It is said that Cleopatra bathed in rose petals dipped in asses' milk to make her skin soft. Today, we achieve the same result by applying a body lotion or skin formula straight out of a jar.
Instead of crushed berries and walnut bark we use a high-gloss lipstick to colour and moisturise our lips. Instead of homemade kajal, which our grandmother painstakingly collected overnight in tiny iron containers, we now pick up a convenient kohl pencil to highlight our eyes. Today beauty care is a multi-billion dollar industry that employs millions of people across the globe - from scientists and production engineers right up to your neighbourhood pedicurist and mehndiwali.
Although tastes and trends keep changing, the basic job of beauty care professionals remains the same: to help people look beautiful. As a beautician you have a whole range of specializations to choose from: beauty therapy, hair styling, make-up, massage, facials, manicure, pedicure, electrolysis, herbal beauty care, etc. There are other closely related jobs like those of a beauty lab assistant, health club instructor; cosmetic sales person, consultant, yoga and nature cure practitioner, etc. While it is possible to practise more than one of these simultaneously, you can choose to specialize in any one hair, skin or makeup if that's where your interest lies.If you are specialising in hair, the work would involve cutting, colouring and styling hair. To achieve professionalism and a good reputation you must blend your technical skills with a dash of creativity and imagination.
Barbara, a VLCC-trained expert hairdresser who runs South Delhi Salon says, "Shaping and styling hair gives me the greatest thrill. Making my clients look good gives me tremendous job satisfaction. Financially too, hairdressing is highly paying. Today I can afford all the luxuries of life".The make-up artiste's job is to make the face look attractive by using complementary shades of colour to highlight the features while camouflaging and down-playing the flaws. It is fascinating to watch an expert create several faces on a single individual with a few deft strokes.
This is a highly specialised field and a well paying one to boot. Besides bridal and party make-up, these makeup artistes are in great demand in the fashion, advertising, film, television and theatre industry. Screen make-up is a specialisation in itself.Thanks to the growing fashion, fitness and beauty consciousness coupled with rising incomes and beauty culture, cosmetology has emerged as a major occupational avenue with tremendous commercial potential. According to some cosmetologists, often the blemishes are minuscule and almost invisible but it is the desire to look perfect that draws people into trying out a range of beauty treatments.
Cosmetology covers the overall conditions for looking good and therefore includes everything from beauty therapy to health care. It is a form of science where professional beauticians understand human anatomy and skin and then provide a treatment for any abnormality. How to choose a training school? If the school has a solid reputation for providing a good education and training to its students, then it is a school that you should join. Depending on the school, you may be able to specialise in a specific area within the field of cosmetology. But rather than high academic inputs, a beautician requires practical skills which can be gained not only by professional training but also with a great deal of hands-on practice.
Opportunities galore After the training is over, you could set up your own salon or spa or become affiliated with a distribution or manufacturing firm and assist them with education, product training, marketing, sales and more. Moreover, no one is stopping you from trying to build a career in the entertainment industry. Television programmes, music videos and movies cannot be made without the skills of hairdressers, nail technicians and make-up artists. One can always find lucrative openings in the fashion industry, which continuously requires professionals to groom models and other stars or as makeup artistes in the glamorous worlds of fashion, advertising, film and television. The salaries should also make you smile. While a trained fresher could start on a monthly salary of Rs 5-7,000 in a salon, if you join an international training brand, you can start at Rs 15,000. Much depends on how good you are at your job.
Specialised professionals like makeup artist charge from Rs 500 to 4,000 to execute a bridal or photographic make-up. Similarly, for make up and hair dressing in marketing campaigns, one can even earn around Rs 2-5,000 for a day's work! If you possess an eye for aesthetics, love working on beauty-related challenges and like altering people's appearances, this is perhaps the best field for you.
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