What Products Should You Avoid with Eyelash Extensions?

What Products Should You Avoid with Eyelash Extensions?

As lash artists we do all we can to ensure our clients are satisfied from the moment they step into our establishment.  While they are in our care, it is up to us to educate them on the way they care for their lashes once they leave.  It is frustrating to have a client return for her routine fill and it looks like she plucked her extensions off.  She may be asking you why they aren’t lasting, and you may be wondering what she did after she left that made them not last.  There are some occasions where it could be your fault, not applying enough adhesive and using old adhesive are the most common causes.  So, what can you do to help your client take care of her lash set so she gets to enjoy them longer and you get a loyal client returning when she should?


We want our clients to be happy and get the most out of their service.  In a previous blog I talked about answering your client’s questions and how consultations are vital with new clients.  The education shouldn’t stop after their first appointment.  Some clients are so excited about their new beauty accessory that what you say can go in one ear and out the other, so gentle reminders are helpful.  If you notice a client isn’t experiencing your preferred retention and you have ruled out that it is not due to your technique or products, it’s time to check in with them and see what is going on.


What makeup or products should be avoided with eyelash extensions?

Certain cosmetic products can break down the adhesive faster than others.  Cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient in eyelash extension adhesives and is a polar molecule.  I’m sure you are familiar with the saying, “like attracts like”, but in this case, “like dissolves like”.  Polar molecules are broken down by other polar molecules.  The same is true for nonpolar molecules.  Many cosmetics contain both polar and nonpolar molecules, and the ones that contain more polar molecules should be avoided to preserve the life of the lash extensions.


Makeup that doesn’t have direct contact with your lashes, like powder or foundation, do not need to be avoided regardless of their chemical composition. Products that come into direct contact with the lashes are typically, eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow, and makeup removers.


Eyeliner - Tell your clients to opt for a liquid or gel-based eyeliner and avoid wax-based ones.  Most pencil liners contain wax which helps the product stick to the skin on your eyelids as well as your lashes.  Removing the pencil liner can cause lashes to be pulled out, as well as leave residue in the lashes even after using a makeup remover.  An alternative to using eyeliner is to go for fuller lashes that give the illusion of eyeliner.


Mascara – Most clients get eyelash extensions to avoid wearing mascara.  For clients with classic sets, who want to add a little extra volume or drama to their lashes, they need to use a water-based oil free mascara.  I never recommend wearing mascara with volume lashes as it closes the fans.  If a client chooses to use a lash extension safe mascara, they need to be gentle when removing it so as to not pull out any extensions.


Eyeshadow – Cream and paste eyeshadows should be avoided as they will most likely dissolve the adhesive bond making the beautiful extensions fall off.  Powder shadows are generally safe to use since they are not touching the lashes.


Makeup Remover – Many makeup removers are oil-based and should be avoided at all costs.  The polar part of these removers weakens the bond between the eyelash extensions and the natural lashes, causing the extensions to fall off.  Clients should also be aware that makeup wipes are also not the best option for the same reason.  Baby shampoo or a lash cleanser specifically for the extensions is best.  These cleansers are gentle around the eyes, but clean extremely well.  Avoid using q-tips, cotton balls or pads to remove makeup as the cotton fibers will get caught in the lashes and can even pull lashes out.  Using our disposable lint-free flocked applicators or micro swabs are your best bet.


What activities should be avoided?

The great thing about eyelash extensions is that having them should not interfere with your day to day life.  Working out, sweating, swimming, etc are all fine activities to enjoy while wearing eyelash extensions.  With that said, there are some clients who rub their eyes and pick at their lashes, sometimes absent mindedly or in their sleep.  It is worth reminding your clients to avoid touching and rubbing their eyes harshly as this can pull out their natural lashes or make the extensions come off.


Enjoy your lashes!

The best way to preserve the lashes is to limit the wear and tear on them.  Aside from the recommended daily washing and brushing, the eyelashes shouldn’t be played or tampered with. 


As a lash artist, it is up to you to maintain the integrity of your eyelash extension adhesive for your clients.  Opening a new bottle every four weeks is highly recommended, as the more exposure to air, from repeatedly opening and closing the bottle, will solidify the ingredients making it tacky and clumpy.  This consistency is not good and will make it extremely hard to adhere to the natural lash.  


Educating your clients on the dos and don’ts of after-care will make your job easier so you don’t have to try to apply a full set in the amount of time you have for a fill.  You also won’t have to deal with an unhappy client.  Education will make your clients aware that they are also responsible for their lash retention, and it doesn’t fall solely on you.  Setting your clients up for success will ensure that they trust you and continue to return to you.