Be authentic to yourself and clients.
Be obsessive about learning about all-things beauty.
Never feel like you know everything. You’ll hinder your growth.
As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Malin Singleton, an entrepreneur, licensed Master Esthetician Educator as well as a licensed Cosmetic Tattoo Artist. Born in Sweden, she now resides in Washington DC, where she owns and operates her highly successful beauty business, Art of Lash. Possessing an extensive background in modeling and design, she now dedicates most of her professional focus on hyper-realistic services for women of all ages.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
While glancing back, I feel like every step I’ve taken has led to this point. Both failures and successes. Every important life decision that I’ve made along with each job I’ve had has paved the way for me to excel in the beauty industry.
At the age of 19, I moved from Sweden to the United States and joined an exchange program without knowing a single person. That really gave me the confidence to know that I could succeed on my own.
After attending business school, I went on to work in different types of industries. I’ve been in the model industry, worked as an interior design consultant, done bookkeeping/accounting, as well as dabbling in international trade. I was able to use bits and pieces from each experience and ultimately apply those things to my business.
For example: Having experience in both, design and modeling allowed me to understand shapes, colors and tones to help create consistent and natural looking results for my clients. My involvement in trade helped me find the best products and supplies available on the market at an affordable price. And it goes without saying that my knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting helped me thrive on the back-end of the business.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
As a beauty service provider, we see tons of people each week. Many of those sessions turn into mental and spiritual “therapy.” I’ve been privy to many “behind-the-curtains” moments from a lot of public figures. Many of whom have such beautiful personalities and inspiring stories that motivate me every day.
As for specific stories, us beauty professionals don’t work and tell 😉 What happens in the beauty room stays in the beauty room.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
Yes. After taking certification after certification, my application technique was there. However, it wasn’t until I fully adopted the mindset that every client is unique and that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to beauty services — that I was able to offer my clients something they couldn’t get elsewhere. A premium and personalized service that conforms to the client, not the other way around.
I think this approach can be applied towards most businesses. You just have to understand what it is you’re “truly” offering and how that will benefit the customer.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Growing up, I had always looked up to my uncle for running his own Build-and-Design business. I started working there at the age of 13, often working during my school breaks. I probably didn’t do much to help their business at the time, but it helped me to appreciate the value of earning a dollar.
I obviously have my parents to thank for this. They ensured that I had everything I needed in life. My father told me the importance of establishing relationships and showed me that there’s no substitute for hard work. They both kept me focused on wanting the most out of life, without expecting anyone to give it to me.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?
My innovations are through teaching. Whether it be an employee or client, my job is to give them what they need to always be at their best. When clients understand the importance of certain products and services, it not only keeps them informed, but able to decipher quality when they see/experience it. I truly believe that’s what’s going to transcend the beauty industry into the next decade.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
1. Products and services are always evolving — finding ways to be more naturally effective.
2. People stay loyal to you if you treat them right and produce meaningful results.
3. Customers usually get instant gratification from our work.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?
1. I’m seeing a lot of people taking 1-day classes to become “certified.” Afterwards, they solicit highly intricate services or expensive products that can impact a person’s looks and/or skin. What many people are forgetting is that most states require a state license, which means you have to go to school and be an Esthetician or Cosmetologist to legally be able to work anyone’s face, skin or hair.
2. Overly aggressive competition. As soon as one service, procedure or product becomes popular, two others pop up downplaying the effectiveness of the former. I think we can all thrive if we do better jobs of honing in on our target clientele.
3. The beauty industry is built on building a need for those services. Sometimes I think things go too far, and many people (women in particular) tend to feel like their natural self is not good enough and create insecurities that don’t need to exist. The beauty industry is amazing to help guide people to find the correct services to enhance what you have. However, when it gets too focused on changing the whole appearance or to conform to what others may define as beautiful, I feel like we need to scale back.
1. Stricter licensing guidelines around the world to provide a safer outlet for clients.
2. All beauty professionals need to be better at valuing natural beauty. Making changes can be great. But we
also need to understand the influence we have and how that impacts the personal well-being of many
women (and men).
3. I would love for big beauty brands to set the standards for credible collaborations. Not only does this set the
tone for small businesses around the world, but it also makes us stronger as a community.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
I realize that this will sound cliché, but it honestly starts from within. Your beauty is unique to you. Meaning, no one in this world looks like you and there’s true beauty in that. Think about that for a second.
Small enhancements are wonderful to be able to accentuate certain favorite features with ourselves. However things can easily become a slippery slope where we continue to chase after that one beauty treatment that will “change it all”.
At our studio we take great pride in valuing each person’s individual beauty. And with an artistic approach, we work with your natural gifts to enhance what’s already there. For example, we’re often brought a picture of Kim K as a “picture perfect” example to what clients are hoping to achieve — whether it’s lashes, brows or skin. The truth is, Kim K is indeed beautiful, but we never want you to look like her, because you’re not her. Finding a beauty professional or regimen that can help you achieve your beauty goals while looking and feeling like yourself is key.
By the end of our session, I want you to throw away the picture of Kim K and hold up your own with confidence.
Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”. Please share a story or an example, for each.
1. Be authentic to yourself and clients.
2. Be organized, have a set plan in place.
3. Be obsessive about learning about all-things beauty.
4. Never feel like you know everything. You’ll hinder your growth.
5. Surround yourself with like-minded people.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
To communicate that it’s only natural to want what we don’t have in terms of looks or beauty. However, it’s your beauty (inside and outside) that makes you unique, and that’s what makes you beautiful.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If there’s a will there’s a way.”
I’ve encountered many ups and downs in my life, but the truth is that it has made me who I am today. I’ve experienced several setbacks, losses and changes. However, I have learned that my desire, willpower and mindset will be the only thing stopping me from achieving my goals. Just remember, your current situation is not your final destination!
How can our readers follow you online?
Business handle: @artoflashdc
Personal handle: @malin_js
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.