Beauty School Graduate Success Story

The Professional Beauty Industry is Full of Options and Opportunities

Anita Larsen Medical Aesthetician

Anita Larsen is a Medical Aesthetician at Cascade Faces in Bend Oregon.  She is a licensed Esthetician and Nail Technologist, a Certified Esthetician and Nail Technology Educator.  Anita has advanced training in FotoFacial RF, Erbium Lasers, Dermaplane treatments, and Physician Grade Chemical Peels. In addition to these services, Anita also offer facials, waxing, and tinting services, and is an expert in skin care analysis and treatment.

Because of her love of a challenge and desire to keep learning and growing, Anita has taken advantage of many different opportunities in the professional beauty industry.  Before starting at Cascade Faces, Anita has worked as a Nail Tech, Opened her own Day Spa, worked in the medical field as an esthetician with a cosmetic laser physician and also taught students as a Professional Educator at Phagans’ Central Oregon Beauty College.


Cascade Faces Clinic

Read on for Anita’s full story:

My story begins many years ago in Salem, Oregon. I was a waitress at a little hole-in-the-wall steakhouse and bar. I decided that I could not see myself serving lunch, dinner and cocktails to wannabe cowboys for the rest of my life, or for that matter for even the next few years. I wanted something more; a career, a profession, a job where I could work daytime hours and feel good about what I did to earn an income. I decided to check out Phagans’, one of the local beauty schools in Salem Oregon to see if I had any talent for the “Beauty Business.”

This is where my story and my new career almost ended. After I enrolled in Phagans’ Beauty School it was not too long before I became distracted and discouraged with personal issues and dropped out. Fortunately, this is not the end of my story, fast forward to six years later. I had moved to Bend Oregon and I was in-between jobs, I was more settled, more mature, but without a job. I decided to give beauty school another try and see if I could turn what I imagined to be a fun job into a profitable career. So this is where my personal story really begins.

I enrolled in Phagans’ Cosmetology College as a nail tech student in 1989. I immediately realized how natural it was for me to use the skills I was learning to satisfy customers, make new friends with clients and other students, and consider the possibility of owning my own business some day. I completed the nail tech course very quickly and went to work immediately in the salon at the local J.C. Penney store. For the next eight years I worked in two different careers: high ticket sales and as an independent nail tech contractor in a small salon, which supplemented my annual income very nicely. However, I began to grow tired of the usual duties of a nail technician in a small salon and aspired to the idea of one day owning and working in my own day spa. These types of businesses were becoming increasingly popular but lacking in our small community, and so my new adventure of becoming a skin care specialist and working in my own day spa began with going back to school at Phagans’ Cosmetology School in 1996.

I graduated and opened the doors of The Oasis Day Spa that same year in 1996. I decided to sell my day spa business after five years and pursue a different vein of esthetics with my skills, which led to a new, very interesting, and very exciting position with a cosmetic laser physician in our community.

I began working part time with Dr. Paul Van Camp, and part time at the day spa until the new owner was comfortable managing the business on her own, however it was not long until I was able to work full time for the doctor and so began another new adventure with esthetics in the clinical setting. My skills as a licensed esthetician opened up doors to me in the medical field that I would not have otherwise been exposed to. My advanced training and education from my physician employer taught me new cutting edge skills as an assistant for such treatments as, Erbium and Fraxel laser skin resurfacing, laser hair removal, IPL light treatments, dermal fillers and Botox injections, sclerotheropy treatments for veins, and Tumescent Liposculpture procedures which were all done in the clinic environment. This was a very exciting time in my professional career now as a clinical esthetician. I thought that once I had accomplished my goal as a clinical esthetician I had reached my limits in my profession, happily I was wrong.

After working for Dr. Paul Van Camp for more than five years the doctor decided to retire and at the most opportune time due to the sluggish economy. Nevertheless, I was going to be ok, because of my many years of experience as a professional esthetician and nail tech I now had the exhilarating opportunity to share my years of experience with those interested in esthetics, and so began the next journey of education in the field of cosmetology as a professional Educator for Phagans’ Colleges. Similar to all my previous paths in the cosmetology profession, the education of esthetics and nails has proven to be challenging, profitable, but most of all personally rewarding for me.  After five years as an Educator for Phagans’, I decided to move back into the medical esthetics field, to my current position with Cascade Faces.  I love that there are so many options in the Professional Beauty Industry.

I truly can say that my journey as a professional cosmetologist has come full circle and I would never have had the positive experiences and wonderful opportunities available to me if I had not been a beauty school graduate.