March Recap

What a beautiful month we had here in Calgary. The sun was shining, and the birds were chirping, and the college was in full swing.

What did we get up to?

We kept up with our #TalentTuesday posts, featuring our student’s work

Some awards were handed out to recognize the hard work and dedication of our students

Our May Hair Design class had a photo shoot. Here are some shots from the shoot. A huge thank you to Brandon Shaw at Analog Dog Creative for some amazing shots! 



We featured two of our Hair Design students on our blog. If you missed our post about Anne and Kathy, click here.


Our September Hair Design class volunteered their time at St Helena Junior High School to shave some heads and raise some money for Kids Cancer Care.


We celebrated International Women’s Day. As an education facility that is designated by the Alberta government to accept international students, we see women (and men) from all over the world come through our doors. The beauty industry empowers women around the world every day, and we totally agree with the 2016 #PledgeForParity campaign.


We welcomed a brand new group of students into our March Hair Design program. They have been learning so much already, and we cannot wait to see their talent’s emerge.

Our Professional Esthetics students and our Clinical Esthetics students took a field trip to check out Body Worlds Vital at Telus Spark.


Our blog experienced a take over! Esthetics instructor, Angela, told us all about her journey and what it has been like to teach on both sides of the pond. Click here to see that post.


It technically happened at the end of February… but Hair Design student, Youssef traveled to Toronto to see the ABA show and take in some additional education in barbering. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!


We posted, and reposted, a lot of really great student work from all departments

We made a big class announcement and blogged about it. If you missed our post all about the evolution of lash extensions, click here.

We received some wonderful reviews on Google and had a huge shout out on Instagram from one of our students. Thank you to all who left a review!


We celebrated Easter. Again, from all of us at the college, we hope you had a wonderful Easter!


Our latest promotion was announced. From April 1, 2016 to May 8, 2016 you can purchase a $75 gift card for $50. Just in time for Mother’s Day!


Our May Hair Design class graduated! Jay, Summer, Cicely, Harsimar, Hazel, Paulina, Alex, Kathy, Anne, and Carol CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You will be missed.


We have to give a really special shout out to two of grads, Anne and Kathy, for graduating with honours. Great work ladies!

To all of you out there that are having a hard time in this current economic situation, we feel for you. There isn’t really a profession that has not been affected by this downturn. So, how do we cope? I sat down with one of our recent graduates and asked that very question. If you missed that post, click here to see how some innovative thinking has gotten Samantha Ponce through.


I just love writing these recaps every month. I am reminded of what an amazing group of individuals we have here at Delmar, and it always brightens my day. Can’t wait to see what April brings…


Audrey Brown

no gimmicks. just great education

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Adaptation and Inspiration: Catching Up With Samantha Ponce

In the face of a crisis what do you do?

I really had to ponder this question recently because so many people around me seem to be losing their jobs. On a larger front, I have to think about the future of our students as well. How many are going out into the current job market, qualified and eager, to be turned away?

Something I learned long ago (and the hard way), was that those who can adapt to a situation are survivors. They also tend to be successful survivors.

Change is a scary word for most of us. We like being in our comfort zone. We think that if we follow the rules that life should unfold easily. That one step automatically leads to the next step up the ladder of life.

But is that reality?

The answer is no. Most of us learn this eventually. Some of us never get over it. We stay on those bottom rungs of the ladder thinking, why am I down here? Others learn from the lesson. It’s harsh, it hurts, and it’s not what we thought would happen, but we learn from it. What’s the lesson? You have to change.

Not too long ago I had a Clinical Esthetics class graduate. All the ladies in that class were highly driven, talented young women. They loved learning and we had such a good time in class. They were truly a team and when they finished I had no doubt that they would go on to get great positions in the clinical esthetics world.

I was wrong…

Here we are celebrating graduation!

Many things happened in the world as they were going through their program. It resulted in a huge amount of job losses here in Alberta in the oil and gas industry. In turn, this trickled down to all industry.

These amazing women were not getting jobs. They weren’t even getting interviews. It broke my heart to see them struggle.

They all have gone on to find employment. Some in a clinical setting, some in the service industry for now. But it was a bumpy road, and I think continues to be.

