How one lash artist won Novalash’s top award after overcoming her battle with cancer

Tonje Fjeldberg Elshaug, originally from Hitra, Norway, is owner of Glimt Lashes & Brows in Spain, where she trains and mentors Novalash artists while distributing products for the brand. Her lash journey with the company started in 2005 and since then she hasn’t looked back.

“Lash extensions were virtually unknown in Norway at that time. I first saw a set in 2005 and immediately fell in love. NovaLash had a trainer in the area and a good reputation. I felt they were going to be big so I used my maternity leave to train and practice,” said Elshaug.

Elshaug practiced on friends and family – her sister Marte and daughter Christina both fell in love with Novalash and eventually became artists and trainers themselves.

In 2012, the trio opened a joint salon, which was the biggest lash extension provider in Norway, employing 11 members of staff and doubling in profits each year. “While we offered other beauty treatments, our Novalash services were driving our success,” said Elshaug.

Health struggle

Due to the fantastic growth of the salon, Elshaug decided to pursue her dream of moving to Spain to set up a new lash extension business. She split her time between two countries, allowing her to retain her loyal customers in both regions.

However, at the height of her success and achieving her dreams, Elshaug was diagnosed with breast cancer. “The doctors found several tumours and I didn’t think I would make it. I was told not to leave Spain or travel,” said Elshaug.

Because of her absence in Norway and the trauma of her illness, the family was forced to close the business in Norway. Despite these obstacles, Elshaug did not give up. She fought hard and performed lash services when she could, but many days she was unable to get out of bed.

During this time Elshaug applied for Novalash’s 2018 LashOff awards, which recognises the best lash artists who have trained with the brand, and won. “I knew that I had to keep going and the competition was the perfect opportunity to keep me motivated,” said Elshaug.  

Onwards and upwards

Now, Elshaug is focused on healing and raising the standards of the lash extension industry in Spain by training others and educating them about health and safety and the importance of providing high-quality services. While others around her charge 30 Euros for a full set, Elshaug charges 200 Euros and has a full client book.

“Lash artists should not be afraid to charge a premium if they are using high-quality products and a technique that creates long-lasting results. I hope to inspire others to do the same and to get Novalash certified,” she added.

While Novalash has been a big part of Elshaug’s career, the brand is certainly not responsible for her success – she is the example of getting out what you put in. She is passionate, works hard, never gives up and refuses to have a negative outlook no matter what the situation.  

Elshaug is now part of an elite group of Novalash Lash Artists of the Year.

LashOff is a yearly competition open to all Novalash artists across the world. Applications open in October 2018. 

To become a certified Novalash artist, contact Novalash on 01237 041 966 or email

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Image: Tonje Fjeldberg Elshaug with her LashOff tropy, presented to her by Novalash chief executive Sophy Merszei 

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