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17 July 2023

You've got questions... we've got answers: Adhesive Edition!

You've got questions... we've got answers: Adhesive Edition!

If you’re anything like us, learning to love your relationship with your lash adhesive has its ups and downs.  It always seems like everything is going amazing, volume fans are snapping on, stickies are at bay, and when you go to brush… not a single lash pops off but then out of nowhere one day… everything, everywhere all at once seems to go wrong! Your volume fans just won’t stay open, lashes are drooping and sticking together, and your adhesive texture just feels… off? You’re not going crazy! This is a very real scenario that happens to us all, you’re not alone. In celebration of our All About Adhesive Webinar on July 29th, we are answering our top asked questions about adhesive and we are giving you our strategies to solve each one! Let’s gooo!

  1. Help! My adhesive is turning white, it goes on black but when I go back to check an area it’s white and the lashes come off really easily.  What happened?!

Hey lash friend, this is super common.  First things first, let’s break it down. What you’re experiencing is called shock polymerization.  It’s a mouthful! So what’s happening is that your cyanoacrylate adhesive is coming into contact with moisture and that exposure is frazzling your adhesive.  The reaction is the cyanoacrylate “shocking” from liquid to solid which causes the brittle, white texture you’re seeing.  This is more than likely caused from your clients tears seeping into the lashline as you’re placing lashes.  The culprit is 9/10 times always a teary-eyed client.  

So first things first… Check to see if there’s anything abrasive in your client's eye causing the tearing.  The edge of your under-eye pad or tape can be to blame.  Otherwise, it could be that your client's eye is actually drifting open, causing adhesive fumes to sneak in and cause some waterworks. If you’re noticing tearing on just one eye it could be your sign to work on one eye at a time so you can finish the eye and remove the undereye pad entirely. 

You can use a lint-free nozzle wipe under the edge of your eye pad to help wick moisture away form the lashline to prevent the dreaded icy consequences. 

Remember that once the adhesive turns white, that bond is 100% compromised so best practice is to pop off that lash extension and reapply once the area is dry and ready to bond.  

  1. I am so frustrated! My lashes pop off when I go to brush right after I apply my extensions.  I don’t know what’s happening! I am using UA adhesive too. 

This happens to the best of us! The hard thing about lash retention is that it can be so many factors, but let’s start at the beginning…

Did you prep your client's lashes before you started? A good foaming cleanser lash bath with a thorough warm water rinse is the first step towards making sure those bonds stick. Porous, debris-free natural lashes are the only thing cyanoacrylate adhesive can bond to properly.

Next step is to make sure you’re using an appropriate amount of adhesive! You could be using the best adhesive in the world (pst…if you said you’re using UA, you are ), but if you’re not using enough it just means you’re not getting a great bond! (We are covering this in depth in the webinar because it’s such a big topic to tackle) But a healthy dose of adhesive without going overboard is really important when getting a solid bond.  

And lastly, double-check to make sure your bonds are aligned properly! This means making sure the base of your extension and the base of your natural lash are 100% flush and aligned.  If even the booty of your lash extension is lifted, when you go to brush (especially pressing into the under eyepad) it can easily snag the base and lift your lash extension clean off.  

You got this, friend! Double-check your process and don’t be afraid to slow down, sometimes when we are in a rush it can make all the difference in the details. 

  1. My client's eyes are always so watery and red; it makes taking photos and videos really hard! I want to post my work but their eyes look irritated… what am I doing wrong?

This is so common! So if you’re using UA adhesive, you’re working with a minimal fume formula.  This means our adhesives go through a distillation process to extract a majority of the fumes out of the adhesive, which makes it much more comfortable for clients and artists alike.  That doesn’t mean that it’s safe for an eye that’s peeking open a crack though. Let me ask you the first important question…

Is your client talking during their service? This is the #1 culprit when it comes to a red eye… talking means the muscles of the faces are moving and grooving, which can cause eye fluttering! And this is why fumes are getting sweeped into the eye, causing redness and the sensation of stinging or irritation. 

And the next thing to check is your under-eye pad + tape placement.  Like our first question, it’s important to ensure tape is not in or around your client's eyeball. Anything past the waterline is a sure-fire way to irritate their eye.  This can be escalated by adhesive fumes too! And your tape placement on the eye lid used to lift their eye can mean it’s lifted too high.  This is a really common scenario! Always use a lash mirror to see if the eyeball is exposed. 

