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  • Writer's pictureAllison Feliciano

Welcome to the world of lashes, here’s some helpful information to help you on your journey...

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Now lets debunk some myths:

Red eyes after a service: Not Normal! This is usually caused by fume. A fume free adhesive will not turn the clients eyes red!Adhesives label themselves formaldehyde free but are they? The truth is no one adds formaldehyde to the bottle it develops as Cyanoacrylate cures or polymers form.

Most people who have these allergic reactions are reacting to the formaldehyde that is produced and not the cyanoacrylate itself. Formaldehyde is not just bad because of allergies but its dangerous for us to be breathing in all day long.

All lash extension adhesives are made with Cyanoacrylate as a base. This is what makes them long lasting. Cyanoacrylate is used as a medical adhesive in and on the body in its purest grades. All cyanoacrylate adhesives cure with moisture in the air. This curing or polymerization process is when formaldehyde is off gassed.Cyanoacrylate is used in everything from weapon production to medical sutures.  Medical grade CA is made in a way to be safe for sensitive skin, a flexible hold.

Companies that use lower grades of CA will cut it with lots of carbon to help counter the  formaldehyde production or have you use a nano-mister or nebulizer that adds moisture in the air to help “Shock Cure” it.

The problem with shock curing the adhesive is that you are going to get a rigid adhesive that isn't flexible or able to move with the natural hair and thus can cause damage. Also the process can actually release more fume. 


 The Truth About Masks

People ask me about what masks they should use to minimize fumes. I suggest use a fume free adhesive. Masks are not effective.

What about Masks? So Masks do not block fumes or VOC unless they are specifically made to do that, think gas mask or air exhaust.  Those cute paper medical masks could actually cause more harm than good because Cyanoacrylates react to cotton and linen causing heat and more fume that you could potentially breathing right in.

Paper or cotton masks can actually make fumes worse.  Unbalanced CA reacts with cottons and thus will produce heat. If you ever put your arm in it you may have felt your shirt get hot. Paper or cotton masks are more to protect the client from your germs than to protect you. Standard masks will not filter chemicals in the air if you are using a fumey adhesive. Those masks protect against particulate matter like dust for example. You would need a gas mask or extractor fan to get rid of fumes in unbalanced adhesives and that is not a good look!


We get lots of questions when people switch to our adhesive about how to use it.

In most cases when pros switch to LAB NY adhesive they tend to use  too much product because they are use to a thicker glue. The goal is to use as little product as possible to get an instant cure and flexible hold. The way Cyanoacrylates in general are composed they are meant to be used in a thin layer to cure quickly (this is called helmeting). Using more product than needed will only result in less retention and can cause coated natural lash hairs to become brittle and break.

If you are using the LAB NY Adhesive and find that the lash extension is sliding on the hair too much,  your volume fans are collapsing or you are having to hold for long periods of time for the adhesive to dry. You are using too much.  When you have the correct amount you will experience an instant bond on the hair. It will feel like a magnet to the lash. One drop of adhesive is more than enough for a full set. The LAB NY Adhesive will not dry out on the back of your gel pad so there is no need to keep dropping more adhesive through out your service. 


So what are the tips to prevent allergies and reactions?

Use a medical grade adhesive that is stable for in vivo use. Keep adhesive fresh. LAB NY adhesive last three months open, 1 year unopened and 15 months in fridge unopened.  Once its exposed to the air it starts to degrade so date your bottle and toss at 3 months!

I hope that I have empowered you all to know a little more about the products you are utilizing daily so that you can protect yourselves and your businesses.


Let’s discuss HUMIDITY on your lashes! Nanos, Nebulizers, Humidifiers, and Therma-hygrometers OMG!

I have been flooded with adhesive questions and it is clear to me there is still a lot of confusion out there. Specifically lash pros are confused about humidity, having it, not having it, and creating it. 

I wanted to get to the bottom of this humidity mystery, since I have accounts all over the world and none of the accounts using my products have had issues with humidity levels.  I couldn't understand why companies were selling all of these weird contraptions, especially since everything we know about cyanoacrylate is that it should not be shock cured. 

