Special Announcement!

For those of you who have been wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, I have some news for you! I’ve decided to switch gears and write about something I’m super passionate about – yoga!

My new blog, Kathleen Loves Yoga is now up and running. If you love yoga, especially Bikram Yoga and are curious to learn more about the practice, check out my new blog. Feel free to like my new blog’s Facebook page as well, Kathleen Loves Yoga on Facebook

BikramYogaLove Site IconThank you all for the support as I journey off into this new and exciting venture.


4 Ways Blogging Can Help You Build A Clientele

Salon Success Academy and SpaI was featured on Salon Success Academy’s blog, Beauty Buzz recently. They wanted to know, based on my own professional experience and expertise, what sort of advice I’d have for their readers. Since blogging and skincare are my specialty, I talk about how I used my own blog to build up my business and professional experience over the last four years. Even though my career path isn’t a traditional one for an esthetician, I still consider myself successful because I’m doing exactly what I love to do in an industry that I find exciting and truly enjoy to the core.

Be sure to check out the 4 Ways Blogging Can Help You Build A Clientele. Trust me, it’s probably a whole lot easier than you think. Hope you enjoy the post!


What to Expect When Going to Beauty School

Salon Success AcademySeveral of my readers out there are considering going to beauty school. It’s such a big, tough and expensive decision to make. Trust me, I know. I had to make the same decision myself over four years ago. To this day, I’m so happy I went to beauty school. I now have a career I’m proud of and a job I love. It’s true when they say if you love your job, you’ll never work a single day in your life.

I recently asked Salon Success Academy to share with my blog readers their insight on what to expect when going to beauty school. What types of programs are available? What will you learn and how will you learn it? Who will you meet? What’s State Board and how do you prepare for it? Here’s what they had to say:

Do you have a passion for beauty? Have you always wanted a career helping others look and feel beautiful? You can, with an exciting career in the beauty industry!

You might be wondering how you can get there. A beauty school can provide you with the in-depth knowledge and hands-on training you’ll need to kick start a successful career. Here’s what to expect when going to beauty school:

Programs Vary
There are all sorts of programs that can cater to your passions. Do you love makeup? Have you always had an interest in proper skincare? Or, do you see yourself working in a barbershop? Beauty schools offer a wide variety of programs from cosmetology and esthetics to barbering. Choose a program that suits you and your goals. For example, a cosmetology program includes curriculum about hair cutting, coloring, and styling, facials, manicuring, and makeup application. An esthetics program, on the other hand, concentrates primarily on skincare. You’ll learn all about skin anatomy, physiology, and sanitation that’ll enable you to perform facials, body treatments, hair removal, and much more! You might even decide to become a medical esthetician which means you could work in a medical setting and perform treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser hair removal.

Learn by Doing
Beauty school and the learning process should take place both inside and outside the classroom. At the beginning, you’ll primarily practice on a mannequin, but you’ll also get valuable hands-on instruction. You’ll even be able to perfect your technique on real clients! Beauty schools often have its own salon that offers services to the local community. You’ll work under the direct supervision and guidance of your instructors, but you’ll get to practice your techniques, customer service skills, and business etiquette. The client consultation is an important part of providing quality customer service and the best way to boost your confidence and polish your skills is to learn by doing.

You’ll Meet All Sorts of People
All sorts of people decide to attend beauty school for different reasons and at different stages of their lives. One classroom could have a mixture of working moms and recent high school graduates. This diversity presents the perfect opportunity to build your professional network. Utilize social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, to say in touch, even after you graduate.

State Board Preparation
To work in the beauty industry, you must first pass the State Board exam. An accredited beauty school will help you prepare for both the written and practical portions. Enlist the help of staff and instructors for their advice. Requirements vary by state, so check yours for more information.

Schools Vary
There are beauty schools all over the country! Find a school that’s accredited, meaning you can have peace of mind knowing your education will be held to a high standard. The one you choose shouldn’t just have a convenient location to where you live, but it should also be a place you look forward to going to every day. Many beauty schools offer flexible class schedules and full time or part time enrollment options. Before you enroll, speak to an admissions specialists and take a tour. Make a list of your goals and expectations. Also, be sure to openly discuss any concerns you have. Find the school that’s right for you!

