To all the estheticians I was before...
2019 marks the 13th year of my career as an esthetician. I don’t know how it happened but somehow my entire adulthood has been dedicated to serving people with some fresh skin. I don’t have any possible way to break down the number of people that I’ve seen but upwards of 20,000 people is my estimate based on some fast math. Many of these clients I saw once, many I kept as forever clients, and then there’s every circumstance in between in which I managed to get to know, help, and connect with someone even for just a short time together. I think about each day I’ve been able to have doing this job since my days back in beauty school. The consistency of it is that I wake up and know that at some point in the day, I get to expand my knowledge by learning something new about someone new and keeping in my heart that my responsibility is to just make them feel worthy and comfortable with exactly who they are. I discovered early on that there are little and big ways to accomplish this and my success rate is only equal to how worthy and comfortable I feel with myself as well. There are versions of the esthetician that I am now that I’ve always had in me but with a little time, and a lot of experience, all the estheticians I was before are the layers of who I get to be today.
At the beginning of January, I received the most soul reviving DM on instagram. It was from a beauty school classmate of mine who somehow got suggested to follow me through the algorithms of the instagram universe and what she said really ignited the 18-year-old esthetician in me. She said she loved what I had created and was excited to see where life had taken me. While I was in beauty school, all my friends were enjoying their first summer off of college and questioning what the heck I was doing by choosing to learn how to give facials. The women (there were 5 of us in my class) I was in school with were all older than me by at least 10 years and acknowledge that I was following my heart. They got me through that summer where I should have been smoking shitty weed while rekindling high school friendships over bonfires and backyard parties. This was a time where I could have been messing up and enjoying the limited responsibility for being a young adult. Instead, I went to school 40 hours a week and worked until midnight every night at a campus coffee shop while I slept on the floor of a one bedroom apartment I was going to be sharing with a friend once she came back from summer vacation. The crazy thing about catching up with my former classmate was she was still at the same job she had back when we graduated in 2006 and told me another classmate was also at her same job. My journey the last 13 years led me to multiple jobs, states, and ultimately to start TSC back in 2014. We caught up and I realized that my story was long-winded but also the story of my adulthood. I can remember the other estheticians on staff the day I fell in love with my husband. I can remember the hour of my 12 hour work day in which I had a miscarriage (it was my 5th facial of the day). Each year of my career growth is beautifully accompanied with my personal growth as a human being. It’s pretty magnificent to have a history so beautifully connected with my work.
As many of you have seen through my years of this blog, I’ve changed a lot. The esthetician who posted in 2011 loved waxing and the esthetician who posted in 2016 loved layering different modalities. The esthetician in 2019 however is the most mothering to my former self because I finally can understand an aspect of my business that I felt ashamed of before. There were years where I got so many opportunities that I wasn’t equipped for. Whether it was a celebrity client trying me out or getting an ultra-complex case of a inflammatory skin that I couldn’t heal fast enough for a client. My verbiage, knowledge, and intentions have really evolved the more I learn about health in general. The base education that I received was profound to me at the time. I learned about the anatomy of our body and how the skin reflects that health of our different systems. I felt like an absolute genius when I left school because I was able to properly identify muscles of the face and explain the happenings of skin imbalances. Or at least I thought I did. The truth is that the education of a licensed esthetician in the United States varies from state to state. We take the base of what we acquire and then its up to us to learn through additional credentials, which also helps us keep our licenses up to date since we are required a certain amount of advanced education credits yearly to maintain an active license.
I recently obtained my certification for Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymphatic Drainage for the face and neck. It was the first 20 hours of a potentially 40 hour course that I could take on the subject. They call it the basic course and the additional 20 hours are the advanced course (which I hope to take in the spring). The class had a variety of estheticians with as little as 2 years experience to 25 years experience. Many ladies I know from social media or previous classes, and the knowledge base going into this class was already really strong from everyone attending. Yet many of us admitted that we were blown away from the information provided by the Vodder school on the lymphatic system. The theory was so intense that we would draw blanks when the teacher asked us questions on the subject she had just taught us. We found ourselves asking questions about clients we are currently treating and felt betrayed by previous education that furthered our clients from the potential of a healed complexion. I personally think of the clients I had throughout the years that I would have treated differently if I were to only have known the information I know now. Isn’t that how we tend to find ourselves after periods of growth? “If I only knew what I know now, maybe I would be better off.” That mentality can often cripple me because I run my own business and find that many people rely on me as their skincare guru. For the last decade, because of the way I present myself and the knowledge I keep acquiring I have found myself to be a resource for so many people. I later explained this feeling to my husband who reminded me of how lucky I am to not always be the smartest person in the room (which I’m not claiming to be - but you get what I’m saying). Learning a new theory may not help my past clients, but perhaps the esthetician I was before did somehow. Even if it is a reminder to be gentle with yourself or an introduction to a new skincare product.
I can’t and will never have all the answers to everyone I treat because of two reasons. The first is that information is continuously evolving. Even the research on the lymphatic system has evolved from when my teacher had first started teaching the course. With any subject involving the human body, we most likely will never have all the answers. Which leads me to my second reason of how each person is an individual that will never be replicated. What worked for me will most likely not work for you and what worked for you will most likely not work for the next person. I can’t expect to offer a perfected holistic approach to skincare when all elements of our atmosphere and biology are evolving everyday. It is evolving as we are evolving.
The only thing to do is to stay open. All of the estheticians I was before had the devotion to study and that’s what I’m going to continue to do. My offerings have evolved so beautifully and the results have become the best I’ve seen in my career, however, I may still struggle with the celebrity clientele and may still not provide a quick enough result for certain clients. All I can do is honor the path of the 18-year-old who chose a career that would help people feel good about themselves. How that will continue to evolve is up to the universe and to the part of me that strives to make my younger esthetician self proud. I hope you are all open to sharing that journey with me and we’ll see where we end up on the other side of 2019.