This can be one of the most frustrating things about lashing, choosing the right lash adhesive. We get many calls from artists around the globe that struggle to find an adhesive that dries fast, is good for classic and volume, has great retention, low fumes, good for sensitive clients, etc... Many of these artists are searching for this "perfect" lash adhesive that checks all of the boxes. The truth is the perfect lash adhesive has less to do with the adhesive itself and more to do with the artist skill and the environment that you are working in. Let's dive deeper into how these elements affect your lash sets.
As we've discussed before, all lash adhesive has a cyanoacrylate base which cures in the presence of humidity to form an acrylic resin. The humidity in your workspace is important because relative humidity directly relates to how much moisture is present in the air. The higher the relative humidity percentage, the faster your adhesive cures and vice versa. The lower the relative humidity percentage, the slower your adhesive cures. So knowing your relative humidity is the first step to choosing the best lash adhesive for you.
We recommend using a hygrometer that has the temp and humidity in an easy to read format which you can keep close to you at your station. Once you have it, turn it on and let it do its thing for about an hour. After the hour is elapsed, come back to record the current humidity. Do this 3 times a day morning, noon and night for 2 days. Take a calculator and add the 6 percentages together, then divide by 2 for the days. The resulting number is your average relative humidity (ARH). If your ARH is under 30 we recommend purchasing a humidifier such as this one. If your ARH is over 80, a dehumidifier is going to be your best bet. 45-55% is the sweet spot humidity range that you want to shoot for while lashing.
If you are improperly storing your adhesive, it won't matter which kind you are using, it just won't work! In days past, storing your adhesive in the fridge was normal. But with the adhesives of today, storing in the fridge can actually compromise it. The reason is that when the adhesive is opened, moisture can get into the bottle and the fluctuating temp in the fridge will cause condensation. As stated above, moisture is a big factor in curing the adhesive so if there is moisture trapped in the bottle, it can start to cure in the bottle and result in thick, stringy adhesive that won't work properly. To store your adhesive properly, we recommend storing lash glue in the Love Shack, which is an airtight container that is available for $17. You should store your adhesive upright in the Love Shack with a silica packet. Keep the Love Shack in a cool dry place and replace your opened adhesive bottle every 4-6 weeks.
Pro Tip: Never store your adhesive and remover in the same Love Shack, you can get a black and a white one to store them in different areas.
Speed is huge when choosing adhesive. If your humidity is high but you are using an adhesive that is designed for low humidity, it will cure so quickly that it becomes unusable. So if you are a newer artist and you are slower at the process of lashing you are going to want a thicker adhesive that cures more slowly. This will give you time to isolate, place, and form a great bond between the natural lash and extension.
If your isolation is not on point then you are sure to get stuck together lashes no matter what adhesive you choose. It's so important for good isolation to be the backbone of your service. Whether you do single hand or double hand isolation, make sure that when you are isolating the natural lash, it is actually isolated and there aren't small lashes trying to make their way in. Make sure that once the lash is placed, the adhesive dries before moving onto the next lash. You can test this by counting to 2 after you place the extension, then just giving the extension a slight tug. If the extension is moving you will need to use less adhesive, if it pops off when you tug, you may need to use a bit more adhesive or make sure that the base of the extension is meeting the base of the natural lash and isn't lifting at all.
So next time you want to ask the question, "What's the best adhesive out there?" Reframe that question to,"What's the best adhesive for me?" Dig deeper into your environment and skill level to understand which adhesive will perform the best for you. We've developed a quiz to make it easier to narrow down your choices. Take the quiz by clicking the image below and don't be afraid to try a couple out. Lash Affair offers sample sizes of adhesive if you want to try before you buy, email email@example.com!
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