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Courtney Allen, Esthetics Program

10/28/2014 11:19:06 AM

"Hello, my name is Courtney Allen and I am a recent graduate from the Esthetics program at Bellus Academy. I am so excited to share with everyone my Bellus experience! I can't say enough about the instructors, the staff, the students, and the clients. Everyone has been wonderful! The Esthetics program was amazing, with specialized product knowledge classes and so many machines included into the curriculum the chances to learn are endless. Bellus has a fully equipped spa and I was able to cater to my clients individual needs efficiently. Learning is encouraged and supported by all instructors and your development from student to professional is a given special attention. The students activly participate in meetings pertaining to higher learning, salon revenue, and client retention. I can certainly say that positivity is contagious at the Academy and radiates throughout the building. This is readily seen from the clients and is a huge part in what sets Bellus aside from the rest. I would encourage anyone to inquire about being a part of Bellus and taking control of your future."

Kayla Jones, Esthetics Program

10/28/2014 11:18:32 AM

"Looking around at other schools, Bellus Academy is the only one that stood out. The teachers are the most wonderful educators I have ever worked with. My classmates have quickly turned into family members. I absolutely love this school and would recommend it to anyone."

Kenneth Morton, Basic and Advanced Cosmetology Program (Cosmetology 103)

10/28/2014 11:17:21 AM

"I have wanted to become a Hair Stylist since I was 14 years old. I started out cutting hair for my friends and family which grew to doing their friend's hair. After I graduated high school I looked into going to Cosmetology school. I put it off and joined the US Navy where I became a Military Police Officer. I still enjoyed cutting hair so I decided to do that on the side at work. I began to do more haircutting than my main job so I went to the Military Barber School. I completed the course. I decided after 14 years I wanted to do hair. I took a month off and researched different Cosmetology schools throughout Texas and South Carolina. I didn't see anything that impressed me so I knew of Bellus Academy and City College. So I came back to California and attended orientation for Bellus Academy. When I walked in I couldn't believe it was a school. I loved everything they had to offer and the opportunities they offer. I'm due to graduate in September and I'm happy to say I know I have to go out and work in the industry but I will truly miss my family here at Bellus Academy. I want to thanks everyone for making this dream come true."

Jayme Perez-Flint, prospective student at the Manhattan Kansas location

10/28/2014 11:16:30 AM

Ms. Tammy-
First, I want to say how at ease that not only you but everyone I met on Wednesday made me feel. It's hard in today's world being different from everyone and the reactions that come from that difference. Though I have dealt with my "disability" for eight years, I still feel quite uncomfortable in new surroundings. It's been even more so since July of last year when I've had to start walking with a cane. Most new environments focus solely on the fact that, to them, I'm broken and not worth a moment of their time. For the first time since my discharge from the military 6 years ago, I felt comfortable being in my own skin. No one seemed concerned about my gimp stick, only the dream that has been hidden from the world for far too long. For that, I will never be able to thank you, the staff, or even the students enough.
Having traveled many different roads in life, I have never felt so sure of anything as I do with my decision to enter this academy and the curriculum that is offered. While I may not have visited all the "other guys" personally, there's a lot that can be said for quality in just the information that is offered (or not offered) on a website. Bellus seemed to be the only one that grabbed my attention. In my search for knowledge, I happened upon several other schools that didn't seem to grab me just right. The minute I started browsing Bellus, I was mesmerized by not only the professionalism that is the website, but the ease of information and how it is all put together. Not only that, but after submitting my request for information, Bellus is the only school that got back to me quickly. (It threw me off getting a call the very next day!) I'm still waiting on information packets from several other places after about a month...
My visit on Wednesday only solidified the quality of education, professionalism, and people at Bellus for me. The concern so many of my family have is how my "disability" will coincide with my dream. While I know the field I want to go in is not exactly the best on a body physically, so many advances in technology have afforded advances in making it a little easier to do and the impact not so hard. It was quite refreshing to have it brought up in conversation without a word from me on this concern from not only staff but the students. Remarkable is all I can say.
Overall, I could not be more pleased in my decision to attend Bellus. I was impressed first by the website and the content I found there. Being able to go to campus and meet the staff and several of the students helped to cement my choice. You can usually sense things about an environment upon entering an establishment. Sometimes you can just feel the bad energy, the stress, the whatever else is going on while there is a fake smile on a face. I got the sense of genuine happiness and peace with everyone I had the opportunity to speak with. The smiles are real, the attitudes positive, and an amazing staff to share their knowledge... What more would you want in a school?
Thanks again for such an amazing visit and keep up the amazing job!!

Kishia Moore, satisfied client

10/28/2014 11:15:50 AM

"Hi Lynelle, my name is Kishia Moore. I met you back in Dec at the National City Beauty School location. I just wanted to take a few moments to thank you and your staff/students on doing such a wonderful job. From the moment my friend and I walked in the beauty school we were impressed! We thought we had made a mistake by walking into a salon vice a beauty school; after all, we didn't expect to see professional salon hair products there. Your staff and students were very professional and courteous. It was so great to see "GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE" still exist! My friend and I still find it hard to believe that a place exist where you can receive great customer service, professional salon hair products at a great price and a staff/students that so professional and knowledgeable we thought we were in "heaven"! Once again, thanks so much for providing the public with such an "AWESOME" beauty school! My friend (Imelda Miller) and I and two of our friends will definitely be back next month!

