From celebrities and influencers to ordinary people, the obsession with mink lashes has grown tenfold in the last few years.
They are super lightweight and they give that natural yet flawless look easily. However, the truth of how fur farms treat minks has begun to open up people’s eyes. Thankfully, there are cruelty-free options a-plenty, that can give your eyes a similar look.
To achieve that naturally flawless look, many women have their favourite eyelash extension expert to get their own set of mink lashes and, with many brands even selling mink strip lashes and individual lash extensions, it’s not hard to see how the popularity soared.
The increasing demand made it a lucrative skill to learn, and even high eyelash extension cost did not deter people from opting for these lashes. However, the major revelation that has declined mink lash sales and usage is how farms, which supply companies with the mink fur, treat minks.
If you are still confused about what actually mink lashes are and if they are in the true sense cruelty-free or not, then you have come to the right article today. We shall also give you some great tips about applying mink lashes and the all-important alternatives.
What Are Mink Lashes?
Mink lashes, as the name suggests, are eyelash extensions made from mink fur. Minks are small aquatic mammals that resemble weasels and ferrets. Furthermore, their fur is of high value in the fashion and beauty industry.
There are a number of farms that claim to be free-range and that they farm cruelty-free breed minks. Mink lashes are manufactured by brushing off their hair and placing the treated strands on a strip.
The popularity of mink lashes rose a few years, both in the form of false lashes and eyelash extensions. Mink lashes are known to be lightweight because of how they are made from fur and how they even resemble human hair more than the standard synthetic lashes. With a natural curl to them, they feel almost weightless when applied on top of the natural lashes.
Many artists prefer real mink eyelashes, and also the general public prefers them because they give the eyelashes a more ‘naturally full’ appearance. They are seen as flexible and comfortable, and also the number of uses one can get out of them tends to be usually higher than other types of lashes. Another bonus tends to be that most mink lashes are hypoallergenic because they are sterilized during the manufacturing process.
Many companies sell handmade 3D mink lashes and individual mink lashes that can be used both on the upper lashes and bottom lashes.
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What Are The Differences Between Synthetic And Mink Lashes?
Synthetic lashes are made from plastic fibres that are attached to a band. By using special eyelash glue, you can glue this band onto the top of the lashes. A bonus of this type of lash is that they come in various lengths and styles to provide your eyes with the look you want. You can go for a full glam look or something more subtle.
Synthetic lashes are also available as individual lash extensions and the method of application remains the same. More often than not, synthetic lashes are of the disposable kind. However, depending on the quality of the plastic fibres and how you maintain them, you can get a few uses out of a single pair.
Synthetic Lashes vs. Mink Lashes
Compared to mink lashes, synthetic lashes are heavier on the eyes. More so, this makes many people refrain from using them. And as they made from plastic, the band of the fibres also tends to be thicker than the mink strip lashes.
Unfortunately, synthetic lashes can also not be curled. However, many of them are pre-curled already so curling them is not a requirement.
Curling mink lashes are possible as they are just like your regular eyelashes, this is simply down to them being made from mink hair.
The shine of both these types of lashes also differs. Synthetic lashes, especially those of lower quality, can give your eyelashes that ‘fake’ appearance. Whereas, mink lashes, on the other hand, look more natural and blend with your eyelash hair better.
As mink lashes are made from real fur, the difference for eyelash extension cost between the two varieties can be steep. Mink lashes are far more expensive than synthetic lashes.
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Mink Lashes: Are they Really Cruelty-Free?
Minks are killed for their fur for use in fashion garments and accessories. But, when it comes to using mink fur to make 3D mink lashes or individual mink eyelashes, the story takes a different turn.
The companies that sell mink lashes claim that they are cruelty-free and the process does not harm any animals. Harvesting of the fur happens from fur farms during the natural hair shedding season of the minks. In fact, some of these farms claim to be free-range, meaning the animals are not enclosed in cages all the time and that they roam freely for some part of the day at least.
When it comes to mink fur farms, this is far from the truth as explained by PETA.
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There’s No Proof That It Is Being Cruelty-Free
Minks are aggressive animals in social situations. In their natural habitat, they are solitary animals and only come in contact with other minks during the mating and breeding season.
At the so-called free-range farms, these minks cannot be kept in the open. They are kept in small cages and even restrained from getting an adequate amount of food and water. Furthermore, the cages are often left in harsh weather conditions where the minks may suffer.
