From Kim Kardashian to Nicki Minaj, it seems as though every celebrity is sporting dramatically long eyelashes these days. While there are many traditional ways to enhance the look of lashes, such as mascara and eyelash curlers, spas are now offering products and services that help clients step up to the plate when it comes to batting luxurious long lashes.
In recent years, eyelash conditioners have become a must-have item in makeup bags, mainly because they offer a quick, easy way for clients to take matters into their own hands when it comes to eyelash enhancement. “Consumers have become more familiar with lash serums, and many new products have come to market,” says Nicole Pigott, brand manager for ROCASUBA, makers of RapidLash. “Advertising is everywhere for these products, and media impressions for lash products abound, whether it be television coverage on a featured beauty product or fashion and beauty magazine editorial mentions. Unless our current perception or image of beauty changes, women will want thicker, darker, longer, and more voluminous lashes.” According to Hannah Murray Duncan, vice president of sales and marketing for Athena Cosmetics, makers of RevitaLash Eyelash Conditioner, the growth in sales of eyelash conditioners is due to clients seeing actual results after use. “I have seen the popularity of eyelash conditioners grow tremendously,” says Duncan. “I attribute it to the fact that women see now that products to make the lashes more beautiful really exist. When there is a demand, so comes the supply.”
While the main purpose of eyelash conditioners is to help keep lashes as healthy as possible, which, in turn, will help them grow longer and stronger, it is important to research the ones you offer your clients, as the ingredients vary. “Finding a product that is safe and easy to use for all clients is of the utmost importance,” says Erin Ferrill, licensed esthetician and east coast educator for HydroPeptide. “It is also important that you explain to clients how a particular product fits into their own skincare routine.”
According to Pigott, being educated on what is on the market and what is actually effective is key when selecting which conditioner you offer your clients. “The key for all lash-enhancing products is to use specific types of proteins and peptides that have effective properties to make the lashes and brows look better,” says Pigott. “Many of the products on the market are mascaras with conditioning agents, and only a handful of non-prescription products contain these essential ingredients. Our product contains a synergistic cocktail of potent polypeptides and amino acids, vital proteins, and vitamins that deliver results consumers are seeking.”
When it comes to promoting lash-conditioning products in your spa, manufacturers agree that seeing is believing. By making the lash product visible and available, clients will be more likely to inquire about it. “Making sure that each staff member fully understands the features, benefits, usage, and ingredients will ensure that your clients have all of the information they need to feel confident starting a lash-enhancing regimen,” says Ferrill. Allowing staff to use products is another great way to promote them. “If estheticians and front desk staff have experienced a product firsthand, they will be able to sell lash serums simply by sharing their own results,” she says. According to Duncan, once clients see results, no selling is necessary. “When the front desk personnel, estheticians, and makeup artists use it, they don’t need to sell it,” says Duncan. “Their customers will comment on how gorgeous their lashes are and want the same.”
For clients looking for immediate results, semi-permanent mascara is an ideal alternative. This professionally applied product can last anywhere from six to eight weeks and costs considerably less than extensions, which makes it a great alternative for special events. One of the more popular services available is Cry Baby Semi-Permanent Mascara, a procedure that curls and coats lashes, adding volume, length, curl, and color, typically thickening natural lashes 30 to 50 percent. It is also waterproof and smear-proof. Another popular semi-permanent service is LashDip, which is ideal for any woman who wears mascara but is tired of the high maintenance of daily application. This service typically lasts four to six weeks. After the initial service, clients are encouraged to return for maintenance at the half-way mark, about two weeks in, so spa staff is encouraged to educate their clients on the follow-up, putting the appointment in the books as they leave.
Although a more expensive and timely option than others, professionally applied eyelash extensions remain a favorite among those serious about dramatic doe-eyed lashes, once they learn about the benefits. “There is still a huge segment of people who have never heard of eyelash extensions,” says Faith Kim, global marketing and sales manager for JB Lashes. “But, once a client receives eyelash extensions, they become addicted to waking up to their long, beautiful lashes every morning. We have heard of women cutting back on daily essentials, such as food, just to get their lashes touched up.”
This service involves a trained technician gluing individual lashes between the clients’ natural lashes. Depending on the number of lashes being applied (clients can usually choose between a half set, a full set, or in between), the procedure generally takes up to an hour and can cost upwards of $200. “There is a minimal cost to offer this service compared to other services spas may offer,” says Kim. “An average cost to start service with supplies is $500, and therefore, one or two full-set services can cover the cost of purchasing supplies. This means that if a spa or salon has 15 to 20 clients per week of full sets and refills, the overhead is very low compared to the gross sales produced from offering the service.”
Another bonus to offering this service in your spa is the retail aspect, where spas can combine the benefits of lash conditioners with extension services. “HydroPeptide Lash perfectly complements lash extension services,” says Ferrill. “Many lash extension clients would benefit from a lash serum that boosts the health of natural lashes so that the extensions have a strong foundation upon which to adhere.” Pigott agrees, pointing out that conditioners, such as RapidLash, are sold primarily as retail products, which makes them a great add-on to any extension service. “If the spa offers a lash extension service, we recommend that their clients purchase a conditioner to help strengthen and moisturize their natural lashes to support the lash extension products,” she says.
Whether you put in the time and training for your staff to be able to perform services such as semi-permanent mascara or extensions, or you simply stock your retail area with eyelash conditioners, there are myriad options for your spa to benefit from this newly formed demand in the industry. It’s up to
you to open your clients’ long-lashed eyes to the possibilities.