Updated: Nov 21
In all my years in this industry, I have gone from ‘student’ to ‘boss’ to ‘educator’ all the way to ‘innovator’ and ‘leader’. If there’s one thing I’ve learned for certain, it’s this: “Not all courses are created equal.”
Let me recount one particular story for you, and I will do my best to relay the horror this young lady experienced, while maintaining her anonymity. I recently had a young, eager lash student share her educational experience with me. To say it was appalling is an understatement. This young student did her research and found a course online which appealed to her. The website appeared very professional. The description of the course sounded like it was going to provide her with exactly the education she was looking for. She confidently paid the deposit and enrolled herself in an Eyelash Extension Training Course. Her experience with this particular training academy was definitely not what she signed up for.
She describes the course as being student-led. By which she means: the teacher didn’t actually teach them anything. She just stood there, talking, drinking, and socializing. While she did somehow manage to answer some of the questions her students thought to ask her; questions about eyelash extensions, about products, about the application process, about disinfection…she did not even touch on topics such as hygiene, disinfection, or standard cleaning protocols. In fact, when this girl asked her instructor, “What do I do with the tweezers after I’m finished with my client? How do I clean them and store them properly?” her instructor plucked the tweezers from her hand, dropped them on the table and said with a scowl, “They’re fine!” as though the young lady had some nerve to ask such a thing! The instructor also gave advice such as: “Don’t bother washing their lashes before the application. If your client is dumb enough to show up with make up on her face, it’s her own damn fault if the extensions don’t last!” Now, as if that weren’t enough… oh, it gets worse…
Along with all the incorrect, and arguably dangerous advice she was passing on to her eager new students, this ‘educator’ decided that she ought to invite a group of her friends to the class. These ladies were just hanging out, distracting the class, drinking cocktails and beer, and loudly discussing terribly inappropriate and uncomfortable topics. Topics which made this young girl’s own model (who was also her mother!) blush and cringe. It took a lot of hushed whispers and quiet pleading for this poor girl to keep her mom/model from piping up and expressing her disgust concerning this surreal situation which was unfolding around them. To top it all off, while they were applying lash extensions to their models, the students were about to witness a very… ‘ahem’… interesting little show. (Ohhhh…. I swear I’m not making this up!!!)
The owner of the academy had another guest show up to partake in these festivities. Little did our girl know, this latest addition to the party had a story to share. She stood in front of the class, regaling these poor unsuspecting girls with the details of HER day… and she unabashedly reported TO THE WHOLE CLASS that she had “… just had her a$$hole pierced”! But wait...
Not only did she share this very personal story, but she proceeded to pull down her pants… turn around… bend over and SPREAD HER BUTT CHEEKS APART so that nobody would miss out on seeing this lovely new adornment to her crinkled starfish! Absolutely despicable. Our poor girl was aghast by this point, and was rendered speechless, unable to even think of anything to say! Aaaaand, there’s more.
The students were then subjected to watching a video of their instructor as she administered a suppository into the rectum of one of her dear friends. (As we all do for our dear friends, right?!) Although this eager young student was horribly uncomfortable, offended, and disgusted by the abhorrent behavior of the instructor and her friends, her biggest disappointment is that she spent good money to become a certified eyelash extension technician. She left the course feeling like she had not learned a damn thing of value.
Although the instructor did manage to demonstrate how to apply eyelash extensions to a client’s natural lash, she did NOT teach any of the other very important elements. Thankfully for her, at some point before she left our girl found the courage to confront the instructor, and she asked for a refund. While the teacher wouldn’t give a full refund, she just brushed off the girl’s disappointment and said, “Alright then, if you really feel this class was a waste of your time, then I won’t charge you the remainder of the fee, we will call it square with just your deposit.” and she shrugged it off. (Clearly, even SHE recognized the utter ridiculousness of her ‘training class’ and she thought better of trying to insist otherwise.) Our girl left there feeling nothing but frustration and disappointment. She is lacking the confidence she ought to be feeling after completing the course she had hoped would launch her into a lucrative career.
The unfortunate truth of it is, in order to succeed as a quality lash artist, this poor girl (and frankly, ALL the girls in that particular class) will need to go back to the very first step and find another course. This is such a terrible injustice. It is absolutely unacceptable that ANYBODY can call themselves an ‘Educator’, put an advertisement online, and offer lash training courses that are inadequate, misleading, rife with terribly inaccurate (and often dangerous) information, and offer absolutely no support (or education!) to their students. They are simply taking advantage of these young girls who are looking to enter the industry and make a career of it. They seemingly have no qualms at all about taking their money and giving them nothing in return.
When someone invests their hard-earned money into a Lash Extension career, they deserve to be properly prepared for a career in the industry. Unfortunately, the lash extension industry is not regulated in most areas of the world. Anyone can teach eyelash extensions. Anyone. Anyone can offer a lash certification. ANYONE. Just because someone creates a website, and they’re calling themselves a ‘lash training academy’ and offering you a certificate, does not mean you should invest in them. Not when it comes to putting your money into your future. Do your research. Once you’ve done your research, do it again!
We suggest turning to a place you can trust, like NALA. The National Association of Lash Artists created an accreditation agency in 2016. This 'accreditation for lash training courses’ was developed to do the homework for you….so that you can rest assured that you are making the right choice when looking for a reputable Lash Training facility. If you’re looking to invest your money into a lash career, you need only look for the NALA Seal of Accreditation. That is the only way you can be certain you will get the best quality of training.
You see, in order to earn the NALA Seal of Accreditation, the applicant (the educator) must prove their merit, through our rigorous application process. The lash academies you’ll find in the NALA Directory have voluntarily submitted their training modules for our intense review process. The NALA Seal of Accreditation can’t be simply ‘bought’….our applicants have to ‘EARN’ it! And that is no easy feat. We ask them to bare their whole manual, their whole teaching process, and essentially, their whole ‘lashing practice’ to us for scrutiny. Our applicants must show evidence that their curriculum is a fully comprehensive course that will guide students to success. Their courses will have the most current and scientifically correct information. They cover every possible topic that a lash student will need in order to secure her career in this field. We insist on it, before we will attach our name to any courses!
To find a lash training course that has been approved by the Association (or even to simply find the best lash artists in your area!) visit The NALA Global Directory . There you will see the truth in what I said at the beginning…’not all courses are created equal’.