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Category Archives: Great Graduates


Cecilia Berkley of Corazón Organic Beauty Blends Traditional & Modern Skincare

Cecilia Berkley SWINA Great Grad Aesthetician
“Be your own kind of beautiful. You never know who you are inspiring by simply being you!” says the former media personality, Cecilia Berkley, who is now an inspiration to her clients and community.

Cecilia has been preparing to open her own spa since the time she was a young girl. As a little girl in Mexico, she picked rose petals and put them in a bottle with alcohol and tried to make perfume, starting a lifetime love and passion for beauty. Additionally, Cecilia had a dream of being on television and was very fortunate to have lived her dreams, she had a TV show in Spanish in Phoenix for several years; many of the segments were based around health and beauty.

Coming full circle, Cecilia realized her life purpose, “I want to do more to help women with their health and beauty. I have started a company that produces organic skincare products. It’s called Corazon Organic Beauty. Corazón is a Spanish word meaning heart!”

A recent graduate of Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, Cecilia Berkley is a Licensed Aesthetician, a Facialist and Certified Holistic Therapist who loves to who inspire and serve women. She is Founder & CEO of Corazon Organic Beauty, with global reach including customers in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. Her list of prestigious clients includes members of a royal family from the Middle East.

One of her clients glowed when she shared, “I walked in and saw Cecilia’s beautiful face and was warmly welcomed into her luxurious spa. The ambiance of her spa and her energy are radiant. Long story short, I’ve never felt more pampered in my life!”

Continuing, the client gushed, “Cecilia puts so much love, healing and kindness into her work. I love that she creates her own products. My skin and the overall structure of my face was toned and tight immediately after my treatment.” The final endorsement was, “Do yourself a favor and experience Cecilia Holistic Spa!”

Cecilia Berkley SWINAWhen asked how she makes people feel so pampered, Cecilia explains, “I am passionate about helping women maintain healthy skin with a beautiful glow. Our skin is our biggest organ, and taking care of our skin is as important as eating healthy. For me, incorporating holistic alternatives with innovative technology is the way to gain a fresh, youthful, healthy glow for my clients!”

Cecilia’s treatments are a mixture of the most modern technologies and timeless techniques. Within her day spa, she offers LED Light Therapy, Oxygen Therapy, Biosonix Ultrasound, and Negative Pressure Therapy. She is one of only a few privately owned spas in Arizona offering the OXYLIGHT®, which is an innovative technology that dramatically reduce lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and post acne scars. The treatment also tightens, hydrates, brightens, and firms skin.

With a bit of pride and a whole lot of enthusiasm, Cecilia admits, “I am excited to be able to be one of the first in Arizona to offer OXYLIGHT® — more commonly referred to as a “Madonna” Facial!”

Another client oozed praise, “I feel amazing inside and out! My skin, my soul, my wellbeing! Cecilia is truly passionate about her work in holistic skin care and I loved everything about my experience!”

What attracted Cecilia to SWINA was the balance of modern techniques and traditional wisdom, “I was looking for a school that incorporated holistic and natural alternatives in their curriculum and that is what caught my attention. My education at SWINA surpassed my expectations! The instructors were amazing, patient and very knowledgeable. My experience was positive and my education prepared me to take my state exams and successfully pass both part of the state requirements.”

Cecilia tells us candidly, “The state test challenged me for sure, and I am thankful to say that I passed! It gave me a great sense of personal accomplishment!”

When asked about some of greatest lessons learned while at SWINA, she says “Learning to work with people with different personalities and how to plan and get organized to open my spa!”

You can connect with Cecilia through her website, or say hello on Instagram!


Written by Written by KC Miller, Founder of SWINA

KC Miller is the founder of Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, a division of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts. KC completed the 600 Natural Aesthetics almost 10 years ago, and initially contributed to some of the holistic components of the curriculum. Although she is not a licensed aesthetic professional, KC regularly receive services in the SWINA student clinics — and encourages others to do the same.

Ann Sherman- Caretaker, Nurturer, and Natural Beauty Advocate

Since graduating from Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics’ Advanced Skincare and Cosmetic Laser Program in 2014, Ann has begun a new adventure in her life with her own home day spa, Mindful Skin Spa, which is located in Chandler, Arizona. Ann practices what her friends call “holistic aesthetics”, meaning she uses all-natural, organic, and fragrance-free products, and educates her clients about the health aspects behind their skin.

“My mission is about educating my clients about skin health, revolving around the saying, ‘You are what you eat’. Whatever you put into your body gets dumped onto your skin. I use natural products because they all eventually make their way back to your liver, and using natural products reduces the chances of doing any damage.”Ann_Sherman_Quote_1.jpg

Much of this holistic approach comes from Ann’s medical background. Ann brings about fifteen years of medical experience to the table after graduating from nursing school in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in the eighties. Also certified in Oncology Aesthetics, Ann is able to provide affordable, relaxing, and rejuvenating services to Oncology clients suffering from changes to the skin due to cancer including dryness, irritation, and redness of the skin caused by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. “Working in Oncology is an area that most Aestheticians are not familiar with. It’s a holistic approach using natural products and essential oils to enhance the health and well-being of patients and clients.” 

When asked what client transformations stood out to her she replied, “My first Oncology patient came in to see me with dull skin with a gray hue. After her exfoliating and hydrating facial she had a healthy glow and pink cheeks; She looked in the mirror, cried, and said, ‘I look like my old self again’. Specializing in Oncology Aesthetics has been a wonderful focus; It’s extremely gratifying to see results and hear such positive feedback from my clients. When you work with cancer patients it changes your perspective, you are able to see the bigger picture and what’s really important.”

Also having an affiliation with the American Cancer Society, Ann is certified to facilitate the “Look Good Feel Better” program which supports women as their skin changes during cancer treatments. Ann is very involved with the community, and also volunteers weekly with Ironwood Cancer and Research Center in the Phoenix area.

