The TSPA DC Experience as Told by Alumni

The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), DC is an opportunity that awaits your passion, drive, and desire for success. However, starting over can be intimidating. Whether you’ve yet to apply or are already enrolled, take another look at what people are saying about our school! Here is what alumni really think as they reflect on their education with us at TSPA DC.

cute girls kissy lips on the beach

Practice Makes Perfect

You’ve heard the phrase over and over. Alumni can confirm that TSPA DC is a place that welcomes mistakes. Making mistakes is an opportunity to learn and grow. Some report that a new technique, such as your first bleach, is hard the first time you attempt it. Learning from mistakes and fixing them for the next time not only helps refine the skill but actually builds confidence and excites you to attempt the technique again. Trial and error is the means of learning to best prepare you for the professional world ahead.

Invested Educators

As our alumni can attest, educators at TSPA DC are experienced and well-trained. They are patient, helpful, and provide support every step of the way. Our team welcomes questions from the students to curate a comfortable learning environment. They offer support from day one to graduation and beyond, offering, “endless resources and opportunities to jumpstart careers with different salons and endless contacts”.

tspa dc student life cosmetology school

Learning More Than Cosmo

Our students enjoy a broad spectrum of learning. With a well-rounded curriculum that covers more than just facials and haircuts, cosmetology students can dip their toes into other related facets like color theory and even business marketing. They can graduate a confident future-professional of the industry!

Leave Prepared

No matter what a student’s experience was at day one, many were “surprised by how much knowledge and practice [they were] given before graduating”. Another didn’t expect how “confident and ready [she] was to take on a job of [her] own.” Just think: you could be next.

makeup cell phone sun glasses jewelry just girly things

TSPA DC is a friendly environment full of positive creators eager to reach their potential. As a place where roadblocks don’t have to stop you, it is a place to be savored, loved, and missed.

If you are ready to join us on your journey toward your beautiful future, schedule a tour or apply online now.

{Financial assistance or scholarships may be available to those who qualify. For our privacy policy and other information, visit http://www.tspadc.com/privacy-policy.}

Meet Johanne Vorsteg: Our Jack of All Trades

Meet our tough cookie, Johanne Vorsteg. She’s just as sweet and a giver of both inspiration and tough love! With over ten years of professional experience in the industry, Johanne has been in every seat from student, to stylist, to educator, to investor, and finally, advisor. We’d say Johanne’s best role is mentoring and inspiring others all the way from breakdowns to breakthroughs.

Johanne Vorsteg

Johanne B.C. (Before Cosmetology)

Our East Coast Sweetheart has been with us at The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), DC since day one, but like many others, she didn’t always have a clear vision of her future and professional purpose. Over ten years ago, Johanne looked for her niche. She never found a place that felt like hers and didn’t want that to mean she belonged at a university. Instead, she worked. After giving up on waiting tables, Johanne moved on to sweeping salon floors, having no idea she was about to find her passion.

Elena, Patrick, and Johanna: Three Peas

After graduating from cosmetology school, Johanne worked a salon, fostered her talent, built her book, and developed relationships. These relationships included her mentors and inspirers, Elena and Patrick, founders of TSPA DC. They pushed her to want more and Johanna did. “I knew I could stay and just do hair forever”, Johanne said. “That’s easy. I wanted to inspire. I wanted to pass the torch onto young industry professionals”. When Elena and Patrick invited her to invest in and work at their new school, TSPA DC, Johanne was eager to see how the bacon is made. “I was lucky enough to see it all come together!”

TSPA DC

Johanne’s Role at TSPA

Whether you attend TSPA DC or you’re a visitor, Johanne won’t be far! Interacting with students and staff often, she mentors, guides, and sympathizes, reassuring everyone that her door is always open. Johanne overseas education and builds TSPA DC as a business. More than that, Johanne pushes students beyond their own expectations. “If a student sets goals for themselves, I want to push them. If they are discouraged, I want to push them to what THEY said they wanted to be.” She recognizes that everyone’s journey isn’t easy and sees it as an opportunity for self-improvement and learning. Practicing and refining weaknesses pays off. Johanne says, “Your flaws become such a focus that they eventually become your strengths”.

Curated Culture

Johanne sees beauty school as a place for a student to grow, learn, and become. She is passionate about getting dreamers there, no matter the roadblocks. It is a type of education and success that doesn’t require a four year degree, major debt, or second-guesses. If you think you’ve hit a wall, you just may have found a door, and beauty school could be a place for you.

What’s In It For Her?

