Gillian Cortes, born in the Philippines and raised in Vancouver, is a 22-year-old John Casablancas Institute Certified Esthetician and Lash Artist. Gillian enrolled in the JCI Body Spa Program in 2016 and graduated to pursue her career goals as an Eyelash Technician.
“I’ve always had a keen interest in the beauty industry but never thought of it as a legitimate career. I was originally interested in the Makeup Program, but once I talked to my advisor I was swayed into the Body and Spa Program. It had everything that I’ve always wanted to learn and more!”
Gillian began her post-secondary education by taking general studies in University, with thoughts of becoming an Occupational Therapist. Soon, however, she was introduced to the beauty industry and stumbled upon her perfect career path.
“I felt very comfortable and accepted by everyone at the school. I had visited previous schools to check the programs out, but I didn’t receive a comforting feeling. The staff at JCI definitely treats you like family, which I love!”
The Body Spa Program has both theory and practical aspects, which is what Gillian most enjoyed.
“At first it was scary working on real clients, but with practice, it became second nature. It really helped me gain my confidence to talk to my current clients.
Q: What are the pros and cons of working in the Body Spa Industry?
The pros are that you aren’t tied down to just one job, there are many fields to specialize in. You can become a nail or lash technician, facial specialist, massage therapist, and the list goes on!
The hours and very flexible as well, you can either start a home business or be your own boss.
The cons include tiring and busy days, especially when you have a lot of clients, your body is constantly moving! Either you’re working with your hands, standing up or crouching over.
Even on slow days, you may not have many clients, but there are many spa duties to finish before closing.
“I personally never thought I would enjoy doing eyelashes so much. I became dedicated to the art of lash extensions. Work for me doesn’t feel like work because I enjoy it so much!”
Q: When did you begin your Instagram page: “GCBEAUTYY?”
I began “gcbeautyy” in 2015 and used my Instagram account as a platform for makeup. However, once I got into the Body Spa Program, I changed directions and began using the account to showcase my work.
I was really surprised by how my Instagram account has flourished. I started off by following many accounts: makeup companies, eyelash technicians and companies (both local and international), and my clientele.
I interacted with my followers constantly and kept my account updated on what was happening. Instagram felt like a second job to me! You really have to work hard, be consistent and patient.
“Everything amazing takes time to grow.”
Q: What has been your prized moment throughout your career?
My most prized moment throughout my career has been all the acknowledgment I have received for my work from eyelash companies, colleagues, and my clients. It really humbles me and makes me feel proud of how much I have grown.
All the endless practicing and researching really helped me become the artist I am today. I still have so much to learn but it’s an amazing feeling to have so many people love what I do!
“I actually got my first Eyelash Technician job by word of mouth.”
When Gillian isn’t busy making her clients look and feel beautiful with lash extensions throughout an eight and a half hour day, she can be found spending time with her friends, perfecting her lash technique and timing on her family/friends, and taking care of herself.
“The learning doesn’t stop once your finish school. I watch a lot of Youtube videos and read blog posts about new techniques for lashing!”
The 44-week Body Spa Program is one of a kind in professional spa training, encompassing basic and advanced spa services. The program consists of in-depth theory and practical knowledge, constant student practice, family practice week, weekly tests, creative projects and spa floor services in a beautiful spa setting. By the end of the program, you will be spa ready by projecting professionalism and confidence in performing both basic and advanced spa services.