Adhesives, the glue that holds our business together.
Without our adhesives, our lash business' simply cannot function. Without amazing adhesive, our lash business' cannot THRIVE. So, I thought we should dive in and talk all things adhesive. Any adhesive, not just Clearly Luxe. I'm a lash artist too and know that we all love and use different things, so I truly want you to get the best out of whatever product you decide is best for you.
Are you dispensing your fully mixed adhesive onto paper tape yet? If not, you definitely should!! The reason being is, the texture of the surface allows your product to form that round bead that we need. This is the optimal result of a dispensed drop, because we know that it's been shaken really well, not puddling out, which tells us it's not mixed thoroughly, those ingredients are still seperated. Also, when we're dipping our lashes into that dome shape, we pull from the middle or the center of the drop. The adhesive starts to cure from the bottom, up and around towards the top, so working from the inside center is knowing you're using the most fresh portion. So wether you've shaken your adhesive for only 30 seconds, or you need up to 2 minutes since it may always vary, just make sure you're seeing that firm round shape when it's dropped.
Feeling like your adhesive is curing too quickly or too slowly? There are ways to adjust this no matter what your environment looks like. Yes, any environment can produce any result you want, if you know how to work with your product. If your adhesive is drying too slowly for you, up the humidity in your room and/or use less. Cyanoacrylate cures in the presence of hydrogen, so the more hydrogen present, the quicker it'll cure. If it's drying too quickly for you, use a dehumidifier and/or use more adhesive to slow down the curing process, which gives you more time to work with. If your adhesive is looking tacky, that means it's curing, so you'd want to get a fresh drop, or make sure your humidity level is lowered. Direct AC can affect this too. Also, make sure you're always screwing your cap on tightly after opening it, we wouldn't want the product to start curing from inside the bottle.
I get asked a lot about whether or not I will offer a 5ml bottle as opposed to the current 10ml I sell. I have some personal beliefs on the subject that I'd like to share with you, but again, it's my own personal thoughts and what led me to the decision of creating the size that I did for CL.
So the thing with the bottle size is, you really don't want to ever get to "the last drop" of adhesive. The reason being is, the adhesive works properly and at it's best when the ingredients are all mixed together adequately. They aren't automatically mixed, they separate. Which is why shaking thoroughly is so important. So, if you were to get to the bottom of the bottle, you may also be working with an insufficient amount of each ingredient. So as much as throwing out product may seem a waste, it's really better than being unsure of your ingredient's ratios and compromising the performance and longevity of it's effects. Also, 4-5 weeks is a general guideline for it's shelf life. If it's being shaken to standard and when dispensed it forms a firm, round bead on micropore paper tape at 5 or more weeks, by all means, use it! It really depends on how often the bottle is open and exposed to the air, which can begin to cure it depending on the humidity present in the area. So if you aren't using it very often, that should definitely help to prolong it's shelf life! Before I brought Clearly Luxe to market, I was testing and using it in my 16% humidity level studio and used the same bottle for about 7 weeks!! There wasn't any signs of it going bad, so there was no reason to toss it. It was still performing and forming that firm round bead really well, so I kept using it! Always have a back up though, in case it declines on you suddenly! So, these are my thoughts on why a bigger bottle is just the best way to go, real talk.
Not as sure when to get a new drop of Clearly Luxe as you are when you're working with a multi ingredient black adhesive? Working with clear can definitely be an adjustment for sure. You may not be able to see the adhesive curing as well as you do black, but you will start to see that it's becoming more white or it's starting to become tacky. Either way, get a new drop every 20 minutes or so to make sure you're always working with a great drop!
Lashes popping off rather than riding it out with the lash until it sheds? This can be for a multitude of reasons, but when I hear this while working with Clearly Luxe, especially if you're new to the clear scene, I first think it could be from how quickly it can dry. If you're not working fast enough, the adhesive may be curing before it can make contact or really connect and bond with the natural lash. Also, because it's not black, you may be underestimating the fact that you need to really take your time and watch to ensure the contact is being made and that the lash and the extension are well connected. And if you ever need to use more adhesive, definitely do it! As long as we're not globbing it on or having issues with stickies, use more glue, it's literally what makes the extensions last! I promise, once you adjust to going clear, you'll never go back!!
Wondering how you should store your adhesive? Honestly, I've never stored mine in the refridgerator. Heard great things, but never found it super necessary myself. If you're going to, just make sure you're only doing so BEFORE you open it. Once you open the bottle, having it in too cold of a space can run the risk of causing condensation inside the bottle, and we know, hydrogen cures adhesive. The main thing is, you want to ensure the bottles are kept in a cooler, more dry space, just to guarantee you're keeping it fresh and away from direct light or heat. So whatever your go to is, just keep those things in mind, and get a couple bottles at a time, so when your first one dies on you, you're good to go again.
Primers and sealants, yes or no? That's a decision that’s totally up to you, but as you can probably guess, my philosophy is less is more and keep it to the basics. Great retention comes from proper and thorough prep of the lash line, good strong bonds and connections to the natural lash and excellent aftercare. I personally believe that if your lashes are washed and rinsed really well before the service, that’s all you need for the adhesive to perform it’s duty when it comes to adhering really well to the lashes. Our adhesives cure in the presence of hydrogen, meaning moisture, so introducing that to the lashes by washing will only enhance the curing process, which will create a really strong bond. Primers are alcohol based, which means drying, and not moisturizing. Doesn’t really make sense for me to use it, but some people love it and that’s great too! As for sealants, I’ve never tried them and never felt the need to. I always go back to the simple things that create great retention and that’s good enough for me!
Overall, my best advice to you, and what seriously made my days at work so much better, was when I finally took control of my product. I left all the "firm guidelines" from lash brands behind and started to ADJUST ACCORDINGLY. For example, I stopped shaking "for 30 seconds" as I was always told. When my adhesive wasn't looking it's best, I shook for longer, sometimes less, sometimes more, whatever it told me it needed by what I was experiencing. I just started to take notice of what I was seeing and used my troubleshooting knowledge differently in every situation. This product will work in ANY environment you guys, I'm telling you. I've seen Clearly Luxe perform in the lowest and highest of ranges and everything in between, because it's really up to us to ensure that it does. We are what makes us Masters at our craft, not our products.
Looking forward to releasing my next adhesive for all you black liquid lovers! My Advocate Artists will be testing it soon in all their various locations in the U.S. and Canada, so I KNOW this new launch will be fire!! Only the best for the best in the game!
xo, Jess Brandler