Are Mink Lashes Cruelty Free? (Plus, The Vegan Mink Alternative)
Posted on February 09 2021
If you’re into eyelashes (and if you’re here, we know you are!), then you’ll surely have heard about mink lashes. Used for both strip lashes and eyelash extensions, they’re sold as a high-end option with a luxury price tag to match. They’re also often labelled as ‘cruelty free’, but is that truly possible with a fur-based product?
First up, what is mink?
‘Mink’ is a type of fur, which comes from the mink animal – a small mammal that’s related to otters, ferrets and weasels. In the past, its glossy fur was a popular choice for making coats for the super-rich; today, it’s also frequently used in tiny quantities for false eyelashes and eyebrow fillers.
Why are mink eyelashes popular?
Mink eyelashes are an entirely natural product, meaning they have incredible shine and closely resemble real eyelashes once they’ve been curled into shape. They’re also highly flexible, ultra-lightweight, and wonderfully wispy. Essentially, they look and feel incredible. But, that beauty comes at a cost, not just financially but ethically too…
What’s the problem with mink eyelashes?
The first major issue is that if the beautician or brand you’re buying from doesn’t state that their mink is cruelty-free, there’s definitely a chance it was obtained by killing the animals. But what if they do label it as having been collected via brushing? Unfortunately, while this so-called ‘ethical’ mink sounds nice in theory, it’s still very much problematic.
For one thing, minks are not a ‘cuddly’ animal that enjoys being petted. They’re naturally solitary and territorial, and being held down and brushed by a human is not a relaxing experience for them, it’s a frightening one.
There’s also the issue of the living conditions on these fur farms. According to PETA, “minks are confined to small, depressing, cramped wire cages in highly unsanitary conditions”. They can’t burrow, swim, or do any of the other things they’d do in nature, and they’ve been known to display signs of stress when kept in captivity. Fur farms exist solely to maximize profit, not to care for animals.
In fact, while fur farming is allowed in the US – and minks make up the vast majority of animals on these fur farms – it’s considered cruel enough to be completely banned in some other countries, such as the UK.
And if your mink eyelashes state they come from ‘free range’ minks? That’s simply unlikely to be true. Minks instinctively get aggressive around other animals – including other minks – so keeping them separated out in cages in pretty much essential to farming these creatures.
What are vegan mink eyelashes?
‘Vegan mink’ sounds like an oxymoron, and that’s because technically it is. Despite the name it’s actually not mink at all but a man-made recreation of the fur, and hence doesn’t harm any animals.
So, yes, vegan mink is synthetic, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t soft, luxurious, and realistic-looking. Precisely crafted using high-tech fibers, experts have found a way to mimic the same soft texture and fluffy appearance of real mink, with none of the cruelty - hence why we’ve always used cruelty free vegan silk – but this isn’t just any synthetic lash fiber. It’s an especially premium and beautiful one!
You may never have heard of vegan mink lashes before, but that’s only because they’re pretty new on the scene. We have a feeling however that they’re going to become incredibly popular.
And as a cruelty-free brand dedicated to bringing you the very best, high-end strip lashes, of course we had to test them out. What can we say, except that we fell in love with their incredible mink-like look? So much so that we’re planning to launch a range of luxury, vegan mink lashes to sit alongside our silk lashes soon. Stay tuned!