If you always find yourself looking at Russians on social media (we mean the eyelash kind) and a perfect brow makes your eyes light up, being a beautician could be the ideal job for you.
But, what does a beautician do?
We’re here to give you the lowdown on what it takes to become a beautician, the skills you’ll need and the services you’ll provide.
What Training Does a Beautician Need?
The average salary of a beautician is around £17k, with an experienced beauty therapist earning up to £20k.
Before you start administering treatments, you need to complete an NVQ Level 3 qualification to call yourself a fully qualified beautician. You can go about this in a number of ways:
If you’re just starting out your career as a beautician, you can begin with an NVQ Level 2 qualification and build up to a Level 3. Check your local college websites to see what kind of courses they offer and the treatments they teach.
This kind of training allows you to learn while getting experience on the job and a wage! Be aware that apprentice wages can be as little as £3 per hour, so they’re more suitable for young people who are still living at home. If you take a practical approach to learning and want to get stuck into the real world of a beautician, then search the National Careers Service for available apprenticeships.
Private beauty schools offer specialised, industry level training in all areas of beauty therapy. You can fund these yourself, or some schools offer learner loans financed by the government, so you can check if you qualify.
You can also gain an NVQ qualification by completing an online course which covers different areas of beauty therapy using videos and tests. These are helpful if you’re working around time constraints. However, they don’t give you much real-life experience.
Once you have a level two qualification, you can start as a beauty therapist assistant and work your way up while you complete the level three.
What Skills Does a Beautician Require?
Beauticians need a wide range of skills outside of beauty, to keep the clients coming back. Some treatments are in intimate places, so a beautician must be able to make their clients feel comfortable.
Communication and interpersonal skills are key. No one wants to sit in silence for over an hour while someone sticks false eyelashes on them. But, you also need to know when to stop talking – for example, if a client has paid for a relaxing massage, you shouldn’t talk about your boyfriend problems through the treatment.
Calling all perfectionists! The treatments that a beauty therapist carries out require patience and accuracy, so if you’re someone who likes to get the job done quickly, this may not be the route for you.
Being a beautician isn’t all about lashes and brows; you also need to be clued up on your organisational skills. Managing admin, responding to emails and keeping track of your client base will be part of your daily routine.
Finally, the most important skill you need is a passion for beauty. Without it, you’re going to get pretty bored with applying lashes, nails and tan every day!
What Does a Beautician Do?
Beauticians provide a wide range of services that require lots of technical skills and products. You can learn how to master all of these techniques or specialise in a few areas to manage your workload and outgoings.
As a beautician, you have the option of working for a salon or spa, which is useful for getting into the industry because they’ll have an existing client base. However, if you prefer to work freelance and be in control of your hours, you can offer a mobile service or work from home.
Facials and Massages
Facials are a natural treatment that improve the appearance of the skin and relax the client, by massaging products into their face. They require various skin products such as cleansers, face masks and moisturisers.
You should take precautions when offering facials, such as checking if the client has sensitive skin or allergies, so always start with a consultation.
Massages are a holistic treatment, which help to relieve the body of aches and pains naturally.
Popular massages include back, shoulders, full-body and foot, which each require different techniques.
Clients will have preferences as to whether they prefer soft or hard pressure during their massage, so begin with a consultation to avoid injury or pain.
To carry out an effective massage, you’ll need a relaxing environment and bed, as well as some essential oils to work into the skin. The oil is worked into the skin using different hand techniques, depending on the part of the body you’re working on.
There are lots of eyebrow treatments a beauty therapist can offer, from threading to tinting.
Shaping the brows can be done through waxing, threading or plucking. Waxing and threading create a sharp finish and are a popular treatment for creating the ‘Instagram brows’. The wax is heated up then applied onto the overgrown hairs with a wooden spatula. Once dry, the wax is ripped off to remove unwanted hairs.
Threading removes hair from the follicle with a thin piece of string and requires practice and skill. This is a popular request because it creates precise brows and lasts longer. It’s also cost-effective because you don’t need many products.
Once shaped, the eyebrows can be semi or permanently dyed. Dying the brows can be done with a tint. Tinting kits can be purchased online which contain all of the necessary equipment to carry out the treatment. A patch test must be carried out 24 hours before a client’s appointment to see if they have an allergic reaction to the dye, away from the vulnerable eye area.
There are several eyelash enhancing treatments, including tinting, eyelash extensions, and eyelash lifts. Eyelash tinting is similar to the eyebrows, as the tint is applied directly onto the lashes then wiped away once set.
Eyelash lifts work with the natural lashes to make them appear longer and are usually carried out along with a tint.
Eyelash extensions enhance the length and thickness of the lashes. This involves sticking individual false eyelashes on with glue and tweezers, as close to the lash line as possible. They can be natural or long and thick, depending on the client’s preference. Eyelash extensions are a time-consuming procedure, requiring patience and accuracy.
Waxing and Permanent Hair Removal
Waxing is popular with women and men all year round, and can be carried out on the legs, bikini line, armpits, ears and nose. It’s also easy to learn, making it a useful area of beauty to get into.
Before performing a wax treatment, oil should be applied to prep the skin. Heat the wax and apply it onto the skin in the direction of hair growth.
Beauty therapists can also offer permanent hair removal, such as laser hair treatment. This requires expensive equipment and extra training, but it can be lucrative as the client has to have many sessions for the procedure to work.
Dermaplaning removes dead skin cells and peach fuzz from the face with a surgical scalpel. It’s a painless procedure, but it has to be carried out with care to avoid cutting the face. This is becoming more popular as people seek out natural enhancements, that make the skin glow.
Micro-rolling is a similar procedure and uses a roller with micro-needles to exfoliate the face and encourage blood flow. Smooth rollers are then used over the top to soothe the skin.
Spray tanning is popular as people prefer a fake bake to protect the skin from the sun and UV damage.
To offer spray tans, you will need a booth, tanning gun, tanning solution and disposable underwear for your clients. Tanning is something that takes practice to get the perfect, even application.
Some beauty therapists offer makeup and nail enhancements, but there are separate Makeup Artistry and Nail Technology courses that provide a specialised insight into these areas.
What are the Benefits of being a Beautician?
Beauty therapy is a rewarding job because your treatments help to boost the confidence and self-esteem of your clients.
Working with clients means your constantly meeting new people and building relationships. The nature of beauty therapy allows you to create friendly relationships with loyal clients, making it a pleasant and social job.
Whether you work freelance or rent a space in a salon, you’re pretty much in control of your own hours, allowing you to make time for other commitments, such as family.
As a beautician, your skills are always going to be in demand as the beauty industry is bigger than ever and is set to keep growing in the future.
Once you become a qualified beautician with a few years of experience under your belt, the future can hold many possibilities. You may choose to become a beauty therapist trainer, expand your skills into other areas of beauty or even open your own salon. Whatever you choose, there will always be an opportunity to switch up your career.