Salon Success Academy is a beauty school with five convenient locations across the Inland Empire in California. They offer programs with hands-on training and preparation for the State Board exam. To learn more, visit their website or check out their Beauty Buzz Blog.


SkinSpirit Took Me To Fantastic Skin For My Wedding!

Chemical Peel AfterA little over a month ago, I married my Mr. Right in Las Vegas. My dream wedding has always been to get married in Vegas by Elvis. I was not only able to have my dream wedding, but I also achieved my dream skin before saying “I do!” with the help of SkinSpirit Skincare Clinic and Spa.

I had to start working on my dream skin plan, three months before heading to Vegas. In January, I had a series of three Vitalize chemical peels with Kavina at the SkinSpirit University Village location. Then in March, I had a modified Jessner/TCA chemical peel with Tina at the SkinSpirit Redmond location. My goal for the treatments was not to have to wear liquid foundation in order to hide the stubborn hyperpigmentation on my face, thanks to sun damage from many summers past. After these four peels, the hyperpigmentation was significantly reduced. My overall results were noticeably lighter, smoother and radiant skin on my wedding day.

I can go on and on about the amazing talent and wealth of knowledge both Kavina and Tina have on skin and the treatments they offer, along with their impeccable bedside manner. Instead, what I want to focus on is the #1 reason why I had such amazing results from my treatments I followed the explicit instructions given to me by both of these aestheticians, both before the peels and after. I can’t stress enough just how important it is to listen to your aesthetician and follow their advice. If you’re considering having a chemical peel, I recommend:

Schedule a Consultation
First and foremost, schedule a complimentary consultation with an aesthetician to help you determine which chemical peel will be right for your skin.

Follow the Plan
Follow the treatment plan prescribed by your aesthetician, including the type of peel recommended, the number of peels needed to achieve desired results, skincare products to use both before and after the peel(s) and any post-treatment instructions.

Prepare Your Skin
Your aesthetician will help prepare your skin for the chemical peel by prescribing a four or six week skin-conditioning program. Since I was having the chemical peels to treat hyperpigmentation, the skin conditioning program I was prescribed consisted of using a retinol and a skin brightening complex once a day, preferably at night before going to bed. I also used SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum twice a day, to be applied after cleansing my skin. This serum is the perfect two-in-one product for a minimalist like me. TNS Essential Serum is a rejuvenating serum that helps enhance skin texture, tone and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles

Check Your Schedule
Two days before having a chemical peel, you’ll want to stop using any retinol product. Don’t forget to double-check your schedule before booking your chemical peel. You’ll want to give your skin at least three to six days to complete the peeling process. You won’t want to schedule any special events until your skin is finished with the peeling process.

Once you’ve had a chemical peel, don’t put anything on your skin up to six hours after treatment. Your skin will usually start to shed two days after treatment and can last anywhere from three to six days, depending on the type of chemical peel you’ve had. During the peeling process, the only products you’ll want to apply to your skin are a mild cleanser, a moisturizer (I prefer using Aquaphor) and a sunscreen with SPF 50. It’s also a good idea to have Benadryl on hand, just incase you experience any irritation or swelling after treatment.

And whatever you do, DON’T peel the skin prematurely during the peeling process. Not allowing the skin to come off naturally after a peel can lead to scarring and further irritation. If you’re considering have a chemical peel and want the best results possible, be sure to listen to your aesthetician and explicitly follow their advice and recommendations.

Happy Peeling!

PS: The image below was taken on Day 3 after having the modified Jessner/TCA peel with Tina. The results and peeling are in no way a guarantee to happen on everyone’s skin who has the treatment. I was just in such awe of how much my skin had peeled after this treatment that I wanted to share with all of you. Underneath all of that yellow and brown dead skin was beautiful, radiant skin, revealed just in time for my wedding!!

