Retention is such an important topic and so many of our artists have questions about it. I think it’s so complicated because it has to do with the weather, and that is just one thing that is rarely consistent. No matter what country, altitude or climate you live in… not every day is the same. Unfortunately, that affects the way our adhesive works.
How to store adhesives
Let’s start with how to store adhesive. We need to make sure that it is kept in the most consistent environment possible. For instance, if you have an air conditioner on all day and then it’s turned off at night- that room changes temperature by 20° and that will affect how your adhesive can work. I personally need to make sure that I keep my glue off of the windowsill near my eyelash bed because the sun beats in and can mess with the chemical make up of my glue. To resolve this issue, try to keep your glue at a consistent temperature out of direct light and away from moisture. We do not recommend storing open glue in the fridge because that can cause condensation and water build-up inside of the adhesive, or it can cause it to polymerize before you are able to use it. In fact, the only time you can store adhesive in a fridge is up to six months before you open it. In this case, it must first be adapted to the room temperature for at least 10 hours before you open and use it.
We recommend that your room environment is between 30-60% humidity and between 68 to 72°F. There really isn’t any getting around this, these are the conditions in which our fast-drying glues work the best. If your room is too dry, get a humidifier. If it’s still too dry, get another one. Lol (but seriously)… if it’s too humid, get a dehumidifier. If it’s too cold, you need a heater. If it’s too hot, use an air conditioner. These are the tricks of the trade. I know it isn’t rocket science, but you will become a better lash artist when the environment is working for you, not against you!
When troubleshooting adhesives, the control you have over your working environment is the most important factor. If your temperature and humidity are accurate and you are still having issues, sometimes it may have to do with the chemicals in the air. This is most prevalent when you share a space with hair stylists as chemicals and hairsprays in the air can affect the ability of your glue to bond and cure. Blocking yourself off from the hair area in your shop will do you a lot of good! If you don’t have a door, try hanging a curtain and make efforts to keep your air as pure as possible.
Remember that we are shaking and re-administering our glue every 20 minutes or so. This is important because when you are working with fast drying glues, they will dry… fast!
Bonus Tip: Shelf Life
In closing, one of the most important topics to discuss when it comes to adhesive is its shelf life after it is opened. After the main ingredient in any glue (cyanoacrylate) is exposed to oxygen, it can only be effective for four weeks. The reason is because there is a naturally occurring gas (formaldehyde) that happens when those two chemicals are mixed and the main ingredient can only be effective if it has been exposed to that gas for less than four weeks. When we tell you to replace your glue every month, that isn’t the “industry giant” trying to take your money; it’s science.