Kiana Woods Brown

Renee Rouleau

Kiana Woods Brown, @thekeyesthetic

Elaine Sterling Institute, Atlanta, Georgia

Kiana fell in love with makeup early in life and loved nothing more than dipping into her mother’s makeup kit. “I always wondered how my mom knew I was in her makeup and it’s probably the mess I left behind,” laughs Kiana in her video. While Kiana believes the decision to wear makeup is a personal choice, she says that good skin is the basis for putting one’s best face forward. Furloughed from her job during the pandemic, Kiana resolved to research the things that made her happy. That research led to her decision to become an esthetician. “I want to apply the experience and skills I gained in retail operations and translate them to the spa industry when I complete my program in 2022,” she says.

Erika Dixon

Renee Rouleau

Erika Dixon, @thelilbigsis

Continental School of Beauty Culture, Rochester, New York

Working as a cosmetic counter manager in a department store for eight years, Erika fell in love with helping women see themselves as beautiful. But when the pandemic arrived, Erika lost her position and realized it was time to recalibrate. Seeking to stay in the cosmetics sector, Erika decided to pursue bridal makeup, only to learn that a license was required. “Instead of getting down, I decided to sign up,” she says, regarding her decision to enroll in beauty school. Looking back on her pivot, Erika says she is glad she took the time to consider what would make her happy professionally. “Lean into what makes you happy and keep an open mind,” she says. “I know that I’m on the perfect journey for me.” After finishing her school’s program, she plans to eventually open her own spa and focus on helping clients with hyperpigmentation issues.