Having qualified at the start of 2022 in my Pathway To Aesthetics course, I have the required six months of insurance behind me which allows me to progress on my journey into aesthetics as I now move onto my anti-wrinkle and dermal fillers studies.
My ethos in life is to balance the body, mind and soul together and as a bodybuilding professional, social media influencer, life coach and yoga instructor I’m incredibly excited to be able to help people to look and feel their very best from the inside out, which marries itself to aesthetics perfectly because when we look good we feel good!
Being a mother of two I know all too well how easy it is to burn the candle at both ends, and whilst I thrive on challenges and responsibility, age can take its toll pretty unkindly when it comes to leading a busy lifestyle. Yoga and meditation provide me with inner mental and emotional peace and calm, yet frown lines and wrinkles are physical signs of the wear and tear of life. I always find that the fresher and more youthful that I look the taller I stand, the more confident and motivated I feel and the more aligned my life is; this is precisely what I’d like to share with others.
Much like going to the hairdressers, having a manicure or popping to a spa for a massage to love and pamper ourselves, aesthetics have gradually become a part of everyday life, and I’ve enjoyed the results of having botox and dermal fillers myself for the past several years, which has kept me looking and feeling my physical best at the age of 35yrs. In fact, my children tell me that I look younger now than I did in my early twenties!
When fillers and botox first became fashionable it was so obvious to me that people had been aesthetically enhanced as the over-the-top, fake, cartoonish style of treatments were incredibly desirable – it was almost a statement of wealth and celebrity status to appear very obviously enhanced, however this trend has changed to a more natural and virtually undetectable style of enhancements where people are often left questioning “is she naturally that perfect or has she had a helping hand?” A world renowed surgeon once told me that the sign of the very best in the industry is no sign of their work at all and I couldn’t agree more.
Reaching my mid-thirties I’ve certainly come to appreciate the more natural style of enhancements and love how subtle yet life-changing sympathetic aesthetic and surgical treatments can be. Whilst I think very obvious big juicy lips and high cheek bones look beautiful on some people, my own personal choice now is that less is more and that’s something that I’m looking to share with my own patients one day. Fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments don’t have to look fake or extreme; there is also a subtle level and volume that is beautifully complimentary for us all without people knowing that you’ve had anything done at all.
My aim therefore is for my work to be so classic, natural and complimentary to each patient that people believe they simply have fantastically youthful genes and a wonderful facial structure. This is why I chose the Ivy Aesthetic Clinic & Training Academy as they are a medic and non-medic led academy who offer a range of non-surgical aesthetic treatments from dermal fillers to skin boosters and everything else in between.
Their courses are suitable for complete beginners all the way up to those who are medically trained and they pride themselves on a high quality service and in-depth extensive knowledge to ensure all students and patients have a relaxing and safe experience at the clinic. Their staff are fully qualified and insured in all the treatments as well as being highly knowledgable in complications, first aid and anaphylaxis which ticked all of my boxes as a course provider as in order to become the best we must learn from the very best.
All of the Ivy Aesthetic Academy courses are CPD or IPHM accredited and come with certification along with an intense aftercare package to support each student throughout training and beyond; this really appeals to me as it shows their high level of care and responsibility to not just ship students in and out for profit, leaving them high and dry once qualified like other courses that I have seen advertised.
The aesthetics industry is big business and, like anything in life, reputation is key. Personally I want to build a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding in aesthetics in order to provide the best service possible to my clients and grow a thriving business that doesn’t fall at the first hurdle or become condemned by complaints and poor results. That’s why finding the perfect course provider is absolutely vital for every student in any field.
Courses for the academy are currently held in Northampton and Essex which are perfectly located for me in the London area as I have a pick of each venue. I will be attending their Northampton clinic for my theory and practical training for which I am required for three days:
-Day 1: Dermal Filler Theory
-Day 2: Practical Dermal Filler
-Day 3: Theory & Practical Anti-Wrinkle
The courses are suitable for anyone with pre-existing qualifications in either a Level-3 beauty, 6 months experience in needle work (which I have) or a medical degree. These courses can also be added onto their Pathways course for complete beginners looking to train in aesthetics. The foundation anti-wrinkle course that I am taking covers all theory work including a prescriber and practical day with live models, whilst the foundation dermal filler course for lips and smile lines includes all theory work, practical days working on live models, first aid, anaphylaxis, complications and all aspects of starting a business in the aesthetics industry.