Britnee Tate, Manhattan Kansas Campus

10/28/2014 11:15:11 AM

At what age did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
I was seventeen the day I decided cosmetology was going to be apart of me for the rest of my life.  Looking back now it was always there; I was always the friend that did everyones hair & make-up for school dances and every semi-important events in our junior high and high school years.
How important was picking the right school for you?
 A career is a very big part of a persons life.  The education behind it is a huge factor, granted with hard work and determination you can do anything, but having the education to back it up is very important to me.  Bellus Academy gave me more confidence than I could have ever imagined.
What kind of research did you do to select the right school?
First impressions definitely make it or break it for me.  I was told about the school by a friend, so naturally I Googled it.  Pictures can only do so much, so I called and made an appointment.  After touring the school and talking to Mr. Yocum, I knew Bellus Academy was the school for me.
What was it about your first visit to the Manhattan academy that made you feel this was the right school for you?  also...what was the final reason you chose our academy?
The atmosphere could be felt throughout the school from the student body and the staff.  It was a very warm, welcoming atmosphere; an atmosphere I knew I could be apart of.
Write a few paragraphs on your experience in school and what you enjoyed about your education...
The first day of school is always nerve wracking.  Coming into the Academy I was excited but didn't know what to expect.  When my class started in Mrs. Foltz's class she made every effort to make us all comfortable.  For those who don't know Mrs. Foltz is an absolute sweet heart, I couldn't imagine school without her.  By the end of the first day my class had made a connection that lasted us through school without drama and close relationships into our futures as professionals.  Mrs. Foltz was very patient from the first day to the last.  Everytime I asked a question she had an answer that could be easily understood.  Coming out of her classroom our group was considerably close to ready for our clients soon to be in our chair.
What I thought was going to be my least favorite subject turned out to be a class I didn't want to leave. Nails with Ms. Beall was a chance for my artistic side to come out. French nails are very classy but it was fun to use all the colors and come up with new ideas.
When I talk about being a cosmetologist and I start talking about skincare alot of people are not aware that it comes with the fare.  Mrs. Massey is a posterboard for what an esthetician should look like.  It's alot easier to trust someone that you can see the product working on.  She can always be inquired of, which made learning alot easier especially with skin care lines being so extensive.
Then there is color, talk about extensive.  Color was so confusing day in and day out information, formulas, abreviations, everything was going over my head but with a teacher like Miss Kristi I wasn't lost for too long.  She worked so hard teaching us the color system and shortly after our color line change she came around and taught us the new Wella system.   When AACMT became Bellus Academy Miss Kristi was right there with us and we as a class pulled together to help her in return.  After all the training we went through to get to the floor, for our clients, we were not as anxious to go as we had antiscipated.  We didn't want to leave her or her class.  We did and we continued on our amazing journey to becoming professionals.
The absolute best part of my experience at Bellus Academy was the salon floor.  Being in a college town had a huge impact on the kind of clientelle we got to experience.  At my first college we got to practice roller sets and perms, which are definitely needed to get through state boards but I personally don't know many girls my age that are wearing them.  I enjoyed being able to practice Everything.  Miss Becky, Miss Ryan, & Miss Brenda, the floor instructors, were always there for me, when I had questions, or when I needed help with a client. 
Leaving my last day, I knew I was going to be able to go out and confidently pass state boards and find a job, graduating with all the newest & latest information & techniques.
Write a little about what you liked about the culture of the school and how that made your experience enjoyable while you were enrolled...
Being able to wake up everyday and know that no matter who you walk past in the hall your going to get a smile or hello definitely made going everyday alot easier.  Everyone wants to be the best but it sure is a lot easier when your there everyday to work towards it.  It was also nice to go every morning to get our morning 'Cup of CAW-ffee' from Mr. Yocum and talk about Beauty Changes Lives.  Hearing everyone's stories every day was very motivational.
What was it about your education that you feel prepared you for a career in the beauty industry?
Having real learning opportunities made all the difference.  Talking about different situations is nice but having the chance to experience different things made them experiences I will never forget.
Would you recommend this academy to someone interested in beauty education...and if so what would you say to them if they asked you, "what school should I go to an why?"
Everyone has had teachers they didn't care for and that highly impacted their education.  My Bellus Academy educators will always have a place in my heart for the positive impact they had on my life and education.  There really isn't any way to describe the way the educators teach other than the way teachers ought to teach.  Simply for the fact that teaching isn't about bringing in students and getting them back out the door.  It's about a personal connection with each and every student and the quality of their education, without the price affecting what's going out with the graduates.
Write a little bit about your future plans and where you want to be (your future goals).  
I plan to interview for Steiner after the first of the year (available because of Bellus Academy).  Should for any reason that falls through I will be moving to Florida and work at a resort in Tampa or Orlando.  Beyond that I will have to keep Bellus Academy updated, seeing as how there are so many opportunities available in this industry and I pray my life goes in a great direction, who knows where I'll end up. 
To those who may be interested in the beauty field and have the opportunity, GO FOR IT!