And lastly, your client might naturally open their eyes when they drift off to sleep! It’s totally uncontrollable and can be scary.  Check to see if that’s happening while they are snoozing.  The eye will slowly open and sometimes stay slightly open.  With these clients, you’ll want to work in sections and use tape on the opposite section you’re working on to hold the eyelid down. We hope this advice helps you! Keep us posted. 

  1. I have a client that has awful retention; it doesn’t matter what adhesive I use or anything! I’ve tried everything from primers, bonders, and sealants and they always come back with little to no lash extensions left.  What do I do?!

This is a hard one! First of all, we’ve all had that one client that we just can’t seem to achieve great results on; it’s very normal but doesn’t make it less frustrating.  I would assess what their lifestyle looks like as far as aftercare… Are they a daily swimmer, hot yoga enthusiast, or suffer from active allergies? If the answer is yes to anything like this, then friend… it’s the lifestyle that’s taking a toll! Now if the lifestyle isn’t a factor then I would dig a little deeper… what’s their aftercare look like? Are you confident they are washing daily, keeping their hands off, and wearing minimal makeup? If you’re confident none of those are a factor, then let’s move on to the lash artist angle…

Are you following all your adhesive best practices like:

Using a fresh dot of adhesive every 15-20 min

Using adhesive less than 4 weeks since opening

Using an appropriate amount of adhesive not too little, not too much

Using a source of moisture at the end such as a nebulizer or nanomister to assist curing

Ensuring your adhesive bonds are properly aligned and flush to the natural lash

Ensuring your choice of weight + length are appropriate for your client's natural lash

If you can say 100% yes to all of these then lash friend… you’ve done everything in your power! I would happily recommend referring this client out if they feel as though they could get better results with a different artist. 

  1. My client says they’ve had an allergic reaction to lash extensions in the past; should I use sensitive adhesive?

This is a zesty topic in the last industry so I’ll share a little history lesson to help fill in some gaps…

When lash extensions rose to popularity, so did a range of adhesives claiming to be “medical grade,” hypoallergenic, and or designed for sensitive individuals. Unfortunately, most of these adhesives were simply diluted cyanoacrylate adhesives combined with other additives, which didn’t make them less reactive to clients with true acrylate allergies. Fast forward to today… sensitives adhesives are not as widely available due to clients almost always still suffering a reaction. So what can you do… well our first step is to differentiate between allergies + sensitivities.

Allergy is a full-blown histamine reaction to acrylate, which results in moderate to severe swelling, flaking, itching, and burning sensations. It almost always happens within the first 12 to 24 hours after application and oftentimes can even start within 1-2 hours post application.  Clients who are truly allergic are not a candidate for application because reactions can increase in severity after each exposure; scary but true! 

Sensitivities can be irritated by adhesive fumes or any components of lash application such as tape, under-eye pads, cleanser or even light.  It presents more as teary, redness, or just plain irritation on the skin or eye area. This always subsides post-application and will not naturally increase in severity.  Sensitive client's strategies include:

Working on one eye at a time; minimizing pad/tape use on both eyes

Using a fan + nebulizer throughout the procedure and thoroughly before they open their eyes. 

Keeping your light on the lowest setting

Using a barrier cream along the eyelid

Cleansing post application (Yes! This is a must… and totally extensions safe!)

Trying different low-fume adhesives

Try using a clear adhesive

Remember that working with a client who’s experienced either sensitivity or allergic reaction is a risk! Be prepared with solutions so you can keep your client safe + comfortable… even if that means not proceeding with the service. 

Wow! We got through a lot of Q + A… If you’re ready to dive even deeper then don’t miss out on joining our All About Adhesive Webinar, July 29th and if you can’t attend then, don’t worry, you will get the replay! 

In this unmissable webinar, here's what you will master:

  • Picking the ideal adhesive for both your skill level and environment 🎯
  • Learning the secrets of best practices to achieve mind-blowing retention 🤯
  • Diving deep into adhesive science and its magic! ✨
  • Discover pro tips and techniques that will change the way you lash 
  • Participate in a live Q&A session to get your questions answered by our expert instructors

And on top of all that goodness, you’ll get a $55 UA credit to use towards an adhesive of your choice!

These were JUST the top 5 questions we frequently receive, and we are always ready for more! Don’t hesitate to send us your questions via DM @untamed.artistry, we are always here to help you as your trusted study buddy.  

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