Christina Perez, NovaLash 2011 Lash Artist, shares her favorite memories from her NovaLash experience:
What was your favorite trip taken out of New York, Houston, Hong Kong, Miami and Vegas & why?
Besides all of the touristy things, each trip brought upon brand new, rare experiences and has its own reason for being my favorite. In NYC, I not only had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of one of the beauty industry’s top magazines, but I was also interviewed and featured in a few different articles over the year!
In Houston, I was put up in the trendy Hotel ZaZa, chauffeured around in a ZaZa escalade, presented with a gorgeous crystal award at the ceremony, introduced to the NL team—and this was just the first day! I had the opportunity to pick the brains of the top women in our field, Sophia Navarro and Sophy Merszei – and yes, they are everything I imagined and more! I was able to get my lashes done (which never happens since I am the only lash artist in my salon), tour the corporate office (which looks like a life-size dollhouse) and had a night out in the city. I had an absolute blast shooting videos with Ali Moon, the head of marketing, who the next lash artist of the year will be very lucky to be spending lots of time with!
Besides its overwhelming size, beauty, and endless shopping, Hong Kong was amazing simply because I was on the other side of the globe and in a famous place I never thought I would get to visit. It was interesting to see how much further the lash extension world has evolved in the U.S. compared to Asia where the eyelash extension service first emerged – except they didn’t have NovaLash or Platinum Bond Adhesive to save the industry. I definitely realized how lucky we all are to be a part of an industry that could have never existed without the hard work of everyone at NovaLash to keep it alive.
In Miami for the ICES show we stayed at the Eden Roc in a glamorous suite right on the beach. I was able to lash all day at the show, spend nights lounging on the balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and really get to know some of the NovaLash family.
IECSC in Vegas last month was bittersweet. It was my last trip with the NovaLash team as the Lash Artist of the Year—but I think I went out with a bang! We stayed at the magnificent Caesar’s Palace, so instead of being completely drained after lashing all day, the lively vibe kept me upbeat to take advantage of every second I had left of this amazing journey.
Each trip was very special to me because I had a chance to lash women who were interested in becoming NovaLash Certified Lash Artists. This gave me the opportunity to tell my story and explain to them how important it is to choose a company that has such a great reputation and actually lives up to it! It gave me a chance to give back to NovaLash as much as they have given me.
How has becoming NovaLash' Lash Artist of the Year changed your career?
Since winning the contest, my clientele has more than tripled in number while my income has increased even more so. Having the title has turned me from just a regular lash artist in Grand Rapids to a lash artist that consumers actually seek out from all over Michigan. Lash Artist of the Year is a big title to those in our field and clients familiar with the lash extension services, but I didn’t realize how impressive it is to those new clients who are unsure of where to start. It has helped point people in my direction not only for lashes but for advice and information, which I love giving.
I was a little worried in the beginning that I wouldn't represent the title completely because I wouldn't be able to provide all of the professional information people might expect, but it turns out I was pretty good at it! All of the experience I've had since winning the title has really solidified my confidence which, in turn, helps my business even more.
What advice do you give to the next Lash Artist of the Year?
Soak it all up. Take advantage of EVERYTHING you are given: the trips, the publicity and the title itself. Get a hold of your local media outlets to let everyone in town know who you are and what you've accomplished. Make all of your competitor’s clients want you. Give potential clients who have been thinking about getting lashes done, but don’t know where to go, someone they can trust.
NovaLash takes care of you. You'll get some absolutely AMAZING opportunities for exposure that you may never have again. Make sure you are available for ALL of them. Be ready for anything on short notice and explain to your clients how important it is to you and for your career. Your most loyal and loving clients will understand and be happy for you. Do NOT waste this.
Any last words?
THANK YOU to everyone who supported me. My friends and family, especially my mom Linda and her business Bella Kara for hosting the location for my video, getting me started with lashing and helping whenever and wherever needed. My best friend Andrea for having the best eyes to model lashes for my video -- I don't think I'll ever find someone else to top that.
My new friend Rene and his business Studio One Creative for making my winning entry come to life. My current salon, Cheeky Strut, and my awesome clients for being so supportive and never thinking twice about when I had to move appointments or leave on such short notice.
And to NovaLash… thank you guys so much for accepting me into the family and giving me this amazing opportunity. Things are forever changed for the better. To Sophy Merszei, Sophia Navarro and Sofia Adrogue, you are such inspirational women and I truly admire each of you. Beth and Heather, thank you for making me feel at home and for making each trip so enjoyable.
Ali, thank you for all of the fun, the publicity, the hundreds of advertisements and for being by my side every step of the way! I am so proud to be a part of a company that is made up of so many strong women who are all so different but all so great at what you do. Thank you so much for this unforgettable experience, and although my time as the Lash Artist of the Year is up, I will continue to represent NovaLash any chance I get!
Related: WATCH: Cheryl Burke Loves NovaLash | Novalash: 8 Steps to Perfect Lash Extensions | Saving the Best for Lash | WATCH: Novalash Fan's Choice Award Winner | NovaLash names Christina Lynn Perez Lash Artist of the Year | WATCH: NovaLash's 2011 Lash Artist of the Year Christina Lynn Perez | Beat Summer Mascara Bummers with NovaLash