CIDESCO Section USA Presents A Profile of Monika Machej, CIDESCO Diplomate and School Owner

CIDESCO Section USA offers estheticians the opportunity to take the next step in mastering their education and career with the prestigious CIDESCO Diplomate status. Around the world, esthetics schools can be found in 40 countries across 5 continents. CIDESCO Diplomates are globally recognized as having received the highest level of training in Beauty and Spa Therapy and Management, Aromatherapy, Epilation and Media Make-up.

The newly ignited CIDESCO Section USA education debuted during Americas Beauty Show 2017, in partnership with the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference (IECSC) and will continue throughout the year at IECSC, ISSE and Face & Body events.

One of the most prestigious esthetics schools, which offers CIDESCO education in the United States, is owned by CIDESCO Diplomate and Educator, Monika Machej. Monika is not only a CIDESCO Diplomate, but she is also a licensed esthetics teacher, licensed nail technology teacher and licensed massage therapist. Her highly esteemed CIDESCO accredited learning facility, The New Age Spa Institute, Des Plaines, IL., trains dozens of estheticians every year and promotes CIDESCO to each one. Cosmetologists Chicago, as the holder of the CIDESCO USA section license, met with Monica recently and learned her inspiring story, her road to higher learning and educational excellence.

Monika Machej

“I have known what I have wanted to do since I was 15 years old,” said Machej. “When I was growing up in Poland, my grandmother would take me to get facials every 2-3 months, as a preventative measure. I fell in love with the aromas, the herbs and the way the esthetician looked…so professional. I wanted to have that in my life.” While she was still in high school, Machej enrolled in a year-long nail technician program that she attended at night and was funded by her grandmother.

Machej moved to Chicago to be with her mother. After graduating high school and completing a year of college, Machej enrolled in the Pivot Point Academy for Esthetics and was a member of the 2nd class to graduate from the Academy. “I was always looking at the big picture,” she said. “I wasn’t just thinking about passing the test and working – I was thinking about teaching, continuing my education and having my own school.”

After graduation, she worked for an upscale spa in Chicago. Then in 1997, she began teaching at Chicago’s Conservatory of Esthetics and continued there until 2006. “I always felt there are too many estheticians with no passion, and I wanted to change that. Some students I taught were ‘missing something,’ and I wanted to help,” she told CIDESCO Section USA.

When the Conservatory of Esthetics moved, Machej saw the opportunity to open her own school, and in 2007 New Age Spa Institute (NASI) was created.

First located in Des Plaines, IL, NASI quickly grew to be one of the most popular esthetics schools in the Chicagoland area. Continuing to grow her school, Machej opened a second location in Arlington Heights, IL that specialized only in nails and massage. While both locations were successful, Machej wanted a central location to hold both schools under one roof with plenty of space for her students to learn. In January of 2017, the schools were merged and moved to a much larger location in Des Plaines. “We started with schools sized around 3,000 square feet, and our new location is 10,000 square feet,” says Machej, speaking at the grand re-opening. “The larger space gives our students more classrooms, more beds for clients, more equipment and storage. Overall, our students have better opportunities to learn,” she adds.

Knowledge and continuing education in any profession is very important. There is a constant need for learning, and it must be taken seriously. With more than 20 years of experience in varied aspects of the beauty industry, Monika Machej has a passion for education, and her graduates prove her efforts are not lost.

Because of her Polish background, Machej is well aware of the importance of the global economy and having the opportunity to reach a higher, global standard for you. In 2013 NASI achieved the highly sought after CIDESCO accreditation and began teaching CIDESCO classes and graduating CIDESCO Diplomates. CIDESCO Section U.S.A. aims to bring world-wide excellence and standards for esthetics and to provide students with the highest level of knowledge and global job security. “The market is saturated with estheticians,” Machej said, “but it is not crowded with truly professional estheticians – the kind of professionals CIDESCO schools graduate.”

Her efforts are aligned with CIDESCO Section U.S.A. to offer estheticians the finest education available –upholding the highest standards to estheticians and skincare professionals looking for guidance and a deeper understanding of their craft. “There is a need for global standards in Esthetics and an even bigger need for quality education,” Machej said. “I became a CIDESCO educator to provide opportunities to my students that they may have never dreamt. And I am excited about the new opportunities available through CIDESCO USA now that Cosmetologists Chicago is the power behind the education.”

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Continuing Education Now Required for ALL Cosmetologists Licensees

Please Note: Due to a recent change in law (PA 99-0427), cosmetologists, cosmetology teachers and cosmetology clinic teachers who were previously exempt from continuing education (CE) requirements due to age (62 years or older) or license experience (25+ years) are no longer exempt. 
Beginning with the 2017 license renewal period all cosmetologists, cosmetology teachers and cosmetology clinic teachers are required to complete their continuing education (CE) hours before submitting a renewal application.   
CE Requirements:
Cosmetologists: 14 hours*
Estheticians: 10 hours*
Cosmetology teachers & cosmetology clinic teachers: 24 hours*     
Licensees should have recently received notification of the opening of the 2017 renewal cycle by email.  Please ensure IDFPR has a current email address on file by visiting IDFPR’s Online Services Portal. The 2017 renewal period for Cosmetology closes on September 30, 2017
For Estheticians click here to earn CEHs
For Cosmetologists click here links to earn CEHs. 
*Renewal applicants may utilize online courses for 50% (Cosmo: 7 hours/Teachers: 12 hours) of the CE requirement. 
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Is your business complying with new Chicago and Cook County, IL paid sick leave ordinances?

Kimberly A. Ross

By Kimberly Ross, partner, Ford & Harrison LLP

Both Chicago and Cook County have enacted paid sick leave (PSL) ordinances that went into effect July 1, 2017.

