Eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara are standard tools in any makeup kit. But makeup pros know that using an eyelash curler can further enhance your eyes by making them look wider and brighter. Inexpensive and easy to use, an eyelash curler is also safe if used properly. Read on for information about types of eyelash curlers and step-by-step instructions.
Eyelash Curler Options
There are two types of eyelash curlers — the conventional clamp-down kind and the newer heated eyelash curler. “Although manual or heated curlers can be used to curl the lashes, the effects are only temporary, from day to day,” notes lash stylist Twanna Smith, owner of Glam Eyelash and Brow Bar Salon in Duluth, GA.
Traditional eyelash curler.
This curler is metal and has the same kind of handles you’d find on a pair of scissors. The handles open and close a clamp that, when squeezed tight for a few seconds, produces the curl. The curling end has a rubber pad to protect delicate eyelashes from the metal clamp. The curler works by crimping your lashes up toward your brow, making them look longer and more pronounced. “Look for an eyelash curler that’s curved, not straight,” advises Candice Torres of Younique. “The curved base conforms well to the natural shape of the eye and can get closer to your lash line without pinching.” Be sure to choose a model with a good-sized pad to press against your lashes as well as a natural shaped handle, which will be easier to hold, she suggests. To avoid possible infection, you’ll want to replace the pad on the curler every two months. An eyelash curler typically costs between $5 and $25, depending on the brand and the store. Consider buying a replacement pack of the rubber pads at the same time.
Heated eyelash curlers.
Heated eyelash curlers are another option. Some use a small heated brush rather than a clamp to curl the eyelashes. You run the heated brush from the base of the lashes to the tip, working from the center of the eye out to the edges. Heated eyelash curlers cost from $10 to $20.
Step-by-Step Advice From the Pros
If you have one of the newer, heated curlers, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you prefer the traditional, inexpensive model, follow these tips to get the best curl.
Start with clean lashes.
For the best results, make sure to remove any old mascara from your eyelashes before you curl them. Old mascara can clog your curler or cause your lashes to clump, Torres explains, so it’s important to remove it. Use a gentle, oil-free eye makeup remover; any oil on the lashes would cause your new application of mascara to smudge. “The mascara will go on so much easier when your lashes are curled and more easily accessible,” Torres says. “I have naturally stick-straight lashes, so it’s hard to reach every little hair unless I curl them first.”
Next, do your eyelid makeup.
“Put your eyeshadow and liner on first, then curl your lashes and add your favorite mascara,” Torres says.
Clamp with care.
“Open the eyelash curler — and your eyes — and place your upper lashes between the padded base and the top,” Torres says. “Wiggle the eyelash curler into place, trying to get as close to your upper lash line/eyelid without pinching the skin. Don’t be scared — just go slowly if it’s your first time. “Close the clamp with the handle and gently squeeze in place for 10 to 15 seconds.”
To avoid a sharp bend and to create a natural curled look, gently release the curler and move it up the lash, away from the lid, by one or two millimeters, and again clamp the lashes for five to 10 seconds. Gently release the curler and repeat the process one or two more times, moving the curler up the lashes, closer to the end of the lashes each time.
You can repeat the process if you feel that your eyelashes are not sufficiently curled. Once you’re satisfied, add mascara. “In order to maintain the most curl, try to find a formula that’s not too wet or heavy,” Torres says.
You might need a little practice — to learn how to maneuver eyelashes through the clamp, how to comfortably clamp down, and how to use mascara to maintain that curl. But in very little time, you’ll create beautiful, long lashes with almost no effort.
Take Care of Your Lashes
You might have the best curler and mascara on the market, but it won’t help you if you don’t care for your lashes.
“The main problem with lashes is people tend to unconsciously fiddle with them, which can lead to shedding,” cautions dermatologist Lisa M. Donofrio, MD, associate clinical professor in the department of dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, and spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. ” Side sleepers may also repeatedly crush their lashes, which can lead to lash loss over time.”
Dr. Donofrio recommends talking to your dermatologist if your lashes seem sparse — you may be able to use a prescription or over-the-counter serum to spur lusher lash growth. Or, when a curler isn’t enough, eyelash extensions may be option, Smith suggests. These individual lashes, applied along your own lash line, can last for up to six weeks with the right care.