There are few beauty tools that are as immediately effective as an eyelash curler. Skin care is a long-term investment, and beauty products are hit or miss, but an eyelash curler makes a huge difference instantly. My long-but-poker-straight eyelashes are barely visible when I look head-on in the mirror, but an eyelash curler changes everything, lifting my lashes and making my eyes look so much wider and more awake than a solid eight hours ever could.
Not all eyelash curlers are created equally, however. Some will give you crimped lashes or an unflattering right-angle bend instead of the natural, glamorous-looking swoop we all crave.
“There are few things I look for in the perfect eyelash curler,” says Patrick Ta, celebrity makeup artist and creator of the eponymous makeup line. “A wide opening to reach every lash, a curler that sits comfortably on my almond shaped clients lash lines, and durability.” Before we show you the amazing tools that fit the bill, here’s everything you need to know about eyelash curlers:
Are eyelash curlers damaging?
“Lash curlers, when used correctly, aren’t damaging,” says Katey Denno, celebrity makeup artist. “A slight tug feeling on your lash roots is normal; pain is not.” Be sure to keep your hand still when curling as to not pull out lashes, and clean your curler with alcohol between uses. Our experts recommend using an eyelash curler before applying mascara, since mascara can stick to the tool, putting your eyelashes at a higher risk of getting stuck, pulled, or broken.
How often should you replace your eyelash curler?
“The pad must be changed after 6 months with daily use,” says Denno. Otherwise, the pad can lose its density or gain a ridge from repeated use that will make the curler less effective.
How to use an eyelash curler
Make sure the curler is clean. “You must clean with alcohol and let it dry thoroughly,” says Denno. Otherwise, bacteria or old mascara can build up on the tool.
Curl the entire length of your lashes. Don’t just clamp in one spot and move on: “For extreme curl, I like starting at the root and continuing to curl upwards towards the tips of the lashes,” says Ta. “It gives you the perfect lift!”
Give outer lashes some extra lift. Denno’s IG-famous trick for perfectly-curled lashes? “I like to pull the lash curler out a little bit, turning my wrist and the curler towards my nose and clamping again making sure the outer edges of the lash line get a secondary curl to get them up higher.”
Apply mascara. Like hairspray to a curling iron, mascara will lock in the curl. If you notice the curl falling after your mascara has fully dried, you can carefully, gently clamp the curler on your coated lashes: just be careful, since mascara will stick to the tool.