by Beauty Schools Directory 1 Comment

About a year ago, we posted a blog about microloans we financed via We said “The best thing about running a site that helps people find a cosmetology school is helping people make their dreams a reality. “ Well, we have succeeded in helping seven businesses make their dreams a reality so far. Those seven have paid their loans back in full, so now that money has been re-invested in others pursuing their dreams in the beauty field. To date, we have reached 17 businesses across the globe.

One of BSD's new, successful salon owners (via

We’re most excited about the beauty businesses we’ve helped. We have loaned to a beauty salon in Tanzania and supported cosmetics sales in Nicaragua. Pictured here is Rolith Saavedra Rodriguez, who lives in San José de Sisa – San Martin, Peru. She is a hairstylist and makeup artist. She owns her own beauty salon where she also sells beauty products, while also providing haircuts, dye jobs and beauty treatments. She hoped to buy beauty products such as perfumes for women, men, and children, deodorants, jewelry, nail polish and lotions. She also hoped to replenish her salon with new hair dyes, scissors and face treatments. She is 40 years of age and lives with her husband and three children who are still dependent on her.

It is an amazing feeling to be able to help those with whom we share a common interest, even across incredibly different circumstances and cultures. And who knows? If these women were in the U.S. or Canada, maybe they would have found their beauty schools through our very own Beauty Schools Directory!