This post isn't just for new clients choosing lash artists but even those with lash artists already. This is a great way to ask yourself what matters to you.
Think about this, we are investing lots of money into getting eyelash extensions put on and then to maintain them. Why would you go see someone who does bad work? Why would you choose someone who makes you cringe every time you're in? Why would you choose someone who doesn't have your availability? It's not just about price, which is where most clients might put their priority, but about quality, respect, availability, ease of contact/booking, etc. Let's dive in!
Find someone within a distance you don't mind travelling. For example, I have travelled an hour to see someone who does great work and they had a schedule that fit my needs as a working mom, so I didn't mind it. In fact, I took that hour drive as ME time and listened to a podcast, grabbed a coffee and took the back roads just to enjoy my time there and back. Some might think that's a stretch to get a service, but if you don't mind doing that every 2-3 weeks, go for it. If not, find someone near you. As far as availability goes, make sure you are checking what their hours of availability are. So, before assuming they will bend over backwards to fit in to your schedule, look at their schedule......will you be able to commit to appointments every 2-3 weeks within their availability? If not, you may need to look elsewhere or make arrangements to make it work. I mean, would you want a customer telling you that you need to come in on your off day or late at night to get their product they want or their service right?
2. Portfolio of Work:
What about their photos? Do you know what their work looks like? Are there only stock photos on their website and social media? Can't really make out the lashes in the photos?Here's a way to spot red flags.
Are all their photos taken from far away and blurry? - this could be because they don't have a great camera, let's be real, BUT if most of their photos are from further away or blurry, it could be they aren't showing you the details for a reason. Many times when I've seen artist photos like this, it's because their work isn't clean enough for a close up and by clean, I mean, good, solid work with separation, clean eyes, etc.
Can you see chunks? - many times I see photos where there isn't a separation of lashes. Each lash is supposed to be isolated to attach a lash and when it's not, it can get stuck with other lashes. Seeing chunks in a lash line can mean improper isolation, they aren't letting their lashes dry long enough or they have a very slow adhesive or even that they are doing "volume" without training in volume. This I see a lot of. I've fixed many sets like this, because they claim it's volume, but they're just sticking lashes together or grabbing multiples and calling it volume. Avoid going to someone if you see that in multiple photos.
Do you see a lot of makeup on the lash line? - this could be that the client is wearing makeup, which you should NOT be wearing any makeup to an appointment, BUT it could also be that the lash artist isn't explaining the need for cleansing and providing the option to purchase a cleanser or that they aren't prepping before attaching lashes. Makeup creates a dirty barrier on the natural lashes. If the artist tries to attach an extension to the natural lash, it will stick to the makeup, not the lash, meaning they will most likely come off quickly, they may come off within a day or two or that they will stick together with the makeup and when you go to cleanse, a bunch come off, because they were stuck there with makeup instead of adhesive. So, not always the artist's fault, but we should be explaining to our clients the importance of aftercare and charging a lash bath if they don't follow through. I even have a hard time, because sometimes it goes through one ear, out the other even after explaining multiple times.
Do you see adhesive on the gel pads? - have you noticed dots or swipes of adhesive on the gel pads in photos? This is a common occurrence with new lash artists. Usually, this is because they don't know the proper amount of adhesive to use, so they grab too much and then swipe it off on the pad before applying the extension. What's bad about this is that once they swipe, the adhesive begins to cure, so it dries before applying. Another issue is that the adhesive on that gel pad is releasing vapors and will irritate the client's eyes throughout the service.
Do you see a lot of red eyes? - this could be a few things. One, it could be that the client's eyes were slightly open during the service, which allowed vapors to irritate the eyes. Two, is could be the eyes are dried out, because the adhesive pulls moisture when it's curing. Three, there could be an issue in taping, where either the eyes are taped up too much or gel pads/tape are too far close to the eyeball. Four, it could be just vapors irritating in general. If it's almost every client though, chances are it's taping. It may be uncomfortable the entire service if so. If ever your eyes feel uncomfortable, let your artist know. It's usually as simple as them adjusting the tape/gel pads.
Do people's eyes look heavy or droopy? - this is usually because the artist isn't sizing correctly. This can happen not only from too long or thick of lashes, but it can happen from using the wrong curl or even just improper styling altogether. On myself for example, I can't have a cat eye styling or J or C curl. My eyes will look droopy if I have any of those. I don't personally care for having clients choose their styling and instead I focus on asking them if they want them curled, if they like length, where they focus mascara on, lifestyle, etc. So, make sure people aren't looking droopy in photos.
