A dream five years in the making and two years in the refining has been realised for Palmerston North woman Juanita Shields.
Shields, founder of VC Lash - the VC standing for visual confidence - launched her eyelash applicator tool set in Palmerston North yesterday.
But rather than just stop there, Shields is now looking to further revolutionise the world of eyelash extensions with ergonomically designed chairs for both the customer and eyelash technician.
The tool set, aimed primarily at eyelash technicians rather than the home user, is the result of years of work for Shields, who started learning to apply lash extensions herself six years ago, after finding herself drawn to eyes in her work as a photographer.
Applying lashes involves covering up the lower set and then scissor-parting the top lashes, applying each lash extension individually with a small drop of glue, and holding it there for a few seconds until it dries, so they don't clump.
After getting the technique down, Shields said she couldn't reconcile the time it took to apply the lashes - about 90 minutes - and set to finding a better way.
After much trial and error she came up with a concept of a wedge-shaped tool that the lashes could be woven on to, allowing them to be separated and individual lashes applied without clumping or sticking.
Better still, it halved the time it took to apply the lashes.
She entered the idea in the Innovate Manawatu awards in 2013, where she was highly commended.
Shields has now had an initial run of beauty kits comprising the wedge divider, a spray protector, tweezers and lash extensions produced, and intends to hold product demonstrations around the country, starting in the central North Island.
Although the patent was still pending on the wedge, it had taken two years to get the right balance of metals and angle the wedge the right way, so she wasn't too concerned about copycats, she said.
From the small gathering of women at her Palmerston North launch yesterday, Shields said she'd had two requests to demonstrate in salons and two indications of intent to buy the set.
- Manawatu Standard
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