Angella Geck, Esthetics

10/28/2014 11:13:23 AM

"Hi Joanne!
I hope all is well over in sunny San Diego! I just wanted to send you a quick update on how my Steiner training is going. I started training on Monday and I was chosen to be in La Therapie! I'm very excited. I get to perform advanced galvanic treatments and microdermabrasion. Fabulous! It is a LOT of work and studying, but I love it.
Please pass my regards to Ms. Jan and Mr. B. I wouldn't be were I am now without all of Bellus Staff!
Angella Geck
"Hi Angella!
It's so great to hear that you are in London at the Steiner Training Academy. I am cc'ing our team on this email to let them know also.
It's an honor to be selected as a La Therapie esthetician, well done!!!
Please let us know which cruise-ship you are selected for when that time comes exciting, can't wait to hear where your travels will take you!
Wishing you lots of success and best wishes for your adventures at sea!!"
"Hello again!
So I finally had a day off from training. I thought I would send you a quick note to let you know I passed La Therapie! Hopefully I will be on a ship soon!
I attached 2 pictures from the academy. See my blog  for more pictures and updates!
Angella Geck
"Hi Joanne!
I hope all is well over in sunny San Diego! I just wanted to send you a quick update on how my Steiner training is going. I started training on Monday and I was chosen to be in La Therapie! I'm very excited. I get to perform advanced galvanic treatments and microdermabrasion. Fabulous! It is a LOT of work and studying, but I love it.
Please pass my regards to Ms. Jan and Mr. B. I wouldn't be were I am now without all of Bellus Staff!
Angella Geck
"Hi Angella!
It's so great to hear that you are in London at the Steiner Training Academy. I am cc'ing our team on this email to let them know also.
It's an honor to be selected as a La Therapie esthetician, well done!!!
Please let us know which cruise-ship you are selected for when that time comes exciting, can't wait to hear where your travels will take you!
Wishing you lots of success and best wishes for your adventures at sea!!"
"Hello again!
So I finally had a day off from training. I thought I would send you a quick note to let you know I passed La Therapie! Hopefully I will be on a ship soon!
I attached 2 pictures from the academy. See my blog  for more pictures and updates!
Angella Geck

Emmy Wilkey, Cosmetology

10/28/2014 11:12:32 AM

"Hi Diego, I am one of the students in Manhattan who just started the STAR program on Monday... Just wanted to let you know how excited I am about what we are learning! I feel like I know just enough to know how superior an education we are getting from you and Nick through the videos and already what was really intimidating is starting to click. I really like the way you take your time through them, show the whole cut, and all the extra reminders and information you point out as you go along. It really is an amazing foundation to start learning on and I already feel so much more prepared for what's to come. Just thought you should know how appreciated you are!!"

Sonya and Christopher Dove, The Doves

10/28/2014 11:11:41 AM

"Hi Diego,
We wanted to say that Eric and Alex are great, their standard of talent is great and we would like to say that Eric especially goes more than the extra mile to help. He sees what needs to be done ahead of time, is very aware of everything around him and we would love to recommend him to anyone. Thanks so much for sending us such high quality externs."

Jolinda Georgeson, HHP Program

10/28/2014 11:10:36 AM

"I was on a broken road when I came into the Bellus Academy. I was forced to give up a 4 year college career playing volleyball due to a major knee injury, and I was lost, sad and emotionally drained; nothing lifted my spirits until I came across the Bellus Academy website. I was looking for a new direction for my life and knew I wanted to do something that would help others feel better, thus making me feel better too. After visiting Bellus Academy I knew immediately that I belonged there, from that moment on I never looked back. My career as a holistic practitioner has been exactly where my broken road led me. I feel alive again. I love getting up in the morning and getting to school to be inspired and nurtured by the teachers, staff and clients. Although I am so excited to be starting my career outside of Bellus, I am truly going to miss all the wonderful lifelong friends and mentors I have met this year. Thank you Bellus Academy for all your love, support and the doors you have opened in my life."

Candice Buckett, Diesel Salon

10/28/2014 11:10:05 AM

"I would like to first off congratulate Bellus Academy and Courtney Donadio for achieving what we have not seen in years. I have been in the hair industry for over 11 years, and in that time I have had many great exeperiences with HAIR and my love for it. One thing, however, I have truly noticed, is the fact that American Beauty Schools do not produce the same quality of stylist that I have grown accustom to looking for in an assistant. The American Beauty schools produce a new evil that I was unaware existed until owning a salon, and that evil is a stylist who is just in it for a job, and is not passionate about hair, does not love hair, does not dream of hair. At Diesel Salon, we have created a team of stylists who are dedicated, motivated, and are truly passionate about their craft, taking pride in their Art. Art With Boundaries is what we call it, and having the ability to create Art With Boundaries is something that cannot be taught over night, cannot be learned from a DVD, and cannot be educated to someone through a book. To achieve the ability to create Art With Boundaries takes time, dedication, and passion. I feel that Bellus Academy has achieved just this. Our new assistants came to us as new graduates from Bellus Academy, ready and eager to master their craft and exceed our expectations, and you know what? They have done just that! With the addition of two new motivated professionals, our team has been able to push forward with our agenda of becoming the Best San Diego has to offer. It has been apparent to not only myself, but to everyone at Diesel Salon that Bellus Academy is now our "go to" Academy, and we could not be happier with the new relationship that has sparked between Courtney and Diesel Salon. We would love to have a part in the education of young and eager minds, and that is why we have decided to work with Bellus Academy on the externship program. Hopefully our contribution of experience will help with Bellus Academy's agenda; to be the Best San Diego has to offer."

Ani Dumas, Spa & Sports Retreat Director - Morgan Run Resort & Club

10/28/2014 11:09:26 AM

Our visit at the Bellus Academy in Poway was absolutely lovely! We had a nice tour of the facility and spoke with a few of the advanced students and instructor about what you are doing there with the advanced program. It is very impressive! Mom is coming back for Oxygen treatments, I think she has one scheduled tomorrow. She has pass along the word to all of her friends in Poway.
Now I need to finish my paperwork and get that over to you so we can start working together on the Externship program.
Thanks again!"

