The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and the number of beauty salons has proliferated exponentially, working between 8 am right up to 10 pm. Experienced workers draw a take-home salary of around $30,000 pa. The adventurous, smart and strong-willed have realized that it preferable to set up shop at home. The overheads are often low, time-frames more family friendly and all you need is business to come to you. In a recent interview with Michelle Evans – an at-home beauty therapist who also writes on her website thebeautyherald.com, shared her ideas, concepts, experiences and perspectives.
Michelle realized that she was gifted with the unique ability to beautify anything when she was a child. Her parents also recognized her ability and thought she should become an interior decorator. Right from High School, she started to help friends and colleagues beautify themselves for a date or a function. She realized then that she was cut out to become a beautician. She spent three full years studying for her B.Tech in Beauty Therapy while devoting time for an NVQ level 2 diploma in that field. Armed with these qualifications, she was snapped up by the five-star Supreme Beauty Parlor in Albany Park, Chicago. She worked the morning shift for experience and did advanced courses elsewhere in make-up and hairdressing in the afternoons every alternate day. She did her NVQ level 3 diploma next year and is comprehensively trained today in almost all facets of beauty therapy.
Michelle learned massage, electrolysis and the tricky laser hair removal at Supreme. She married soon thereafter and with her husband, bought a three-bedroom house in Grand Blanc, MI. He was employed by GM and she worked from home. In the early days, she provided all types of services, like waxing, threading, facials, massages, hair care, manicure and pedicure. She was on top of the world and her outgoing friendly nature helped a lot. She also provided basic services on call, where she charged extra for both the fuel and commuting time. Her name and reputation grew pretty quickly.
Michelle currently specializes in the more expensive treatments like microdermabrasion and laser hair removal therapy. She has a certificate that qualifies her to do laser work. She had earned enough money to buy a desktop home laser hair removal system for her at-home work and a portable device whenever she accepted a visiting session, reserved only for her first customers! She explained that lasers do not work on blondes, redheads and grey-haired people as their melanin pigment is not suited to laser work. Besides being unsafe, the laser would cause lasting burn injuries. A fair amount of pre-laser application work is required, like a cooling system for the areas surrounding the target, special wax-like creams that safeguard neighboring areas, post treatment lotions and emollients, etc. The energy level is calculated based on certain factors, as is the zap time in milliseconds. Michelle is also insured against accidental damage and other legal aspects. She charges $225 for each laser therapy session at home and $300 on a visit. She has an article on hair removal at home with reviews of laser hair removal machines, for those interested in going DIY.
Regarding microdermabrasion, Michelle elaborated that every human’s skin is made up of two layers, the outermost epidermis and the fine dermis just below. The layer of skin visible to you, the epidermis, is actually in its death throes. The epidermal skin has a live inner section biologists call the stratum corneum. These two layers keep the world away from your inner skin. In microdermabrasion, a special machine injects minute but rough granules of aluminum oxide or sodium bicarbonate into the epidermis, just touching the corneum. Then it starts working like sandpaper, but in an advanced and scientific manner. Part of the corneum is deliberately abraded, to inform the brain that the corneum is damaged; the brain responds immediately by ordering a rapid repair of the abraded areas with fresh skin cells. The area becomes reddish in color and a slight swelling might take place. This is normal and most people recover in a couple of hours. A professional home microdermabrasion machine costs between $1,000-1,500. Portable versions are much smaller and the better ones retail for $ 275-350. For people who are interested in at home microdermabrasion, Michelle reviews the best microdermabrasion machines on her website. For those who prefer having a professional therapist doing it for them, Michelle can be engaged at $175 for each session and $225 for an outcall visit.
Michelle then stated that this process had several beneficial effects:
- Once the stratum corneum is repaired, the skin’s surface looks healthier and much improved.
- The healing involves generation of fresh skin which looks healthy and is smooth to touch.
- Visible blemishes like sun damage, spots and creases are removed.
- The stratum corneum no longer acts as a barrier for a short time. Medicinal emollients and lotions become more effective as their medicinal ingredients as well as moisture go down to and refresh the bottom layers of the inner skin.
She added that with microdermabrasion temporarily removing some moisture from the skin, the process is always followed by applying moisturizing creams. The machine, as such, is smaller and cheaper than a laser system. That said, the amount of professional care required never varies from the optimum. There are a few attendant risks, as Michelle clarified. The somewhat harsh process of Microdermabrasion can scrape or tarnish your skin if not done correctly. Its Venturi (vacuum) system causes blotches if skin tension remains uneven. The area around the lip is very vulnerable to bruising; eyelids must never be subjected to microdermabrasion. If the process is overly intense, the skin can become permanently discolored. She rounded it off by saying that it was your skin and you alone were responsible for its maintenance.