Eyelash salons popping up in Louisville

It's now easier to get that Hollywood look in Derby City

By: Shannon Cogan, WAVE 3 News Anchor

Can you imagine Kim Kardashian without these long eyelashes?  It’s a look an increasing number of women want all the time, without using strip lashes.

Now the concept of the eyelash extension salons (think nail salons but for eyelashes) is in Derby City.

Jennifer Kalmey is opening The Lash Lounge in Chenoweth Square in St. Matthews.

“We were looking for franchises to be honest,” Kalmey said. “And at the time, there’s no other franchise like this here in Louisville.”

The franchise started in Dallas, and Kalmey already has plans to open two more in Louisville.

Her aestheticians have been getting trained on the process.  It takes a steady hand, and a patient customer.  The initial lash set takes about two hours.

Professional model Shannon Burton doesn’t bat an eye about the time because she says she doesn’t want to go without.

“You wake up, you look like you already have mascara, your lashes are there.  You look bright and awake,” Burton says.

Less than three miles away at Westport Village, Deka Lash just opened.

“Honestly, when the franchise consultant brought us lashes we laughed hysterically.  I was like, you got to be kidding me,  eyelash extensions?” owner Robert Armstrong said.

After researching, he and his wife learned the lash business is nothing to laugh at.  The industry is growing quickly.  There are currently 50 Deka Lash locations.  The company has already signed deals to open 150 more.

Kalmey says for The Lash Lounge there are 25 in the country.  By the end of this year there will be 100.  And it’s expected that at the end of 2019 there will be 400.

That’s a lot of lashes.

This is how it works.  The lash is attached to your real eyelash with an adhesive, not on your eyelid.  One lash can be added per natural lash, or more for extra volume.

You can get them wet and wear mascara.  But to keep the look fresh you’ll need an appointment every two and a half weeks for about an hour.

“As your natural lash falls off, you have to come back in to get a refill.  That’s part of the attraction of this business also,” Armstrong said.

Care does have to be taken to avoid using make-up remover with oils or alcohol.

There are places in the area that have been offering lash extensions, however these new spots make the lashes their main focus.

Kalmey says there’s more than enough room in town for multiple spots as she sees this beauty trend only growing.

“We have six to seven cosmetologists and we are booked solid,” Kalmey said.

Right now at both locations a set of lashes costs 79 dollars.  The Lash Lounge’s introductory special (until September 6th) includes a ten dollar donation to Twisted Pink Foundation, which aims to extend life and improve quality of life for late stage breast cancer patients and their families by funding metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer research.

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