Day Four of Chemical Peel


What is True U Education?

TrueU_Education_LogoOne question I get asked a lot by blog readers who have already graduated from beauty school, passed the state exam, have their esthetician license and are now working in the industry is, “What about advanced education?” How does an esthetician keep learning in this industry? Where does an esthetician go to keep learning after graduating from beauty school?

In the state of California, you’re considered a licensed esthetician after you’ve completed 600-hours of lecture and hands-on training and have passed both the written and practical state exam. In some states like Washington, you’re now considered a licensed esthetician after you’ve completed 750-hours of lecture and hands-on training and have passed both the written and practical state exam. With all of the different types of treatments estheticians can offer under their license, it often seems like 600 or even 750 hours just isn’t enough time to cover everything a person might need to know in order to be a successful esthetician.

That’s where schools like True U Education come in. True U is where beauty school ends and advanced training for a licensed esthetician begins. Located in Chicago, Illinois, True U offers a number of esthetics, laser, skin care and business building classes to licensed estheticians and skincare professionals. Developed by Steven H. Dayan M.D. FACS and Terri A. Wojak with over 20 years of combined experience working in the aesthetics industry, they created an advanced esthetic education center that provides aesthetic professionals with the knowledge they need to succeed in the medical industry while working within their scope of practice.

In February 2015, True U Education released their online training programs, making advanced skincare specialization accessible to aesthetic professionals with a Wi-Fi or Internet connection. The first online course to be made available is also one of True U’s most popular courses, Aesthetic Laser & Light Therapies: Physics & Safety. This comprehensive 12-hour online laser course is designed to cover topics such as the study of aesthetic lasers, physics and safety, ultimately providing students with the knowledge needed to succeed as a laser professional.

True U Laser is open to anyone working in the aesthetic industry that is looking to gain knowledge of laser and light therapy treatments. Even those that do not perform lasers can benefit from the knowledge on differing technologies to educate clients. Skincare professionals may assist medical providers by offering pre- and post-treatment skin care. Knowing what each laser is actually doing to the skin, including healing times, will help an esthetician best recommend treatments and products to their clients for optimal results and answer questions clients may have about these services and the science behind them.

True U was kind enough to ask me to check out the new Aesthetic Laser & Light Therapies: Physics & Safety online course and let them know what I think. The course covers six chapters with topics such as:

How Lasers Work
Treatment Indications
Cosmetic Lasers
Consultation and Treatment Considerations
Laser Classifications
Laser Safety

There’s a quiz after each chapter, two review tests and one final exam. The online course also includes 19 laser treatment videos, a comprehensive aesthetic terms glossary practice case studies, a 41-page workbook to take notes in during the course and a downloadable version of Part 5 – Laser and Light Therapy from Terri Wojak’s book, Aesthetics Exposed.

Students are encouraged to go through the entire 12-hour online course at their own pace. It’s important to go through each section of the program slow enough to absorb all of the information. Trust me, there’s a lot of good information stuffed into this course! If needed, students can watch each of the videos as many times as they like.

This is my first weekend of diving into the True U Lasers online course and I’ve already completed chapter one through three. I’ve taken all three of the chapter quizzes – passing with a 90% and passed the first comprehensive test, passing with an 80%. Upon completion of the course, I’ll not only have received a wealth of knowledge about laser and light therapy treatments, but I’ll be issued a Laser Physics Certificate from True U Education and be able to complete my full review of the course here on my blog.

AestheticsExposed_wAmazonBadgeIf you are considering becoming an esthetician who works in medical aesthetics or already an esthetician who works in the medical industry, Terri Wojak’s best selling book, “Aesthetics Exposed” is a must-read! Right now, just for my blog readers – enter promo code LIFE in the checkout process and you’ll receive $20 off your purchase!


Should I Become a Master Esthetician in the State of Washington?