Ann’s passion for Aesthetics developed when she realized she wanted to help people through Conscious Touch. Developed by KC Miller, Conscious Touch is unique to Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics, and takes into consideration that the body is made of physical, mental, spiritual and energetic bodies.  It is based on the belief that the face is one of the powerful holograms of the physical body and that by ministering to the facial structure one can affect the all of the bodies – thus creating Mind-Body-Spirit relaxation and rejuvenation. Conscious Touch is designed to teach students to be an Instrument in the Peace and Healing of others. “My nature is to mother everyone. I have been a caretaker and nurturer my entire life. I want to take care of the whole world.Ann_Sherman_Quote_3-1.jpg

Through Mindful Skin Spa, Ann is able to fulfill her passion to care for others by not only improving her client’s skin but by also providing them with relaxation and a place where clients can have some peace of mind. One story that truly exemplifies Ann’s ability to help others occurred when a young woman came in to see Ann with her mother. The patient was around 25 years old and had found a lump while she was pregnant.

“She removed her wig because I have a glass head where my  patients can rest their wigs before lying on the table. As I was cleansing  her face I also made sure to wash and massage her scalp. This stimulates the hair follicles, increases blood flow, and also promotes hair  growth. During this, she was sharing with me that so many of her friends and family  didn’t know how to react to her cancer and that she felt isolated. After massaging her head, I applied a natural fruit acid enzyme and then I did a foot massage while applying steam t o help penetrate the enzyme. During the foot massage the young woman started to cry as she told me that was the first time she felt relaxed enough to almost forget about the months of treatment and all of the fear surrounding her diagnosis. The best hugs come from my cancer  patients  and family; They are truly heartfelt! This is another gift I receive from working in Oncology Aesthetics.”  Ann_Sherman_Quote_2.jpg

Ann learned the power of touch when working at a hospice, and was later taught the Conscious Touch Protocol at SWINA. “The beauty of the program is that it is very comprehensive and SWINA tries to enlighten the students. The fact that they bring in and expose us to so many different aspects such as Reflexology and Toe Reading is amazing. It’s good to see what is out there in the skincare industry; and they’re making the students more open-minded.” 

Ann was able to succeed in opening her own spa by incorporating techniques learned at SWINA as well as having the dedication and passion to educate and care for others. To learn more about what our programs have to offer you, please contact us at (480) 393-1415.

Stay in Touch with Ann through her website:!

Layne Nyberg ~ One sweet sugar mama!


Layne Nyberg is one sweet sugar mama! As a professional aesthetician and business owner who runs two waxing salons in Scottsdale, Arizona she has always had a deep desire to help people and found her passion and purpose was in the skin industry. Earlier on, while preparing for nursing school, she found herself being drawn to serve in the aesthetic industry. As she entertained the idea of becoming a licensed aesthetician, she began to recognize the many ways the industry significantly contributes to changing people’s overall well-being. She states, “When a woman feels better about herself, she’s a better mother, wife, sister, and friend – the same goes for men in their respective roles and confidence. When we feel better and look better, it truly changes our attitude, attracting similar positivity in other areas of life.”

Intuitively knowing that she was to follow her love for skincare, she researched multiple schools, declaring, “SWINA was the best school, in my opinion, particularly for the laser program, and that really intrigued me. I only wanted to learn from the best.” Layne smiles wide as she expresses, “I love skin! Before I went to SWINA it might have been creepy to say that . . . yet, now I can say it and it’s not weird at all!


I love helping people; I love transforming skin. Having suffered from Grade 4 acne myself as a teenager, I really understand how people feel, how it adversely affects self-esteem, and I have great compassion and a great desire to help.”

When asked how her education at SWINA best served her and prepared her for embracing entrepreneurial success, Layne states, “The most valuable thing I learned at SWINA is how to think about and care for my clients’ needs. We were taught to research and find the root of the problem – not just cover it up, or apply a temporary fix. In my opinion, that’s what makes you a really great aesthetician. I also loved all of my educators. They always took the time to make sure that I understood every concept I was taught, and they really went above and beyond to help me achieve success.”

Coupling the techniques she learned while in school with her natural talents, Layne successfully leads two upscale sugar waxing salons, serving as the lead aesthetician for her business: Sugar Me Wax. “We are a very fast-growing sugaring, waxing and skin care company. In fact, we have been voted the Best New Waxing Company in Phoenix for 2015!” On top of such a noteworthy award, Layne has gone on to support those who are following in her footsteps by hiring two recent graduates of SWINA and employing them in her salons.

Layne has strategically set her business up for success, offering full-body sugaring and waxing for males and females, as well as, offering a variety of facials, chemical peels, derma-planing, derma filing and more, with an intention of adding even more modalities and services in the near future!


Of course, client satisfaction is Layne’s highest priority, especially when dealing with someone’s appearance and overall well-being. That said, she shares what she aspires to deliver to each of her clients, at every session. “I am of the opinion that education is paramount. I teach my clients. For example, if they’ve never been sugared or waxed they will need to be confident about post-care regimen. If they’ve never had a facial, they will need to know what to expect as their skin evolves and continues to heal post-session. To me, an educated client is really powerful because once they know and understand the science behind why we do what we do, they’re more apt to be consistent, compliant and take better care of themselves in general.”

One of the greatest measurements of success for Layne is her diverse clientele base.“Our clients are so varied! We have all kinds of people that come to see us: Men, women, younger, and even the more mature client! We help everyone! They keep coming back because we provide pristine customer service and they know we are dedicated to strict sanitation guidelines and are exceptionally skilled at what we do.”

