When you visit the social media groups of support for lash artists, the most common question that appears every day (yes, EVERY day) is ‘What glue is the best?” or “Which glue do you recommend?”. The answer is very simple - all professional glues are good but in order to get the best from your glue, you need to know your glue as well as you know your bae! I’m not joking - your glue is your best friend, you work with it every single day so you have to know all its secrets, strength and weaknesses in order to get the best retention.
Let me tell you a bit more about cyanoacrylate adhesives and I guarantee that after you read all the information provided here, you will be able to choose the best glue for YOU :)
Cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient of any lash glue. The higher the percentage, the more rapid the drying time - simple! Cyanoacrylate adhesives polymerise in the presence of water (H2O), forming a strong and long-lasting bond. If also exposed to a high humidity, the drop of cyanoacrylate will polymerise even more rapidly.
As water causes the glue to set, it is very important to control the level of humidity in your treatment room. Another factor which may influence the drying time of cyanoacrylate is temperature - too high a temperature will make the glue drop dry immediately, making it impossible to create a strong and long lasting bond with the lashes. On the other hand, too low a temperature will increase the drying time which, depending on your level of experience, may also impact your retention.
Remember, that ALL lash adhesives contain cyanoacrylate. You’ve more than likely come across glues called “for sensitive eyes” or “non-allergic”. Usually those adhesives contain LESS amount of cyanoacrylate which will result in poorer retention. Yes, the fumes will be lower but the bond will not be as strong. Oh, and they won’t resolve any of those problems with allergic reactions - cyanoacrylate is still present, and once your client develops an allergy to the adhesive, it is more likely that they will have it with ANY cyanoacrylate adhesive, no matter if it has a “magic” name or not 😉
To give you an easy guide to the glues which would suit you best, we’ve put together this handy table to help you get to know how the glues work best, and how they could work for you!
If you are beginner in eyelash extensions, you have to be very careful while choosing a glue, as I’m sure you want to avoid retention drama! You may think that you’re working fast, but when you compare yourself to lash technicians who have been lashing for over 5 years and have already done thousands (!!!) of sets already, it may appear that actually your speed is not that high, am I right? Remember that you have to be very honest with yourself, otherwise you are likely choose a glue that is too fast for you and you may experience retention issues - there is nothing wrong with taking your time to get it perfect! In most of the conditions, to achieve the better retention, you should choose a more gradual drying glue. It will give you enough time to place the lash without worrying that the drop will become dry in mid-air, which will give you AMAZING retention!
For intermediate lashers with experience with 1-3 years, it all depends on how confident you already are while lashing and how much time you need between dipping the fan into the glue drop and placing it on the natural lash. You should consider glues that have medium drying time, as you may still struggle with fast drying glues in the extreme conditions. Remember that if the glue dries before it reaches the natural lash, this will lead to brush offs, and a longer application time overall!
Advanced lash artists - it’s your lucky day 😉 As you’re already very experienced, you’re able to adjust your speed and you’re quite flexible while working. It will be easier for you to work in those extreme conditions, especially when the polymerisation process is faster than usual. BUT if you’re using the fast drying adhesive, you have to be careful in the rooms with high humidity and high temperature, as your drying time will be extremely fast. It will change your fast drying glue into an even faster one, making it nearly impossible to place the fan.
Don’tbe afraid to change the glue if you’re unable to adjust room conditions. I’ve heard lots of times from technicians that they don’t like the idea of, and therefore don’t want to change their glue as they treat drying time as the indicator of their experience. Using a more gradually drying glue won’t make you a less experienced lash artist - quite the contrary, it will show that you’re experienced enough and well qualified to make an informed decision about which glue to choose for any given room conditions.
London Lash Master Artist and Trainer