· By Carlee Workman
3 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Lash Tech
I first started lashing in April of 2009. As I come up on my 13 year anniversary, I remember what it was like starting as a lash artist fresh out of school. We’ve all seen those “Instagram vs. Reality” posts – and that’s what it felt like!
Don’t get me wrong; getting into the world of lashing has been one of the greatest joys. But like anything else, it isn’t glamorous 100% of the time.
Hindsight is 20/20 and while there is nothing I would change about my journey, I hope my experience can help new lash artists who are interested in starting this exciting path. If I could rewind time and talk to my younger self, this is what I’d say:
1) Take care of yourself
This is a loaded piece of advice – and applicable to most areas of life! Please remember to take care of yourself. It sounds silly, because how could you forget? But trust me, it’s so easy to overwork yourself. As a new lash artist, you may be tempted to work as much as humanly possible. And while practicing frequently is crucial to developing your skills, more clients does not always mean better. Know your limits and trust your intuition when it’s becoming too much. After all, practicing won’t mean anything if your work is sloppy because you are fatigued. (Side note: it could also be dangerous for your clients!)
Lashing is a delicate process, and artists are prone to eye strain. The same goes for our backs and hands! If you want to be doing this for a long time, you need to start taking care of them. Treat them as you would your most precious tools – because that’s what they are! Set reminders for breaks to stretch, eat, and drink water.
Burnout is very real, and it can feel impossible to escape once you’re in too deep. I reached that point when I was working with a large volume clientele. Seriously, I was ready to tell them I wasn’t doing volume sets anymore! Then I discovered premades, which felt like a lifeline, and I naturally fell into starting Lash Reality once I saw how premades reignited my love for lashing. Now, I’m blessed to be sharing my love for them with all of you!
2) Establish boundaries
Another tip that is applicable outside of lashing: establish boundaries! Every lash artist has stories about overbearing or pushy clients. And although most are well-meaning, they can take advantage of you if you aren’t firm. For instance, if you are fully booked and a client is badgering you to still take them at the last minute – know when to say no. At the end of the day, any client that respects you and your work will understand. If they don’t, then see the previous point: quality over quantity.
Establishing boundaries can feel foreign if you’re not used to it. However, if you want to avoid problematic client behavior, it’s a necessary step. The first thing to setting boundaries is learning to communicate effectively. Not everyone will have the same communication style as you, but everyone is receptive to kindness! The next most important thing is respecting your time. There are extreme situations where staying late may be fitting, but don’t allow anyone to take advantage of you to suit their schedule. Lastly, say what you mean. Don’t feel guilty for putting your needs as a priority. When you do these things, you are saving yourself trouble down the road!
3) Understand the business aspect of lashing
I wrote about this in my last post, Common Mistakes New Lash Artists Make, but I’ll go more in-depth about it here. Being a lash artist is more than just artistry. As a lash tech, you’ll have to wear many hats. You’re a customer service representative, a marketing manager, business and operations manager – heck, even a therapist sometimes!
To do this profession successfully, you have to be constantly learning. The lash industry has boomed over the last decade and is always evolving. The trends and techniques of 5 years ago are not the same ones we use today. The same applies to how we advertise our services and reach clients. Lashing requires flexibility and a love for learning. If that excites you, then you are in the right place!
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