Layne attributes her success, in large part, to what she learned at SWINA and her ability to share it with clients. “I utilize my education from SWINA in every session I’m in. Whether I’m teaching about hair growth cycles or cell turnover rates, people need to understand the biology because the more educated they are, the better they can take care of themselves. I think most people find it interesting and want to know how their bodies work!”

Based on Layne’s success and ongoing support of those who graduate from SWINA as well, she offers the following message to other new SWINA grads and current students: “My advice would be learn as much as you can. Be a sponge. Gain all the knowledge that you can possibly gain. Ask questions! Never be arrogant or think you know better. No matter how long you are in this industry, there will always be something and someone to learn from. I honestly believe if you apply these tactics to your life, you will be a better aesthetician for it.”


Sugar Me Wax is a great success story to inspire you to follow your dreams in such a growing field. Humbly, yet confidently, Layne summaries her success by saying: “In less than one year we have come from a fledgling business, to a force to be reckoned with. When I was approached to run Sugar Me, I was not interested in waxing at all. I was pursuing medical aesthetics. I can honestly say that taking on this opportunity is one of the smartest things I’ve ever done! I help people all day long, and have the honor of interacting with them on a very personal level. I love people and I love being able to make a difference in their lives, and Sugar Me allows me to do that on a daily basis! It’s very rewarding and fulfilling!”
To get in contact with Layne, ask about her services and specials, or just connect with her to share a mutual love for skin and well-being, she can be contacted by visiting her website at or by Facebook under Sugar Me Wax. “We also have our own app for iPhone and Android for those who prefer mobile access!” gushes Layne!

Tarah Hunter & Lacey Storm: Two Great Graduates, Sweeter than Sugar!

The moment you step foot inside Sugar Sugar salon in Scottsdale, AZ, you are in for a sweet treat. One can expect to be greeted by a jovial and genuine staff member – oftentimes the owner herself, Aimee, or one of two graduates from the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA), Tarah Hunter or Lacey Storm. Lacey and Tarah find themselves happily employed as licensed aestheticians for a growing franchise due to their enrollment at SWINA.

Lacey recalls her initial decision to attend the award-winning college, stating “I’ve Lacey_Storm1_8-26-15always had a deep desire to help other people – even stemming as far back as when my sister struggled with skin concerns and the bullying that came with it. Nurturing her and others has always made me feel purposeful. I placed quite a bit of pressure on myself to find my ideal path and when a close friend highly recommended becoming an aesthetician at SWINA, it instantly seemed like a fit. The moment I walked into SWINA’s doors, I knew my purpose was there and to this present day I am so proud of myself because I found my true purpose and life path.”
Lacey also expressed her long-standing desire to work in a capacity that integrated mind-body-spirit wellness. Always cognizant of her approach to skincare and how it relates to overall health, she believes, “the body is a canvas, essentially painting on the outside what is happening within. Being a licensed aesthetician is about educating others in caring for themselves. That is what makes me feel so purposeful each session – I am helping contribute to their overall wellness.”
Both Tarah and Lacey began their studies in early childhood education, thinking they wanted to be teachers. In a very satisfying way, their paths as licensed aestheticians have, in fact, fulfilled their deep desires to serve as educators.

Tarah shared that she most appreciates visiting with clients who have a true desire to invest in their health; those who prompt questions where she can serve as a teacher, as well as a researcher. Often, Tarah spends her own time researching additional ways to integrate a holistic approach into what she can offer her clients.
Lacey_Storm2b_8-26-15In a similar manner, Lacey embraces the clean and natural approach to self-care that her clients request. Lacey adds, “I appreciate and implement holistic services and products to my own self-care, so I find it nearly effortless to be sincere and helpful with my clients. Initially, the first thing you ever sell is yourself. After that, the services and products sell themselves and I simply show up to serve authentically.”

“The body is a canvas, essentially painting on the outside what is happening within.” – Lacey Storm

Both Lacey and Tarah found their employment with Sugar Sugar to be both divinely-timed and consciously-calculated. The process of joining the team seemed to evolve quickly, and to their surprise, was met with much enthusiasm. They felt as if they were joining a family, as opposed to just being a couple of “new hires.”
Lacey smiled as she recalled her synchronistic hiring process. “I had the opportunity to meet Aimee, the owner, well before my hire. I was offered an internship, though it did not work at the time with my schedule. Nearly one year later, Aimee remembered me, having kept my resume, and I was offered a job interview with Sugar Sugar. My boyfriend and I were two-hours into a drive to California when we immediately turned around to head back to make sure I could be at my ‘divine appointment’ the next day. Throughout the interview I just knew it was meant for me to go to work for this conscious company.”
Tarah’s opportunity was divinely orchestrated as well. One of her fellow classmates applied to Lacey_Storm3_8-26-15Sugar Sugar during a time they were not hiring. Soon after the salon opened their doors they called the fellow graduate back, yet as fate would have it, she had secured a job with another organization. In true networking fashion, she highly-recommended Tarah as a possible fit. And it turned out Tarah was a “sweet” fit. Blessed to be working with Sugar Sugar, Tarah gushed when she shared her feelings about her employers: “The owners care about the team as a whole and truly put great thought into who will mesh the best with the Sugar Sugar family as a whole. They are clearly people-over-profit, which is why I believe we have a growing number of clients every month. Each day, it is not uncommon to hear staff praising us for even the smallest of accomplishments. The industry could benefit so much more from a culture of our caliber, as opposed to competition.”

Undoubtedly, both ladies are fulfilling their passion and purpose of helping others feel and look their best from a holistic standpoint. When asked what they cared to share with aspiring SWINA aestheticians, Lacey stated, “It is so important for us, as licensed aestheticians, to embrace being a professional at all times, even outside the salon. I am pleasant to everyone I met because you never know where your next client may come from.”
Tarah shared, “Be proud of yourself throughout the journey. I am proud of myself, what I do, what I can do and will do for people. Acknowledging how far you’ve come, every step of the way is imperative.”

