Here at Lash Addict, we recently took a trip to Madison, Wisconsin to highlight one of our partner schools--The Aveda Institute of Beauty and Wellness Madison. We spoke with Suzanne O’Connell--Lash Addict Educator—to interview her on what it is like being a Lash Educator at Aveda Madison. We want to provide you with as many options as we can to ensure your success in the future, including which Institute is right for you.
During this interview, we took an inside look of what you can expect as a future student at the Aveda Institute of Madison, and a preview of the exclusive training you will receive with our Lash Addict expert products. Follow along to hear about Suzanne’s journey.
Q: Share with Us a Little About Yourself and How You Got Started in the Industry:
Suzanne: My name is Suzanne, and I started out as a cosmetologist right out of high school. I worked in various salons, had my own chair for a bit, and then I went back to school because I was interested in skincare after working for a Medispa.
I went through the Ayurveda Esthetics program here at the Aveda Institute of Madison. From there, I actually got a job working in a lash boutique right out of Esthiology school and ended up back at the Aveda Institute of Madison teaching esthetics and becoming an educator for Lash Addict.
Q: Can You Share with Us a Bit About the Aveda Institute of Madison? How Did the Institute Get Started?
Suzanne: The Aveda Institute of Madison was a beauty school previously, and then Susan Haise—founder of the Aveda Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Madison-- purchased this building and transformed it into the current Aveda Institute Madison in 2015.
Q: How and When Did Aveda Madison Begin Their Lash Extension Program? What Can Students Expect from the Program?
Suzanne: We incorporated lash extensions in 2018. At the time, I was the only person who was able to teach lash extensions, so I would educate our full-time and evening classes. We started hosting separate classes on non-scheduled days, so those who wanted to get certified--who were already licensed--could come in.
Now that we have it in the curriculum, it runs very similar to the rest of our trainings. In school, we do workshops on each other, just like we do with any other modality here. We perform workshops on each other before we take models, then we perform on models during the second day of training.
Q: How Do You Feel Your Lash Addict Training Differs from Other Programs?
Suzanne: It is super important that we accept only licensed professionals to take the course. The way that we train is incredibly valuable and different. I am more focused on building a frame and continuing to work on that frame. I do this for two reasons. First, we build that muscle memory and we get comfortable working back and forth. This helps to achieve that symmetrical and balanced look in the outcome.
Second, safety and sanitation protocols are another significant piece of our training and is emphasized throughout. There are a lot of complications that can happen when not applied correctly—unfortunately I have seen my fair share of lash extension horrors in my time.
Things can happen when clients are moving around, lashes sticking together, and other factors outside of our control. However, as a professional, it is important to check your work throughout the entire service and not just at the end. This is something that we emphasize through hands-on practice and repetition during our training.
Q: How has Lash Addict helped the Aveda Institute of Madison in the Lash Extension Program?
Suzanne: I think where we place this training in curriculum is at such a great time frame. There are a lot of people who are interested in lashes, skincare, and advanced skincare--Lash Addict really enhanced our program.
There are a lot of states that do not require licensure—meaning anyone can pick up instruments and say they are a lash artist—and that is absolutely frightening. We have a lot of students who are already doing lashes who come back to school to become licensed estheticians because they know regulatory departments may decide that you need to be licensed in order to practice.
Q: What is Your Favorite Part About Being a Lash Extension Educator?
Suzanne: It is honestly my favorite thing to teach. I get really excited because we are in a culture of “instant everything” and this is just one of those instant results kinds of services that we can provide to guests and that students can provide to their guests. I enjoy teaching students, and watching them fall in love with the process and power through the learning curve.
I like to tell students to be kind and patient to themselves. It took me 4 hours to complete my first 10 sets of lash extensions. That is what it took for me to understand and learn how to successfully provide a full and balanced look. They will get it; they just need to allow themselves to learn through being kind and patient with themselves and their craft.
Q: What Is Your Favorite Aspect About the Theory Portion of Training as Well as the Hands-On Part of Training?
Suzanne: The safety and sanitation piece of the theory training is crucial, and not a lot of non-licensed individuals utilize it. I love to talk about lash mapping as well. There is so much information I love to provide to my students, so I honestly love the whole training process, and am extremely passionate about what we provide.
For the hands-on portion, when working with students—it gives that opportunity to be patient with themselves. I like to tell students, ‘Once you get it and once it clicks, you will be able to just run with it.’ It is something that requires practice and training, but as long as they are patient with themselves and kind to their learning process—they will do an amazing job.
Q: What Would You Say Is the Most Difficult Part of the Training That Students Struggle With? How Can They Get Past This Learning Curve?
Suzanne: The isolation and application of the lashes seems to be the most challenging. I will step in and demonstrate how to properly isolate for a classic set, but their repetition will be extremely beneficial to their learning process. I think coaching in the moment and assisting with their concerns also goes a long way during their training process as well.
Q: How Has Lash Addict Insider Supported Your Training Program? Can You Speak on Some of the Benefits of the Portal?
Suzanne: Being able to access the training videos, curriculum, and PowerPoints is super helpful and helps everyone to stay organized. I think it is user friendly and a helpful tool for the students to use. Some of the benefits are that other schools can access and be a part of the administrative piece. It gives schools the tools to utilize it to their fullest advantage which is great.
Q: Which Lash Addict Product Can You Not Live Without? Why?
Suzanne: I would say the Ultra Adhesive. I love it particularly when working with students because it has a nice dry time. It also has the lowest fume of any adhesive that I have ever worked with. It is the least irritating adhesive out there. I use the Ultra Adhesive for volume lashes as well and it works absolutely great with me, and I know the students appreciate it as well.
Our partner schools provide great education opportunities for anyone looking for a future in lash extension artistry. Not only do we provide all the necessary tools and education needed, but we focus on you-- the lash artist’s--success.
Start your journey today as a #labosslady and get started in this successful and fast-growing industry.
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