Take a look at interviews with Top Lash Artists about the life and challenges of Amy Dickerson, Emily Phelps, Aurélie Longuet, Verlee Gumban, and Angela Chandler today.
It’s not every day that you get inspired and decide to be a lash tech. But if you’re thinking of choosing lash extensions forever, then what you need to do most is listen to other lash artists. It can help you evade the challenges and make better opportunities for your career.
Truth be told, when I was starting out, what really helped me was listening to experts. That’s primarily why I’ve decided to join hands with Dolvlashes and offer the best of mentorship services to upcoming artists via this blog section. Don’t hesitate to ask me anything anyway via Dolvashes because we are one of the star China eyelash extension manufacturers.
But, let’s keep that aside and find out how the top five lash artists are faring and how they came about. The following paraphrases interviews from five lash artists around the world so that you can quickly understand their lives, achievements, and merits easily. There are many golden tips to rake in, especially if you’re just starting out as a lash artist.
Owner of Live Love Lash, Amy is a Master Stylist, and Trainer for Xtreme Lashes. She’s also known as the Keep Of The Lashes
Question 1. Why are you named the Keeper Of The Culture?
Answer: Amy’s business card says ‘Keeper Of The Culture’ of Live Love Lash and not the owner. This is because she loves to teach, inspire, and support other lash artists throughout their journeys. She proudly helps artists and sets them up for success on their beauty expertise. Amy even wants her students to surpass her talents. She’s known for accepting and adapting to new trends that her students get interested in constantly.
Question 2: How did Amy get started with lashes?
Answer: Post her job working on cruises, she became an art auctioneer who traveled the world far and wide. Amy married and moved to Wisconsin afterward with her husband. However, she failed to find relevant jobs in Madison, where she’d settled at the age of 29.
What turned out to be the U-turn of her life was lash extensions that she’d tried way back when in 2004 during her life around LA. What grabbed her most was the ease and effortlessness of eyelash extensions. She tried to find a lash extension salon near Madison, but failed to do so and had to drive all the way to Chicago that was three hours away.
In the flash of a moment, Amy realized that’s what she wanted to do. She did her diligent research and found the most popular lash academy started by the ICU nurse Jo Mousselli. Amy did her aesthetician course and got her license before training with Xtreme Lashes to start her own studio in Madison in 2006. Eventually, she realized Wisconsin wasn’t the best option during her life as an educator for Xtreme Lashes and hence moved to Denver. She eventually opened her own studio in Cherry Creek with another woman.
15 years later, Live Love Lash is history with over 25 employees and two locations in the United States.
Question 3: What are the services offered by Live Love Lash?
Answer: Offering lash treatments for both men and women, Amy’s services include Xtreme Lashes extensions, lash lifts, lash tints, microblading, makeup, spray tanning, hair removals, and facials.
Question 5: What Does Amy Plan To Do In The Future?
Answer: Being a female entrepreneur who likes to take life as it is, Amy likes to venture into new things without any hesitation. That being said, she has concrete plans to expand into more locations besides offering mentorship to small businesses. If time allows, she’ll start a book or a podcast too.
Question 6: What are Amy’s favorite shopping destinations in Cherry Creek?
Answer: Her favorites around Cherry Creek include Garbarini, Denver Darling, Mariel, and Ever Eve. She also doesn’t stick to just one style throughout the day. With most days starting in heels, she often switches to heels or tennis shoes for the afternoon before moving back into heels for meetings in the evening.
Her current studios include one in Cherry Creek and the other in Highlands. Find more about Live Love Lash.
Question 1: What inspired Emily to start doing lashes?
Answer: Now believing that eyes are the window to the soul, Emily believes that if your skin looks good without makeup, the better makeup will look on your skin. She exclaims that being drawn to beauty was her everyday chore. Starting from college where she lent clothes to her friends and did her friends’ makeup, Emily loved makeup, and skincare since she ever became aware of it.
Emily entered the beauty industry with skincare. But eventually, she realized her true passion was to make other women feel beautiful. Since she became an expert on lashes, Emily found it impossible to leave the house without them.
