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Eyelash extensions lengthen and enhance natural lashes without the need for mascara; tinting defines and darkens eyebrows
Natural-looking yet genetics-defying eyelashes: that’s the goal of eyelash-extension salons. Each tiny extension is attached to an existing lash with a special kind of medical-grade glue that disappears into the lashes so clients can forget they weren’t born looking that way. It’s a delicate process performed by highly trained technicians, but it wouldn’t have been invented if not for a common household item: Super Glue.
In 1942, Dr. Harry Coover invented Super Glue by mistake. While trying to formulate a clear plastic to be used for gun sights at Eastman-Kodak during World War II, he and his team found that one substance was so sticky that it was almost impossible to work with—it would bind to just about anything, with no need for heat, pressure, or pleading. The company eventually put it on the market in 1958. Chemically known as a cyanoacrylate, the adhesive eventually found experimental use in the Vietnam War as a way to quickly close wounds and stop excessive bleeding, giving wounded soldiers more time to seek medical help in the field. Eventually the FDA approved forms of it for use in medicine.
Today, different cyanoacrylate formulations are used in dental surgery, to rejoin veins, and in the eyelash salon. Despite its ancestor’s application of bonding skin, eyelash-extension glue is meant to touch the lash only. To avoid contact with the lid, the glue is applied to the extension rather than the natural lash. Then it’s held against the lash with tiny tweezers for the 30–40 seconds it takes for the chemical bond to form—and repeated dozens of times until the lids are as lushly curtained as the client likes.