A woman is suing a cosmetics company with many celebrity customers, claiming that its false eyelashes, which contain mink fur, are falsely made as “cruelty-free” when in fact they were made in China in a way that abuses the semiaquatic mammals.
“The animals often show signs of extreme mental stress, such as frantic circling and self-mutilation, and suffer from infections, lacerations, and other illnesses and injuries that often go untreated,” said Haylee Woodard’s proposed Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against El Lilly Lashes LLC, based in Segundo.
Woodard’s allegations of lawsuits include false advertising, consumer fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of express warranty and negligent misrepresentation. Woodard is seeking an injunction against Lilly Lashes’ alleged manufacturing practices, as well as a refund to all class members who purchased mink lashes from April 2018 to date in the lawsuit filed Tuesday.
A Lilly Lashes representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Lilly Lashes sells cosmetics, including false eyelashes, eyeliner and mascara, through the company’s website as well as retail outlets such as Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Amazon.com, and primarily targets young people through social media, the lawsuit alleges.
Lilly Lashes has 2.4 million followers on Instagram and claims that Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Rihanna and Lady Gaga are “just a few of the A-list celebrities who have rocked the red carpet with their Lilly Lashes.” it says in the suit.
The company’s founder is Lilly Ghalichi, a former reality television personality who appeared on Bravo Network’s “Shahs of Sunset,” the lawsuit alleges.
Woodard began purchasing Lilly Lashe’s mink lashes from various locations in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, paying $19 to $24 for each product, the lawsuit alleges.
“At the time of purchase … (Woodard) believed the mink was ‘cruelty-free,'” but she would not have purchased the items had she known of the processes allegedly used to manufacture them, the lawsuit states.
“Although Lilly Lashes markets its lashes as ‘cruelty-free,’ it knows their lashes are made in a way that is harmful to animals,” the lawsuit reads, citing a May 2020 article published in People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals website that the mink fur used to make mink lashes comes from animals “confined in cramped wire cages that are often encrusted with litter.”
When the mink pelt is ready to be harvested, farmers commonly use the cheapest available killing methods – including gassing, electrocution and dislocation of the neck – before skinning the animals’ bodies, the suit said.
“Cruelty to animals is clearly an important issue for customers of Sephora, Lilly Lashes and other brands that market products to young female consumers,” the lawsuit states.
Lilly Lashes also posts fake customer reviews on its website, actually written by its own employees, to trick shoppers into buying the lashes, and markets some of its mink lashes as “vegan,” according to the lawsuit.
“The defendants continue to engage in deceptive practices and as a result, unwary consumers are being hurt by unlawful conduct by (Lilly Lashes) on a daily basis,” the lawsuit reads. Woodard could buy the products again if they didn’t contain mink and were properly labeled, the lawsuit says.