How Many of you have been told, "Humidity—or lack thereof—can make all of the difference in your lash services. Too much moisture in the air causes shock polymerization, resulting in a weak bond; too little, and the adhesive can take forever to bond. To create the optimal environment for lashing (humidity at somewhere between 40 percent and 70 percent), you need to buy ______(fill in the blank)." ?

I am going to tell you the truth:

You don't need to buy anything, but a better adhesive for your lashes! 

The confusion lies in the use of the word humidity. Someone some where read that cyanoacrylate lash adhesives needs to be in 40-70% Relative Humidity, and they confused this with actual humidity. Cyanoacrylate adhesives need to be in 40-70% Relative Humidity not actual.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about lash adhesives. As stylists we are told different things from different trainers and  companies and its very frustrating and confusing. The truth is that actual humidity levels are very rarely an issue at all when performing services in a climate controlled setting.  If we are having issues with dry time or retention it is more likely that; our adhesive is poor quality, one that is too thick, or that we don't have proper itechnique, and are using too much.  


Why Relative Humidity Isn't an Issue:

Cyanoacrylate, the main ingredient in all lash extension adhesives, is sensitive to Relative Humidity, not actual humidity. Relative Humidity is the measurement  of the amount of moisture present, to the ratio of moisture that temperature air can hold.  For Relative Humidity to be outside the 40-70% range we would be physically uncomfortable and would put on the heater or air conditioner. For example,  for relative humidity to be lower than 40% you would realistically need to be in a room that is hotter than 90 degrees and in relative humidity of 70% you and your client will likely be sweating. 

As a trainer and a last stylist, I have had the privileged to work in different climates all over the world, Sedona Arizona mid day in the summer's lowest humidity level is 20% humidity outside. The adhesive inside a climate controlled studio should work perfectly without any interventions. The same is true on the other end of the spectrum. In Barbados with 90% humidity outside, and air conditioning inside, Relative humidity is a perfect level for instant dry lashing. I have thousands of people around the world using my adhesive, I only mention that because it's a daily case study, none of those partners have had issues due to Relative Humidity.  Usually retention issues or dry time issues will be solved by using less product. 


So Why Do People Have Issues With Retention and Dry Time? 

The most common reason there is a slow dry time is either a lower grade cyanoacrylate adhesive is being used, or too much product is being applied.  Cyanoacrylate is meant to be applied in a very very thin layer. Stylists sometimes think that more glue means more hold, but its actually the opposite.  The less of this product is used the better the bond will be, as long as you have a complete application.  The adhesive does cure by the moisture in the air and should be dry to touch pretty instantly. The outer coating of the adhesive has formed and dried but the adhesive is still drying on the inside for up to 48 hours. This is how you want your adhesive to cure, slowly, so that the bond will be strong and flexible.

 If you feel like you need to use an additional tool in order to cure your adhesive, because it isn't drying to touch instantly, it's a pretty big sign that you used way too much. If you do shock cure this with a nanomister or nebulizer the result will be thick hard glue chunks. With a thin application the adhesive will instantly "helmet" or seal and should be a flexible bond, meaning it should be able to move with the hair and not cause any damage. When applying you should not really see the adhesive at all. It should dry clear with no thickness on the lash.   


What to Look for in an Adhesive for your Lashes

 8 years ago, I had become allergic to all the lash products on the market. Many of my good clients started to have reactions and I started to lose great clients because they too had allergic reactions.  We were all red and puffy and in pain but more sad about not being able to wear lash extensions!  At first I was told from the company I was purchasing my adhesive from that we were all just having reactions to the cyanoacrylate but that didn't satisfy me because honestly, I didn't want to believe that I could never wear lash extensions again.  After lots of research and working with an amazing team of chemists  I became aware that I, and most of my clients were allergic to the formaldehyde that was being produced in the curing or polymerizing stage of the cyanoacrylate.  At that time sensitive adhesives would produce less of this, but have no retention and longer holding adhesives would have huge reactions.  To make a long story short, finally Lash and Brow NY The Retention is real and dries fast AF too was born, to satisfy my own needs. The formula had  to be instant drying, AND long lasting.  Our adhesive retention is (6-8 weeks with aftercare) and safe for sensitive people. This doesn't mean there will never be anyone allergic to the LAB NY Adhesive ever, but 99% of my clients were able to come back to me and I have been wearing lashes for the last 8 years!  