Prior to attending my course I received all information and manuals via email which I will familiarise myself with now in preparation for attending the theory and practical days in several weeks time. This includes:
-Dermal Fillers Manual
-Essential Anti-Wrinkle Injection Patterns
-Emergency Reversal Protocol
The training manuals are incredibly detailed, informative and well laid out with everything that I’ll need to know for my course all in one place; undoubtedly something that I will frequently refer back to once I am qualified. Everybody learns best and absorbs information in their own unique way with some preferring text, pictures, videos, diagrams or demonstrations and this course covers all aspects which is wonderful to see and gives me the confidence to know that I have chosen the best academy for my business.
When in clinic for my theory and training days I must wear salon wear, scrubs or black clothing with sensible shoes – no open toe or heels – and parking is provided which is perfect for commuting from London. Travelling to and from the clinic in Northampton each day allows me to take my children to school each morning, with grandparents collecting, before I come home in time for dinner and to put them to bed, fitting into my existing work-life regime perfectly.
I will be documenting my journey into aesthetics here with the hope to inform and educate others on the high level of care, professionalism and diligence required when seeking reputable qualifications in the beauty industry. I have read and seen so many horror stories online about inexperienced, uninsured and poor practiced practitioners who have left people drastically and physically affected because of their unhappy experience of aesthetics and complications that arise thereafter; I would like to shine a light on the importance of effective training and aftercare practices in order to achieve and maintain the very best results for every individual.
Day 1 Of 3 At The Northampton Academy
Today was the first day of my course in the Northampton branch of the academy and I found it really hard to fall asleep last night, possibly because I was so excited and yet nervous at the same time. I always panic about getting lost or stuck in traffic, struggling to find the venue or not knowing enough about the course material in time for my assessments; but in reality the worst case scenarios that we imagine before bedtime never really happen and we end up having a wonderful time instead. Today was absolutely a testament to that as I had such an amazing time.
The course is spread over three classroom days, as mentioned previously, with today being our first aid training and dermal filler theory. I was seated in a brand new, fresh and modern classroom with two other female students. Our class was taught by two course instructors who took turns to walk us through every step of the first aid manual and dermal filler theory with live demonstrations, notes, an e-manual to refer back to and questions and answer sessions throughout.
The instructors are medically trained and very warm and welcoming, going into great detail about the medical and aesthetic aspects of each area of the course without flooding you with jargon or leaving you confused or overwhelmed. They repeatedly checked in with us to ensure that we understood what had been demonstrated and then invited us to demonstrate back to the class what we had learned which involved giving CPR to a dummy and injecting dermal fillers into a training head.
The day was broken into two sessions, morning and afternoon, for which we had a break in between to eat, drink and use the rest room and it was really nice getting to know my fellow students. It turns out that we all have children, are around a similar age and all own businesses whilst looking to expand our qualifications – talk about girl power!
I found it very insightful to speak to the instructors about risks and contraindications with them being medically trained, as you can take information learned from a text book and transfer it into real life as they openly shared their experiences of seizures, heart attacks, choking and fainting episodes in patients and demonstrated how best to handle the situation to preserve life whilst keeping everyone safe. Whilst a medical emergency isn’t something that you might expect to be faced with at a routine aesthetics appointment, anything can happen to anyone at any time and this life saving knowledge will extend to all aspects of my life, not just my work.
Following the dermal filler theory section of todays class we were then invited to practice our lip filler technique on a training head which resembled the texture of skin and allowed us to fine-tune our depth, pressure, stability and needle positioning whilst following the instructors expert guidance. Whilst I have needle experience from my Pathway To Aesthetics course which enabled me to progress into dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle treatments, I have never injected a face until today and found that the sensation is rather different to that of a limb as the skin is much thinner and the needle more superficial.
Todays class absolutely flew by and was over before I knew it, I enjoyed it so much and feel far more at ease about the following two days of the course now that I know what to expect. The venue is surprisingly easy to find with a huge car park and is within an hours drive of my house which makes it so convenient and easily accessible from the motorway and city for students near and far. So I’m going to relax with a nice bubble bath, get and early night and bring my enthusiasm back with me bright and early tomorrow. One step at a time, one demonstration at a time and one day at a time my business is growing as I increase my qualifications and provide a better life for myself and my family – what a wonderful service Ivy Aesthetic Clinic & Academy provide for all abilities.
