I Stand Behind My Brand, #itsnovalashornothing
Yesterday I went into a little detail of types of certification and what I would avoid as a professional who wants to perfect her craft of lash extensions. So today, I will describe the certification and beyond that I have done.
To start off I had a set of lashes put on after I graduated cosmetology school. I fell in love! My friend offered to teach me. I always had an eye for detail but I also am very cautious with sanitation and so I wasn’t ready to learn the process. Years later, I thought I was ready. Another friend who had gotten into lashing offered to teach me for free. So I agreed. We went through what I thought were the basics and she told me the “best”, which was the cheapest, way to purchase products and I was done. Luckily I never offered to do this service on anyone because I was just not ready. There was NO sanitation talk other than just wipe the surface you put stuff on.
Once, I had a friend ask me to do them but I feared being close to their eye so they were very… grown out looking. Oh, and they fell off quickly. After I was offered by a coworker to be taught but she wanted money. I declined because I tried that route and didn’t feel comfortable and didn’t want to waste money. I started looking at brands and classes and I noticed the actual certification class was only $400 more. That is when I noticed MOST reputable brands will only allow you to purchase products if you took their class. So I wouldn’t be able to even purchase anything. I also noticed how often clients would come for fills. Some were once a week. $$ Sounds expensive! $$
I put the idea in the back of my mind for another few years. I was going to a new salon in the area and the owner wanted someone certified so I went. I felt I was ready to jump in. Before my class they sent a whole box of things. They make it clear to leave all contents for lashing unopened. Which as hard as it was to wait 2 months, I understood why at the class. You don’t want to contaminate anything because I didn’t know how sanitation procedures worked with Novalash.
The one thing I did get to do is read a whole book about Novalash history, eyelash extensions, sanitation, eye diseases, techniques, products, etc. This book was very informative. More than I had gotten from talking to a person about lashes. I read the book about 3 times and then they have a test in the back to take before the class. Seeing that I read the book and made note cards to study. I knew this meant another test was coming.
My class was about 8 hours. It was at a lash lounge and the instructors name was Lindsey Joslyn-Rohner. More about how great she is another day… The class was small, on purpose. More time for one on one with the instructor. The first hour or two was discussion. We went over all of the information in book we received but more detail on the little things in each chapter. Lindsey really went into detail with the importance of sanitation because we are working around someone’s eye area and it’s already sensitive enough.
Lindsey sat and did a demo of how to apply a lash. From how to sit correctly to setting up to the technique itself. She made sure everyone got a front row view as she did it which stood out to me. As I am sure not every company or instructor thinks about that. After that we began practicing on mannequin heads with fake lashes attached. First we practiced isolation of lashes to get the hang of it. It is not something you do once and are perfect. She explained that we have two sets of forceps because some prefer one over another which was also great because they did feel different. After she watched each person isolate we moved into the application. We all started on the mannequins and she walked around watching each person and would correct any mistakes we made. After we completed one completely she moved on to the next. She then continued to check on each person as we continued to practice. We started with separation and she watched each of us to make sure we wouldn’t hurt the client by pulling on the lashes or pulling them out. While she did each round of checking she went over more information like how to deal with certain situations you may have as a lash artist as well as sanitation again.
After she felt we were all prepared we brought in our live models. We got to bring our own which is nice. I feel like it makes both the person in class and the model feel more comfortable knowing the other person. We started with the application on a real person and she walked around many times checking to make sure we were sitting correctly and applying the lashes correctly. There are so many little things to really understand when applying she knew every little thing to check from the amount of adhesive on the lash to how you apply it their specific way. When we were ready to separate she made sure to watch each of us the first time to ensure the clients safety and politely corrected anything we may have done incorrect. As much as it is not fun to point out someone doing something wrong it is all about making sure we didn’t hurt the client or make them uncomfortable. After about 3+ hours of applying lashes we did our final round of separation. We then went over curing of the adhesive and like everything else she went around checking each of us. We ended the class with any questions we had and an overview of each product and how great they are. We got our certificates at the end and got to go home.
One thing that stuck with me that Lindsey had said was to practice as much as possible because lashing is a lot of muscle memory. Novalash has their certified lash artists submit pictures to them and they approve you as a Novalash listed lash artist on their website. Lindsay really emphasized to us to not rush into hurrying with these lashes. To practice getting it down to 2 hours before putting ourselves out there because no one wants to lay for 3+ hours. She told us her experience and what she has seen work and not work. She informed us about other brands and how they shouldn’t be mixed because they are not the same and there can be reactions because you don’t know about all these other products out there. And that is why she was Novalash 2017 Trainer of the Year! Because she cared enough to tell us about the little things that are actually BIG important things.
After my class I joined as many lash groups and forums online to start my after certification training. There I got to learn all the what not to do because people are so honest on there and admit to the bad things they do. I learned a few things but knew not all brands are Novalash so to not always go with what I read. I got to see other people’s work over time and it pushed me to keep going and get better. I got to read about the horror stories and reactions and made notes of things to watch for. After about a month I started taking paying clients. Most were new to lashing so I got to teach a lot which made me more comfortable the more I did it.
After a few months I started getting the clients who wanted to try Novalash. This is where I learned my personal lesson. I had clients just want a fill of Novalash but had no idea what they had on. I saw three different clients with scary things. The first her lashes were one big glob of glue. She had irritation. I tried to add a few lashes. LESSON LEARNED. I learned not to ever touch another lash artists work. You don’t know what it is and it is not always good work. Luckily the client loved Novalash and changed over completely I even took off the old lashes. The client after that I told I could not apply Novalash with her lashes because again, horror story. After she basically forced me to do something I told her I would do one on each eye as a test but if she wanted Novalash I would have to remove all of what she had. She didn’t like it, but I wasn’t risking it. The third time I just started completely turning them down. As a professional I can only stand behind Novalash’s products and technique so I am sticking to that.
I bought a few general books on lashing for more knowledge on the service itself and how to talk to clients about it. They all had something to teach me just as much as the actual Novalash class did because they were all general and not brand associated.
I am now starting to get my stride of confidence with lashing and can talk to just about anyone about it, why I love it, the sanitation on both the professional side and the clients side, pretty much everything. I love teaching clients about lashes and how to make them last and keep them looking amazing.
I really recommend Novalash as a company to get certified with as well as a company to have used on you as a client. They know their stuff and they teach their certified lash artists as well! It is Novalash or nothing for me and my clients!!!