Cliche Magazine June/July 2018 - Page 26

LASHING OUT Having all of my celebrity clients is great, but when I can truly make someone happy and impact their life in a big way, that’s everything. Photographer: Kawai Matthews L et’s just start by establishing that Dionne Phillips would be the ultimate leader of a girl gang. She comes across as one of those people who just instinctually gets it. Her personality and perseverance are a force, yet she remains grateful and as humble as they come. Dionne is a visionary who created the first ever lash extensions over twenty years ago; everyone else is just now catching on. She started from the bottom, now she’s here and you better believe she readyyy *Tiffany Haddish voice*. Dionne started her business in her kitchen and grinded until she landed celebrity clients like Naomi Campbell and Mary J. Blige, but is still continuing to expand her business even after all of her success. She’s truly an artist who will make you look at lash extensions in a different light while simultaneously making you laugh your ass off. BY EMILY BOWEN Dionne Phillips: The idea actually came from me trying to be cute! I was a model in New York City and, at the time, polaroids were what brands used to document us models at auditions. To me the polaroids always looked bad and I wanted to find a way to make mine stand out and look really good. So, I started cutting up strip lashes and applying them myself and when I applied them they’d stay on for several weeks. So, I started joking with my friends that I’d go around to all of the auditions and ask the models if they wanted their eyelashes done. One thing led to another and I had two girls in my kitchen and I was giving them lash extensions. Then two grew to eight, then to ten and before I knew it there was a six-month long waiting list of people wanting lashes from me. I had Brandy, Serena Williams, and when Paris Hilton talked about me on the red carpet once, my business really blew up. Cliché: So, lash extensions are a huge trend right now, but you began gracing faces with your extensions over twenty years ago. How did you come about the idea? Since no one had attempted the service before, what was the process of perfecting your technique like? Was there a lot of trial and error involved or was 26 www.clichemag.com development smooth? Oh yeah, it was definitely trial and error. I was constantly experimenting with different application methods, how to make the extensions stay on and not fall off over dinner, you know. I also had to deal with other people taking my technique and copying it. There are a lot of different ways to apply eyelashes, but I’ve now perfected my own technique, which I’ve learned to keep private in order to keep my intellectual property my own. On top of being the originator of lash extensions you also started your business, D’Lashes, from the ground up. What was that journey like? Well it all started from working on models in my kitchen to having everyone in Hollywood as a client. I would talk to everyone about my lashes at parties and covered a lot of ground that way. Word of mouth had a huge impact on my business. So now I have a private studio in Beverly Hills, a staff of marketers, and lash assistants to cover my appointments for when I’m out of town on business. I have