Should I Become a Master EstheticianI’ve been asking myself this question for the last six months. Currently I’m a licensed esthetician in the state of California. My California esthetician license states that I have 600 hours of instruction and have passed both the written and practical exam. The issue is that in the state of Washington, there’s now a master esthetician license, but it’s 1,200 hours. This license covers everything from facials, face/body waxing and spray tanning to medium depth chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, micro-needling and IPL treatments. Super fun stuff and certainly well beyond the scope of training I received in California. Since I wasn’t grandfathered into the Washington system before December 2014, I’d have to complete the full 1,200 hours in order to get the master esthetician license. My 600 hours that I’ve already earned and paid for in California won’t count towards this license at all. I’d basically have to start over from scratch in hours and tuition. Ugh.

I’m in the process of getting a Washington esthetician license, with the help of my current California esthetician license. To do this, I first needed to have my California license verified and certified by the Washington State Department of Licensing. To complete this step, I had to make sure my current California license was currently in good standing (which it is), visit the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology’s website and submit a Certification Request. This meant completing the Request for Certification of a California License form, printing it out, signing and sending it in with a $10 check.

Then I had to contact the Washington State Department of Licensing to complete an application form – the Barber, Cosmetologist, Esthetician or Manicurist License Renewal, Reinstatement, Out-of-State, or Reciprocity Application and check the “reciprocity” box on the form. I then printed out the form, signed it and sent it in with a $50 check. Now I have to play the waiting game while California and Washington talk to each other and verify my esthetician license. The cool thing is once this process is done, I’ll have both a California and Washington esthetician license. Applying for a Washington license won’t affect your license in another state.

Once I have a valid esthetician license in the state of Washington, I’ll then need to decide if getting the master esthetician license will be worth the time and money for me and my career goals. Currently in my professional position, I don’t need an esthetician license because I don’t touch skin for a living. I work in marketing, managing social media, email campaigns, the website and blog for a medical spa. Even though having an esthetician license isn’t necessary in my current position, it has proved to be invaluable with all of the research and writing I do about the services and treatments we offer in all of our clinics.

The only reason why I’d like to get a master esthetician license is to further advance myself as a professional within the skincare industry. I don’t currently have any interest in working in a treatment room performing facials, facial/body waxing, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, micro-needling or spray tanning. I do have an interest in learning everything I can about this industry because I enjoy it and would love to eventually expand my blog to market myself as a marketing and social media expert for other, fellow estheticians out there. Who knows, maybe after I start school, my interests might change and I’ll want to work in a medical setting as a licensed esthetician. That’s originally what I wanted to do when I first went to beauty school in California.

What would you do if you were me? Do you think it’s worth investing the time and money to further advance myself as an expert within this industry? I’m stumped and would love to hear what you think.




What is the Master Esthetician License?

Skin Inc MagazineDid you know that as of January 1, 2015, Washington state rolled out a new licensing law for estheticians? The current esthetician training went from 600 hours to 750 hours from a licensed school, in addition to taking and passing a written and practical exam administered by the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL), to allow for new technology and additional practice and theory for students while their in school. This license will no longer allow the use of laser or medium-depth chemical peels.

As of the beginning of this year, there’s also a brand, new 1,200-hour master esthetician license in Washington state. A master esthetician will now be licensed to operate lasers and perform medium-depth chemical peels. This is great news for estheticians in the state of Washington who want to work in a medical setting with doctors, medical spas and clinics.

Check out this great article from Skin Inc Magazine, where they talk more in detail about what exactly these new laws mean for estheticians in Washington and how educators fought hard to get them voted into place:

Washington State’s New Licensing Law for Estheticians




Mt Bachelor Vacation #MtBachelorStoked

The view from our balcony at hotel #3, Mount Bachelor Village Resort

Because life just cannot be all work and no play! I managed to stack up quite a few vacation hours in 2014. I finally decided to use some of those hours and went on a road trip last week with my husband and some of our friends to Mt Bachelor. We ended up staying in four hotel rooms in one week. Here’s the proof of how much fun we had. I wish I could go on vacation for a living!


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My Life as an Esthetician Got a Makeover!!

