In the past several years, the eyelash industry has taken the beauty world by storm, expanding its capabilities and services and becoming a must-have for clients of every variety and from every background. Now, if you’re already a certified and working lash technician, you’re likely to have enjoyed the boons of a field that’s projected to easily cross the $1.5-billion mark by 2023.
But, if you’re a lash artist still in training or a hopeful thinking about signing up for your first lash extension training course, you might be hesitating about your decision.
Can you carve out a space for yourself in this competitive market? And, even if you were to put in the work to do so, what cut of those billions are you going to see, especially in your beginning years?
So, let’s talk cash. Lash cash.
What Do Lash Artists Make on Average?
Every artist’s pay is dependent upon multiple factors, such as the region where they work, the number of regular clients they have, the number of days and hours they work, the cost of the supplies they use, payment schemes of employers and salons, their marketing techniques, and other factors. Nonetheless, it’s good to know the norm: In Australia, lash artists make, on a national average, around $60,000 a year.
To get a better estimate of what one can make and how, let’s look at a representative model:
Say you’re looking to become a lash artist on the Gold Coast, a nice suburban area that boasts a pretty penny in terms of cost of living. The responsibilities you have to other areas of your life—family, relationships, leisure—are currently tempered. You’ve got the energy, and you’re motivated to hustle.
Now, on the Gold Coast, a full set goes from anywhere between $60 to $400 a pop but, on average, they sit at around $150 and take between 1.5 to 2 hours. Infills, of course, cost less at around $90 and take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. So, we’ll use some of these figures to do some simple math.
Excited to get your career going, you decide to work 6-hour days for 5 days a week. Assuming that you’re working straight through the day and, conservatively, taking 2 hours to complete full sets and 1 hour on infills, you can make:
- 3 full sets (2 hours each) x $150 each = $450 a day just doing full sets.
- 6 infills (1 hour each) x $90 each = $540 a day just doing infills.
- 2 full set + 2 infills = $480 a day.
- 1 full set + 4 infills = $510 a day.
So, at these prices and this schedule, you can expect to average around $495 per day and $9,900 per month before expenses for supplies and taxes. Assuming you work 50 weeks out of the year, you’re annual takeaway is sitting at around $123,750.
As a novice lash artist that’s just run out the gate, you shouldn’t expect to charge this much—in some cases, you may not charge at all. While you’re still in training and looking to gain experience as well as a robust portfolio of your work, you may offer complementary labor on your sets for your first clients (which may very well be friends and family) to sit as lash models. In this situation, you can be paid in experience and materials cost alone, which, when you’re first starting out, is as valuable as money. Plus, it might take the pressure off of you to do perfect sets from the get-go.
With that being said, don’t offer free work for long. Your skill and time are valuable even if you’re in the early stages of your lash mastery—that has to be made clear to your clients who will begin to assume that no charge equates to little or no worth. That’ll make it harder to raise and justify your prices later.
So, after you comfortably complete around 5 to 10 full sets, begin charging, even if it’s 30 to 50 percent of your full prices or just over what you need to cover the cost of supplies. Know (and charge) your worth.
Factors that Will Affect Your Lash Income
Now, that initial six-figure income might have you eager and excited, but it’s important to stay realistic, grounded, and smart, especially when it comes time to make certain decisions about where and how you decide to pursue your new trade. These will have a significant influence on what’s coming out of your pocket.
Lash artists can usually expect to incur these expenses on a regular basis:
- Supplies and equipment
- Marketing and ads
- Continued training
Of course, you may tack on other expenses that are unique to your situation and standards: Maybe you have children and need to pay for a sitter while you work or you’d like to serve champagne and goodie bags to your clients. It’s all what you’re willing to and need to invest in.
One key factor to think about not only at the start of your professional journey but throughout it is how you want to do business. More specifically, do you want to make people pretty out of your home, in their homes, or in a salon or lash studio?
Each option has pros and cons as well as factors that you’ll have to judge against your own comfort. For instance, are you cool traveling to a complete stranger’s home and working in potentially an unstable environment? Reversely, are you down with complete strangers coming into your home? Or are these risks worth it if you can avoid paying the high cost of rent to work in salons? Salons get lots of foot traffic and, thus, higher client turnovers, but, with rent, you may not break even for the first couple of years.
Whatever you decide, be sure to do your research and take the time to do some serious financial planning.
Can You Make It Happen for Yourself?
Lash artists around the world make six-figures doing what they’re excellent at and passionate about. But this, of course, isn’t the standard: These professionals work hard, continuously staying on top of the latest trends and technologies, refining techniques and learning new ones, and, most importantly, creating meaningful connections with the people they beautify.
Like any creator, lash artists get what they put into honing their craft. While certain expenses and earnings are fixed, the steadiness and rise of your income will be entirely dependent on the quality and innovativeness of your work and how well you’ve trained. This is why so many lash artists first invest in a good education and training experience.
For the past 14 years, Lashia Eyelash Design has focused exclusively on performing lash work and, since 2010, training lash artists of every level with one-on-one mentorship, customised eyelash extension courses, and hands-on experience with the latest and greatest techniques, so you’re equipped you with everything we know and practice on a daily basis. We boast a global presence, beginning first in Stockholm, Sweden, and now serving the Gold Coast of Australia.
If you’re ready to receive your training certification and become a skilled, responsible, and profitable business owner in a limitless field, contact Lashia Eyelash Design. Let’s see how far your career can take you!