The debate of cruelty vs cruelty-free products has been in the hot seat for quite some time, and I don’t foresee it going anywhere, anytime soon. How I see it, lashes are the same as everything else that comes “real” or “synthetic” or “faux” (synthetic and faux being the same thing). Would you rather have the luxury, real fur coat or the faux fur coat. So, which lashes are the best option: mink, silk or synthetic?! I get it, it’s a status thing, it sounds cooler to have real mink or real silk, but does having genuine lashes mean you have real quality lashes? Now keep in mind, this blog is my opinion and we are all entitled to our own! Try to follow along, though, and look at it from my point of view.
Overview of Lash Types
Straight from a fluffy, little animal, mink is real fur… Yes, as in an ANIMAL! Generally, manufacturers collect from mink farms. Real mink is desirable because of its reputation for being “luxurious”.
It comes straight from the cocoon of a silk worm and is desirable because it is shiny and usually associated with luxury. When it comes to silk lashes though, they are generally synthetic. That’s right, genuine silk lashes are hard to come by, though they are still requested in high volume!
Synthetic lashes are designed to look like one of two things: mink or silk! Whether synthetic mink or synthetic silk, the lashes are made in a factory and are cruelty free. Because of that, both are becoming very desirable. Between the two, synthetic mink is rapidly gaining popularity due to its long-lasting quality and dark, matte finish!
Origin of Products
I’m going to start with mink, because it is the most controversial. When we are talking real mink, that means REAL MINK. Yes, from a cute little mink. Unfortunately, there is cruelty involved when a product comes directly from an animal. Despite disclaimers saying, “Our real mink lashes are cruelty-free”, there is no way to prove or confirm the truth in that. But I would assume that they are not asking the consent of these minks before taking their fur. If you have never done so, I would encourage you to research it. PETA’s media liaison says,
“We encourage consumers to choose alternatives to any materials that are derived from animals, ensuring that they are not contributing to an industry that causes suffering.”
So, even if you don’t use all cruelty free products/supplies, I would encourage you to educate your clients on the subject. I have no doubt that most would reconsider their previous mink-related requests.
That goes for silk, too. Seems a little less intense, but do you know where silk comes from? A worm. Yes, a yukky, squiggly, little worm. It is taken from the silkworms cocoons. They boil the little helpless worms alive inside their cocoons. PETA has something to say about that too. Read it here. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am no friend to creepy critters, but a creature is a creature and cruelty is cruelty. Next time your client (or a potential client) asks if you carry silk or what your opinion on it is, just let them know you are cruelty-free! It’s something to be proud of.
Now, synthetic mink and synthetic silk, both being manufactured products, also have their own chemical composition. Each composition contains a PBT base. PBT means Poly Butylene Terephthalate and is a semi-crystalline synthetic engineered thermoplastic. Synthetic silk is heated and molded into the desired size and curl and is given a shiny, “silk-like” finish. Synthetic mink is also heated and molded and then is given a deep, matte finish. Because of its finish, synthetic mink is much more desirable. It gives a fuller and more natural finish to any set of extensions, classic or volume!
Mink vs Silk vs Synthetic: Quality and Durability
Now that the ugly part is out of the way, let’s talk about the ACTUAL quality and durability of mink, silk and synthetic lashes. As nice as some luxury lashes may sound and look, mink and silk lashes do tend to appear more fake than synthetic lashes do. From my experience, I have had more clients complain about them than I have had clients praise them. Why? For one, mink and silk lashes tend to appear too shiny and don’t hold a curl. Think about it, if mink is coming from an animal, it is similar to our hair. Real hair can be curled, yes, but what happens when that curl gets wet or is subjected to extreme weather? Flat or frizzy! Same with silk, though obtained from a cocoon fiber, it is not durable and will not hold curl in extreme conditions or for long periods of time.
Living things were not intended to be used for lashes…
…so of course, they were not designed to meet our every lash need. Because synthetic lashes were specifically designed to meet all our lash needs, they are a great option for quality and durability. Synthetic silk is less sought after, due to its sheen finish, but the matte finish on synthetic mink lashes gives the lash line a dense, more natural look. Specifically designed to hold curl and withstand extreme conditions, synthetic is the way to go. Though they don’t yet have the reputation for being as luxurious as genuine mink and silk, they will soon! Being cruelty-free is becoming an epidemic and one that we want everyone to be a part of!
The curious clients aren’t going anywhere, they will always want to know about more “luxurious” alternatives. It is our job, as the professionals, to educate them! If you have clients who love all the fluff, I would encourage you to try some .03’s! With a diameter so small, fluff should be no problem! Check them out here on our website and let us know what you think.
Happy lashing babes.