Meet Your Merchant: Lash Lounge becoming go-to for natural looking eyelash extensions
As a child, Anjelica Struble was a barefoot, sun-kissed island girl living communally with her single dad on a plot of land in Maui. She was always outside — when she wasn’t surfing, she was in the garden.
She grew up knowing nothing about the beauty industry or personal adornment, but something fascinated her about the “well put together” women she’d see in town.
Always a brave go-getter, at the age of 15 Anjelica landed a job washing dishes at Spago, located within the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea. By 19 she had become a waitress, their youngest server ever.
“That taught me a lot about working with the public,” she said. “And realizing that a lot can happen if you show up and work hard.”
But Anjelica was eager to explore the mainland, and she landed a job in another fine dining establishment — only this time in Vail, Colorado, where she “worked all night and snowboarded all day.”
When the winter season ended, she moved to Chico, where a childhood friend was attending college. By that time she was ready for a change in professions.
“I always knew that working for someone else — building someone else’s dream and clocking in each day — wasn’t my path,” she said. “My dad had always told me that life wasn’t all about the money. You need to ask yourself if you’re happy, if you’re enjoying a certain quality of life.”
THE BEAUTY BIZ
She started doing research on starting her own business and learned that the beauty industry was the leading industry for women business owners. She enrolled in a Chico beauty college and opted for an esthetics program, which focused on a holistic approach to skin care.
Over the course of her training she learned to do something new and different — eyelash extensions. She was surprised by how much she enjoyed it. The art of lashes seemed to fit with her personality and she found that paying meticulous attention to fine detail came easily and was immensely gratifying. She also loved the fact that clients were instantly pleased with the result.
When she opened her very own business after graduation, lash extensions were on the menu of treatments, along with skin care. But something funny happened. Within six months, word of her skills and style of applying eyelash extensions had spread around Chico, and soon her appointment book was exclusively filled with eyelash appointments.
“That’s when I decided to create a special niche for myself and cater exclusively to that market,” said Anjelica. “It made sense to focus and get really good at one thing.”
The “Little Lash Lounge” was a success, and Anjelica continued to add to her training, including taking courses from Trina Dial Horne of the International Maven Artistry based in Beverly Hills, and The Lash Tribe, based in Queensland, Australia. She became accredited by the National Association of Lash Artists. Business was booming, but there was only one problem — she fell in love with a man who was moving back to Nevada County, where he grew up.
‘Lucky to meet Angelica’
November turned out to be a big month for Anjelica. She got engaged, moved to Penn Valley with her fiance, and opened her own business, Anjelica’s Lash Lounge. She started getting clients almost immediately and word of her quality work spread quickly.
“Eyelash extensions used to be exclusive to celebrities and the elite, but it went mainstream about 10 years ago,” she said. “It’s evolved exponentially when it comes to adhesives and application techniques. It used to be about long, thick, fake-looking lashes. But now there’s a lot more artistry involved. I personally prefer a more natural look. It’s very detailed work and a lot of care is required so the natural lashes are healthy.”
Semi-permanent lash extensions eliminate the need for mascara. They come in different lengths, diameters and curl shapes and are applied lash-by-lash, one at a time, with a safe, FDA approved medical-grade adhesive. Approximately 50 to 80 lashes are applied per eye. Because each individual has a unique eye shape and has specific needs, preferences and lifestyles, Anjelica makes it a priority to create customized looks for each client. She specializes in natural looking lashes that add to one’s unique features and “leaves your friends and family wondering if they’re real or not.”
“I was lucky to meet Anjelica about a year ago — she saved my natural lashes from irreversible damage from prior extensions that were too long and too heavy, said Grass Valley client Lena Casolo. “She took the time to educate me about my natural lash health and the importance of it thriving in order to support lash extensions on an ongoing basis. In the past, I have been turned off by unprofessional and disinterested lash stylists who produce the same heavy ‘caterpillar look’ on every client. Never once did they inform me that my own lashes were visibly breaking underneath their lush extensions.”
“Anjelica listened to me as I shared a desire for softer, more natural looking lashes,” Casolo continued. “Then she did her magic and made my lash wish come true. During our sessions, we engage in meaningful conversation, or she allows for an hour of peace for my mind in a soothing environment. She is professional, knowledgeable, and her fees are competitive. I love supporting my local community of professionals and I get more lash compliments now than ever before.”
Anjelica has been trained extensively in both classic and volume lashing techniques by industry leaders, but she herself loves a natural look.
“I personally don’t wear make up and I absolutely love the look that a set of natural subtle eyelash extensions gives,” she said. “If I’m heading to work or on a trip to the river with my dog, I know I won’t have to spend any of my time fussing over my look because I’m already effortlessly put together with a set of lashes. In an era of over done, extreme eyelash looks, I am a true believer that less is more.”
It’s now safe to say that Anjelica has landed exactly where she wants to be.
“I love this area – I am home, these are my people,” she said, with a smile. “Nevada County has the Hawaii vibe mixed with a mountain town. My whole life has prepared me to be here. I couldn’t be more grateful. I love the personal connections I make with my clients. I love seeing them walk out with a smile, after having a moment to decompress. I makes me feel like I’m doing something that matters.”
To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.
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