These animals are not domestic in nature and keeping them in cages causes a lot of mental and physical stress on them. Not only this, but their exposure to both diseases and parasites is likely.
The term cruelty-free does not just apply to an animal not being killed to manufacture a product. It also means that the minks should not experience any distress during the process. It’s said that this is not a possible situation at all because of the animals’ innate nature of being wild.
In countries like the United States, strict laws apply for farms where minks are bred. However, there are many small farms that fail to meet these expectations worldwide. No company that sells mink lashes is certified by PETA or by Leaping Bunny which clearly shows that mink lashes are not cruelty-free.
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What Are Some Cruelty-Free Options Or Alternatives?
Mink eyelashes aren’t the only option available in the market for 3D eyelash extensions or glue-on 3D lashes. Alternative options are a-plenty in the market which, thankfully, does not involve extracting fur or animal hair from any type of animal.
A popular cruelty-free option instead of using real mink eyelashes are silk lashes. Silk lashes are made up of polybutylene terephthalate or PBT, for short. PBT is a type of polyester (synthetic material basically) that corporations use to manufacture everyday items like toothbrushes.
Silk eyelash extensions have short and tapered ends and this gives their base or body more volume.
When applied on your lash line, they provide a much fuller appearance. More so, if you are looking to add some drama to your look, then silk lashes are your best option. They are often sold in varying lengths, depending on the look they are going to provide and where on the eye area they are going to be used – top lashes or bottom lash extensions.
Different curls are also available in silk lashes and being lighter in weight than synthetic lashes, the look they provide is more natural comparatively.
Apart from silk lashes, the other options when looking for cruelty-free lashes are synthetic lashes and faux mink lashes. Ardell, Eylure, DUO, and House of Lashes are some popular brands that sell a wide range of styles in false synthetic lashes. You can also purchase individual eyelash extensions by these companies.
Fact: These lashes are plastic and, therefore, do not involve any animal being hurt and/or tortured in any way.
Human Hair Lashes
Some brands also sell lashes made from 100% human hair that you can add to your eyelash extension supplies.
There are also a few vegan false lashes that brands like Tarte and ELF sell that can suit your criteria if vegan options are what you prefer.
Top 10 Cruelty-Free Lashes YouTube
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How to Apply Mink Lash Strips
Now that you know all about mink lashes and the various alternatives you can opt for, let us show you how to apply mink lash strips. Here is a detailed step by step procedure for you to achieve the best false lash application, with mink lashes, using your lash extension kit.
Select Your Lashes
The first and foremost thing that needs to be done is selecting the style of mink lashes. Once you have selected the ones you like, carefully remove them from the safety packaging. Peel slowly from the edge of the band, whilst being careful not to pull the lash hairs.
Place the Lashes on Lash line
Then, place the mink lash strip on your eyelash to gauge if it requires any alteration in its length. If you find that the lash strip is longer than your natural eyelash length, use a small pair of scissors to cut the excess off from the outer corner of the band.
Your mink eyelash strip is now ready for application.
Apply the Lashes
Use an eyelash applicator or a pair of tweezers to hold the eyelashes. Grab the best eyelash extension glue you own and apply a thin layer of it on the eyelash band. Be sure to apply a tiny amount of extra eyelash glue on the edges.
Let the glue dry for about 30 to 40 seconds – if you are using white glue, it starts to turn clear. This waiting is necessary so that the glue turns tacky. If the glue isn’t tacky enough and you place the mink eyelash on your lash line, it will slip and slide easily.
Use a clear mirror and look slightly downwards with your eye partly closed. Place the mink lashes on the centre of your lash line and as close to your natural lashes as possible.
Do not place the false eyelashes on top of your natural lashes. Place it just above and as centrally as possible.
Secure the Lashes
Pinch the edges to secure the rest of the lash strip on your skin. Make sure to apply gentle pressure on the top and bottom of your upper lashes, this is to make the mink eyelashes adhere better.
Now, you have successfully applied your mink lash strip.
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How to Apply Individual Mink Lashes
Mink lashes on a strip may be convenient to apply but they do not last that long, so individual mink lashes may be the answer to your prayers here! They can last from anytime between two weeks to a month, depending on the brand of lashes and glue that you use.
Another great advantage of individual mink lashes is that they come in various lengths. This means that you can use them to achieve an even more flattering look at the end. Also, the different lengths mean that you can use them as either upper lash and/or lower lash extensions.
Here is how to apply individual mink lashes.
