How to Improve Eyelash Extension Retention

by Joan Wong

In the lashing world, retention refers to the length of time your eyelash extensions last. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of the exact lifespan of lash extensions. The indicated retention on your lash adhesive’s label is merely an estimation based on the most ideal conditions and the notion you have followed all the guidelines indicated

On that note, there are factors you can control that will affect your client’s retention. However, once they leave your space, it is now their responsibility to look after their lash extensions. But before they head out the door, here are 4 ways to improve your lashing retention:

1. Make sure your products are not expired for retention

The freshness of the lash adhesive you use is a great factor in determining how long the lash extensions last. 

Eyelash Extension tools and products need to be replaced to ensure retention. Cartel Lash

Lash adhesives are formulated with cyanoacrylate and other ingredients. As time goes by, the ingredients start to separate and with oxidation lose their efficiency. When using your glue make sure to thoroughly shake your bottle, this will emulsify the ingredients and in turn allow your adhesive to perform at its optimum level. 

However, if the lash glue you are using is expired, the ingredients are not as fresh, resulting in weaker bonds and poor retention. So, make sure to check the expiration date and shelf life of your lash glue before using it. Pro tip: label your bottle with the date you opened it and prevent any guesswork. 

2. Focus on eyelash prep for retention (clean+primer)

Don’t skip the prep! Having clean eyelashes before lashing is very important to ensure long-lasting retention. Oil, dust, makeup residue, and debris decrease the lash retention and weaken the bond of your lash adhesive. Use an oil-free and extension-friendly cleanser to wash your client’s eyelashes. 

Then apply a layer of lash primer to ensure no oil, dust, residue, or debris is left in your client’s eyelashes. A lash primer balances the pH level in your client’s eyelashes which helps improve lash retention.

Prep your client’s eyelashes properly! 

3. Teach your clients proper aftercare for retention

Your client’s daily routine is a big reason why their eyelash extensions fall off earlier than expected. Teach your client proper aftercare routines, the do’s and don’ts, and include product suggestions. Make sure to include the ingredients they should avoid as well. 

Emphasize the need to clean their eyelashes DAILY. Use the right lash cleanser and mascara wands to comb and remove all the stuck residue and dust that may have built up in their lashes and lashline.

Woman washing her face and lashes for retention. Cartel Lash

Remind your clients not to dilute products like cleansers if they are not supposed to be diluted just to save money. When a cleanser is diluted even though they are not supposed to, their effectiveness will be decreased. This means the cleansers will not be able to remove all the unwanted debris, oil, dirt, and makeup residue in their eyelashes leading to premature shedding.

4. Work in the optimal environment to increase retention

Use a hygrometer and thermometer to measure the humidity and temperature in your lash room. Check the label of your lash glue. The manufacturers always put the advised ideal room temperature and humidity level the lash adhesive performs the best in.  

Make sure the humidity and temperature inside your lash room are within the advised range. Too low humidity will slow the drying process of your lash glue, while if it’s too high, the drying will be too quick. In both cases, the bond will be weak and the lash retention will not last.

Need more retention tips? 

Here are a few more helpful tips:

  • Make sure the lash extensions are perfectly parallel to your client’s natural lashes. If the extensions are not fully connected at the base, dirt, debris, and oil will accumulate quickly. The buildup will begin breaking down the bond, causing it to become weak. Ensure your extension bases are placed flush with the natural lash, this will give your adhesive the greatest surface area to bond onto and will also make your sets look seamless.   
  • Treat your lash adhesives right. Store and treat your glue well. Your retention depends on it. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines and if possible know when it was made to ensure proper shelf-life storage. 
  • Try shock curing. But don’t overdo it. Nano misting is one of the best ways to help improve lash retention. Place the nano mister at least 12 inches away from your client’s face. Do this for 30 seconds max. Anything over 30 seconds will be doing the opposite of shock curing. You don’t want to see beads of water on your client’s lashes. 
  • Advise your clients about makeup. Educate your clients to avoid any makeup containing oil. Waterproof eye makeup is difficult to remove and not ideal for extensions. Regardless of whatever makeup your clients decide to use, when removing, clients should be gentle with their eyelashes and never tug at them.
  • Woman taking care of eyelash extensions for retention. Cartel Lash

