Personally, when it comes to buying any kind of cosmetics, the first thing my eyes are searching for is the description of ‘cruelty free’. Browsing the website of Unicorn Lashes, quirky and colourful make-up brush and false-eyelash company, a sigh of relief escaped my mouth. I discovered that the beautiful, fluttery lashes were not created through harm, and that I could buy them. As my fingers hovered over the ‘add to basket’ button, I stopped, confused. The eyelashes were described as ‘cruelty-free mink’, rather than faux. So, did that mean that they were fake mink? Or that they were claiming that they were real mink fur, obtained in a harmless way? Wanting to know more, I left a comment on the company’s Facebook page. They reply to everyone instantly, I thought, so I’ll have my answer pretty soon. Wrong. As the Unicorns carried on replying to other comments with less controversial undertones, mine remained ignored. However, that was until several other confused potential customers began to comment, stating that the company had informed them that they lashes were real fur, from a cruelty-free overseas company. They went on to say, laughably, that ‘the minks were brushed gently, in order to obtain the hair.’ Right.
This suggests that, as the eyelashes are made of fur, the minks are on a ‘cruelty-free’ fur farm. Does such a thing exist? Probably not. The fur industry hasn’t exactly got a cuddly reputation. Also, minks are fairly aggressive, solitary animals, meaning that they would fight and probably kill each other in a free-range environment. So, this suggests cages, which isn’t really the Ritz of the animal world. When it comes to the ‘gentle brushing’, I can barely brush my Toy Poodle without her trying to savage my arm, so the the imagery of a wild, solitary animal sat on somebody’s lap as they collect their fur seems slightly unbelievable. Investigations by Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) into allegedly harmless fur farms were, inevitably, not filled with minks being massaged and foxes having their nails painted. Companies that buy their fur from these places, I fear, are living in ignorant bliss, sprinkled with intense denial.
Some companies, larger, more extravagant ones, openly and unapologetically use fur in their products. This is unacceptable, yet clear. People know immediately NOT to buy. However, when it comes to Unicorn Lashes and other similar brands, the message is extremely confusing, potentially leading people to believe that their products were made without suffering when, in fact, it came with the same suffering involved when buying a fur coat. If you are going to sell cruelty for the sake of vanity, at least be honest about it. There is nothing worse than making money from suffering and then lying about it. Sadly, cruelty-free fur farms are just as real as unicorns.