When I turned thirteen, my parents threw me a makeup party. A local makeup artist came to my home, and after completing seven pre-teen-sized makeovers, spent the afternoon teaching a bunch of giggly girls beauty secrets and general life hacks. “Always walk like you know where you’re going”, and “We don’t ‘pluck’ our eyebrows, we aren’t chickens” are a couple lifesavers I continue to turn to—even more than a decade later. But I’ll never forget the imaginary “little Pamela” she put on each of our shoulders that would remind us to straighten up.
In addition to making you appear longer, leaner, and more confident, sitting or standing up straight increases oxygen flow through your body, reduces the presence of stress hormones, and improves digestive function. Particularly for lash artists, or really anyone with a profession that requires them to sit for more than a few hours a day, practicing good posture isn’t just a beauty tip—your career depends on it.
Slouching can cause lasting pain and injuries, forcing you to put a hold on your career, or even stop it completely. We talked to Calgary-based Chiropractor Evan Schwindt about avoiding the dreaded hunch throughout your lashing career, and he gave us some quick and easy exercises to add to your work day to improve your posture, scare away injuries, and keep your back happy and healthy for years to come.
Stand up straight with your shoulders back and down, and place your hands on your hips. Inhale slowly through your nose, allowing the air to fill your stomach, not your chest, and exhale through the mouth. Do this every 30 minutes, for 30 seconds.
Getting up in the middle of your lashing appointment may feel strange at first, but doing this exercise 4 times in a 2-hour appointment, only adds up to two minutes spent not lashing. Explain to your client beforehand that you’ll be taking a couple very short breaks for your back health, but it won’t interfere with their service. In fact, taking care of your body ensures that you can focus all of your energy on creating beautiful lash sets for your clients.
After each client
Sit up with your abdominal muscles engaged, and your arms out to the side with palms facing up. As you inhale through your nose, lift your arms straight up, feeling a stretch through the top of the bicep. Breathe out and lower your arms to their original position. Repeat several times until the intensity of the stretch has dropped by at least 50%.
At the end of the day
Stand up straight against a wall with the backs of your heels about 6 inches from the wall. Your lower back, mid back, shoulders, and head should all be touching wall. Raise your arms up, so your elbows are in in line with your shoulders, and your arms are bent at a 90° angle. While maintaining the points of connection mentioned above, press your elbows, wrists, and the backs of your hands into the wall. Inhale, and with the 90° bend still in your elbows, slide your arms up the wall and over top of your head. Exhale, returning your arms to their starting position. Do two sets of 10 reps.
In addition to making these simple exercises part of your health regimen, regular strengthening activities like Pilates, yoga, and weight-training will help improve core strength, and build the muscles supporting your spine. Your back—and your career—will thank you.
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