Starting Your Eyelash Extensions Business
Whether you're considering starting a career in eyelash extensions or already in the industry and struggling, you'll find everything you need to know to get a great start (or get back on track) with your business. So much information is often missing from a short certification course; you'll always need to supplement your knowledge with ongoing education, business, and sales training.
In This Article
- Planning Your Lash Business
- Research and Resources
- Lash Room Equipment and Supplies
- Sales and Marketing
Planning Your Lash Business
There is a lot more to building a successful lash business than just applying extensions. You must balance your responsibilities as a business owner and beauty service provider to create the eyelash extensions business of your dreams. Before you start, you will need to make many decisions after doing your research on starting a local business. A few questions you will need to answer are:
Where Will You Offer Services?
Many lash artists start out doing eyelash extensions in their homes in a dedicated area. Some lash artists choose to work for an established lash studio as an employee. While others choose to run their own lash business in their own studio or booth(room) rental.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you are following all by-laws and regulations in your local area, state, and country. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to know and follow the laws regarding the beauty industry.
What Steps Do You Need to Take to Open a Legitimate Business in Your Area?
Find out from local agencies the steps you need to take to register a business name, receive a tax number, and other important details to ensure you are running a legitimate business. Do a search for things like local economic development corporations, chamber of commerce, and tax requirements(state, provincial, federal).
What Supplies and Equipment Do You Need to Buy?
In the section below, I will share my list of tools, supplies, and spa equipment you will need to get started.
What Payment-Processing System Will You Use to Accept Credit and Debit Cards?
The simplest and most useful payment processing system that I can recommend is Square(USA + Canada). It is a full-service system that integrates seamlessly into your existing website and appointment booking system, or you can choose to create a Square website for free.
What Insurance Provider Will You Use?
Insurance is especially important for protecting you from liability and offers coverage in case of injury to your clients. Make sure you get insurance for your business before you begin working on clients.
How Do You Register Your Business to Make it Legal in Your Region?
Your local business development agencies are great for providing guidance and resources for starting your lash business. Make sure to seek out local and state resources so you can feel fully supported and ready to be successful in your business.
What Local Public Health Regulations Do You Need to Follow?
Research the regulations regarding eyelash extensions/body art/beauty services by contacting your local public health organization. In Canada, they are called local health units. They will guide you in offering services that are safe and healthy for your clients. Listed below, you will find some resources to help you start your business and get support in keeping your eyelash extension services safe and legal.
Research and Resources
Getting started in your eyelash extensions business can be a daunting task for those of us without a beauty business background—so give yourself time to go over each step. When it comes to creating a thriving beauty service business, there are a lot of decisions to make and a lot of research to do. Here are a few things you need to consider when you're just starting out.
Licensing Requirements and Public Health Regulations
To be legally allowed to practice eyelash extensions, you must research the licensing requirements in your state. Some states and provinces require you to be a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician, which requires formal post-secondary education. Always check with your local licensing regulator for details on how to legally provide eyelash extension services.
Training and Certification
When looking for the perfect training programs, you will come across a wide variety of offerings. Some of them are excellent, while others could be completely useless. Since the eyelash extensions niche is fairly new and has been gaining popularity since the early 2000s, you will notice an incredible number of training providers claiming to have the best courses.
Read More From Toughnickel
Choosing the Right Extension Course
First, you will need to consider the budget you have set aside for education in lash artistry. Courses range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars depending on your location and the training format.
You will want to avoid the absolute cheapest courses and trainers that only seem to advertise their offerings using fake social media profiles. Tip: When searching online for training, always research the school, trainers, and course reviews.
The National Association of Lash Artists is a great resource for beginning your search for an accredited eyelash extensions course. You can find a training course in your area on the Directory of NALA Accredited Academies.
Before beginning any eyelash extensions course, always check the licensing requirements in your area, as mentioned previously, to ensure you are following the correct steps to begin your lash artist journey.
Developing Your Skills
After completing your requirements for licensing and certification, you will be ready to get started in your eyelash extensions career. This is the point when a lot of new beauty service providers struggle to understand their next steps. This uncertainty can put a stop to your progress if you have no one to reach out to for help.
Hopefully, the educator you've chosen for your training in eyelash extensions is willing to offer ongoing support for you in the first months of your beauty career. Don't be afraid to ask your educator lots of questions as you begin practicing and setting up your lash artist business.
More Lash Resources
If you need more support and guidance, you can find plenty of resources online or through the beauty school you trained with.
