Cleanse, Prep, Prime – Why it Sometimes Feels Like A Waste of Time. 

We’ve talked at length about why good lash prep is super important. Mostly, we’re coming from the angle that it’s going to give you better retention, but we’ve explained why it’s important for other reasons too, like making your clients happier with your service, and even helping your under eye patches to stay in place

If you’ve been exploring lash prep products and you’ve found that they don’t deliver on their promises though, you might just be thinking that they’re some kind of money-making scam thought up by lash brands. Again, we’ve gone into the reasons that they’re not before, but you’re hardly going to believe us if you’re still not seeing the results that you’re hoping for from your lash prep products. 

lash shampoo for eyelash extensions

We’re here to explain some of the reasons that your lash prep products might not be working as we always say they will, based on the most common mistakes we see Lash Techs making on social media.

You’re Not Using Enough

At the very least, we advocate for using Lash Shampoo to prepare the natural lashes before eyelash extensions. Lash Shampoo does two really important jobs in that it cleans the lashes, and in turn helps lash extensions to stick, and also cleanses the skin around the eyes which helps the under eye patches to stay in place while you work. 

It’s fine to only use Lash Shampoo if you’re just starting out or if you’re really pressed for time, but Lash Shampoo can only do so much, and without proper rinsing, can leave behind residues which actually get in the way of good lash extension retention. 

lash shampoo being used for lash extension prep

We understand that not everyone will opt for a 5-step lash prep routine right off the bat, but we do highly recommend that you follow lash shampoo with Protein Remover and Cleansing Pads as these allow you to get a much closer cleanse of the lash line and don’t require rinsing. They can also be used on the skin, so they will really help you to make sure your under eye patches stay where you put them. 

You’re Not Using Them in the Right Order

This is something that we see SO often, and we get it because it’s really common for lash brands to name products differently from how you’d expect. This goes for Lash Cleanser and Lash Primer, predominantly, but also applies to Booster and even to Superbonder, which is a lash glue sealant that’s used at the end of treatment. Still, we see Lash Techs using it during their lash prep, which isn’t really going to do any harm, but it’s not going to do any good either. Take a look at this blog post for the full lowdown on what Superbonder is and how it works.

london lash booster and superbonder

There are two main things we see surrounding Lash Cleanser and Lash Primer. The first is thinking that they’re to be used in Primer and then Cleanser, but actually, Lash Cleanser is to be used first. Lash Cleanser is alcohol-based, which is what allows it to strip the lashes of makeup residue, skincare residue, oils, and sebum which can be harder to see and remove from the lashes, even if you’ve used Lash Shampoo and Protein Pads beforehand. 

Lash Primer always has to follow Lash Cleanser because it rehydrates the natural lashes, and makes your lash glue work as it should. If you use them in reverse order, your Lash Primer can’t do anything, and the Lash Cleanser will leave the natural lashes dry, which means that your lash extension glue will have trouble curing properly. 

You’re Skipping A Step

Something else we see a lot is Lash Techs skipping Lash Cleanser and only using Lash Shampoo and Primer, or—possibly the most ineffective pairing—Lash Primer and Booster. This simply will not work. 

As discussed, Lash Primer is used to rehydrate lashes, which means that it’s not designed to have any kind of cleansing power. Using it after Lash Shampoo means that it’s pretty redundant because the Lash Shampoo isn’t drying. Using Lash Primer alone followed by Booster means that you’re not really removing anything from the natural lashes, and the Booster can’t actually lift the lash cuticles as it’s designed to because there are still residues and dirt on the lashes. 

how booster works on the lashes

If you want to use Booster, you need to make sure you’re cleansing the lashes beforehand so that there isn’t anything getting in the way of the Booster working properly – using Lash Shampoo followed by Booster isn’t necessarily the best method, but it’s more effective than solely using Lash Primer and Booster. 

You’re Not Educating Your Clients

Maybe it doesn’t come down to your lash prep at all, but to the way your clients care for their lash extensions between appointments. 

The vast majority of lash extension retention comes down to lash prep, followed by lash extension glue, and then by the way your clients look after their lashes. In some cases it comes down to other client-based factors such as hormones or medication, which you can find out more about in this blog post, along with some other advice to give clients to help their lashes last for longer.

While you can’t control what your clients are doing between visits, and you can never guarantee that they’ll follow your advice for keeping their lash extensions clean and healthy, you can guarantee that they won’t be able to look after them effectively if you never tell them how to. Again, the blog post we’ve just linked to will help you advise your clients properly on how they should be looking after their lashes between appointments with you, so read up, and send them a link to it if you think it’ll help them as well. 

All in all, we stand by our assertion that good lash prep leads to good lash retention, and that lash retention is client retention. What we’ll end with is that any product that we develop and stock has been developed and tested by Lash Techs with a view to improving the experience of other Lash Techs based on a gap or an issue that we ourselves have identified. Not every product will be loved by every Lash Tech, but consider that one person’s opinion doesn’t constitute fact, and that if they’re using it incorrectly in the first place, they’re unlikely to have a positive experience with it. Always read product descriptions and blog posts about products that expand on points to help you get exactly what you need, and if all else fails, feel free to ask if you still have questions – we built London Lash on a foundation of education, so if you have questions, we want to give you the answers!