As they shared all SWINA had done for them, they both agreed that one of greatest benefits to attending SWINA is the holistic mindset that was offered through healing modalities like Reiki, Reflexology, Toe Reading and much more that are all built into the curriculum. They also praised the emphasis and encouragement they received from the instructors and college staff to begin working on clients early in their program. What they heard was: “Don’t wait to get your hands-on training. You are ready to serve in the clinic and we are here to support you every step of the way.” This instilled within them an unshakeable sense of confidence that poured over and into their heart-centered interactions with their current clients, and that they imagine will last a lifetime. All in all, that’s a pretty sweet deal!

Helping Others Achieve Their Best Self, One Facial at a Time

Linda Binette’s education at Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA) brought more gifts to her life than she Linda-Binettecould have ever imagined. From the moment Linda toured the SWINA campus, she was confident it was the school for her. As a branch of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, she knew that SWINA would provide her with the holistic education she was looking for.
“I was interested in healing arts – treating the whole person: mind, body and spirit,” says Linda. “When I took my tour of the school, I was so impressed by the great energy I felt, the friendliness and professionalism of the staff, and the beautiful facility! I knew in my heart that I didn’t need to look anywhere else!”
So Linda began her Natural Aesthetics program at SWINA. In addition to hands-on aesthetics training, such as skin care, makeup and waxing, spa technologies and even holistic theory and business courses, Linda learned how to be centered and present in all that she does. One of the most important skills she gained was how to really listen to what her clients are saying, or NOT saying. “It is so fulfilling to know that I am in tune with my client’s goals, and that the client trusts me to lead them in the process,” Linda explains.

Her stellar listening skills, combined with the quality education she received at SWINA, prepared Linda for her career as a Natural Aesthetician. Upon completing her program, she accepted a full-time position at Massage Envy as an aesthetician, and was quickly promoted to Lead Aesthetician within only six months of being hired.

In addition to providing facials and other skin care services to clients, Linda also trains Linda-Binette2new aestheticians, sells retail products, orders merchandise, takes care of the entire inventory, and plans, develops and executes quarterly marketing events, in addition to a number of other administrative duties. In addition to specialized sessions, Linda has developed a program for her clients who are hoping to see quick results. “I call it my 6 N 6 Program – six facials in six weeks,” she explains. This program brings on amazing transformations in a short amount of time, and Linda’s clients have expressed a lot of satisfaction with the results.
This type of innovation and dedication to the needs of her clients has created a lot of success for Linda. Recently, she was nominated for the Massage Envy Aesthetician of the Year Award, chosen from aestheticians out of the entire state of Arizona! The nomination was based on a number of criteria, such as Linda’s client request rate (over 50%!) average product per facial ($74!) and her monthly average retail sales ($5500!). Linda’s boss had to write biography about her, describing her traits not only as an employee and aesthetician, but also as a person. The information was then brought in front of a panel and nominees were chosen.

“It is such an honor to be nominated,” Linda says of the nomination. “I was overwhelmed with so many feelings – but most of all gratitude!”

At the end of April, Linda will take a trip to Las Vegas for the national convention, whereLinda-Binette3b she is in the running for National Aesthetician of the Year. At the convention, she has the opportunity to attend workshops and network, two important aspects which will enhance her career even more. She advises fellow aestheticians to never stop learning, to experience webinars, classes, or seminars, and most importantly, to be confident. Linda also hopes to one day become certified as an Aesthetics Educator, so she can become an instructor and share her knowledge and passion with others.
Because of SWINA, Linda feels her entire life took off in a direction that still amazes her. “I have so much more confidence in myself today than I did just three years ago. I have accomplished something that I never imagined was possible,” she says passionately. “No matter what, this is one of the most exciting times of my life, and I am looking forward to many more years of helping others achieve their best skin, boost their self-esteem and become healthier in mind, body and spirit,” she exclaims.
To learn more about SWINA’s Natural Aesthetics programs, please visit or call 480-393-1415 and ask to speak with the Admissions Coach.

Tiesha Lamb: Working Her Skin Magic!


Tiesha Lamb is a licensed aesthetician and the owner of Skin Voodoo in Gilbert, AZ. She combined her education in nutrition and aesthetics with her love for helping others feel their best.

“It is a passion of mine to educate others on how to best care for themselves. I obtained my degree in nutrition from ASU years ago. Because of this, I knew that there is more to skin health than putting a good product on your face. I enrolled at SWINA knowing they had an extensive program that taught more than product knowledge and skin anatomy like other schools in Arizona. No other school sends you out the door as well-rounded as SWINA.”

SWINA taught her:

  • The technical skills I needed to obtain employment
  • The art of relaxation, massage and healing therapies
  • Product knowledge
  • The ability to problem-solve and explore alternative solutions for skin concerns

In fact, one of the most valuable takeaways that Tiesha learned was ”that there is not one solution to every problem. Sometimes you have to search, dig, and research all night to help your client, yet it can be done! These situations arise to make you a more educated and adept aesthetician and a more caring individual.” It is obvious in Tiesha’s online reviews that her clients have experienced this within her services and sessions.

Her passion for her program started initially with a desire to study laser use. “I began my journey at SWINA wanting to become a Laser Technician. My aesthetic degree was just a step to get there. The minute my program began I fell in love with aesthetics and knew that that is what I wanted to do! I determined I wanted to work for myself and developed a plan to get there. I still went ahead and completed the Laser Technician program and I am so glad I did.”
Stevie-Tiesha-SessionIn fact, Tiesha recommends it to any aesthetician. “Your clients are going to ask you about laser treatments. You will be able to advise them on what treatments they might want to look into and what will be beneficial for their skin. When you have this knowledge you can make educated suggestions and it further enhances your credibility as an aesthetician. I am passionate about what I do because I love helping others. I love treating skin concerns to transform the way a person feels about their skin. I love educating clients on caring for their skin and what products they should be implementing in their wellness routines. Our skills enable us to share our knowledge with others and can literally change everything for that person.”

