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Adhesive / Retention Problems

As a lash artist you have probably experienced a problem with adhesive by now. There are dozens of factors that come into play with both adhesive reliability and client retention. Here we will cover the most common along with suggestions to try and avoid those factors.

Please note that, here at Lash Tavern we track our adhesive batches very carefully. All of our adhesives are manufactured in low quantities very frequently. We track any adhesive complaint and monitor these batches. If there is ever a complaint rate of more then 5% of any batch (that's only 5 out of 100!) we will offer free replacement for those adhesives. We are happy to report that to date we have never been left in this position and we feel strongly about the quality and reliability of our adhesive (minus any of the below exterior conditions).

Factors That Affect Adhesive Reliability

Choosing the Right Adhesive

Adhesives are like shoes. Some are good for the beach, some for the ski slopes, some for the coast and some for inland. What one person loves just might not suit you and vica versa.

The best way to find out an adhesive is for you is to try it. Before purchasing your adhesive it is good to identify it's basic qualities, primarily humidity suggestions and grab time (how fast the adhesive will hold to the lash).

Humidity Suggestions - this is the recommended humidity range for your work environment. Sometimes you may need a humidifier/de-humidifier to reach these levels depending on you climate. Adhesives will typically work outside of their humidity suggestion however at higher levels you will experience a faster working adhesive and at lower humidity levels you will experience a slower working adhesive. Our adhesives are optimal at a 45-55% humidity range with our Expert Series more suitable for dryer climates.

Grab Time - Different lash artists require different working time with adhesives. More proficient lash artists will look for an adhesive with a quick grab time while artists newer to the industry (or technique) or who like time to shimmy the lash will look for and adhesive that has a little longer grab time. Having an adhesive that starts to grab prior to being placed on the lash will drastically effect retention. Our Expert Series adhesive has a grab time of 1-2 seconds under optimal conditions and our Pro-Classic Series adhesive had a grab time of 3-4 seconds under optimal conditions.

Different times of year (seasons and climates) may make your adhesive respond differently then you are used to.

Transportation / Delivery

Depending on your location and the extremes of your weather this can play a large factor. An adhesive that sits in a hot mailbox in the sun may experience a chemical change that affects reliability and consistency.

If you are located in one of these areas, we recommend:


  • Monitoring your package's progress using the tracking number we supply for you and immediately retrieving your package.
  • Using our 'Signature Delivery' service. This insures that your package is delivered directly to a person instead of sitting in your mailbox. You can add this option to any order on the 'Checkout' page, directly below your address.
Storage Prior to Opening

Once you receive your adhesive you will want to place it in an air tight container with the provided silica package. Prior to opening store in a freezer (recommended) or refrigerator. Your adhesive will keep for up to 12 months when stored properly prior to opening.

Work Envirnoment / Humidity

Your work environment’s humidity levels are a critical component when it comes to eyelash extension adhesive performance. With humidity levels that are higher then your adhesive recommends your adhesive will experience a more then ideal level of exposure to hydrogen which will lead to premature curing of the adhesive. This will result in a sub-par bond with the natural lash and likely poor retention.

With humidity levels that are lower then your adhesive recommends your adhesive will take a longer then usual time to grab which will result in stickys and tangles.

Every lash technician’s work space should include a hygrometer. This will allow you to confirm your humidity levels and make adjustments if necessary.


Shaking: EACH TIME prior dispensing adhesive it is important to shake your bottle of adhesive for FULL 30 seconds. Be sure to count out 30 seconds, it is longer then you think (and will give you a decent workout)! This will help to evenly distribute the ingredients of the adhesive which is critical for adhesive performance.

Burping: Once you are ready to put the cap back on your adhesive bottle, be sure to burp the adhesive. To do this, hold the bottle upright and gently squeeze the bottle or tap on the side of the nozzle to clear the nozzle of any adhesive. Once the burping is complete you can now firmly tighten the cap of the bottle and place in your air tight container.

Monitor Humidity: During application you will want to monitor your humidity levels with a Hydrometer to ensure consistency.

Introduce Hydrogen: The use of a nebulizer or nanomister can help greatly when it comes to retention.

Cleansing of the Lashes: Making sure your client's lashes are cleansed properly, dried completely and the primed with a lash primer is an essential part to a good foundation for a successful set.

Storage After Opening

Prior to opening your adhesive you will want to make sure to bring it to room temperature.

Once opened, keep your adhesive in an airtight container with the supplied silica packet. Store in an upright position at room temperature in a cool/dark location.

Client Care and Education

It is important that clients are well educated as to how to care for their eyelash extensions. This is vital to the success of the set and optimal retention. Things such as completely avoiding all oil products, routinely cleansing their lashes and avoiding extremes in temperature are just a few of the important points to make. It is a good idea to supply comprehensive care instructions to every client.

With all these factors considered, consistency is important and being aware of your adhesive and how it is performing is essential for all lash artists. If in doubt, switching to a fresh bottle of adhesive is always the best option. This will help to ensure your clients receive the best quality eyelash extensions possible.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our support team.

