Bring on the distinctions!

I am sure it is not a big secret but I really want to get as many distinctions as I can while doing this course.  Today I did my first set of summative exams; these were facial and head massage.


My mum came over and I did my facial on her – however I made a mistake.  I would have gotten 29/30 however I couldn’t have it as I didn’t use the hot towel at the right point of the facial.  My mum hadn’t wanted steaming and in class we had been told we could keep hot towels until after the mask to help take it off.  This was the option I went for and why my first summative was dismissed. 


Luckily I did have another client booked in for later that day and she wanted steaming.  For her facial I scored the 29/30 (irritating as I would have liked 30/30) and for the head massage I had full marks.  These good scores gave me what I wanted, 2 distinctions!  I did also tint her brows and lashes but was too nervous to request these be part of my summative also.  Perhaps next week, it would be nice to get another few summatives complete before Christmas and hopefully again with distinctions.


What do I learn in a Beauty Therapy NVQ level 2?

It may involve less theory than other subjects but it does still involve a fair bit of study!

A lot of people post on forums asking what the NVQ Level 2 covers.  Whilst all colleges will be different I can advise you of what we do in my college.

The practical subject areas we cover are:

  • Facials
  • Head Massage
  • Lash & Brow Treatments
  • Make-up
  • Manicure & Pedicures
  • Nail Art
  • Spray Tanning (technically a level 3 subject)
  • Waxing & Hair Removal

Although these are practical subjects there is a lot of theory to go along with them.  For example, with facials you will learn about the make-up of the skin, bloody supply, muscles and bones in the head and upper body.  You will have theory classes to help you with this but I find that a good tutor will also talk about the theory while you are doing your practical; this makes it much easier to relate to in my opinion.

With Facials you will also cover Head Massage in this module.  You start with your routines that you will use for a lot of the facial.  They will be quite easy to learn and will break you in gently for when you need to learn the 20 minute massage routine and 10 minute head massage routine.

Lash & Brow treatments will cover your tinting and eyelash extensions.

Make-up is rather fun with a good tutor that will talk you through it step by step.  Be warned that the way you are used to doing make-up may not be how you are required to do it for assessment and you may need to alter your style.

Manicures & Pedicures will also incorporate your Nail Art.  It will start with practice on how to hold your polish bottles and how to hold a clients hand to get you comfortable and confident with your painting.  This will prepare you for learning the rest of the module.

When doing Spray Tanning you will start with perhaps 4 – 6 people spraying one model.  In fact, the first time I sprayed a whole person was for my formative!  Your tutor will talk you through techniques and routines to make it all easier for you.

Waxing for us started with some of the class doing the tutors legs!  We then started to practice on eyebrows as part of our eyebrow shaping and progressed from there.

The theory we cover (in addition to the theory included in studying the above practical subjects) includes:

  • Client Care & Communication in a Salon Environment
  • Health & Safety
  • Product Promotion in a Salon Environment
  • Reception Duties
  • Working in a Salon Environment

Now I won’t lie, if you have ever worked in an environment that requires you to do reception duties or sales duties then you will find a lot of this very easy and a bit dull at times.  If you have previously covered health and safety in another course, it will be very similar and possibly a simplified version depending on the level you originally studied.

I know some people will chose to do each module one by one if they are trying to build their knowledge bit by bit – but if you cover all of the above segments then you have the equivalent to an NVQ level 2!

Hip Hip Hooray and my first paying client!

Well my exams went well, rather tan just one theory test and my spray tan test I ended up doing two theory tests alongside my spray tan test.  Pleased to say I past everything and I am moving nicely along.

Today we had a different tutor for make-up and I have to say she was fantastic! I actually felt like I learned a lot and I got some great tips and feedback on my make-up application.  The tutor went step by step with the whole class following along using our own colour schemes and deciding if and where we needed to highlight or use bronzer etc.

Following the morning of make-up I completed my final Formative facial!  Next week will be my Summative exams and provided I pass it I will be fully qualified in facials!  How exciting is that?  It is amazing to in under 3 months from starting, to be qualified in something new.

After the facial I started to set up for an eyelash and brow tint on a different classmate.  No sooner was I set up and the tutor advised me and the only other girl who hadn’t started her next treatment “We have 2 clients that have just shown up, we had them booked in for the wrong date.  You both need to get ready to do a facial on them!”.  Errr ok, totally was NOT expecting to be doing a facial on a paying member of the public but how exciting!

I got all set up and brought my client in and went through everything with her and jumped into the treatment head first.  The major downside was the other class members.   Both clients gave their therapist a glowing review and booked in again for next week requesting they have the same therapist again… but complained that the atmosphere of the room was not as relaxing as a facial should be.  It really saddened me as the one thing they were unhappy with was the one thing we had no control over.

Care of the rebooking requesting myself and my classmate carry out the treatments again, I now have 2 paying customers booked in for next Thursday.  Okay, okay one IS my mum…. But hey, she is still paying and I will make sure I give her a fantastic treatment… I want that distinction after all.

Tests, tests and more tests!

Wow the run up to Christmas is going to be filled with theory tests and formatives.

Over the weekend we all had to revise for our facial exam and do a mock test online.  I played ball and did my work and the test scoring a 19/20 which I was pleased with.  However it appeared when I turned up to class to day many of the class had “faulty laptops” and so didn’t bother to do the test.  We then did a mock class test, some people were scoring as low as 8 out of 24!  I mean come on, they really need to pull their socks up.

