Lash Industry Buzzword Definitions: Part 2

// Jenelle Paris

Earlier this year, we cleared up the meanings of some common buzzwords used in the eyelash extension industry. From Russian Volume to ellipse lashes, knowing what's available and how to communicate that to your clients is key.

Here, in part two, you'll learn more eyelash lingo. Knowing these terms will help you build your expertise so you can answer any client questions that come up. 

Shock Polymerization and Blooming

Humidity isn't just a factor that results in frizzy locks — it can diminish the quality of lash work, too. Shock polymerization takes place when humidity is too high and causes shrinking of the adhesive layer, lessening bond strength. Shock polymerization can also make clients' eyes burn from the fumes and vapors that emit when moisture is present. 

To control your humidity, we recommend using a nano mister which cures lash adhesive instantly. It's key not to apply too much moisture, though. When lashes get hit with excess moisture, blooming can occur. That's when lash adhesive turns white, resulting in lash extensions just popping off. Spend a minute brushing through the lashes to make sure there are no stuck-together extensions before misting. Mist at least 12 inches away from the client's face to avoid water droplets on the lashes. 

Double-Handed Isolation 

No, we're not talking a new basketball term here. Double-handed isolation is a key way to apply flawless lashes. With double-handed isolation, you use both tweezers to isolate. 

With the tweezer tips in your left hand, move the lashes to the left side. With the tweezers in your right hand, move the lashes to the right side. Do this in a way that leaves you with one lash in the center of each tweezer tip. Once you've done this, use the isolating tweezers to keep the gap on either side of the isolated natural lash, while you use the tweezers in your other hand to pick up an extension to place. Once the extension is placed, hold for one to two seconds and move onto the next natural lash using the same technique. This helps you apply the lash extension so that it cures perfectly and the extension bonds to only one single natural lash. 

If you don't isolate properly, you run the risk of not getting a good, solid bond between the natural lash and the extension, or you'll get stickies, which are lashes sticking together. Improve your lash isolation skills by investing in professional eyelash tweezers. Hold the extension in place for a few seconds to ensure it has adhered to the natural lash before you move on to the next. Keep in mind that adhesives don't have a true "dry time". The curing time is dependent on the relative humidity in your space and whether or not the adhesive you have chosen is suited for that environment.

Cyanoacrylate

The cyanoacrylate base in lash adhesives cures the adhesive when humidity is present, forming an acrylic resin. Cyanoacrylate has been used in the medical community since it was discovered in 1951. It's a crucial element to help strengthen lash bonds and enables lash extensions to stay attached to natural lashes for weeks. 

Cyanoacrylate-based adhesives are made in many different forms. The form manufactured for eyelash extension application is very strong. Super glue is also cyanoacrylate-based, so you can imagine the result of getting superglue in someone's eye or in your hair. Treat lash adhesive with the same precautions.

Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colorless gas that has a strong odor and is flammable at room temperature. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns exposure to formaldehyde can cause adverse health effects.

However, when talking with clients about formaldehyde and how it may affect them in the eyelash application process, the key is to emphasize that it's exposure to high amounts of formaldehyde that is dangerous. Formaldehyde is used in the production of cyanoacrylate. The amount of formaldehyde that is used to create lash adhesive is so small, it isn't even required to be listed on the ingredients list, but some people may be sensitive to this adhesive additive. 

Formaldehyde is a natural byproduct of the curing process during eyelash application. Since lash artists may use lash adhesive up to eight hours a day, artists should wear proper protection like lace carbon filter masks, which reduce exposure to adhesive fumes. A ventilation system that filters out volatile organic compounds from the air can also be beneficial to have in a lash application studio.

Medical-Grade

Have you ever thought about buying “medical-grade” eyelash products to keep you and your clients safe? The sad story is that there is no such thing as “medical-grade” in the eyelash extension industry, but companies will put that stamp on their products in order to get more sales. In some cases, products labeled “medical-grade” may actually contain ingredients that cause client reactions.

In the eyelash industry, there are no formal regulations or standards to determine if a product is “medical-grade.” Currently, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration states that eyelash extension adhesives must meet the safety and labeling requirements for cosmetics. The good news is, all cyanoacrylate is made under strict conditions, so its quality is consistent. 

Sensitive, Clear and Latex-Free Adhesives

Some clients with sensitivities will request certain types of eyelash adhesives. Here are some common ones you might hear:

  • Sensitive eyelash adhesive - Sensitive eyelash adhesive, like our Infatuated Sensitive Eyelash Adhesive, is formulated to have less fumes. However, some people who have had a chemical burn irritation, like those with dry or sensitive eyes, may actually be allergic to cyanoacrylate. Because cyanoacrylate is used in sensitive adhesive, clients with a cyanoacrylate allergy may still have a reaction.
  • Clear eyelash adhesive - Clear eyelash adhesive, like our Clear Connection Clear Lash Extension Adhesive, is carbon-free. Carbon black provides a rich black finish to the lash line during eyelash extension application. Those who are sensitive to carbon can opt for clear adhesive. Clear adhesive is also known for better retention since the adhesive is more stable in this form.
  • Latex-free eyelash adhesive - Some eyelash adhesives have latex in them to increase flexibility and make them oil-proof. Some clients have an allergy to latex and will ask about latex-free adhesives. All Lash Affair adhesives, like the Love Potion #9 Lash Extension Adhesive for High Humidity, are latex-free and still of the highest quality.

You should ask about client allergies before any eyelash application and apply a patch test to check for allergic reactions. Having a wide variety of lash adhesives available means you can serve more clients, including those with sensitivities.


Now that you've mastered some critical lash extension adhesive vocabulary, you're more prepared to handle client questions and provide better service. Armed with the right products and knowledge, you can make clients' eyes wow-worthy every single time.

Be sure to check out our Nano Mister for instant adhesive curing (and to make your clients feel fabulous!) Want to learn more great tips for eyelash extensions? Check out our eyelash extension blog.

Jenelle Paris
Founder | Boston Girl | Pig + Dog Obsessed | Lover of House Music


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