Exploring the popularity of lash lifts
2017 has been the year of the lash lift. Requests for the treatment soared, fluttery “after” images popped up all over social media and pro brands raced to get their own version of the treatment speedily launched to market.
More noticeable than a tint but subtler than lash extensions and requiring no maintenance, lash lifts fill a gap in the market for a quick, affordable treatment that gives great results and doesn’t demand any of the client’s free time for upkeep.
The latest lift on the market came from Eyelash Emporium, the lash brand owned by Grafton International, which launched GDL – or Gravity Defying Lashes – in October as a fuss-free lunchtime treatment for busy clients who want an impactful look.
“GDL is ideal for those clients that don’t have the time to maintain extensions but desire fuller, longer lashes,” says the brand’s education manager Amber Ivison.
As clients have less time on their hands, the industry is busy innovating express routes to 79beauty, and with treatment times of around 45 minutes, lash lifts are bang on trend.
“Short treatment times and results that last six to eight weeks without the need for maintenance means lash lifts are now proving more popular than extensions,” says Deborah Mitchell, founder of London Lash & Brow, which uses organic plant extracts in its lift products.
Salons have social media to thank in part for driving in clients requesting lash lifts. Search #lashlift on Instagram and hundreds of thousands of “before and after” pictures appear, showing natural lashes transformed from short and stubby to long and luscious.
“Consumers are becoming more aware of the treatment from celebrities, as well as magazine jounalists sharing their thoughts after press appointments,” says Steven Douch, a trainer for Nouveau Lashes, which was a frontrunner in the lash lift market with LVL (Length, Volume, Lift). “This is creating a huge demand for salons, with clients actually requesting LVL by name.”
Aside from the celebrity buzz, lifts are also easily marketable to clients with very fair or sparse lashes who want a little definition and enhancement but shy away from thick, voluminous extensions.
Even extension wearers can get in on the act, with lifts offering a great option if lashes need a rest but the client can’t bear to go completely natural. The treatment could even help nourish and condition natural lashes weakened by adhesive bonds, as in most systems the final step before an optional tint sees the technician apply a nourishing, conditioning lotion.
Lash health is a big consideration for Nouveau Lashes with LVL. “Our new formulation includes ingredients like hydrolysed collagen and oats; powerful proteins that deeply condition lashes and protect the outer cuticle, leaving the consumer with beautiful, conditioned lashes,” says Douch.
LVL uses curling tools called shields, which cover the whole eyelid as opposed to the thinner rod-style curling tools used by Lash Perfect. GDL and London Lash & Brow also use shields to curl and lift, while Marvelash offers both styles.
With a low cost per treatment and fairly short appointment times, lash technicians used to performing laborious extensions all day will welcome the introduction of a much more time-effective treatment that still offers a good profit margin.
“Our cost per treatment is £5.17, so we expect the average profit to be between £29.83 and £49.83,” says Ivison. The recommended selling price for the London Lash & Brow Lift “is between £35 to £40, depending on area, plus the cost of tinting, and the cost of products per treatment to you as a therapist is £8.86,” adds Mitchell, leaving a maximum potential profit of £31.14.