There are many facets to the beauty industry. From cosmetic manufacturing, skin care products, hair stylists and manicurists and lash technicians and estheticians. Many people today pay for beauty services, such as getting facials or getting their hair styled or getting pedicures or getting their brows laminated or getting eyelash extensions.

But, I feel that sometimes beauty services jobs don’t always get the credit and admiration they deserve. 

Sitting on the bus the other day I overheard some people complaining about the costs of eyelash extensions. Saying they’re too expensive, that surely it doesn’t cost lash technicians that much money to apply lashes and they’re overcharging. How hard is it anyway to glue extensions onto someone’s eyelashes? But, as someone who’s recently gotten eyelash extensions I don’t really agree with them. 

When I was in high school I was having my hair styled by a hair stylist and while we were chatting she told me something that I still think about today. She told me that she thinks that beauty jobs like hairstyling and manicuring nails are one of the few jobs that can’t be replaced by robots. I agreed with her, because how could robots ever be programmed to have an eye for style and beauty? And I could not ever imagine a robot cutting my hair and doing a very good job of it.

The other day when I got my tax return, I decided to splurge and get my eyebrows threaded and tinted and to get eyelash extensions. When I was at my eyelash extensions appointment, as the lash technician was glueing eyelash extensions onto my eyelashes I mentioned to her what the hairstylist had told me. About how she thought beauty services jobs are some of the few jobs robots can’t replace.

The lash technician told me she saw a video online of a robot applying lash extensions to eyelashes and asked me if I could imagine having a robot poke at my eyelashes, and having those robot fingers poke so closely to my eyes. I couldn’t help but smile, trying to imagine it. It just seemed ridiculous to me, to have a robot apply eyelash extensions on me. Plus, I thought it was really freaky, and no way would I trust a robot (no matter how well programmed it was) to apply eyelash extensions on me. When I told her I was trying to imagine robot fingers poking at my eyelashes she started laughing and said something along the lines of: “Can you imagine a robot doing what I’m doing right now? Hell no!”

And the thing was I couldn’t. I feel like robots will soon be able to replace most jobs, but no robot could ever truly replace beauty service jobs, or at least to the point that people would prefer to get their lashes done by a robot than by a human.

When I went in for my eyelash extensions appointment I wasn’t sure what eyelashes might suit my face best, so I asked the lash technician and she recommended I get longer eyelashes in the centre of my eyelids since I have hooded eyes. She told me most people want cat-eye lashes, but the problem is that the heaviness of the lashes tends to drag the corner of the eyes down. I feel that this eye for beauty is something that robots could never replicate.

I think there might be some sort of idea that people who work in beauty services jobs must be unskilled and untalented, but I think that people who work in the beauty industry are incredibly skilled and talented. Eg Brow technicians have to analyse people’s faces and determine what style of brows would most suit them and then actually apply those styles to their brows which requires a tremendous amount of skill. 

 I personally am incredibly awful at applying makeup. I’ve sat for hours, watching youtube videos, with a bottle of foundation and a beauty sponge trying to learn how to blend my foundation so that the foundation blends into my skin. And, I still can’t blend very well. I’ve also tried to learn how to apply eyeliner, but I am awful at it with the lines often being shaky and uneven. The only makeup I wear regularly is lipstick since that seems to be the only cosmetic I can apply somewhat reasonably.

Meanwhile, my younger sister is incredibly skilled at applying makeup. When I first  heard the term “makeup artist” I didn’t really register the fact in my mind that applying makeup can be a form of art. But, seeing my sister apply makeup to her own face or to other people’s faces makes me think of times when I’ve seen painters carefully applying paint to canvas.

My sister’s attention to detail and colour when she applies makeup is so remarkable. When she would put eyeliner on me she would carefully study my face and my eyes and draw the liner on carefully. She told me that since me and her have differently shaped eyes she has to apply the eyeliner on our eyes differently. When she puts makeup on other people she says she has to apply each person’s makeup differently, since their faces are all different. Hearing her explain to me the different techniques for applying makeup to people’s faces was pretty interesting, and again made me think about how applying makeup is an art.

And I think all the jobs in the beauty services industry are a form of art. Styling hair, painting nails, applying makeup, threading and tinting brows, applying eyelash extensions —- all of these practices are forms of art. They all require incredible skill and eyes for detail and beauty, and I really dislike this idea that people who have beauty tech jobs must be unskilled and that the prices they charge for their services are too expensive.

I still remember the first time I got my hair styled when I was fifteen. I had saved up and the hair stylist dyed my hair red and cut my hair in some sort of style. I remember when she finished blow drying my hair and I looked in the mirror, I felt so shocked because I felt I looked so different and beautiful. I felt so happy and it actually made me feel more confident having such awesome looking hair.

People who work in beauty service jobs aren’t just helping to make you look more good, they help you feel more good too. Lots of people report feeling a boost of confidence and happiness when they feel they look beautiful. So to conclude: people in beauty service jobs provide incredibly valuable services, and they are incredibly skilled and talented and I don’t think it should ever be said that their services and skill and talent isn’t worth the money they charge.

About the Author

Deena is currently majoring in English. She is excited to be a blog writer since shes hopes to spread more awareness on topics she is passionate about and to also hopefully spotlight women who are doing amazing things in the local community.