So, You Want to be a Lash Artist?

Written by Nicole Flevaris, Founder and President of The Lashe
Article Published in Dermascope

Eyelash extensions have proven to be a service that is here to say. The results are instant and can shave 10 years off a client’s face. It is a popular service, but very hard to find a great stylist. This is because the industry is in its infancy.

Depending on the state, eyelash extensions can be loosely or not at all regulated. This gives rise to many people claiming to be expert trainers. There are also many franchises popping up claiming to train in a day, or online courses that can certify in under three hours, with no hands-on training at all. It is even possible to be self-certified by visiting YouTube or Google, if ambitious.

However, even with all the possibilities of training, if a professional wants to become a great stylist, they need hands-on training. With extensions, there are two components: the technical aspect, such as adhesive usage, placement and attachment, and choosing the correct natural eyelashes to extend; and, the artistic component.

The Lashe

For most stylists, it takes a year or more of performing eyelash extensions to figure it out and truly become comfortable. Eyelash extensions are very fine detail work. Those who love beading, sewing, jewelry making, or miniatures, may thrive in this vocation.

Those interested in pursuing eyelash extensions should ask to shadow another stylist while they are performing the service. They should also seek out a reputable company who has a flagship salon that uses their products daily or a stylist that has many years under their belt. It is ideal to be trained by someone with at least three years of industry experience at a minimum – three years of consistently lashing. Someone who has less than that does not have enough experience to guide others.

The question, then, becomes with whom and for how many days should one shadow? Lashing is very intricate, so trainees should make sure the trainer lashes consistently and uses the products they are training with regularly. Look at the stylists work online, as well as reviews and their menu of services. Ask to meet the trainer in person or have a phone conversation to ask questions. Look around and find the right fit. Make sure, though, that the trainer has a good reputation with their students and will mentor. Ask to speak with some of their previous students and see where they are today. A mentor is crucial for this industry, as questions will arise. A mentor is essential because it is impossible to cover every technical or artistic possibility or problem that can arise during training.

A basic class should be at least three days long, with hands-on training. Training will not be complete in three days, though. Practice consistently for a month or so and take a follow up two-day class. It may take performing on 10 models a week, for a month, for a stylist to get their footing and become comfortable enough to tackle artistry.

Again, for professionals who love fine detail work and are patient, eyelash extensions are a great way to enhance their career. Clients are thrilled with the looks created for them and it is very gratifying work.