How to become a beauty educator
Ever thought about teaching? Not only does it pay to have extra skills in a competitive beauty industry, it can also boost your earnings. Claire Bowen, 44, from South Wales, trains nail technicians within our Sally stores. Here, she shares her journey to teaching beauty and the key things she’s learned along the way.
“I had a career change to become a beauty therapist”
“I had a midlife crisis at 30 when my daughter was born. I thought, ‘I’ve got two kids - now what am I going to do?’ At the time I was working for my father’s minibus company and my friend suggested we go to college. I did a mani and pedi course and loved it. From there, I did courses in everything I could think of, from spray tanning to lash extensions.”
“I had no teaching experience… but went for it anyway!”
“A couple of years ago I got ill with an oesophagus problem. I’m not the sort of person to dwell that I wasn’t well so I decided to distract myself by doing another course. This time I booked in for the Award in Education and Training course. It was quite difficult because everyone else on my course was sent there by their work and had already done some teaching. I was the only one who had no experience. It was an intense course - it takes me a long time to learn! - but I really enjoyed it and put my heart and soul into it.”
“You need to be confident about talking in front of people but remember, working in a salon will give you that confidence.”
“A chance email changed the course of my career”
“I was going through my emails and spotted one from nail care company Cuccio saying they were looking for educators. By this point I’d run a salon for eight years and been asked every question going, so I thought why not!
“I had an interview with their Head of Education and then I went up to Liverpool to do their training. I then started teaching a few days a week but while I really enjoyed it, I didn’t think it was fair on my clients. I had to decide where my passion lay and teaching won, so I gave up my salon last year. Now I work two or three days a week teaching and then I do my own clients from home two days a week. The way I look at my work week now is I never have a bad day. In a salon you’d always have that one client who’d bring your week down. I don’t have that now, I always have a fantastic working week.”
5 top tips for becoming a beauty educator
Feeling inspired? Follow Claire’s advice and find out how to get into teaching beauty therapy…
1. Be approachable
“You need to be confident about talking in front of people but remember, working in a salon will give you that confidence. I’m quite chatty so when my students come in I put them at ease as fast as I can. Then I get a better relationship with them and they know I’m a normal human being. I’m very approachable. As soon as I’ve done that I’ve got their attention for the rest of the day.”
2. Work with a reputable brand
“Lots of brands work with educators so have a look around and approach those you’d like to work with. I like working on my own and the freedom that Salon Services and Cuccio give me. I have my agenda but it can be tweaked around my student’s abilities. Get with a reputable brand and you won’t go wrong.”
3. Pick your beauty teaching course carefully
“Do your research when looking for your beauty educator training course. There’s plenty of courses to choose from so just make sure you check the qualifications and background of the organisers. It’s a lot of money so make sure it’s the right course for you. I liked the fact I knew my tutor and if I had a problem I could just phone her.”
4. Never stop learning
“I learn things from my students every single day. A few weeks ago one student showed me how to marble with acrylics, a skill she’d seen on YouTube. From ombre to foils, there’s always something new to learn. I love the fact that I’m always learning: I am teaching them and they are showing techniques to me.”
5. Practice, practice, practice
“Before my first class I did mini teaching sessions at home. I’d make Powerpoint slides on my laptop and talk through them to make sure I knew what I was going to say. It was nerve wracking in the beginning so sometimes you’ve just got to fake it till you make it!
“It might be years since you were at college so refresh your knowledge - go through everything, start at the bottom and learn it all over again. That means when you’re standing up and doing your class you are confident and know exactly what you’re talking about.”