Dawn Rotundo, At the Beach Salon & Spa

10/28/2014 11:08:47 AM

Dear Courtney;
Thank you for responding to my advertisement for both Nail Technician and Massage Therapist.  I respect and appreciate that your school teaches young women and men skill sets but helps to follow-up and place them in positions within our community.  I further appreciate your time discussing possible candidates and your inquiries as to a former student of yours, Janet Salazar.
I have offered a position to a recent graduate of yours, Holly Cozad.  I will let you know how we progress at our next interview/practicum.  Your feedback relative to this candidate was very helpful in our decision making.  We, too, have found her to be “exceptional”.
I would like to further acknowledge our appreciation of the school’s contribution to one of our first employees hired “At The Beach, Day Spa”.  Although, Janet was only nineteen when we hired her in July, 2009, she has been an outstanding employee, mature beyond her years.
Her pride of where she had graduated from spoke well of both you and Janet.  Certainly, Janet’s work ethics must be credited to her family and faith—but the confidence she gained Bellus seemed to align well with her own values.  Janet arrives early to work, always with a smile and ready to provide an outstanding level of service to our guests.  She is attentive to the salon’s goals and standards and always participates in a very positive way.  As a new licensee, over the last nine months Janet has taken very positively to constructive criticism; attentively and respectfully. 
Janet is a lovely asset to “At the Beach”.  She uses her initiative to look for what may need to be done in the “house” as well as practices her tutorials to improve her skills.  This has earned her two pay increases; one particularly relating to over-all time to accomplish given tasks (time for basic pedi’s, and mani’s), as well as, quality workmanship in both the use of her drill for acrylics, French mani’s and original nail art.  As Janet has remained such an outstanding employee we recently agreed to send her to an outside source to improve her acrylic skills.  We are following her growth in this area and her trainer is very pleased with her improvement—as are all of us!
Thank you Bellus Academy for the foundation and the appropriate reinforcement of work skills and decorum which have allowed us to have such a great candidate become a valued member of our family ”At The Beach”!

Kristee Tamulis, Cosmetology

10/28/2014 11:07:47 AM

After years of college and dead-end jobs I found myself needing both an education and a career in which I could feel fulfilled, creative, active, and successful. Growing up, I had always followed fashion trends closely, had my own personal style, and constantly given my friends and family hair and makeup tips. I finally had that "Ah-ha!"
moment and realized that cosmetology school was the perfect avenue for me, in which I could specialize in hairstyling or dabble in makeup if I desired. The next step was finding the right school where I could get the best education.
Bellus Academy was the first school I contacted about starting my new career. Not only was the atmosphere chic, leaving me feeling like I was in a busy, upscale salon, but the staff was very helpful, answered all of my questions and made me aware of the amazing curriculum I was about the experience.  I was already sold on Bellus Academy and knew it was the place for me, but I wanted feel out my options and see what type of schools San Diego had to offer. After a few disappointing appointments at surrounding schools, I knew that Bellus was the best, no contest.
Ever since my first day at Bellus Academy, I knew I had made the right choice. I was so excited to go to school every day because I was offered so many opportunities that helped me experience the details of the cosmetology world that I had always wanted. I was asked to speak with a reporter from the New York Times about the field of Cosmetology which helped me exercise my press interview skills. I was also a representative of Bellus Academy at the local Juvenile Detention Center in which I spoke to troubled youth about turning their lives around and making a positive difference in the world. One of the most fun opportunities I had at Bellus was being selected as a model for a photo session. Through that experience I had a taste of all the work it takes to make editorial hair and makeup transfer into a beautiful picture.
Those are just a few highlights of the countless opportunities I was lucky enough to experience on top of the already amazing curriculum.
After putting in many hours of hard work, I was eligible for the Bellus Academy Externship Program in which selected students are able to interview in real salons and work one day a week for school credit. I interviewed with Ryan Thomas Hair Studio, one of San Diego's top salons, and landed a position as an intern. I was so thrilled to have such an amazing opportunity. Thanks to Bellus Academy and a lot of determination, I was hired at Ryan Thomas Hair Studio before I graduated, which relieved the enormous pressure of searching for a job as a newly licensed cosmetologist.
I am currently working full time at Ryan Thomas Hair Studio, building my clientele, and loving my life more than ever. Bellus Academy was such a wonderful and unique experience I know I would not get anywhere else. I am forever grateful for all of the help, motivation, and support that helped make my dreams come true.

Tammy Acierno, HHP

10/28/2014 11:05:51 AM

"Please share with all as it is important for me to let everyone know what a great experience this was for me. I would like to take the time to acknowledge all the wonderful staff at Bellus, everyone has been nothing but fantastic to me and you have made my experience a wonderful one. I have learned so much from our wonderful instructors, but I have learned to give so much more to our clients by watching, listening to the front desk and the higher management. This is the first time in leaving a technical school where I actually have the confidence in myself to go out and use what I have learned to create a career out of it. Not only have I learned a career, but I have grown as person through my experiences here at Bellus. I am thankful for being apart of the Bellus team. I have enjoyed all the experiences with my fellow students and from all of them learned to become a more kindhearted person. I have learned how to keep focus on the important things in life through this journey. I have learned to harmonize my hurricanes(Mr. B will understand). To all of you I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful gift you have all given me and the opportunity to create a new life for me and my son."

