Health and beauty is a major industry – everyone feels great when they look their best.

In the last couple of years, there has been an explosion of beauty bloggers and makeup artists providing amazing tutorials and attracting new interest in this industry. Right now there is a major focus on self-care and being confident in your own skin and that means there is a lot of opportunities out there for anyone thinking of pursuing a career in this sector.

Health and beauty is a wide-ranging subject and therefore provides candidates with many areas to choose from to develop a range of skills or a speciality.

You can choose to undertake courses and training in such areas as make-up, skincare, hairdresser, waxing, nail-care, beauty therapy, massaging and even cosmetic surgery and lest not forget the all important eyebrow.

A Bachelor’s degree at undergraduate level will help you gain an understanding not only of the trade but also in the business related aspect. For those of you with more interest in the health related aspect of beauty you can always look into an undergraduate course in health studies. However the level of study required depends on the direction/specialisation you wish to undertake. If you would prefer a career in hairdressing for example, you will want to get yourself a National Vocation Qualification or NVQ for short. You can achieve this by registering for a hairdressing and or beauty course at your nearest college.

When it comes to beauty careers, the big focus is on skills- yes it is a cliché but practice makes perfect and the all important apprenticeship will provide you with a platform to learn from professionals, gain work experience and develop your skills. Your local college will be able to provide you with details about apprenticeship opportunties or you can always source these yourself through online research or your own contacts.

With an NVQ diploma in hair and beauty you will cover areas such as shampooing and conditioning hair, manicuring/pedicuring, nail art, make-up and hair-styling. And, with a qualification in beauty therapy you will learn how to provide facials, waxing, tinting eye-lashes/eye-bows and eye-brow shaping. With the increasing appeal in spa-culture (because we’re all incredibly stressed and overworked) you could consider a diploma in beauty and spa therapy- units don’t cover the ‘spa voice’ but they will help you to learn how to give a great massage, provide facial and body electrotherapy treatments, dry spa treatments and you will also cover anatomy and physiology.

There are also many make-up courses out there where you can learn how to apply make-up for fashion, photography and film and TV. Many make-up artists run courses from their own stores so it is worth checking these out on their websites. These masterclasses range from one hour to half day classes or longer bootcamps. These can be expensive but worth attending so you can to learn some tricks from industry professionals and it always looks good on your CV when you go looking for a job or apprenticeship.

What’s great about this industry is that it is always developing and the skills you acquire provide excellent freelance opportunity. Part-time courses and short courses give you the opportunity to learn while you work and friends and family provide excellent (and forgiving) guinea pigs to practice your new skills on!

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