Question 2: Which are the top challenges faced by lash artists in this field?
Answer: There are a couple of challenges for lash artists today. The first thing that bugs her is the misinformation that eyelash extensions aren’t safe. With many clients believing they’re damaging to natural lashes or that they rip out the natural lashes, it’s hard to convince them otherwise.
Yet another huge problem is when clients with one bad experience of say, botched lashes, end up thinking that all lash treatments are poor and unsafe. The problem she thinks is because lash treatments pay more to the technician and are more lucrative. That’s why there are many techs out there without enough experience. That’s why she urges lash artists to take their time learning the technique instead of being in a hurry. That being said, Emily has a record time of doing lashes in under an hour, thanks to her rigorous experience.
Question 3: What’s her favorite thing about being a lash artist?
Answer: When it comes to being an eyelash extension artist, Emily feels as if she has the power to impart women with the superpower of lashes. (If you ask me, it really is a superpower!) Emily believes that lash extensions are an easy prop to make women who wear them feel beautiful and sexy. She further adds that a woman who feels this can’t be stopped, no matter what. Her confidence radiates. Emily confesses that most of her lash clients claim they no longer need as much makeup as they used to. The best thing with most of her clientele is that they wake up feeling beautiful. In her original words “this is what I live for”.
Question 4: Which are Emily’s favorite makeup trends?
Answer: She is head over heels in love with the brushstrokes tattoo eyebrows. It’s a method that combines microblading. Emily exclaims it’s the best solution for those with thinning eyebrows. Also called hair stroke eyebrow tattoos, these are handmade and customized to suit individual clients. Unlike body tattoos, cosmetic tattooing uses pigments instead of ink.
Question 5: What are her favorite products Emily never leaves the house without?
Answer: This is an answer that comes easily to her. First, her nude lip gloss, then her eyeliner, and next, the concealer. That’s all!
Find more about her brand Eyelash Guru.
Smart, charming, and an expert lash tech, Aurélie Longuet is a master lash artist from Paris in France. She has three Misencil’s certificates where she is Level 1 in classic lashes, Level 2 in Star and Misentech training, and Level 3 in Russian Volume training.
Question 1: What’s the Longuet story about getting into lashes?
Answer: 30 years and going, Aurélie had a mix of career goals and jobs before she became a lash tech. Truth be told, she was even doing law when she first began working on lash treatments. But that’s another story because she didn’t continue law as she found her passion for being an eyelash tech.
Born to a Cambodian- French couple, she is the oldest of the six kids. Currently, she manages her own home studio in Paris for about three years. She got into lashing because she’d been getting extensions for over six years prior to learning the art. It was purely for fun that she first got into it and later realized it was her one true love.
First, she worked on two of her girlfriends tirelessly and the working on clients who gave her excellent reviews. That got her into thinking ‘why not make it her full-time job’.
Question 2: What’s your conclusion about being a lash tech?
Answer: She had zero fears when she started doing lash treatments at first. Overall, running her own lash business is something she absolutely loves doing. She loves organizing her calendar, setting up appointments, and spreading the word about her brand.
Aurélie aims to make the perfect lash treatments to suit every eye she works on. Her favorite part of the job is meeting great people and the personal contact she establishes for each person she works on.
Question 3: What makes you different from other lash techs?
Answer: Her main unique thing is that she isn’t a clock-watcher. While most of the lash techs are on a rat race on who can finish fast, Aurélie prides herself for never checking the time while doing lashes. Her goal is one- give every client perfect lashes, no matter how long or short it takes.
She also doesn’t think twice about investing in high-quality equipment and products to make the whole process super smooth. Another reason why new lash techs should look up to Aurélie is that she also follows up and keeps in touch with every one of her clients.
Question 4: What’s her signature style of lash treatment?
Answer: Most of Aurélie’s clients ask for a natural look. That’s why she is immensely experienced in doing perfect lashes. This lash tech doesn’t try to make dramatic or fake-looking lashes. Her motto is that lash extension should enhance the eyes of the client without making it look false or fake. This is the same reason why she prefers volume for lashes over length. Lastly, her signature move is to use matte finish lashes than shiny or glossy ones to complete the natural look.
