Soo-Jin’s Story

When illumino® Founder and Product Developer Soo-Jin Yang sets out to create new products,

her goal is to make life better for beauty industry professionals

A global brand, illumino® is the first lash company to offer the Lynk-Gel™ adhesive that uses a LED-curing device to dry the glue. illumino® is continuously developing and sharing its innovative methods and tested products with extension artists worldwide. Founded by Bay Area native Soo-Jin Yang, the company is committed to creating the highest quality products, as well as elevating all beauty industry professionals through training and safe practices. Since its launch in 2006, the company’s focus has shifted from direct client services to refining the tools and techniques of extension application for professionals. With patents pending in over 34 countries, illumino® is proud to be a leader in providing faster, safer, stronger lash extensions. 

Who is Soo-Jin Yang?

Before finding her passion in the beauty industry, Soo-Jin Yang worked in retail, accounting, and ran her family’s two small businesses. While still working full time, she attended beauty college in the evenings and became a California State Board-licensed Manicurist in 2006. The following year she returned to beauty college to become a licensed Esthetician and opened her own spa. She has worked as a lash trainer since 2009. Soo-Jin has personally trained  in lash extension best practices to offer hygienic, damage-free services with superior quality and customer service

What drives illumino’s founder?

Soo-Jin is passionate about helping extension artists, most of whom are women, to grow professionally and build lucrative careers, as well as implementing the highest safety standards for those who are working around volatile chemicals and tools. 

“I want to help elevate the profession,” she said. “Education is paramount. Seeing people I’ve trained succeed and expand their business opportunities is so rewarding, and inspires me to find other ways to help them.”

Earliest inspiration

Growing up in a family with Korean-immigrant parents navigating a world with a new language, customs and opportunities gave Soo-Jin a deep empathy toward others who are striving to succeed. One of her childhood memories is drifting asleep to the “clackety clack clack” of her mom practicing typing on a brand new  typewriter preparing for a job interview that would become the place of employment for many years. This sound came to symbolize a melody of hope and aspiration to Soo-Jin. Her mother’s persistence and belief in her ability to learn meant good things for the family’s future. 

An industry pioneer and advocate for beauty professionals

Soo-Jin is a young woman, but the extension industry is even younger, and her many innovations have established her as an industry pioneer and leader. In order to do her best work for clients and to protect herself, trainees and clients from muscle strain and excessive fumes, Soo-Jin created several new industry products specific to extensions. 

What’s next for illumino® and Soo-Jin

It’s only been within the past few years that most (more than 40) states have established licensing and certification processes for lash professionals. Before these guidelines were established, a lack of regulations and industry standards meant lash artists didn’t have easy access to the right tools, training and even business insurance. 

When Soo-Jin started working in the field, she went through more than 100 insurance carriers, none of which would offer specific liability insurance. As extension services have become an established part of the beauty industry, thorough training and certification is recognized as an imperative step. illumino’s exclusive Gel-Lys and Lynk-Gel training program continues to expand, with global distributors and operations to be announced in 2020.