MEET JESSICA HARLEY & GINA MONDRAGON – LASHDIP INNOVATORS
As developers of LashDip, a semi permanent eyelash color treatment, Jessica Harley and Gina Mondragon are well versed in meeting the expectations of beauty connoisseurs. Jessica is a 12 year veteran of the beauty industry and a master eyelash extension technician. As curator and key artist to the successful launch of two exclusive cosmetic lines, Jessica has spent many years in both the front and the back rooms of the beauty industry. Models, brides, corporate executives, print and broadcast media personalities rely on Jessica to make them look picture perfect. She has applied hundreds of cases of LashDip with exciting results and enthusiastic responses. Furthermore, she is the great-granddaughter of the legendary William S. Harley who brought the world one of its greatest innovations, the Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Gina Mondragon is a nationally recognized, award winning hair stylist who began her 20-year career with Vidal Sassoon International. She is a â€œgo-toâ€ hair extension stylist in Chicago, who has parlayed her mastery with hair into the LashDip concept. Gina has spent nearly 20 years beautifying a discerning clientele whose priority is to look and feel their best without sacrificing quality for price. In addition, Gina’s extensive experience in color application, color correction and natural hair extensions has earned her a celebrity clientele. She boasts seven years of experience as an â€œExtension Specialist,â€ pioneering alternative applications such as â€œSuper Fineâ€ and â€œSuper Suppleâ€ hair, using only top of the line, natural human hair. Among her many accolades, Gina received an award for National Market Leading Stylist for collection development and design, and Allure voted Gina Chicago’s Pick for Color Specialist.
When did you decide you wanted to work in the beauty industry?
JH: It all began with â€œplaying makeupâ€ at the age of six. I assembled my first makeup kit by going door to door to neighbors, toting an empty ice-cream bucket, and asking them if they had any makeup they no longer wanted and would be willing to give to me. Fortunately, my neighbors usually didn’t let me leave empty handed, and I would often return home with a full bucket. By the time I hit third grade, I had discovered the perfect shade of red lipstick.
How did your career begin and what is your key to success?
JH: After graduating from the University of Kansas, I began to build my career as a makeup artist and eyelash extension technician in Chicago. To succeed in this competitive field, you must stay ahead of the trends and constantly strive to meet and exceed the expectations of clients,
GM: I have seven years of fine art training culminating with the Art Institute of Chicago, Fine Arts Program. Capitalizing on my art education, I discovered a love and ability to enhance and maximize the natural beauty of every woman’s hair.
How did your LashDip partnership come about?
JH: As many great partnerships do, ours began, quite literally, as an extension of a friendship and mutual passion for beauty, innovation, and long, lush lashes.
GM: We met as colleagues at a Chicago Salon, where we worked together for nearly three years. Jessica was a master lash technician and makeup artist and I was a hair stylist specializing in hair extensions.
How did you create LashDip?
JH: We used to try out new techniques on each other in order to develop the most highly personalized, premium service for our clients. We were inspired by the pervasive use of eyelash extensions and the challenge to invent a formula that replicated the process â€“ but without the glue, tape, mess and maintenance.
GM: After exhaustive research, testing and retesting, we ultimately perfected the LashDip formula that gave our clients the lashes they always wanted.
Who is a candidate for LashDip?
JH: Anyone who wears mascara or wants to and who doesn’t want to deal with smearing, smudging, and other inconvenient side effects that can result when wearing traditional mascara.
How is LashDip different from other treatments on the market?
GM: LashDip must be applied by a certified salon professional; it cannot be done at home. The salon technician receives two days of training. In many states, he or she will also be a licensed aesthetician. LashDip adds volume, increases length, provides lift, curve and separation â€“ similar to that of traditional mascara â€“ but it won’t smudge or wash off for weeks. Lash growth enhancers will give you growth and fortitude, but will not provide the lush cosmetic finish of LashDip.
Where can our readers have LashDip done? Any expansion plans? When will we be able to be dipped in NYC?
GM: Right now LashDip is available at Ambra Salon in Chicago, IL called Ambra Spa & Salon and at a salon in West Palm Beach, FL called Anushka Spa, Salon, Cosmedical Centre. We will be expanding to many new locations within the next months including New York and California.
What do you want Beauty in the Bag readers to know about LashDip?
JH: LashDip is an innovative cosmetic application that is poised to revolutionize the mascara industry. â€˜Dippingâ€™ your lashes just once allows you to wake up to and maintain gorgeous lashes for up to six weeks. Women save hours by not having to apply mascara, take it off and be bothered with raccoon eyes. It lasts from when you wake up in the morning, through your exercise routine, and when you go to bed at night.