Our guide to beauty
Jade O'Donoghue

Our guide to beauty

First published date September 06 2013 Amended date March 20 2015

Everyone loves a good makeover – whether it’s Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman or the episode where the contestants have all their hair chopped off on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model. Seeing the transformations that can happen with just a few beauty treatments never fails to leave us amazed.

Beauty treatments have the power to change not only the way people look on the outside but the way they feel inside as well and beauty courses range from those that aim to train students up to work in salons or as mobile beauticians, to those that focus on specific treatments so that students can specialise in one area.


There’s beauty in everyone

One common misconception about beauty courses is that they are aimed only at women. In fact, more and more men are not only signing up to receive beauty treatments but also to learn about them and specialise in providing them.  Waxing and threading in particular have risen in popularity with males wanting hair removed, and spray tan treatments have also attracted men who want the sun kissed look without the skin damage.


Not just a pretty face

Beauty courses comprise a mix of practical and theory work but the emphasis is mostly on trying techniques out. There will be some health and safety involved as most beauty treatments involve working closely with different skin types and using chemicals such as dye or wax. You might also learn a bit about anatomy, depending on what part of the body the treatments you’re learning about focus on.

As a result of all the practical work, you’ll need lots of willing participants to experiment on. You might find class members are happy to step in as models, or you could persuade family members and friends to help. If you can convince them you’re good at what you do, you’ll find everyone begging for a freebie manicure/wax/complete makeover.


Brush up your knowledge

Taking a beauty course is the best way to learn about different treatments and techniques as well as getting qualified so you can safely carry them out on clients. However, there are loads of online resources that could support your learning and give you a few tips. There are YouTube tutorials where you can watch demonstrations and get clued up on what to do with makeup, and blogs which review different beauty products and demonstrate how to use them. You could also read fashion magazines to get an idea of beauty trends and look to celebrities for inspiration.


Glamorous work

Fancy applying makeup to celebrities? Or want to be the first to try new products? Or maybe you want to be part of big events and prepping people for them? There are plenty of routes you could go down on completing your beauty course.

You could work in a salon, meeting and treating members of the public. In salons you can often offer more than one treatment and with other beauticians around, you’ll probably find there are lots of opportunities to master more. Alternatively, you could work as a mobile beautician going to people’s houses and getting them ready for events such as weddings or prom nights. This is a handy option if you have a family as you can dictate your working hours, but you’ll probably need a car since it’s likely you’ll have lots of equipment with you.

Makeup counters in department stores are also popular destinations for trained beauty therapists. It’s an appealing job since you get to try beauty products before anyone else and you will always be on top of the trends. However work on makeup counters can be targeted, so you might want to consider whether working in sales is for you.

Another area of beauty people go into is session work behind the scenes of TV programmes or on film sets. This might involve doing special effects makeup, creating cuts and bruises, or styling hair so that it looks bouncy on camera. You’ll probably meet lots of celebrities this way and get to see what they look like before the makeup goes on!


Hotcourses’ favourite beauty treatments

We had a quick scout around the office to find out which beauty treatments the Hotcourses team swear by…

Eyebrow tinting

I have my eyebrows tinted darker so I don’t have to bother with an eyebrow pencil! You can pick your shade and then if you want it darker they’ll mix tiny amounts of black in until it’s the right colour. If you get a good beautician she’ll try and match it to the shade of your hair too! – Sophie, Marketing Executive


I like waxing because it makes me feel sexy and confident about myself! My favourite’s the hot chocolate wax – it smells so good and leaves me with a nice glow. – Kristina, Editorial Intern

Hair extensions

I love my hair extensions because they add length and I can style them as much as I like without damaging my hair. – Yanxia, Marketing and Outreach Manager


Eyebrow threading hurts more than waxing and it is often harder to find somewhere that does it, but it’s worth it. You get a much better shape and threading is good for removing smaller finer hairs which helps you to apply foundation much more evenly and effectively on that part of your face. – Jessica, Editorial Assistant


I really want to get those false eyelashes that last 3 months. I use to have them and they are amazing. – Nikki, Digital Marketing Executive


I like Shellac manicures and pedicures as they last for weeks compared to normal nail polish! –  Pamela, HR and Office Manager

Spray tanning

I’m ashamed to say I’m a fake tan fan. I’ve had spray tans before and the boost in confidence is great – it’s also really funny to enter a salon pastey white and then leave looking like you’ve been in the Caribbean for two weeks! – Jade, Web Editor