Skip to main content

Alumni Spotlight: Francine Cotona, Owner of Afterglow Aesthetics

Alumni Spotlight on Esthetics grad, Francine Cotona! Francine knew that to turn her passion for beauty into a fulfilling career, she had to work hard and remain determined. Even though her initial interest was eyelash extensions, she quickly became obsessed with everything beauty after learning about all of the doors an esthetics education can open. Francine started her business, Afterglow Aesthetics, in February 2022 in the Sola Salon suites in Staten Island, but she’s not stopping there! She plans to continue growing her business and the services it offers. Francine shares some advice for those who work full-time jobs but are interested in receiving a beauty education. 

  1. What specialty(s) did you study during your time at CV? I studied Esthetics at the New York Christine Valmy location.
  2. What year did you graduate? I graduated from Christine Valmy’s esthetic program in 2019.
  3. What are you doing now? In February 2022, I opened Afterglow Aesthetics in the new, beautiful Sola Salon suites in Staten Island, NY.
  4. What was your journey like to get to your current role? I worked a full-time job as an Insurance Coordinator for a dental office while taking the weekend esthetic course, so it was exhausting but VERY worth it. My interest has always been lash extensions, and having a license in esthetics was crucial for me. So many girls do lashes out of their homes with just a certificate, nothing against them, but I feel there are a lot of protocols and infection control that are not taught in enough depth while just getting certified.
  5. What was your favorite part about your time as a CV student? The hands-on training was my favorite, by far. When it came to taking my practicals, I was very confident in my abilities.
  6. What is something you learned during your time at CV that has stuck with you today? I’ve learned that there are many possibilities in this field and so many aspects I would want to incorporate into my business as it continues to grow.
  7. Do you have any advice for someone who is considering a beauty education? If beauty is your passion – absolutely go for it! It can give you the freedom to build a business or have part-time, fulfilling work while keeping another job and balancing your family time.
  8. Do you have any wise words for students who are about to graduate and look for their first professional job in the industry? Practice until you are an expert at your craft. I was putting eyelashes on friends and even my brother just to get my technique down. The more sure you are about yourself, the more it will show when you are interviewing for positions.
  9. What CV product is always in your inventory or on your shelf? Christine Valmy Vitamin C Serum is my go-to for bright smooth skin. I’ve tried many brands, and this is one I recommend to everyone!  

Our ultimate goal is to provide our students with a strong foundation upon which to grow a flourishing career. Marina Valmy, our leader, calls this a “root system,” and it’s why our success as educators is embodied by the successes of our alumni. To celebrate this, we feature the achievements of our fabulous graduates in our Alumni Spotlight series. Each Spotlight showcases an interview with a Christine Valmy graduate about their educational and professional journeys.

As part of our educational philosophy, we aim to provide thought leadership on topics relevant to industry professionals and those with a passion for beauty. Click here to visit our Educated Insights homepage to learn trends, tutorials, industry news, and tips for at-home care and spa treatments.