Tiesha’s opening of her own LLC, Skin Voodoo, has been a huge success and an ever-growing venture. “I provide facials, peels, dermaplane, microdermabrasion, oxygen facials, acne facials, brow waxing & design, face waxing, brow color, eyelash color, Lash Lifts and Lash Lift training and certification for estheticians.”

Her clients can expect stellar service, immediate results and takeaway tips for self-care between sessions. “Clients can expect an initial consultation be it regarding brows, lashes, skin; everyone has concerns, ideas of what they want to achieve, things that make them hesitant about services, this is an important step that will help put your client at ease and help you establish your game plan. No matter what service they choose it will be a relaxing experience, clients come to us to unwind and de-stress. They will also get results!”

“In this business, everyone is a potential client! The skincare industry is always growing and evolving! Sometimes the people you don’t expect to want services are the ones who become your regulars so don’t ever count them out! I have clients in their 20’s and 30’s concerned about acne and ready to start preventing wrinkles, ladies in there 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s who want to keep their skin glowing and beautiful, as well as, clients in there 70’s and 80’s who receive hydrating and relaxation treatments. Men are also a huge part of my clientele – men of all ages are becoming more concerned about taking care of their skin and looking the best they can. I also have teens that come in for brow design and acne issues. I love and appreciate having a variety of clients which is always teaching me better ways to care for their skin.”
Tiesha has truly expanded and evolved quickly as a well-known and highly-regarded aesthetician. She truly values the continuous opportunities she receives to serve so many. “I have this incredible opportunity to meet new people and get to know them on a personal basis. I have the pleasure of waxing and designing the brows of Miss Arizona and Miss Arizona’s Outstanding Teen. I loved discussing pageants with these girls! I also am lucky enough to work with brides getting ready for their big day, knowing they trust me to make sure their skin is picture-perfect!”
Many of Tiesha’s clients also come to her for what she calls “mind and body healing.” “Customers want an effective, powerful treatment but they also want to relax, have fun and connect. A tranquil and beautiful space is a must. Comfy sheets and scented candles can even make a microderm relaxing! A hand massage and a hydrating spray of oxygen combined with a peel, makes the service something to look forward to. Some clients want to come in and visit, some want to take the time to zone out or fall asleep. Whatever their desire, I honor such and deliver as they deem fit.”
Tiesha credits SWINA for educating her in all that she has to offer her clients as a successful business owner. “Having the knowledge to help someone with a skin concern or problem is life-changing. Changing the appearance of the skin someone is insecure about makes my journey worth it to me. Every time a client tells me they feel like they can wear less makeup now, they didn’t get any new breakouts this month, they actually feel beautiful when they wake up in the morning are little victories for me. Helping people is why I do this and it is as healing for me inside as it is healing for my clients’ skin.”


Her message to other aspiring SWINA students and recent grads is: “Run with it! Don’t give up. Keep learning. SWINA prepares you on product knowledge, the art of touch and knowledge of skin. When you graduate you will be ready to go. You will have the information to start practicing no matter what path you choose and your education will never quit evolving. Right out of school, I got a part time job at a med spa, as well as, having a full-time position at a non-aesthetics job. I built up a handful of loyal clients from the spa and rented a space part-time from a massage therapist where I could start my own business. It just didn’t feel right so after some time and building a few more clients I moved into the space I currently rent out of Simply Ravishing Salon in Gilbert, AZ. I changed my business name to something I felt was more edgy and would grab a little bit of attention. I continued to work a second job, and just knew my aesthetic business would become a success. Finally I took the leap, I built enough of a clientele to leave my second job and I have never looked back.”

“I make my own hours, book my own clients, sell the products I believe in and use my knowledge to customize treatments that work. I love every day I walk into my space and feel grateful for every face I get to work on. Word of mouth has been my means of growing my clientele. If you put your heart and your energy into each and every client it will pay off.


I recently had the honor of receiving the position of being the Arizona Trainer for Elleebana Lash Lift so I get to work with aestheticians and train them on adding the Lash Lift to their own list of services. This has been an amazing change of pace for me and I am loving every minute of it! I also think it’s important to keep your business diverse. Don’t just offer a couple facials and a waxing menu. Offering multiple services gets clients in your doors. Sometimes a younger client in her 20’s will come in because she wants her lashes to look fabulous and this gives me the opportunity to educate her about skin care. She would have never thought of a facial being so young but she now understands the importance of a treatment and is going to make it a priority!”

When asked if Tiesha plans on furthering her education in skincare, she says, “Yes!!! An aesthetician’s work is never done! This ever-changing industry requires us to keep up on what’s new and trending! Every training or education program you participate in will expand your skillset and knowledge in some way! I continuously seek out new information and register for any training course I can! Some examples of my continued education are my Laser Technician Certificate, certification in dermaplane from SWINA & Dermaplane Pro, Skin Medica Product Knowledge Certification, Skin Medica Peel Training Program, Skin Scrip Product Knowledge Certification, PCA Product Knowledge Certification, PCA Advanced Chemical Peel Specialist, Xtreme Lash Extension Course, Reiki level 1, 2 & 3 Certification, Elleebana Lash Lift Certification & Elleebana Lash Lift Instructor Certification. I have no intention of stopping there! I plan on attending the Skin Scrip Advanced Skin Course, , Image Product Knowledge Course, an advanced waxing or sugaring class, as well as, finding an advanced brow design course! I took the SWIHA Animal Massage Course and plan on taking an Animal Reiki Certification Course”



