In addition to NAHA, each year, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) hosts Beacon, a program to promote student stylists and help guide them from student to professional. Building your portfolio is so vital to honing your craft and really stretching your creative muscles. If you are a cosmetology student in the US or Canada, this is a fantastic opportunity to start or add to your portfolio, as well as learn the ropes of entering competitions. All it takes is imagination and the willingness to explore it. Check out the guidelines for entering below!


The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) will begin accepting applications for Beacon 2015 on Monday, December 1, 2014. Beacon is open to students enrolled in an appropriate program (cosmetology, esthetics, nail technicians, etc.) in the U.S. or Canada between September 1, 2014 and March 19, 2015. Former Beacon winners and honorable mentions are not eligible to re-apply. The cost of entering is $50 for all applicants. All entries must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. EST (8:59 p.m. PST) on March 19, 2015. Beacon winners will be announced on May 4, 2015, from the Beacon Facebook page.



As part of the application process, entrants submit a professional resume, a letter of recommendation, a portfolio of images and a professional marketing piece. A panel of beauty professionals, including top salon and spa owners, manufacturers and distributors score each application based on professionalism and creativity. The top 100 entrants will be invited to attend Beacon with free tuition. The next 200 entrants with the highest scores will be invited as Honorable Mentions and pay a discounted tuition fee of $199. Cosmetology instructors and administrators are also encouraged to attend in support of their students and will be offered discounted tuition to attend PBA Beauty Week with their winning students.

The Beacon Educational Program gives cosmetology, nail and esthetician students a strong foundation for a career in the beauty industry. By entering the Beacon competition, students develop a professional business portfolio that aids their transition into the workplace. Top students who are invited to attend the Beacon program during PBA Beauty Week learn the business of beauty by networking with top salon owners and by attending industry events such as the PBA Business Forum, the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) and Cosmoprof North America. Beacon also features specialized educational sessions that give students training in resume writing, interviewing, leadership and entrepreneurial strategies within the professional beauty industry. For event dates, application tips and an entry checklist, please visit