Pick Your Lashes
Pick individual mink lashes of the length that you prefer. Using the same method as the strip lashes, see if the length matches your natural lashes by placing the individual clusters on top of your lash line.
Apply the Glue
Then, pour out some lash glue onto aluminium foil or on the plastic tray that comes in the lash extension kit. Now, let the glue become slightly tacky. Pick up an individual lash using tweezers or eyelash applicator and dip the end of it in the lash glue gently.
Do not pick up too much of lash extension glue as this can cause clumping.
Place the Lash on Your Lash Line
Carefully place the individual mink lash as close to the lash line as possible. Start at the centre of your natural lashes and move outwards with every consecutive individual lash.
Secure the Lashes
Once you have placed the false lashes, gently press with the eyelash applicator to ensure it has stuck onto the skin thoroughly. After applying individual mink lashes all the way to the outer corner of the eye, start applying towards the inner corner.
Use shorter length lashes because the natural lashes become shorter here.
If you do not have shorter individual lashes, simply trim their length using scissors. Also, you can opt to place one individual lash per natural lash or space it out in between your natural lashes for a more natural look.
After applying the lashes, do not rinse your face and expose the eyelash glue to water as this will harm the longevity of the lashes.
What to Consider Before Getting Them Done
If you are still apprehensive about applying 3D mink lashes of any type by yourself, then look for an eyelash extension artist close to you who can do it for you.
Pick a Professional Beauty Therapist
Professionally trained individuals who have completed a reputable eyelash extension course are your trustworthy resource. A person having qualifications/training is exactly why you should choose to go to one when you want to get mink eyelash extensions done.
Make sure you verify that the artist is certified after completing an eyelash extension course. It’s also a good idea to check if he/she has good reviews from other people who have gotten the service done before.
Another thing that you should consider before getting them done is checking the quality and manufacturer of the lashes and the eyelash extension supplies they are going to use.
Professional artists use a semi-permanent glue which is best for eyelash extensions and is stronger than the ones you find at the drugstore. However, the glue can contain allergens or irritants. For this reason, it is best to check with the artist beforehand and let them know if you have existing allergies.
The next thing to consider is the time that the entire process can take. For a first time application, it can take up to four hours for the application of individual eyelash extensions. Furthermore, experts recommend touch-ups every three to four weeks. Touch-ups can take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour.
Cost of Mink Lashes
The cost of having mink lashes should be an essential factor to consider, as getting mink lashes professionally can be a big blow on your pocket.
When the eyelash extension cost is a major concern for you, you can always invest in a lash extension kit. These come with all the eyelash extension supplies such as the glue, eyelash applicator, and scissors. A little practice at home while following the detailed procedure we have outlined for you in the above sections can help you save a lot of money.
How to Apply Mascara to Eyelash Extensions
Many women get eyelash extensions to remove the step of applying mascara from their makeup routine and save time. The goop, clumpiness, and flakiness, apart from the long drying time, can all be avoided by availing an eyelash extension service from a lash artist.
The individual mink lashes (or other lashes) that they apply to your lash line open up your eyes. They can make you look glamorous every day without any effort at all. Even after achieving voluminous lashes, if you still wish to apply mascara on the eyelash extensions, then you need to keep a few things in mind.
Let the Lashes Set
Do not apply anything on your eyelashes for at least 48 hours after getting your extensions. Even the best eyelash glue must have the time to be set thoroughly.
After this waiting period has passed, you can apply mascara if you want to add some more volume and length to your lashes.
Use the Right Mascara
Be sure to only use mascara that is especially for eyelash extensions. If you cannot find one, then opt for a water-based mascara. Oil-based mascara, tube mascara, waterproof mascara, and fibre mascara are all a big no-no when it comes to mascara for eyelash extensions.
If possible use a disposable mascara wand and dip it into the mascara tube. Remove any excess mascara and, very gently, apply it starting from the centre of the lashes and going outwards to the tip. Do not apply mascara to the base or root of the lashes where the extensions have been stuck onto.
One coat of mascara should do the trick in most cases. Refrain from applying multiple layers of it.
How to Remove Mascara from the Lashes
When you wish to remove mascara, use a clean mascara wand dipped in eye makeup remover – be sure that the remover is safe for use with eyelash extensions. Apply the makeup remover and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, run the brush with a gentle hand to remove the broken down mascara before rinsing your eyes gently with water.