In This Process, I Have Learned A Lot About Adhesives and The Chemistry Of Cyanoacrylate.

There are different grades and qualities of cyanoacrylates, some are made for skin contact and medical use, even in the body, and some are industrial grade, used for weapons for example.  You want to make sure your adhesive is a medical grade quality, hydroquinone free, that it is very thin, has no fume, and a seals with a flexible hold.  

What Do  Nanomisters and Nebulizers Do?

These are devices that add tiny particles of water to the air.   In my experience, these both add too much humidity and will almost always shock cure the adhesive. The result of using these will be that the lashes cure too fast and can become brittle and possibly break. Lash adhesives need to cure slowly. Even though they dry instantly to the touch, helmeting when applied properly, it takes 48 hours for the bond to fully cure.  If you allow the adhesive to do this properly you will have a more flexible, durable bond that is healthier for the lash.  I feel that Nanomisters and Nebulizers are just unnecessary and not worth the risk of damage.  If you feel that a device is needed to dry the adhesive faster, chances are you are using too much product. 

What about Lash Sealers?

Sealers are often toxic. Sealers are usually liquid Teflon, that people use to coat the lash.   They often come from overseas with very little if any regulation.  In my experience there is no retention gained with these risky products.  LAB NY partners are able to get 6-8 weeks between fills on average,  limited only by the typical lash cycle, so there is no need for us to add this risky products to the eye area.  Sealers can build up on the lashes causing them to become brittle and damage can occur. 

How Do We Get 6-8 Week Retention? 

LAB NY is a system designed to improve natural lash health, and prolongs the natural lash growth cycle resulting in maximize retention.  Every one of our Beauty Bar clients goes home with the Lash and Brow NY oil free lash cleanser to keep their lashes oil and bacteria free.  This formula has biotin and panthenol to improve lash health. The main ingredient is aloe, which is a natural anti-septic.  The cleaner keeps the lashes soft and supple so no tension is on the hair follicle and free of any bacteria.  I recommend client use it after sweating or crying to remove salts that can make lashes dry out and flake off.

This is a list of gadgets that actual lash companies told stylists to buy to help their adhesives last better, but I will explain why they are not needed:

1)       Therma-hygrometer:

This measures actual temperature and Humidity but that will not tell you your Relative Humidity. In order to figure out Relative humidity you need a lot more information like the ratio of the water vapor pressure to the saturation water vapor pressure (over water) at the gas temperature: RH = Pw/Pws · 100% (HUH?). So, in other words don't waste your money on this because it doesn't provide useful information in terms of your adhesive.

2)       Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

Not necessary as again Relative Humidity is what matters. If  you are comfortable your temperature and humidity are fine. If you need trouble shooting try less adhesive or a better quality, thinner formula. 

3)       Using plants for their transpiration properties

I have not studied botany but I think adjusting a rooms humidity by plant would be very difficult. Plants do emit humidity but how could you control it. Things like the type of plant, soil and season effect how much humidity a plan transmits.  This one seems silly to me. Plants can be great for other reasons!

 Bottom Line: Don't sweat the humidity, pun intended.


10 Secrets to a successful lash business

Lash retention = Client retention ****

The secret to a profitable thriving eyelash extension business is: lash retention equals client retention.

What does that mean? If your clients' lashes last longer and promote healthy natural lash growth, you will automatically be busier, and make more money. Why is this true? You may be thinking, if clients come less, wont I make less money?

Most clients do not want to have to come in for fills every two weeks. If your lashes look good longer they will be more likely to keep them up for years. If their natural lashes get healthier you will be able to lash them for years. Word of mouth will spread that your lashes last longer and are safer and you will get busier. You will be able to charge more per service and see each client less often. The benefits for the client are that they save time and money. The benefits for your business is that you can accommodate more clients at a higher price per hour. You will be making a higher per hour fee and offering the best possible product to your client.

Which brings us to number 2. quality over quantity.


 Quality over Quantity

How many of your would be willing to pay $50 - $100 more for lashes if it meant you could get fills half as often and they would look and feel better?

