Lori graduated from the Aveda Institute in Washington, DC in the aesthetics program. Prior to becoming an aesthetician, she worked for a large corporation as an administrative assistant and attended Montgomery College. Lori plans to continue her education with a degree in business education from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). Currently she is a practicing aesthetician at Massage Envy and growing her home business in lash extensions. Her goal is to keep her skills and knowledge sharp in the skin care industry, as well as in the eyelash extension industry. Lori became a Certified Lavish Lashes® Professional in June 2013 and a Lavish Lashes® Certified Trainer in April 2014.

Q: Why did you decide to become an eyelash extensions professional?
A: The first time I heard about Lavish Lashes® was during my first couple of days at the Aveda Institute. One day in class, my instructor was telling us about the different possibilities and avenues that our new career could offer us. She told us about one of her previous students who had completed the Lavish Lashes® training and who had actually applied the eyelash extensions to my instructor. My instructor raved about them, how she loved them, how they came in the minks, the fact that you didn’t feel them, you could swim with them, and she made eyelash extensions sound like the greatest thing in the world. She showed the class photos from the Lavish Lashes® website. I had never heard of them before – I had only heard of the kind you buy in the drug store. When she told us about the amount of money that clients pay for these extensions, I thought, wow, these might be something I want to do. She went on to describe the application process. That is when I was really hooked, because I am really good at small detail things, I like working with my hands and I have a lot of patience. I was really intrigued when she said it takes about two hours to apply, and you apply one lash at a time. I knew this was something I wanted to learn more about. I made a note of it and wrote it down to look into later. Within that first month of school, Mary Jane Dana, co-founder of Lavish Lashes, came in and did a demo, and I signed up for the class immediately. That was June of 2013.

Q: Why did you choose Lavish Lashes® for the training?
A: I chose Lavish because Mary Jane came to the Aveda Institute, and there was also my relationship with my instructor. The connection was there. I really had no idea about other companies out there. I had never heard of other brands until I started doing some research.

Q. What do you like most about the company? What do you think sets Lavish Lashes® apart from other eyelash extension companies?
A: Lavish Lashes® customer service, the quality of their brand, and their trainers set them apart. Mary Jane and the other trainers really care about the students that they train and that really drew me to this company. It also made becoming a trainer even more exciting because you have all this support and everyone wants you to succeed with company. I really don’t have a lot of experience with any of the other companies to compare them to Lavish Lashes®, but recently I did a demo at a beauty school in Baltimore and they had a career fair going on at the same time. A representative from a high end hotel told me they were working with another eyelash extension brand and having a horrible experience with their customer service: always get the orders wrong and never returning phone calls. The hotel rep said they were looking to change brands for those very reasons. Another experience I had was that a client came in with another brand’s extensions on and the quality just did not look as good; they didn’t look as natural, they were thicker, and they weren’t as flexible. So, definitely the products, customer service and training set Lavish apart from the others.

Q: What do you hope your clients experience when they come to you for eyelash extensions? What do you think sets you apart?
A: First of all, I want to make sure my clients feel comfortable and are fully educated on the process. They should know what to expect, be aware of all of the risks and feel confident that I am going to do a safe application with them. I’ve had some clients come in with glue caked to their eyelids thinking this is how it is supposed to feel, because they had strips before. I try to educate them, let them know they can trust me, and that I have their best interest in mind. We discuss what look they want and I assure them I will give them that look, while doing it safely and keeping their lashes healthy.

Q: How would you describe the training experience to someone interested in becoming a Certified Lavish Lashes® Professional?
A: I would tell them that I will lecture for the first two hours and then we will do a lot of hands-on practice. I also emphasize that they need to have certain skills, including depth perception and good dexterity, however, a lot of it comes with the training and lots of practice. I always tell students they are going to learn a lot of information and then it is their job to go home and practice to really perfect the technique. Just being patient with themselves during class is my number one tip.

Q: What advice would you give someone who is questioning whether a certification course with Lavish Lashes® is worth the investment?
A: That’s why it is an investment – you will get the money back, if you are committed to following through. You are investing in yourself, investing in your resume, investing in something that you can build. If you are dedicated and willing to practice and have the patience, then it is 100% a good investment. I did it and a couple months later, I broke even and also had enough money to take the advanced class!

Q: Once you were a Certified Lavish Lashes® Professional, how did you market yourself?
A: It just happens. Once you start getting your clients, they are walking billboards, drawing in new clients. I have never paid for marketing. I’ve advertised on Craig’s List and a Facebook page, but the rest has all been word of mouth, business cards and referrals.

Q: Do you feel it’s important for your students to take both the basic and the advanced course?
A: Absolutely! I always encourage students to take the advanced class. It is more time with a trainer to perfect your technique and build up your speed, which ultimately brings in more revenue. I took the certification training in June 2013 and the advanced in September 2013. There were a couple of months in between. In those two months, I did the best I could in perfecting the technique and improving. When I took the advanced, I learned additional techniques and had that extra time with the trainer to really tweak my technique to make it just that much better.

Q: Why did you want to become a trainer for Lavish Lashes®?
A: It was a seed planted in my head while I was still in school. After I took the certification course, I talked to my classmates at Aveda about taking the course, and I also did an introduction to Lavish Lashes®, with Mary Jane, for the class that came in behind us. Following that presentation, my instructor said I would be a really good trainer and I should think about doing that. When I completed the advanced class with Mary Jane, she suggested that I think about becoming a trainer some day since the technique seemed to come naturally for me. Since I was just starting my career, it seemed like something to think about down the line. Then, I thought more and more about it and decided it was definitely something I wanted to do. When Mary Jane called me and asked if I would be interested in applying, I did and now I am trainer.

Q: What did you find particularly helpful during your training to become an instructor?
A: I definitely noticed that you have to make the class fun for students and keep them engaged and active. What was helpful to me and what I try to do with my students, is to really encourage them and point out what they are doing right to help them build up their skills and confidence. You have to keep a balance of instruction, feedback and encouragement, while also keeping the energy high and positive.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a Lavish Lashes® Trainer?
A: Watching the students, how eager they are to learn, how they take in all of the information and really enjoy it, and how excited they are about learning the process. All of that makes me feel really good about teaching them.

Q: What is the number one, most important thing you can teach your students?
A: To have patience with themselves. This is the number one thing I tell my students at the beginning of class. I explain that they might get frustrated, they are learning a lot at one time and that it may not come naturally to them at the beginning. They just need to have patience and take it step by step in their head as they go through the class. I tell them that when I see someone messing up or having a hard time, it is usually because they are getting frustrated with themselves and they are bringing their emotions into it. I emphasize to stay calm, keep practicing, and be patient.

Q: After you’ve trained stylists, what’s the best piece of advice you can give them as they get started in lash extensions and building their business?
A: Practice on as many friends and family as they can. Practice on different types of ethnicities and different types of lashes, so they are confident that they can handle anyone who comes through the door. Practice. It is not like riding a bike; you may have the technique in your mind and know how to go back and do it conceptually, but it is a matter of keeping your skills sharp. If they consistently practice, they will increase their speed and reach their goals.

I also tell them that we provide the tools, we provide the knowledge, but it is up to each of them to build their business, put themselves out there and get the revenue coming in. It takes a commitment to follow through.

Q: Overall, how would you sum up how you feel about Lavish Lashes®?
A: Overall, it has been a very positive experience for me. They have opened a lot doors for me. I am very grateful and happy that I went with Lavish Lashes®.

Q: How likely are you to recommend Lavish Lashes® to others?
A: I would, and do, recommend Lavish Lashes®100% to everyone!