Lash adhesives rely on cyanoacrylate, a powerful ingredient that gives them their unique sticking ability. However, like many other beauty products, cyanoacrylate can be temperamental. Depending on the weather, climate and time of year, things can change drastically. Use these tips to ensure that your lash adhesives survive the change in seasons.
1. Create the right environment
First, you need to know what the right conditions for lash adhesives to work are. Ideally, lash adhesives will work best in temperatures of between 18 and 24 C, and with humidity of 50-60%. Stability is key.
If the temperatures in which your adhesives are stored keep fluctuating, you may see a decline in quality. Humidity or damp can also pose a huge problem; if the moisture in the surrounding atmosphere increases, the essential viscosity of your adhesives could suffer.
To keep your adhesives at their best, store them in a dark place at the appropriate temperature. Pop a pack of silica or dry rice (like the packets that come in a new pair of trainers) into the drawer with them, to keep your adhesives moisture-free. You can also use an airtight lash glue container which removes moisture and keeps the glue fresher for longer.
2. Monitor the humidity levels
If you're serious about your work as a lash technician, you might want to buy a digital hydrometer. This monitors levels of humidity, to help you know if the right conditions are being met. Depending on your local climate - or seasonal fluctuations - you might need additional equipment to ensure that the humidity levels are right. A dehumidifier is essential in damp conditions, while a diffuser or humidifier will be useful if the air is very dry.
In general, if you're working in the UK, a dehumidifier will be a useful piece of equipment. That's particularly true in winter, and if you're in a cold, damp area.
3. Keep a lid on it
Exposure to sunlight and oxygen is the fastest way to destroy your adhesive. Avoiding the first is simple: just be sure to keep your adhesive in a drawer. Don't take it out unless you're going to be using it, and if you are transporting it to work at a different location, keep it in a bag or box where the sun can't reach it.
Avoiding oxygen may be a little more difficult. Contact with oxygen will quickly change the viscosity levels of the adhesive mixture and often render it unusable. When you're not using your adhesive, keep it tightly closed.
When you're working with adhesive, you'll find that it tends to thick in about 20 to 30 minutes of direct oxygen exposure. With that in mind, take a tiny amount of adhesive out of your container, and close the lid.
As soon as your working adhesive starts to thicken, replace it with a fresh drop. Don't leave the container open while you're working, as you risk contaminating your entire supply of adhesive. Instead, use an adhesive pin to stop any dust, lint or air getting in. You should never shake the bottle with the lid on, in the case, the adhesive pin is also a more secure solution.
A common issue you may find is that the lid constantly gets stuck. Glue wipes help to clean the residue from the surface without risk of causing a reaction, which can be common with makeup sponges or paper towels.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that the adhesive bottle should never be squeezed. Let the glue drop come out at its’ own pace, with gravity doing all the hard work.
4. Replace your adhesive regularly
Once the adhesive has been opened, it tends to last about 6 weeks. However, trust your eyes. If it's looking too thick and sticky before 6 weeks is up, then it's time to replace your adhesive. That's particularly true in winter, when there's extra moisture in the air, or if you've been opening and closing the container too much.
Never try to use lash adhesive that appears to be past its best, as it will be far too viscous. Not only does this make it hard to work with on a practical level, it also means that you'll be unlikely to get precise results. Your adhesive needs to have the right consistency, as you're working with a very delicate part of the body.
5. Store unopened bottles carefully
If you're buying in bulk, then one easy way to extend the shelf life of your adhesive is by storing it in a cool and dry place, clear from moisture and direct sunlight.
Avoid keeping it in extreme conditions such as a fridge or freezer. The temperature changes when you take them out of here can affect the viscosity of the glue, shortening shelf life to under 2 weeks. We usually recommend keeping it a cupboard, ensuring it is out of reach of any children that may be around.