Day 2 Of 3 At The Northampton Academy
Todays class was Practical Dermal Filler for which we were able to perform a smile line filler and lip filler procedure each. I also had my smile lines filled by my fellow students which was a wonderful experience as it allowed me to fully understand the procedure from both sides of the needle.
The biggest difference in moving from the training dummy to an actual client is the sensation of piercing the skin with the needle and the level of pressure required to inject filler into the tissue of the face which is far greater than you’d expect but you soon become accustomed to it.
My first client today was a gentleman who wanted to have his smile lines treated. The instructors provided their expert guidance throughout, keeping a close watch and giving feedback and advice throughout to ensure that the best results are achieved whilst each student feels comfortable and confident in their technique and ability.
Performing a smile line treatment today was so uplifting and wonderful to see such instant results. Seeing the client so happy – even after using needles on them – really helps to build confidence in your own ability.
As administering dermal fillers was a new experience to us all as students, at first we were cautious to not hurt anybody or cause any discomfort which can come across as hesitation and actually prolong the procedure. But as we progressed through the treatments it soon became apparent that we knew what to do, exactly how to do it and how to achieve such wonderful results by not doubting ourselves.
Next up I had a lovely lady who had never had lip fillers before and already had such beautifully shaped lips, but wanted to achieve extra volume and correct natural asymmetry. Using a dermal filler needle on lips was yet another different texture to that of smile lines as the lips are far softer and easier to pierce.
I found myself so absorbed into the satisfying experience of outlining the borders of the lips, building volume and defining the cupids bow, it really is such a relaxing treatment to administer – although I’m sure it’s slightly more nerve-wracking for the client. The lady sat so still and smiled throughout which was such a wonderful response for me as a student and very reassuring to know that she was comfortable and loved her results.
Tomorrow is the third and final day of the course which focuses on the theory and practical anti-wrinkle treatments and I’m really looking forward to putting into practice all that I have learned so far. From start to finish it has been so fascinating to learn about aesthetics and brings me one step closer to being able to begin my new business which is incredibly inspiring.
Day 3 Of 3 At The Northampton Academy
Todays third and final class for the course involved completing my second lip filler treatment followed by the anti-wrinkle theory and practical for which a series of models came in again for all of the students to work on.
Whilst my lip model yesterday had never had fillers before, the model that I had today had previously had lip fillers along with two studs to her upper and lower lips which didn’t affect her suitability to receive treatment.
Treating lips which already contain filler was a whole new sensation for me as more pressure is required to both enter the lip and also push the gel-like filler into the lip. As this lady’s lips were already defined from her previous treatment I didn’t use the lift and flip technique, but still outlined the border, filled the volume and enhanced the cupids bow to create this beautifully natural fullness.
We then went through the theory of anti-wrinkle treatments which covered the different brands available on the market, the strengths and weakness of each, units required, price points and differences between men and women as well as treatment patterns with and without an eyebrow lift.
After talking through the theory and taking questions and answers we then watched a treatment being mixed up in a syringe and administered to a model before we were given our own model to work on.
My model wanted an anti-wrinkle treatment to her forehead, glabella/frown lines and crows eyes with a brow lift which is counted as three areas. Anti-wrinkle can also be performed on one area (crows feet only), or two areas (forehead and glabella together) which affects the price point accordingly.
Anti-wrinkle treatment needles are finer, shorter and easier to use as the fluid is more water-like instead of the gel of a filler, is kept superficial and doesn’t require aspiration so it makes the whole process far quicker to perform. Numbing cream isn’t used for anti-wrinkle treatments as you simply feel a small sharp scratch that lasts just a few seconds at a time.
I find the science behind the facial muscles and product so fascinating as we marked up the treatment areas through the model performing a series of expressions to ensure that each muscle is relaxed at the correct strength of units and optimal placement to achieve the desired results from subtle all the way up to frozen.
Despite it being another busy day of practical assessments in the classroom, today seemed to pass so quickly and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each stage of the course including the assessments. It’s been so wonderful to share in this experience with my fellow students and I’m looking forward to supporting them on their own journeys into their own new businesses as well as mine.