“SWINA taught me that skincare is not just products going on the skin! There is so much more that can goes into the health of our skin. They introduced me to natural forms of healing for the mind and body. I never knew about essential oils, reiki, hypnotherapy, yoga and how all this can actually help the skin! There is so much more to this practice and SWINA does such a good job of introducing these things to you and opening the doors so you can explore more and help people on a level you never even dreamed possible”

It is obvious that Tiesha is enthused about each of her clients and their success. “My favorite story is a bride that came to me 5 weeks before her wedding with acne. Nervous about photos and upcoming events she was truly stressed about her skin. It was my mission so we changed her home care, incorporated some nutritional suggestions and did weekly treatments. On her last treatment she started crying with joy that her skin had cleared. Honestly not even I thought it was possible in such a short timeframe. When she left I actually cried too because I knew I had helped someone look and feel her best on the biggest day of her life.”

To find yourself in the helpful and healing hands of Tiesha Lamb or to learn more about how she is mentoring fellow aestheticians interested in becoming a certified Elleebana Lash Lift Technician or starting their own business, contact her directly at 480-695-5499 or via Facebook at Skin Voodoo page where her reviews are magical!

Seeking Serenity in the Southwest

Kiera Stroup always wanted to move to Arizona. A native New Yorker, Kiera earned her Kiera-Stroup-blog-pic-roughsBachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and then began a corporate I.T. career that lasted 27 years and took her to Connecticut, California, and finally Memphis, Tennessee. It was at the University of Memphis where she earned her MBA. However, Kiera still longed to live in the Grand Canyon State. In 2013, Kiera’s corporate I.T. career came to an unexpected end when the company she worked for eliminated her position. Instead of feeling sorry for herself, Kiera took it as a sign and headed for the Valley of the Sun to fearlessly pursue her dream.
Since Kiera had a longtime interest in skincare, she felt that a career change to the field of natural beauty would be a good fit for her. She found Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) and called to inquire about aesthetics programs. Based on Kiera’s other interest in massage, her Admission Coach suggested SWIHA’s 1000-hour Massage program, which would allow her to become dually licensed in massage and aesthetics. This specific program is unique, in that, students have the opportunity to complete part of their program at Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA), SWIHA’s branch campus where the natural aesthetics programs and courses are held, located two miles south of the main campus in Tempe, Arizona.

Completing her extensive, 1000-hour diploma program with flying colors, Kiera knew that after almost three decades in the field of I.T. she wanted to work for herself. Earning her dual license in massage and aesthetics brought her one step closer to that goal. “Without my SWIHA education, I would still be stuck in the same career that I intensely disliked,” Kiera said. So, with her Massage and Aesthetics licenses in hand, Kiera opened Sonoran Serenity Spa in downtown Tempe, Arizona.

Kierras-treatments-300x201Sonoran Serenity Spa provides clients with an array of premium skincare services, such as spa and corrective facials, salt and sugar body scrubs, body wraps, chemical and non-chemical peels, face and body waxing, in addition to massage therapy, corporate massage and even spray tanning! Clients who receive a service at Sonoran Serenity Spa will enjoy natural, holistic pampering and tranquility, since Kiera only uses the highest quality professional products. Every client’s service begins with a glass of Prickly Pear Infused Water and is complete when the client is given a complimentary satchel of organic lavender.
Clients can unwind from their day or week while enjoying gentle spa music, soft lighting, and the soothing sounds of a bubbling Zen fountain. Some treatments even incorporate the healing elements of Sonoran desert plants and herbs, which can help to relax or rejuvenate, depending on the desired need of the client. Take a moment to click into Sonoran Serenity’s website and take a look at some of amazing delicious sounding treatments Kiera is offering in March: Lemon Meringue Facial, Coconut Lime Body Scrub, and a Coconut Cream Pie Facial.

Once she opened Sonoran Serenity Spa, Kiera quickly learned that earning her dual license in massage and aesthetics definitely paid off. “I’m really glad I decided to become dually licensed,” she said. “Because of the dual license, my bookings have doubled!”
Having a dual license is helpful, yet it’s only one of multiple marketing tools that Kiera uses on her business. She has a Sonoran Serenity Facebook page, and also relies on traditional print advertising, online advertising, emails to her client list, giveaways such as body scrub services, and something she calls Massage Therapy Thursday, which is a 60 minute Relaxation Massage for the low price of only $45! She also regularly participates in local health events to spread the word about Sonoran Serenity Spa. In addition, Kiera fully embraces the benefit of word of mouth advertising. She markets her services to the businesses that are near her spa, such as the many hotels and restaurants, truly recognizing the benefits of networking an collaborating with neighboring businesses.

Overall, Kiera’s vision with Sonoran Serenity Spa is to help clients create balance, both Kiera-Stroup-spainside and out. Since her passion is skincare, she loves when she can help clients naturally resolve their skin issues. “I have had several clients tell me how much their skin has improved with the use of professional products,” she says excitedly. “Everything I do with a client I learned at either SWIHA or SWINA. Without the knowledge I gained from my program, I would not be a fully prepared to work with clients.”
In addition to her business helping others, her work and education has helped Kiera on a personal level, too.
“I’m a happier person because I attended SWIHA and SWINA,” she explains. “I still have challenges, however, because I choose to have a positive outlook, I know I can work embrace anything that comes my way in a positive way!”
To learn more about how you can become dually licensed in Massage and Natural Aesthetics, contact SWIHA at 480-994-9244 or SWINA at 480-393-1415 and ask to speak with an Admissions Coach.

