What We Know About The Different Materials Used To Make False Lashes

From the controversy around talc in cosmetics to the rave around clean beauty, it's custom not only to talk about our beauty essentials but also to dissect what's in them. This is because our beauty essentials are always in close contact with our body parts: eyeliner right under our eye ducts and glands, powder over our pores, and false lashes over our lash lines. So it's understandable to want to know what's in them and if they are safe for use around such delicate body parts.


False eyelashes frame the eyes, adding more definition and "wakefulness" to them. Frends Beauty explains that they are great for people with short or sparse lashes. Due to the delicate nature of your eye area, knowing what materials your lashes are made of can help prevent eye irritation and the occurrence of an allergy or help you see what options are best for your eye shape. These materials include silk, mink, faux mink, and synthetic. From quality and durability to cost and how natural they look, here's everything we know about the mink, silk, and synthetic materials used to make false lashes.

Mink Lashes

The most expensive and luxurious among other lash options, mink lashes are obtained from the fur on the tail of a small animal called a mink. These lashes are lightweight, feathery, and soft, and are frequently used by celebrities as they have a natural look on the eyes. According to Lash Society, false lashes made of real mink fur are so durable that you can reuse them up to 11 to 12 times with proper storage and application.


However, they have remained a controversial topic in the beauty industry, especially with animal cruelty in manufacturing beauty products becoming a significant concern. Some mink lash manufacturers claim that collecting the fur from the minks' tails does not involve cramped living conditions or the death of the animals, but unless you have a trusted manufacturer, it is hard to say. All Eyelashes explains that mink might not be for you if you're dedicated to using only cruelty-free products in your routine. You could also be allergic to mink fur, so ensure you conduct a patch test with the lashes before applying to your lash line (per False Eyelashes).

Silk lashes

Don't like the sound of animal fur on your lashes? Silk lashes are an excellent alternative. Real silk lashes are made from silk from silkworm cocoons (per The Lash Professional). While silk lashes made from real silk are very light and soft, they are more expensive than other options — bar real mink — and do not hold a curl for long. Then we have synthetic silk lashes, a class of lashes often mislabeled as silk but which are, in fact, not made from real silk. As Divine Lashes explains, synthetic silk lashes are made from a material called polybutylene terephthalate, or PBT, and are molded to have a thicker body and a short taper. The thicker lash diameter and short taper create a fuller, voluminous lash look. If you buy cheap silk lashes from a beauty supply near you, chances are it's the polyester stuff you've been getting.


Synthetic silk lashes have many advantages, as Divine Lashes lists that they can hold a curl for longer than real silk lashes and are way more affordable. However, because of their thicker lash diameter, they are not suited to wispy looks, are not as soft as their natural counterpart, and can be heavier on the eyes.

Synthetic lashes

Synthetic lashes, otherwise known as polished acrylic lashes, are also made from PBT, a polyester/plastic-like fiber (per Eni Lashes). Due to their thicker lash diameter, shinier look, and plasticky nature, synthetic lashes create a much fuller, dramatic look compared to other lash options like mink, silk, or human hair. They are also the most affordable option, but the downside is they only last for a short time compared to other options (per Esqido). So, they're a good choice if you're trying to go full glam for an event and plan to toss your lashes afterward.


As Doe Beauty explains, synthetic lashes can feel heavy on the eyes, and application can get tacky and uncomfortable, meaning your lashes can remove when you don't want them to, and that's a possibility no one wants. However, synthetic lashes are still one of our favorite options for the price point and the versatility of options available.

Faux mink lashes

According to the Paris Lash Academy, faux mink lashes are synthetic lashes made to imitate the look, feel, and weight of lashes made with real mink fur. Like synthetic lashes and some mislabeled silk lashes, most faux mink lashes are also made from nylon or PBT, which Posh Lash Pro confirms is hypoallergenic and allows brands to be creative with their lash styles while making lash bands that sit flush against the lash line. Our favorite thing about faux mink lashes is how long they can hold a curl and how vegan-friendly they are. NZ Lashes also adds that they are fine, soft, and silky, creating a more natural look than purely synthetic lashes. And according to Lady Lash Australia, with proper care, they last very long too! 


Of course, being synthetic, faux mink lashes are also a very affordable option and, unlike their real mink counterparts, are cruelty-free.

What's the best lash material for me?

Whichever lash material you decide upon depends on what your lash priority is. If you have the budget for a wispier, more natural look, mink or silk lashes are a go. If you want a wispy look but are not into animal-derived beauty products, are skeptical of the manufacturing process, or are allergic to animals, try some faux mink lashes (per All Eyelashes). We love the Colourpop Falsies Faux Mink Lashes, which retail for $8.00 and have a rating of 4.9 stars at Ulta. Suppose you're trying out false lashes for the first time and are looking to learn how to apply them flawlessly. In that case, False Eyelashes says to try synthetic lashes, which are cheap and available at every beauty supply. For synthetic lashes, we're fans of the Velour Effortless Collection Synthetic Lashes, which retail for $26 and are reusable.


Whether you go for a full, dramatic look or a wispier, non-irritating option, it's up to you and your lash line.