Me at Mt BakerHi Blog Readers! If you’ve visited my blog previously, you might have noticed that things look a little bit different here these days. I recently switched my blog over from Blogger.com to WordPress. Here’s what my old blog looked like, remember? I’ve been meaning to make this switch for the last two years, but haven’t had the time. I blame it on my day job, my move to Seattle last year and my recent engagement/marriage. All good things of course!

Now, my blog is WAY more user-friendly than ever before. In addition to making the entire blog much more esthetically pleasing, you can now easily search for any topics I’ve covered in in the Search box to the right or by clicking on any of the Categories below the Search box. I’ve also created a FAQs page that contains some of the most common questions readers ask me about. For those of you who are curious to see where I’ve written online other than my blog, I’ve created a Writing Portfolio page, which has a link to all of my work outside of my blog.

Getting ahold of me is now super easy. I’ve included links to all of my social media platforms in the top-right corner of my blog. I also have my contact information on the Contact Me page, just in case you wanted to send me an email.

I’m super excited about all of the new changes on my blog. I hope you are too. If there’s anything you’d like me to cover on my blog going forward, I’d love to know. Either leave a comment below or send me an email. I will be putting together e-mail newsletters from time-to-time pretty soon. If you’d like to sign up for my free e-mail newsletter list, be sure to look for the sign up box on the right-hand column.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog. I’m really excited to get back into the swing of things!


Chemical Peel: Day Three and Day Four

Peel Day 04-01When I woke up on the morning of Day Three after having the chemical peel, I looked in the mirror and saw that the peeling had moved to my entire face and neck area. I was excited because I could see the skin literally hanging off of my face. At least I knew the peel was working! The only downfall was that my husband and I had a trade show we’d be attending all day long. We were scheduled to meet with people one-on-one, a lot of these people I’d be meeting for the first time. This was going to be the first time during my peeling process that I wasn’t going to be able to hide at home or in my office, in front of my computer.

As I got ready for the day, I swear I could feel the skin literally peeling off of my face. It was the weirdest, yet most satisfying feeling. It was hard not to scratch or peel the old skin off of my face. I made sure to follow Kavina’s specific instructions of just letting the skin peel off on it’s own.

At the tradeshow, I could see the people we were meeting with give my face double-takes. My husband picked up on the looks too and started explaining to everyone that I just had a chemical peel. Most people sighed in relief and said they thought I had just come back from some sort of vacation or had too much sun. When I pointed out that I didn’t have a suntan or sunburn, they looked at me confused and wanted to know more.

I explained to the people who asked that I was covering chemical peels on the SkinSpirit blog. I told them that in order to write an effective blog post about chemical peels, I was having the service done on myself. Almost immediately, people started asking me questions about chemical peels. They wanted to know what exactly a chemical peel was, how they work, what they do for the skin and how did it feel having the skin peeling off of my face. Some of the guys we talked to said that their wives have had chemical peels before, but they didn’t know exactly what a chemical peel was. With my recent experience of having a peel and researching peels, I was able to give them educated answers to all of their questions.

My skin was peeling quite a bit on Day Three. As soon as my skin started to feel itchy and irritating, I applied moisturizer all over my face and neck. My skin felt super warm to the touch – very similar to what a sunburn feels like. The moisturizer not only helped hydrate my peeling skin, but it felt like it cooled it off a bit, making the peeling process in public a little bit more tolerable.

On Day Four, the peeling was out of control. I felt like I had to reapply moisturizer to my face every ten minutes. Not only was the skin literally hanging off of my chin and neck, I could see it peeling off of my nose. I had to spend most of Day Four in public again at the tradeshow. I swear I could still feel the skin peeling off of my face. I tried my hardest not to scratch my face throughout the day. I couldn’t help rubbing off the excessive skin along my hairline though, which caused the dead skin to get stuck in my hair. It also didn’t help that I was wearing a black sweater. Mental Note To Self: When you wear black clothing during the peeling process, count on seeing a bunch of dead skin all over your clothing.