- Podcasts are an amazing resource for lash artists to grow their knowledge and learn from experts in the beauty industry. Podcasts allow you to learn about the latest trends and business ideas to give yourself an edge over the competition. My favorites are Lash Cat and Lash Extension Training Manual.
- Beauty Industry Websites and Blogs. You will find some very helpful eyelash extension blogs from experienced lash artists and beauty-related businesses. Bloggers love to share their best advice and relatable stories to help you in your lashing business.
- Social Media Pages and Groups. Facebook and Instagram are the perfect social networks for finding immediate support when you're a beginner lash artist. Be careful not to spend too much time scrolling your social media, though! These lash groups are addicting.
- Books. Having a book that you can refer back to when you need a refresher on adhesives or looking up recommended eye styling is a game-changer in your lash business. The Lash Book is by far the best eyelash extensions book I have ever read. I highly recommend it.
- Youtube Channels. Although it is not recommended to learn eyelash extensions only from Youtube videos, it could be helpful as a resource after you're fully trained and certified. Eyelash Excellence and Lash Therapy are the two lash-artist Youtube channels that have helped me the most.
Important Links for Starting a Business in Canada and the USA
- Starting a business - Canada.ca
Information on what to consider before starting a business, including registration, business plan templates, regulations, and incorporation.
- How To Start Your Own Business: USAGov
Learn about starting a business, self-employment, and applying for a commercial driver's license.
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan - Canada.ca
Learn more about Canada’s actions to help Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Workplaces and Businesses | COVID-19 | CDC
CDC guidelines and strategies for how to prevent and reduce transmission of COVID-19 at your workplace or business.
- State Health Departments; USAGov
Visit your state health department for information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and more.
Lash Room Equipment
Here are a few items you will need in your lash room to make you and your clients comfortable during eyelash extensions services:
The lighting in your lash room is extremely important when it comes to doing quality lash extensions. You will need bright adjustable lighting that you can move so that you can see every tiny eyelash. Great lighting helps you take amazing pictures of your work.
Lash Bed or Reclining Chair
Your clients will need something to lounge on comfortably for two or more hours so look for a massage table or reclining chair that will be suitable for your space. Certain massage tables can be adjusted and customized to make it perfect for allowing your legs to go underneath so you can get into the most comfortable lashing position.
For example, to make my massage table more comfortable and sturdy I simply unscrewed the front panel, flipped the panel upside down, then screwed it back on slightly lower than before. This little tweak allowed me to put my legs underneath so I can get as close to my client's eyelashes as I needed.
If you're considering using a recliner for lashing you may need to adjust the height of the chair by adding a wooden platform underneath that the chair is secured to. This will allow the chair to recline at the right angle and height for you to comfortably service your clients.
Linens and Sanitary Covers for Lash Bed
Linens for your lash bed will be the key to making your clients comfortable and relaxed while having their eyelash extensions put on. A foam topper is highly recommended! You will also need a couple of sets of twin sheets or massage table sheets so you can change them out between each client visit.
Alternatively, you can go one step further and place a washable vinyl sheet topper over your massage table sheets to make it easier to clean between clients using a disinfecting wipe or spray.
For lash artists, a comfortable adjustable chair on wheels can make a world of difference in how you perform your services and the amount of strain on your back and neck. You might need to try a few different types of chairs to find one that works best for you in your lash room.
Shelves and Storage
Storage space in your lash room is super important because most of us work in a fairly small space. Shelving on the walls for your supplies like paper towels, linens, organizers for small items, and everything else you will need will make your lash life so much easier.
A lash cart on wheels is an absolute game-changer for lash artists who must use many different tools and items during their services. Having your lash tools and tape and everything else you need all in one place right at your fingertips will keep you organized and help you complete your lash services smoothly. You can avoid fumbling around by having your lash cart prepped and ready to go before each client arrives.
A lash cart is the perfect storage cart for your eyelash extension supplies. This is a must-have item in your lash room to make organizing your supplies easy and keep everything where you can access it easily. I purchased this cart and had it put together in 10 minutes. It fits all of the supplies I need to complete eyelash extensions services and looks cute and professional.
It is important to have your supplies within reach so you can get your work done quickly and efficiently. It is also very easy to clean to keep bacteria from growing in your lash room.
Sink and Sterilization Area
Most public health regulators will require you to have a sink in your beauty service room so that you can easily wash your hands and disinfect your area. Make sure you are sanitizing and sterilizing your tools properly, as set out by your local health district, to comply with public health regulations.
