Lash-Ed Issue 3 October 2018 - Page 24

Behind the scenes at Lash Battle

By Julie Knight, Editor

Glasgow set the scene for the infamous Lash Battle - the biggest lash extensions competition in the UK that took place over 3 days in August.

Since this annual event started, it’s been held in London and brought to us by the amazing Hanna Putjato from London Lash Pro. This year’s event was hosted by Ksenia Karnejenko and Elmars Tiltins from Artistic Fur. I got in touch and asked if they’d allow me to sneak behind the scenes to see what goes on.

I got more than I bargained for…..

It’s day 2 of the event and I arrived at the Hotel and presented myself at Lash Battle’s reception desk. A very helpful lady went to find Ksenia or Elmars. Considering that they’re running the show and very busy, I’m warmly welcomed by Elmars and shown around. First the Judges room that’s lying in wait for the outcome of the 4 hour long dramatic volume category that’s underway! Not a judge in sight as there’s another 3 hours until they’re needed. That was a missed opportunity to stalk an idol for sure. I’m shown the competition room and invited to sit in. I see 2 familiar faces who are floor judges and move in for a hug with Manami Edwards and Bryony Archer. I then get to meet and say hi to Daisy Wolf who’s oh so super friendly too!

So the dramatic volume nomination has been underway for an hour. With 3 to go, I’m secretly praising the patience of the models. Yes, they’ll be wearing competition standard lashes that are awesome, but those 4 hours is only one part of their task. The second is the judging process. With a queue to see each of the judges, it’s not a quick procedure - as you can imagine.

I scan the room and count 23 participants, all looking seriously focused! I recognised last year’s Lash Artist of the Year, Marina Litvinova and several others - not because I’ve met them before but feel I know them through Social Media!

I’m always fascinated by how others work as I’m always up for giving new things a go or trying to tweak how I work. There were lots of different ways of working on show! Given that they were not their own treatment rooms, they were making the best of what was offered and some of their ingenuity was marvellous. I smiled at the home made lash holder – a piece of paper arched over a lash case that was stuffed inside to pack it out! I saw a peanut brittle box giving height to a lash pallet so much closer to the lasher. It took me right back to Amsterdam in 2016! My one and only attempt at participating in a live competition where I used my daughters perfectly sized owl

lunchbox to rest my lash tile on at the side of my models head!

Shame that both of my isolating

tweezers were damaged during the

plane journey as they had to be

checked into the hold rather than

‘carry on’. Understandable as they

are pointy and could cause injury!

Despite being capped and wrapped

in plastic tubes packed with foam

buffers, I couldn’t work out how the

tips had been totally trashed!

I dread to think what the baggage

handlers did to my case! How I placed

in the top 10 will forever be a mystery

- anyway . . .

I really expected to see a lot of

different fan making techniques! I

offer my students 16 different ways to

make their fans. I saw far more artists

using technique #16 (the base pinching

technique) followed by #6 - fanning on

the strip by rolling the bases with the

tweezer tips.

Many seemed to be working systematically from position to position on each eye and a few others were doing the lash to (neighbouring) lash technique. It was great to see. I was surprised to see that about 30% had not mapped their work on their pads (or lids) and they were not working lash to lash to be sure of their transition points either. I really wanted to see the difference between the mapped and unmapped models – oh, my curiosity!

After an hour, I step out for a wander round. I bumped into Judges Helga Halapi and Dominique Graupner who were chatting away and were incredibly friendly. I invited them to write for the magazine was had to contain my joy when they said they were happy to do so!

I was approached by Elmars who explained that they needed another model for the Classic nomination and asked if I could help out. I have to admit that I wasn’t keen! Whilst I love wearing lashes, I don’t like having them done as I’m so impatient! I had offered to help if in return for being allowed behind the scenes so I duly stepped up.

Darja removed my volume lashes that were 3 days away from being infilled in what had to be the gentlest experience ever (Thanks Darja). I then waited with two other models whose average age I guessed around 18-19. They were makeup free and stunning! They had even features and neat looking lashes. If I was competing, I’d have been overjoyed with one of them as a model rather than someone like me! I was more than twice their age with the onset of hooded lids - still wearing my lower lash line makeup that looked decidedly odd without my extensions!

On meeting my lasher contestant, she did not seem happy to see

me at all! I wasn’t sure if it was her nerves or the sight of me!

Probably the latter! Personally, I’d have preferred one of the younger models if I was her. Having a model provided for you is always a risk. Those who can afford it tend to bring their own but it’s expensive if you have to travel some distance. A savvy competitor can opt to bring their own model who is attractive, has even features, almond shaped eyes, neat but more sparse lashes and of course, having had the experience of working with them before and having tested different styles and the lengths, thickness and curls and perhaps colour to create them.

My lasher and I couldn’t communicate well as her English wasn’t great and I could only wish to say ‘sorry you got me’, ‘sorry about the