If you’re after a career in the beauty industry, the number of beauty treatments it is possible to train in can be overwhelming. You might start with a beauty therapy course to learn the basics, but specialising in different things is what will really give you the edge, and with more strings to your bow you will have the option of working in a beauty salon or visiting clients at home.
For beauty career options, we chatted to Alison Francis, a beauty specialist who went from general beauty training to focusing on certain treatments for the eyes. She is known as 'The Lash Lady' amongst those in the know, for her extensive work on making women’s eyes look the best they can, with her business A H Francis. She trained as a beauty therapist initially, 'My beauty studies were paramount in helping me get where I am today – it was because of this I was able to bring eyelash perming to the UK and that’s how I made my name.'
There are loads of courses listed here on the site on the beauty theme, including many that focus on eyelashes and brows. We’ve taken some of them and tried to explain just what they might entail, with a little help from Alison, in the hope of making things a little easier…
Put simply, tinting is a beauty treatment that dyes the hair on the face. Both eyelashes and eyebrows can be tinted and there are different reasons for doing both. Alison loves the difference tinting can make to a woman’s face, 'Eyebrow tints can change to the whole appearance of the eyes, and accentuate a woman’s bone structure, particularly if her eyebrows are fine or light coloured.'
Tinting the lashes follows the same process but ensures that even the ends of the lashes, which are often naturally a lighter colour, are the same shade as the roots, 'Eyelash tinting can be useful for people who are too busy to apply mascara every day, or who are involved in sports such as swimming and want to simulate to effect of mascara without having to constantly re-apply it.' It is also a good option if you are allergic to certain eye makeup.
Waxing is a form of hair removal that involves applying wax to the body and then special paper on top. The paper is then ripped from the skin in strips, taking hair with it. It can be painful for the person being waxed so these courses are not for the faint hearted! It is possible to have everything from your legs to your brows waxed and Alison stresses the importance of shaping the latter, 'If the eyebrows are not in the correct shape for the face with very little definition, they will always look dull and tired!'
'My preferred method of shaping brows is threading,' says Alison. Threading is another method of getting rid of unwanted hair, which originates from eastern countries like India and Iran. A thin piece of twisted cotton thread is used to remove lines of hair at a time, meaning it’s quicker and more accurate than plucking. 'You can achieve definition with your brows and a cleaner finish, as you’re not ripping a layer of your skin away. Also if you keep taking a layer of your skin off, the hair will come back faster, which means you'll need to wax more often, and you gradually spoil the texture of your skin.'
Many beauty therapists are trained in makeup application but you may wish to focus on creating stunning looking eyes with the stuff. 'Often women make the mistake of piling on makeup to make them look bright and awake, or more radically have Botox or eye surgery, when often with a simple eye area makeover they could be transformed,' says Alison. This can often be a very rewarding type of treatment to be an expert in as it can make a big difference to a woman’s confidence.
Eyelash extensions are applied to existing eyelashes to make them look fuller and longer. These are applied to each lash individually with strong glue. They come in a wide range of styles – from natural dark to long and brightly coloured lashes. Alison produces her own eyelash extensions, 'I know first-hand how gorgeous looking lashes can make women of any age feel great. Quality is vital.' They last for as long as your natural eyelashes stay put (on average we lose between three and four everyday) or can be professionally removed sooner.
This is just a taste of the huge number of beauty courses available on Hotcourses – there are many more, from manicures and pedicures to tanning courses – so there is a range of specialist treatments you can focus on if the eyes don’t inspire you. Our Hotcourses Pampered Facebook page is the place to go for deals on beauty courses as well as the latest news.
Does Alison have any advice though for anyone considering career options in the beauty industry? 'I’d suggest practising as much as possible to gain confidence before taking on paying clients – ask friends to model for you. And always remember that your main investment is time; certificates do not make you a master – dedication and practice will.'
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