Glue Retention 101

Glue Retention 101

by Cara Kapler

When it comes to eyelash extensions, one of the most important factors for successful application is your glues retention. I mean, will you really have clients continually coming back if the lashes aren't lashing? Probably not. When we say “glue retention”, this refers to how well the lash extensions last for the client. The standard is 2-3 weeks to have approximately 50% remaining. Poor retention results in premature shedding of the extensions, which can be frustrating for both the client and the lash artist. In this blog post, we'll go over some tips and tricks for achieving optimal glue retention for eyelash extensions, and have your clients swearing that you’re some kind of magician for how well you’re able to make their lashes last.

Use a High-Quality Glue

Listen, we know you’ve seen the $10 bottles of adhesive on Amazon. Does the kind of glue you use really matter on the retention for your client? Uhhh, yes.

Does the quality of the ingredients in a meal affect the overall taste experience? You bet your ass it does. High-quality, professional-grade glue will have a stronger hold and last longer than lower-quality glue. When you buy from a reputable supplier *Cough cough LASH LINE*  you know that your adhesive wasn't just sitting in a random warehouse for an undetermined amount of time. 

Prep the Natural Lashes

We’ve all contemplated skipping a “lash bath” or “lash shampoo” at the start of an application or fill in order to save some precious time. But unfortunately, skipping proper preparation of the natural lashes is crucial for optimal glue retention. The lashes should be clean and free of any oils, makeup, or residue, so you know the adhesive gets a strong bond onto the lash.
We recommend our Lash Line Rinse + Repeat lash shampoo. It’s pH balanced for your eyes, all-natural, and feels like soapy silk. Check it out here!  

Using the Correct Amount of Glue

It’s very common in our industry for Lash Artists to air on the side of caution when it comes to the amount of lash adhesive they use. There is this fear that if we use too much, it can end up being too heavy, actually weakening the bond and causing the extensions to fall out prematurely. But here’s the thing - when in doubt, use a little more glue. The reason we say this, is you have to factor in A) the dry time of the adhesive you are using and B) the speed at which you are applying it onto the natural lash.

So often, the retention issues are caused by the adhesive drying before you had the time to apply it onto the client's natural lash securely. This leads to the extension popping off when the client brushes the mascara wand through their lashes in the days following their appointment.


If you are right-handed, use a little extra adhesive for the left eye. This eye is further away from your lash tile and will take longer to reach than the right. Keep an eye out if you notice your clients are losing more lashes on their left eye prematurely, instead of both. This is a great way of knowing that it could be a drying issue. (If you’re a leftie, swap the eyes and the same rule applies for you!)

Proper Placement

Proper placement of the extensions is important for optimal glue retention. Each extension should be applied 1mm away from the natural lash, but no farther. Otherwise, this is the same as letting the extension grow out for 2-3 weeks! The proper attachment also means applying the extensions 1 to 1. No stickies, and not clumped together. This means they will grow out straight and healthy.

Proper Aftercare

Proper aftercare isn’t just a gimmick to sell an eyelash shampoo, no matter what your clients think. Your clients are equally as responsible for looking after their lashes at home. Daily shampooing and brushing the lashes daily with a clean spoolie/mascara wand can also help prevent tangling and premature shedding.

In conclusion, achieving optimal glue retention for eyelash extensions requires a combination of using high-quality products, proper preparation and placement, and careful aftercare. By following these tips, lash artists can ensure their clients' extensions last longer and look better, resulting in the happiest lash clients who keep coming back, fill after fill! 

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