Working with eyelash extension glue is a tricky business, as it’s important that the product is stored correctly, the right amount is applied, and set properly to ensure maximum adhesion and the safety of your client. To take a look at some of the history and science behind this product and follow our tips for proper usage to master the art of working with eyelash extension adhesive!
Cyanoacrylate: The Main Ingredient
The main ingredient in most eyelash extension glues on the market is Cyanoacrylate. This is an acrylic resin that rapidly cures in the presence of water forming a long, strong chain that joins the bonded surfaces together. Cyanoacrylate has many industrial, medical, and household uses for its fast-acting adhesive properties.
One of the earliest recorded uses of cyanoacrylate dates back to 1966, where it served as a temporary wound closure in the Vietnam War to slow bleeding until injured soldiers could be brought to a hospital.
While Cyanoacrylate has been used medically outside of the U.S. since the 1970’s, due to its potential to irritate skin, it wasn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a medical adhesive until 1998.
Now, we know based on research that Cyanoacrylate is a safer and more functional method of closing wounds than stitches, and demonstrates superior performance in speed, infection prevention, and final cosmetic appearance.
Using & Storing Eyelash Extension Glue
To best apply eyelash extension glue, first pour a small, thin puddle onto a flat surface, such as a cool crystal stone. The very edges of the puddle will polymerize the quickest, so it’s best to dip the lash into the middle of the puddle for even application. Renew your drop every 20-30min, to ensure you always use fresh adhesive.
To prevent the adhesive from setting or “drying out”, store it upright in an airtight container, in a cool dark cupboard, away from any indoor heating and cooling systems. It’s a good idea to replace the adhesive every 7-8 weeks or when the glue gets stringy.
Reactions with Cotton
Cyanoacrylate causes a rapid exothermic reaction when applied to cotton, which releases extreme heat and can even ignite the cotton product and cause burns, in extreme cases.
It is crucial that lash technicians avoid the use of cotton applicators, such as cotton swabs or balls, when using this product, as little fibres can be left behind on the lashes, which then react with the adhesive.
Blooming & Curing
Blooming is a white dusty marking that appears on the lash when a large amount cyanoacrylate has remained in liquid form and polymerized in humidity.
To avoid this, we recommend using a smaller amount of adhesive and adding an “activator” to lessen the cure time. Water serves as a good activator, as it is safe to use around the eyes. You have to keep in mind though that only small amounts of water will work, just like with a Nano Mister. If the water drops are too big, you are running the risk of shock curing the adhesive, which can make it brittle and causes it to bloom.
This immediate curing with a Nano Mister allows clients to wash their eyes within just 2-4 hours, rather than 24. While the adhesive may degrade if submerged in water for a long time, the amount of contact with water from washing your face or showering is completely safe.
We think everyone can agree how much safer and more hygienic it is to allow our clients to wash their eyes and eyelashes every night! Eyes are a sensitive area that need the daily debris, makeup particles, and product build up washed away every night to avoid irritation. Immediate curing also prevents any harmful fumes that may be emitted while curing overnight, which also can prevent allergic reactions to adhesives.
With advances and innovations abounding, we can offer our clients beautiful and safe lashes that last!