Once our final assessments were complete we were each awarded our certificates to signify completion of the course for which we each received four certificates in:
We were also informed of how to create our first aid and emergency filler dissolver kits, as well as having the option to purchase them ready made from Ivy Aesthetics Academy which is what I did. This afternoon I ordered lots of bits and pieces online to complete my kit, from a first aid kit and tongue depressors to arnica cream, a carry case and chiller for the anti-wrinkle products.
Whilst my course is complete, there are still more steps for me to complete before I can begin advertising my business as I have to inform my insurance of my new qualifications, prepare my paperwork and booking system, wait for all of my new kit to arrive by post and register with a pharmacy to place orders for anti-wrinkle prescriptions and fillers.
I will also be contacting venues and local businesses looking to hold clinic days and offer my aesthetic services which I will update here with my progress to give you an understanding of all that is involved from start to finish of beginning an aesthetics business. I hope that this blog has been helpful in explaining what the course entails and I can’t recommend the Ivy Aesthetics Academy more highly, as a student they have made this entire process so informative and enjoyable and given me so much knowledge and support to begin the next step of my business goals. There is so much more to come…
Preparing To Offer Treatments
A couple of days have passed since completing my course and I’m getting my ducks in a row to prepare for my first client. Whilst I purchased my Emergency Kit from Ivy Aesthetics – to allow me to dissolve fillers – I already had most of the things that I needed for my Starter Kit at home because of my previous qualifications. So I’ve just ordered a few things from Amazon that I needed to top up on which arrived today.
I think it’s great that Ivy Aesthetics offer their own Starter Kit, especially if you’re unsure of what you need starting out. Here I’ve got myself some extra face masks, sterile gauze and eye wash with arnica cream and a cool bag for transporting products that must remain chilled. I also have a mini fridge on its way to store my chilled products in and will transport everything in a small suitcase on wheels to and from appointments.
I have a phone call booked for this afternoon to upgrade my aesthetics insurance to include dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle, which works out at around £100 per month. Once I have my new insurance policy detail I’ll be able to register with pharmacies and prescribers to be able to purchase stock and begin treatments.
So in these few days where I must wait for processes I am preparing my consent forms, information and aftercare for clients as well as product doses and muscle references to keep in a folder that I will take with me to appointments so that I can refer back to my notes should I need to. Over the coming days I’ll also build my social media content and then contact local venues to provide my services which will include beauty salons, hairdressers and clinics as well as advertising by word of mouth.
It may seem like a lot to things to organise and prepare for, but it only needs to be done once upon setting up a business and with a firm foundation and plenty of information I know that myself and customers will be safe and comfortable as I operate with confidence in my abilities and high-quality services provided.
Insurance Policy & Pharmacy Registration Process
My insurance via InSync is now updated and my new qualifications and treatments are covered within my policy placed with Beazley Aesthetics. During Covid, prescribers were able to offer remote consultations for anti-wrinkle treatment prescriptions to clients, however since this is now over all consultations need to be face-to-face and no insurance providers will allow a non-medic to use a remote prescriber – which is worth noting if you’re considering covering multiple regions for clients.
I also took out an additional membership with The Complications Consultant which cost around £100 for a year and allows for eight medic call-out’s to resolve any complications that may arise with clients and is just added peace of mind when starting out in aesthetics. I must also keep two vials of hyaluronidaise in my kit at all times for this membership to be valid and is already part of my emergency kit that I purchased directly through Ivy Aesthetics Academy.
With my updated insurance in place, I then joined Faces Consent, which is a free aesthetics app and allows me to register with pharmacies as well as take payment, organise client consent forms and use their prescription services. This takes up to 48hrs to confirm registration for which I had to input my contact details, upload proof of identity and my individual certificates for my qualifications and took just a couple of minutes to do.
Whilst I’m waiting for this membership to come through I am focusing on creating social media content and information for my clients which involves sharing before and after photos of treatments from my training, making information sheets and setting my price list and contact details. After this I can then reach out to local prescribers to create a network of contacts to assist me in consulting with my clients.
I still need to set up a new business email address and have purchased an additional phone to use as a work phone with a business number so that clients can contact me directly at any time – should they need to.
Once all of this is complete, and I am happy with my social media content and complete my kit setup, I will then reach out to local venues, clinics, beauty and hair salons to offer my services as well as advertising locally to encourage word of mouth. I have a few items still to arrive in the post but am about 80% complete at the moment. By the end of this week I’m hoping to be ready to go, how exciting!
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