How to Tell If Your False Eyelashes Are Vegan and Cruelty-Free
With Veganuary kicking off this month, we've seen lots of creative ways to add more animal-friendly items to your life through food and fashion. But veganism in beauty is just as important as wearing pleather or switching to a plant-based diet as we grapple with ways to treat the flora and fauna around us with more respect.
While brands make a point of demonstrating their flashy new vegan and cruelty-free products, sometimes we forget to question the basics that we use every day. So, coming into 2020, as I put on my false lashes for New Year's Eve, I wondered: what are these actually made out of?
I wasn't prepared for the answer. While the outcry over animal fur being used in jackets and stoles has slowly developed into a wide-ranging adoption of faux fur this past decade, minks still suffer. That's right, mink fur is still being used to create fluffy lashes — and so many beauty consumers are not even aware that as they shun fur in clothing, they may still be gluing it to their lash lines.
PETA has publicly denounced the practice of using mink fur in fake lashes, saying that "the best way to end the abuse of animals exploited in the fur industry is to steer clear of any item made with fur — whether that's a coat, a key ring, or a 'set of eyelashes.'" The organisation also debunks the idea that the fur is simply brushed off the minks and is cruelty-free, countering with "these animals are naturally scared of humans (rightfully so), and being forcefully held by a human who's pulling on their fur would, at best, be terrifying for them."
So, now we know to avoid mink eyelashes, but are there vegan, faux-fur, and completely cruelty-free options available? You bet.
Some beauty ecommerce sites, like False Eyelashes, have entire sections dedicated to "cruelty-free lashes" and include brands like Eylure, Lash Unlimited, Koko Lashes, and House of Lashes, the latter of which only makes its lashes out of 100-percent synthetic fibres (for vegans) or sterilised human hair. Additionally, House of Lashes also has a vegan lash adhesive that's made with 100-percent acrylics and not a single animal product. Other popular beauty brands that offer synthetic options include Unicorn Cosmetics, E.l.f. Cosmetics, Eldora, and Morphe, which offers a variety of shapes and sizes on Cult Beauty
Is there a place to check if your lash purchase is synthetic and not harming any animals? Sure — ethical watchdog websites such as Leaping Bunny curate comprehensive lists of products that are cruelty-free, and you can cross check them with the Vegan Society UK to make sure it is a completely vegan product. Read on to shop some of our favourite vegan false eyelashes.