With close to eight years under her belt, Charlotte Creasey has forged a successful career in the delicate art of eyelash extensions. Ashleigh Sharman discovered that women across Sydney are batting their lashes in approval.
From working on friends in her back room to Newtown’s well-established Lady Lash! salon, Charlotte Creasey remains fixated on eyelashes.
“Eyelashes have the power to transform your face immediately, unlike a lot of other beauty treatments where you have to wait and see if it works. Eyelash extensions provide instant beautification,” says Charlotte who is thankful she followed her instinct, knowing one day this trend would skyrocket.
“I did a course; started doing it for friends, but really enjoyed the fine nature of the skill. A lot of the work I did in the beginning was fixing bad jobs; people who had gone to nail salons, salons overseas or beauty salons with a broad range of services. Lashes need a specialist skill and I thought if I could specify this in my service offering people would come to me as the lash expert,” she adds.
Charlotte has always had a foothold in Newtown and her salon Lady Lash!, on busy King Street, can now accommodate up to ten clients at any one time with six to seven staff working each day. Treatment times range from 30mins to one hour 45mins, the average being one hour, and the salon stocks over 100 different types of lashes. Her repeat client rate of 80 per cent speaks volumes of the service standard that is offered, with 95 per cent female; the majority are after a full but natural look — less length but more volume.
“About half our clients have already researched extensions and know what kind of look they want. Our older clients are more definite about what they want; the younger girls not as certain. The Swarovski crystal trend has gone as has coloured lashes, so the current trend is really about fine lashes and lots of them with our faux-mink styles very popular,” Charlotte explains.
The industry of course has also changed and most notably, eyelash glue has improved. Very thick when it first entered the market, similar to current temporary eyelash extension glue, it wasn’t as fast-setting and meant longer treatment times and more hassle for the client. There are also more materials available other than synthetic, including silk, mink and faux-mink. Importantly, the messier work Charlotte was seeing is no longer as apparent with training and product improvements. Charlotte also believes many salons have now dropped the service owing to its complexity.
“Training, experience and technique is incredibly important. In addition to a course I took it upon myself to do one-on-one trainings with local experts and in regards to staff, I only hire people who have a minimum of three to four years’ experience. You can’t train someone in a matter of weeks. Lashes are all we do and regular in-house training is a key to our success. Staff must learn how ‘we’ do lashes,” she says.
Success then has always been brewing for Charlotte who had confidence that lashes would grow in the market, was surrounded by loved ones who had confidence in her to establish a salon and whose referrals reassured her technique for “neat, clean work that lasts”.
“Word of mouth is still our main marketing tool; because it is such a delicate process people need to have an element of trust. I’m hoping to open another salon in the next year or two but where that place is I don’t know. My focus is always on keeping up the quality and level of service. We won’t introduce more services but continue to improve the technology and the technique. Human hair isn’t quite there yet but it’s good in theory and I’m always searching for better glue. I’ve been reading about naturally-derived organic glue and it’s interesting also to learn of eyelash transplant surgery on the rise as a cosmetic procedure. What’s great is that as the procedure has become more common, there is less fear.”
A Newtown local, Charlotte and her Lady Lash! team see women from all over Sydney, as far as the Blue Mountains. It’s a winning formula that still delivers a confidence boost and daily reassurance that fluttery is thriving.
Lady Lash! Level 1, 251 King Street, Newtown NSW www.ladylash.com.au