If you’re like me, having lash extensions connect you with “Flawless” on a personal level. You savour your extra ten minutes of sleep in the morning, rock the no-makeup look with confidence, and know that though lash extensions do not maketh the man, they do make you feel like a bit of a bombshell. But if you’re like me (before my days at Sugarlash PRO) you’ve never thought twice about what your lash extensions are made of.
Silk, faux mink, and real fur lash extensions are the most prevalent in the lash industry today, and differ from one another in texture, appearance, and weight. Understanding the variations between lash types and knowing what type of lash extension best suits your needs will not only make you an informed and responsible consumer, it’ll help you and your lash artist design the lash set you need to wake up every day looking and feeling flawless.
Surprisingly, most mink lashes aren’t made of mink, but of a synthetic material called PBT (or Polybutylene terephthalate). PBT is a polyester product, used in the production of swim and athletic wear, toothbrushes, and—of course—lash extensions.
Sugarlash PRO (faux) mink lashes are known for their natural, semi-matte appearance that resembles the look of natural lashes, and remarkably lightweight body. Mink lashes are modelled after real mink fur, so they’re the thinnest type of synthetic extension available. As a result, they’re often used in volume sets. Most of the extension body is tapered, so each lash weighs up to 30% less than a silk lash. Sought out for their incredibly natural look, mink lashes are ideal for those looking for extremely natural lash sets, people who have very fine natural lashes, and for traditional volume and mega-volume sets.
Silk lashes, like mink lashes, are made of a PBT material. What separates silk from mink lashes, however, is not their material, but their weight, finish, and overall shape.
Silk lashes have a much shorter taper than mink lashes—meaning the body of the lash stays thicker for longer—as well as a luxurious semi-gloss appearance. Because silk lashes have a thick, full body, they work best in dramatic lash sets, and are the most common lash type used in classic sets (traditional lash sets with one lash extension per eyelash). If you’ve ever had classic lashes, chances are you’ve had silk lashes.
Real fur lashes
While most of the lash extensions used in the industry are made of PBT, some luxury lash providers offer extensions made of real mink fur. Because these lashes are made of real fur, they’re arguably the softest, and most natural-looking extensions you can get. Mink fur is velvety soft, and tapers into a long, slim, and incredibly fluffy lash. Because real mink lashes obtain their curl through perming (before they’re applied), they relax as time goes on, and will likely require extra curling at home.
Real mink lash extensions are more of a luxury service, and are not offered by all lash artists. They’ll also cost you much more than a synthetic lash set, and be warned! If you have animal allergies, these lashes may not be for you.
Flat lashes are the newbies to the lash market, and so are not often talked about in the synthetic vs. real debate. Like other synthetic lashes, flat lashes are made from PBT, however, their unique flat base sets them apart from any other lash type. Most lash extensions have a circular base, but flat lashes, as the name suggests, have a flat base. This gives flat lashes a much thicker appearance than silk or mink, and offers the most dramatic lash look of any Sugarlash PRO lash extension.
Because of their shape, flat lashes cannot be used in volume sets. However, they can be added into hybrid sets (lash sets made with a mixture of volume fans and individual lash extensions) to create a textured lash look that’s fluffy and dramatic.
When thinking about what you’d like to get out of your lash set, speak with your artist about which type of lash extension is best for you. Not only will your synthetic and natural lashes impress her, you’ll know exactly what she’s saying when she recommends a blend of silk and flat classic lashes and why.
For more lash extension tips, try Can you apply strip lashes over lash extensions?