5 Questions with Cate Tool: school director, EG graduate, & yoga lover

Since attending the Elizabeth Grady School in 1991, Cate Tool has worked in our salons, taught courses in esthetics, and is now the director of our school. You might see her holding an impromptu meditation session with students or excitedly guiding tour groups through the school’s sun-filled classrooms. With over 26 years experience, we thought it was a good idea to sit down with her and see why she chose Elizabeth Grady and what makes this industry so special.

Why should students choose Elizabeth Grady?cate back bend


Students who are passionate about helping others, passionate about skin care and makeup, and passionate about the healing capabilities of touch and massage have the opportunity to get a comprehensive education in a community of others, students and faculty, who share the same passions.

When did you know this was the industry for you?

Perhaps I didn’t know it then, but, in retrospect, there were quite a few clues. Clue 1: As early as age four, I couldn’t wait for the monthly visit from the neighborhood Avon lady. I would always ask if I could have a lipstick sample and beg my mother to order me a pin in the shape of a kitty. When you lifted its head, there was a pan of solid perfume beneath. Clue 2: Around age seven I reserved the largest drawer in my bedroom bureau for my collection of perfume and cosmetic bottles. Clue 3: Soon after, I received a Barbie head for hair styling and makeup application. It was my favorite pastime. It wasn’t until many years later—and several years working in the industry—that a photographer friend told me he would like to photograph me with makeup, because I seemed happiest when shopping for cosmetics! It was at that moment I knew I made the right decision.

What’s your favorite treatment available in our student clinic?

Massage. I practice yoga regularly, so it’s always nice to give my muscles a treat.

What’s the one product you won’t leave home without?

Well, first, I’d have to say my yoga mat! I’m also never without my Elizabeth Grady Pure Mineral Base in warm. I’ve tried so many other foundations, but I always come back to this. Plus, I can wear it on its own in the summer, or layer it over a cream foundation in the winter. It’s wonderful.

What would you consider your motto to be?

Winston Churchill is quoted with saying, “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.” I truly believe that.

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