First of all, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read my blog. It really means the world to me that you’re here! As my first blog post I thought it would be most fitting to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my lash journey.
Prior to starting a career in the beauty industry, I was a full-time model. Although this sounds glamorous, and at times it was, It also meant that I was often far from home. I had very bizarre hours, some months I was doing photoshoots back to back and hardly had a moment to pause. Other times, there was nothing. It wasn’t exactly sustainable long term and because I was away most weekends with work, I missed out on a lot of important family events and had to sacrifice time spent with my friends. I was also very much aware of the expiration date on being a full time model. So I decided to venture away from modeling and into the world of beauty.
One of my favorite photoshoots - Dando London Catalogue
I took my first classic lash course about 7 years ago at a beauty college in Whitby, Ontario. I was so excited because after just 4 short days of in-class training, I was going to be taking clients at $120 a pop! Do you know what that means? I will be making BANK! At least that is what I thought. I quickly realized that this is a skill just like any other, and a hard one to master at that. So, I finished my training and my first full set of lashes (which was my practical exam), and set a goal to practice on friends and family as much as possible.
I used a J curl. Do they even make J curl anymore? lol
Now with the first certification under my belt, it was time to practice! I dragged my foldable lash bed, my pot of individual loose lashes and my lash puffer over to my friend Mare’s house and got to work. Five hours later I was so excited for my friend to open her eyes and see the glamorous set of lashes that I had just adorned her eyes with. There was only one problem. She couldn’t open her eyes. I had glued them shut! I was mortified. It took me another hour just to remove everything so that she could open her eyes. This is why I always stress to my students the importance of practicing on friends and family before taking on clients.
After a few more failed attempts practicing on friends and family, and not being successful I decided to put my kit away. Lashing, I had concluded, just wasn’t for me.
Although being a lash artist did not work out, I knew I still wanted to be in the beauty industry. So, In the fall of 2014 I decided to take the medical esthetics program at a beauty college. My goal was to work in a plastic surgeon’s office doing skincare services and laser treatments. As part of the course curriculum I had to complete 600 practical hours in the school spa. When the spa director found out that I was able to do lash extensions, she asked if I wanted to do them as part of my clinical hours, and that I can get paid for it. So I thought, "I can finish out my clinical hours, improve on a skill that I had previously given up on, AND get paid for it?" It was an absolute no brainer.
The first set I did at the school spa. It took 4 hours to complete.
Once I had finished my clinical hours, my lash technique had improved so much that I decided to keep going and take a few more lash courses. These included another Classic and Russian volume training with Lia Lash Pro, and an eye styling course with Frankie Widdows.
With only three or four regular clients I did what most people would call very foolish, I rented a room in a salon. I just knew that I had the passion and determination to make it work. That and I had nowhere else to lash and did not want to work for a bigger lash company where they would be reaping the benefits of my hard work.
Side note: When you work for someone else you generally have to sign a contract that says if you leave you will not be taking clients away from the studio. So all the ground work you did for yourself while you were there goes out the window. They also take a large portion of what you make and have more control over who you are taking on as a client, your hours and how many clients you are taking a day. It's a great option for some artists but it wasn't for me.
After only three months of hard work in my new Lash Room I had enough clients to cover rent and supplies. At the time that was enough for me. I kept on lashing and building my brand and my business. I put so much energy into social media, customer service and taking as many lash courses as possible that before I knew it, I was booked solid.
A couple years later I was approached by a beauty school to teach the classic eyelash extension training. I was so flattered and accepted the position. For roughly six months I taught large class sizes once a week. I loved working with the students but I noticed so many flaws in the curriculum. I approached the Dean of the school and asked to do an overhaul of the course. She shot me down. It felt morally wrong to continue teaching at the school. Especially because the lash industry isn't regulated the way other industries are, I wanted to help maintain high standards in the industry, and not contribute to bringing them down. So I resigned and started my own journey to become a trainer.
Now with seven (soon to be eight) eyelash extension certificates and a medical esthetics diploma under my belt I have created in depth educational lash courses that I am so proud of. One of them being an online lash lift and tint course that took one year to complete. The Lashing Room has trained and certified 200 students over the past two and a half years.
It is my goal to bring confidence to each lash artist that trains with me and to ignite their passion for the industry. When I first considered taking the lash course, it wasn't because I had a passion for eyelash extensions. To be honest, I just felt like I needed a fresh start. I needed something that was not based on looks alone and something that I could make my own. I never thought that it would bring me this far. I feel truly blessed to have found an industry that I have such a passion for. To be able to teach others this skill and inspire them to start their own business or become more independent is the biggest reward for me. That is why I do it. What’s your why? I love getting to know new people who are as passionate about lashing as I am. Comment below!