What it’s like to be a lash technician in Singapore: An aesthetician at Lashed. Inc tells us her story
This might be a strange analogy, but the way I see it, being a lash technician is almost like playing a round of DOTA. It's the same game every time, but with different players, so you have to adjust your strategy accordingly. While Lashed. Inc has consistent lash styles to pick from, I'm always thinking about how to adapt them according to a customer's eye shape or preference. Challenging as it might be, I think it's one of the reasons why I've maintained an interest in this field for such a long time.
Growing up, I was never really sure about what I wanted to do. I actually studied Fashion Design in Temasek Polytechnic, but dropped out quickly after. It wasn't for me. I worked office jobs, at night clubs, and just about everything, really, but nothing stuck.
One day, I decided to get lash extensions done at a nearby salon, and I remember thinking about how it'd be great if I could save on some cash and do them by myself. When I spotted an ad on Facebook advertising a lash extension course, I signed up for it. I later learned that it's impossible to do lash extensions on yourself — no matter how skilled you are — because you can't keep your eyes open during the procedure. Not unless you want glue in your eye, that is. That was disappointing, but I'd already signed up for the course. My boyfriend suggested that I start doing it for others instead, from home, because the start-up capital would be low. And that's how Lashed. Inc came about.
It definitely wasn't easy getting the brand off the ground. We created a Facebook and Instagram page to promote my business and handed out door-to-door flyers, but it was pretty slow-going at first. I had a few friends who were mini influencers, so word started getting around once they posted about my business. Still, it took a little while for us to find steady footing. When I started, I wasn't super skilled; my hands would shake during longer sessions, and one time I even spilled glue on my customer's hair [Laughs]. Thank God, she was sleeping and didn't notice. I wiped it down with remover and all was fine, after. Another time, I dropped a pair of tweezers on a customer's head, but she was really nice and forgiving about it.
The trick to getting over the fear, is just to keep at it. You grow more confident once you get into the momentum of things. Your grip stabilises over time, and it becomes a methodical and calming process. For me, now, the aim is always to get a set of lashes to sit just right on a customer. It's difficult, though, to manage my own expectations because I'm a perfectionist. My customer might love it, but I'd see all these imperfections, minor as they are, and get really ticked off about them.
As of now, Lashed. Inc has a pretty loyal fan base. I think it's because I'm always working to ensure that we deliver top-notch service. To be honest, I think it helps that customers can't talk much during the process, too, because any unnecessary motion can affect how the lashes turn out [Laughs]. I always make it a point to remind customers about this before a session.
In all seriousness, there can be some difficult moments, like when customers text me insisting for a touch-up because there's "a lot of fall-out." I usually get them to send pictures of the "damage", and it's usually just one to two strands that are barely noticeable. Don't get me wrong, I still do it for them, but it can be really frustrating at times considering my busy schedule. I've also experienced a lot of hand cramps and back pain when I was first starting out! I've gotten used to them now, thankfully.
If there's anything I wish people would understand about my job, is that there is a lot more thought behind it than they'd think. It's not just about attaching lashes blindly. There's careful calculations behind every step of the process, from length, to thickness, to a finding the healthy amount an individual's natural lashes can hold. It comes naturally with practice, but there's nothing effortless about it. The way things are going, I hope to open my own shop in December 2020. It's a dream I've been working towards for a long time, so I'm pretty nervous about the whole venture — but I'm hopeful, too. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes.
Address: 212 Serangoon Avenue 4, #02-54, Singapore 550212
Contact: 9134 2595
This story was told by Channelle Yeo, Founder and Lash Artist from Lashed. Inc, to Buro. Singapore. Contact us at [email protected] if you have one to share.