The Big Lie ... What does Mink Really Mean?

Have you ever pet a mink?  A ferret?  Maybe a bunny?  I have only pet ferrets and bunnies, and I can tell you that they are pretty soft and cuddly.  I always imagined that petting a mink would be quite similar experience that I have yet to experience.

As a new lash artist, I was impressed when I purchased "Grade A 100% Mink Lashes" from another company.   I switched all my trays over.

My customers noted the softness of my new lashes, and my clientele continued to grow and grow.  Within a year, I hired 5 more lashers and I was ready for the next adventure - Making my own product line!  

What I am about to tell you is going to shock you.  

I couldn't believe it.  All the manufacturers of lashes said that "Mink" and "Silk" were all made from the same material.  PBT.  Plastic.  They showed me sample packaging from various manufacturers that promised "Real Mink", "Genuine Mink", "Natural Mink" and they were all made from PBT.  To prove it, they sent me samples of "100% Siberian Mink" which is real hair.

The scientist in me was enthused!  I called up friends in Forensics, and tried to google "Hair Testing" methods!  I'm such a nerd!  In the end, the simplest way to prove to myself that these lashes were indeed plastic was to burn them with a match - near water of course!  So ... my lashers crowded around and we began the experiment.  First, it smelled like plastic.  Second, the lashes balled up and melted .... like plastic.  Have a look at this picture.  The deeper I burned it, the more the lashes balled up and melted.  I cut off the brand name to protect their privacy.

So I guess the manufacturers were telling the truth after all.  But how can it be that we, as an industry, let people falsely labelled products as "Genuine Mink" when they are indeed plastic?  

My challenge

Take your favourite "Mink" lash and isolate it onto a fireproof surface.  Have a bowl of water handy.  Do your own test! 

What about Silk Lashes?  And Cashmere Lashes?

I wish our industry had a standard where titles actually meant something.  All lashes are PBT, but sometimes the Mink or Silk or Cashmere could refer to the cut of the lash or the shine versus matte black.  We have tried to keep everything as simple as possible and use terms like BOLD lashes or FEATHERED lashes.  

As an experienced lash supplier, I hope this helps you understand lashes a little better.  We are always here to answer your questions!

Sandra Welch

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