Question 5: What’s your secret for getting and keeping lash clients for other artists?
Answer: She is all about perfection and comfort. Firstly, quality time and products are high up on her list of priorities. Good communication is also the highest priority. She never coaxes clients into getting falsies. Aurélie believes clients should take their own time to decide whether or not they want falsies. Lastly, she doesn’t have any problem saying no to clients who want treatments that might damage their eyes.
Owner of Lash Maven, Verlee is an aesthetician turned lash artist who switched from the food industry to beauty.
Question 1: What’s your story?
Answer: It was in 2010 that Verlee dived into the beauty industry from the food industry. The quirky thing is that she was least bothered about doing lashes when she finished beauty school and only took it to make sure none of her clients who wanted to do lashes would go empty-handed.
After learning to do lashes and seeing its impact, she just chucked her original idea and went all into lashes. Truth be told, for Verlee, switching to the beauty industry was a finite choice because she wanted to build a business where she could set her own hours. It even did her good because of the ‘keen eye’ she developed from the beauty industry. Being a QA, lash treatments and the attention to detail it demanded was the right fit for her.
Verlee also reached out to the business coach Aaron Keith from Ascension Programs right when she began. Using the coaching services, she was fully booked within 4 months of starting her own business. Today, Verlee has a thick list of clients that were built with the help of word of mouth referrals and trust alone.
Question 2: What are the top challenges you faced when coming into the beauty industry?
Answer: There were many challenges for this lash tech. Her first biggest hurdle was working on her own after being acquainted with teamwork. Verlee says she missed having a manager to ask for cues to proceed or a supervisor to oversee her and point out her concerns or problems.
Truth is, sooner than later Verlee understood as a lash tech running her own business, it was no one’s but her own duty to assume the role of a manager to a supervisor and everything in-between. She goes on to exclaim she had no idea she had to be her own accountant, IT support, marketer, sales exec, and even cheerleader. While she just wanted to make other women feel pretty by applying lashes, there were a ton of other responsibilities that were now added to her plate.
One of the most important things that have helped her to keep going is her own support network that keeps her motivated so that she never feels down. Above all, she loves the exciting opportunity where every new day opens with a learning experience.
Another huge challenge that Verlee came by was saying no. While she wished she had all the time in the world, saying ‘no’ at the right time was an incredibly-important lesson that she learned hard. With family, her own hobbies, and other things, although she didn’t want to let anyone down, saying no reinstated her goals and aspirations better than saying yes to everything.
Question 3: What makes you and your business different from other techs?
Answer: Currently the owner of Lash Maven Boutique, Verlee does excellent Russian Volume lashes. As she doesn’t do anything other than lash treatments, she’s an expert in the lash world. For Verlee, doing a lash treatment is dependent on the brow shape of the client, the eye shape, and even the career they’re engaged in. She’s all about custom eyelashes.
Her specialty? Russian Volume. She says when this trend hit the market in 2013, she attended the first-ever North American ‘LashBloom’ conference that was held in Chicago. The same is where she got trained by some of the world’s best lash artists. She also mastered volume lashes during the same time. Her signature feature is creating falsies-looks that look natural on clients as if they don’t have any lashes on.
Verlee says she loves the feedback she gets from clients who mostly say they’re complimented by friends and family saying their falsies always look original. And the best thing in her salon? Heated spa bed that’s known to relieve her clients and offer them the most refreshing session ever.
Question 4: What’s your next milestone?
Answer: Verlee wants to expand to new locations now that her new salon on 101 Coast Highway where she’s collaborating with Dawn Nicholas of Remedy Beauty and Relaxation Lounge in Encinitas. She’s working on things like progressive skin care treatments, body treatments, waxing services, falsies, massages, and reflexology techniques.
Owner of Lash Out Loud, Angela acquired the lash tech expertise in 2008 and opened her own establishment within a year.
Question 1: What’s your response to allergies from eyelash extensions?
