Located in the highly eclectic neighborhood of The Annex in Toronto, Ontario Canada for 10 years, Beyond Beauty Salon has become a lash destination for many locals and travelers from around the world. This small hidden gem for Lash Extensions has earned its stripes in the Lash biz thanks to its Founder and Cheif Lashing Officer Linh Nguyen who is a Two-time championship winner in North America for her Volume Lashes and her award-winning team. We sit down with Linh for a casual chat to learn more about her journey.
Tell us a bit about yourself – and your journey from lash artist to studio owner?
I started my esthetician career in 2004 and fell in love! But specifically, I really enjoyed the process of lash extensions and everything it involved. Over the course of 3 years, I decided to take courses in-class and online, researching everything that was available on the topic of lashes. In 2009 I decided to start my business in lashes to have the freedom to try new products, services and experiment with this up and coming force in the industry. In the beginning, the focus was on building my skills and clientele and I quickly realized lash extensions was not just a trend, it was a beauty accessory that people can wear all year around. I loved the convenience and how it could be alternative to eye makeup and mascara. This industry began to grow and so did the demand for services in lashes. In my experience, I’ve heard and seen many horror stories relating to terrible lash applications and the numerous bad experiences many women so I knew I wanted to change the perspective of the lash experience for women and develop a training program where the focus is on lash health and lash application safety with design in mind.
What were the challenges you experienced in your journey?
With every career, there is always good days and bad days. I was hard for me at the beginning learning how to explain to clients that extensions are dependant on their Natural Lashes and differentiating between having healthy extensions versus a glam and full look. It was very challenging to break through the misconception of what the perfect set of lashes should look and feel like. Many come to you with the expectation of having Kim Kardashian lashes without realizing their lifestyle, occupation, their health has a lot to do with getting the right set of extensions. It was definitely a learning curve to convey to customers who have been used to getting what they want versus what is suitable and safe for them.
What do you love about lashes and what would say to someone who would want to get into lashing?
Is it really work when you love your job? When I’m lashing, I’m pretty much in the zone where I’m relaxed. Each lash appointment allows me to develop my creative process where I get to design the perfect set of lashes that suit their face but also how it makes them feel when we’re done. For anyone who wants to get into lashing, I would say do your research and find a training program that will best suit your learning style. This industry is also relatively new compared to hair and nails so if you love learning like me, there is always something new to learn with techniques and trends. You just never know if you don’t try right?
If there is anything you would do differently, what would it be?
If there is anything I would do differently, would be not to second guess myself when it came to leading a team early on in the business. Other than that, I wouldn’t change the journey since it’s brought me a lot of insight and opportunity.
Any words of advice for those looking to find the perfect work life balance?
I was working a lot at when I first started the business and didn’t allot myself that needed self-care as I was determined to build my brand and clientele. But as our family grew I knew I couldn’t miss the precious time with my family and my children so I made sure to pencil in time for family and myself. I’m very fortunate to love what I do so for me, I don’t consider it work. BUT work should not consume all the hours of your day, give yourself a break when you need it, spend quality time away from the phones and laptops and treasure those small moments and don’t sweat the small stuff.
What are you future plans – say within the next 3-5 years?
For business, I’d want to grow my team and expand into various locations. As for personal plans, visit my hometown in Hanoi more often to see my family and friends.