Carley Smith, Cosmetology 103

10/28/2014 11:05:12 AM

"Starting Bellus was one of the best things I have done for myself.  You should try to get everything out of your time here-enter contests, do the events and fashion shows and take Advanced Academy.  That was by far my favorite month in school and was the extra inspiration and motivation I needed to get through the last few months of school.
The experience from this class was amazing.  Having the opportunity with high fashion designers was incredible.  But to even get published in Fashion Chicago Magazine was even more than I dreamed of.  For me being published on still in school is a great accomplishment for me.  I’m so thankful to have had this opportunity by taking this class.
When I first started thinking about Cosmetology School I was in high school majoring in Art.  Art was my strength and
I loved being creative.  I really wanted to go to the Art Institute of Boston.  That was my first plan.  But plans don’t always come through.  So I thought what could I do that would be a creative career and support me with a comfortable income.  
Well Beauty School was my second choice.  But I didn’t want to go to just any Beauty School.  I wanted to go to one of the top schools in the nation.  And the number  one school in the nation (Bellus Academy) was half an hour away from my Grandparents house!  So I packed up and moved out to California within the year!  Now that I am graduating, I want to do free lancing work to build my portfolio and further my education in the business.  While I get my license and find a salon that will nurture my creativity and use my skills to the fullest extent.  While still mentoring me to be a better stylist."

Samantha Panarisi, Make-Up Artistry

10/28/2014 11:04:26 AM

"I attended El Cajon in August 2010 and graduated September 2010, I took the Make-Up Artistry course with Kristina Monique Cortez. I loved and enjoyed her class tremendously, she is no doubt an amazing teacher. During her class I struggled with a couple techniques and I asked if she could help me, she said yes and took the time to work with me until I was able to master them. Kristina taught me everything from simple makeup techniques, to more complex things like airbrushing and special effects. After graduating I was introduced to the owner of a salon and production company and was asked to do make-up for the 2011 Enzo Milano Campaign. I took the opportunity and did amazing, I did make-up for three of the four gorgeous models, Jessica Rae, Jessica Hinton, and Trevasia Walls, and my work was shot by the amazing Michael Vincient. That was the best opportunity I've ever had and I can honestly say if it wasn't for Kristina's teaching i would have not been able to do it. She taught me not only how to do make-up, but also to be positive and follow my dreams in the world of Make-Up Artistry. Thank you Kristina Monique Cortez and El Cajon for not only teaching me but also inspiring me."

Jessica Costa Holistic Health Practitioner Program

10/28/2014 11:03:53 AM

"I am confident I will success in this industry because of the incredible training I have received. Thank you Bellus Academy for giving me the tools to achieve greatness.”

Meghan Carraher, Esthetics & Cosmetology

10/28/2014 11:03:22 AM

"I just want to thank you.... I went to Poway Academy for esthetics years ago, but I have wanted to do hair my whole life..When I worked at Carlton in Del Mar, I was offered the opportunity to do the apprenticeship program, which would have been a free education. However, I always knew that I wanted to get my education at Bellus when the school became Bellus Academy. I’m so glad I made that decision. It took a very long time for me to be in the position where I could resign from my job as an esthetician, to be able to go to school and only concentrate on that. Going to The Doves for my externship was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I honestly could not have wished for a better school experience. The teachers were incredible and completely supportive. I graduated mid October, and I’ve been studying for state board since then. I am so excited for this new journey! I have never been happier. I know how much you care about the students, and I’m not sure if they tell you enough how appreciative they are. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart."

Chrystal Sheree, HHP and Esthetics Program

10/28/2014 11:02:51 AM

"The array of educators, of which I have received instruction at Bellus Academy, has broadened my perception of my trade and giving me a deeper look into Holistic Therapy. This opportunity has giving me the freedom to make choices toward my career development."

Teresa Buenaflor, Basic & Master Esthetics Program (Esthetics 103)

10/28/2014 11:02:18 AM

"I am in the first phase of the esthetician program eager to enter the master esthetics class. I chose Bellus for a multitude of reasons; the ambience of their newly renovated campus, the professionalism of the instructors, the combination of the theory and the practical curriculum, and most importantly the master esthetics program which goes in depth of skin conditions and treatments to achieve optimal skin for your clients. I have been impressed with the instruction, student body, and treatments that I've experiences to date. If you're passionate about skin and working closely with people, I highly recommend that you tour the Bellus Academy facility and look at their esthetics program."

Todd, Basic Cosmetology Program (Cosmetology 101)

10/28/2014 11:01:39 AM

"Bellus Academy showed me my creative side by teaching me to think outside the box. In fact, just blow up the box!"

Erica Marshall, Massage Technician, Basic and Master Esthetics Program (Esthetics 105)

10/28/2014 11:00:50 AM

"I started at Bellus Academy on June 6th, 2009. At the time the only pre-conceived idea I had is what comes to most people's mind when you say "beauty school". Bellus changed my perception immediately. As of writing this letter, I have achieved both my esthetician license and my massage esthetician certification. Currently, I am enrolled in the Master Esthetics class and I am looking forward to the career options ahead of me. The instructors are top-notch and the facilities are a joy to work in."

Doug Smith, Basic Cosmetology Program (Cosmetology 101)

10/28/2014 10:59:52 AM

"I went to manicuring school in 1983 to have a part-time job in college. It was easy and only took a few months so I figured 'why not'. After all, I grew up in my mom's salon in New York and loved the industry.
Flash forward 27 years I spent a great 2+ decades in the industry working in salons and then in the marketing and education department of CND, Creative Nail Design. But my passion for the salon never faded so I decided to quit the corporate world and finally get my full cosmetology license and eventually open a salon.
I chose Bellus Academy after researching most of the schools in southern California. I want, no demand, 3 things from a school 1) world class instructors who are respected in the beauty community 2) a facility that resembles a high-end salon 3)the Sassoon connection. Bellus Academy exceeds my 3 demands and truly provides the best foundation for beauty professionals."

