For the second installment of our Women in Business Series, we’re talking to Washington, DC master aesthetician Malin Singleton. This badass boss babe started her successful beauty business, Art of Lash, back in 2016 and is now a highly in-demand eyelash and eyebrow artist. On top of that, she’s looking to grow her portfolio of services while expanding into the aesthetic education space. Talk about busy!
We interviewed Malin about building Art of Lash, changing career paths, and of course, asked for advice on eyelash extensions and makeup! Read on for the full interview which includes her positive take on self-confidence. Plus, get a peek into her beautiful studio!
1. What brought you to become a master aesthetician and what types of services does that entail? How long have you been practicing?
I’ve been practicing for a few years now and absolutely love sharing my knowledge and experience in a constantly evolving industry. Becoming a Licensed Master Aesthetician, in addition as well as a Licensed Master Educator came quite natural to me. Recently, I’ve been working on including additional master aesthetics services, however, eyelash extensions and eyebrow services are the most popular out of all of the services.
2. Why did you start Art of Lash?
Prior to starting my own company, I realized that the a lot of lash artists were taking a “one size fits all” approach. Many of my previous experiences of going to recommended salons very rarely resulted in me leaving satisfied with the customized look I wanted. After noticing the shortage of services being catered towards individual clients, I began studying and perfected the art of lash… which… led me to the name… Art of Lash.
My goal in doing so was to provide every client with an opportunity to receive a truly unique and customizable experience. I prefer spending more time studying the clients facial structure, as well as eye shape before proposing a style, length and curl that will work best for their look. All of our features are so different, and we have unique personal preferences which means we should have our services catered towards these needs.
3. What are some unexpected challenges you’ve had to overcome since launching Art of Lash?
When I began Art of Lash, I didn’t think it would blossom into what it is today, at least not at the growth rate. I think the biggest challenge has been being able to supply the demand, while still providing the expected level of service that I’ve always strived to deliver. My schedule is often booked weeks (sometimes months) in advance, which makes it harder to appease new or last minute clients. But we make it work.
4. As this was a bit of a career change, what advice would give to other young women looking to go in a different career direction?
When I was 19, I moved from my home country (Sweden) to the United States and joined an exchange program. At the time, I didn’t know a single soul in the US. I later went to business school and worked in different types of industries. I’ve worked with interior consulting, did some modeling, as well as international trade, along with bookkeeping/accounting. In the process of finding my passion, I got to experience so many different things that ultimately molded me into what I am today.
For example, I’m able to use my background in aesthetics, design and modeling to help accentuate the natural beauty of every single person that walks through our doors. It truly helped me understand shapes, colors and tones to create the ultimate experience for each client. And of course, I use my bookkeeping and accounting knowledge to run the backend of my business.
My point is, without those previous experiences and a strong belief in myself, I would never have been in the position I am today. I think it’s important to know that your current situation doesn’t have to be your final destination. It’s never too late to start over or take a chance on something new, you’ll always learn something new from it. My life motto has always been, “If there’s a will there’s a way”.
5. Art of Lash has become super successful (hello being totally booked weeks/months in advance!) but you keep adding more services. What does that mean for Art of Lash in the future and how do you see your future growth?
I’ve been extremely blessed to not only have such a supportive team of family and friends, but also clients. They are my reason for coming in each and every day, and inspire me to keep pushing forward.
Finally, after years of hard work, research and dedication, I’ve decided to launch a different part of my business. When I first started Art of Lash I wanted to do so much, but realized each service needed to be perfected in order to offer them to clients, or to educate other licensed aestheticians. This launch will go live in the next few months and I’m very excited to share the news with everyone once it’s ready. So stay tuned 😉
6. Okay back to beauty and lashes – what are the most common questions you get from first-time lash clients?
Some of the most common questions I get from new clients are:
Does the process hurt?
And the answer is no, it doesn’t. It brings a smile to my face when clients realize how extremely relaxing the service is. I believe in creating a relaxed and judgment free zone. My clients can vent about their previous week, take a nap, or just lay back and listen to the atmospheric background music. (From Mila: I can totally attest to Malin having the best playlists, I steal all of them!)
Will the extensions ruin my natural lashes?
First, let me emphasize that it’s extremely important to not only see pictures of your artist’s previous work, but to make sure they’re licensed and certified. That said, when applied correctly, eyelash extensions will not cause any damage to your natural eyelashes. As each extension is properly separated, it won’t prevent the natural shedding cycle.
7. What are your favorite lash-friendly eye makeup products?
Honestly, with eyelash extensions you’ll probably feel the need to wear less makeup. It may sound unbelievable to some but I think most of my clients will agree on this.
But if a client wants to spice it up for a night out or for an event, I always recommend powder-based eye-shadows. You’ll want to avoid anything oil-based like creamy shadows or pencil eyeliners, as it tends to break down the adhesive quicker.
Personally, I love all the Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palettes. They can easily transform a day look to a night on the town and are super blendable. Otherwise, my favorite daily go-to is the clear lip plumper gloss from Grande Cosmetics. I love it so much we even started selling it in the studio.
8. What are some things we should look out for when getting lash extensions for the first time from a new artist? Any red flags that should make us walk away?
First off, make sure they are licensed and certified. Keep in mind this person will be working close to your eyes with tweezers, so at the very least, you’ll want to make sure they’re legit and have a basic aesthetic knowledge.
Also, as mentioned previously, I would check their pictures of previous work and look for consistency as well as authenticity. A lot of places post general stock photos, which looks professional but is not reflective of their actual work. Plus, it can be frustrating booking a service with a salon having the stock image quality in mind but walking out looking completely different.
9. Finally, how can potential clients connect with you?
Are you or anyone you know a Boss Babe who should be featured in our series? If so, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s chat!
*Mila is a regular client of Art of Lash, but 16th and Barton was not compensated in any way for this post. We’re just here to support other women kicking ass in business!*