We recently had a chance to catch up with an amazing esthetician graduate from 2012, Amanda Santana Killian. Check out the interview below.
Tell us about your education journey?
My father was in the air force so I moved around a lot. I attended grade schools on bases around the world including Japan, Germany, all over the U.S. After graduating from Cal State University Long Beach (CSULB), I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 2008. I signed up for the Esthetician program at Beyond 21st Century Beauty Academy and completed the 600-hour program part-time, graduating in 2012. I passed my practical and written tests on the first try the month after I graduated.
How did you become interested in attending beauty school?
After graduating from CSULB, I spent the next two and a half years working multiple jobs. I was a server at Chilis, apprenticed at a Tattoo shop, and did makeup jobs on the side. I felt like I didn’t have an actual “career” and needed to find a better path. I had a couple of friends that felt the same and signed up for the Cosmetology program with Beyond 21st. They encouraged me to take my love for makeup and skincare further, so I signed up as well.
After getting your esthetician license, what were your initial career plans?
I was blessed enough to have Miss Maria connect me with places to apply. Right after I finished my hours, I started as a receptionist at Personalized Skin Care in Fullerton. After receiving my license I began learning luxury skincare services and using high-end esthetic machines.
How did you get into sales?
In February of 2013, my mother passed away and I started the process of leaving California to look after my widowed father in Texas. After moving to Texas, the first thing I did was transfer my esthetician license.
I had never heard of “freelancing” for a makeup company until I showed up for a group interview for the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand. At the time they required their freelancers to have an esthetician license even if they were mainly selling makeup. With that job, you were required to wax eyebrows and sell products in department stores.
While working for Anastasia, I was scouted by an executive for Benefit Cosmetics. She wanted me to take a Lead sales Esthetician position, running the brow counter for both waxing services and sales.
The role at Benefit was a management position and focused more on waxing services than makeup. At this point, I realized my true passion was going more towards selling and applying makeup rather than waxing.
In 2016, I was scouted by Urban Decay for a Sales Coordinator role. The job was focused on leading trainings, planning events, and inspiring associates to increase sales.
Over the past few years, I've been promoted to Sales Executive and then to Regional Sales Manager with ever-expanding responsibilities.
Tell us more about Urban Decay
Urban decay was founded by beauty junkies that felt constrained by the lack of color offered in the beauty industry. Created in 1996 Urban Decay has been able to fill a unique niche in the beauty world with vegan, cruelty-free products focused on breaking monotony and pushing boundaries.
What advice do you have for people looking to getting into the beauty industry?
Obtaining your license can often give you the edge in such a competitive industry. If you become the master of sales and services, the options are limitless.
What is your favorite Beyond memory?
I loved doing the makeup competitions! It definitely showed the value of time management and not being afraid of performing in front of people. While working for Urban Decay I’ve had to lead many Makeup Master Classes and those competitions prepared me well.