If you’re anything like me, you wanna be the best, and you want it right away. Like... an hour into your first lash course! lol The bad news is, in order to get really good at lashing, you have to work through the struggles and really practice a lot in order to build your skill set. The good news is, I’m breaking down the focus points for the beginner lash artist that will have you producing better sets much faster and help you build a really strong foundation for growing your clientele and establishing your business!
If you make it a point to prioritize these key practices and fundamentals of lashing, I promise you, you’ll be on your way to lash mastery in no time! First, let me share a little back story on the mistakes I made and how I developed this beginner’s guide:
When I first started lashing, I got hired at a lash salon and I was actually pretty good only a couple months into my lash journey! I was OBSESSED with lashes and wanted to do ALL the different shapes and techniques and just forget how unfamiliar and still tricky the application was to me. I’ll never forget though, the owner had me do a full set for her to review and her biggest critique was that I should really focus on my inner corners.
Well, the inner corners were hard for me, so I was creating these great lashes, the shape was on point, the lash line was pretty full, but I pretty much ignored that inner corner! Which made all the effort I had put into the set, kind of pointless! If the inner corners are bare, the set looks incomplete and anyone looking at the lashes, is drawn to that ugly blank space and not all the other beautiful lashes that were placed!
As much as I didn’t want to hear it... it was great advice. I started focusing more on the foundation of my skill set, less on advancing beyond my current capabilities, and my work improved. I started delivering sets to clients that were neat and a more complete shape, and that lasted until their next fill. Those clients stuck with me, because they knew I was only going to get better and they were happy with their lashes in the meantime.
Here are the things I was focusing on:
Having lashes in every zone.
Fullness comes with time - a complete shape that’s more sparse, looks much better than a fuller set that’s missing lashes in any portion. Meaning it has no inner corners, no middle, or no outer portion.
Focus on placing an even amount of lashes in all three portions, on both eyes, before you start to build on the fullness. That way, even if they leave looking more sparse, their set will look more like normal lashes and not like they are in desperate need of a fill already. You want your client to leave with at least a more complete shape and even looking eyes, despite if you didn't get them as full as you'd like.
If you break the lash line up into at least 3 zones, (preferably more like 5 - for a more dynamic, styled shaping) you’ll achieve a more complete shape that will include an inner corner, a middle portion and the outer portion. You can do this by mapping out your design on the gel pad with a fine point sharpie, which is great for helping you successfully execute your design, or even just in your mind and by visually looking at the lash line. Either way, the point is to make sure you’re ALWAYS placing lashes in every zone, not just the areas or natural lashes that are easiest to do!
*Bonus tip: if you’re super slow (and don’t worry, even the best started out incredibly slow!) then apply extensions that are similar to the natural lashes, so that when your model leaves with a minimal amount of extensions, they’ll blend into their natural lashes well and not look super sparse. For example, if their lash line is similar to a .10 C curl 9mm length, either apply exactly that, or just go a tad bit longer and/or slightly more curled and/or up a bit in diameter.
I might do:
.10 CC 10mm - just to give them a bit of a variance with the NL and extension curls for a really pretty textured side view of the lash line. The extensions will be hardly noticeable, just giving off a little more darkness and fluffiness at the tips with her natural C curl and the new CC curl! They will be about the same length, since a more curled 10mm is about as long as a less curled 9mm!
The next fundamental focus point is having a clean application, and that comes down to 5 main components, which are:
Having proper and well done isolation. This means that there are no two lashes stuck together. Each extension or fan is adhered to only one natural lash. This is important because not only will stickies pull out natural lashes prematurely, as they are all growing and shedding at their own rate, but it will also cause your client a lot of discomfort as they will tug on other lashes and get caught on their lash brushes, much like a knot in your hair when you try to brush it. Losing lashes means losing customers, and causing them discomfort will not bring them back to you either. Isolation is SO key!
Appropriate amount of adhesive. This is important when it comes to clean application, because too much adhesive can cause chunks on the lash line, which will be uncomfortable and unsightly, but also because it can cause the lashes to become stuck together. Again, stuck together lashes will be uncomfortable for your client, make the lashes look bad, and cause premature lash loss by the lashes pulling each other out.
Secure bonds with the extension's base to the natural lash.. MAJOR KEY ALERT! You simply cannot have a clean application of lash extensions, or great retention, if your bonds are not flush with the natural lash. It’s important to look closely at your bonds while you work and ensure the bases are not crossing or popping up from the natural lash. As all natural lashes lay at different angles, you’ll need to adjust the angle of your wrist as you place the extensions, to ensure the base matches up with the angle of the natural lash. For example, imagine a straight natural lash, and angling your wrist and top of your placement tweezer away from you, the extension base may be aiming upright and end up crossing the natural lash instead of bonding to it securely and seamlessly. Now imagine that NL and angle your wrist and top of your tweezer towards you… now your extension base may end up underneath the NL.
Placing extensions just far enough away from the lash line to not touch the skin is important for a few reasons. If you’re too close, you risk adhering to the skin, which will cause discomfort when the lash wants to grow out, or it will prohibit the growth process entirely. The base will also poke into the client’s lid and be very uncomfortable. Placing too far away will have the extensions looking already grown out and also cause twisting and drooping from the weight they’d be applying to towards the end of the NL versus being closer to the root.
Placing your extensions with proper direction, means that your lashes are all aiming upward, or outward if you’re going for a swooped look, and that they aren’t looking criss crossed. Basically you want all of the tips aiming in the same direction, for an overall very neat and clean look. If your lashes are aiming left and right and only some are upward, the set will look messy, and the eye of someone looking at the lashes, will be drawn towards those skewed extensions, versus just admiring the overall beauty of the set. There’s intentional messy/textured sets, and then there’s just poorly placed extension- messy. One is pretty, one is a bad look.
Speed, fullness, advanced styling, different techniques, your dream clientele, etc., will all come in time. I promise though, they’ll come a lot sooner if you really prioritze the quality of the work you’re producing and providing!
Hope this is as helpful to you as it was for me in the early days of what later became a 6 figure lash business! I know you can do the same with yours!