Long time makeup artist furthers her career


Photo by Michelle Kelly / The Skyline View

Michelle Rothman performing a facial on fellow student Patricia Woytek.

“I’ve been always interested in skincare,” said Michelle Rothman, a current student of esthetics at Skyline. “I’ve been fanatical about taking care of my skin since I was young.”

She’s a part of a one-year course offered at Skyline to train and prepare students for careers in esthetics. The 600 hour program is not available at any other college in the district and teaches students about the chemistry and complexities of skin. After completion they are eligible for the certification from Skyline as well as being ready for the test that allows them licensing through the California State Board.

Since she lives in San Francisco, Rothman found that when she decided to train in esthetics she was inundated with options in private courses. Some with price tags of over $15,000 and when visiting their facilities, she described them as nothing great. When someone told her of Skyline’s program, she was impressed by its affordability and its modern learning environment.

As a professionally trained and practicing makeup artist Rothman does make up for weddings, films and photography. She explains that the program is an extension of the knowledge she’s accumulated throughout her career. She also notes the influence working in a spa as a makeup artist had in her interest for learning more about skincare.

“Michelle is very determined and professional,” said Diana Alvarez, licensed cosmetologist/esthetician and instructor. “She has a really good insight and because of the fact she does work in a salon she comes bringing that experience to the table.”

Rothman explains, “Other people [in the program are] learning the appropriate ways to make clients feel comfortable and how to talk to them and to get your point across without hurting someone’s feelings. Women aren’t always going to have the best skin, so it’s all in the way you say things. In this business our job is to make people feel good.”

“[I’ve been] learning all of the physiological aspects of skin,” Rothman said. “The science of skin, how to be able to look at someone’s face and know what you’re looking for and then being able to determine what products are going to work best for their skin type. You have to learn everything. You have to know everything about how essentially parts of the body work in order to know what’s going to happen [to the skin]. You have to know the internal to know what’s going to happen to the external. Skin is a living organ.”

Classmate Yaneris Mendiola, who is also a part of the program, explains that Rothman’s amiable personality and sense of humor make her easy to get along with. Mendiola attributes learning a lot of makeup tips from being around her and says that Rothman really takes her time to research ingredients and to become knowledgeable about them.

“She’s taken care of her skin ever since she was very young,” said Mendiola. “So when she told me her age, I was like ‘whoa!’ I thought you were 20 years younger! She’s perfect for [esthetics] because she’s a great example.”

Rothman’s twenty years in learning about and taking care of her own skin really gives her an extensive amount of firsthand experience. She knows what working with different skin types and their respective needs are because she’s taken the initiative long ago to commit to good skincare.

“I plan on beginning a practice working somewhere where I’ll focus on the scope of the curriculum,” Rothman said of her future plans. “There’s nothing that I don’t like that we’re doing. I really like waxing, doing facials and skincare and I obviously really like makeup.”

An important part of this program is its services to the public, with a spa in Building 4; Students are able to gain experience while being supervised by licensed professionals. They offer high quality services at a low cost to the public, there’s even a 20% discount for Skyline students.

As someone privileged enough to have had a facial from Rothman, I can attest that her knowledge really is something worth tapping into. I asked her a million questions about my skin and she was able to communicate what exactly I needed to know and how to find products to best suit my skin type and needs. The facility is up to date and beautiful, which helps to create a relaxing atmosphere. I’m now hooked on facials and how could you not be when they start at just $15. Support Skyline students by being pampered and getting a good deal at the same time.

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