Eyelash Extensions Pretreatment Routine: Bare Minimum vs Ultimate Process

We ALL know how important good lash pretreatment is to your eyelash extensions retention, so we won’t bore you with the ‘why’ (though if you do want a quick overview, you can have a look at this blog post).

With so many pretreatment products and routines on the market, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Then, when you find a routine you like the sound of, it can work out kind of expensive if you’re just starting out. 

To help you get started, we’ve compiled two lists for you - the bare essentials, and the whole 9 yards of pretreatment. You will never ever have to choose between cutting costs, keeping a great reputation - you can easily do both of those things!

The Bare Minimum Pretreatment Routine: One Product Wonder

If you’ve got a very tight budget, a foaming cleanser is an okay single step pretreatment product which will remove any makeup, dirt and oils on the lashes and on the skin around the eyes, but you should be aware that it’s not quite as thorough as a three or five step routine. You also need to be super sure that you’re rinsing all of the foam off of the lashes, as any residue will prevent the glue from bonding to the natural lashes. 

lash cleanser, lash shampoo, eyelash extensions pretreatment

Simply dispense a pump of foam onto your clients lashes, and massage it into the lash line and the skin around the eye with a lash cleansing brush. Rinse with saline solution and pat dry with a tissue before applying your eyepatches and carrying on with your lash set.

Product Cost: $19.00 USD /  $25.00 CAD
Time Spent: 3 Minutes

The Absolute Essentials: 3-Step Routine

When you begin any lash set, you will need to cleanse the eye area and the lashes thoroughly to ensure that your eyepatches stay where you put them, and the eyelash extensions do the same. 

Start with Protein Remover Pads to gently cleanse the skin around the eyes and the lashes. For an extra deep clean, take two small micro brushes and press them into the top of the protein remover pads to pick up some product, then cleanse along the lash line - you’ll be surprised how much dirt is still hidden there! 

If you are doing infills instead of a full set, you’ll need to take care to avoid the glue bonds with the protein remover pads as the fibres can get stuck to the bonds. Wrap the protein pad around your finger tip and carefully wipe the skin around the eyes. You can use a dabbing motion on the glue bonds themselves, or you can use your micro brushes again to get a bit closer without the risk of fibers getting caught on the bonds. 

Next, You’re going to grab your Cleanser and two micro brushes. Dispense a drop of cleanser onto your two micro brushes and dab the excess onto a tissue to avoid it running into the client’s eyes. Now sandwich the lashes between your two micro brushes (yes, fresh set or infill) and brush through from root to tip, focusing on the bottom two millimeters of the lashes - this is the glue bonding zone. 

As Cleanser is alcohol based to ensure all oils are broken down, it can be a bit drying for the lashes. What we need to do now is use Primer to add moisture back into the lashes, so that your glue doesn’t take too long to cure (as we know, it’s moisture that causes glue to cure so eliminating moisture from the lashes will affect your glue’s behaviour, even if your room conditions are perfect).

lash primer, lash shampoo, eyelash extensions pretreatment

Apply your Primer to two clean micro brushes just like you did your Cleanser, and again dab the excess onto a tissue. Again, you’re going to sandwich the lashes between the two brushes and brush from root to tip. 

Now those lashes are all ready to be lashed!

Product Cost: $61.00 USD / $80.00 CAD
Time Spent: 10 Minutes

The Ultimate: 5-Step Eyelash Extensions Pretreatment Routine

Now, if you’re ready to take your pretreatment game to the next level, you’re going to combine the two methods above, and add a fifth and final step. 

Dispense your Lash Shampoo and cleanse the lashes and skin with a Lash Cleansing Brush. Rinse with saline solution and pat dry with a tissue. 

Use Protein remover pads to ensure all residue is removed, and to tackle any leftover, stubborn makeup. 

Apply Cleanser with your two micro-brushes, followed by Primer in the same way. 

Finally, you’re going to take your Booster. This is a bit of a magical product which increases your lash retention by opening up the hair cuticle and giving the glue more surface area to grip onto. It does this simply due to it having a slightly alkaline pH level. 

Apply a drop of Booster to two micro brushes, dab off the excess and apply to those natural lashes in exactly the same way that you applied your Cleanser and Primer. 

Now lashes are completely clean and more ready to receive extensions than they ever have been before! 

Product Cost: $116.00 USD / $152 CAD
Time Spent: 15 Minutes

What I will say here is that Booster isn’t for the faint of heart - it will also speed up your glue’s drying time so you need to ensure you are ready for that. I’d recommend first trying a sample of Booster if you’re not 100% sure that it’s right for you at the moment, and only invest in a full-sized bottle when you’re ready to take that step.

However you carry out your pretreatment, be sure to never ever skip it, and always be super thorough. Remember - lash retention is client retention.