1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours? How long is it taking you to do your full sets and fills? Are you happy with that number?
If you're not, there are things you can do to increase your speed and get you to where you want to be. Whoever said practice makes perfect was right! All of the techniques and tips shared in this blog may not result in immediate improvement. It most likely will take time and repetition to make it your norm and increase your speed. Have you heard about the 21-day rule? This rule states that it takes 21 days to make any behavior a habit. The truth is it can take anywhere from 2 months to 8 months to make a behavior a habit. So don't feel bad if in three weeks, you aren't perfect, or if you missed days of practice. Give yourself the freedom to perfect your technique in the timing that you need. Use these tips to get started on the path to quicker full sets and fills!
Make Sure You Are Comfortable
How is your posture? Do you have the right chair? Is the client high enough? Too high? Do you need to lash off your hand using a tool like the Lash Wrap or maybe you prefer lashing off a tile? If your lash set up is uncomfortable, then you will be distracted by pain, and it will keep you from focusing on your client and the service you are providing. Once you get your set up dialed in, then you can feel more comfortable while lashing and you will naturally increase speed when these little nuisances aren't in your way.
Can You See Well Enough?
Good vision is a significant aspect of being a successful lash artist. But maintaining healthy eyes takes effort. Using magnifying glasses, good lighting, and taking breaks to do eye strengthening exercises are all going to help you to see better and thus, lash faster.
PRO TIP: For clients with really light or sparse lashes you can take a pink marker and fill in the gel pad where the lashes rest. This creates a greater contrast between the pad and the lashes, making them easier to see.
Make Sure That Your Humidity is ON Point
If your humidity is off then your adhesive won't cure correctly and you will be wasting precious time waiting for it to dry. Make sure to use a hygrometer to measure the humidity in your space and allow that to inform your adhesive purchases. Understanding your humidity ensures that you are using the proper adhesive for your environment. If you need to raise your humidity, a humidifier or nano-mister can be your best friend!
Use a Clock
Keep an analog wristwatch or wall clock to look at throughout your service. Break your service down into increments like the following example.
Classic Fill at 4 pm
- 4:00 (minute hand is on 12): Client check-in
- 4:05 (minute hand is on 1): Client is prepped; meaning, cleansed, has gel pads applied, ready to lash
- 4:35 (minute hand is on 7): Halfway filled
- 4:55 (minute hand is on 11): Lashes are filled at least 90%. It's time to separate, mist, remove gel pads, and take after pics
- 5:05 (minute hand is on 1): Client checkout and next fill scheduled
- 5:10 (minute hand is on 2): Prepped for next client
- 5:15 (minute hand is on 3): Next Client checks-in
The cycle starts again, this time the minute hand markers will be 3, 4, 10, 2, 4, 5. This rhythm is a quick and easy breakdown you can do for each appointment and adjust depending on how long you want your appointments to last. Maybe you aren't a numbers person, and that's ok, this next one might be good for you!
Use a Playlist
Curate playlists with your favorite tunes to lash to using Amazon Music, ITunes, or Spotify. You can either use headphones or play for your client if appropriate. Have mixes at varying lengths for a classic fill, full set, volume fill, etc. Organize it so that you will recognize the song that plays halfway through. This song will signal you that you should be halfway through the fill or set. The last three songs should be the same for each playlist and make sure they are 3-4 minutes long, so you will know that you have 9-12 minutes to wrap up and make sure that your client is happy and scheduled for their next visit before leaving.
Map Out Your Sets
The seconds it takes you to think about what length, curl, or thickness goes where are seconds lost. Those seconds add up to minutes out of your lashing time. That's where mapping comes in handy! You can either use a marker and map directly on the gel pad or use the Lash Map™ Stickers to make sure that the maps have even spacing. Mapping allows you to follow the pattern and takes out the guesswork, saving you a ton of time.
Try a New Method
If you feel stuck in the method that you started lashing with, it may be time to switch things up with a new lashing pattern. Here is a collection of techniques you can try and see which ones work for you!
The lash to lash method: The lash to lash technique is the method of putting an extension on a natural lash and then lashing the natural lash right next to it, moving from left to right or right to left, whatever your preference.
Pros: You won't miss a natural lash.
Cons: You may end up with more stickies doing this method. If you don't have enough time, you could end up with one eye really full and the other half done.
The alternating method: The alternating technique is one where you apply a lash to the outer corner of one eye then do the same on the other eye; you then move back and forth working your way to the inner corner of each eye.
Pros: You won't miss a natural lash.
Cons: Can still be challenging if you find yourself short on time and you haven't gotten to the inner corners. Those little guys need lashes too!
The back and forth method: The back and forth technique is an excellent method for beginners. Start in the outer corner and place a lash in every section of the map from outer to inner corner, then the inner to outer corner on the other eye. Go back and forth in this pattern until you fill all of the sections.
Pros: This method gives you even coverage even if you can only get the lashes 80% filled. It's great if you are in a time crunch.
Cons: You might miss some natural lashes because they are hard to get to with the extensions around it.
The taping up method: The taping up technique allows you to access the bottom layers of lashes first to create a foundation and then you can release the top lashes and finish up. To do this method use a gel pad or tape, lift the top lashes up until the bottom row of lash bases are revealed.
Pros: Helps you get the shorties on the bottom layer. Isolates for you because the natural lashes don't get in the way of each other.
Cons: Make sure that the client's eye remains closed throughout this process so that you are not allowing fumes to enter the client's eye.
Using Lash Maps™, taping up method, and markers to see the lashes better
Once you find your rhythm, you should have no problem building your speed. Pace yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. The quality of application and safety for the clients' natural lashes should be your number one priority. You will have off days and days that you surprise yourself. Go with the flow, set your intention. You can do this! If you feel like you would like one on one help in this area from a trained professional, consider signing up for a private mentoring session with a Lash Affair Trainer.
Founder | Boston Girl | Pig + Dog Obsessed | Lover of House Music