Johanne loves watching people succeed. It brings her joy and fulfillment to know that people were able to accomplish what they thought they couldn’t. Our school is where students can feel comfortable enough to feel vulnerable. It’s a place to make mistakes so that we can all learn from each other. In a school that is eager to learn, Johanne says that, “We might look like a salon but we are humble enough to know that this is part of the learning process.”

It’s an ambitious and persevering presence like Johanne that can totally make an educational experience. She is a constant reminder that your dreams don’t have to be just that. Like hers, they can be goals. Johanne can be your inspiration, mentor, and cheerleader along your own journey as she continues hers. Get the most out of an education alongside those who want to get the most out of you.

Interested in joining our school? Work alongside Johanne and other awesome educators and friends. Take a look into a day in the life of a student here!

{Financial assistance or scholarships may be available to those who qualify. For our privacy policy and other information, visit http://www.tspadc.com/privacy-policy.}

How to Attend Beauty School: Overcoming Schedule Conflicts

Beauty student and teacher cutting hair

Beauty school; It’s a place that is filled with energy, wonder, ambition, and creativity. It’s a place where many successful people have started their fulfilling careers. It’s a place where anything can happen. Your passion is obviously beauty, but it might be less obvious that your first step toward a career you love is beauty school. That’s right! A beauty school education could be your perfect starting point!

In our “How to Attend Beauty School” series we are going to be covering any potential roadblocks, answering your questions, and showing you just how special beauty school really is. Today’s subject? Overcoming scheduling conflicts. Here at The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), DC, we believe that there is always time to work toward your dreams no matter how hectic life can get. We are here to show you how!

Sit Down & Plan

It’s always important to make a plan before making a commitment. We understand that life can be busy and unexpected. However, it’s never a bad idea to invest in yourself and your goals. Before making any decisions, sit down and make a plan! Write down what your everyday schedule looks like.

When you do this you can see what your time is going toward and what is taking priority in your life. What are some things that your energy is going to? What are some things that you can give up for something that can be bigger and better? Once you have a better idea of what your day-to-day looks like, you can decide which schedule works best for you!

Part-Time Students

TSPA DC is a school that believes in success. Success comes in an environment that works for everyone! We offer part-time classes to those that have schedules that are little more tight. We have seen so many students of all types of schedules thrive at our school. Some of them include:

  • Single parents
  • Full-time workers
  • Students whose spouse works
  • The “non traditional” students

Students that have obligations to their families, their jobs, or for those that work better spending half their day toward education and the rest of their day working toward personal goals, all can find success at TSPA DC. We can work with you so that you can have the time to do it all! Part-time classes can give you the skills and experience you need in order to pursue your dream while giving you the time you need and want for yourself!

Full-Time Students

For those that are used to going to school full-time, this schedule can be an easy one to ease into. Many newly graduated high school students or college students who have decided to take a different route in education tend to work well with a full-time schedule. Other students that work well with full-time can be:

  • Students that work at night
  • Students who want to work quickly toward a future
  • The traditional student

We work around all types of schedules! Some of our students work nights, while others love a full-time schedule and are eager to graduate as soon as possible. Full-time classes are formed in a way that can teach you everything you might need to find your success without burning you out!

Success Comes From Support

Beauty school is built on a foundation of helping the world become a more beautiful place with the idea of supporting each other. With creative cosmetologists creating beautiful looks to estheticians educating those about skincare, beauty school is an environment filled with encouragement and support.

At TSPA DC, we have dedicated instructors who can work one-on-one with you to help you perfect your skills and build your confidence in beauty. We also offer *financial assistance and a variety of scholarships to those who qualify. With this strong of a support system, we don’t see why you can’t go far!

Begin Today!

Enough thinking of all the reasons why you shouldn’t chase your dreams. Your dreams deserved to be pursued. You are worth investing yourself in! Contact us to learn more about our full-time and part-time programs. From when our next class begins, to how many hours each program is, and everything in between! Come in for a tour and have all of your questions answered. Your future begins today!

Don’t forget to check out some of our blogs to get a little taste of what TSPA DC is all about!

“The Life of a Beauty Student at TSPA DC”

“Become a Makeup Master at TSPA DC”

*{Financial assistance or scholarships may be available to those who qualify. For our privacy policy and other information, visit http://www.tspadc.com/privacy-policy.}

The Life of a Beauty Student at TSPA DC

So you’re interested in becoming a cosmetologist or an esthetician? That’s very exciting! To become a cosmetologist or an esthetician you first must be a student. Today we’re going to break down what a life as a beauty student at The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), DC looks like. Let’s dive in!