Cute Aesthetic Decorations
Cute decorations are optional but highly recommended to give your clients a positive mood and enjoy the time they spend in your lash room. Get creative and add decorative items that you enjoy to make your room a reflection of your style and creativity. Always keep in mind that you will want to keep your design appealing to a wide audience.
You worked hard to gain knowledge and experience in your industry, so find a classy way to proudly display your certifications. If you have more than one certificate, I recommend displaying them in matching frames on your shelves or mounted on the wall. Having your accomplishments displayed in this way will give your clients confidence in choosing you for their eyelash extension services.
Retailing eyelash extension-related products will help you build a separate stream of income from your services and will give your clients a professional experience. For example, you can retail important aftercare items such as lash shampoo, cleansing brushes, and extensions safe mascara. Having a retail area will create curiosity from your clients and help you start important conversations about aftercare.
Would you like to see some inspiring beauty room designs? Check out my Spa Design Inspiration board for some ideas.
Eyelash Extensions Supplies List
Eyelash Extensions Tweezers
Sterile Tray for Tools
Witch Hazel(Lash Primer)
Eyelash Extensions(Trays in various sizes)
Lash Tiles and Storage
Adhesive Remover(cream or gel)
Antibacterial Hand Soap
Face mask with filters
Gel eye pads
Recommended Lighting for Your Lash Room
This light is perfect for eyelash extensions and is affordable for lash artists on a budget. You will love the brightness and tone settings that are easily adjustable. You will be able to see your client's eyelashes easily and take some beautiful photographs of your work. Adjusting the brightness of the light is important when your client's eyes open so they don't hurt from having them closed for 2+ hours.
This light can be moved easily and the light can be redirected to create a relaxing atmosphere in your room while doing other services. You will also love how affordable this light is compared to the other brands on the market.
Sales and Marketing for Lash Artists
Sales and marketing will be one of the most important aspects of your eyelash extensions business. Without a solid marketing plan in place, you will struggle to gain and keep clientele.
I'll go over a few of the basics as a starting point for your business, but you will need to continue educating yourself about marketing and find a method that works for you. Investing time and effort in growing your following online is a great way to keep your business visible and attract clients to you.
If you need more sales skills training I highly recommend Real Beauty Bosses training programs. On the Content Hub page you will find a link to the RBB Facebook group where you will find tons of free training videos to get you started.
Social Media Pages
Instagram and Facebook are obvious first choices for setting up your eyelash extensions business profiles. Depending on your target audience, Pinterest might be a good option for you too.
All social media platforms offer business tools and resources to help you create your space online to build relationships with your future clients and communicate important details about your business. Start with the social media platform that you are most comfortable with and begin networking with people in your local area.
Website and Online Booking
A website and online booking system give your clients a convenient way to learn more about you and manage their appointments. Your website is a window into what you are offering your clients.
As I mentioned above, the Square payment processing system offers an all-in-one solution that you can use to manage your business and create your website. Here's an example of a site created using Square's business tools.
As a service-based business, you will be looking for clients in your local area, so make sure your marketing efforts are focused on finding your ideal local clients. Here are a few ways you can get your eyelash business in front of locals.
- Google My Business. This is an absolute must for getting your website into the search results for your area. After you have your website set up, you should set up your Google My Business page.
- Facebook Groups. These groups are the perfect starting point for introducing your eyelash extensions business to your area. Look for groups that allow local businesses to advertise their services and interact with group members. Something that helped me fill my schedule with appointments is sharing posts from my business page with the local groups and interacting in the comments. You may have to spend some time networking with locals before the appointment requests start rolling in. Stay consistent with your efforts and avoid spamming the groups.
- Local Social Media Hashtags. This strategy works great for Instagram because it allows you to target your local area and connect to local people who are active on Instagram.
- Business Directories. To gain backlinks for your website, you should seek out local business directories to submit your website. This little tip will help your website be found in search results and give your website an SEO boost.
I hope this guide has been helpful in guiding you in the right direction for beginning your eyelash extensions business. The beginning of your lash business is the most difficult and rewarding part of learning how to provide professional beauty services. Drop a comment below with any questions you would like answered in my next article. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to share with your lash artist friends!
More Resources for Your Eyelash Extensions Business
- Pricing Strategy Guide and other amazing resources—ThisUglyBeautyBusiness.com
- COVID Guidelines for Salons and Beauty Professionals Getting Back to Work - GladGirl Blog
Anticipation has been high, as has nervous energy. Waiting for something to happen can make everything feel much more daunting than the actual, happening
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Mellisa Lozinski
Mellisa Lozinski (author) from CA on January 01, 2021:
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