What Are Vegan Eyelash Extensions? Lash Types Explained

By Emily M.| Last updated on October 21, 2022
vegan eyelash extensions
⏱️ 5 min read

With modern-day technology so advanced, there’s really no excuse not to be using cruelty-free products in beauty, and that includes lash extensions, a portion of which are animal-derived.

But there’s also a wide range of options that are not. If you’re an animal lover who wants to try eyelash extensions but is worried about the ethics, don’t sweat it – vegan eyelash extensions exist and are 100% cruelty-free!

Read this article to discover what vegan eyelash extensions are and how they measure up to natural lash extensions.

So, What Are Vegan Eyelash Extensions?

Vegan eyelash extensions are essentially synthetic lashes made typically from PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) fiber, which is a thermoplastic product derived from polyester by heating and molding it into lash shapes.

Vegan eyelash extensions are also called acrylic or faux lash extensions, depending on the natural hair they mimic, for example, faux mink lash extensions are designed in a way to mimic natural mink fur.

Acrylic lashes are generally heavier than natural lash extensions, so they are not really recommended for people with thin and weak lashes. However, they are the only cruelty-free lash extensions available on the market today.

what are vegan eyelashes?
Image source: Instagram @monet.beauty

Why Choose Vegan Lash Extensions?

From allergens to ethical issues, natural fur is neck-deep in controversies within the cosmetic industry.

Even though natural materials look more like real lash hairs, choosing vegan lash extensions means choosing a safer option that doesn’t require sacrificing animal lives.

Vegan eyelashes look darker and have more curl to them so, if you want your lashes to stand out and give you a bolder appearance, choosing synthetic or faux lashes is the way to go.

Natural mink and silk lashes take more time to apply, plus they are not man-made which means that not every hair will look the same and be of the same quality.

Vegan lash extensions are uniform and made of high-quality materials that are easy to keep clean and thus, safer for your eyes.

why choose vegan eyelashes
Image source: Instagram @sxr.lashes

Overview of Lash Types

Eyelash extensions can be natural or synthetic depending on the materials used during their production. Let’s take a quick look at the available lash extension types:

Natural Lash Extensions

Natural lash extensions are made either from mink fur, sable fur, or silk.

Mink Lash Extensions

Mink eyelash extensions are acquired by shaving off the fur of the actual animal mink.

The fur is most often collected from mink farms and has a semi-matte finish. Mink eyelash extensions come in colors ranging from light to dark brown and are generally sought after for their luxurious, natural feel and appearance.

Sable Fur Lash Extensions

Sable eyelash extensions are the softest lash extension type that is the most suitable for people with very light eyelashes.

They are acquired by shaving off and processing the fur of the animal sable. Out of many eyelash extension types, sable is said to be a high-class item that is the closest to natural lashes.

Silk Lash Extensions

Natural silk lash extensions are produced by boiling cocoons made by silkworms with the worm inside them, to soften and separate the threads individually.

With that said, genuine silk eyelash extensions are really rare to come by. This is mostly because natural silk is too soft to hold the shape or curl needed for lash extensions.

Synthetic Lash Extensions

On the other hand, vegan lash extensions fall into 2 categories: synthetic silk, and faux mink.

Synthetic Silk Lash Extensions

Faux silk lash extensions are made from synthetic based silk fibers.

These fibers are heated and molded into the desired size and curl and are given a shiny, silk-like finish. The appearance of natural silk lash extensions is easily achieved plus, faux silk lashes tend to last much longer and are 100% vegan.

Synthetic Silk Lash Extensions
Image source: Instagram @bella.beauty.skin

Faux Mink Lash Extensions

Faux mink lashes are made from synthetic fibers that mimic the look and feel of natural mink hairs.

They are typically darker and bolder than real mink lashes, but just as soft. They are also 100% cruelty-free and vegan, so you can enjoy wearing them completely guilt-free.

Faux Mink Lash Extensions
Image source: Instagram @the.lash.keeper

Natural Eyelash Extensions VS Vegan Eyelash Extensions

Opting for faux mink or silk lash extensions has its own set of benefits besides being vegan and cruelty-free. Let’s take a look at the most prominent differences between natural and vegan lash extensions:

Silk VS Faux Silk Lashes

Natural silk lashes are shiny, soft, and thin, but they are not the best at keeping their shape and holding the curl. However, being more porous than synthetic fibers, they are flexible and guarantee longer retention.

Silk lashes fall into the category of animal cruelty, unlike synthetic silk lashes, which makes them an unpopular choice in the cosmetic industry.

The main benefits of faux silk lashes are that they’re sturdy, lightweight, firm, and resistant to temperature changes, unlike natural silk lash extensions.

Mink VS Faux Mink Lashes

Lashes made from real mink fur are natural-looking and lightweight, which makes them a good option for people with thin lashes. However, they are high maintenance and they most often lose their curl once they get wet.

Faux mink lashes hold their curl and are easy to clean, plus there are no possible allergies to the materials used in production, which is not the case with natural mink.

If the fact that faux mink lashes are cruelty-free isn’t enough for you to make the switch, the difference in price is something to think about. Real mink lashes cost as much as $500 for a full set, while faux mink lashes come at half the price, if not less.

Mink VS Faux Mink Lashes
Image source: Instagram @konekostudio

A Quick Word on Lash Adhesives

Beyond the type of lash extensions you choose, you will need to be mindful of what kind of lash adhesive your technician is using. Unfortunately, the majority of lash glues are tested on animals, so keep that in mind.

If your lash tech generally uses vegan and cruelty-free products in their salon, ask them if their lash adhesive also has a non-toxic, formaldehyde- and paraben-free formula.

You can also do additional research online to find the lash adhesive that meets your criteria, before booking your appointment.

So, Should You Opt for Vegan Eyelash Extensions?

Vegan eyelash extensions are a better alternative to natural lashes first and foremost because their production doesn’t involve animal cruelty.

Synthetic lashes are made from a polished, acrylic material that mimics the softness and appearance of natural lash extensions, but are generally firmer, more manageable, and have a longer life span.

In addition, they’re a cost-effective solution for making your eyelashes big, bold, and beautiful – so if you ask us, there is no competition!

Learn everything about lash extension styles, risks, maintenance, and more here.

Cover image source: Freepik



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