How to Remove the Eyelash Extensions
Mink individual lashes, or any other type of eyelash extensions, are a temporary method to give your lashes the boost they need. These types of lashes can create dramatic looks and last for about four to six weeks, depending on the how quickly your own lashes grow.
Many people who get eyelash extensions will tell you that they usually start to shed by themselves after two to three weeks. Once they start falling off, the look they leave behind may not be too pleasant because of the uneven volume on your natural lashes. In this scenario, you basically have two options.
Replace the Lashes
Option number one is to get refills, which are to replace the fallen individual lashes. Doing so would allow you to continue with the ‘look’ you have been after.
Removal of the Lashes
Option number two would be to get eyelash extension removal. Lash artists use glue of higher strength (semi-permanent eyelash glue) to attach the false lashes. This glue is not the regular eyelash glue that you use when you apply the lash strips or individual lashes by yourself. Moreover, if you try to simply pull the falsies off, then there is a high chance that you will rip out some of your natural lashes as well.
To prevent all this damage and avoid the situation altogether, it is advisable to go back to your lash artist who will be experienced to carefully remove the lash extensions.
At-Home Eyelash Extension Removal
If for some reason going to a professional is not possible, then an at-home method for eyelash extension removal exists.
Important: But, this should only be used in emergencies.
Wash your face to remove any makeup and excess oil, and steam your face for 10 to 15 minutes. The steam will loosen up the eyelash glue slightly.
Now, take some olive oil or coconut oil on a cotton ball and swipe this gently on the lash line. The lash extensions will pull away with a few swipes or simply fall off. This home-based procedure may or may not work for all the lash extensions. So, speaking to your lash artist for removal is the safest option for sure!
What Are Some Of The Best Mink Lash Brands/Products?
For mink lashes that you can apply by yourself and yet still achieve those dramatic, luscious lashes, there are plenty of choices available.
Brands not only sell 3D mink lashes, but they also sell 6D versions which are thicker and longer. The production of 6D mink lashes includes fanning the lashes out on a comfortable lash band.
Mink lashes are definitely on the pricier side but they also provide a better and more natural shine when applied. Furthermore, you can use them multiple times, up to 10 times even, depending on their quality.
Some popular mink lash brands are:
Lilly Lashes – popular among beauty influencers and great style variety.
Esqido – many styles and premium mink hair.
Velour Lashes – wide range and both upper lash and bottom lash extensions available.
Scott Barnes – thick, curly, and made from Siberian mink fur.
Arison Lashes – popular on Amazon, full and fluttery.
Lasgoos – wispy and thick.
Arimika Lashes – comfortable and fluffy.
How to Care for your Mink Eyelashes to Ensure They Last as Long as Possible
Take Good Care of Them
Reusable mink lashes can only be reusable if you take care of them well and they remain in good condition. To get the maximum use of out your mink lash strips or individual mink eyelashes, apply, remove, and store them carefully.
Always use gentle pressure when picking up lashes from their case. Importantly, be sure to press the band along your lash line once the lashes have been applied with care too.
Remove your Mink Eyelashes Carefully
It’s important to pay special attention during the false eyelash removal process. This is due to it being the time when most people damage their mink lashes.
When you wish to remove the lashes, use a Q-tip or an earbud dipped in water to rub along the lashes band. You can also use water-based eye makeup remover. Doing this will loosen up the glue so that the lash strip can be easily peeled away.
Absolutely do not use an oil-based makeup remover for removing mink lashes. The oils will damage the mink hair and ruin the lashes within one or two uses.
Once you have removed the lash strip, do not start picking at the extra glue on the lash band. To remove any glue remnants, simply soak the lashes in an alcohol solution for a few minutes. Thankfully, doing this the glue will dissolve completely and can be wiped off from the lash band. With the help of the alcohol used for dissolving, the lashes will also be disinfected.
Let the lashes dry naturally on a piece of tissue paper before you put them away in their box. Proper care can ensure they last more than two to three weeks.
Tip: Make sure that your alcohol solution is 3:1 ratio for water and alcohol.
Avoid Contact With Water
After getting the extensions, do not let any water come in contact with your eyes for 24 to 48 hours. Just like for the removable mink lashes, do not use an oil-based makeup remover.
If you can, refrain from using other oil-based skincare and makeup products as well. Importantly, if you do apply mascara on top of your eyelash extensions make sure to use a water-based mascara only.
Avoid Touching Your Lashes
Do not touch your eyelashes often or fidget with them unnecessarily. To maintain their curl longer, do not sleep on your face as this can make the lash extensions go wonky!
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