A Morning Routine

hair station
A routine tends to help people stay focused and to build confidence in their day-to-day schedule. Dean Sullivan, a cosmetology student at TSPA DC loves a routine. Every morning the first thing he does when he arrives at the salon is set up his workstation. Starting the day off with an organized workstation will help you feel more prepared for whatever the day throws at you.

Dean knows that in order to have a great day, you want to start off on the right foot. Everyone should feel that way. Dean loves starting off his day by making sure to say hi to all of his fellow students. When everyone feels comfortable and welcomed, more positive experiences tend to arise throughout the day.

Get Ready!


A life as a beauty student means that each day you might be challenged, pushed out of your comfort zone, and may be given opportunities to strengthen your creativity. When you have a day with that much potential is always smart to get in the right mindset. Find something that will help you get focused on your big day. That could be a cup of coffee, taking five minutes to meditate, looking over your schedule, or even relaxing for a bit before the busy day begins! Whatever you do, make sure to give yourself time to do it. It will benefit you throughout your day.

Dive Into Learning

girl cutting woman's hair
Once classes officially begin for the day that’s when the magic happens. You will take state board prep classes as well as classes in your specific program. Here at TSPA DC, we want to give you all of the tools and skills so that you can find success in the world of beauty. Throughout your classes, you can learn the fundamental science behind the principles being taught and how to execute them with the highest professionalism!

When you’re not in class you might find yourself in the Student Salon Training Area working hands-on with guests and your fellow colleagues and instructors. Being able to spend time working in the Student Salon Training Area can teach you skills that you may not learn in the classroom. To be able to interact with the guests and to feel the excitement of the creative atmosphere, you may just get hooked to it all.

Closing Time

Two young female friends talking at work
When the time comes to close up shop, take this time to go over the day. You deserve a pat on the back after a day filled with challenges and success. You are one step closer to potentially becoming a professional stylist! Dean says, “The end of the day is when I get extra feedback from my instructors and I really get to reflect on the day’s challenges.”

Join Us!

Now that you have a little bit of an idea of what a day looks like as a TSPA DC student, you probably would like to know more! Read our blog to see what you can expect in beauty school. Don’t forget to reach out to us for any questions on enrollment or to request to book a tour! It’s never too late to take a chance on yourself and your dreams. Might as well start now!

Subtle Eye Makeup Looks

At The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), DC, we believe that when it comes to makeup, sometimes you just need to keep it simple. You can do subtle eye makeup looks that still make you look chic, polished, and put-together. To help you out, we’ve created a list of five subtle eye makeup looks that look beautiful without involving a whole lot of effort.

Actress Keira Knightley in a natural makeup look.

The “No-Makeup” Eye Look

For this look, it’s all about making sure you look awake and vibrant. Use light-reflecting concealer to brighten and lift your under-eye area. Then focus on your lashes and brows. Long, curled lashes open up your eyes, making you look more awake. When the brows are full, defined, and slightly arched, it makes the eyelids look lifted and awake. It will also draw attention away from underneath your eyes if that’s an area of concern for you. If you want to wear eyeshadow, stick to neutral colors like taupe, brown, nude, light pink, cream, and tan. Make sure to use an eyeshadow primer so you don’t have to deal with annoying creasing throughout the day!

Singer RIhanna wearing bronze, shimmery eye makeup.

The Shimmery Bronze Eye Look

Believe it or not, shimmer eyeshadows can be subtle. To create this subtle, glowy, bronze look, start with a light shimmer eyeshadow all over your eyelid. This works as a great base shade. After you do this, start adding the bronze shade from the point where the light shimmer ends at the center of the eyelid. To really sculpt the look, use a contouring eyeshadow brush. To make your eyes look awake and bright, use the same light shimmer shade in the inner corners for highlighting. Top off with a few coats of mascara and natural brows, and you’re all set!

Actress Eva Green with subtle cat eyeliner.

The Subtle Cat Eye

The cat flick is a classic makeup look. While this look can be dramatic, it’s also possible to make it subtle. You can create a subtle cat eye with various types of eyeliner, including gel, liquid, pencil, and powder. With whatever product you choose, start in the middle of the upper lid and draw the line as close to your lash line as possible. For a subtle look, draw a thin line. Then move to the inner corner and start to move towards the other line you drew. For that feline “flick”, draw a thin line outwards, starting from the very outer corner of your lash line. Then draw another thin line from the flick back to your upper lash line, creating a small triangle on the eyelid. To finish the look, fill in the triangle with your eyeliner. To keep it subtle, finish off with a neutral eyeshadow, lightly defined brows, and a few coats of mascara.

