Spreading ‘Lash Love’

Robin Vastola. Amanda C. Gregg photo

By Robin Vastola
Owner of Robin’s Lashes

Tell us about your business. I am Robin of Robin’s Lashes, and I specialize in eyelash extensions, a process where a synthetic eyelash is applied directly to the individual’s natural eyelash. In addition to offering salon appointments (at Salon Beautiful, 3196 Akahi St. in Lihu‘e), I make house calls. My clientele includes busy moms, brides, and athletic and active women.

How did you get started in this business, and how long has it been going? I started this business a year ago. I was a yoga teacher working full time, and I had been getting my own eyelash extensions. I originally started the business after having my own eyelash extensions for a year and falling in love with them because it made me feel beautiful while retaining a natural look. I’m a doer — I’m busy — and it enabled me to look great from the moment I woke up without having to focus any energy at all on my outward appearance. So I decided to take the training certification where I learned about the health of the eye, how to apply the lashes, how to work with different eye shapes, how to achieve different looks, such as dramatic vs. natural, for example. I then had three months where I had to achieve a certain level of skill before receiving my certification.

Where are you from originally, and what role does that play in your business (if any)? I’m originally from Westchester, N.Y. It plays a significant role because where I grew up was a fast-paced world, very business-oriented, where women like to look their best, and fitness and health are very important, but secondary to taking care of families and running businesses. In the spirit of the energy that I grew up in, eyelash extensions are perfect for a woman who has a busy life but wants to step out looking her best each and every day without spending extra time to do it.

What is your specialty, and who can benefit from it? My specialty is relating to women and making their lives a little easier while making them feel beautiful. I help make it so women have one less task in their already busy lives. People who benefit are moms who are too busy to get out and do something to spoil themselves, or active women who are swimming, surfing, paddling, going to school and don’t have time to “glam it up.” Also, women who have lost their eyelash length and density benefit from eyelash extensions, especially as the hormonal changes from aging or even after having kids adversely affect hair growth. So often I hear women say that they still feel young, but don’t feel their eyelashes represent their age. Some women who are 45 and older have told me the eyelash extensions give them an “instant face lift.” For brides, it’s a great product that enables you to be makeup-free the entire honeymoon week, but it also brightens the eyes and makes them pop for wedding pictures.

Before: a client’s natural eyelashes

For those who may not understand what you do, please explain in lay terms. With a medical-grade hypoallergenic glue, I apply an individual lash extension to each natural lash. (I use a black glue, which adds to the volumizing effect). I apply between 60 and 100 lashes per eye, depending on the amount of your lashes.

What sets your business apart? Quality. I don’t do the same pattern, same length, on every person — it is individualized based on my assessment. I also take into consideration the client’s natural attributes as well as her hopes for the product to design a specific result. Unfortunately, there are people out there doing lash extensions who aren’t certified, which can cause all sorts of problems, including allergic reactions. So when people come to me they know that I am certified, I am an expert and I guarantee my work.

Also, comfort is among my top priorities while providing this service. So often people tell me how relaxing it is, and it is a great opportunity, too, to just talk story with another woman, and enjoy yourself. It’s a funny thing — I’ve had friends call it “lash therapy.” I facilitate an environment where people feel safe and comfortable and often people just “spill” while getting the royal treatment.

Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because I have experienced myself the power of this service, and how much it has benefited my life and empowered me. It just makes you feel better about yourself, and it is such a simple way to wake up and feel naturally beautiful. Also, it’s not just about providing a service — every client of mine has become a friend, and I like to think of myself as a support for every client I’ve had. It’s about meeting women you may not have had an opportunity to meet, sharing similarities and enjoying being a woman.

After: Extensions result in fuller, thicker lashes. Photos courtesy Robin Vastola

What motivates you to get up and go to work every day? Not only my love for what I do, but my husband Andrew and my 3-year-old Berlin.

Do you have a business motto or philosophy for doing business? To provide a fantastic service affordably, benefiting women by a woman.

What is the most challenging aspect of your business? Dissolving preconceived notions brought upon by inferior products. I take a lot of pride in what I do.

What is your business plan for the future? To continue growing, and to continue spreading what I call “lash love.”

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I am also a yoga teacher, and while I have focused my energies on my lash business, I would be teaching yoga and empowering women safely and naturally in a different arena.

Where can people learn more? By “liking” my page on Facebook.com/robinslashes, or giving me a call/text at 346-1589.

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