Adhesives. The root of the problem when it comes down to retention issues … so some may think. (wink face) “What’s your favourite glue?” is the question we all get asked countless times throughout our lash career. I’m here to tell you that the adhesive your favourite lash artist raves about, may or may not work for you! Great retention is based upon proper technique, prep, environment, and quality products that work for you and only you. There are so many factors you need to consider when choosing the right adhesive for you. Going back to about 4-8 years ago, there was no such thing as a fast-drying adhesive. Clients were more susceptible to getting irritations due to its slow dry time; hence why there was a “24-48 hour rule.” Sylwia, VP of Lashbox LA, noticed that her clients who had a reaction to the glue 5 years ago, no longer had a reaction when she started using Superhero, which is one of our fastest drying adhesives. Since technology is evolving at every moment and more adhesives are created to cure much quicker, clients have a better chance of getting almost minimal to zero irritations! What a blessing!!!
A little Adhesive 101 so you have a better understanding of what you are working with:
There are three main components in adhesives: Cyanoacrylate (specifically Ethyl – Cyanoacrylate for our industry), PMMA, and Carbon Black.
This might be a shocker to some, but guess what? There is no such thing as sensitive, hypoallergenic, or formaldehyde free adhesives! Yeah, I said it… but let me explain briefly!
There is a very small percentage of Carbon Black that is in black adhesives, around 0.1-0.5% for LBLA adhesives. Inhaling Carbon Black in its powder form can cause respiratory issues, but since it is dissolved into a liquid, the issues are not quite possible. There are a few people that might have better reaction to clear adhesives than black, but it does not technically mean it’s a sensitive adhesive. It might only just reduce the irritation by a very small percentage. Removing Carbon Black will only change the composition of the adhesive and will have more or less percentages of either Cyanoacrylate or PMMA. Overall, if you have a client that experience an allergic reaction with one glue, chances are they will get a reaction with all glues: clear or black.
Hypoallergenic is a term that is used loosely and what marketers love to use to attract consumers. However, there are no official standards from the FDA that claims a product to be hypoallergenic.
Formaldehyde is a high toxicity compound, but it is not a component that is used in LBLA adhesives. In fact, tiny amounts of Formaldehyde is a byproduct that is formed when the adhesive comes in contact with the air. That is why it is important to keep the amount of times you are opening and closing your adhesive bottle to a limit. The moment you open your new bottle of adhesive, air is already traveling its way into the bottle. The same thing happens if you squeeze your bottle, forget to burp, or even forget to screw the cap back on tightly. It also means that Formaldehyde can form within your adhesive bottle too! Although it is a micro amount that travels into the air, it is extremely important to work in a well-ventilated area and always run an air purifier.
Since we do offer many fast-drying adhesives, they will have shorter shelf life and will need a fresh, new glue dot more frequently to make sure it works at its best! This is why we advise technicians to replace their old glue to a new one every four weeks, even if you used the adhesive only 7 times. The older the glue, the more hazardous it will potentially be for you and your client, the more viscous it will become, and you will not get the full benefits of the adhesive.
All adhesives contain the same key ingredients, but please keep in mind not all adhesives are created equal. Different percentages, big or small, of each component as well as additives will produce a totally different performance in the adhesives.
Low Humidity: ~25-45%
Moderate Humidity: ~45-55% (optimum range)
High Humidity: 55-58%
***I do not recommend the humidity to be any higher than 58% and lower than 25%. The temperature range should be within 18-22 degrees Celsius. I found that the majority of the glues I have worked with always works around 45-55% humidity and 21 degrees Celsius, which is typically the optimum environment. Okay, but what does that mean? Majority of the glues on the market that don’t have too many additives will always work at that optimum environment. Lower the humidity, the slower the adhesive will cure; higher the humidity, the faster the adhesive will cure. You will also need to have different glues at different seasons due to the change in environment. Typically, the winter season will have a lower humidity and the summer season will have a higher humidity, so make sure you change your glue accordingly!
