In Memoriam: Joel Gerson – Author of Textbook for Esthetics

On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, we gathered together to celebrate the life of Joel Gerson; my friend, my colleague, and my neighbor. He passed away at age 83 after a groundbreaking career in esthetics and a wonderful life.

Joel’s textbook, Milady’s Standard Textbook for Professional Estheticians, forever changed the field of esthetics. He was the first to put our practices down in a text, which provided benchmarks that could be followed across the INDUSTRY. In doing so, Joel wrote so much more than a textbook; he created direction and standards that shaped the industry; without his work, especially the publishing of his first edition of the text in 1985, our field would not have become what it is today.

For me, remembering Joel’s accomplishments cannot be separated from my fond memories of the man himself. Joel had a very unique personality and sense of humor and, one never knew what he would say. I specifically remember a moment when he introduced me as a speaker at a Beauty Congress at Les Nouvelles Esthetiques. After explaining to the audience that I needed no introduction, he stopped in surprise and announced, “Wow Annette, you’ve lost so much weight, tell us how you did it!” I was caught off guard and broke out in laughter, forgetting any apprehension I may have had about addressing the group. Thanks to Joel and his quick quip, I was immediately both knocked off balance and flushed with confidence. At the time, I was surprised, but looking back, I should have expected that from him. Joel always kept everyone on his toes with his wit, and he had an amazing way of genuinely building others up and helping them succeed.

Joel’s brother Richard organized the gathering that celebrated his life. Although Richard lived in California, he and Joel remained close their whole lives. Naturally, Richard hosted the celebration in Joel’s apartment building on 73rd and Madison in Manhattan. It was there in the that Joel happily spent his last days. He never missed one of the weekly Wednesday Happy Hours in the ‘Special Event Room”. Socializing with all his neighbours and friends complete with his friend Scott on the piano. Scott returned that evening to play for all of us one last time along with colleague Paul Dykstra, CEO of Chicago Cosmetologists, who flew in specially for the occasion.

The crowd in the room that evening was a “Who’s Who” of the esthetics industry. Susanne Warfield, Executive Director of the NCEA was there, celebrating the life of our close friend. For years, Joel and I would get together with Susanne to celebrate our birthdays at Capsouto Frères, an old restaurant downtown, by sipping on dirty martinis at the bar before discussing the latest advancements in skin care over dinner and chocolate soufflés. Even after his retirement, Joel’s passion for the field never waned, and neither did his penchant for a colorful comment. Conversations with Joel were always entertaining, and his sharp sense of humor left an impression on everyone he met.

Lydia Safarti, owner of Repechage Skin Care, spoke about her wonderful relationship with Joel. Joel was there to share her joy when her two daughters got married and to support her when her parents passed. For her, he was a friend who had become family.

A couple of instructors from the Christine Valmy Esthetics School were also in attendance. Joel was one of the first skin care teachers at the school back when it opened in 1965, which made it especially meaningful that they came to pay their respects.

Joel, like I, wanted standards in the industry. Without a license and guidelines, there could be no profession. I wrote many articles and campaigned in Albany and finally on July 4, 1984, the Secretary of State accepted my 600-Hour curriculum for Esthetics and a New York State Esthetics License was born. Currently, the governing bodies of 49 states continue to protect the skin care industry. As the science of esthetics progressed, and especially as it became more medically advanced, education and licensure became a must. Partly because we shared that passion, and partly because we purely enjoyed each other’s company, Joel and I had a standing Sunday brunch date for years.

I also had the pleasure of hosting Joel many times as a guest lecturer at Atelier Esthétique, and each time, my students were fascinated by his personality, knowledge, and passion for teaching about skin care.

While Joel slowed down a bit at the end of his life, he remained as involved as he could in the field for as long as he could, simply because he loved it. He loved the people, the business, the science, and the developments that continued to be made.

Joel’s passing has left a void in the industry almost as large as the wonderful impression he made on all of us during his life.

Annette Hanson
Atelier Esthétique Institute of Esthetics


Congratulations to Our Most Recent Graduates


We’re so proud of you all and we are looking forward to hearing about your success in the skincare industry.

