The Adhesive Tutorial

Glue is at the heart of applications and this the reason we wanted to take some time to talk about it. Do not think this is going to be boring. It may perhaps be so but it is one of the most important topics concerning eyelash applications and as a conscientious stylist you should get all the information on it.

Eyelash glue is basically a water-proof hypoallergenic super glue available in a variety of qualities. Essentially the difference lies in viscosity, setting time and fume content.

But how can you tell the quality of a glue, when there are so many brands in the market?

  • Price is not necessarily a helpful criteria for this. Glues costing less than 20 EUR leave room for doubt but they need not cost more than 50 EUR either. There are glues costing more than 100 EUR going up to 200 EUR, now that is really going too far and more a case of brand obsession.
  • The absence of hazardous ingredients is mainly a sign of quality.
    All water proof glues for semi-permanent extensions basically contain Cyanoacrylate.
    Some clients fear the worst when they hear of this but actually Cyanoacrylate esters are also used in medicine to close wounds in place of sutures. Cyanoacrylate has been approved in USA for treatment of wounds since 1998 as especially cuts can be sealed quickly by using this. Cyanoacrylate is not carcinogenic.
  • Some inferior glues contain formaldehyde. Even if daily-wear mascaras contain more of it the presence of formaldehyde or heavy metals is an absolute taboo for glues.
  • All eyelash glues have fumes and can cause allergic reactions. As a rule of thumb one can say:
    • the milder a glue that much longer it takes to dry and that much lesser fumes it has.
    • the quicker a glue dries the more fumes it has.
Eyes form an especially sensitive area. If you set store by your reputation, by the wellbeing of your clients and by repeat customers then it is truly advisable to exercise great caution in the selection of glues. A "medical standard" is therefore to be recommended.

This leads one to conclude that only mild glues should be used. But it is not so. It is the application method that decides which glue is to be used.

This is how you can decide whether to go for mild glues …

If the procedure does not require placing eyelashes thickly, close to another as in the volume technique and a crisscross way of going about it (i.e. first left eye then right, then left again and so on) then you can dispense with a fast drying super glue and go for a mild one. This makes it safe for you and there is no danger of the client returning the next day with red eyes.

A mild glue is thus recommended for a single eyelash technique as with Y and W eyelashes and self application.

… or strong glues:

The faster drying glues, called "Pro", are preferred by practiced stylists who can work fast with it.

Super glues going by the name of "Ultra" are the fastest drying ones with a setting time of 2-4 seconds.

They are used when really fast work and close placing is required. They are almost indispensable for the XD Volume technique as a very fast drying glue with high viscosity is required for two reasons. We need the quick drying for the lashes to stick fast for us to be able to release them after placing. High viscosity is needed to pick up just as much quantity of liquid as required for adherence to the eyelid surface while thereby preventing the neighbouring eyelashes from getting stuck together as well.

Any eyelash glue requires 24 hours to dry completely even if adhesion has already taken place within a few seconds. It is then not possible to move the eyelash on the natural eyelash or to remove them without the help of a remover.

Quick drying also means that the drops of glue dry as quickly on the jade stone or in the glue ring. While working if you notice that the viscosity of the drop of glue has thickened you should stop working with it and continue working only with a fresh drop of glue. As a rule the upper most drop on a glass plate or jade stone is the freshest.

Please note: Skin and eyelids can get stuck very quickly because of the high moisture content of the skin. At times it happens so quickly that there is no time for a sensible response. The recommended first-aid measure in this case is to use a remover to separate the surfaces. But please avoid membranous areas while doing so. That would cause a painful burning sensation.

In case an eyelash on the lower eyelid sticks with one from the upper eyelid please stay calm, do not let the client panic and with a steady hand separate the part stuck by putting a tiny drop of remover on it. If remover cannot be used on the place where it has got stuck, then as a last resort snip off the stuck part of the eyelashes with a small pair of scissors.

