QUIZ: Cosmetology or Esthetics? What’s the Difference?

*Last updated November 8, 2019

Job outlook for the beauty industry continues to grow faster than the national average.

If that statement doesn’t get you excited, it should. Between haircuts and color, facials, and skincare treatments, the need for cosmetologists and estheticians will likely continue to grow. If you have thought about finding a career in beauty, there has never been a better time to pursue your dreams!

But which area of the beauty industry is a good fit for you? At Elevate Salon Institute (ESI) Chubbuck, we want to help you discover your dream future in beauty. Take our quick quiz to find out if cosmetology or esthetics is calling your name! Then, keep reading to learn more about each program and what a future in beauty can look like.

Is Cosmetology or Esthetics Right for You?

Now that you know if you are more of a fit for cosmetology or esthetics, what are the differences between the two? Understanding what services you can provide as a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician is an important part in deciding which program to pursue! While many of the required skills can overlap, the focus and specialty varies. We’ve broken both programs down to help you understand the differences.


Esthetics focuses on the care of skin. This can include everything from offering relaxing facials, understanding and treating skin conditions, and waxing services.

Woman getting a face mask

A Skill in Skincare

Estheticians need to know more than skincare. Our esthetics program aims to teach sanitation, bacteriology, and anatomy. In addition, esthetics students should also be able to demonstrate knowledge in the following:

Skin Analysis

Understanding skin is the cornerstone of caring for and treating skin. With an education in skin conditions and analysis, estheticians can care for their client’s skin in the best way and use and recommend products that could help them.


While many people have heard the term, the exfoliation of the skin using equipment and microscopic crystals is not widely known. Understanding the techniques and equipment needed to master this sought-after skill will help estheticians set themselves apart.

Facial Masks

One of the most desired skills in esthetics is facial masks, scrubs, and peels. These services can be relaxing and help treat skin conditions.

Facial Massage

In the world of spa the focus is on relaxation, which makes facial massage a sought-after skill. Focusing only on the skin and structure of the face and neck, knowledge of this type of massage helps to create a deeper skill.

Hair Removal

Temporary hair removal skills such as waxing are important skills for any estheticians to have, and one that we focus on. Since there are so many jobs available that are specific to waxing and hair removal so it can be helpful to devote time to mastering this skill.


Although not commonly thought of as part of an esthetic education, in Idaho it is one of the many required skills needed to sit for the state board. At ESI Chubbuck we are proud to educate our students in a skill that could help expand their portfolio and open even more doors. Learn more about what a career in esthetics can be like!


The cutting, styling, and caring for hair and skin is the common definition of a cosmetologist. While cosmetologists do learn and master some of the same skills as an esthetician, they delve even deeper into the care and cutting of hair.

ESI Chubb internal

As a cosmetologist, there are many things you can expect to to learn to help you build a successful career. In addition to sanitation, anatomy, chemistry, and business, our cosmetology program focuses on the following.

The Care of Hair and Skin

Understanding hair, skin, and scalp health is vital to being able to assist your clients in looking their best. We offer multiple courses and focuses to help our students gain a well-rounded knowledge.

Cutting and Styling

The cutting, styling, and overall transformation of hair is, at its core, what a cosmetologist does. With our beautiful Student Salon Training Area, we give our students room to master this vital knowledge and skill.

Chemical Processes

In addition to cutting and styling, the mastery of chemical processes such as coloring, perms, and relaxing is a cornerstone to a successful cosmetology career. Focusing on current trends and skills that are in demand now can help set cosmetologists apart.

Basic Nail Skills

In addition to knowledge of hair and skin, cosmetologists in Idaho are also trained in basic nail skills such as cutting, shaping, painting, and overall care of the hands and feet.


Temporary hair removal, as well as the forming and shaping of the brows, is a skill required of cosmetologists sitting for the state boards in Idaho.


Similar to estheticians, cosmetologists also receive an education in cosmetic application and technique. This skill, along with knowledge of hair, can open up many career opportunities, so we take extra time to help our students build their craft.

Which world of beauty is calling to you?

Are you excited to start towards a future in beauty? At ESI Chubbuck we offer both cosmetology and esthetics. Call us today to schedule a tour and discover how we can help you build a beautiful future in this creative, fast-paced, and unique industry!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *