Eyelash Retention 101: How to Improve Eyelash Extension Retention for Your Clients

Eyelash extensions are nothing less than artwork – both you, as a lash artist and your clients want to keep their beautiful lashes for as long as possible. Eyelash retention is something that many lash technicians struggle with, so we have complied our top tips for lash retention for our BELO babes!

What is eyelash retention?

As all professional eyelash technicians know, lash retention is the amount to time your client’s eyelash extensions last between treatments. Most lash artists opt for a client-focused approach to eyelash retention by preaching aftercare, brushing and cleansing lash extensions to their clients. 

The eyelash extension industry is saturated with misinformation and ‘eyelash extension tips’ for clients to improve the retention of their extensions. Though encouraging your clients to brush the eyelash extensions daily and clean lashes with a cleanser 2-3 times a week improves the quality of the extensions for longer and contributes to retention, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all. 

What many lash artists fail to realise is that how long eyelash extensions last is 75% down to the technician and its in your capable hands to improve eyelash retention for your clients. BELO are here to save the day – here’s our introduction to eyelash extension retention, including some tips and tricks for lash technicians to improve the retention of their lash sets.

How to improve lash retention for your clients

It’s bad press for lash technicians to have their clients consistently struggle with bad retention on their sets. Lash technicians will struggle to hold onto their business if clients are struggling to hold onto their lash extensions after all!

Preparation is key: what to do before the treatment

Cleansing the Lashes

To ensure good lash retention for your clients, be sure to remove any dirt or oil on the natural lashes. This is a crucial step in any eyelash extension treatment, but it has such an effect on the retention of your sets. Thoroughly cleansing the natural lashes before a new set, or lash extensions for an infill, ensures that your lash adhesive can properly adhere the lash extension to the natural lash.

The BELO lash shampoo is the perfect foam cleanser to ensure the eyelashes are squeaky clean before a new set – cleanse and cleanse again until you’re certain those lashes are clean!

Prime the Lashes for Treatment

Priming the lashes is key for retention as this removes any excess oils and proteins on the base of the natural lash which may affect how the adhesive bonds the extension to the natural lash. BELO’s Forever Fix Lash Primer is any lash technician’s best friend as drying time for extension glues is significantly reduced, meaning that you can ensure your extension stays in place once applied.

Set Your Treatment Room to the Right Humidity

As all lash techs know, different eyelash adhesives have different optimum conditions for temperature and humidity. The importance of temperature and humidity for adhesives is often underplayed, but ensuring your lash room is set to optimum conditions is key to ensure the glue does not undergo shock polymerisation before application.

Shock polymerisation is the process of your adhesive drying too fast, meaning it can’t adhere to the extension to the natural lash. Shock polymerisation kills retention – but getting the humidity levels right in your treatment room will help.

You’ll need a humidity and temperature metre in your lash room and depending on the conditions – you’ll need a humidifier or an air purifier to balance this out. Be sure to alter the humidity levels and temperature of your treatment room according to the time of year, as summer and winter weather conditions can seriously impact the viscosity of your adhesives if you don’t switch up your lashing room conditions accordingly.

There are plenty of cute options for these online: here’s our fave compilation of aesthetically pleasing humidifiers, but you may want to invest in a professional one for your treatment room.

These pre-treatment steps are key to extending eyelash retention for your clients and make application much easier!

Bossing Application: what do to During the Treatment

Lash Attachment Area

Now we’re moving onto the good stuff!

Lash placement is everything when it comes to retention. Ensuring enough of the extension is attached to the natural lash is a key part of ensuring lash retention for your clients. The lash attachment area refers to the length of the natural lash that the extension is attached to – lash technicians should aim for 2mm+ of attachment area on their client’s lashes.

If you try to adhere the extension to too little area of the lash (ie: less than 1mm) the lashes will be likely to brush out within a few days. Ensuring that you apply enough of the eyelash extension to the natural lash on every individual lash, will make your sets last longer and keep retention issues at bay!

All About the Angles

Okay so this {technically} comes under lash extension placement – but the angle at which you place the extension onto the natural lash will impact your retention. Eyelash extensions should be applied at a 90 degree angle to the eyelid so ensure they don’t clump together or to other natural lashes to form stickies.

Stickies are not only damaging to the natural lash but severely impact retention. A good tip is to use tweezers to ensure that your extensions are separated throughout the treatment and in final brush throughs, particularly during Russian volume or mega volume lash treatments.

