Alumni Spotlight: CV’s Very Own Ms. Brenda, Esthetics Instructor
Our Alumni Spotlight series showcases interviews with Christine Valmy graduates about their educational and professional journeys. Here’s our chat with Brenda Ramos Cardona, Esthetics alum turned CV Esthetics Instructor!
- What specialty(s) did you study during your time at CV? While at Christine Valmy I studied the Esthetics Course. I attended all of the seminars available at the time, including but not limited to Laser Hair Removal, Microdermabrasion, AHA Chemical Peels, CV Skin Renewal (my favorite). In 2018, I received my ITEC Certification taught by CV and during the pandemic, I attended the practical theory component of the Nail Artistry taught at CV online. Although I graduated a few years ago, I still feel like I am a student and continue to try and attend as many trainings and seminars as possible.
- What year did you graduate? 2016. I applied and received my teaching license shortly thereafter, in 2017.
- What are you doing now? Currently, I am very proud to say that I am an Esthetics Instructor at CV Teaching both Theory and Practical Theory, sometimes Hair Removal Theory. I also own a beauty studio business where I perform, facial treatments, back treatments, hair removal (including sugaring, and traditional soft and hard wax hair removal), body wrap treatments, stone massages, water microdermabrasion, cupping, gua sha, hand paraffin treatments and makeup services. I have also contracted with 2 corporations to perform mobile services on employees once every 2 months lasting a week, primarily focusing on mini facials, hand paraffin treatments, and hair removal (on hold due to pandemic). Additionally, I am a distributor of health and beauty products. One product I am most happy to be a part of is the customization of foundations and powders targeting all skin colors and types, from the lightest of the skin color to the darkest of (the most copious of skin colors) skin color.
- What was your journey like to get to your current role? It was and continues to be an amazing journey. Previous to this adventure, I was engulfed in technology, working for a major Wall Street corporation. My hours were grueling, leaving little time for myself, family, or friends. 6 years ago I made the decision to leave, and have never looked back. By chance, I met a wonderful Esthetician who inspired me to become an Esthetician, and the journey has been incredible and fulfilling ever since. This ever-evolving business provides so many avenues of opportunities, learning, and growth. Every day I find something new to learn more about or be a part of in this industry. My husband refers to me as a soldier and who is always running around finding new things to attack in the study and do. How I wish I had begun this journey earlier in my life. During the Theory portion of my education at CV, I actually contemplated becoming a Dermatologist, but realized quickly that the path to becoming a Dr. was long, and stuck to the original plan of becoming an Esthetician.
- What was your favorite part about your time as a CV student? Learning!!! I felt like a child in a candy shop. The instructors I met along the way were so instrumental to my learning during the months at CV as a student. I will be forever grateful to them. I continue to have a relationship with many of them (some still at CV some not) and consider them my friends and mentors. Although I am an instructor, I continue to learn from other Instructors here at CV, all of them contributing something to my arsenal of knowledge.
- What is something you learned during your time at CV that has stuck with you today? The importance of consultation and skin analysis. When I’m walking to a destination, I frequently look at faces and try to analyze them. In New York that could be tricky, but I’ve actually made some friends and clients doing that, always being respectful of privacy!!
- Do you have any advice for someone who is considering a beauty education? Go for it!! Believe in yourself, love what you do, and don’t look for quick fixes or short cuts. Don’t be afraid to take a chance. Don’t stop learning. Don’t let anyone sway you away from your dream. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The only silly question is the one not asked.
- Do you have any wise words for current students who are about to graduate and look for their first professional job in the industry? Pay attention to the instructors who have so much to give in their advice and caring about the beauty world out there. Be Professional! Look Professional! Before you go to that interview, research and learn about the place, in other words, be prepared. If you don’t get the job on the first try, use the experience as another step toward learning, an arsenal to make you stronger and ace the next interview. Keep going, don’t let it discourage you. Never underestimate where an opportunity will come up. If you think you have an idea for a positive change and it seems like it’s missing, be a pioneer!
- What CV product is always in your inventory or on your shelf? Why? Lotion X! It makes extracting so easy, fun, and gratifying, without taking away from the relaxation and energy that a facial has to offer.
- What is your favorite beauty/skin care trend right now? Water Microdermabrasion and the hydra-facial. Fast, quick visible non-invasive results. At the end of the day, the basic facial massage is always at the top of my list.
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