One graduate in particular had some pretty big hurdles she was faced with. Every time she would call or stop by and tell me the latest news I would try to be as positive and supportive as I could be because I really believe in her and I don’t want a drop in the economy to suggest that she is any less of a person.

And just when I thought she would give up on this industry all together, she did what all successful people do.

She adapted to her situation.

I was chatting with her last week, and she was filling me in on all the great things that are happening for her now. All I could think was, wow, what an inspiration. So I asked her to share her experience, the good and bad, with us for the blog.

So without further ado, let me introduce to you all the very talented Samantha Ponce!

Take it away Sam…


My time at Delmar College of Hair and Esthetics was the best time I’ve ever had when it comes to education. Waking up in the morning wasn’t hard because I knew I was going to a place that was helping me better myself.  Through Delmar I met the best group of girls that not only got along very well but also helped each other out. We encouraged each other; we inspired each other. There was no competition, no fights about who was better, just a positive environment.  I felt confident that I had made the right decision. I was learning from people that were experts in their field, who had multiple diplomas from around the world and a group of ladies that were helping each other chase their dreams.


 At the end of the program I was positive I would find a job. I had confidence in my skills, my ability in sales, and my comfort around people.  Unfortunately I had a case of bad timing. The economy was bad, lay off’s were still happening, oil was still going down. But I didn’t let that stop me. I applied to every clinic and spa in Calgary, Airdrie, and Okotoks, I even went as far as Edmonton. I was desperate for hands on experience; I didn’t want my newly learned skills to go to waste. So I enrolled in a waxing and tinting course at Delmar to help make myself more employable.  I never let an opportunity to learn more pass me by.

Some of Sam’s work


 After two months of being out of school I had only gotten 3 callbacks and 2 interviews.  Both interviews were a disaster! The first interview seemed like they wanted someone with 5+ years of experience with equal years of education.  Someone who knew in depth knowledge about every cosmeceutical brand out there, of course I didn’t get the job.


 I didn’t let that get me down so, I prepared myself for the next time, I made sure I at least seemed like I had 5 years of education and experience under my belt.  I prepared myself, reviewed everything, and practiced my skills everyday.

 Then I got another call for an interview. My confidence renewed, I knew I was going to nail this interview and finally get my foot in the door. OH MAN, was I ever wrong. This was by far the WORST interview I have ever attended as a working professional. 

 After that interview I began to question everything. Did I pick the right school? Did I pick the right program?  Is my diploma useless? Did I waste my time? I got really depressed, felt I would never get a job; my skills were vanishing before my eyes. This industry had beaten me down in just two short interviews.


 Eventually I got really tired of feeling like I was never going to make it in this industry, But luckily for me I have a husband that doesn’t see failure he only sees opportunity. So he suggested I skip the part about finding a job and to create my own. If no one was going to hire me then I should hire myself.  During school I had to create my own spa business. So I took everything I created, changed my service list and a quick name change. To make myself stand out in an industry full of pop up salon and spas I decided to make my business mobile.  I picked services that were easy to do in someone’s home with the least amount of equipment needed.  I spoke to many friends and family members if they would rather go to the spa or have a spa come to them and of course it was the latter. Some hated the idea of having to skip out of work early just to make an appointment or having your appointment rushed because of unexpected walk-in clients. 


 I announced Maganda Aesthetics a Mobile Aesthetic Service, to the world on March 1, 2016 offering only waxing and tinting.  Since then I have added customized facial and chemical peels to my service list.  I get new inquiries everyday about what I do and what services I offer and everyday the feedback I receive is incredible.  I have a great following on Instagram and Facebook and I hope to have a website up soon.



 I see Maganda Aesthetics traveling across Canada, providing excellent services and educating people about healthy skin especially in Canada.  I envision having my own product line that supports what I do. I want to keep my business mobile but maybe open a couple of locations so I can accommodate everyone and offer services that can’t be done mobile.

To find out more about Maganda Aesthetics, or to book a service appointment, you can call Samantha at (403) 830-9923 or email at You can also check them out on Facebook and Instagram (link attached).

Thank you Samantha for sharing your story with us. It was truly a pleasure to have you as a student here. We know that you are going to do amazing things, and we can’t wait to see how your business unfolds.

