Are vegan and cruelty-free eyelash extensions a thing?!
Who doesn’t want stunning, dramatic eyelashes? They’re the dressing to the windows of your soul. Yet so many eyelash extensions are made from animal byproducts and applied using harmful chemicals.
Fortunately, there’s a new revolution in the beauty industry: vegan and cruelty-free eyelash extensions. These don’t look like the brittle, plastic lashes on your child’s dolls. They’re soft and lightweight, with a flirtatious curl.
If you’re wondering what types of eyelash extensions exist for the ethical beauty fanatic, we’ve got you and your flashy lashes covered.
Types of Eyelash Extensions
No matter what type of eyelash extension you choose, you should know that many are made out of animal products. The most common types of eyelash extensions are made from:
Don’t fret yet! Manufacturers have gotten pretty inventive over the years.
Not all synthetic eyelash extensions look like tarantula legs. You can now get faux-mink and faux-fox lashes that are light and fluffy without the huge price tag or cruelty of fur-based lashes.
We’ll suggest some of our top cruelty-free and vegan choices below.
Temporary Lash Strips (aka “Falsies”)
Eyelash strips are a common and quick solution for a night on the town. They’re designed to be taken off at the end of the night.
You can find lash strips in clusters, individual lashes, or full strips. They’re held in place by a light, flexible adhesive or magnets.
Temporary eyelash adhesives may contain irritating chemicals. Avoid adhesives with parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and latex.
Cruelty-free, Latex-free, Paraben-free, Formaldehyde-free, Phthalate-free
The only reason House of Lashes can’t claim to be vegan is because they sell lashes made from human hair. However, they don’t sell any lashes made from animal products or byproducts, and they never test on animals.
Their clear eyelash glue includes minimally irritating adhesive and vitamin E to nourish the sensitive skin on your eyelids.
Their synthetic eyelashes are lightweight and reusable. They add a significant boost of volume to your natural eyelashes without weighing down your lids.
Ardell prides themselves on upending the eyelash industry by providing vegan and cruelty-free types of eyelash extensions. Their multi-pack comes with four different types of eyelash extensions so you can test various styles for any occasion.
Semi-Permanent Eyelash Extensions
Semi-permanent eyelash extensions are designed to be worn like your natural eyelashes. After application, you can sleep and shower with them on. You can also apply mascara to them if you’re a “go big or go home” kind of girl.
This type of eyelash extension doesn’t need to be removed. Your extensions will fall out with your natural lashes, which happens roughly every four to six weeks.
You can apply semi-permanent eyelashes at home, or have a technician do it for you at a salon. However, you may not get a say in the type of adhesive used by the technician.
Typically, semi-permanent eyelash extensions are adhered with a type of glue called cyanoacrylate (the same ingredient used in superglue). Cyanoacrylate is designed to bond a slick surface (the false eyelash) to a porous surface (your natural eyelash). Eyelash glue should never be applied to your skin.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), cyanoacrylate is an irritant. Many eyelash glues also contain toxic formaldehyde, which can cause allergic reactions and increase your risk of cancer. In fact, people without a formaldehyde allergy can develop one after exposure. Lastly, glues may include latex, which can be allergenic.
That’s why it’s always important to find a cosmetician who uses non-toxic eyelash glue. You can also purchase and bring your own glue to your cosmetician.
Boasting easy application and soft texture, Yegi’s faux-mink eyelash extensions are an excellent way to enhance shine and volume. This pack includes an array of thick and long eyelashes so you can get the right look for your style.
ILevel Labs Vegan Eyelash Extensions & Glue
Made from soft poly fiber, ILevel Lab heard the call for vegan eyelash extensions and stepped up to the plate. These lashes come in a wide range of sizes so you can decide on the amount of va-va-voom you desire.
Be sure to get their vegan eyelash glue to match. It’s black and formaldehyde and latex-free, making it ideal for people with sensitive eyes. It holds a strong bond for a lasting look.
Sew-In Eyelash Extensions
Sew-in eyelash extensions involve a surgical procedure. It’s intended for patients who struggle to grow their own eyelashes, like those affected by alopecia areata. A surgeon literally removes 20-40 hair follicles from the patient’s head, before transplanting them onto the eyelids.
Since your new eyelashes will grow like the hair on your head, you’ll need to trim them regularly. This procedure takes about two hours and is somewhat invasive, so most will only use it as a last resort.
Lash Growth Serums
Lash growth serums don’t have to be expensive or complicated. While Latisse, a prescription eyelash growth serum, is currently the only FDA-approved growth serum, there are a number of over-the-counter growth serums that strengthen lashes and improve volume.
A simple solution is using coconut oil for eyelashes, as its rich in lipids and peptides. These healthy fats add shine to your lashes while strengthening them. This protects them from breakage, allowing them to grow longer and stronger.
If you’re crafty, you can also DIY your own eyelash serum. Below are some vegan and cruelty-free options you can buy – but beware, lash serums don’t come cheap!
RevitaLash’s formula strengthens and conditions eyelashes for a healthy, natural look. Developed by physicians, this pricey serum improves flexibility and shine, preventing frustrating breakage. Years ago they made some updates to their original formula – which contained the dangerous chemical bimatoprost – to make it even safer for the delicate eye area.
Hydropeptide’s eyelash serum contains three forms of peptides that nourish not only your eyelashes, but the hair follicles as well. This formula is designed to be applied at bedtime and worn while you sleep. The result is a healthier, lusher spread of lashes.
What Type of Eyelash Extension Is Right for You?
It’s up to you to decide which option you’ll go with. But rest assured, there are vegan and cruelty-free options finally becoming available!
For the woman who only whips out the mega lashes on the weekends or for special events, you may find that eyelash strips are your best option. If you’re looking to enhance your overall look, try out semi-permanent lashes.
Women who have health conditions that prevent them from growing eyelashes, you may consider sew-in lashes, but growth serums are often the first option for women looking to grow longer lashes without using products every day.
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