Glamour Eyes

Lash Stylists Chelsea Jenks, left, and Mindy Wright offer eyelash extensions at Glamour Eyes in Albany. (David Patton/Democrat-Herald)

When Chelsea Jenks and Mindy Wright opened Glamour Eyes last month in Albany, it was really the continuation of a partnership that has been going on for more than 10 years.

“We have always worked well together,” said Wright. “We’ve been friends and co-workers for a long time. And we were looking at a new venture and a chance to be our own boss.”

The two licensed opticians managed an eye care clinic before taking a shot at their own business. They factored in their skills as opticians with a trending business and came up with Glamour Eyes, which mainly provides eyelash extensions.

“We went to beautician school here in Albany and then researched the best business,” Jenks said. “There aren’t many stylists in the area who are offering it and it is an intricate skill.”

To solidify their credentials, Jenks and Wright attended certification classes at Lavish Lashes in Portland.  When they opened May 1, both were certified and licensed.

“That’s important,” said Jenks, 35. “It’s not regulated in Oregon so anyone can do it. We wanted to offer customers the assurance that we are fully trained.”

Having the credentials was one thing, but the business needed a home. Enter Rhonda Wood of Eyes By Rhonda. She also specializes in extensions, but her business was growing.

“It was getting to be more than I could handle,” said Wood, who has been in business at 919 Ninth Ave. S.E. for five years. “Chelsea was here having work done on her eyelashes and we got to talking. The idea came up and we met later and it just materialized from that.”

Jenks is doing all the work  right now, but Wright, 34, will be joining the operation in July. Together they will be receiving all of the new clients that head into Eyes By Rhonda as they get established.

“The opportunity to work with Rhonda is amazing,” Jenks said. “We jumped at it.”

Glamour Eyes is squeezed into a tight space right now, but Jenks said a little rearranging will maximize its potential. There is room for the intricate work the business entails.

Eyelash extensions include matching thickness and texture. Each lash is put on individually. Jenks said there are varying lengths that can be added and curvatures.

The extended lashes offer customers a way to eliminate using mascara and eyelash curlers according to Jenks.

“It’s a meticulous process,” Jenks said. “It can take up to three hours for a full set.”

Extensions are synthetic. The polyester fiber threads last about a month. Touch up visits are advised every few weeks to fill in when lashes are shed.  

A full extension costs $200, a mini-set is $75 and fills are $45.

Putting the extensions on can resemble surgery.

“We deal with adhesives and sharp tools,” said Wright. “That’s why people need to research the process and make sure they are dealing with licensed professionals.”

Jenks and Wright offer more than just the extensions. They also provide tinting for lashes and eyebrows and waxing for eyebrows and lips.

Glamour Eyes is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment evenings and weekends by calling 541-990-1034.

“You need someone special to do this and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better than Chelsea and Mindy,” said Wood.

Jenks says both women realize the work ahead.

“It’s a specialty business,” she said. “But for special occasions like birthdays, prom, and weddings it’s a safe way to look your best.

Steve Lathrop is the business reporter for the Albany Democrat-Herald. He can be reached at 541-812-6076 or by email at steve.lathrop@lee.net.

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