I hope that those of you that are out there right now and are struggling can use Samantha’s story as a bit of hope. Maybe it will inspire you to create your own path, or at least keep up the good fight. Our economy will have up’s and down’s, but it will be up to you to decide how you weather the storm.


Audrey Brown

no gimmicks. just great education

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The Evolution of the Lash Extension

In 2004 I was first introduced to the idea of semi-permanent eyelash extensions. My employer at the time had gone to a beauty show in the U.S. and brought home a kit to do them.

Of course we were super excited and we all signed up to get them to promote the service in the spa.

Now, 2004 was a different time in the world of lash extensions. They were very heavy, very plastic, and generally in clusters. The adhesive was “clear”, but really turned white and crusty within a week or so of having them on. You can imagine what that looked like.

Most adhesives now come in black and that “crusty” look can now be avoided

Safe to say I was not happy with my decision to have them applied. And it was no fault of the woman who applied them, it was just not for me. So I wanted them removed…

Let’s just say that by the end of it I had about 5 to 10 of my own lashes left on each eye. And I was left with a sour feeling towards the procedure.

More modern removal methods are quick and painless

Jump to 2006. I started working in another spa and they also offered lash extensions and the girls who offered the service were killing it. They were booked open to close with lash clients. Really? I thought. Women like this?

So I got curious and asked if I could sit in and see them do a set.

It was such a different procedure from the one I had learned in 2004. The lashes were light-weight, varied in length, came in singles, and the adhesive was black. Perfect, sign me up. So they trained me and I started taking clients.

Doubling up on tweezers is imperative

Again, I must reiterate that the lash world was a different place back then. Yes, they had improved, but I had started to notice that my clients were showing up for fills with their own lashes looking a bit sparse. Some to the point where I had to tell them to stop and let their own lashes grow back in. Clients also had a very hard time with the adhesive and the tape that we used to secure their lower lashes down. In general, it was an uncomfortable experience for most. I often pictured these ladies toughing through their appointments, silently chanting their mantra, pain is beauty, in their heads.

Better tape options and the addition of gel eye pads make your client’s experience so much more comfortable and easy

I moved on career-wise a couple years later and left lash extensions behind me. I went on to a clinic and trained as a clinical esthetician and a laser technician. One of the other laser techs I worked with also offered lash extensions. But she had taken a specialized training through an American company and the way she did the extensions was, again, highly evolved from how I had been trained.

What the single extensions look like

No one wept. No one balded. It looked like real hair. It was amazing.

Even though my career took me in a very different direction for several years after that, I always thought about doing some additional training and going back to doing lash extensions again.

My first set on my own after doing my newest certification and using an isolation technique (the only way really!)

And I did just that recently. It was like riding a bike, a lot came back to me, and I had a great time learning new techniques. Turns out that pain is beauty mantra is no longer. With some tips and tricks from my instructors and some friends I have made along the way, I have learned how to offer a pain free, easy lash set.

Modern lash extensions come in a HUGE variety of lengths, packages, and even colors!

Safe to say that eyelash extensions are no passing fad. They are something that has evolved and there are women that have built empires on them.

So, without further ado, we are pleased to announce that Delmar College will now be offering Eyelash Extension Technician training!

Our intensive, three day program will prepare you for everything from doing a brand new set to maintenance services, a.k.a. “fills”. We will only be offering this training to existing hair stylists and estheticians (for now). Our first class starts in April and will run over three Sunday’s.

For further information please contact Linda Villeneuve at 403-264-8055 or

Happy lashing!


Audrey Brown

no gimmicks. just great education


Is that with an ‘A’ or an ‘E’?: Beauty Therapy on Both Sides of the Pond

The world of aesthetics holds all kinds of possibilities for your future. Take it from me!

Back in the 1990’s in the UK, I worked successfully as a professional singer and acting extra. A life in entertainment though is tough on family life, and beauty therapy provided my escape route to a more settled, and yet, still satisfying career. Little did I realize it would eventually shape a new life 5,000 miles from home…

gig pic 1

With some trepidation, I enrolled on a teacher training course at the University of West England in 2004 – having already completed various beauty therapy modules at my home town college. Gloucester is a 2 hour drive west of London, famous for ancient Roman ruins, historic docks, a famous cathedral, and a rugby team of hunky men.

grad pic 1

After graduating in 2009, my career as a beauty therapy instructor was fully underway. But experience in the industry is invaluable, and I was fortunate to gain crucial experience in a salon whilst studying in the preceding years.

grad pic 2
Kind of looks like Hogwarts doesn’t it?

