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Ask the Experts

Our beauty experts answer your questions about every aspect of running a salon or spa business

How can I create a strip-lash effect with lash extensions?

Currently, there are many lash extension trends that can be found online through social media. These trends typically cross over from strip lashes, which have more defined, obvious styles. Many lash artists find clients asking for these strip-lash styles at their lash extension appointments. As a lash artist, it’s exciting to be able to recreate these specific looks for clients, but it does take some practice and consideration.

In my business, I find that more and more clients are requesting the “strip-lash look”. They want to see “spikes” of longer extensions blended in with the rest of the set for a more alluring look. This strip-lash effect is best created with volume lashes and can be approached in a few different ways, depending on how dramatic the client would like to go.

But first, keep in mind that not all requested lash styles will be available to your clients. It is a lash artist’s job to analyse each client’s natural lashes to determine if the look they’re wanting is even possible. If it’s not available to the client, always consult with them first and offer other suggestions. For example, if they have short natural lashes and want the longest extensions, recommend building a lot of volume instead of focusing on length.

The first step in creating a strip-lash effect is to determine how dramatic the spikes will be. If the client wants a dramatic look, use closed-volume fans of two extensions. If the client wants a more subtle look, choose classic extensions for the spikes.

Next, determine the lengths you will use for the spikes. Go no longer than double the client’s natural lash length. First, find the client’s longest natural lashes and measure a few different lengths of extensions you could potentially use. Typically, the spikes will be 12mm or 14mm. The rest of the set should be shorter than the spikes, so choose the remaining appropriate lengths. Then choose the diameters that suit your client’s natural lashes. To create a lot of texture, use multiple diameters in the set such as .03mm and .05mm. If the natural lashes can handle it, the spikes can be thicker for added effect. For example, create closed fans of two .07mm extensions or use one .2mm classic extensions.

Apply the spikes to the longest natural lashes. Space them out evenly and do not apply any spikes near the inner corners as it can look too unnatural. Use a handheld mirror to check your placement and adjust if needed.

Once you have designed the spikes, fill in the rest of the set with volume extensions that are a little shorter than the spikes. I find my clients typically want a more subtle approach, so I prefer using classic extensions for the spikes while filling in the rest of the set with softly textured volume. I personally use the Novalash technique for this and in all my services. This technique has helped me achieve success quickly while winning competitions.

As it takes time to perfect these unique styles, I recommend finding a few clients who are open to you practising these techniques on them until you are ready to launch the service to everyone.

Michelle Williams has been doing lashes for five years. She runs I-Lash by Michelle in Elgin, Scotland, and in 2021 she won Lash Artist of the Year and the Fan’s Choice award in Novalash’s global Lashoff competition.

What do my clients need to know about how mobile phones affect their skin?

If your clients are the kind of people that can’t stay away from their mobile phones, you may want to encourage them to consider whether their phone use is affecting their skin. We all hear tales of how people are developing freaky fingers from how frequently they are using their phone, but we don’t often consider the ill effects smartphone usage has on our skin.

How often do your clients clean their phones? Occasionally with their sleeve? Never? Their mobile phone could be causing pesky skin blemishes. Have your clients ever noticed that they get spots or “under the skin” pimples right where they put their phone to their ear? This could be because they don’t clean their phone often enough. Studies have shown that the average phone can have more bacteria than a public toilet. Many people will admit they have never used an alcohol wipe or anti-bacterial fluid to clean their phone. Bacteria can grow and divide every 20 minutes, and one single bacterium can multiply into more than eight million cells in less than 24 hours. Now, imagine that on your face. Disgusting, right? So, clients may want to consider sanitising their phone before having a long catch up with a friend or making work calls.

It’s not only breakouts we have to worry about. You know the way your phone heats up the more you use it, and it can start to feel hot against your face when you’ve been chatting on the phone for a while? Well, making long phone calls on your mobile can increase heat in your skin. This increased heat can cause melanocyte activity to be increased in that area, which could later be a cause of pigmentation and an uneven skin tone.

So, if one little device can cause so many issues, what can you advise your clients to do to reduce the damage?

1. Limit phone usage, especially long calls.

2. Don’t sleep with their phone on or under their pillow because it is constantly radiating which causes damage to the skin.

3. Invest in products to help block out high-energy visible light (HEV) rays, otherwise known as blue light. There will be a shift in the market as the demand for products that block from HEV rays will increase, making it easier to find a product to suit your clients.

4. Regularly use an alcohol wipe on their phone to reduce bacteria. They can also use headphones to help prevent bacteria transferring to their face.

Annalouise Kenny is the owner and founder of Skin Philosophy, which has training centres for skin education and advanced treatment techniques across the UK and Ireland.

How should I advise clients to fully protect their skin in summer?

We all think we know how to use SPF, but do we really? Many of us still get caught out with sunburn, so let’s get back to basics to ensure we – and our clients – are clued up on how to protect skin.

Approximately 80% of premature skin ageing is caused by UV light exposure, so it’s vital to use copious amounts of SPF protection and antioxidants to minimise damage on the face and body. SPF measures the level of protection a sunscreen offers against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The difference in effectiveness between SPF 25 and SPF 50 is not a straightforward calculation.

SPF 25 filters approximately 96% of UV rays, while SPF 50 filters around 98%. This means that SPF 50 provides slightly more UV protection than SPF 25, but the difference in percentage is relatively small. It’s important to note that SPF ratings are not a linear scale – SPF 50 does not offer double the protection of SPF 25. The key factor is the length of time it takes for the skin to burn, rather than the percentage of UV rays blocked.

The effectiveness of sunscreen depends on various factors, including how much is applied, how thoroughly it is applied, frequency of reapplication, skin type, the intensity of the sun’s rays, and other things such as wearing protective clothing or sitting in the shade. As a rule, advise clients to cover their skin thoroughly with a minimum of SPF 25, reapply frequently, keep in the shade as much as possible and keep an eye on their skin for signs of pinkness.

Even if not sunbathing, remind clients that it’s important they apply SPF to their face because this is constantly exposed to UV light, but they shouldn’t forget other areas of the body which can get caught out. Hands, arms, the décolletage and even ankles are areas that can experience sun damage.

In addition to the damaging effects of UV light, there are other detrimental things in our environment to consider for our skin’s health, like free radicals. These destructive molecules destabilise the skin by causing oxidation to occur, in turn causing signs of premature ageing and the destruction of the vital proteins that give skin its support.

Complementing your clients’ skincare regime by recommending the application of antioxidants underneath their SPF will greatly boost their protection and help maintain their complexion. Recommend a serum with a highly stabilised form of vitamin C, such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and ascorbyl glucoside. These potent antioxidants scavenge free radicals and stabilise them to inhibit their destructive actions on breaking down collagen and elastin fibres, while simultaneously brightening the skin and promoting a radiant glow.

Matt Taylor is the brand and education manager at Eve Taylor London, which specialises in aromatherapy-based skin and body care.

This article appears in August 2023

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This article appears in...
August 2023
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