I wish I knew that there were many options for an aesthetician in the beauty industry. Forty years ago, I thought it was all about facials, waxing, and eyelash tinting. However, I do not think I would have done anything differently, even if I knew the full extent of the industry. It has been exciting to adapt and learn new methods, techniques, and machinery along the way. But I knew and expected that, no matter what, I would have to work hard to succeed. At the same time, no one told me how hard that would be and the long hours involved, which was perhaps a good thing, otherwise I may not have gone down the path I took.
Lydia Jordane, founder and CEO of LYCON Cosmetics
As a young aesthetician in Europe, I often witnessed the fast-track success of other skin care professionals. I assumed their success came without effort or hard work. When I made the decision to start my business, I quickly realized that starting a business was not as easy as it appeared. However, it was from the tenacity and passion I put into my work that I gained integrity and drive.
Gunilla Ross, L.M.E., owner of Gunilla of Sweden, Inc.
While I have had much success in this industry, I wish someone would have told me how each country has its own regulations regarding ingredients and how difficult it is to create the most efficacious product that will adhere to those regulations. It adds unnecessary expense to startups wanting to be a worldwide brand due to increased inventory and regulatory control.
David Watson, co-founder of mybody skincare
Thirty years ago, when I received my first training with wax, all that was told to me was to apply the wax in the direction of hair growth and pull against it. I wish I had the opportunity to take advantage of the refresher courses the industry offers. The courses keep us informed of new products now available on the market!
Martine Plumet, international sales director and educator and trainer for epillyss
There is a lesson to be learned from every mistake, and looking at things in this way promotes personal growth. I have learned to check facts and put things in writing. It is lovely to trust people on their word, however, in order to make the best products for my customers, I choose to do my research and get signed agreements.
Ginger Hodulik, M.S., C.N.S., co-owner and vice president of research and development for DermaMed Solutions
Knowing what I know now that I have been in business over 30 years, I would have trademark registered all the product names, treatments and new concepts that we originally introduced to the United States market, such as beauty globes, stem cell therapy, cryotherapy, LED light therapy, ultrasound, and microneedling. Live and learn.
Sonia Boghosian, CEO and education director of Bio Jouvance Paris
I wish I knew how much an advanced education was needed in the market. I would have hired a director of education much sooner. Dave Waggoner, our director of education, has been a pillar for advancing aestheticians' protocols and careers.
Lisa VanBockern, founder and owner of Skin Script Skin Care
The best advice I can give is to surround yourself with successful positive people. There is a tremendous amount of competition, but the best competitors know to work with one another to create a strong industry, as well as individual brands. There is and has always been enough business to go around; lifting others up lifts you.
Melissa Black, owner of Bombshell® Salons and Candy Coat Beauty™
The best piece of advice I have ever received is the advice I actually gave myself when I began in the spa industry: never stop dreaming. Be passionate, have big dreams, and most of all,
take action and follow through. Believe anything is possible even if it seems impossible. If you have integrity and set your mind to achieving even the highest goals, you will get there! Do not let anyone tell you to stop dreaming.
Dany Brind'Amour, head of sales at BABOR North America
I wish I had truly understood the benefits of mistakes when I began formulating. My early formulating errors have made me a better cosmetic chemist because they have taken me to new levels of expertise and allowed me to try novel methods to create even better products.
Terri Vinson, owner and formulator at Synergie
I wish someone told me not to look for success in other places. It is really when I started to rely on myself and took significant risks that I started to achieve success. I realized that if you set goals, if you are prepared, and if you know what it takes, it is not a risk.
Flora Vergnolle, CEO and founder of Provence Cosmetics
I would tell the young me to understand the power of building a strong industry network. Consciously gathering professional friendships with a diverse set of talented individuals will amplify your efforts and create natural paths to professional fulfillment and success. Appreciating that earlier in one's career can make a significant difference.
Curtis A. Cluff, CEO of Envy Medical Products, Inc.
I wish I had known the benefits of a peel with heal approach! Early in my career, there were many aggressive, anti-aging treatments focused on stripping the skin rather than restoring it. We really over peeled the skin. We now know that simultaneously peeling and incorporating skin nourishing and anti-inflammatory ingredients garners better results. A smarter peel approach with proper pre- and post-care and homecare allows us to be skin ready, every day.
