When faux mink eyelash extensions first hit the beauty scene, they were introduced as real animal fur extensions. Minks are small semi-aquatic animals, similar to otters, that are farmed for their soft silks fur. The fur for eyelash extension use is purportedly obtained by gently brushing the animal and collecting the shedding fur. These real mink eyelash extensions were marketed as expensive, high-end eyelash extension products. The cost of real mink eyelash extensions is prohibitive for most.
However, most specialist eyelash extension salons these days have moved away from the use of real mink fur, and use a product called ‘Faux Mink’. It is what we use at Lady Lash – and although made of a synthetic material, it is remarkable how incredibly soft and ‘fur like’ they are. They are very similar in look and feel to real fur – on first inspection; it’s hard to tell the difference.
There were a few reasons we made the choice not to introduce real fur into our eyelash extension salon. Firstly, given that the countries where most of the mink is harvested/processed don’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to animal cruelty, we did not want to import and use a product in our treatments that has potentially caused harm and cruelty to animals. We don’t know how the animals have been treated; therefore we won’t import the product.
Secondly, in our professional opinion (and most of us here at Lady Lash have been lashes for around 10 years!) faux-mink eyelash extensions are actually a superior material to real mink eyelash extensions. Real mink fur, when wet, has the unfortunate property of flopping down and losing its curl or shape. They require daily styling and maintenance to lift them once they get wet. The curl in faux mink eyelash extensions is permanent, meaning that you don’t need to (and shouldn’t!) curl or perm them once they are applied. This means less maintenance, and the faux mink lashes are long lasting because you don’t need to touch them.
Thirdly, whilst manufacturers claim that real mink fur lashes are chemically treated for hygiene reasons (which technically should negate any allergy issue) – we do have some concerns about implications for allergy sufferers if they have real fur applied to their eye area. We think it’s safer to go with a synthetic material that has not been known to cause any allergies in wearers.
In terms of the difference between faux mink eyelash extensions and silk and acrylic types, they are lighter in weight, yet they have a stunning dark gloss to them. This is due to finishing differences in the manufacturing process, whereas silk lashes are more matte in finish. In sunlight, they sometimes have an almost blue black appearance, but usually this is not noticeable.
We have some more info on the difference between silk, synthetic (acrylic) and faux mink eyelash extensions here.
The mink lashes we use at Lady Lash are generally thinner in weight/diameter than those used in our silk and synthetic sets, although not as thin as those in Russian Volume eyelash extensions.
Additionally, we use a about 20-25% more extensions in our mink sets, because they are finer. This creates a beautiful fluffy and natural look, but with good volume and darkness.