BPlease consult a doctor immediately if the eyelids get stuck since the Cyanoacrylate glue can cause serious damage to the cornea upon coming into direct contact with the eyes. Therefore, under no circumstances can it come into direct contact with the eyes. When an eye gets stuck it should never be forcefully opened as this could badly damage the eye.

A classic among mild glues: the XXL Lashes Adhesive

The XXL Lashes Adhesive is one of the best in the market. It is anti-allergenic, certified as safe, odourless, quick to apply, contains no carcinogenic or heavy metal ingredients, is waterproof and of medicinal quality.

It is most flexible, which helps in making the extension last for a maximum of 2 months since it does not become crumbly.

The XXL Lashes Adhesive does not cause skin irritation even when used on eyelashes of people with a sensitive skin.

It is suitable for use by beginners and advanced users since the drying time is ideally balanced. It dries within the shortest time on the eyelashes but remains viscous for up to two hours on the jade stone or in glue cups. This is the feature which makes it last long once opened (about 4—6 months depending on how it is stored)

5 ml of XXL Lashes Adhesive is also available in the transparent form and lasts for more than 100 applications.

"Caution" is the keyword!

  • Glue is only meant to be used by professional eyelash stylists or cosmeticians.
  • Do not use the product without being trained in using it or getting instructed in its use.
  • Keep it away from children.
  • If it comes into contact with your eyes rinse your eyes for about 10 minutes with saline solution and if necessary consult a doctor.
  • In case of allergic reactions (redness, swelling, itchiness) remove the application and consult a doctor
  • Store it in a cool place
  • Avoid direct exposure to sun rays and heat.

For professional stylists: the XXL Lashes Adhesive "pro"

The XXL Lashes Adhesive Pro is recommended for use by eyelash professionals, who can use it blindly.

It is a strong, quick-drying, long lasting glue with a quick drying time of about 6 seconds. It is available in black colour, in a 200 ml bottle and lasts for over 200 applications.

Long lasting quality is however always pre-empts the existence of fumes. Hence this glue is not meant for self application which requires for the eyes to remain open. The fumes may cause a mild burning sensation in the eyes and for them to water. Let the drop to be used let off its fumes for at least for 5 minutes before using it for sticking.

How long do glues last and how are they to be stored?

For them to last longest they have to be stored in a cool and dark place, possibly at a temperature of between 15 and 21 degrees. Exposure to sunlight, heat and oxygen shorten life. After use the bottle has to be screwed tightly shut, remember to unfailingly clean the neck of the bottle before screwing it shut. Do not store it in the refrigerator since temperature changes cause condensation and shortens the life of the glue.

Mild glues last for up to 12 months when kept shut and for 4—6 months after opening.

Cyanoacrylate polymerisation through humidity, i.e. individual molecules stick together to form a whole by the humidity. In other words, glues dry quickly at a certain level of humidity.

At the same time humidity should not lead to formation of condensation on the bonding surface. This would lead to formation of white blooms of glue

Stylist trick: moist cotton pad

Cyanoacrylate based glues react particularly fast to humidity. Ideal results of gluing can be obtained when the relative humidity is 40-70% at a room temperature of 20-25°C and from application of a very thin layer of glue.

Here is a tip for stylists who prefer to work fast: Use a nano spray producing fine mist or put a moist gel pad (or a moist cotton pad) on the cheeks for the glue to dry faster.

Glue blooms can form.

This means that after some time white bands or spots form. They form when (atmospheric) humidity settles on the glue which is still fresh. This is why experts recommend adequate ventilation for the room. Use of an air pump also always helps during the process of application.

Typically white blooms form when the glue has been stored in a very cool place , for e.g. in the refrigerator. When the product warms up condensation forms. This humidity leads to formation of white bands seen on the neck of bottles or on lids.

Alkoxy Cyanoacrylate esters have less odour as opposed to ethyl cyanoacrylates and very low gas emission. These are referred to as cyanoacrylate glues with a LOW BLOOMING effect. The typical white fog around the glue is not seen or seen only to a very small extent in alkoxy cyanoacrylate glues.