3. Styling I feel like this one blows over people's heads, because we are used to being able to just walk into a nail shop or hair salon and ask for something and typically getting it. Now, I won't generalize, because I know there are hair stylists and nail artists out there that are like, "wait what? No!". My point is that many people think if they want LONG lashes, they will get long lashes, but your natural lashes are the judge of that.
What are you wanting out of your extensions?
Super long, touch your eyebrows or super thick?
Maybe don't go see someone who's work showcases more natural styling and sizing.
Remember, you are coming to see someone for their work, so if their work is not reflective of what you want, you may want to either ask them if it's possible or find someone else who will give you what you are looking for. Keep in mind though that again, your natural lashes determine what you can get. I always hear people wanting MORE, LONGER, FULLER, etc, but your natural lashes may only be able to hold up to a certain size and you need to come to terms with that. It's not that an artist doesn't want to give you that, but maybe your natural lashes won't support it and if that's the case, they're helping you out, because your lashes will stay healthy rather than break off or permanently lose lashes if the correct sizing isn't used.
4. Personality I can say very openly and honestly, I am NOT for everyone, but that's the case with most people in general right?
Do you love to talk and wave your hands around and be loud during appointments? Someone, like me, who is fairly quiet and encourages little talking is probably not the best fit for you. Eyes and lashes move when you're talking and it makes it much harder to focus on lashing when your eyes are going crazy. It's not personal lol.
Find someone you respect and enjoy being around. I know me being fairly quiet, I don't mind either, just as long as they do good work and are kind to me. If the artist is more talkative, I'll talk and if they're quiet, I'll enjoy some relaxation, so I'm pretty flexible. Find someone you vibe with.
5. Ease of Booking I'm a sucker for online booking. If someone doesn't have online booking, it's not a deal breaker but I'm much less likely to attempt to book an appointment.
- So, is it easy to contact them?
- Are you able to book online?
I've contacted beauty pros asking for an appointment and not gotten a response for weeks. I've tried to book online and their system was only showing each day you selected and wouldn't just show me what was available. I've booked online where my appointment was rejected because they didn't want to do that service that day.
So, what's important to you?
For me, I want to be able to book online and have the ability to text them if I need help with anything. I also love being able to cancel or reschedule my own appointments so I don't have to go back and forth with someone. 6. Do They Care? There are people who literally don't care. Seriously.
Do they share education?
Do they provide you with info on how to care for your lashes?
Do they tell you about your natural lash health and how it plays a role in extensions?
Do they talk you off the cliff of wanting stripper lashes when you're a teacher by day?
Are they asking if you're comfortable?
Do they care...?
There are people who will just fill on top of your dirty lashes, give you some unhealthy sizes, glue your lashes together, cancel your appointments all the time, etc. While it may seem convenient and they're nice, are they protecting your investment, are they advising you of cleansing so you avoid an infection, are they keeping your natural lashes in mind and are they being helpful?
Each artist is going to be different and the costs are going to vary if they work for themselves vs. they're an employee at a salon. Artists take into account the years of experience they have, the supplies they use, additional training they do frequently, etc. A full set could easily range from $100-350, easy, depending on the technique.
I've seen Classic Sets run $100-200, Hybrid $150-250, Volume $170-300, Mega Volume $190-350. Again, prices are going to vary. Someone starting out may have cheaper rates and with that comes less experience. If you don't mind someone just starting out for a cheaper price, go for it! Be careful that you are still having a comfortable experience though (you shouldn't feel pain or discomfort). If you are wanting to have a very personalized experience, someone with years on them with great work is more up your alley and same if you are nervous about your first time.
You will get what you pay for though usually., so keep in mind.
The full set is a big cost up front, but where you want to pay attention is fills. Fills are usually every 2-3 weeks, so keep in mind the price you are willing to pay 1-2 times a month to maintain your lashes and find a service and artist that fits that.
Basically, do your research and ask questions if you need to!
Don't ever feel like you can't ask questions before booking and it's okay if you don't vibe with someone after seeing them, just remain kind to them as a person.
We all have different training, different experience levels and methods of styling. Lashes are an art to us, so appreciate it but find someone who's art speaks to you!