How to Choose the Right Eyelash Glue

by Joan Wong

If you are new to the Lash Industry, shopping for eyelash adhesives can be a daunting task because there are a lot of options to choose from. Keep in mind that no lash glue fits all. There are certain factors you need to consider before adding products to your carts. 

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Below is a list of the most essential properties to consider before buying.

It’s not just about retention

All lash artists need to consider the safety of their clients, overall look, and retention when it comes to the lash adhesives they use. These three things should always be your top priority! 

It is best to have different kinds of lash adhesives at your disposal to ensure you can apply eyelash extensions on different clients, as some clients have specific needs due to sensitive skin and allergies. Having said that, you may choose to not accept clients with known lash adhesive allergies altogether, as it can be a tricky topic to navigate if you are still learning.

Woman getting a new set of eyelash extensions by lash tech. Cartel Lash

There are 6 main factors you need to consider when shopping for lash adhesives.


Some ingredients manufacturers put in products can cause allergies. It is tricky to pinpoint which exactly is the one causing the allergic reaction. Here are the top 2 ingredients that can cause allergic reactions:


Cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient and the bonding agent in all lash adhesives. It is always present in all lash adhesives and there are no alternatives for its extraordinary drying speed. All quick-drying adhesives contain cyanoacrylate but the percentages will vary, meaning the more cyanoacrylate the faster the adhesive dries. Cyanoacrylate needs the presence of moisture in the air in order to begin the curing process.

Cyanoacrylates are a family of strong fast-acting adhesives used in lash glue. Cartel Lash

Clients can develop an allergy to cyanoacrylate over time. It isn't quite clear as to why the late onset of allergies but once this happens the body's immune response to the ingredient will always occur. The most common symptoms of a cyanoacrylate allergy are watery, swollen eyes with discharge. 

Having an adhesive with a low percentage of cyanoacrylate on hand is useful for clients with suspected or known cyanoacrylate allergies.

Carbon Black

Carbon black is mainly used as a dye in lash adhesives leaving a black coloring. It helps blend the lash extensions with the natural eyelashes making them look more natural without using any tints or makeup.

The solution for clients with carbon black allergies is to use clear lash adhesives like Untamed Artistry - Invisible Ink Clear Adhesive.

Untamed Artistry - Invisible Ink Clear Adhesive at Cartel Lash


Sensitivity & Fumes

Every client is different and can be extra sensitive to certain ingredients (as mentioned above) or to strong fumes from the adhesive.

Sensitive eyelash adhesives are specially formulated to minimize fumes and allergies. But they are not entirely fume-free. The #1 reason lash artists do not use them all the time is due to its slower drying time and often poor retention. It is very important to let your client know about this before the application to manage their expectations. 

To make sure the lash adhesive you choose to use will not cause any allergic reactions, it is best to perform an allergy test by applying 5-10 extensions per eye. This particular test is performed around 2 days before the application to ensure no allergic reactions will happen.

Drying Time

The drying time of your lash adhesives should depend on your speed, precision, and skills. When first learning lash extensions, it is best to use lash adhesives with slower drying times to ensure you are able to apply the eyelash extensions before the adhesive cures. The longer drying window will give you more time to apply each extension precisely without rushing.

As you improve, you will become faster and your movement will be more precise, you can use lash glues with a faster drying time. In other words, you and your eyelash adhesive should be able to keep up with each other.

Eyelash Extension Procedure. Comparison of female eyes before and after. Cartel Lash


Just like in shopping for clothes, shopping for lash adhesives can get out of control. When you are enjoying yourself, you tend to overlook the price tags on those things you are buying. 

We recommend planning a budget and sticking with it. When you are searching for lash adhesives online, you can input the price range you are comfortable with. This way you won’t buy products that go beyond your budget. But the problem here is if you do not have any control when you are adding products to your cart. Make sure the total price will not go over your budget.

Woman using laptop to plan budget for eyelash extension business. Cartel Lash

Keep in mind, these products come in small bottles and it is easy to finish them especially if you have a busy schedule. It is best if the ones you choose are affordable and within your budget. So, it will be easier for you to buy another one. 

This ensures the price is proportional to the amount of eyelash glue you are getting. And also do research on the products and brands you are considering buying. 


One of the common questions clients ask is “how long will their lash extensions last?” Having a lash glue with long retention is a great asset in your lash salon or room. Clients don't want to return every week for refills and touch-ups. It can be a deal breaker if your lash extensions don’t last long. 

Woman with eyelash extension retention issue with lashes falling on face. Cartel Lash

However, some factors affect the retention and longevity of lash extensions. These are how well they are applied, the natural hair growth cycle of your client, and how well they are taken care of. It is best to let your client do these things beforehand. 

Optimal Environment

All lash adhesives have a temperature and humidity range they perform the best in. Ensure the adhesive you pick is ideal for the climate you live in, as well as the space you choose to lash in. If your environment isn’t in the optimal range, your adhesive may cure too quickly or not fast enough. When this happens your lashing experience will be negatively affected and can be quite frustrating for you and your clients. 

Cyanoacrylate is activated by the moisture in the air and begins its curing process. If there is no moisture, the curing process will take longer and the retention will be weaker.

To help control your temperature and humidity make sure you have a hygrometer in your space. A hygrometer will give you the measurements of your environment so that you are able to regulate your space to the correct range.


Each adhesive has a special formula made for a target audience or usage. You also have to consider the health of natural eyelashes.

An attribute that many advanced lash artists look for is how thick an adhesive is or its “viscosity”. When first learning how to lash, this trait may not mean much but as your skills evolve, the viscosity may become a contributing trait you look for in an adhesive. The higher the viscosity the thicker the adhesive. Many technicians prefer a medium to high viscosity that provides more texture.

Different female eye shapes and lash lengths for eyelash extensions. Cartel Lash


There are a lot of choices in the market. And shopping for lash adhesives can take a long time. Your go-to adhesive today may change tomorrow and choosing the right one is entirely up to you and your current preferences. At the end of the day, your skill level and your working environment should also be considered and will greatly determine which adhesive performs the best for you.