Allergic Reactions: How to identify and how to prevent them

Allergic Reactions: How to identify and how to prevent them

IMPORTANT Notice to clients:

This is a reference for eyelash extension technicians. If you are experiencing a reaction, contact your technician immediately. Verifying your technician is licensed AND certified will ensure you receive the best care possible.

Your client calls you in the morning crying because her eyelids are the size of golf balls. She says her eyes itch and burn.  Did you do something wrong? Is she having an allergic reaction or was it caused by something else

What does an allergic reaction to eyelash adhesive look like?

Most clients with a reaction will swell, redden and itch.  A reaction normally occurs within the first 72 hours post service. You will notice the redness and swelling more on the lid as opposed to the actual eye. Think Quasimodo.  Not a pretty sight.  As a reaction can be very uncomfortable, as well as very unsightly, it is recommended that you remove the extensions as soon as possible.  Some clients will try to bear through it rather than forgo their beautiful lashes. However, chances are if they react once they will continue to react over and over again.

What causes adhesive reactions?

Allergic reactions to eyelash extensions are caused by an allergy to the cyanoacrylate base that is virtually in every eyelash extension adhesive.  Cyanoacrylates are a family of strong and fast-acting adhesives used in many different industries.  As with any chemical or substance, individuals can become allergic at any time. You can see a reaction after the first application or even years down the road.  It should be noted that reactions are not due to ‘formaldehyde’, because formaldehyde is not an added ingredient to eyelash adhesive, although it has been publicized otherwise.

Reactions are also not caused by the fumes or vapors of the adhesive. Allergies occur when the adhesive has had direct contact with the skin.  The more often the adhesive makes contact, the more likely a reaction will occur. The more prolonged the exposure, the more likely a client is to eventually react. I saw many more reactions in my clients during my early lashing days for this reason. As a newbie, I was using an excess of adhesive, as well as definitely getting too close to the lash line. This resulted in far more reactions than I see today. Since then, as an industry (myself included), we have realized that less is more. This is imperative to help cut down on reactions.

Could it be something else?

In addition to adhesive reactions, we should also remember that clients can react to many products and it may not be your adhesive that is causing it at all. Could your client be allergic to the cleanser or primer you are using? Could the eye pads you are using possibly be the culprits?  Although it is more likely that a client would react to the adhesive, don’t count out your other prep and procedure products. Some clients will complain of burning when having a reaction. Although this could signify a reaction it can also be what lash techs call “chemical pink eye”. When adhesive vapors enter the eye for an extended period of time, they can actually physically burn the sclera (the white of the eye). This can be caused from accidental eye opening during the procedure or an eyelid that does not close completely flush throughout the application.  This will usually resolve itself over the next day or so. Most clients complaining of only burning, not swelling or itching, are most likely experiencing this type of chemical burn as opposed to a cyanoacrylate adhesive reaction.

What can I do to prevent or avoid reactions?

A variety of precautions can be taken when trying to avoid a reaction. When dealing with sensitive clients we should:

  • Cleanse with a very gentle cleanser that doesn’t contain any fragrance or other irritating ingredients.
  • Skip the primer. Use saline to prep the lashes. It is the closest thing to natural tears and will avoid adding extra chemicals to the mix.
  • Skip the eyepads. Try using paper, foam, or transpore tape instead of eye pads. The collagen and other eye pad ingredients can expand and irritate your clients’ eyes. Mini biogel pads are also less irritating and may be an option as well. Be sure to ask your client beforehand if they have allergies to any type of tape.
  • Do not apply the extensions any closer than 1mm to the eyelid. Keeping this buffer will keep the adhesive on the lash and off the skin.
  • Use less adhesive. Despite what eyelash training you’ve received, you don’t actually need to see a bead or extra adhesive on the extension. You can get just as great of a bond using less, as long as your bases are secure.
  • Nebulize, or use a nanomister. The small microns of hydrogen in these devices won’t get the lashes wet, but will provide enough hydrogen that the adhesive will be instantly cured, making an end to adhesive fumes and vapors which could irritate the eyes further.
  • Teach your client proper aftercare. Teaching your clients how to efficiently clean and care for their lashes will help them to avoid reactions in the future. Maintaining good eye and eyelash health will promote healthy skin that is less easily irritated.
  • Do not give your client medical advice. Just a note to add, whether you have a sensitive client or a client experiencing a full blown reaction, NEVER give your client medical advice. Do not suggest OTC or prescription medications. Protocol when a client reacts is to remove the extensions as soon as possible, thoroughly wash the eye area, and apply cold compresses. Then advise your client to see their physician. As much as we like to think that our clients are looking out for us, any reaction is not worth you being held legally liable because you gave them medical advice.

In summary, take time to become educated about allergic reactions, specifically in relation to cyanoacrylate adhesives. Your clients trust you to take care of their eyes and it’s a lash tech’s duty to apply eyelashes as safely as they can. Because of this, never skip a client consultation and never forget to have clients sign a consent form. Make sure to go over your clients’ health history and look for any contraindications that may exclude them from getting eyelash extensions. Take care of your clients and take care of yourself. Happy Lashing!