Congratulations, you have qualified in classic and volume lash services. You practice and apply lashes every day and feel you have a great working knowledge.
This is a common question from past students - after many months of practice, perfecting skills, patience and confidence building, what are the next steps in the lash journey?
Taking the leap from lashing in your own environment, to lashing in a large competition, can be daunting and frightening. However, I recommend all eager lash artists take this very step if they want to challenge their talent and abilities.
Lashing behind a closed door doesn’t provide you with feedback or the ability to test your skills.
When a lash artist is ready to improve their timing, their results, and compare against other talents, then a competition is calling their name.
So, you have decided to take the plunge – how do you actually take the step towards competing for a title? Two important steps – research competitions and practice your skills for competing. Most lash competitions have a novice or beginner category – requiring 18 months or less experience of classic or volume lashing.
You might be surprised that there are lash competitions in your own country and travelling abroad is not necessary, plus there are reputable online contests all around the world.
Next step is to select the competition for you, determine the level of experience you need, and decided whether you are going for the volume or classic title.
Final step - register and start practising!
Why would you need to practice if you already lash all day, every day? Lashing in a competition is very different from lashing clients on a daily basis. You might be surprised at the requirements – were you aware that points are deducted for incorrect lash selection and incomplete sets, amongst other strict practices. Once you memorise the rules and point structure of your category it’s time to ask your friends and family to lend you their eyes for practice.
Rules are very strict, for example, some competitions actually state only certain extensions must be used.
Others state every single natural lash must be bonded for a top score, plus the correct extension must be placed on the correct natural lash. These are all application skills to practice. Finally, the time for a full set will be stated in the rules so make sure you can achieve a full set in the allotted time. If there are any other rules that stand out to you as different, practice them over and over.
You are usually asked to bring a few items to the competition. Select a model you already know, with good, easy lashes and perform a few sets before the competition so you know their lash line, and can finesse your shape and style. Make sure your lash tool kit is well stocked and bring a backup set of tools in case you drop your favourites. Don’t forget plenty of gel pads, stickers, tape, brushes, nano-mister, digital humidity monitor and any other accessories you might need so you can achieve top marks.
Try and reduce stress by being over-prepared.
Most adhesives perform differently in different working conditions. I cannot stress this tip highly enough – work with your adhesive in different humidity and temperature levels.
The competition space might be warmer than you normally work with, and humidity levels might be higher or lower than you are familiar with. These variables will have a huge impact on the adhesive and the final results on which you will be judged.
Do not assume that the competition space will have a certain humidity and temperature level just because it is located in the same country or area you live – air conditioning, heating and other factors can affect this. Take the time to practice working in different conditions so you are able to work with the adhesive in the space the competition will be held.
Take different adhesive options and select the one that will perform the best for the competition environment.
When the big day finally arrives, don’t stress. You have practised on your model, tested your materials, memorised the rules and you will give it your best shot!
Be proud that you have taken yourself out of your comfort zone and tried your hands at a lash competition. If you didn’t do as well as expected ask for feedback from the judges or your scorecard. Most competitions allow you to see where you missed the points.
If you did win an award that is a huge accomplishment to be celebrated! Take in all the different parts of the day so when your next competition comes around you are better prepared for the challenge.
Be proud of how far you’ve come- being a skilled lash artist isn’t easy.
Remember the first day of your beginner lash course and look at your results now!
Lashing is a journey and a long-term plan. Take the time to invest in yourself and push yourself forward, and you will see what you are truly capable of achieving.
Lash Inc Senior Journalist
Instagram - @novalashuk