Did I just give you a way to give yourself a $50-100/hour raise? I did and I'll explain why

The LAB NY system is high quality for your client.  They don't need to do anything except clean their lashes and put a serum on once a day.  Their natural lashes will triple and your revenue with triple. At the end of the day we all want results  so you may be thinking you are doing your client a favor by selling lower quality products for less money but the result will be that their lashes dont last as long and they will be coming in more often spending more time on services.  This is kind of like work smarter not harder. So offer the best quality products and services possible and you will self select a quality clientele and in the long run have much more success

Less Clients - More Services = More profits

Time between clients is wasted, unless you are retailing product. Changing linens, cleaning checking in and out. When you have clients who do several services at once

like lash extensions and brow extensions or brow design you can maximize your time and your clients.  Think of great add ons that don't take a lot of time. Give yourself extra time with each client to have a chance to go over after care, retail and prebook.

Hireright - slow hire - quick fire

Running a lash business is much like running any other business except harder…

Many times we are wearing all the business hats as well as working 8 hours a day in the lash room. We cant do it all but who we hire can make or break our businesses. What I have learned over the years is that we cant feel bad and keep employees on who arent contributing. As a small business every employee is crucial and the wrong one can take a business down.  Do diligence when hiring.

Think like an Entrepreneur - Lash Like an Artist

Its easy to focus on one more than another. In the end doing the best quality, healthiest work will pay off more than any savings you may be getting buying cheaper products or doing quicker work.

Long Term Goals over short term gratification

Educating our clients that you want their lashes to get healthier and last longer so that they can wear lashes forever. Unhealthy practices can give a great instant look but leave you clientless as their lashes get thinner and thinner.

Utilize FREE marketing resources

Some Free marketing ideas included, Facebook Pages, Gift Bags, Events, Social Media, Directories, Partnerships, Referral Networks and reward programs

Always be growing your Lashes Business

Invest in yourself. You are your most valuable resource. We learn something new from every class we take and with each trick or tip we learn we increase our personal value.  

 Compete with only yourself

Really don't worry about what others are doing or you will be always playing catch up. Instead think how you can innovate and improve your services and your products.

Lastly I want to leave you with this:

 Charge what you are worth

Dont put yourself on sale. People value us as much as we value ourselves. If you put in the work and do the training and are a leader in the industry with great quality products and services you will never have to worry about your price point.

First I will tell you the number 1 secret to success. If you do nothing but this first tip you are guaranteed success.

I have the privilege of meeting tons of lash professionals over the years and one of the most common comments that I get from people, who are new to learn about LAB NY is that they think it's great that I can charge the prices that I do at my lash bars, but in their location they feel they have to charge way less because of the "competition". Here is a secret; my business is not successful because of my location, or the fact that celebrities have come to my salon.

The secret is simple. To have a profitable fully booked schedule, you don't even need to implement this entire presentation. The secret to a profitable thriving eyelash extension business is: lash retention equals client retention.

What does that mean? If your clients' lashes last longer and promote healthy natural lash growth, you will automatically be busier, and make more money. Why is this true? You may be thinking, if clients come less, wont I make less money?

Most clients do not want to have to come in for fills every two weeks. If your lashes look good longer they will be more likely to keep them up for years. If their natural lashes get healthier you will be able to lash them for years. Word of mouth will spread that your lashes last longer and are safer and you will get busier. You will be able to charge more per service and see each client less often. The benefits for the client are that they save time and money. The benefits for your business is that you can accommodate more clients at a higher price per hour. You will be making a higher per hour fee.

I have learned over the years it’s better to invest in quality products and equipment rather than the cheapest because in the long run it will save you.  I coach my lash partners to focus on being the best, rather than the cheapest, by providing quality products, ingredients, and the best possible service. This way they can charge a little more and ensure their clients keep coming back.  Healthy lashes mean a client for life and longer lash retention leads to client retention! In addition think about services and products that can be added on, costing little or no time to increase margins. Time is our most valuable commodity in the service industry so anything that increases revenue without taking a lot of time, or decreases time of a service is a great investment.  I have designed the LAB NY system is designed around health which improves retention and leads to a better lash extension experience.

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