Tomorrow when I arrive I will be doing my spray tan formative.  I hands down am very nervous.  I haven’t once had the opportunity to spray tan a full person and to have my formative as my first time spraying a full person is very daunting.  I have done my best to memorise the routine so hopefully the nerves will stay at bay and I will remember it.  All that is left is to make sure I am thorough with my spraying and don’t go too quickly to ensure an even cover.

After my spray tan formative I head in for my facial theory test.  Although I have prepped well for it you never know what they will ask you on the day so I won’t count my chickens until the test is complete and the score is in my hand.

Now I know it is November but dare I say that we already have our Christmas tree up?! Ok, ok I was railroaded into it but I am now embracing the season with gusto.  That includes browsing for Christmas gifts that I may want people to buy me to help me with my beauty course.


I have I am sure told you all that I wish to start getting a spray tan kit together and although long term I would like a TS50 it will cost me quite a bit more than a TS20 which is equally as good but has a lower capacity to do consecutive tans.  The best offer I can find has to be with LA Tanning.  They offer starter kits starting at only £99 for the gun, a variety of tans and accessories (however this does not include a tent).  The kit I feel offers the best value for money is the TS20 kit costing £199.  This particular kit comes with 4 x 1ltr of tan in the colours of my choice, a tanning tent, the TS20 itself and a variety of accessories including sticky feet and disposable underwear.

Although LA Tanning is not the tan I wish to go with long term, this offer makes it worth me starting out with them.  They are of course cruelty free or else no matter how good an offer they had I would not be purchasing from them at all.

So here is to my formative in tanning going well tomorrow and getting my summative under my belt asap so I can request very kindly that Santa buy me this kit to set me on my spray tanning way…

Tan lines, exam times and Pinterest

Today was the first set of tan formatives and I was a model for a classmates spray tan formative.  We used He-Shi again and it wasn’t until she started spraying that the tutor asked if I was ok with the dark tan as that was what had been in the bottle before.  Well as it was already on my leg “what the heck I thought” and so they continued.

I had planned to wash the tan off as soon as I got home so it would be gone for work but sadly I hadn’t enough time to do this and the tan stayed on for the full 8 hrs before I got home to shower.  I thought I would take a photo to show you exactly how dark the “dark” shade of He-Shi was.

Sorry for the poor quality – this photo was taken with no flash on my Blackberry

Mental huh?  I really am that pale naturally although the tan actually doesn’t look that dark or unnatural on me.  It actually makes me look a little healhier

The second half of the day was a test in “Employability in the beauty industries”.  I am pleased to say I got 100% and so another module under the belt.  Next week this class will be our facial and skin theory test.

It will be my turn to do my spray tan formative exam next week.  Excited and nervous all in one go.  I have only had the chance to be in one spray tan class to see the routine and so I asked another girl doing her formative today if I could watch her spray tan to help me visualise the routine I need to do next week.  Fingers crossed it helps the routine stick in my head so I can pass next week!

On another note, I have been spending far too much time on Pinterest – that website is just fantastic for finding inspiration for make-up and nail art.  A lot of my class seem never to have heard of it so I urge you if you have never used it before, set up an account and have a whizz through, you will love it!

Too old to study beauty therapy?

I have read a few people recently online questioning if they could/should study beauty therapy.  There seems to be a bit of a worry that it is something that only 16 – 18 year olds study and that anyone in their 20’s, 30’s or older is too old to bother.

I will admit, I did have my own reservations when I signed up for the course.  I assumed everyone would be just out of school but from my open evening visit I could see a few others who were a bit older.  I was also reassured when I seen another girl at the open evening had also got her degree and been travelling before deciding to change direction and study beauty therapy.

Now that I am a Beauty Therapy Student, I am not the oldest in my class, there is one person older than me and another 2 in their mid 20’s.  In the other level 2 class in our college there are 3 girls in their mid 20’s taking the course also.

From my experience of the course I have found that my life and work experience from the past has helped me greatly.  I have found many of the written exams a lot easier than others and I find it very easy to articulate what I want to say when others may struggle.

I have a greater sense of importance with regards to my studies.  I know how important they are to paving the change in my future career and I know how much easier it is to be in college studying than working fulltime in a thankless job.  I often hear some of my class saying they wish they could quit and just stay at home and work for money and I ask them why that would be any better?

If you are past the age of 20 and worried that you are too old for the course and thinking you should take the evening course route because there are more mature students; well you would be right, there are more mature students taking the evening course BUT and it’s a big but, the evening course takes you much longer and all for what? For the fear of being a bit older than your classmates?

If you want to do you course fulltime to complete quicker then please do! I promise after the first week you won’t be worried about the fact you are a little older than others and you will be excited going into class and learning the skills you need to go out and work in the beauty industry.  So what’s it gonna be, sit around worried and waiting? Or making it happen and changing your life…

Pop Art/ Comic Book Make-up

I REALLY love this idea which I spotted on a Youtube channel I follow.

There is a girl in my class with very vibrant red/gingery hair and I think this would be an amazing look for somebody to do on her.  Not that I would see her going out with this look, but I think it would be an interesting “look” to do.

Have you ever tried the Pop Art/Comic Book look before?