Graduates: Ilissa Morales, Gabriella Vincent, Marielle Kuczinski, Vivien Rong Xu, Senada Jasavic, Lucyna Anuszkiewicz

What’s Up at Atelier Esthetique

Meet Some of Our Recent Graduates

Congratulations to Diana Alvarez, Kathy Alicea, Homeira Alemo, Nakia Barrow, Taylor Rae Bowman, Alexandra Collinge, Jacqueline Eichner, Daniela Gomez, Theresa Lucretia Hoagland, Ariel Marrero, Pamela Schulman, Valerie Smith, Krystal Vigo.

Atelier Student Chanell Smith Wins Beauty Changes Lives Scholarship

For the second year in a row an Atelier Esthetique Institute student has won the Beauty Changes Lives Scholarship for Estheticians. In 2016 it was Elizabeth Taylor. This year 2017, it is Chanell Smith.

Chanell’s Beauty Changes Lives Essay & Inspiration Board

“As a current esthetic student, I want to best prepare myself once I leave school to be an amazing esthetician so that I may snag a position within the industry. This scholarship would allow me all the advantages of taking specialized classes, with my number one being a lash extension course.  This scholarship would be a blessing to me but more importantly, a blessing to my family. I spent 10 years working in the health industry seeking job security, but after being laid off twice and being placed in a situation where I could become homeless,  I decided that I must change my career.

The beauty industry has always been my passion but fear and doubt held me back. When I decided to start school, I was very worried about what would happen to my small family. I have a daughter who is 5, and a few months ago I adopted my niece who is 7 months.  My goal is to show them the importance of staying true to your passions and the liberation of being a business woman.

My “Inspiration Board” is based on my favorite things about being an esthetician and what keeps me motivated to be successful in this industry.”

Is Microneedling an Alternative to Lasers?

While lasers can work wonders for some skin types, it’s not the ideal treatment for everyone. Specifically, individuals with Fitzpatrick Types III to VI are prone to post-inflammatory hyperpig­mentation (PIH). This is where microneedling can provide patients a much-needed alternative.

“Microne­edling doesn’t pose risk of hyperpig­mentation for darker skin types making it a very valuable tool of improving skin texture for women of color,” said Masha Banar, inventor of MesoLyft and founder of Visage Sculpture, a Boston-based clinic specializing in nonsurgical facial shaping.

“Exposure to the sun after microneedling can pose some risk of hyperpig­mentation for any skin type, so you have to apply sunscreen and avoid direct sunlight for several days after the treatment.”

Source: SKIN.INC (full article here)

Learn more about the Microneedling course at Atelier Esthetique at this link.


News Release: Larger Classrooms & Improved Student Experience

News Release
September 18, 2017

Atelier Esthétique® Institute of Esthetics has moved to 226 West 26th Street, 5th fl., New York, NY 10001

Atelier Esthétique is pleased to announce we have moved to a new location in Manhattan.

  • Improved Student Experience
  • New Larger Classrooms
  • New Larger Student Lounge with Vending Machines
  • Refrigerator and Microwave
  • Resource Computers with Free Wifi
  • Easy Subway & Bus Access

Our new location is super easy to get to:

  • E and C Trains, stop at 23rd Street and Eight Avenue
  • #1 Train stop at 23rd and 28th Streets at Seventh Avenue
  • F and M train stops at 23rd Street and Sixth Avenue
  • N and R trains stop at 28th Street and Broadway
  • Bus: M20 stops at 26th Street (runs downtown on Seventh and Uptown on Eighth)

Our new location is within walking distance to  New York City’s most iconic attractions, including: the Empire State Building, Times Square, Fashion Institute of Technology, Penn Station, Macy’s, Chelsea Park, New York Public Library, Pier 62, Highline, Museums and Restaurants and MORE…

Atelier Esthétique Institute of Esthetics

  • Educating Professional Estheticians since 1985
  • Nationally Accredited by NACCAS
  • Internationally Accredited by ITEC London

For more information contact the school at (212) 725-6130.

Beauty Changes Lives Scholarship

The Beauty Changes Lives | Murad | Esthetics Education Scholarship Program provides an opportunity for prospective and newer students at a qualifying AACS school to win a $2,250 scholarship towards their tuition, a Murad Skin Care Kit valued at $500.00, and an opportunity to be paired with a Murad Mentor.