Applying the eyelash extensions at a consistent angle will not only improve the appearance of the lash sets you create but ensure that the eyelash extensions are long-lasting.

Retention Focus: Glues / Adhesives

Picking the right eyelash extension glue

Choosing a glue with the right drying speed for your lashing style is arguably the most important tip to ensure lash retention for your clients!

If you’re a beginner lash artist, you’ll want to pick an eyelash extension glue with a slightly slower drying time, so that you have enough time to ensure the placement of the lash extension is perfect before the glue dries. Once you’re more practised and experienced, you can move onto using an eyelash extension glue with a shorter drying time as your application becomes quicker.

If your application technique is fast and you’re using a slower drying glue, you’re likely to form stickies in-between the lash extensions. On the flip side, if you’re a little slower with the placement when applying lashes, using a fast-drying glue is going to cause the glue to dry before you have properly secured the extension onto the natural lash.

Luckily for you, BELO have you covered, no matter what your lashing style is. Our best-selling Bulletproof and Bestie Bond adhesives are ultra strong eyelash extension glues which have a black finish to give the ultimate impact on your full lash sets.

  • Bulletproof Bond has a drying time of 1 second for speedy eyelash extension application, this is particularly good for Volume lash extensions as the volume fans don’t have the time to clump together to form harmful stickies.
  • Bestie Bond has a drying time of 1-2 seconds to allow lash artists that little bit of extra time to nail their lash placement, this can be particularly useful for individual eyelash extension styles such as classic lashes.

How much glue should I use?

Using too much glue on your eyelash extension treatments can make full sets look messy and cause un-cute and unsafe stickies. As we’ve already covered, stickies care like the plague for retention so any way that lash techs can avoid these is imperative! Yet using too little lash glue in treatments makes it impossible for the extension to adhere successfully to the natural lash as there simply is not enough glue to form a secure bond.


You should aim to see a little bulb of glue at the end of your eyelash extensions – whether it’s an individual lash or a volume fan – to ensure you have just the right amount of glue for the perfect bond between the extension and the natural lash.

Shake it like a Polaroid picture!

Just like the song goes – shake it! Shaking your eyelash adhesives before you use them ensures you get the same combination of ingredients in every single treatment, as the ingredients in the adhesive will be properly combined. Shaking your glue bottles before use is a simple but effective tip to improve your client’s lash retention.

Look after your glue!

Okay … hear us out! Storing your eyelash extension glue properly is another factor in your client’s retention as if you don’t properly store your glue can cause a host of issues. If the glue bottle is not sealed properly, you run the risk of the glue curing before use, making it impossible for the lash extensions to adhere during treatments.

Store your adhesives in an airtight container to ensure that they are kept perfectly cool, dark and dry between treatments!

What will happen a lot of the time if this is the case is that the adhesive will cure in the nozzle of the bottle, blocking it and end up in you wasting a whole bottle of adhesive! Don’t worry, we’ve all been there – maybe you’re rushing in between clients and didn’t put the lid back on properly.

Thankfully, BELO have just released the Glue Recovery Kit so you can rescue opened bottles of adhesive, just be wary that these glue bottles maybe not be usable if they have been open for too long.

Locking in the Lashes: After the treatment

After the treatment, and particularly the first 24hrs after an eyelash extensions appointment is couch time for retention!

As any lash technician or client knows – aftercare is key for lash retention. You could do everything perfectly – the application, placement, glue amounts – but if your client gets caught in the rain straight after your appointment, those eyelash extensions are going to be in struggle city. Don’t worry, BELO are here to save the day!

Lock it In with Sealant and Superbonder

BELO’s Little Quickie Superbonder is a holy grail product for lash artists. Apply a small amount of the Superbonder to the base of the extension to simulate the curing process of the adhesive instantly. BELO’s “magic” product forms a sealant around the eyelash extension glue to protect it against water damage, all without shock curing.


Finish off your lash treatments by applying Lock It In Lash Sealant to the base of the eyelash extension with a microbrush to further this protection of the adhesive and ensure the bond between the extension and the natural lash is completely secured.

Poor retention will be a thing of the past if you Follow BELO's retention top tips!

From preparing the treatment room to selling in the lashes, there are many ways for eyelash professionals to ensure retention for their clients. If you’re looking to nail your lash retention every time, shop the BELO Retention Bundle and never worry about retention problems again.

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