Have you ever just been so frustrated with finding the right mascara for the perfect lash look? I know I have. I spend hours in beauty stores looking for top brand mascara and hoping that my lashes will look full without looking as if I have layers and layers of mascara on. Lets face it, we all want a natural look when it comes to our lashes but we are often unable to achieve that with mascara. Recently, I have discovered the solution to this beauty dilemma, and it is lash extensions. And fortunately for my Philly beauties, I have found the spot to get these extensions applied in a perfectly affordable and non-invasive application.
LashBee is a new beauty service that provides safe, natural looking, high-quality semi-permanent lash extensions (say that five times fast) in partner salons. For many of you who are like me, you probably don’t know much about lash extensions. Well, I had the divine pleasure of sitting down with one of the co-founders, Anjali, and I was able to learn about lash extensions and how LashBee is turning the product of lashes and the procedure of the application into a luxurious and highly affordable thing. In my interview, I not only was introduced to LashBee but also the thoughts and ideas that Anjali and her co-founder Erin, have and are continuing to build upon.
LivingLesh: Let’s start from the beginning, where did you and Erin start? How did this idea come about?
Anjali: Erin and I first met at Wharton’s MBA program and started both a friendship and a partnership. When we began thinking about a business that could be successful and one that we could grow, we thought about the beauty industry since we both love it and it is a great market. Innovation in the beauty industry is often limited, so we wanted to improve on a beauty service we loved, while also creating jobs. We have almost 10 LashBee employees at the moment, and are in two partner salons in Philadelphia (ANJUthreads – 12th and Walnut, and About Face Boutique Skincare – 1oth and Chestnut). We are looking to keep growing and continue adding partner salons & spas in other areas in and out of Philly, as well as outside of PA.
LivingLesh: Why lashes?
Anjali: I took a trip to Korea, where eyelash extensions are tremendously popular. I tried extensions for the first time and I LOVED them! I woke up each morning not needing to put on any makeup. I wanted to keep it up in the U.S. but found it very expensive and hard to find. When Erin and I began discussing startup ideas, we realized that extensions are something that most women we know would love. We want to make eyelash extensions more popular. Our goal is to create a service that is high quality, affordable and safe. We use analytics and product innovation to develop products and tools that improve the eyelash extension process. We have developed and tested (then refined and tested again!) all the LashBee products for over a year to see which adhesives hold up against different variables, and to see which synthetic lashes are the most lightweight and natural-looking. We want to perfect the procedure so that it is an enjoyable experience for our clients and they can open their eyes, thrilled with how their lashes look and how natural it feels. We are continuing to innovate each day, which is why we have a product engineer on our team.
LivingLesh: Where did the name LashBee come from?
Anjali: It’s funny because when Erin and I started thinking of names that connected to lashes, all the names were taken by mascaras. Eventually, we began searching online and putting in different options and then a suggestion [LashBee] came up from a web domain provider and we loved it. It is catchy and bees are also associated with natural and healthier products, which is a core component to our brand.
Services & Prices
- Cleo Bee – $150: Just a light application of lashes. With the Cleo Bee, extensions are applied at the outside corners to elongate your eye, giving you the sexy look Cleopatra was famous for. (Application: > 60 mins)
- Busy Bee – $190: For the busy beauty who wants to skip the mascara – In this speedier service, extensions are placed on every other lash to enhance your natural look. (Application: > 90 mins)
- LashBee – $250: Natural glamour – LashBee’s classic, wear-them-anywhere lashes! LashBee applies an extension to every healthy lash to channel your everyday diva – up to 140 lashes per eye or more! This is our signature style and great for extension newbies. (Application: > 150 mins)
- Queen Bee – $300 +: Go bold with thickness, try out faux mink, or brighten things up with a splash of color. (Application: > 180 mins)
** LashBee also offers fills and touch ups for applied sets. See fully detailed pricing on the LashBee Services page**
LivingLesh: What is the process for applying the lashes?
