Job Description (What the job involves)
An eyelash technician specialises in treatments that improve the appearance of our eyelashes. As well as applying lash extensions a qualified lash technician will also carry out lash tinting and lash perming treatments.
Lash extensions - These have come a long way from the false eyelashes of yesteryear that could fall off within hours of being applied and feel somewhat alien to your eyes.
Sure, lash extensions are synthetic but they both feel and look natural and typically last between 3-4 weeks. It’s no wonder that we all want a set!
Using the minutest amount of adhesive the technician will attach a single synthetic lash to one of their client’s existing natural lashes. This process is repeated countless times over and can see as many as 60 lash extensions applied per eye.It’s painstaking work and the technician will have to be careful to ensure that the correct amount of adhesive is used and that only one lash extension is attached to each natural lash hair.
The number and length of synthetic lashes applied will depend on the overall look that the client is hoping to achieve together with the length and density of their current lashes. Treatment time for the initial set can last anywhere between 1 and 3 hours.
After the initial set has been applied the lash technician will invite the client back after 2-5 weeks to get infills, essentially replacing lashes that have either fallen or grown out.
Lash perming - Yet another popular treatment for the lash technician to perform. A special type of glue is applied to the lashes which allows them to be curled evenly around a mini-roller. With the client’s eyes safely shut the lash technician then applies the perm solution which stays on the lashes for a time period of about 15 minutes. After which time a neutraliser solution is applied to the lashes and a cover put over the eyes whilst the solution goes to work.
The treatment finishes with the lashes being carefully removed from the mini-rollers and the client gets to marvel at their beautifully elongated lashes and wide eyed look.
Lash tinting - Together with perming, lash tinting can create a very glamorous look and is popular with people that have light coloured lashes as it negates their need for mascara. Ideally some 48 hours before the treatment takes place the Eyelash technician will carry out a patch test on their client to check against any allergic reaction to the dye that will be used during the main treatment.
If no allergy is present the treatment will be safe to go ahead. The technician will discuss colour options with their client and help choose a hue that will suit the client’s skin tone and natural hair colour. Great care must be taken when applying the vegetable dye to the client’s lashes, which is left on for about 10 minutes before being removed.
Upsides and Downsides
You have to have a passion for what you do as treatment times can be long; anything up to 3 hours where lash extensions are concerned. During that time, 100% accuracy is required which means the technician has to have a very steady hand and super levels of concentration. Without good stamina and a love of the job some would might find this tiring.
But on the up side it’s a very rewarding career with scope for being creative with some of the wonderful lash extensions that are coming onto the market. And If treatments are executed well then the glamorous results and happy clients make this an incredibly rewarding job.
Skills and Personal Qualities
- Patience. Applying a full set of lash extensions to both eyes can take anywhere from between 1 1/2 to 3 hours so good patience is essential
- Steady hands. This is painstaking work that involves adding a lash at a time (sometimes 30-60 extensions per eye) to existing lashes so a steady hand is vital
- Attention to detail.
- Accuracy. A lot of the work that eyelash technicians carry out is highly technical and meticulous requiring exceptionally high levels of accuracy.
- Excellent eyesight.
- Good depth perception.
- High concentration levels. A lack of concentration at any time could result in poor results and possibly also injury to the lash hairs
There isn’t any regulatory body as such governing the application of eyelash extensions within the salon. But it is recognised that with the eye area being so delicate there is a real risk for damage to the eyelashes, of allergy occurring or eye infection developing if the eyelash technician is both poorly informed and untrained.
As such it’s widely recognised that all eyelash technicians have to undergo specialist training to gain certification and be insured.
Training in lash extensions - Training courses are often run by the manufacturers of eyelash extensions; brands like lash perfect, nouveau and Xtreme lashes to name but a few. These eyelash product houses will be strict and only allow you to purchase their products if you’ve undergone specialist training in the application of eyelash extensions. Some will go one step further and insist you are trained in their own product brand.
Do your homework well and make sure you assess each one in terms of their reputation, quality of product and training. Class size might be another important factor to consider; the smaller classes affording you more one on one training.
You don’t need a formal beauty qualification to receive training in lash extensions.
Training in lash perming and tinting - There are numerous specialist short courses available in both perming and tinting.
The industry for semi permanent eye-lash extensions is still fairly young but thankfully business is booming with semi permanent eye-lash extensions being one of the most popular services being added now to salon treatment menus. There is an increased demand from salon clients for these beautiful natural looking lash extensions that can last, with maintenance up to 3 months. And because many women will return to the salon every 2-4 weeks for refills then like hairdressing there is the opportunity for repeat business.
Because eyelash extensions are in demand therapists who undergo training in their application will find themselves much more appealing to salon owners who are adding this treatment to their salon menu as well as the main dedicated lash studios now opening up.
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Potential Salary and Benefits
Eyelash extensions are big business in the beauty industry with market share rising fast. Any beauty therapist therefore who has invested time in learning the art of applying lash extensions will possess an extremely valuable skill and one that is in demand from an increasing number of employers.
For those that wish to focus exclusively on providing eye last treatments and specialise as eyelash technicians then the future looks rosy. There are an increasing number of companies seeking eyelash technicians with it being possible to earn between £20,000 and £21,000 a year.
Or if you’d rather be your own boss then there are numerous self employment opportunities from starting up your own specialist mobile service or taking advantage of the many franchise opportunities out there.If you provide a fabulous service with excellent results then there’s good money to be made.