In Algonquin's esthetician program, students learn everything from manicures and pedicures to body wraps and facial treatments. Photo credit: Saira Qureshi

Scrubbing feet, giving massages, and performing facial treatments may not be everyone’s cup of tea but Algonquin’s esthetician student Linh Luong says that it is rewarding helping others.

But Luong, however, did not always see herself becoming an esthetician.

“I initially had no interest for this to begin with, just growing up with skin problems,” said Luong. “But then after getting into more cosmetic products and understanding what they do for the skin, it really helped boost my self-confidence and I kind of wanted to share that back with whoever is having troubles.”

The program itself is only a year long, comprised of three semesters.

“Every semester, there is another level of facial care,” she said.

The students learn about manicures and pedicures, nail enhancements, body treatments such as relaxation massages and body wraps. Luong highlighted that the program also teaches students about health, safety and sanitation, which she finds is not commonly seen at spas in Ottawa.

“There is also business management which allows you to have the skill set to open up your own business,” said Luong.

Eventually, Luong wants to work from home and perform eyelash extensions, micro blading and facials. She remarked that people often associate estheticians as a beauty thing, but she wants them to know that it is also a treatment.

A lady named Karen, who is a frequent client at the spa, praised Luong and said that she was very good at what she does.

“She’s not only very gentle at what she does and very knowledgeable in what she does,” said Karen. “But when it comes to doing body parts like your legs that are sensitive and sore, she is very good at putting the right amount of pressure on and making them feel much better, not to mention look better.”

Mikaela Neill is another student who is studying in the program. While giving a pedicure and foot massage to a client, Neill said that she was always interested in makeup and beauty.

“You learn a lot about physiology and biology and different skin conditions that people might be predisposition to have, just based on their skin tone and body type,” she explained.

Like Luong, Neill also enjoys making people feel good about themselves because she believes everyone loves to get pampered and look good.

“It’s a nice thing when you are really busy and when you work a lot, especially if you get really stressed out at your job, to just take an hour out for yourself and get like a pedicure or a manicure,” she added. “It makes you feel so much nicer about yourself and gives you a second to kind of breathe.”

Both students will be graduating this semester from the program and are looking into starting work at a spa.