Anjali: First, we start off with a consultation to understand the look the client is aiming to achieve so that we can figure out what service is right for that individual and to see what products are needed. Every application is customized to the client, which is how we always make sure the extensions look natural on every different type of eye shape! We select the extension’s length, thickness and curl based off of the natural lashes of the person so that the lashes blend in with the natural lashes. When we start the application, the client lays down on one of our comfortable beds and we apply collagen eye pads underneath the eyes to improve the skin elasticity and also to protect the lower lashes. The client can listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks offered by LashBee or they can bring their own. The entire time the client’s eyes are closed. Most clients actually fall asleep during the process because they are so comfortable. You can barely feel anything as the lashes are being applied. During the application process, we go lash by lash to apply the extensions [the amount depended on the set purchased]. It is a light touch of the lashes and we use a specially formulated medical grade adhesive that is both safe and non-invasive.
LivingLesh: Are tests given to make sure that the adhesive doesn’t infect or irritate the eye?
Anjali: Yes. We have had a few women who have told us that they have had allergic reactions to other adhesives in their lives. So during the consultation, we ask about any allergies and do patch tests to make sure that there is no negative reaction to the lashes. Allergic reactions are incredibly rare with our products but we recommend a patch test for anyone who feels they have sensitive skin.
LivingLesh: On average, how long to the lashes stay in?
Anjali: With proper care, the lash extensions shed with your natural lashes. Humans naturally lose about 2 – 4 lashes a day and that shedding is the same with the extensions since they are attached to your natural lashes. Many clients ask what they can do while the extensions are in and honestly, you can do just about anything. Swim, workout, anything. The key is to avoid using oil-based products and to be gentle when washing your eyes.
LivingLesh: How often do clients return to LashBee to have the extensions put back in?
Anjali: Touch-ups are needed to maintain eyelash extensions due to the natural eyelash shedding and the baby lashes that grow in. Most clients come for 60 minutes every three or four weeks, or for 30 minutes every two weeks. We offer a membership program, where you receive 60 minutes of fill time a month for $84, in addition to other perks. If you were to go without ever getting touch-ups, you will naturally shed all your extensions in 3-4 months. We can also remove them at a LashBee location, and the removal will take less than 20 minutes. We are happy to do fills from other lash extension places – we often have women come asking us to fix extensions from outside salons. We pride ourselves at LashBee for being the safest lash extension spot – we will never damage your natural lash here.
LivingLesh: What do you recommend for brides?
Anjali: Many of our clients are brides and we recommend for brides to come in about 6 weeks before the wedding day to have a consultation and to make sure the look that we provide for you is perfect. We also offer parties for brides to have their bridal party and other guests get extensions as well. Brides love extensions since the close-up photography is incredibly natural compared to strip lashes. Long lashes add a significant difference in pictures. (For more information on bride lash extensions, visit here.)
LivingLesh: Can mascara still be used when wearing the extensions?
Anjali: Yes, mascara can still be used but it is not really needed. Lash extensions are a replacement to mascara, but if someone really wants to wear mascara, we recommend that you don’t use waterproof or oil-based mascara as the oil breaks the bond that the adhesive creates to connect the lashes. If you want an extra pop, you can put some mascara at the tips – just make sure to clean your lashes that night!
LivingLesh: You mentioned that the lashes can be removed, what is that process?
Anjali: The removal process takes about 15-20 minutes. We use a gel remover and brush the extensions out of the natural lashes. Natural lashes are kept intact and the only thing removed are the extensions themselves.
I didn’t have any lashes applied while I was at the salon that day but after hearing about the process and how simple and affordable it is, I will definitely be returning in the future to have some extensions put in!
Anjali provided me with great details about LashBee and I was so grateful to be able to sit down with her and talk about LashBee and the services that they offer.
Want to hear something even better? LashBee is sponsoring a giveaway and giving one lucky Philly or Tri-State area beauty a $100 gift certificate to put towards any one of the sets mentioned above. Enter using the Rafflecopter below! This would be great gift for the beauty in your life or just a wonderful gift for yourself!