Pop star Beyonce wears a subtle smokey eye.

The Simple Smokey Eye

Smokey eyes are great for evenings out, but they can also be worn during the daytime. Start with an eyeshadow primer and then apply a nude matte base all over the lid. This evens out the color of your lid and blends all the eyeshadow colors together. Next, apply a darker brown or gold shimmer across the lid and blend it out to erase harsh lines. Choose two matte brown colors. Apply the lighter of the two to your crease and blend well. Then apply the darker color to your eyes’ outer corners. Use an eyeliner brush to extend the outer shadow along the upper and lower lash lines. Smudge it out for a soft effect instead of a harsh line. To highlight the inner corners of the eyes and the brow bone, apply a shimmery white or champagne color.

Actress Emmy Rossum wearing chic blue eyeshadow.

The Wearable Blue Eye

Who says you can’t experiment with color? While blue eyeshadow may seem scary or outdated, when done correctly it can be a great way to jazz up your look. Start with a matte nude eyeshadow for your base and then define the crease with a matte gray. Using whatever blue shade you prefer, define the outer corner of your lid and softly fade it inward. To keep the look subtle, you don’t need to use blue on your entire eyelid. To soften up the gray crease, use a matte brown shadow. You can then highlight the inner corners of your eyes with a shimmery silver, white, or champagne shade.

Want to Learn How to do These Looks?

Want to become a master of the subtle smokey eye? Interested in perfecting the feline flick? You should consider our cosmetology program at TSPA DC. Contact us to learn more or schedule a tour. We’d love to hear from you!

Thirsty for more beauty? Check out some of our other blogs!

Read: “Five Skin Care Hacks to Get You Clean for Spring!”

Read: “Don’t Do These 5 Things to Your Hair”

Read: “How to Sanitize Makeup”

How to Sanitize Makeup

Makeup may not seem like something that needs regular cleaning. How dirty can it get? The answer might surprise you.

Dirt and grime forming on your makeup and brushes can cause breakouts, illnesses, and in some cases, skin infections.

Whether you have been regularly cleaning your makeup or have never thought about it before, here at The Salon Professional Academy(TSPA), DC, we have some tried and true tips and tricks that could help to keep your makeup clean and your skin fresh and healthy.

Hold onto this visual for future use! Keep scrolling for a detailed list.

how to sanitize makeup

Brushes and Sponges

One of the biggest culprits of spreading germs and bacteria is brushes and sponges. Many people don’t know this, but you should actually clean your brushes once a week – if not more often.

Cleaning your brushes is actually quite easy, so if you are already dreading the extra time, don’t!

  • Brushes

    makeup brushes

    Those beautiful bristle brushes are so soft when you first purchase them! But after months of makeup buildup, they might start feeling a little prickly. Once a week, before you head out the door to work or school, mix together a little olive oil, water, and baby soap. Give brushes a gentle swirl to clean, then rinse!

    How to clean makeup brushes

    Before you head out the door, set them flat on a towel to dry. By the time you get home from work, your brushes will feel just as soft as the day you bought them.

    Pro Tip! Major makeup artists suggest cleaning your brushes every day if you are doing heavy makeup or makeup on others. This will help keep bacteria from and keep them extra free from build up.

  • Sponges

    makeup sponges

    No matter if you use the old school latex wedges or a modern-day blender, you need to clean them! Sponges inevitably absorb anything that they touch, so it is especially important to wash them once a week with a good soap.

    To clean them, simply pop a bit of liquid soap on the surface or run them against bar soap briefly. Rub in the soap and and work out the suds under running water until no residue remains. You will be left with a beautifully clean sponge.

    how to clean makeup sponges

    Pro Tip! Many makeup artists swear by a good antibacterial soap to clean their blenders and sponges. Although the soap may seem harsh, it is actually is the best for getting the residue out of sponges and disinfecting them.

Powders, Tubs, and Gels

There is more to sanitizing makeup than just the brushes. Pretty much everything can be cleaned, from eyeshadows to lipstick.

  • Pressed Powders

    pressed makeups

    All pressed powders, such a foundation and eyeshadow, can be cleaned with something as simple as a tissue. By wiping off the top layer, you can eliminate some of the bacterial build up.

    If you are looking for something more, you can easily sanitize the powder by spraying the surface with a mixture of alcohol and water after skimming the surface.

    Pro Tip! Although alcohol is used in the binding process for pressed powders, it will not damage your makeup. Just make sure you aren’t saturating it! A light spritz will do the trick.

  • Creams and Liquids

    lipstick and mascara

    While you can’t directly sanitize these products, there are things you can do to keep them at the top of their game and “germ free.”

