If you're new to lashes, you can be forgiven for feeling both excited and overwhelmed all at once! Starting out, the dizzying adjustment to oh so many moving parts: holding two tweezers and wondering if you’ve ever used your left hand before; the internal questioning of whether you’ll ever make any money after you’ve just spent 4 hours on a set; shaking hands not quite stilled by the paralysis of imposter syndrome. We get it, we’ve all been there and I’m here now, to tell you there is light at the end of the tunnel.
To support the new talent stepping into this wonderful industry of ours, I’ve made a list of the reflections that helped me overcome the challenges I faced when starting out.
Here’s my lash ready lowdown:
Strive for progress over perfection. All too often I hear ‘I’m a perfectionist so I’ll be good at lashing.’ Whilst it’s positive to hold your work to a high standard, it’s also important to take a deep breath and remember that perfection takes time. Striving for perfection before you reach the mastery phase will only leave you disappointed and dissatisfied in the long run. Absolutely continue to keep those standards high, but frame your focus on the small wins each time you complete a lash set. Whether it’s applying 5 extra lashes in less time, or getting 5 minutes faster with each set that you finish, doing a little bit better each day will build up to those bigger gains.
Practice, practice, practice. The only way to master any skill is through repetition and routine. Lashing is no exception to this rule: with each set that you complete you will start to feel more and more confident; when you feel confident you allow creativity to flow. Trust the process and commit to being in it for the long run. Like the very best lash adhesive, stickability is key!
Diversity. The lash spectrum is wide and the possibilities endless! Exploration of lash diversity through working on a range of models and clients allows you to experience different eyelashes and eye shapes. Subsequently, this will help you identify which styles will suit which eyes and will also help you navigate any challenges (filling out sparse lashes, isolating curly lashes etc) with ease.
You are your own competition. Lash mastery is a learning curve. Our industry is full of exquisite, established lash artists and it is only natural to look to them for inspiration. However, never ever compare yourself to anyone else! Natural instinct is inclined towards comparison, but one of the most important lessons I have learnt is that we can’t just compare like for like. You wouldn’t compare apples and bananas right? Equally, no human being can compare themselves to any other human: we are all so different. As an emerging artist, the only person you can compare yourself to is you. Naturally, we are all at different stages of our journey and we all have completely different styles of lashing but here’s enough light to shine on us all!
Advancement happens when you keep looking ahead. When race horses are racing, they have blinkers on so that they can only see ahead. Why? If they see the other horses to their left or right they will fall and lose the race - this applies to us too! Maintain a laser sharp focus on your journey and keep going forward; never look at what others are doing. There will no doubt be errors and obstacles along your path but don't let them throw you off course. Only look back to see how far you have come. You will get what you put in - I promise!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your trainer will always be happy to support you and answer any questions you have - after all, we all have experienced all the same issues. Whether the query of the day is a technical lash question, or how to market yourself, utilise all the support you can get and soak up the feedback you receive. Essentially, asking questions is a sign of strength and intelligence and a skillful mentor will recognise this.
Struggling to build your client base? Fear not: where attention goes, energy flows. Building your client base can take time and with any new venture you will have to find your way and flex different methods. Some may work and some may not; it’s all about trial and error. On occasion, it will be necessary to pause and consider whether you are doing enough to put yourself out there. We are privileged to live in a society where access to social media is free, limitless and there to be utilised for your business promotion. Not forgetting, the number one form of advertising out there is organic: word of mouth. Why not create a referral programme to encourage your existing clients to refer you to their circle? For example, refer a friend and both you and your friend receive 10% off your next lash appointment. Everyone’s a winner!
Price it right. Your price list should take into consideration your experience, the local price of lashes and the cost of products. With this in mind, don’t be tempted to undersell your services. To some, lower cost lashes can be an attractive prospect, but this doesn’t guarantee return custom and - more significantly - ‘cheap’ offers can often be associated with poor quality lashes. Instead, it’s more advantageous to offer an introductory price for a set amount of people which will also help you build your portfolio that you can then use to build your social media platforms. Heard of the scarcity principle? We’re talking limited offers, not lashes! For example, the first 10 people receive £15 off their first set and you gain 10 portfolio pictures for the gram …. and potentially 10 new returning clients.
So there you have it. It’s time for you to put our extensive lash tips to use and start growing your business.