Metaxia Dalikas, L.E., co-founder and co-owner of Lira Clinical
Be yourself and know which aspect of this business you are passionate about. Over 20 years ago nobody had heard the word Ayurveda but teaching this ancient science is my passion. Back then, I did not fit the mold of anyone else I saw in the industry. It was about glycolic acid and microdermabrasion in those days, pretty aggressive approaches. Nobody thought that oil had any value for the skin or that what you ate had any bearing on your skin quality. It is amazing that in just 20 years, organic is in, herbs, fruits, and vegetable extracts abound, natural food diets and yoga are in most destination spas, and science now understands that oil feeds microbes that make customized moisturizers for the skin.
Melanie Sachs, co-owner of Diamond Way Ayurveda
What I wish I had known is that building a brand is not only about the quality of the product, but also about the knowledge of the educators and the language of the marketers. Keeping it simple and explaining it well is the key to success!
Dasha Saian, co-founder and marketing director of SAIAN® Natural Clinical Skin Care
I started my career in 1976 when the word 'aesthetician' was still not readily known, let alone its full impact understood. It seemed that you had to choose whether you wanted to do skin care or makeup but seldom were accepted as specialists in both arenas. Back then, I wish I had had more female mentors in makeup as the field was dominated by men and the women were all in skin care. Now it is understood that we aestheticians are proud to be specialists in all areas and our ability to provide our clients a full and complete range of assistance is wonderful.
Shelley Hess, L.E., founder of Facemaker Enterprises
Find your passion, learn everything there is to know about it from every angle, and then create a niche for yourself. Do not believe everything you hear because you are new. Do not rely on Facebook groups, the Internet, or manufacturers' representatives for all your information. Don't believe a single manufacturer has all the answers. Commit yourself to research and lifelong learning.
Kathryn Leverette, L.E., nationally certified aesthetic specialist
As I look back, one of the most important things I wish I would have known is to not be so forgiving to employees that are not giving the level of customer service I would expect from a company.
Alicia Grande, CEO of Grande Naturals, LLC
It is all about the ingredients! For example, in an effort to address the growing concern of synthetic preservatives, such as parabens and paraben blends, we undertook an 18-month reformulation project. It was a huge investment, but with a big benefit.
Guenter J. Heidenberger, formulator and founder of Bon Vital' products
I wish someone would have told me that life experience is the real form of education! Constantly engage in higher learning, find professionals in your field to learn from, and use them as a guide to aim for higher goals.
Melanie Timms, product educator at CBI Laboratories
I wish I had been taught in school the proper posture while performing facials. A healthy spine is extremely important for maintaining good health as we age. Leaning forward while performing facials during the course of one's career can lead to a subluxation in the spine. Because the spine houses the spinal cord, a subluxation can cause problems as it can prevent the nerves from innervating various organs. It is essential, therefore, to maintain good posture, move and stretch between clients, and follow a healthy-nutrition lifestyle making sure to receive all the nutrients your body requires for optimal wellness and beauty.
Traci Williams, Ph.D., holistic integrative aesthetician and educator
I wish I had known how small, niche services would always be in demand. Growing demand produces such unique business opportunities. Who would have thought that the two, small patches of hair we know as eyebrows would produce such a worldwide fascination. Being in demand is not a bad thing.
Meri B. Mireles, founder, trainer, and product developer of I Brows For You
The initial purchase occurs as a result of the appeal of the packaging/professional branding of the product. The repeat orders, which sustain business, are the result of the efficacy of the product. Be careful to engineer the brand representing a pharmaceutical luxurious professional image and also active effective bio targeted product which yielding immediate visible results.
Marc Rosengarten, co-founder of Bio France Lab
Coming from a medical background, I wish I had known how little emphasis aesthetic schools put on microcurrent. Teaching galvanic microcurrent, but not the ability of faradic to lift and tone muscles. The impact is impressive increasing scope and revenue.
Nelson Thibodeaux, president of Texas Biostetic Instruments