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29 September 2023

The Ultimate Recipe for Incredible Lash Retention

The Ultimate Recipe for Incredible Lash Retention

Let us guess… you landed here because you’re on the quest to finding the worldsbest lash glue that has unbeatable retention? Have you searched high and low, tried them all, but still left baffled by inconsistent client retention? As your trusted study buddy, we're here to spill the beans on achieving amazing retention. And guess what? It's not just about finding the perfect lash adhesive. The secret to unbeatable lash retention of course, means having thebest lash adhesive for you, your environment, and skill level but there’s so much more to it! We believe that lasting retention is all about the details before your adhesive enters the chat. So get comfy, settle in, and get ready to take some serious notes! After you’ve read this blog you’ll be itching to try our tested techniques for your best retention yet. 

First things first… before you even dive into your lash application, it’s such a helpful step to first assess your client's natural lashes to determine the porosity.  Say what?! Porosity? We hear the term used almost exclusively in reference to hair and hair care, but did you know that lash porosity can be a huge factor in the lash realm too?! Ever noticed how quickly your extensions grab with certain clients and why retention can vary so significantly between clients even when you’re using the same exact products?! Well, that lash friends is the underlying theory behind retention! Let’s break it down:

Lash Porosity: What you need to know


Low Porosity: Think super sleek, silky smooth lashes.  Often times low porosity lashes are stick straight! If you were to run your tweezers over a single lash gently, you wouldn’t feel any texture.  Smooth as silk. This can indicate lower moisture retention and overall moisture levels in the lash. And what do we 100% need for a speedy + solid bond with our lash adhesive? MOISTURE! But we will dig deep into that just a bit more into this blog… 



Medium Porosity: A touch of texture, with a little bit of curl.  With a slightly more raised cuticle (outer layer of the lash) this texture natural lash will both hold a little moisture and let a little moisture out. This means you’ll notice a speedier “set” when you apply extensions with a fairly quick set adhesive.  The moisture that’s in the natural lash will help that polymerization process along! 



High Porosity: A whole lot of texture, this means you need to be ready to move! High-porosity lashes can hold higher moisture levels but can also lose moisture rapidly because of the highly textured lash cuticle. You may notice a little bit of a roller coaster with high porosity lashes meaning a super quick set or a really challenging set time.  This is due to the high/low moisture content of the natural lash. 

So you’re mind might be a little boggled thinking… well how in the heck does this affect retention?! 

Adhesive science and how it impacts your artistry

Your adhesive, environment, and natural lash porosity all should be working in sync for the perfect, long-lasting bond! This can mean the best lash adhesive performance can vary from client to client…

For example, a low porosity client may need a super-fast setting adhesive because low moisture levels in the lash (even if your environment's moisture levels are adequate) can make a medium set time adhesive run a little slow.  

A medium porosity client may have a much higher moisture level in the lash. That would potentially make the super-fast setting adhesive cure a little too quickly by the time you get it placed just right. In that case, maybe a slightly slower adhesive like a 1 second versus .5 would make for the best bond to give the best possible retention. 

And for a high-porosity client, it just might go either way! If the lashes have a lot of moisture, this can mean an ultra-fast set time to where a 1-2 second adhesive could be setting in .5 a second. Or high porosity could mean moisture is leaving the lash quickly and a super fast setting adhesive will be the best move. 

What does moisture have to do with retention?

So ultimately the question is… how do we get moisture into the natural lashes?! And the answer is… A lash bath! A refreshing and super helpful way to start off any service is with a thorough deep cleansing with a mild, PH-balanced lash cleanser like our fave… Prolong Lash Cleanser. Starting your service with a suds means you’re lifting away any dirt, debris, or oil that could prevent your lash adhesive and natural lash from being BFFs. 

Now once you’ve suds up the lashes now comes the important part… a refreshing WARM water rinse.  Warm water not only feels amaze on your clients peepers but it serves an even more important purpose… opening up that lash cuticle to introduce your lash adhesives soulmate… MOISTURE! Set yourself up for success and give this a try and see how it effects your application. Having that little bit of moisture in the natural lashes can help your lash adhesive polymerize perfectly and form strong, sturdy bonds.  And isn’t that what you and your clients dream of?

