How to Navigate through Global Shortages as a Lash Tech

by Joan Wong

The global shortage we are all experiencing right now is very problematic most especially for lash techs and lash lovers. Because we all have certain lash products, tools, and accessories we use. Some of them even come from other countries like South Korea which are experiencing reduced production. 

But with the shortage, it is a bit harder to order from other countries. But don’t worry, I collected 4 tips to help you maneuver around these global shortages that all of us are experiencing right now.

Why are shortages happening 

Because of Covid-19, there is a global shortage for almost everything. Such as the lash supplies and tools you use in your lash extension applications. Why? Because many factories and manufacturers of many lash supplies are located in places like South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and other countries which were hit hard by Covid-19. These factories are shut down and/or reduce their production because their employees are getting sick and to keep up with the World Health Organization’s requirements.

Empty shelves with 'Sorry, Temporarily Out of Stock'  during pandemic. Cartel Lash

As a result, many shipping companies cut their schedules to anticipate the decrease in the production of these factories. This proved to be a mistake that affected the lash industry and spa services greatly. The demands for these products and lash supplies didn’t decrease. But the supply is low. The result, a shortage.

In addition, with the floods and Highway 1 closures in BC, the supply chain has been further disrupted.

Prioritize orders

As a lash tech, you need to learn how to prioritize the products you need or are about to finish. It is good practice to re-order products when you are halfway through them, especially if they are essential in doing lashes, such as lash adhesive. 

Timing is key. When you are ordering from other countries, they will estimate how long it will take for your order to arrive, but keep in mind that delivery estimates are not guaranteed. Consider ordering locally, from places like Cartel Lash, located in British Columbia. Ordering from local businesses ensures that delivery times aren’t as long because of the proximity to you, also many businesses offer curbside pickup. 

As a business owner, learning how to prioritize is also a great business strategy especially in these trying times.

Stay on top of inventory

Always be on top of your inventory. Track all the products, tools, and accessories. List down all the products you always use and are important for you to provide the best services. For example, lash adhesives, cleansers, sealants, primers, eyeliners, eyelash extension removers, tweezers, etc. 

 Eyelash Extension tools: false eye lashes, glue, tweezers. Cartel Lash

Make sure you are not running out of these products and supplies or your operation will be affected. List down all the products you order from other countries versus the ones you can order in your location. For all the products made from other countries, you might need to order them ahead so they will arrive on time. Take into consideration the shipping time and how long it takes to arrive at your doorstep.

Keep track of expiry dates

All lash supplies have specific expiration dates and shelf life. This will depend on the product and manufacturers. For example, lash adhesives. Lash glues contain cyanoacrylate, which is the bonding agent found in all adhesives, this ingredient breaks down over time. The longer they are in storage, in a not-so-ideal environment, the cyanoacrylate will break down faster than anticipated. Meaning, your lash adhesive will lose its efficiency and will not perform well.

My advice, before you put your lash supplies in storage take note of when they arrived and their expiration dates. Arrange them per expiration date, where the products that will expire sooner are at the front. This way, you can easily monitor and keep track of all the expiration dates of the products in your storage and also know which ones are running out.

Set realistic expectations for clients

When your clients order a product from you, it is best to set realistic expectations. For example, if a client is looking for a specific brand of lash cleanser for sensitive skin and you are almost out. You have to let your client know that you are almost out of this product and you will need to order more. Don’t tell them it will arrive the next week if you are not sure it will arrive then. Be realistic. It will be more of a hassle for you and your client if the product they ordered experiences shipping delays. 

Eyelash extension procedure with lash mapping. Cartel Lash

A good rule of thumb is to add a week or 10 days to the estimated delivery date. This way, even if the products arrive a few days later, your client will not be upset. And if they arrive earlier, your client will be pleased.

The global shortages are felt all over the world and in all industries. All we can do is adapt, work through it and move forward. The businesses that make adjustments and are realistic with their limits, will not perish and can still prosper even in these trying times.