    • Pot Creams– If you have been putting your fingers into these products – know there is a better way! Use a plastic makeup spatula to get the product out easier and keep the pot free of germs.
    • Mascara– You have probably heard that you should throw your mascara out monthly. Adhere to it! Not only is mascara the best at transporting eye based infections, it also dries out pretty quickly!
    • Lipstick– Yes! You can sanitize your lipstick! If you have had a cold lately or haven’t done this is a while, get to it!
      You can do this in two ways. Many people swear by the overnight freezing method, while other chose to dip their lipstick in alcohol and water for a few seconds. Whatever you choose, put this on your list.

No matter how you choose to sanitize your makeup, this important step is one that should not be overlooked.

We hope that these tips help to keep your makeup sanitary, your skin healthy, and your life fresh and clean. For more tips on makeup, or to learn more about perfecting the art – check out the MUD Makeup courses at The Salon Professional Academy, DC.

Practical All-Day Halloween Makeovers for 2018

Think you can’t leave for the party straight from your regular routine? Please, that’s crazier than ghost stories. Yes, there are PLENTY of ways to rock an all-day transitional look that is practical by day and festive by night. Think Superman: Clark Kent by day, crime-fighting superhero by night. We’ve got a master list of versatile makeovers that are SCARY good. Read on to find out how you can go from professional to party faster than you can say, “avada kedavra”.

Next-Level Normal

Jazzing up your everyday look is as easy as swapping out your color palette! Making a Halloween full-face “practical” is practically what you already do. Just trade black for brown and nude for orange or purple (or both)! Implementing festive colors to your daily routine takes your look to the next level without any extra time or effort! Don’t be afraid to step out of your clear-gloss-and-beige-eyeshadow comfort zone.

gold black and orange makeup

purple and orange glitter glam

glowy halloween makeup

festive halloween eyeshadow

Bats

Adding in a little liquid liner spider web or bat is the perfect delicate touch. For a spEYEder web, wing your eyeliner like you normally would, extending the tail longer. Then draw a few more lines fanning outward and connect vertically along the spaces. For bats, channel your inner-childhood days when drawing a bird only took a single stroke in the shape of a knocked over “3”. Now do the same with eyeliner on eyes, lips, or anywhere!

halloween eyeshadow bats and glitter

halloween lipstick with bats

orange bats halloween makeup ideas

Spider Webs:

spider web halloween eyeshadow

spider web winged liner

baby spider makeup

spooky halloween glam

Candy Corn:

Hey girly girl! Go more “cutsie” with candy corn or pumpkins. Between bright eyeshadow and vibrant face paint, you’ve got plenty to work with! Start small with not-so-perfect circles, or little elongated triangles. You got it!

festive candy corn makeup

candy corn inspired makeup

Pumpkin:

jack-o-lantern eyeshadow

bold pumpkin eyeshadow

paisley halloween makeup

Devil:

Feeling vampy? Pump up the red like your favorite red pumps! You’ll easily snatch a devilishly handsome fella. We love red eyeliner.

red glitter devil eyeshadow

devil bloody eyeshadow

special effects cut crease devil makeup

Animals

Embrace your wild side with a look straight FROM the wild! Rawr!

orange and black butterfly makeup

butterfly eyeshadow

creative eyeshadow art

Feeling committed? Maybe work or school is celebrating right along with you! Go full-face without going RED in the face! Let your face wear the costume, not the rest of you. These looks are the perfect all-over face without feeling over-the-top.

Cat or Deer:

deer makeup

flirty deer makeup

creepy easy cat makeup

glitter tiger makeup

Creepy:

bloody claw makeup

glam it clown makeup

cracked doll pink makeup

creepy 3d spider makeup

pretty glitter skull makeup

Fun

rainbow paint splatter drip makeup

green lizard makeup

cartoon comic book makeup

sun and moon 3d glam makeup

We love a good Halloweekend…except when Halloweekend is actually Halloweekday! Don’t let a busy work week or a holiday surrounded by school days interrupt a night of dancing, friends, and spooks. Why not turn your morning routine into a two-in-one school/work to Halloween look? Clock out and head out to a night to a remember! It’s no “challenge accepted”. It’s a challenge accomplished!

Need help creating a festive look? Schedule an appointment with us!*

Want to learn how to apply these gorgeous makeup looks? Check out our cosmetology program!

{Financial assistance or scholarships may be available to those who qualify. For our privacy policy and other information, visit http://www.tspadc.com/privacy-policy.}

{All services performed by students under the supervision of licensed professionals}