Like mother, like daughter. Building on a beautiful bond
Reflecting a “beautiful bond”, self-described “best friends”, Angela Evans and Arianna Leon have navigated life’s journey together for more than 20 years. Now their mother-daughter journey is taking some exciting new turns as they complete their esthetics programs at Bellus Academy and prepare to enter new careers. As Mother’s Day approaches, mom Angela and her daughter Arianna – both A students with a 95 GPA – spoke with Bellus Academy about how the beauty school experience has created yet another bond between them.
Above: Angela Evans (left) and her daughter Arianna Leon
What program are you enrolled in and why did you choose Bellus Academy?
Angela: I’m an Esti 103 student. I selected the advanced program because of the oncology portion of the course. No other school in the area offered this and as I’ve dealt with cancer in my own family, it’s personal. I like helping people and earlier in life, I’d thought about becoming a nurse. But I didn’t want the emotional strain of nursing. I was afraid I’d either become numb to suffering or take all of the stress and emotion home at the end of the day.
Arianna: I’m also enrolled in the Esti 103 program. I’ve struggled with skin issues in the past. People can feel really insecure about their skin and I want to help people feel confident and good about who they are.
What were you doing before you enrolled in beauty school?
Angela: I’ve worked in healthcare medical billing as a revenue cycle manager for almost 20 years.
Arianna: I’ve worked in the warehousing business, managing logistics – first for Amazon and now for Living Spaces.
Angela, what made you decide to make a career change?
Angela: Growing up, I was always interested in hairstyling and thought about going to cosmetology school. I was also interested in the medical field. I ended up getting talked out of cosmetology school by those who thought the medical field would offer a “safer” route. Now my kids are older and it’s time to do what I want to do. I started doing body sculpting during Covid, and that led to an interest in skincare.
Arianna, did you feel similar pressure not to enter the beauty industry?
Arianna: Everyone has been so supportive of my decision to go to beauty school. My boyfriend is super supportive even though he doesn’t get to see me as much now that I’m working and going to school.
Angela: I don’t think the beauty industry was as big as it is today when I was Arianna’s age and people didn’t see all of the options it offers.
What has surprised you about beauty school?
Arianna: We learn so much. The program has helped me learn about what affects your skin and how products and technology can help with different skin sensitivities. I really like working with different devices and products. I love giving massages and have been practicing what I learn by doing a lot of back facials with friends. When I see people relax I feel like I’m doing something right. It pushes me to want to be better.
Angela: There’s so much that goes into it. We’re not just rubbing people’s faces all day. Anatomy, chemistry, ingredients . . . they all are part of our learning experience. It’s a lot more scientific than most people think.
What advice would you give to others thinking about enrolling in esthetics?
Arianna: It’s intense. I still work the first shift at my job while going to school so I get about four hours of sleep a night. I’d tell people to just remember what your goal is and keep pushing toward the goal. It will be worth it.
Angela: You have to have a lot of determination and it may demand juggling jobs, school, kids . . . but stay focused. I have three kids and I kept saying to myself, ‘Keep pressing forward – it’s just nine months!”
Who has inspired your career education journey?
Angela: The educators at Bellus Academy have been great. Miss Jessica, Miss Olga and Miss Jen were amazing teachers. I don’t think I could have asked for anyone better. And the staff was supportive, especially Education Director Ms. Sudi and HR Director Ms. Lauri. Their feedback really solidified for me that I’d made the right choice.
Arianna: My mom inspires me! If I have issues, I can always ask mom. I brought her to class to help me wax.
What are your future goals?
Angela: I graduated March 27, and am waiting to take the state exam. After getting my license, I’d like to work in a med spa and then on my own.
Arianna. I will graduate October 27 and will most likely work as an apprentice and then as an esthetician in a spa. I want to work with lash extensions and eyebrow laminations as well as provide skin care.
Angela: We’ve talked about working together in the future.