Ayesha Dalton: Passionate about Beauty and Service

Ayesha Dalton’s recently-opened spa, just over 9 months old, has a warm and loving atmosphere that exudes professionalism and pristine care. Ayesha’s passion for beauty and well-being developed long before her studies at the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics. She is passionate about what she does, sharing, “I value the importance of taking care of how I look. I’m here to help anyone who needs encouragement and advice to look and feel their best. Therefore my passion became obvious to me, as did the awareness that I should share this with all who want to experience it.”


Ayesha looked to SWINA when deciding on a professional career as an aesthetician. After being a stay-at-home mother of 2 for nearly 20 years she desired projects that would continue to make her feel purposeful to others and allow her to continue to care for others resulted in her path to natural aesthetics.
Grateful for all she learned in SWINA, she shares that the most valuable lesson “was that education not only gives you knowledge but confidence to be successful in life and to pursue your dreams.” Her confidence is incredibly infectious and has inspired many of her peers as she has stepped into entrepreneurship wholeheartedly and without hesitation. In spite of the unknown, she is embracing each new opportunity and steadily making her way into the successful entrepreneur she dreamed she could be – in as little as 9 months! “Most of our clients have heard about SWINA and I’m very proud to let them know where I got my training and education from.”

Ayesha stays committed to her mission and vision to offer quality service at an affordable price and with her clients’ schedules in mind. Her first salon, 5-5 brows, started as a quick and easy way to get effective service, boasting “5 minutes for 5 bucks”. Her initial endeavor has been such a success and the demand for her services grew so quickly, she has had the amazing opportunity to hire more staff and offer more services, exponentially increasing the profit within her company. The name, 5-5 Brows – Threading & Beauty, has quickly evolved a reputation that supports 5 out of 5 stars in service, price and customer satisfaction. So much so, Ayesha is looking to open her next salon in the same calendar year, since opening 5-5 this past February, 2015. She has ambitious dreams to open many more salons and cater to a much larger clientele.
Ayesha-Dalton2One of Ayesha’s greatest skill sets is her natural ability to share her services in a way that always places customers first. “When clients come in needing small fixes or a very brief shape correction here or there, we will perform a quick complimentary session without focusing on profit. Our services offer so much more and truly do help others look and feel their best. We focus on people, and the abundance of clients and prosperity has come from placing them first. Our goal is to truly take the eyebrows – one of the most prominent features of the face – and shape them, tint them and clean them up so that they enhance the naturally beautiful traits each of our clients possesses. Each session is tailored to our clients and what is best for their complexion.”

This focus on quickness and quality has allowed Ayesha to add some of her other highly-regarded services, including, facial and full body services. “We provide beauty services such as eyebrow threading, Henna tattoos, brow and lash tints, microdermabrasion, facials and waxing.”

When asked what the experience is like for new customers – most commonly those who come for brow threading – Ayesha gleefully and proudly replies, “Customers will sit on a very comfortable styling chair that has a head rest allowing them to relax while our beauty experts perform hair removal by threading on the face and wherever else needed. We use a 100 % cotton thread to remove facial hair. It’s a technique that originated in India to safely remove and shape eyebrows. Threading is our most popular hair removal service that we offer as it is non invasive, natural and quick.”

No matter the age or gender, 5-5 Brows is rapidly becoming the go-to place in the Valley for Brow Threading services. ”Our clients vary from young to not so young – anywhere from 6 years to 60 years of age. We have men and women clients, both of which desire a well-shaped pair of eyebrows that fit their face and accentuate their innate qualities. Men and women who make it a point to look their best come to 5-5 Brows and find that they can truly benefit a great deal from a simple service that is priced with them in mind.”



Many of Ayesha’s clients have followed her from her time as a student at SWINA. It was there that she learned the tools and earned the respect of her case studies and open-to-the-public appointments. Eyebrow threading came very naturally to her, as well as, to the staff she has hired. Her team has an incredible background as beauticians and a strong working knowledge of threading from cultures including India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Thinking back to her times in SWINA, she recalls that many of the students, mostly women in similar circumstances as her at the time of her training, are looking to build their own entrepreneurial business. They find very quickly that the aesthetician path is one of strong work ethic, self-marketing and continuous education in the industry. Her advice to those who follow in her footsteps is simple and inspiring, “Finish what you have started. Sometimes the road is long and tough. Don’t let anything or anyone convince you to give up on your dreams.”

Having returned to school to further her education, as she suggests all aestheticians continue to do, Ayesha has since returned to Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, the parent school of SWINA, and completed her degree in Holistic Nutrition. “Now I’m a licensed aesthetician and a certified nutritionist, which go hand-in-hand in offering quality care and follow-up guidance to further enhance my clients’ own self-care between sessions.”

Ayesha is eager and enthusiastic to share her gratitude for her SWINA education and experience. “My future looks bright and endless with so many possibilities. My instructors at SWINA tirelessly and selflessly helped and encouraged me to achieve my goals. I’m very grateful!” She humbly shares that her greatest success story to-date is her own. “My success story is being able to open my own spa which is a dream come true. My staff and I will always look for ways to improve, to better help and serve our customers in the most positive ways.”

To become one of Ayesha’s success stories, feel free to connect with her either via website or social media at: /


The Skin-ny on a Career as an Aesthetician

Great skin is often associated with youth and beauty. Gorgeous models with glowing faces adorn magazine covers. Countless ballads and romance novels wax poetically about the thrill of a lover’s touch on their skin.
AestheticiansKeeping our skin healthy and supple is a huge business throughout the world. A 2013 story in the Huffington Post, written by Rebecca Adams, states women in the U.S. spend $426 billion on beauty products alone. This figure does not include beauty and spa treatments such as facials, waxing, deep pore cleaning or microdermabrasion, laser treatments or photo facials.

Women in the U.S. spend $426 billion on beauty products alone.

