Finding The Right Adhesive
Finding the right adhesive can be the most long, painstaking exercise ever! There are so many things to consider when trying to find the “one”! We are always on the lookout for “something better” than what we are already using but sometimes, we can be a bit too quick to blame our tools rather than perhaps tweaking the way we use what we already have. At least 50% of us move onto something faster before we are ready, and again are too quick to blame it for not working properly when actually, we are simply not experienced enough to use it!
Is there the “perfect” adhesive out there? Unfortunately there is never going to be that perfect ONE adhesive out there that works for everyone. What works for one person might not necessarily work for someone else and, thank god too otherwise all of our awesome lash suppliers would be out of business! Ok so when we first start out in the Lash World we are always shown a slower adhesive to work with, for obvious reasons! God forbid we were to start out with a 1-2 sec drying time glue – what with having to juggle isolating the lash, getting the right angle, somehow going around the clients’ nose without suffocating them by blocking their air ways (!!), making sure we put the lash on straight and that we haven’t glued their eyes together, using a fast glue that, as soon as you place…it stays…will not start you off of on the right foot in the lash world. I remember the first set I did in my training and I just thought…OH MY GOD – what have a let myself in for! I didn’t think I would ever get it! Of course, we all have to start somewhere and, sometimes these things just happen – it is all a part of the learning process! Once we have a good few sets under our belt, we start to get the feel of the adhesive, the lashes etc etc and want to move onto something quicker. This is of course a natural progression. But what do you look for? Do we want a thick or thin consistency? Do we want a 1-2 sec curing time, or a 2-3 sec curing time..?? Even at this point I don’t think we would have known that things like temperature and humidity can play such a major part on how your adhesive works in your environment. This is where we go ahead and purchase every adhesive that has been recommended by our fellow lash techs…(or was that just me…?!) Unfortunately IT IS going to be a bit of trial and error before we find the one we are most comfortable with using. The thing is, most adhesives out there are made from more or less the same ingredients, it’s just in a much higher or lower percentage or concentration for each. The things you need to think about are:
Am I a fast or slow lasher? If you are a confident, fast lasher you would probably want to go for something that has a 1-2 sec drying time. Similarly, if you are a slow lasher, something that is a 2-3 sec drying time would be more beneficial to you.
Is my humidity high or low? Lash adhesives work with moisture in the air so, the higher the humidity the quicker it is going to cure, and similarly the lower the humidity the slower it is going to cure. Here in the UK our humidity has quite an extensive range depending on the time of year so you could always invest in a humidifier or de-humidifier to get it to an optimum level. Or, you could (as I do) just adapt the way you use your adhesive. If a higher level, use slightly more at the end of the lash so that you have time to place without it curing and creating a weak bond. If a lower level, use a little less at the end of the lash. I speak as an experienced Fierce user but am pretty sure the same “rule” would apply to most other adhesives out there. One of the many good things about Fierce is its large humidity range and that it can actually adapt itself dependent on the environment it is being used in.
Is my temperature high or low? Investing in an expensive and noisy air conditioning unit (if too warm) or a (less expensive) heater will combat both of these. However, I personally have neither and again, just adapt the way I use my adhesive. I generally renew my “blob” every 20 to 30 mins anyways but every 15 mins in the summer months when both temp and humidity are high! If it starts to go gloopy/stringy just replace the glue blob.
Do I go for a thinner of thicker consistency? This really is entirely up to you and you will only find this out by trial and error. See if you are able to get samples of adhesives you want to try rather than full sized bottles. I personally find that I work better with a thinner consistency adhesive for both classic and volume however, a friend/fellow lash tech I know prefers a thicker for both, and others a thinner for volume and a thicker for classic. There is no right or wrong one to use, it’s how you work with it and what gives you the best results.
Finding the right adhesive isn’t going to happen overnight. It takes a while to get used to a new one and, you may find that when you first use it, the retention you were hoping for may not have been as good as you expected. Your technique might need to be tweaked, your clients’’ lashes might not be clean enough, or it could simply be that your prep needs to be a little more thorough (see my blog on Prepping Lashes from January 2016). So, rather than throw it in the lash graveyard and discard it, speak to your supplier, ask if there is a particular way it should be used. Ask around for advice from people that already use it, go through some trouble shooting with them and work out what you might need to change up i.e. your technique, your temp or humidity etc etc. The beauty industry can be a ruthless place however there are some amazing lash techs out there who are always willing to help if they are able so, don’t be afraid to ask. Myself, and everyone else here at Lash Heaven are always happy to help with anything.