Brianne Bruggema, Make Up Artistry, Basic and Master Esthetics Program (Esthetics 104)

10/28/2014 10:59:07 AM

"This past September I started the make-up program and then enrolled into the esthetics program taught by Ms. Larissa and Ms. Olga. The two teachers are the best I have ever worked with. They not only have the book knowledge, but also the life knowledge to pass on to us. After this program, I will start the masters program and I cannot wait! This school is top notch and has been a blessing. I am starting off on the right foot in my esthetics career and I owe it all to Bellus Academy!
In all the attempts I've made pursuing education goals in hopes of leading to careers offering financially successful and personally fulfilling rewards, my decision to attend Bellus Academy has proven the most promising. The esthetic program offers extensive study in theory and practical application, as well as preparation for required State Board examinations. The esthetic instructors, Miss Larissa and Miss Olga, are rich in knowledge due to their in depth European training, and years of work in the field. The five month esthetician program produces within students, not only a solid base of skill enabling them to confidently begin careers, but with fellow students, have the beginning of a network of buddy estheticians, many of whom will no doubt lead to lifelong friendships."

Bailey Calvert, Basic, Advanced Cosmetology and Make-up Artistry Program (Cosmetology 104)

10/28/2014 10:58:14 AM

"Before I came to Bellus Academy my career goal was more than a little fuzzy. I'd tried community college but nothing peaked my interest. The moment I stepped through these doors and realized I could use a human being as my canvas and create art with hair and make up, I was hooked and fell in love with the industry. I signed up for Cosmo104, which includes the advanced academy. I would have never believed how many doors this school could open, if I hadn't jumped in headfirst."

Brianna P., Esthetics Program

10/24/2014 4:44:14 PM

"I am currently a student in the esthetician program at Bellus Academy and truly pleased with the education I am receiving. The esthetics program is very structured, directed by two dedicated teachers, Ms. Olga and Ms. Larissa. We have rules and regulations that are essential to follow so as to maintain a healthy productive environment with classmates and clients. I strongly feel this structure will benefit all students when transitioning from student to licensed esthetician. It is also beneficial having the opportunity to work in a clinic with clients while attending school; along with the education received in sales given the professional retail products to encourage home care maintenance for clients. I feel very lucky to attend such an established academy with knowledgeable instructors who guide, support and provide all of their students with the most current and high-quality education today. I am pleased that the academy also provides the opportunity to take the ITEC exam and has connections for recruitment with Steiner. I have found that the curriculum does meet and exceed the minimum standards and I am confident that upon graduation from the Bellus Academy I will be qualified to enter my career as an Esthetician."

Ben Lee, Basic Cosmetology Program (Cosmetology 101)

10/24/2014 4:43:28 PM

"I am currently a senior student here at the Bellus Academy. I have taken my first steps in a new career path which is much different from my previous work experiences, pharmaceutical industry, and also served as an interrogator in the army. When making the decision to go into the cosmetology field, I said to myself that I would not change professions unless I was able to find a top notch school. After touring the Bellus Academy campus, looking at the curriculum and reading testimonials, I knew that this was the right place for me.
I am about to graduate and can honestly say that the school has exceeded my expectations. The teachers and staff are incredible and have really inspired me. When looking back, I know that I have made the right choice because I love what I'm doing."

Ellie Davis, Esthetics & Make-Up Artistry Program

10/24/2014 4:42:31 PM

"I enrolled at Bellus Academy in 2009. I enrolled in the make-up course with Ms. Judy and the Esthetics Program with Miss Larissa and Miss Olga. Since day one the teachers and staff have been amazing. I could not have asked for more out of a school and teaching staff. I feel very fortunate and happy that this school is available and can accommodate such fantastic services."

Alyx VanDewalle, Basic Cosmetology Program (Cosmetology 103)

10/24/2014 4:41:54 PM

"I came here because I thought this school would be the best to prepare me for the hairdressing world. I can be creative with hair all day everyday, and learn along the way."

Sara D., Make Up Artistry, Basic and Master Esthetics Program (Esthetics 104)

10/24/2014 4:40:43 PM

"I enrolled in the make-up, esthetics, and master esthetics course after touring the school in July 2009. The moment I stepped foot in the Bellus Academy I knew this was the perfect school for me. Everyone working here is wonderful and Miss Larissa and Miss Olga are amazing! They are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. They give all of their students the tools and encouragement needed to be the best estheticians possible. I am so happy I made the decision to attend Bellus Academy. I absolutely LOVE it here!"

Karisa Martynowicz, Basic and Advanced Cosmetology Program (Cosmetology 103)

10/24/2014 4:39:52 PM

"As a current student at the Bellus Academy I am proud to say that I attend this school. I know that pursuing a career in this industry is a huge decision and choosing the right school is extremely important. I know that this school will teach me with the skills I need to be successful. The teachers really care and want to see you be the best that you can be. Being a military wife, I needed to pursue a career that I could take with me wherever I am. I am confident in my education enough to walk into any salon in America and know what's expected of me. I would also like to reflect on another aspect of my experience at Bellus. I'm also on a team with two other girls working hand in hand with the Marketing Director as the Bellus Insiders. We have the great opportunity to help with marketing by capturing demo's done by salons for the students via video. We are also help update the school's Facebook and Twitter page. I can honestly say that if the school I attended was any less than Bellus, investing extra time and energy would not be as rewarding."

Kayla C., Esthetics Program

10/24/2014 4:28:09 PM

"I enrolled in the esthetics course at Bellus Academy after touring the elaborate facilities. I have loved every minute here thanks to my teachers, Miss Larissa and Miss Olga, who have supported and encouraged me. They take pride in sharing every ounce of their knowledge with us and I feel more than prepared to enter the industry."

