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A chat with Eyelash Extraordinaire Kai Shai – Los Angeles

One beautifully warm Autumn LA day I was walking down Franklin towards the Hollywood Tower Apartments (where I was visiting a friend) after a late lunch meeting with an associate in Franklin Village. I thought I recognized a pretty girl who was walking her dog, and mistook her for someone I knew. It turned out she wasn’t whom I thought she was but we got to talking and I learned that her name was Kai Shai and she’s an absolutely amazing eyelash artist. She is also superb at shaping brows but her main love and specialty are extending and beautifying eyelashes. Here’s a chat I had with her about eyelash beauty and extensions:

The Gone Cat: How did you get your start in the beauty industry?
Kai Shai: I’ve always shared an interest in well being, beauty and skin care ever since I can remember. I started off as an Esthetician ten years ago and slowly but surely transitioned into the glamour part of the industry. I found it dreary being in a quiet room all day and I’ve always shared an interest in glam and instant gratification. With that said, I am so glad I stemmed from a skin care therapist background. I think it’s important to understand the canvas before painting.

GC: What are some current lash trends?
KS: The whole point of eyelash extensions are so you do not have that extra step in your daily routine and have to apply mascara. Most women like to extenuate what they have. The funny part is that with time, I find that my clients become accustomed to their look and ask for more drama. I love it!

GC: What do you love most about your career?
KS: I love art and I love being a woman. I guess you could say the right side of my brain dominates. My favorite part of my expertise is creating and watching the aftermath. I have the opportunity to meet so many people, hear their stories, sprinkle my lash art and make them feel pretty. The smiles and confidence that evolves and then walks out the door is so liberating.

GC: If you could do anyone’s lashes and/or makeup: past/present fictional or real, who would you choose and why?
KS: This is a tough choice for me. But I have to choose: Bette Davis. She was the type of woman who walked into a room and naturally commanded attention. She would serve my lashes a little sass with class. My favorite duo. She can stand there and say so much without a mutter of a word. They say that eyes are the windows to the soul. I say the framing is just as important.

GC: How would you describe your signature?
KS: My signature look is what I call the “feathered doe eye.” It is a hybrid combination of volume and classic lashes. It is a perfect connection that creates natural eye opening look with a dash of Va-Va voom. This is a look I’ve developed that gets requested on the daily and I am very proud. It’s become one of my personal favorites as well.

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