And also remember… primers that contain alcohol have the opposite effect to the natural lashes, they remove moisture! So sometimes this can have the opposite effect making your application just a little more of a rollercoaster. We always recommend giving it a shot both with and without use of primers to see what gives you the result you’re looking for! 

Ok now we’ve covered the pre-application prep basics, now it’s time to get into what can make a big difference in retention during application. 

Adhesive best practices and learning what works for you

The biggest challenge we hear from our lash friends is the battle between too much and too little adhesive! And a true battle it is… too much adhesive will have your fans flopping, flipping, and sticking together whereas too little will leave your client bare in the blink of an eye. We want that happy medium! 

So how can you tell the difference between too little and too much lash adhesive?


When you go to brush the lashes do more than 1-2 lashes pop off on your lash wand?

Can you see any visible beads on your extension when you dip or scoop into your adhesive?

When you go to place an extension does it feel impossible to stick to the lash?

When you go to remove a lash you placed 5-10 minutes before pop off without any resistance?

These can be indications you could use a bit more adhesive to ensure you’re getting solid, durable bonds. 


When you brush your lashes, do you often find sections stuck together with more than a few stickies?

Do you see a large beads or several large beads on the base of your extension when you dip or scoop into your adhesive?

When you go to place an extension does your volume fan often wick closed or does your classic lash tilt and twist unless you hold it? 

When you go to remove a lash, does it have a flat or heavy base? 

These can be indications you could be using a bit too much adhesive, which will give your client lasting “retention” but can be damaging and increase the chances of irritation or allergy. 

Once you master the perfect lash glue pickup, you’ll be more confident in achieving consistent retention!

Humidity and it’s relationship to retention 

Now what about humidity? What’s too much and too little of that?! Using thebest lash glue for your environment and skill level means understanding the relationship between humidity and your lash glue. 

More humidity = a faster, stronger bond

Less humidity = a slower, less durable bond 



You always want to ensure your environment has adequate moisture and humidity to help your lash adhesive “do it’s thing” (lash nerd term: polymerize). You can even introduce a burst of moisture using a nano mister or nebulizer directly to the lashes throughout your application.  This can just encourage your lash adhesive to cure more evenly. 

Pro Tip: Alternate between a fan + a nano mister for the ultimate cooling (and curing) experience! Your clients will be obsessed. 

Your geographic location and seasonal weather can drastically influence your experience with different lash adhesive formulas.  Somewhere really cold and dry like Canada in the winter can mean you need to work with a fast set, low humidity formula like Invisible Ink. Versus somewhere like Miami in the summer seasons might thrive with a formula like Retention because of it’s high humidity tolerance.  Check out our adhesive chart to explore what adhesives will work best for you!

Client aftercare and why it matters

And last but not least the one major retention factor that happens to be 100% out of your control… your client's aftercare + lifestyle! How your client cares for their lashes is so important to achieving great retention.  Don’t forget to cover these important lash aftercare rules with them: 

  1. Daily cleansing: Using a foam cleanser and brush to cleanse deep into the base of the lashes, rinse, dry, and fluff.  This is a routine that should happen at least once a day, ideally twice AM/PM. 
  2. Avoid heavy wax-based eye makeup: Lash extensions and wax or cream based makeup don’t have a great relationship. Avoiding both is the safest way to ensure those lash extensions stay put. 
  3. Hands off: Picking, pulling, rubbing, and tugging are surefire ways to bid farewell to those lash extensions, no matter how expertly they were applied. 
  4. Side or face sleeper: As stunning as lash extensions are, they simply aren’t indestructible.  Friction from a rough night's sleep will naturally take it’s toll on lash extensions. 

Remember that honesty is the best policy when it comes to the conversation around aftercare. A huge part of the retention recipe is the collab between you and your client! You can take all the care in the world, use the best lash adhesive in the universe, and do everything in your power to ensure perfect retention but once your client walks out your salon door, those lovingly applied lashes are in the care of your client.  Clear, honest, and kind communication goes a long way! Teamwork makes the dream work. 

We hope that sharing our lash nerd retention recipe will help you overcome the challenges of achieving amazing results and retention with your clients! Remember the UA team is always here to help, we are always just a click away! If you have any questions about how to best use our products or if we can support you with troubleshooting any lash queries don’t hesitate to send us an  Want even more lash adhesive lessons? Check out our other blogs here: 




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