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N.B. Entrepreneur To Pilot New Makeup School

Dioné Cosmetics founder Alisha Anderson. (Image, Submitted)

SAINT JOHN– A New Brunswick beauty entrepreneur has been given a green light to pilot a new program that could change the way people can become accredited makeup artists in the province.

Alisha Anderson, founder of Dioné Cosmetics, got approval last month from the Cosmetology Association of New Brunswick to pilot the Dioné School of Professional Makeup, a 20-week program that will allow students to study on their own schedule to become a licensed makeup artist.

The idea of starting a makeup program had been on Anderson’s mind since 2013, when she got her teaching license, but as an entrepreneur, the current by-laws set by the Cosmetology Association to start a school were too costly. At this time, there are very few programs in the province where you can go to study just makeup.

“I felt really bad because after I got my makeup license, there wasn’t really a way for many people in Saint John to get just their makeup license like a lot of people wanted to. They had to take full aesthetics in order to get the makeup component. That was like a $17,000 program,” says Anderson.

“There is a makeup-only course taught in Moncton, but obviously, for people who are in Moncton, it’s not ideal, because it’s a three-month-long full-time course. You need to take time off work, you have to leave your home. There would be a lot of commuting. It didn’t seem ideal to me.”

Anderson pitched her idea of a mostly remote makeup program to the Cosmetology Association of New Brunswick‘s licensing board last month. She found out not long after that they are allowing her to give it a shot.

“Essentially they are giving me one round and if it proves successful and people pass their theory and their practical and get their licenses, they’re going to make it a permanent program.”

Dioné School of Professional Makeup will be a 22-week program, which is longer than the typical on-site programs which are usually around 16 weeks. Anderson says her program is designed so students can study on weekends. Students will have a new module to study each week taught through video, textbook and printables. There will however be five mandatory face-to-face classes at the Cosmetology Association in Fredericton under Anderson’s study.

“I want to make sure not only are they learning properly, but that they are up-to-par. I just want to make sure that the money I am going to be charging them is going to be put to use for everybody. I don’t just want to give them a sub-par program,” says Anderson. “The five days are scattered throughout the 22 weeks just so we can touch base on some of the things that are a little bit more hands-on like airbrushing or body painting or lash extensions, some of the more extensive stuff.”

There will be tests and projects that will be time-sensitive. At the end of the 22-weeks, Anderson will look at the curriculum to see who has passed all their elements and will sign off on their hours. From there, they will go to the cosmetology association to write their final exam.

“It’s kind of a hybrid in the sense that it is unstructured because there’s not a designated timing for everything,” she says. “But it’s structured enough that it has to be finished in a timely manner.”

The plan is to start the pilot this June. A few things are still being finalized, but Anderson hopes to keep the program under $3,000. The pilot will allow her to teach up to 18 students, most of the seats have already been claimed. The student’s makeup supply kits will be from Dione´ Cosmetics. The company already supplies to another makeup school, Kreative Cosmetology in Woodstock, N.B. Students will be able to sell Dione´ products since the company uses a direct-sales model

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“One of the great things about this whole thing is I am going to be able to utilize Dione´ Cosmetics as the professional kit for the students,” she says. “Which in turn, is going to give those 18 students a way to potentially earn income if they’d like to. Because they can then turn around and sell Dione and earn money if they choose to do so. It’s a win for everybody involved.”

If the pilot proves successful, Anderson hopes to see Dioné School of Professional Makeup become a permanent program. Looking ahead, she sees it a new way people for people to get accredited in the industry.

“Sometimes, New Brunswick can be so backward,” says Anderson. “So this is a really good chance to show other places that this is the way of the future.”