Allyson Wickersham, Basic and Advanced Cosmetology Program (Cosmetology 103)

10/24/2014 4:27:20 PM

"After attending two years of college, I knew I had to face reality and make a change. There was just something missing. From there I began brainstorming, and remembered how much I thoroughly enjoyed styling, cutting and coloring my family and friend's hair over the years! I said to myself, "I'm going to do it!" It wasn't more than two days later before my whole family & Facebook friends knew that I was going to pursue my first love, doing hair! I called Bellus Academy after doing my research of cosmetology schools in San Diego and I found my home. It was love at first sight! I was welcomed at the door with a warm smile from my admissions counselor and got a tour of the ENTIRE facility! I knew it was meant to be, I saw myself there! My journey began shortly after that and I can confidently say it has been worth it 150%! I know that I have a support team, an entire staff of experienced and passionate individuals who are constantly pouring new knowledge into me daily. The highlighting inspiration I gain from Bellus Academy is that MY opportunities go as far as I desire to take them, there are NO limits to my success because I have been given a solid foundation! And, I have my fabulous school to thank for that!"

Michelle R, Esthetics Program

10/24/2014 4:25:39 PM

"I entered the esthetics course at Bellus Academy in 2009 and was blown away by how amazing the teachers were! Ms. Olga and Ms. Larissa are extremely knowledgeable and highly experienced in the field of esthetics."

Lydia Mikal, Basic Cosmetology Program (Cosmetology 101)

10/24/2014 4:25:02 PM

"Bellus Academy provided a positive learning experience for me and helped me start my career. I got a great opportunity to enter the national SASC contest which has helped further my career. I love what I do, I graduated with a high attendance and grade point average.  I got to do an externship program, and I am now working in San Diego's best hair salon Jet Rhys! I am so excited about my future and what's to come"

Taylor MacKenzie, Basic & Master Esthetics Program (Esthetics 103)

10/24/2014 4:23:22 PM

"I enrolled in the Master Esthetician program in 2009. This program has many great attributes that it offers to the students. I have learned a great deal of information about chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and many other great ways to improve a client's skin with medical-grade equipment. I started at Bellus attending the esthetician program and wanted to further my education, so that it would enable me to work in a medical atmosphere. Two weeks after I graduated, Bellus academy placed me with a great job in Orange County working as a Master Esthetician. I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunities and education the school has given me. I have learned a great deal about the spa and medical industry regarding skin care and I look forward to starting a career in this field. I just want to thank all my teachers and everyone that has helped me achieve my goals and help me get to this point."

Emmy Wilkey, Manhattan, KS Campus Alumni | Cosmetology Program

10/24/2014 4:21:01 PM

"I always knew I was the type of person that loved to work around people, help people, and make them feel good. Although when I was younger I enjoyed playing with makeup, changing up my hair, etc., the possibility that I could do it as a career never really entered my mind. I always assumed I would end up in healthcare although when I got to college nothing ever seemed like quite the right fit. Very slowly, over time, as I visited with stylists who did my hair in the various places I lived, the wheels began to turn as I realized that each of them genuinely loved what they did. I wanted that. It took a long time for me come around and not be scared of making such a big change, but I knew deep down I couldn’t picture myself being happy doing anything else. I realized I did have an artistic side, not in drawing or music, but with people, and in making them feel beautiful, I felt fulfilled as well.
From the first day in Mrs. Foltz’s class, I knew I had made the right decision and I was going to love school, and I did. It wasn’t always easy (I had nightmares about finger waves for awhile—but what I great sense of accomplishment when I could finally whip out a full head in no time!), but the educators always had the patience of saints when things got frustrating and helped me conquer the things I struggled with.
I also really didn’t expect to have such special relationships and experiences with the clients I had while out on the floor. I got to cut little children’s hair for the first time and do elderly ladies’ roller sets. I got to do highlights on a bride just before her big day and provide comfort and a fresh look for a heartbroken widow. I got to do crazy fun peek-a-boos on young trendy girls, and a spray tan for a soon to be mother who didn’t want to look too pale while in the hospital. Those are just a handful of examples of the incredible clients that helped challenge and inspire me. There were the difficult ones too, but I was grateful to have a fantastic team of educators who had my back. They were definitely a huge support through hard days and also genuinely happy for me in my successes. I can’t imagine school without them."