It is now mandatory for employers to at least provide the necessary notices to employees with their first paychecks after July 1, which can be found here for Chicago and here for Cook County, and post those notices in the same place they post all other employment law notices.

Even if employers have already missed this deadline, they must still immediately do so, and will hopefully avoid any issues down the road. Until employers can get written policies in place, they should also be carefully tracking all employees’ hours (which is required under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act anyway), and tracking the accrual of PSL in at least the minimum required manner as stated in the two ordinances.

This Alert is intended to remind employers with employees performing work in Chicago and Cook County that they must immediately evaluate their current leave policies to determine whether they comply with the requirements for paid sick leave, or whether they will need to draft an entirely new policy.

Because of the complexities of these new ordinances and the differences in interpretations, we have separately prepared a more detailed article that can be accessed here. Within the more detailed article, readers will find links to both ordinances, both sets of rules, and a handy chart that compares and contrasts the differences in the two sets of rules.

If you have any questions regarding this Alert, please feel free to contact the author, Kimberly A. Ross, Cosmetologists Chicago also suggests you contact your own business attorney with questions and for clarification pertinent to your particular situation.


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Black woman are owning their image by championing the natural hair movement that rivals that of the 1960’s and 70’s

Kinky, Super Curly, and Highly Textured hair all have something in common:

  1. It can be intimidating and hard to analyze
  2. It demands more time and attention to detail
  3. It requires more expertise

Add to this the “Natural Hair Movement” and as stylists, we can find ourselves in a maze of confusion.

A beauty professional’s primary goal is to properly determine which styles best complement the wearer’s facial features, hair texture, and lifestyle.

Selecting the proper chemicals, styling products, and tools are essential to achieving this goal. Today it seems stylists who have mastered the art of redesigning these textures have become apprehensive about the use of chemical straighteners altogether, which begs the question, why?

  • Do we as professional hair stylist believe the myth that chemical relaxers are bad?
  • Do we allow the pressure from “Natural Hair Extremist” to override our professional knowledge?
  • Do we overlook the benefits that chemical relaxers have contributed to our portfolios with such styles as; The Pixie, any look with tapered sides and back, Texturized Afros, Finger Waves, (Very hot right now, think “Great Gatsby” and Josephine Baker) and Roller Wraps. The simple answers to these questions are no, no, and hell no.

Remember you are the expert when it comes to understanding what is required to achieve these looks and maintain the health and beauty of your client’s hair.

This also means knowing when to let go of chemical relaxers. If any of the following appear in your chair, it’s time to let go.

  1. Consistent Breakage
  2. Severe Dryness with Continued Shedding
  3. Growth Retardation
  4. Scalp Irritation
  5. Thinning Roots

Lastly, if your client decides that abstaining from relaxer is a choice they’d like to make, then it’s your responsibility to coach them through the process explaining in detail the pros and cons of their decision. This way the client/stylist partnership is maintained and you have just added an extra layer of trust to this relationship for years to come.

  • by Coral Lahiani, Cosmetologists Chicago Board of Directors

Coral Lahiani

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Love Heals Events Hosts Fundraiser for Reclaim 13 and Eyes On Cancer

Love Heals Events is a small group of women who have a heart to serve the community in which they live. One of those members, Becky Spence, has been a hairdresser and educator for more than 25 years. She has participated in many hair shows in her career and now wants to produce one that has an even larger impact in bringing awareness and changing lives.

This year’s event, hosted and sponsored by the Compass Church in Naperville is entitled the Love Heals Beauty Event. The evening will include well known artists such as Jeanne Braa Foster and up and coming artists, as well as technique education, inspirational messages, testimonies, live music, art, fashion, makeup, choreography, comedy and more. The aim is to inspire others to engage in the community and actively participate in any way possible for the causes represented.

Starting at 7pm on September 15, 2017, the fun-filled event will be centered around two organizations, Eyes and Cancer and Reclaim 13, both of whom are bringing awareness, education and services to the community.

In December 2016 the State of Illinois passed a law that requires continuing education for cosmetologists on domestic violence awareness. This factor combined with the available education around visible cancer systems makes those in the hair and beauty industry true first responders.

Both Reclaim13 and Eyes on Cancer founders will be sharing their personal stories on what transformational life events have inspired their courageous leadership to invoke change personally, in their local communities and with national organizations that are catalyzing awareness and providing support.

Tickets are on sale now. The fundraiser also continues to seek additional sponsors. Each corporate organization and individual can help do their part by participating thru sponsorships, donations and ticket sales.

Featured sponsors to date include: Pivot Point Academy, Paul Mitchell the school, Ulta Beauty, Amber Waves, Zano Salon, Modern Salon, The Compass Church, Intersog Inc. and Hilton Lisle.

About Love Heals Events, Reclaim13 and Eyes on Cancer

Love Heals Events is a small group of women who have a heart to serve the community in which they live. Each member of this group strives to make a difference and they work directly “hands-on” with such organizations as Bridge Communities, Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital, Naperville Marathon,

Reclaim13, Eyes on Cancer, Celebrate Recovery and Feed My Starving Children.Their goal is to transform the lives of those who need the help and those who give it; by donations of money, time and helping hands.

The Eyes On Cancer’s goal is to reduce cancer fatality thru education and awareness especially to first line responders in the beauty industry that are naturally in a position to spot skin cancer/melanoma at its earliest stages.

Reclaim13 seeks to save our children who have been caught up in sex trafficking through healing, equipping and prevention. They aim to share love, awareness and care with those at risk or who have been victimized.

For more information visit

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