Nor does the monetary figure include skin diseases and medical treatments. As the largest organ in the human body our skin (also known as epidermis or integument) has the practical purpose of protecting the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. It is also prone to maladies that range from acne to xerosis (abnormal dryness of the skin.)
Skin cancer is another growing health threat with five million people treated for skin cancer in the U.S. each year. The Skin Cancer Foundation cites that over the past 30 years more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. However, thanks to early screening, detecting and treatment, skin cancer is often not a death sentence.
Dermatologists are usually the heroes in the skin cancer-fighting arena. However there is another professional that skin-conscious individuals see more frequently than their physician who can also spot a potential skin condition before it becomes life-threatening – an aesthetician.

A skin-conscious individual who can spot a potential skin condition before it becomes life-threatening is an aesthetician.

Aestheticians (sometimes spelled esthetician) are trained skincare specialists that have received clinical training to provide such services as giving facials, anti-aging treatments, deep pore cleaning, hair removal through waxing, as well as administering light massage and aromatherapy. With additional training they can offer additional services such as laser treatments and photo facials.
One of the first duties of an aesthetician is to ask their client about their skin, habits and health, and thoroughly examine the skin. Skincare specialists are also trained to look for anomalies such as skin cancer. Although they do not treat skin cancer, per se, they are often the first ones to recognize a skin condition. Anything that looks suspicious is reported to the client along with a strong suggestion that they make an appointment with a dermatologist who can assess and treat the problem.

The need for aestheticians in the U.S. is increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for this profession is increasing much faster than average and this expansion in career opportunities is anticipated to increase through 2022Karah-Bonds1
People become interested in aesthetics for a variety of reasons. Karah Bonds, a student at the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics (SWINA) had a little training in makeup application, yet was looking for a career where she could learn more about skincare for herself, as well as help others with similar issues.
“I have severe acne and I understand how people may feel unhappy with their skin,” Karah confided.“I chose SWINA because I liked what the school had to offer in their curriculum. As soon as I entered the school’s doors I could instantly tell it had a great workplace culture. Everyone was so welcoming.”

Fellow student Kalie McCalister was drawn to SWINA’s natural aesthetics approach.

“I look for skincare products that are natural and pure and they have that here at SWINA,” said Kalie. “I also like that the school is associated with SWIHA (Southwest Institute of Healing Arts). Everyone is like family here.”
SWINA, located at 1460 E. Southern Ave. in Tempe, AZ offers students an educational experience in a spa setting. A tour of the school includes 14 treatment rooms in a serene environment. The décor has an Asian flair; the lighting and music are subdued and peaceful. Licensed instructors supervise students as they guide clients with in-demand skin treatments tailored to the client’s individual needs and unique energy. In addition to traditional aesthetic training, SWINA instructors help provide students with a Holistic approach to skin rejuvenation incorporating elements of Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Microdermabrasion, and the school’s signature ‘Conscious Touch’ protocol.
Julie-StaffordConscious Touch takes into full consideration that “the physical body is NOT the entire body,” said Michael Shuey, Director of Education for SWINA. “The body is made of the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and energetic bodies. Conscious Touch is based on the belief the face is one of the powerful holograms of the physical body and that by ministering to the facial structure one can affect the all of the bodies – creating Mind-Body-Spirit relaxation and rejuvenation. This protocol is specially designed to teach students to be an instrument, not an ego, in the peace and healing of others.”

‘Conscious Touch’ is a protocol is specially designed to teach students to be an Instrument, not an Ego, in the Peace and Healing of others.

Julie Stafford, Executive Director of SWINA, said the school provides skincare education that incorporates both natural therapies and ingredients, as well as advanced training for in-demand services such as laser technology, intense pulse light photo facial rejuvenation, pixel laser resurfacing, in-motion technology laser hair reduction, radiofrequency skin tightening and advanced consultation techniques.
“Many students enroll at SWINA because they have an interest in using all natural treatments with organic products,” said Julie who is also a Licensed Aesthetics Instructor and massage therapist. “When you are out in the world as a working professional you need to provide the services that your clients want. It is for this reason we offer both natural and conventional training and products.”
Julie explains that SWINA emphasizes safety, sanitation and honesty.

We don’t just enroll students, we enroll graduates!

“We are not hard sell here,” Julie emphasized. “We encourage students to visit other schools and make an informed decision before they enroll. We tell them that the first eight weeks of training are the most intense, and the entire SWINA staff is fully committed to helping students succeed. I always tell them we don’t enroll students, we enroll graduates. We offer life-long employment placement. We don’t just care what a student is doing and thinking now, we want to know how they feel five years from now, and beyond!”

The aesthetics school’s 600-hour Natural Aesthetics program teaches skincare and anti-aging techniques including 20 different facial protocols. Classes include Spa Technologies (64 hours) Makeup and Waxing (64 hours) holistic theory and business (64 hours) and Spa Clinical Application (184 hours.) Some of the classes that are more unique to SWINA’s holistic approach to aesthetics include: Introduction to Ayurveda Theory, Introduction to Flower Essences, Natural Stone Facial, Energetic Facial, Introduction to Reflexology and Introduction to Toe Reading.

The Natural Aesthetics Practitioner is a 600-hour, 24-credit diploma program with an option of a 30-week-day program or a 50-week-night program. SWINA also offers laser technology training that surpasses the current certification standards set forth by the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency. Programs include Cosmetic Laser Technician, a 180-hour, 7 credit certificate program with a daytime or evening class option, and Advanced Skincare Practitioner & Cosmetic Laser Technician, a 780-hour, 31 credit, diploma program where students can chose classes in the day or evening.

SWINA also has an option where students can enroll in dual programs for aesthetics and massage therapy. Licensed aestheticians who are interested in becoming instructors can enroll in the Natural Aesthetics Educator program.
To learn more visit or to speak to an admissions advisor call 480-393-1415.

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