At many salons, make-up falls into either no-man’s land or just the opposite—one of the “trades” of the jack-of-all-trades technician. When you have no dedicated make-up artist on staff, who should be coloring clients’ faces?
Consumers mentally couple “hair and make-up,” so after giving the client a new hair look, it makes sense that the hairdresser might offer to touch up the make-up as well. In a departmentalized salon, the colorist may take over this duty, since fresh hair color calls for rethinking the make-up tones. Then again, the nail tech might be the one to do the make-up since she knows a lot about color, may have more time and can more easily justify charging a fee. But when you get right down to it, a logical conclusion may be that the person best suited to brush and dab product on the skin is you, the esthetician.
“Estheticians are able to look at the skin and know where it’s dry and how to prepare it for make-up,” says freelance educator Christine Kolenda, who is both a make-up artist and an esthetician. “They can do that better than people who are solely make-up technicians.”
Skin care professionals can be naturals, agrees Caroline Rushworth, director of education for Sothys USA. “Many estheticians I’ve trained do not have make-up training in their background, but they often have some talent for it,” she notes. “Usually the interest and passion are there.”
Bolster that interest and passion with some solid product knowledge and technique, and you have a whole new profit center for your business. Even if you question whether you have a keen eye for make-up, with training you’ll begin to trust your skills, even if you have to work at it.
“Make-up can be very daunting for estheticians who don’t have a natural flair for it,” Rushworth continues. “They’re nervous and apprehensive, maybe because they’re not sure about color choice or uncomfortable with the risk of making a mistake.”
Agrees Kolenda, “Estheticians can be shy about working with make-up, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. Most clients don’t want to go out looking painted. They just want to look fresher. My personal observation is that estheticians tend to have a more conservative eye when it comes to make-up, which can work very well with clients.”
back to school
Many cosmetology schools welcome working professionals to their make-up classes. Some schools specialize in make-up or even certain areas of make-up; others house advanced make-up programs within a general cosmetology program. Rushworth recommends visiting schools to talk with administrators, instructors and students.