The cosmetologist that is changing lives

Yes, I know I look great. Thanks.

I felt (and looked) like a princess, which is great, because my stylist did that on purpose. I was seven -years-old and my friend Sarah was throwing a birthday party. Five other little girls and I went out to lunch at some upscale restaurant where Sarah’s mom bought us all an expensive lunch entrée and fancy crème tarts. Then it was off to the local beauty school where we all had our hair and makeup done.

I remember sitting in the chair as Crystal (yes, I even remember her name) curled my hair with a barrel iron. Crystal was just one of those girls that are just cool. She didn’t have to try to do anything; she was just the type of person that a little seven-year-old girl who went to the hair salon for a birthday party wanted to be when she grew up.

Her hair was bright, bright blonde, but it looked surprisingly natural. It was short and almost pixie-ish, with a little more of an A-line than a pixie. Somehow, though, she pulled it off. She had a really pretty face, and while she had some make-up on, she definitely understood the “less is more” saying. In all fairness she was just a natural beauty, but she understood that hair and makeup were only supposed to emphasize who you already (naturally) are.

So she curled my hair in lots of pretty ringlets (which were okay in the ‘90’s, right?), but when it came to my makeup, she only put on a coat of mascara and a little blush and lip gloss (looking back on it now, I understand why my mom was so grateful to “whoever it was that did my makeup”; she wanted me to feel beautiful and confident with the way that I naturally looked).

Fifteen years later I realize why Crystal was so darn cool. She was happy and confident with herself as a person. She was beautiful, but she certainly didn’t flaunt it in everyone’s face. And rather than spend hours in the mirror every morning, she put on just a little makeup and went to work. She had all of the beauty knowledge in the world, and she knew exactly what to access for maximum impact, yet she still chose to stay true to the ideal she was trying to promote; don’t just work with what you’ve got – be happy with it. Only then will that little bit of makeup help.

No, This Isn’t the Part of the Story Where I Tell You about My Job as a Cosmetologist

I wish this were the part where I said that I became obsessed with and pursued a career in hair and makeup, and I’d made it my personal life goal to instill a sense of confidence in each young woman who came and sat in my chair. Unfortunately, that’s not where this story goes.

So let’s jump back to fifteen years later and I guess it’s probably time to admit that I’ve never been good about doing my own hair and makeup. Don’t get me wrong; I do my hair and makeup and I really do try, it just doesn’t always look that good.

Enter my good friend, Maren.

Maren actually certified in cosmetology, and I can tell you that she’s one of the most knowledgeable women in her field. Rather than just being “that girl who went to school in cosmetology”, she’s one of those girls who really went to cosmetology school so that she could make a different in people’s lives.

There’s something special about Maren you should probably know. Maren was in a horrible car accident her junior year of High School. She ended up in the Intensive Care unit for months because of severe bodily damage; she had gone through the windshield after a drunk driver ran a red light. Why do I tell you this? Because even though Maren had severe, rather disfiguring scars all across her face, Maren made the decision to be happy with what she looked like, and she wanted to pursue a career that would help her reach out to people and make them feel confident and comfortable with themselves too.

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty…

So Maren went to Brillare school of cosmetology. I’ll always remember sitting on my bed for hours, listening to chick-flicks play in the background and eating Swedish Fish while Maren would try out the newest, latest and greatest makeup ideas on me. It was like always having a professional makeup artists all of the time. Awesome, right?

About a year later, Maren approached me about being her skin-care model. How could I say no? Apparently Brillare has an esthetics program where they teach you the fundamentals of the skin. She actually knew how to analyze my skin and she told me what would work best to get my skin glowing. I can’t tell you the number of spa therapies, microdermabrasion treatments, and detoxifying body wrap treatments I had while Maren was taking Skin 101. The best part of it all (besides the fact that it was free): it all worked. My skin looked fantastic.

Maren soon began working at a chic beauty salon on Main, and, once a year, she works for free at the “Princess for a Day” benefit. She gets to work with dozens of little girls who are terminally ill – most of them don’t have any hair, and the ones that do have hair don’t have very much. But every day for the next year, Maren tells me how beautiful the little girls are and how much fun they had getting their hair and makeup done. The coolest part of it all is that Maren helps women every single day to feel as beautiful as she feels – scars and all.

If you’re like Maren and you see the beauty in everyone around you, if you love people and you genuinely want to make a difference in the lives of others, beauty school just might be for you. So if you’re interested in finding an incredible beauty school to match the incredible person you are then I would hope you do your research and pursue your dreams like my dear friend, Maren.

Author Bio: Ginger graduated in Public Relations with an emphasis in Advertising Writing. She now enjoys working with local companies, such as cosmetology schools in Arizona, sharing their stories and helping spread the word of the great work these companies do to help the communities. 

25 Sep

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