NOTE: Descriptions of our glues apply to completely perfect conditions. The dry time of an adhesive will begin once that fan is taken out of the glue dot. For example, a 3 second dry time glue in dry conditions means that the moment you take your fan out of the glue dot, it will take 3 seconds before it completely cures, if and only if you pick up the right amount of glue.
Dipping minimal glue can cut down the dry time and dipping too much glue can extend the dry time. It is important to know how to properly dip your classic lash or volume fans at a happy medium. For those of you who don’t know, the amount of glue you need for classic, volume, and mega volume are different!
In the simplest terms, glue can be wet, dry, or perfect. How can you tell? A wet adhesive will be shiny, and a dry adhesive will be matte. If you’re traveling your fan to the natural lash and the adhesive on your fan is already matte, it has already cured, and the attachment will not properly bond to the natural lash. Let’s say it is semi-matte when you apply it on the natural lash, and it actually stuck! While this may be a good indication of attachment, the glue partially cured; therefore, cannot bond to the natural lash like it supposed too. This will obviously lead to retention issues. The glue should be shiny when you dip, shiny when your fan travels to the natural lash, and perfectly matte after it is properly bonded/wrapped around the natural lash.
If you are finding that your glue is appearing matte earlier than it should in those steps, opt for a slower drying adhesive or reduce the humidity if needed! More humidity in the air will cause your adhesive to dry quicker. An activator, such as our Glue Aid, should not be used if your environment is too hot/humid, if you’re working too slowly, or if you are not using enough glue.
Lashbox LA offers 5 different adhesives. 5!!!! Wait, there’s more. Not only do we offer a huge variety, but we also have duo adhesive kits of slower and faster drying adhesives because we know the environment can fluctuate at any given time! We want to help you prepare for the worst-case scenario and of course, lash with ease. We take pride in all of our products and formulate all of our adhesives to be top quality medical grade.
PHEW! Tons of information, but it’s extremely important for you to understand and know how to work with your glue. Now, let’s get to the good stuff: our LBLA adhesives!!! To make things easier, I will go in order from slowest to fastest drying <3
The BEST adaptable adhesive and a favourite to many, myself included!!! I am telling you that this adhesive works wonders at many different humidity levels, specifically around the 45-58% range. It has a thin viscosity, non-wicking consistency that is perfect for the Flower Bouquet technique. Not only is it great for 0.03, it works with all different diameters! My humidity fluctuates anywhere from 45-60% and it is my saviour every time.
A medium viscosity, fast-drying adhesive with a standard black finish! It has an instant bond as soon as it comes in contact with the natural lash. This great for Intermediate to Advance levels in all diameters of Classic, Volume, and All levels in Mega Volume depending on the humidity.
Our OG adhesive that is everyone’s dream girl when it comes down to Mega Volume paired with low humidity. Its thin, non-wicking formula delivers an instant bond, which is perfect for speed with the Flower Bouquet technique. Since this is one of our fastest drying adhesives; therefore, it will work beautifully in drier climates for an Advance level!
Our fast-drying clear adhesive! This has similar characteristics as the Superhero, but without its Carbon Black pigment. Going back to what I mentioned in Adhesive 101, the missing Carbon Black component was compromised with different levels of Cyanoacrylate and PMMA. This is great for those who work very quickly but want a seamless bond in their sets. Not only that, but it pairs perfectly with colored lashes!
If you are experiencing retention issues, one of the things you can do is to opt for a slower drying adhesive! If you work extremely fast in low or moderate humidity conditions and need quicker dry time, give our Glue Aid a try!
I hope this general guideline helped you narrow down your final picks. Please be aware that finding the best products for you will consist of a lot of trial and error! Even if your friend has the same environment as you, it doesn’t always mean that their favourite adhesive will work for you. I get it… It’s difficult not to get discouraged if you are dealing with retention issues, but the best thing you can do is to keep your head up, figure out what can be changed to make your adhesive work better, and simply, carefully choose products out that are compatible for you, and you only. If you did your absolute best in adjusting all the factors to make your adhesive work, but it somehow doesn’t; then try a different one! That’s the beauty of experimenting and you will do a lot of that throughout your lash career! Don’t knock it until you try it, but make sure you are using the adhesive at its recommended conditions and skill to reach its full benefits!