Answer: Angela agrees that a small fraction of clients often ends up with allergies due to sensitive skin. This is not an allergy to falsies, but due to the products used in applying for the extensions. For example, lash glue, primer, and so on comes on this list. These often disappear after you remove the extensions.
The truth is such reactions have a chance of occurring in almost all cosmetic treatments like pedicures, manicures, facials, hair smoothening, perming, makeup, and so on. But most times, allergies are a result of natural things and seldom chemicals. That’s because any item that’s rejected by the body turns up as swelling and allergies. With synthetic materials, the chance of this rejection is even higher. Such a problem happens when lash extension products touch the skin. And when done right, nothing EVER touches the skin.
Angela quotes Doug Schoon, a cosmetic scientist who vouches that most of the time allergies are a result of vapors that are produced when falsies are applied to natural lashes. Any sensitive reaction is often the result of the lash application product touching the skin. For example, it may be caused by latex tape, cleansers, or gel pads that come into contact with the skin directly during application. Moreover, the skin under and around the lashes is the thinnest and hence, easily gets irritated.
With that said, most of the reactions seen from lash applications are actually the result of poor application of falsies or home care after the service is done.
Question 2: Is formaldehyde present in eyelash extension equipment or products?
Answer: No formaldehyde isn’t an ingredient in lash adhesives. As formaldehyde is a dry gas, it’s impossible to add. But formaldehyde is often released after the application of lash glue as a by-product. But this happens after months of natural breakdown and not right away.
The natural breakdown is seldom the cause because falsies are worked on every two to three months, which is the total time taken for natural lashes to grow. Lash techs who use glue that’s older than two months are to blame for this in other cases. Moreover, the amount of formaldehyde that most people are exposed to during lash work including the techs is so low that it’s impossible to cause irritations.
Question 3: What are the common irritants found in falsies and equipment used with them?
Answer: The common irritant with eyelash extension are stabilizers. Specifically speaking, this refers to MHQ or hydroquinone. The working process of this is that they don’t harden lashes right away. The function of stabilizers is to slow down the rate at which the glue solidifies.
In short, techs have about a second or two to place the lash extension. But there’s very little hydroquinone in the lash adhesive. In fact, it ranges below 0.01% and most of the topical skincare creams use this for lightening pigmentation-related issues. Hence, the risk due to hydroquinone irritation is extremely-low.
Question 4: Do people who get fake eyelash extensions need to take breaks from it?
Answer: Cosmopolitan Magazine reported that people who get lash extensions need to take a month off in between the use of falsies. They suggest such a break after every third application because falsies make the natural lashes brittle apparently. But this isn’t actually efficient or effective.
The morsel of truth according to Angela is that poorly-applied lash extensions end up causing damage. However, when done right, extensions can help in the growth of longer and strong natural lashes. Angela confesses that she was actually contacted by the magazine to support their claims. However, she responded with loads of research opposing their conclusion.
To this, Cosmo representatives asked Angela that they send her free publicity if she aligns with their version. Angela stood her ground and passed up this fine opportunity. She explains the routine of applying mascara and how application to removal ends up affecting or infecting the eyes badly in most cases.
On the other hand, washing your eyes is a priority for those who wear falsies, which retains the falsies as well as keeps your natural lashes healthy.
Question 5: What actually causes bacterial reactions with lash extensions?
Answer: It’s not the eyelash extension that causes reactions, but the method of application or home care itself. Not washing the lashes properly or washing them too soon can be a prominent cause of the same. Cleansers made especially for lash cleaning is exclusive for falsies and helps to prevent the growth of bacteria.
The above was a series of interviews with different lash artists taken from different interviews to help you understand how expert eyelash technicians navigate through their hurdles to start their own business or choose their vocation.
Most of the artists we’ve explained above were also featured in an earlier post where I go deep into their stories. Whether you’re just starting out or an established lash tech, these stories can inspire you to do better or even contour your career path in a better way. You can go to that post by clicking on the link ‘Top Ten Eyelash Extension Artists And Their Stories’.
Before you go, take a look at the industry statistics on eyelash extension trends first.