When getting lash extensions applied (especially for the first time) there are definitely many options on where to go to get them done.
Budget, experience of the technician, and the desired look will all factor into your decision on where to go.
Below is a guide on the options you have to choose from and the pros and cons of each type of establishment.
The other important factors to consider are the licensing/certification requirements. In the state of Colorado, you must be a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician to perform eyelash extension applications. You can find more info here - https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/dpo
Colorado does not currently require certifications, however.
What is a lash certification and what does this mean?
A lash certification is offered through various lash extension training companies. Generally, the process will consist of a training program that teaches lash extension application skills specifically, with some companies requiring a test out before a certification can be obtained. Minkys, for example requires their lash students to attend a hands-on workshop and then schedule a test-out date with their trainer to show proficiency.
Some of the most well-known and sought-after lash training companies also offer directories that list their certified lash artists by state, so you can check and see if your tech is certified.
The bottom of this post contains a list of the top companies with links to their directories.
Pro: This is the cheapest option and the most convenient as most nail salons take walk-ins.
Con:This type of place is the bottom of the barrell. They are cheap- usually because they cut corners (like they do with nails). If you’ve seen Toni Gomez’s video you know what I mean.
They also may try and pass off clusters or lash flares as individuals. This type of lash enhancement is damaging and completely different from true individual lashes.
Honestly, I have never seen quality work from a nail salon
Also keep in mind that techs applying lashes or waxing must be licensed estheticians and cosmetologists - not just nail techs, otherwise they are violating state board regulations.
Pro: Great deal on price.
Con: Why are they discounting?
Salons offering a Groupon/Living Social are discounting for a reason!
Perhaps they are new and looking to build clientele. But perhaps there are other reasons. If the salon running the GP can’t keep the clients coming back that may indicate poor quality. Just make sure to look up reviews and ask questions! Some GP salons are diamonds in the rough.. I got my start running a GP as well as others I know.
Beauty Bar/Hair salon
Pro: Convenient hours, may have many technicians working. Definately a set above GP or nail salons. Reasonably priced and still affordable.
Cons: Specialization vs. general practice.
If an establishment offers nails, massage, hair services, spa services, waxing, makeup and lashes, then what is their specialty?
I’m not saying they can’t be great - in fact we offer two other services at Le Chic. But from what I’ve experienced they have a limited knowledge and not much selection - Maybe one or two lash diameters and curls, and one type of adhesive.
If you were going to have brain surgery would you see a General practitioner or a neurosurgeon?
Pro: These are the gold-standard for quality, in our opinion. They can be small or large, or even solo-practitioners.
Some of my favorite places to refer clients to and trade services are in this category. These are the places that specialize in lashes and perform the service all day, everyday. It goes without saying that the type of quality you will experience here will generally surpass all others 90% of the time.
Most of these salons will have extensive training on lash application techniques, and can carry certifications from many different companies. They continue their training and education frequently by attending trainings, lash summits, and industry conventions. Many of the lash artists in this category will be members of on-line lash forums and professional associations. They will have a network of professional peers that they refer to and collaborate with. Some of them may even be lash company educators or own their own lash company.
Cons: Premium price point. Remember, you get what you pay for!