    Best lash extension glue for retention

    There are many lash glues available in the market today. I understand how confusing it is to look for lash adhesive. In addition, clients have different needs. Here are 5 of the best lash extension glue for retention we carry:

    Supreme Adhesive (4 - 5 weeks)

    This lash glue is commonly used by experienced lash artists. Supreme Adhesive dries very quickly, 2 seconds max. Lash retention is 4 to 5 weeks depending on your client's aftercare routines. 

    • 1 to 2 seconds drying time
    • Black color
    • Low fume
    • Lash retention: 4 to 5 weeks
    • Ideal for intermediate to advanced lash artists
    • Classic and Volume lashes

    Elite Adhesive (6 - 7 weeks)

    Elite Adhesive can be used by beginners or lash artists who are practicing because of its viscosity. Many newbies like the “thickness” of working with this adhesive and its forgivable drying time. The lash retention is approximately 6 to 7 weeks. 

    • 2 seconds drying time
    • Black color
    • Lash retention: 6 to 7 weeks 
    • Classic and Volume lashes 

    LBLA Omega Adhesive (7 - 8 weeks)

    The special thing about LBLA Omega Adhesive is its drying time. It depends on the humidity level in your lash room. If it is within 65% to 70%, the drying time is instant; 40% to 55%, the drying time is 0.5 to 1 second; and 25% to 40%, it needs 1 to 2 seconds to dry. This is one of the reasons why many lash techs love this lash glue. You can easily adjust the drying time by adjusting the humidity without weakening the retention.

    Eyelash extension glue has an effect on retention. Cartel Lash

    • Instant to 2 seconds drying time (depending on the humidity)
    • Semi black color
    • Minimal fumes
    • Great for mega volume lash extensions
    • Lash retention: 7 to 8 weeks 

    If your client is going for mega volume lashes and wants them to last for a long time, you should definitely consider using LBLA Omega Adhesive.

    SUGARLASH Bond Noir Adhesive (Up to 8 weeks)

    This lash glue is ideal for both classic and volume lashes. SUGARLASH Bond Noir Adhesive only needs 0.5 seconds to dry. That is why you need to be able to keep up with its drying speed. It has a nice glossy black color that adds a lovely shiny gloss to the eyelashes.

    • 0.5 second drying time
    • Low fumes
    • Glossy black color
    • Lash retention: up to 8 weeks
    • Ideal for experienced lash techs

    SUGARLASH Bond Noir Adhesive has long lash retention and can last up to 8 weeks. Its texture and viscosity are very flexible making it easy to use for experienced techs. 

    LASHGOD Supernatural Bond (8 - 10 weeks)

    This lash glue is 100% oil-resistant which helps prolong its lash retention and bond. LASHGOD Supernatural Bond has almost instant drying time. Meaning you need to be able to keep up with its drying time. It is commonly used by expert lash technicians. 

    • 0.2 to 0.5 drying time
    • Jet black color
    • Low fumes
    • Lash retention: 8 to 10 
    • Ideal for experienced lash techs

    LASHGOD Supernatural Bond is free from any latex, formaldehyde, and unwanted smells coming from fumes. If your client wants their eyelash extensions to last as long as possible, this lash adhesive is the best one for you! In addition, you can also use it on clients with sensitive skin.

    Brunette woman with eyelash extensions where lifestyle can affect retention. Cartel Lash

    There are many factors that affect the retention of eyelash extensions such as your client’s aftercare routine, lifestyle, etc. You cannot control these things. But what you can do is make sure you explain thoroughly the importance of their aftercare routine and how it affects their eyelashes. Instead, focus on the factors you can control and always use good-quality products in your lash salon. This will save you time and money by keeping your clients happy with their long-lasting extensions. 

    For all your lash supply needs, find everything lashes at Cartel Lash or speak to a product specialist at 📞(604) 437-0011 for recommendations!