Posted by Megan Hatch

Getting the Most Out of Your Adhesive

Getting the Most Out of Your Adhesive
Last month I wrote about the main ingredient in lash adhesive, cyanoacrylate.  If you missed it, check it out here.  In continuing education about cyanoacrylate, I am focusing on how to best use the adhesive based on an understanding of cyanoacrylate’s chemical properties.   



During the application process there are fumes that are given off as the adhesive cures.  Many clients experience some type of irritation to these fumes, similar to how you might experience irritations to paint if you were painting your home walls.  These symptoms are temporary and improve with time. Few clients experience true allergies to the adhesive.  Clients that have allergies to the adhesive should not continue receiving lash extensions for their safety.  Irritations are much easier to treat and even eliminate.

To reduce this risk of irritation, the adhesive should only be applied in well-ventilated areas. Lash artists should work in rooms with open doors and windows. If applied in a small room, we suggest using a fan to help circulate and renew the air in the room. This is best for your comfort and that of your clients.  It’s also best to use the least amount of adhesive as possible to limit the amount of fumes in general.  This will also make for a more natural lash feel and increase flexibility.  


Since cyanoacrylate cures with exposure to water (even the air holds water), it’s important to keep it fresh for best results.  The adhesive should be replaced within 6 weeks of opening, because it polymerizes over time and creates an uneven consistency.  If you are opening and closing the adhesive frequently, it may need to be replaced even more frequently depending on use and exposure to water.  This could vary by humidity as well.

Unopened adhesive, however should have a shelf life of 12 months. It would be wise to date the bottle of adhesives purchased from Borboleta when you receive them and when you open them so you can guarantee the safest adhesive for your clients.


Cyanoacrylate has an exothermic reaction with natural fibers, which means it releases a lot of heat! For this reason, cyanoacrylate should never be applied with cotton, leather, wool, or other natural fibers. This heat can cause serious burns and possibly even catch on fire. Yikes! Lash artists should NOT use cotton swabs.  If something needs to be used during the application process, we recommend using micro swabs or disposable lip gloss applicators.  Micro swabs or lip gloss applicators can also be used after the application process for makeup application including eyeliner and eyeshadow.

Cyanoacrylate is very effective and safe when used properly by a trained lash artist. Following these guidelines will help your clients enjoy their lashes and have a safe experience. What questions do you have about cyanoacrylate?   



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  • Hi Teri,
    The adhesive fumes are not toxic, but they can cause irritations to the upper respiratory system if you have sensitive membranes. If you are concerned about these irritations a mask would be a good idea. Hope that helps.


    Megan - Borby Chemist on
  • Hi Caro,
    This is somewhat a personal preference depending on climate and experience, but in general we recommend you drop a new drop at least everything 30 minutes. Only drop one drop at a time to keep them fresh too.


    Megan - Borby Chemist on
  • Hi Dee,
    You can definitely store unopened adhesive in the fridge for up to 12 months, but make sure you bring it back to room temperature before opening and using. Wipe the adhesive of any water as well and don’t put back in the fridge afterwards.

    Megan Borby Chemist on
  • Hello! I’ve read a lot about adhesives giving off fumes that could be toxic to the lash artist. Is it a good idea to be wearing a mask of some sort while lashing? Thank you!

    Teri on
  • Hi girls,
    My question is how long should I refresh my glue dot when doing an application?


    Caroline on


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