There are many lash and brow products on the market, but there’s one that particularly stands out thanks to its eye-catching branding, considered aesthetics and determination to do things differently – Lash Glo. For this month’s Ask the Expert feature we spoke to Rhian Thomas to find out more about how Lash Glo is disrupting the beauty industry…
Hey Rhian, tell us a little about yourself and your background
I first began in my business with my company Oh So Lovely Ldn in 2005, delivering mobile beauty and massage treatments. I then qualified to teach and went on to teach some of the most renowned brands in the business such as Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Christian Dior, Estée Lauder and more.
In 2018 my business partner and I decided to start a lash and brow brand that was different to anything we had seen before. So, after much preparation and planning we launched Lash Glo in May 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, we’ve grown a large social media following and online presence that has kept us very busy ever since!
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How did you get started in the beauty industry and lashes in particular?
I remember working in an office and just knew I had to do something different – something creative.
I’d always had a passion for wellness so decided to book a massage course. I loved it so much I started to provide massages myself and grew a client base almost immediately. From there, I went back to college to study beauty therapy part time. I continued to work freelance for myself in London and have been fortunate to work in some of the most prestigious spas in the UK, meeting a range of celebrity clientele along the way.
When I first started in the beauty industry, lashes were not the same as they are today. Russian Volume lashes hadn’t even been invented!
When Cluster Lashes started to fade out and Classics were introduced, I found myself receiving bookings months in advance. I became so busy that I had to close my client books to new customers in 2011. I had found my niche!
What motivated you to start your own business?
I liked the idea of working for myself and being flexible with my work hours. Little did I know I’d end up working every hour of every day whilst I was building my business! But, I wouldn’t change any of it.
I have met so many wonderful people along the way and have had the most amazing opportunities.
You have an amazing social following, what top tips would you give to someone wanting to grow their lash page following?
Be different and offer something unique that your competition isn’t.
You should brand yourself so you stand out from everyone else. That way, you’re more likely to get noticed. This is what attracted so many people to Lash Glo before we had even launched.
Consistency is the key with any social platform. Post every day if you can, engage with your followers, use relevant hashtags and don’t stress about how many followers you have. Everything takes time and comparison is the thief of joy as they say!
Try to set yourself small goals and don’t worry about putting out ‘perfect’ content. Instagram’s algorithm is unpredictable so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get the ‘likes’ you expected, just keep putting content out daily and trust the process.
IG Reels are a great way to build your following and of course everyone loves a TikTok video.
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How important has social media been to your career?
I didn’t use social media to grow my first business, Oh So Lovely Ldn, as social media wasn’t particularly prevalent back then. After a while though, I set up a business page and started posting random photos, not really knowing how to use it! However, when Facebook introduced a review feature it became a great way to build trust with customers and build an organic following.
I joined Instagram quite late (about six years after it launched) and it took a while to get used to the differences between it and Facebook, so I hired a company to manage my page for me. That’s not something I’d do again as you lose the personal connection that your audience expects, plus I feel that automation can mess up the algorithm (but that’s just my experience).
Once I started to post to Insta myself in 2019 on a consistent basis, that’s when my engagement and in turn demand for my courses began to grow.
Lash Glo on the other hand has grown solely because of Instagram. The response has been amazing and the reach we have had has blown us away. We have gained 13.5k followers in just over a year. On TikTok, we’ve gained over 200k followers which has certainly involved a lot of fun!
Without having a social media platform to grow on, we wouldn’t be where we are today. It has been a pivotal part of our business growth.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge in your career? And, how did you overcome it?
It’s a hard question really as, like many others, when the pandemic hit everything stopped. Having been so busy teaching five to six fully-booked classes a week for so many years, it came as a total shock!
In hindsight, I’m glad it happened and my classes stopped as it gave me time to focus on building Lash Glo.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about setting up their own business?
Work out your costs and expenses before you launch! I remember travelling to do an upper lip wax for £5 and wondering why I had no money left. It’s vital that you break down all outgoings so you can work out what profit you will be left with.
What are the essential tools, products and equipment that you can’t work without?
Product wise, for lashes it would have to be a fast drying adhesive like our Lash Glo Ultimate Adhesive, an extra-large lash tray such as our 20 Row Miami Volume Lashes and an extra-large gel remover like our 30ml Ultimate Gel Remover.
As for tools, I would recommend a pair of high precision tweezers like our Dual Tweezer as well as application tweezers with an amazing grip like our Mega Glo II tweezers. Equipment wise, a nice comfy bed, a steady stool that helps you hold a good posture and the best lighting is an absolute must.
For brows it would have to be a good lamination kit like our 20 Minute Brow Lift, a long lasting setting gel like our Brow Sculpt and a pair of quick and easy to use eyebrow scissors like our Spring Scissors.
Do you have any tips for people who want to improve their lashes?
Take your time. Lashing takes months of practice before you’ll feel confident in your abilities.
Focus on having a good posture, building your hand stability and perfecting your application technique. Invest in the best quality tools and products so you don’t have to keep replacing them.
You should also always wear a mask to protect yourself from inhaling the adhesive fumes. It also pays to take care of your back, stretching regularly between clients.
It also pays to use online content to stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments, ideas and product releases.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My parents are both teachers and have inspired me to be the best teacher I can be!
My business inspiration and ideas often come from places myself and my business partners have travelled to. Our brand vision was created from a photo of pastel clouds, palm trees, and rainbows!
We love bright colours and anything that reminds us of a holiday!
Between us we’ve had some amazing opportunities to travel to some of the most beautiful places hence our Lash Trays being named after some of our favourite cities and countries.
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What does 2021 and beyond look like for you? Do you have any big plans?
I’m excited to see what the future holds for Lash Glo as we will be venturing into new areas of the beauty industry and have some exciting ideas and product launches for later in the year.
We also have some amazing collaborations with other industry professionals lined up too that we can’t wait to share. We are already planning our Christmas collection which seems so far away, but I’m sure it’ll come round quicker than we think!