What Is Eyelash Adhesive?

Listen up everyone, we’re talking eyelash adhesive today. Adhesive is a critical part of the lashing process, so it’s incredibly important for lash artists to understand what they are using on their clients’ eyes. Keep on reading for everything you need to know (and probably some stuff you didn’t realize you didn’t know) about eyelash adhesive. We’ll go over the ingredients of adhesive, how safe it is, how long it actually lasts, and more! 

What’s In My Eyelash Adhesive?

There are three ingredients in most eyelash adhesives - cyanoacrylate, a stabilizer, and sometimes Carbon Black. Let’s break these down and get into what each component does.

Cyanoacrylate is an ingredient found in all eyelash adhesives because it’s the actual sticky part.  And what would adhesive be if it wasn’t sticky? To get scientific for a second, cyanoacrylate is made up of both cyanide and acrylate. Don’t worry, the cyanide is totally neutralized by the time the adhesive is manufactured! In adhesive, cyanide is used as a thickening agent and acrylate hardens when exposed to air, so you can see why both are necessary. In an unmixed bottle of adhesive, the cyanoacrylate will sink down to the bottom.

The layer on top of the cyanoacrylate is a stabilizer. This is a very important ingredient; without it, your adhesive would harden inside the bottle and be unusable almost immediately! Stabilizers also reinforce the bond made by the cyanoacrylate, increasing the retention of your extensions. 

The final ingredient isn’t present in all adhesives, but you’ll know it when you see it. If the adhesive is colored, like our Onyx Adhesive, that means it has Carbon Black in it. Adding this solid form of carbon to adhesive results in a dark black finish that can be used to blend the extensions into the natural lashes. But you can always opt for a clear adhesive if you have a client with known dye sensitivities.

What Kind of Adhesive is Used For Eyelash Extensions?

As mentioned above, the main ingredient that gives adhesive its stickiness is cyanoacrylate. So open your chemistry books and let’s dive into how this all actually works. 

Cyanoacrylate is an acrylic (notice the similarities in the words?) monomer that converts into a plastic state once cured. Moisture, either added or straight from the air, allows the molecules in cyanoacrylate to instantly form chains between the natural lash and the extension. The key word here is moisture - if the lash is dry, nothing will happen. 

The next step in the adhesive process is curing. In this context, curing refers to the adhesive becoming hard and tough over time. For proper curing, it is important to try to work in an environment between 68-72°F and 45-65% humidity. If needed, you can use a Nano Mister to add more moisture for a faster curing time. But beware not to add too much moisture! This can lead to blooming, or when too many cyanoacrylate monomers react with the moisture. This results in white residue forming on the extensions - not a great look! To cure adhesive from the inside out instantly without risk of blooming, try the PLA Supreme Bonder!

Is Eyelash Adhesive Safe?

Maintaining the health of your clients’ eyes, skin, and lashes should be your #1 priority as a lash artist. Many of the products you will use in your lashing career can be dangerous if not handled properly, including adhesive. Cyanoacrylate can definitely be irritating if adhesive is left on the skin, but it is more common for a client to have a reaction to the fumes from the adhesive. Mistakes happen, and sometimes a little adhesive gets on the skin. Just make sure to remove it as soon as possible to decrease the risk of reaction. You can use a Cream Adhesive Remover to gently soften the cyanoacrylate and dissolve the bonds. Be sure to communicate clearly and frequently with your client so you will know immediately if they are uncomfortable at all. Also remember that we as lash artists are not medical professionals and should not give out medical advice or opinion. Honestly, you shouldn’t even give your client an antihistamine for an allergic reaction; if their condition worsens you could be held partially responsible for giving out medicine! If a reaction does occur, have your client contact their doctor as soon as possible and let them take it from there. 

How Long Does Eyelash Adhesive Last?

A freshly manufactured, unopened bottle of adhesive can last about 3 months. Once opened, a bottle of adhesive has a shelf life of about 4-6 weeks. Adhesive should be stored in a cool, dark area away from excess humidity and direct sunlight. The PLA Airtight Adhesive Holder is an easy way to keep adhesive safe from the elements, or you can use another small container or cupboard. If you notice your adhesive becoming stringy and thick, that’s a good sign that you probably need a new bottle. Just make sure to keep an eye out for any changes in your adhesive and grab a new bottle if you’re unsure.

All in all, a good, fresh, reliable eyelash adhesive can be a lash artist’s best friend - if you know what’s in it and how to use it, that is. Feel free to browse your eyelash extension supplier at ParisLashAcademy.com! Picking out the perfect adhesive can be difficult, so click here to take our Adhesive Quiz to find out what eyelash adhesive will work best for you!

Happy lashing, everyone!