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Meet Lexi Zao of Lash Lair San Diego

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lexi Zao.

Hi Lexi, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I originally wanted to go into the medical field. In college, I worked at a medical/cosmetic dermatology office and was exposed to many different lasers, peels, etc. I realized I was more passionate about the beauty industry rather than the medical field, but I still wanted to try and use my degree. I did research and development at a biopharmaceutical company for about a year, but the thought of going to esthetics school never left my mind. I decided to quit my job and enroll in the esthetics program at Bellus Academy – to this day, it was the best decision I could have made. After receiving my esthetician license, I took a lash extension course and fell in love – the rest is history.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road. I actually tried to start my business straight out of school with no experience, plan, or knowledge of what it actually takes to work for yourself. I realized I had failed after two months. I got a position at a local studio in San Diego, improved my skills, learned about the ins and 0ut’s of this industry, and eventually stepped into a training role for new lash artists. I found the courage to try to start a business again about six months later, in November 2019.

COVID-19 was extremely difficult with all the uncertainty, but I made it through and my business is now better than ever. I dedicated 100% of myself to this business, and I don’t think I would be where I am today if I hadn’t. The hours are long, the body is fatigued. My brain is always thinking about how I can grow, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have made many mistakes but also value the lessons learned.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Lash Lair San Diego?
Lash Lair San Diego was founded in 2019 to offer people an effortless alternative to smudged mascara or those frustrating falsies. We all live busy lives – and eyelash extensions can help. Take the extra minutes to sleep in and forget to put on mascara. With eyelash extensions, you’re ready to go! Whether it’s an everyday natural look or dramatic and glamorous, each lash set is personalized based on each client’s preferences. I’m a natural gal at heart but love the creative aspect of the wispy volume sets. I have recently added another artist, Andy, to the team, bringing more diverse lash sets – she has even used pink lashes!

During the pandemic, I worked with multiple manufacturers to create my own line of lash extension products. I was frustrated with the inconsistency of other brands’ products and, after much trial and error, created a line of lash extensions that I now use on every client. I hope to bring them to market by the end of this year.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
We put an emphasis on quality, not quantity. We only use premium products, including lashes, adhesives, all down to the cozy lash beds. In my previous position, lash artists’ were booked back to back – affecting the quality of the extensions. I noticed the artists became so stressed about timing, the service was more about throwing some extensions on rather than focusing on technical skills. If there’s downtime, we practice techniques different than ours. Education is extremely important as this industry advances every day. I have made it a goal to take at least 1 course per year to keep up with the growth, new techniques and new products.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Madysen Hall

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