5 Things We WISH We'd Known As Beginners!
Starting a career in eyelash extensions is a no-brainer, but the real learning curve comes once we have our certificate and we’re working on real paying clients. Here are 5 things we wish we’d known (or at least known better) when we first started doing lashes.
Isolating Only Perfect Lashes Isn’t Going To Help You
We all know we need to isolate the lashes before we place an extension, and we know we need to do it well so that we can avoid stickies. One thing that we might not consider when we first start lashing is that we shouldn’t just be isolating the perfect lashes – when we first start lashing, it’s so easy to only want to isolate and lash those lovely long, thick lashes because they’re easier to apply extensions to than the fine, short, wiggly ones. The only problem with that is that by the time we come to those trickier lashes, our eyes will be more tired and we’ll have an even harder time applying extensions.
Full coverage is something that we’re all aiming for anyway, so instead of spending time trying to find the next perfect lash just apply the next lash you isolate and get them all covered. It’ll speed up your working times and it’ll make your lash sets much neater overall, not to mention boosting your confidence!
It’s Not A Race
Speed isn’t everything! You’ll see all sorts of lash hacks, tips, tricks, social media posts and all sorts explaining how to speed up your lashing times and while it’s not a bad thing to speed up your appointment times to make your clients happy, it’s not worth sacrificing quality for.
When you do everything you can to speed up your lashing time, you run the risk of more stickies, of messier sets, and of bad retention resulting from using glue that’s too rapid for your actual working speed – none of which are ideal!
Lashing takes as long as it takes, and it’s something that you will get faster at the more you practice but you need to make sure you’re applying lashes safely and cleanly if you hope to ever be a true lash master.
Use Layers to Your Advantage
Okay, we know what we said in the last point but we also know that in some ways, it’s likely to be taken with a pinch of salt at best, at least for a while. With that in mind, one way that you can speed up your treatment time whilst still applying lashes safely and cleanly with proper isolation.
If you didn’t already know, eyelashes don’t only grow in one layer but in 3 or more, generally speaking. We can use those layers to our advantage!
Start by taking a piece of tape long enough to lift all of the lashes, and stick the ends of the tape to the eyelids. Next, take your isolation tweezers and carefully take the bottom layer of lashes down. Lash these, apply some Superbonder to cure the glue, and gently tape that layer down – again you’re just going to use the tape to weigh down the lashes, only sticking the ends down so that you don’t pull the lashes out when you remove the tape. Repeat this for the next couple of layers and when you’re done, use one pair of tweezers to hold down the taped down covered lashes to prevent them from being pulled (although you only stuck the ends down it’s quite normal to have applied a little pressure to the tape with your isolation tweezers without really realising it, so go slow here to prevent pulling)
Give the lashes a final brush and you’ll have a fully covered, fully fluffy set in a little less time and with way easier isolation!
Comparison Isn’t (Always) Your Friend
This isn’t a tip reserved just for beginners as it goes, it’s something that’s worth remembering time and again through your lash career and beyond. Do not compare your work or your journey to other people’s work and journey.
Each and every one of us learn at different paces, work in different ways, and excel at different things. By all means look to another tech for inspiration – maybe they are creating some absolutely stunning sets that you’d love to learn to recreate, or maybe they are rising in the industry really quickly. Being inspired by one another is really great and it’s what drives us – as individuals and as an industry – forwards. When we compare though, we’re liable to find faults or feel bad about ourselves when we’re actually doing a really good job.
The only lash tech you should be comparing yourself to is the lash tech you were a month ago – look how far you’ve come since then.
Poor Retention Is Usually Down To YOU
That’s right. We’re not here to sugarcoat this, it’s something you need to hear. We know that sometimes your client might actually be responsible if they’re not cleaning their lashes or if they’re in and out of saunas and hot yoga (extreme heat can soften cured glue, making lashes fall off prematurely and even increasing the client’s risk of an allergic reaction or chemical burns, so it’s well worth advising them of this!) but generally speaking, it’s on us as lash techs.
How often have you had an issue with retention, only to turn around and blame the glue? At least once, we’re willing to bet. The thing is though is that if you’re using the right speed of glue in the perfect room conditions, you shouldn’t be having any issues with retention… so long as you’re carrying out the proper pretreatment routine.
There’s a really good reason – a few, actually – that we recommend a 5-step routine to each and every lash tech, and that’s because we want you to have great retention and an excellent reputation as a result. We wrote a really in-depth post all about pretreatment which will help you, it does detail what you can cut if you’re pressed for time/budget as well, but trust us when we say the 5-step routine is the best possible thing for retention!
Back to your client though, just for a second. Let’s say your room conditions are perfect, your glue suits your placement speed and your pretreatment is stellar but your client is still coming to their three week fill with a few sad lashes hanging on for dear life – or worse still, texting you two days later that their lashes have fallen out – what then?
Take a minute to chat with them to understand if there might be something physiological going on; are they on any medications? Have they recently had some vaccinations? Could it be hormonal (ie. menopause, HRT, early/late stage pregnancy, etc.)? Usually, there will be something going on that you will be able to pinpoint as the reason for the lash loss, but you need to be willing to have some discussions with your client to get to the bottom of it.
There you have it, our top 5 things we wish we’d known at the very beginning of our careers. There are so many more things we could add to this list and perhaps one day we’ll write a follow up, but for now you can take these on board and up your lash game in 5 new ways!