Tag Archives: Miss Jenny

[2000 Dollar Wedding] Bridal Makeup is Whatever You Want it To Be.

The third and final post in my 2000 Dollar Wedding Guest Post Series is all about bridal makeup: The rules we learned at Beauty U —psst, Beauty U fans: There’s a new Miss Jenny story!—  versus what really happened with me and bridal makeup on my wedding day.

I also get to talk about the awesomeness of my friend Katherine (that would be her, hair-spraying me down, above) who is a very talented makeup artist, just by the by. (She also did Kate of Eat The Damn Cake‘s wedding makeup and was endlessly patient with both of us no-makeup types!)


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Picture Day

Virginia Beauty U picture

It took me a few weeks to figure out about Picture Day, even though we were surrounded by evidence of it every night at Beauty U. The walls of the school’s break room and back hallways are lined with the class photos of previous years, these poster-sized grids of student headshots set against swirly blue backgrounds like spreads from a yearbook.

Maybe it was all the big hair. Maybe it was all of the feather boas and motorcycle jackets. But we just assumed that these class photos were relics from the 1980s, strange artifacts of Beauty U’s history, displayed perhaps as cautionary tales for future students against blue eyeshadow and too much cleavage.

Then Meg and I looked closer one day, and noticed that one group photo had the words, “Class of 2008.” Read more…

Filed under Beauty Labor, Beauty Schooled, Modeling

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[Best of Beauty U] But Have You Considered a Recession-Proof Career in Beauty?

Ah yes, our post-Christmas slowdown. Which was followed by a brief spring/early summer speed-up and then quickly replaced by a major summer slowdown. As mentioned in my graduation post, most of my fellow Beauty U graduates are still job hunting. So I think we may need to rethink this whole “recession-proof” concept.

Business is not so great at Beauty U right now. Read more…

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[Best of Beauty U] The Field Trip

We ended up taking four separate field trips to makeup stores (Sephora, Ulta, and MAC). Mostly, these were an excuse to get out of school for the night, shop, and eat mall food. But don’t think I’m knocking that — when you’re in the middle of 600 hours of beauty school, getting a night off to shop and eat mall food is rad.

We never got a chance to learn much more about airbrushing makeup, because the Beauty U system was always out of cartridges. I still think this whole thing is way too much work unless you’re on a movie set or something.

Temptu Scan

Me. Airbrushed.

Today we pile into Miss Jenny’s SUV and drive over to the fancy mall for a demonstration of the AIRbrush Makeup System by Temptu at Sephora. Read more…

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It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Tasered.

photo of metallic pink taser

So fascinating to hear everyone’s take on the Vatoo Thing, from Friday. (I am especially loving the extremely great point that you are not actually tatooing your vagina because that is INSIDE your body. Oh, seventh grade health class flashbacks galore!)

Meanwhile, Gawker and The Cut have been riffing on the male side of the genital beautification biz (manzilians, brozilians, guyzilians, penazzling, yes these are all happening in a day spa somewhere), in response to this firsthand account on Salon by Jed Lipinski. I admit to being a little grouchy because there’s a rather glib tone being taken about a waxer who reports having to pull a taser on an “aggressive” male client in the thigh because he kept making inappropriate advances.

Maybe I’m uptight and old-fashioned, but if you have to bring a taser to work, I’m sorry, your job is too dangerous. Read more…

Filed under Beauty Labor, Beauty Schooled

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Beauty School Tests Can Be Harder Than You’d Think.

Tonight we have the written test on waxing. It’s an accidental pop quiz because Miss Stacy forgot to tell us we were having it. Nobody does well. The spa has been busy, busy, busy with clients and it’s been over a week since we cracked open Milady’s (or, as is usually the case, read from the Milady’s-provided PowerPoint lecture instead). Remember that whole speech from Miss Susan about how we can’t work on clients because we’ll miss important book learning? When we get our grades,* we finally get why that’s important.

This is our fourteenth written exam (out of about twenty) that we’ve taken since starting Beauty U. For the first thirteen, we followed Miss Jenny’s pattern: Read the PowerPoint lecture together as a group. Answer our workbooks independently, then review the answers as a group. Take notes while Miss Jenny quizzed us from the actual test. Study from those notes at home. Answer the chapter review questions for extra study time and extra credit. Do well on the test.


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[Tip Jar] Just Saying No to Peels with Client Four

Tip Jar: Where you get the back story on every tip I make at Beauty U.

five dollars photo

Now that there’s only one senior student left in Beauty U’s night program, all bets are officially off on that whole “juniors can’t work on clients until they finish book work” business. Per this helpful commenter, I ask Miss Stacy if the spa will just book less clients until we’re done with Milady’s (about four more weeks, people!) and she rolls her eyes. “You would think, but don’t count on it,” she says.

Cut to tonight: We’re supposed to be reading the chapter on waxing, but Sue is rushed off her feet with facials and waxing appointments. To make it fair, Miss Stacy sets up a rotation of us four juniors (Stephanie, Blanche, me, Meg) so we step out of the classroom in order and nobody ends up feeling like they’re missing the most. Our names are written up on the white board, and whenever we take a client, we’re supposed to erase ourselves from the top of the list and rewrite our names at the bottom.


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Beauty Standards

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Miss Jenny Quits Part 2: The Crackdown Begins

Photo of Grease, "Beauty School Dropout" on Broadway

With Miss Jenny gone, things are starting to change at Beauty U.

“Laundry needs to be put away in the closet, ladies,” Miss Lisa says, gesturing to a pile of four folded bath towels behind the waxing station. The senior students grab from there when they need to make the facial beds on the fly between clients. “It can’t just be left out in stacks all over the spa.”

Later, Miss Stacy snags the red metal Klean Kanteen off my desk in the classroom. “You guys, I don’t want to see this kind of thing anymore,” she says. “Enough with the juice and the coffee and the tea. You are only allowed to drink water in here and it should be in a real water bottle.”


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Career Opportunities

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Miss Jenny Quits.

Yes, chickens, it is true.

Our beloved Miss Jenny — the sometimes Brazilian Queen, with her straight talk on body parts and refreshingly honest sales tactics — has clocked her last Beauty U hour.

She told us earlier this week that she had given notice. I’m in a bit of a quandary about how to explain it to you, since the issues revolve heavily around the kind of interpersonal drama that I try to keep off this blog. It just isn’t relevant to our work here, though I’ll admit, it can often occupy a good portion of our 16 hours per week over there. In some ways, it’s like any workplace; egos get in the way, feathers get ruffled, sides get taken. And in some ways, it’s better — Beauty U isn’t any teacher’s full-time job, so you’d hope that would make the strife easier to let go than when you spend 40+ hours a week chained to your cubicle. And there’s a certain level of guaranteed respect from the students, even if colleagues don’t mix.


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Getting Hands On with Body Treatments.

Getting Hands On with Body Treatments Photo

Tonight we watch the senior students demonstrate a body wrap, then get down to business ourselves — bearing in mind, of course, everything Miss Jenny taught us last week about dealing with our clients’ breasts.

Here’s how it works: Your client strips down to her undies and lies face down on a facial bed, which has been covered by a plastic sheet. You lay a big bath towel over her, and then start “dry exfoliating” her, which means rubbing a rolled-up, dry hand towel in circular motions all over her legs and back, peeling back the bath towel over the part you need to work on and then recovering it as you go.


Filed under Beauty Schooled, Customer Cult

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