Eyelash treatments are an affordable way for the beauty conscious to achieve fast results at a fraction of the cost of other services such as Botox and fillers. The popularity of eyelash services continues to rise faster than other beauty treatments, with online searches for “lash treatments” spiking more than 25 percent in a year.
As an eyelash technician, you can make good money and even run your own studio. Because lash treatments, especially lash extensions, require special products for maintenance, you can stock and sell these products at your beauty studio to make even more money.
One of the biggest myths in all esthetic services is that eyelash extensions ruin your natural eyelashes. You can reassure clients: extensions when applied correctly by a professional cause no harm.
This can actually be a good selling point for your services because the key phrase is “when applied correctly by a professional.” There is no shortage of do-it-yourself eyelash extension kits on the market. Some of them are just as expensive as paying a lash tech, but don’t come with the expertise a lash tech provides. Ready to make some money by adding another aesthetic beauty treatment to your service menu? Read on.
In this article you’ll learn:
- How much money you can make as a lash technician
- The required training and certifications
- Professional groups to join
- Employment opportunities for lash technicians
- Finding clients
- Plus helpful tips for new lash techs
How much money can you make?
The average annual salary for an eyelash technician in the United States is currently $46,976. That works out to about $23.49 per hour. This doesn’t include the tips you can make, often 15 percent to 20 percent of the service charge. The top 1 percent in the profession are making closer to $84,000 per year, although these individuals have years of experience and typically operate their own studios.
You can check average salaries for your state with EstheticianEdu.org’s searchable web page.
Training and Certification
Most states require a cosmetology, esthetician, or medical license for you to practice as an eyelash technician.
The easiest way to find out what requirements apply to you is to contact your state’s board of cosmetology, or a local eyelash technician training program. The professionals running these programs should know the regulations of the state where you plan to work before enrolling in a certification program. This will help you decide which lash tech training program is right for you.
An alphabetical list of state cosmetology boards and contact information is available here. Contact your local board and find out your state’s requirements for certification and licensing as a lash technician. Then you can choose a program that best fits your needs.
Many programs can be completed in as little as a day to achieve basic certification. Pricing for these courses is all over the place, from $1,000 to under $500.
Some certification programs, like one offered by Lavish Lashes, let you pay in installments.
To help you narrow it down, take a look at programs approved by the National Association of Lash Artists. Certification through an approved NALA program carries more clout in the industry than programs not approved by NALA.
If you also need an esthetician certification to meet state requirements, join the National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations (NCEA). This is the premiere organization for certifying professional estheticians in the United States.
The cost of training ranges from $664 if you pay in installments, to as low as $600 for paying upfront. You can complete the training and take your final exam at home with study materials delivered by the NCEA.
What you’ll learn in training as an eyelash technician:
- Application of lash extensions
- Techniques for lash lifting (lifts are like a “perm” for the eyelashes)
- Safety procedures
- How to handle coming in contact with blood
To give you a closer look at what’s involved, this video demonstrates the application of eyelash extensions.
This video illustrates the procedure for performing lash lifts.
Here you can get an up-close look at how eyelash extensions are removed.
Professional Groups to Join
The National Association of Lash Artists is a non-governmental organization that advocates for the industry. Membership cannot be bought simply by paying a fee. There’s an application and review process before they accept new members. If a lash tech doesn’t make it on her first try, NALA offers mentoring until the lash tech meets the association’s standards. Professional guidelines, the group’s code of ethics and decontamination guide are available here for review.
Once you’re in, you’ll be added to the NALA national directory of lash artists, making it easier for clients to find you.
Working for a corporate studio or chain means you’re most likely working for a franchise owner. These individuals pay hefty fees to the franchise for branding and marketing services and support. Because of all the overhead, they usually pay low salaries. If you’re just starting out, this is an option, but realize you’re probably looking at minimum wage plus a commission of 5 percent to 10 percent on anything you sell.
You can make more money as a Form 1099 contractor, meaning you are an independent. You’ll have access to studio space and can usually set your own hours. Much more flexibility with this option, although you’ll be expected to pay a fee to the salon owner for use of the facilities. The fee might be based off a percentage of your income for providing services, so be sure to understand the details before signing any agreement. It’s your responsibility to supply your own equipment, supplies and proof of business insurance. Working as a 1099 contractor can serve as a nice transition on your way to opening your own spa.
Whether you’re operating as an independent or running your own spa, you need an attractive website. Photos of your work are vital in drawing in new customers (just be sure to get written permission from your existing clients before posting their photos online).
Your website is the place to promote discounts for new customers, maybe even a price break for existing clients who bring new business to your door.
Build your credibility with online reviews. According to a marketing survey, 97 percent of participants reported that they read online reviews about a local business and 90 percent said their decision is influenced by positive online reviews.
Have all new customers fill out a form about their interest in your services and be sure they include their contact information, including email and telephone number. You want contact information so you can follow-up with all your clients. This encourages repeat business.
Good to know:
These are the Top 5 Concerns facing lash technicians, according to The Eyelash Extensions Blog:
Client Aftercare When explaining aftercare requirements, including proper cleaning, ask clients if they are positive they understand your instructions. Don’t just settle for nodding heads.
Fixing another lash tech’s work You must decide if you will offer corrective services to another lash tech’s work. Some lash techs only follow-up on their own work, which is their right.
Product Value It may take you some time as a new lash tech to identify the products you like best and would feel confident recommending to your clients. Let quality, not price, be your guide. Many lash techs report they tried to save money by testing a cheaper brand of eyelash extension glue, only to have eyelash extensions all over the floor of their studios. As a general rule, with beauty products you get what you pay for.
Competitive pricing You must decide how much to charge. This is based on many factors, including your experience and certifications, competitor pricing in your market, and your reputation among clients. Currently, most lash artists charge $81 to $120 for a full set. Fill prices average $40 to $60 for both eyelashes. Stay within these ranges and you should be competitive.
Attracting new clients Referral programs work and provide an incentive for customer loyalty. Decide on an appropriate discount on your services and offer that price break to clients who refer new customers to your door.
If you enjoyed this article, check out some other PocketSuite.io content that can help you grow your career as a lash technician. Here’s a great place to start.
PocketSuite has thousands of business owners who all started where you are right now. Our community is always happy to help you ramp up, grow your client base, and achieve your income goals, both within the PocketSuite app and as part of our exclusive Facebook Community Group. PocketSuite’s vision is for any professional to be able to work for themselves and make a great living. It starts here. It starts with you. It starts today. Let’s get started, download PocketSuite now! Feel free to reach out with any questions (we’d love to hear from you)! Text us @ (415) 841-2300.