Tara Rokey, Kansas Campus Alumni | majored in Massage Therapy

10/24/2014 4:17:17 PM

Why did you choose a wellness career?
From early on in my life I have always been a caregiver. Helping people has always made me happy. So when I knew that a career in massage was an option I was sold on trying to make that happen for myself. After visiting Bellus I knew that it was a place that I could gain the knowledge and experience to become what I had wanted for myself for a long time.
At what age did you decide this is what you wanted to do?
I was probably 20 when I realized that becoming a massage therapist was something that I could make happen. I was in the middle of getting my Bachelors degree in Psychology and knew that finishing that was a goal of mine so I put off starting massage school. Upon graduation I had a full time job immediately so it took me a little while to put that job aside and make massage a priority once again.
How important was picking the right school for you?
Finding the correct school was extremely important. I just so happened to be lucky enough to live in a town that had a school that offered massage. That being said I wanted to make sure that this school was right for me and that I could get the education I needed to be successful.
What kind of research did you do to select the school?
After touring the campus I had a great vibe, everyone there was so positive and happy and I really felt like they wanted me to be there. Afterwards I frequently spoke on the phone with the admissions director of the school and knew from her passion that this was a school that I could really flourish in.
What was it about your first visit to Manhattan academy that made you feel this was the right school for you? What was the final reason you chose our academy? 
The first thing I noticed was how helpful everyone was. It felt as if they wanted me to be there more than I wanted my to be there! And that was the best feeling I could have asked for. My main concern was that I was planning on keeping my job part time and attending school at the same time. This meant that my schedule would have to work out just so and to be honest that was one of the reasons that it took me so long to start school. Thankfully everyone was just amazing at helping me work out the correct schedule to make sure I was able to get all the education I needed and still keep my job. Not only was the admissions and scheduling staff great at working with me but my teachers were so unbelievably helpful at making sure I was never missing out on classroom things because I left early each day for work. It was such a blessing to have everyone on board with my decision to be a part time student and to really help me through the process.
Write a few paragraphs about your experience in school and what you enjoyed about your education.
My time at school really couldn't have been better. There was not a day I didn't wake up and look forward to being at school and being around my teachers and classmates. They made the biggest difference in me enjoying myself so much. The occasional massage didn't hurt either!! But the best part has to be the lasting changes they have made for me and my career. I feel with 100 percent confidence that I can make it in the industry and the entire staff at Bellus will always be there to help me out if I ever have any questions concerning my career. Being able to say that you can use your teachers as a reference to help you get a job is such an amazing feeling.
If you had any other college experience, how would you compare this college experience to any previous education?
Prior to starting at Bellus Academy I graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Psychology. I was faced with the decision to get my masters in Psychology or finally starting massage school. I realized that I have never been one to sit in a large classroom being lectured for hours on end, it just isn't my way of learning. I am a very hands on person and after visiting Bellus I realized that it is where I belonged.
Would you recommend this academy to someone interested in beauty education? If so, what would you say to them if they asked you, "What school should I go to and why?"
Absolutely! My main reasoning would be the experience. The school not only does everything possible to get you ready for a job in the beauty and wellness industry it's the people who make the culture there. It's extremely up beat and happy and drama is discouraged and that makes for a pleasant environment to attend school in. Also the way that they prepare you for a job in the industry is fantastic. Being able to actually work with real clients after being a student for only two months was nerve wracking at first, but quickly became one of the things I was most thankful for having. I can't stress enough how great the educators and administrators are who work at Bellus. They made such a difference in the way my experience was.
Write a little about your future plans and where you want to be (future goals).
Eventually I would like to go back to college and get my masters degree and massage is going to be so helpful in doing that. I want to work part time getting my feet wet in the industry and hopefully after completing school starting my own business. Owning a spa would be a dream come true and being able to work for myself is an added bonus.

Brianne Bruggema, Poway Campus Alumni | Basic Esthetics and Master Esthetics

10/24/2014 4:14:34 PM

Born and raised in San Diego, Brianne Bruggema earned her associate’s degree in Entrepreneurship Business in 2009 while working in the field of accounting. “I quickly realized this wasn’t the right industry for me,” remembers Bruggema.
Upon graduation, Bruggema enrolled in Poway’s Bellus Academy and completed its Makeup, Basic Esthetics and Master Esthetics curriculum. Bruggema also became an internationally certified esthetician through Bellus’s ITEC program. Bruggema joined Alexis K. in 2010.
“Bellus is one of the top schools in the country and it actually cares about your real life success rather than getting you in and out,” explains Bruggema. “The vice president of the school is actually the person who put me in touch with Alexis.” Bruggema enjoys her work at Alexis K. as a Master Esthetician and Makeup Artist since she continues to learn something new everyday.
“There’s always a change of pace which keeps things interesting.”

Rainbo Throp, Poway Campus Alumni | Cosmetology Program

10/24/2014 4:13:47 PM

I am so grateful to the teachers and administrators of Bellus Academy. As a person changing careers in mid-life, I appreciated the fact that it was an environment that demanded professionalism and the best from its students. In return, we received a top-notch education and legitimate career opportunities that other schools just can't provide. We worked in a luxurious spa atmosphere, and offered terrific service to real salon patrons, which boosted our confidence and honed our skills.
And it wasn't always easy. It wasn't always "five stars" in my brain. I didn't pick up some things as fast as some of the other students. There were times when I cried and , literally, felt like I  wanted to throw a mannequin head across the parking lot, by her ponytail - and just  give up. But, I had  awesome instructors like Matt Hom, Bryden Muggleston, Eric Thrane and Carerra Bailey, who told me, "Hang in there. We know it's tough, but we believe in you." And when it came time for State Board, as with most Bellus grads, not only did I pass the State Board the first try, but I passed it with flying colors. (I believe the school has something like a 90+  pass  percentage rate with its grads.)
There is a reason Bellus graduates get some of the best entry level salon and spa jobs, after earning their license. They go beyond the usual fair of "get them their hours and get them their license." They more than prepare us for State Board. They help us SHINE. They offer externships to top students, and when I found the job market to be rather hostile to a person of my age, I was able to meet with counselors, and re-assess my next steps. After a few tweaks of the resume and a few job leads, I was hired as an assistant at an incredible salon. I couldn't ASK for a better fit for me,  or more awesome co-workers and bosses. Had I needed further education? I could have attended courses they offer to professional alumni, as well. They really went out of their way to help me succeed. That is what I am most thankful for. They CARE about our success. Let it be known, that I highly recommend Bellus Academy to anyone pursuing a career in the beauty industry.  I am proud not not only be a beauty school graduate...but a BELLUS ACADEMY Graduate.

Marlin C, National City Campus, Cosmetology 102


As a graduate from this beauty school, I have to say this place is amazing! I've learned so much and found what I'm great and passionate about. & now I have a job! Big thanks to Rebecca in Career Services she's the best! Never says no and has the patience for anything, thank you again. Wouldn't have found this job without you!

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