My first teaching job was at Gloucestershire College, teaching level one and two beauty therapy to students from varying backgrounds and ages and abilities. The beauty therapy department was huge and it was spread over three different campuses, the teaching rooms were equipped with hydraulic beds, spray tan room, a makeup artist studio complete with photography and wardrobe room, a nail studio and fully functioning spa. My teaching experience at Gloucestershire College set me up for what was to some in my later years!


When my husband was offered a job in Canada in 2011, we made the big move across the pond. If I’d realized that Saskatchewan enjoys so many winter days below -25 degrees Celsius, I might have thought twice. But weather aside, my career continued with an esthetics teaching post in Regina that quickly evolved into being director of a small college campus. There I learnt some of the differences between teaching and practicing esthetics in Canada and the UK.

What are those differences?

The length of the course. In the UK beauty courses tend to be much longer. 1-2 years in fact. Year one will involve the basics of beauty therapy. Doing treatments such as waxing, manicure, pedicure, basic facials, tinting, and make up. Year two involved electrical facial and body treatments, body massage, and electrolysis.

When I first started teaching I would never have thought in a million years that I would be able to share my knowledge of the industry to students in another country. It just goes to show that beauty therapy is completely versatile and you don’t have to spend all your days working in a spa or salon.



no gimmicks. just great education

Color Masters in the Making: Anne Ly and Kathy Tran

Alright, so were entering that season of change. Change in weather, wardrobe, make up, and of course, our hair. You guessed it. This time of year we are expected to see an abundance of color changes in the salon. It’s routine for us women to stay a little darker during the winter months and come spring and summer go gradually or drastically lighter.

Hair by Anne Ly
Long before I became a cutting instructor , this little red head was a color specialist. I actually miss going home with lightener burn on my fingers. Not gonna lie it was just a good indication that I made good money that day.  And that being said, if you can master the art or color and color corrections, you can make a killing in our industry.

Hair by Kathy Tran

Okay, if you haven’t noticed, one of our biggest color trends were seeing this year are steel silver,  grey tones , pastels and multi toned ombres. And if you are thinking of grabbing that L’Oreal Feria box off the shelf , STOP!!! I have witnessed an array of disasters happen when people get in a DYI frenzy and try to perform color corrections on themselves thinking it will save them a buck or two. Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as grabbing any box off the shelf and following directions.

Hair by Kathy Tran
Unless you understand the principals of color, then you should not attempt a corrective color on your own. What is corrective color? Basically anytime you’re lightening your hair past 4 levels or going back from blonde to dark brown, that would be considered corrective work. In our program our students go through intensive color theory training to learn the laws of basic color and learn to apply it on our salon floor.

Hair by Anne Ly

Today we would like to feature two of our soon to be graduates Kathy and Anne and their remarkable work. These ladies not only have the highest average in theory and practical, but are also very passionate and creative with corrective colors. When I have the privilege to be on the floor with them I am always amazed by the quality of work these girls push out.


These two ladies were one of the first two students to get 100 on their first cutting exam in my class and, I must say, I do mark hard. But with focus and drive like these two have just proves hard work pays off.

Hair by Kathy Tran
Here is what they had to say about their experience at Delmar College:

“It is very family oriented. Everyone knows you as your own individual. Instructors are very caring in that they take time from their days off to help tutor,they’re patient, fun to be around, you can trust them as your friend and mentor, And they let us learn through experimenting.”

Their advice to all students attending and future students:

“Follow instructions, don’t try to be a rebel, it just wastes everyone’s time.”

“It can be really fun if you have an open mind because school is structured but for a good reason.”

“We feel prepared to go out to the real world because Delmar trained us with great education and practice.”

Hair by Anne Ly
Thank you again ladies for all your hard work. Your grades reflect your effort in the time you have spent here . Graduation is just around the corner and we’re more than proud to hand you that diploma that you so much deserve.

Kathy and Anne only have a few more weeks left on the floor if you would like to book with either of them please feel free to contact us at 403-264-8055.


Maricel Bermudez

no gimmicks. just great education

Feature image by Anne Ly