For lash artists to work effectively, we need to know the makeup of eyelash extensions.
Different salons will vary in terms of the eyelash extension materials they use, so that both clients and lash artists will have plenty of options to choose from. The most common materials by far are mink, silk and synthetic, but for the purposes of this article we will primarily consider the first two materials and their variations, as they’re really quite representative!
Mink is lightweight and feathery, a huge plus for those who are looking to use eyelash extensions. The caveat is that some mink is made from real animal fur – so if you have ethical concerns about the treatment of minks or if you are allergic to animal fur, this might not be for you.
Real mink lashes include fur from the siberian mink and cashmere mink, among others.
Faux mink is an eyelash material used to substitute real mink eyelashes if you are against animal cruelty or have allergies. They are made from PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate), a polyester product that has a broad variety of uses.
Faux mink eyelashes are designed to be soft and to resemble real fur. Curl loss when coming in contact with water is also not an issue with faux mink (whereas it’s a common issue with real mink eyelashes material).
More and more manufacturers have become much more innovative in their designs, and faux mink looks and feels almost like real fur, with just about the same level of weight and flutteriness.
Silklashes are similar to faux mink eyelash materials in that they are made from PBT, but silk lashes present themselves differently in regards to weight, overall shape and finish. They tend to have a shorter taper than that of mink lashes, and the body remains thicker for an extended period of time.
Silk lashes offer a semi-gloss appearance that is just adorable. If you’re going for a dramatic lash set, lashes with silk as an eyelash extension material certainly is something to consider strongly.
If you’re using classic lashes sets, there aren’t many better than silk lashes.
The question of why to use each eyelash material is not one that can be easily answered, but we can start by laying out the pros and cons and weighing them against each other. Of course it also has to be within the context that everything client-related has been much considered.
The first eyelash extension material that we dissect will again be mink lash extensions. We will first talk about faux mink, which are pretty much synthetic fibres designed to mimic real mink fur. They are just as fine and silky, but with one addition; which is that they can come into contact with water and come out fine. This is opposite to real mink fur lashes – which when wet will become straight and sort of wispy.
Faux mink lashes are the popular option these days due to their properties and feelings they inspire. They are pretty and durable, and what’s great is that they’re so lightweight that they won’t drop or be susceptible to easy tears if you’re feeling emotional!
Next we have real mink lashes. These are made from real mink fur as eyelashes material, something many people don’t endorse. They are very expensive and more of a luxury, since not all lash artists offer services using this eyelash extension material. They work pretty much the same as faux mink (obviously!) but with slightly better texture and aesthetics. However, if you have ethical concerns for mink treatment or allergies to animal fur, this too may not be for you.
Silk eyelash extensions are much more flexible than usual synthetic blends. They are softer and are generally more durable as they hold on slightly longer. Silk lashes can be made so as to look either very natural or very glamorous, while also holding the same level of density and thickness as synthetic lashes.
They are also very light, most of the time lighter in weight. This means they can be great extensions for weaker natural lashes, since they won’t cause brittlement. They are also great additions to classic sets as well due to their easy attachment capability.
Silk eyelash extension material comes in a wide variety of curls and lengths, so no matter what kind of look you are going for, silk eyelashes might be compatible for it. In terms of variations of silk eyelashes, glamour sets are the most preferred, and in fact they are very commonly used by brides who want to appear fabulous and glamorous while still retaining their natural appeal.
All in all, the makeups of eyelash extensions are certainly varied and worth analysing, especially if you’re a practicing lash artist who wants the best for you and your clients.
Understanding lash extension lengths is taking the first step towards answering the question of how to choose the right eyelashes for your clients!