Murad was founded in 1989 by Dr. Howard Murad, a board certified dermatologist, trained pharmacist, and Associate Professor at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine. Murad offers people a path to youthful good health through science-based, clinically-proven skincare and healthcare products that have been developed as part of Dr. Murad’s Inclusive Health® system of care.

Five (5) scholarships will be awarded at $2,250.00 each to prospective and newer students.

Atelier Esthétique encourages everyone interested in a career in the skin care and spa industry to learn more about these scholarships and apply early!

Landon Chapman attended Atelier Esthétique and was a scholarship winner. So was another one of our students, Elizabeth Taylor.

You could be next!

Learn more at about the esthetics education scholarship program at this link:


Stand Out and Succeed in a Billion Dollar Beauty Industry

Published in Dermascope Magazine, June 2017

by Annette Hanson, founder and President of Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics

After graduating from beauty school, many people are left wondering: now what? They can do facials, waxing, and make-up treatments in their sleep; now they need a job!

Be ready to dazzle the interviewer on the day of the interview. Interviewees should show up prepared, dressed professionally, and leave the potential employer with such a great impression that he or she will already be planning their work schedule. Graduates should remember that they are looking for a career in a prestigious industry and they need to set themselves apart from the thousands of aestheticians lining up to get a job. There are five A’s candidates for a job need to have under their belt to set them apart from the rest: attitude, attendance, availability, appearance, and aspiration. If they can model themselves with these characteristics, success will ensue.


A smile goes a long way. Who wants to hire a Debbie Downer? The aesthetician’s job is to educate clients and make them feel good in their own skin. This business is all about customer service. If the graduate’s phone is constantly in their hand and they cannot devote 60 minutes of undivided attention to their client, the boss will go to the next graduate who can. No one wants to hire a diva or a princess. Spas are looking for teamwork, cooperation, and likability.


Is the graduate always running in at the last second, stressed, or do they give themselves enough time to come in early to prepare their room? Lateness will set them back, make them anxious, and destroy their day. Graduates will need to make sure their steamer works and that they have the appropriate products they need for the treatments that they are scheduled to perform.


During the job interview, if the graduate’s potential employer hands them a schedule that conflicts with their fitness routine, party plans, or sleep schedule, they should re-evaluate if they want that job because if they do, they better become available! It is better for graduates to say “yes” and figure out their life schedule later. They may not get that second chance.


Dress for success! Success means a polished look from head to toe. Good grooming and personal hygiene go a long way. A clean uniform, manicured nails, and neat hair is only the beginning. Graduates also need to practice good skin care habits and ensure they do what they are telling their clients to do! Talk the talk and walk the walk.


Recent skin care graduates can strive to be the boss and own their own business one day. That is great, but do they know how? They are much better off devoting themselves to a new job, getting promoted, and learning everything they can from their employer. If their goal is to create their own skin care line or open their own spa, they should remember that they must have ample savings behind them. No entrepreneur takes a salary check for a minimum of two years.

Professionals must always be 100% confident in their skills. Take continuing education courses or refresher courses, attend tradeshows, and read industry articles and magazines! Like every great industry professional out there, recent graduates need to keep up with new developments, products, services, and ways to provide great experiences. If they do not, there are others out there who will – and will win.

Annette Hanson is the founder of Atelier Esthétique® Institute, a New York State licensing esthetics school, postgraduate facility, and the first accredited internationally recognized U.S. member of the International Therapy Examination Council (ITEC). The school first opened in New York City in 1985.

Her professional experience in skin care spans more than 30 years as an esthetician, body therapist, salon manager, educator, and spa consultant for some of the most prestigious spas and salons in the United States. Annette created two new treatment lines—Simple Solutions® with GHK Copper Peptide Technology and AquaSanté® Spa Products from France.

Applause from Our Graduates at Google Reviews

A heartfelt “Thank You” to all our past students who have taken the time and left great reviews of the school at Google.

Our goal has always been and continues to be “Excellence in Education, One Student At a Time.”





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