A few years back I was thinking of going back to school to get my masters, and that’s when I realized that maybe going to a trade school would be a much better fit for me. I started looking into different trades, such as dog grooming(I love animals), dental hygiene, makeup etc. I was looking around online and that’s when I saw this up-and-coming field called Esthetics.
What is Esthetics?
Esthetics encompasses services that are meant to enhance the appearance of the face, neck, arms, legs and shoulders. Enhancements would typically be done via the use of compounds or procedures such as makeup, eyelashes, depilatories, tonics, lotions, waxes, sanding and tweezing.
I figured, wow this is very hands on and I could work in a spa or one day maybe have my own and they tend to be very relaxing and laid back environments. I myself happen to be a pretty laid back person so I felt that this would be the right fit for me. I looked at a few different schools and made sure to check their reputation with online reviews.
Long Island Nail and Skin Care Institute in Levittown was the first place I looked at. The school was fairly large and looked nice and well kept. I requested some information from them and compared prices to other schools. At the time (2011) the entire program ran for about 6 months if you went full time and cost approximately $13,000.00 – they did offer several payment options. The one thing that really annoyed me about this school was how PUSHY they were to get you to sign up with them. One thing that I greatly disliked about this school was after inquiring, they continued to call and contact me.
When I continued to look online I found New York Institute of Beauty (NYIB). They had two locations- one in Islandia (Suffolk County) and one in Syosset (Nassau County). I looked at the Syosset location (this location has recently closed down) and decided to join this school because it was closer to me. It was a pretty small school – much smaller than the Islandia location. The tuition here was about $10,000.00 at the time and this included your makeup set (which was probably the cheapest and worst makeup you could ever use) and two textbooks. The textbook that we used in class was called “Milady’s Standard Esthetics Fundamentals”.
The program ran for a little under 6 months and I went full time from 9:30am to 3:30pm Monday thru Friday. The first few months were strictly in the classroom, which I honestly didn’t like at all because it was insanely boring. There was an entire section about anatomy, which I understand some of it is important to know for certain jobs in the Esthetics field- but being honest we did NOT need this much classroom time because about 70% of the things we had to learn about in the textbook were irrelevant. It felt that we spent more time in the classroom taking tests than beings hands on in the clinical room.
For the clinical part of this program the students were in a room where we would practice on other students or people that were in the office building that the beauty school was located in. We would do facials, back facials, microdermabrasions, waxing, and other skin treatments. This part I liked- especially the facials. Back facials were my favorite to do. They consisted of cleansing, toning, massage, extractions, and skin analysis. The teacher that I had was new to the school- it was her first year and first time ever teaching. I have to say that I was really not a fan of her and neither were most of the other girls in the class- there was about 15 of us and maybe 11 actually finished the program. The teacher we had was strict (which is fine) but she was really impatient and did not take her time going over things at all. You could tell that she really did not like her job. This was definitely not the right job for her and I am pretty sure once the program ended for the season that she left the school and did not return.
Towards the end of the program we started practicing for the state board exams. These were 2 tests, one written and one hands on. As long as you passed the written you could go on and take the clinical part- this took place in a room with about 2 other people while you were being tested on how quickly and effectively (in the right order) you could perform a facial, makeup, waxing, tweezing.
The proctors for this exam were nastier and ruder than the instructors that give you the driving test. One of the proctors had me so nervous during the test that I started shaking and getting anxiety because she was so incredibly nasty and intimidating. I’m not sure if this is how they all are or if she was just being like this to make the test harder on us. I did pass both of the tests the first time so I was able to get my license, what a huge relief that was.
I don’t regret going here as I learned a lot about skin care and I now have my Esthetics license which is good for 4 years and then you just reapply for a new one by paying a fee. I’m just glad I never have to take the board exam again. The payment plans are okay- you can either pay them in full at the start of the program or pay monthly- just as long as the final amount is paid off before the program is over. They accept credit cards too I believe. If you fail a test you have to pay $50.00 to retake it which I find ridiculous. Also any extra programs such as microdermabrasion or laser hair removal are extra- the laser hair removal program was about a week long and an extra $1,500.00 to get certified- most places you apply to will train you so this certificate is not that necessary don’t suggest getting it and I’m glad that I didn’t because it would have been a waste of money.
Overall, I would not recommend this school- I would say if you are thinking of becoming an Esthetician I would suggest you go the Boces route. It will be much more cost effective. I chose this school because I thought I would get a better education about Esthetics here than at Boces but I really don’t feel that I did. I did not like that they taught us so by the books instead of teaching us what it will really be like to work in this environment. Even the way they taught us to do facials is totally different in school than the way it is in the real world. I know that this is the same in any school but I thought in trade school they would prepare you for the real world. I was wrong in that aspect. I also suggest if you are going to school for Esthetics maybe try doing cosmetology first this way you know how to do hair as well.