Learn from my experience: Mistakes to Avoid as a New Lash Artist

8 minute read

Hi! I'm Hailey, founder and CEO of Lash Jungle. Before launching Lash Jungle, I had been running my own lash business for several years. Running a business was challenging, and as I worked solo (like most lash artists still do!), I encountered many problems as a beginner. Having gone through these problems myself and gaining experience and knowledge from running the biggest professional lash supply business, I want to help you avoid the same mistakes I made. Here they are, along with my top tips. 

Mistake 1. Not preparing natural lashes properly

When I was a beginner, I often hesitated to touch clients' lashes and eye area, not wanting to make them uncomfortable. Consequently, I frequently overlooked the preparation of natural lashes. However, I quickly realised that 'lash extensions do not attach to dirty lashes!' I would encounter clients who never washed their lashes or wore heavy makeup daily, leaving eyeliner and eyeshadow residue everywhere. It became clear you cannot lash under these conditions. My solution was always to provide a lash bath using lash shampoo. Clients liked it, and it left them feeling refreshed afterwards. For dirty lashes, ensure you wash them at least twice. If the foam disappears quickly, it indicates the lashes are still dirty or oily. In this case, wash again with your cleansing brush, ensuring deep cleansing. After the lash shampoo, you can skip the priming step and start lashing right away. You’ll notice the lashes will stick instantly, like a magnet.

Mistake 2. Buying lashes and adhesives from eBay or Temu

Starting my business on a budget, I aimed to keep costs low. This resulted in purchasing glues off eBay which arrived with no production dates listed; leaving me clueless about their lifespan and reliability. Many bottles emitted a super strong odour upon opening, and the consistency was super sticky, indicating they had already gone off. When I contacted the sellers, many did not respond. The ones that did took a long time to do so, only to claim there was nothing wrong with the glue and that the fault was mine. The lashes on the other hand, often lacked consistency. The materials were super stiff and diameters that didn’t match what was advertised. Many had no curl at all, flatter than a B curl! 

After numerous issues, I stopped purchasing from these dubious online sellers. I quickly realised the importance of buying from reputable brands that adhere to strict quality standards, and truly understand their products. However, the major drawback was the high cost of supplies from these 'reputable brands.' So, I started Lash Jungle PRO in 2020. Our mission has always been to assist lash technicians, with the help of my experience and knowledge. We pride ourselves in maintaining high product standards while offering affordable prices; considering many lash technicians in Australia work alone and part-time from home. I made sure to include reviews on our website so customers would know exactly what the products are like and what to expect.

Mistake 3. Using the wrong adhesive for my working speed

I always aimed to improve my retention and sought the strongest glue available. However, I soon realised that this was a mistake. Everyone has different working speeds and environments; thus, the strongest or fastest glue isn’t necessarily the best choice. Switching to a slower drying glue improved everything. Retention was better, and I could feel the lashes attach like never before. Still searching for your ideal glue? Try our short adhesive finder quiz.

Mistake 4. Using too much or too little adhesive

Determining the right amount of lash adhesive was tricky as a beginner. Using too little led to poor retention, while too much caused delayed drying, resulting in 'stickies' by the end of the appointment. It's important to check every lash before concluding the appointment (set aside 10 minutes for this). Since each lash has a different growth cycle, if lashes stick together, the first grown lashes could pull out the others, potentially causing permanent damage. 

Mistake 5. Not requesting for reviews and before/after photos

Reflecting on the business side, I realise that initially, I was too shy and lacked confidence. But in hindsight, actively seeking reviews (especially Google reviews) and before-and-after photos and videos is crucial. Especially when taking free models at the start, don't hesitate to ask for multiple photos and videos from different angles and create fun reels with them. Some clients enjoy featuring on your page! Ensure you compliment how beautiful their lashes look and consider using an app to blur their skin in photos (but never alter the lashes, as that would be dishonest). Good lighting is essential for quality photography. Make the room as bright as possible and use a macro lens to capture the details of your work. Once the pictures are taken, showcase them on your Instagram! After all, potential clients are likely to seek out your portfolio before deciding.

Mistake 6. Not striving to offer the best service

Clients come for lashes, of course, but they also seek a pleasant and relaxing experience. Going the extra mile can make a significant difference. Here are some of the things I offered my clients: 

  • Greet them by name upon arrival and offer hot tea on cold days, or a cold drink on hot days (but in small amounts to avoid mid-session bathroom breaks). 
  • Play nice, relaxing music instead of your personal preferences. If clients fall asleep, you're doing it right! 
  • Offer to charge their phones. Such small details go a long way! 
  • Use quality amenities in the bathroom and keep the room smelling nice. Upgrade your lash room with gorgeous lighting, lash bed covers, ergonomic pillows, or lash bed mattress toppers. Your clients will feel like they're on cloud nine! 
  • Check in with regular customers during slower periods to ask about their holidays, after care, inform them of lash shedding seasons or busy periods, and suggesting early bookings for infills. Express gratitude when they refer someone.  
  • Provide them with a loyalty card and offer a referral discount, to encourage them to continue choosing your services. For example, after five appointments, they can receive a free infill. If they refer a friend, they'll get $5 off their next service.  

Starting out a lash business requires wearing many hats—beyond lashing, there's administration, marketing, sales, bookings, cleaning, and more. But don't worry; you'll enjoy the journey and learn much along the way. Be sure to check out our other blog posts for free tips to succeed in the lashing industry. You can do this! 

Hailey xx