Creating a killer party look usually means focusing on the eyes, and false lashes are often the weapon of choice. But not all faux fringes are created equal: most are either made from a synthetic material (usually a heavy plastic industrial compound), sanitized human hair (which looks natural but can be coarse or thick), or real mink fur (soft and lightweight, but can be inhumanely procured). None are exactly our first choice to put on our peepers.

Enter Denver-based Battington Lashes. Launched in November 2015 by CEO and founder Sirine Swed, these 100 percent handmade silk lashes are lightweight, hold their curl, are cruelty-free—and look natural.

Swed, a former vice president of sales for a pharmaceutical company, dreamed up Battington when she realized just how much damage extensions did to her own lashes. Between the medical-grade glue and application process (they’re applied directly to your lashes), Swed says her lashes fell out after she stopped getting extensions, and required a full year to grow back. She decided it was time to find a solution that was more wallet-friendly (extensions start around $180 and cost roughly $65 every two weeks for maintenance), less time-consuming, and safer for your eyes.

Battington has only been on the market for a year, but the brand is already an international hit. More than 200 retailers carry the products worldwide, plus the lashes—named after 20th century beauty icons (think Kennedy, Harlow, Hepburn)—have been embraced by industry pros: They’re regularly used in magazine photo shoots and were one of just two lash companies used backstage at New York Fashion Week this past September.

The best part is that Battington lashes are easy to apply and reusable (up to 25 applications). Here, Swed gives us a step-by-step guide for donning the feathery fringes, plus some tips to make them look as natural as possible.

How To Apply

  1. Do your full makeup, including your eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara. You don’t want to put mascara on the false lashes; applying it first helps the lashes last longer.
  2. Measure the lashes against your eye and trim down any excess (one-size does not fit all!).
  3. Apply the glue (try Duo). The key is to put a very thin line along the lash band (using more does not mean the lashes will stick better). Another tip that Swed says makes a big difference is waiting 30 seconds before putting the lashes on.
  4. If you don’t get the lashes positioned perfectly, don’t worry—you can always move them around. Remember: Practice makes perfect!

Sirine Swed before (left) and after (right), wearing Battington’s Harlow 3D silk lashes ($26).

Swed’s Tips

  • Eyeliner is the key to hiding the lash band. Go back over the band and eyeliner to make sure it’s all blended. Swed says they have received requests from makeup artists to create a lash with an invisible band, and that’s something they’re working on.
  • Most people think of applying lashes when they’ve got a full eye look on, but Swed also says that you can use false lashes with no makeup to open up the eye. To nail this look, avoid a really dramatic lash and instead try a more natural-looking one like the Earhart ($24).
  • “I think the reason mink became so popular was because they not only give you length, but volume as well,” says Swed. “That’s why we have 3D Silk Lashes; instead of the hairs placed straight across the band, which just gives length, the 3D Silk are kind of scattered on top of each other to give both length and volume. Think about what kind of look you’re going for and choose accordingly.”

Try it: Find Battington lashes at local retailers or online; $24–$26

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