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Makeup Memo: love your lash curler

October 21, 2011 Reviewed by admin 9 Comments
Truth #8

Curling eyelashes makes you look younger.

So many women are afraid of curling their lashes.  Be it a bad prior experience having pinched some skin, or just a general fear of metal contraptions near their sensitive eyes. Women often look at me with panic when I pull out the eyelash curler, but those eyelash-raising, torturous looking devices have big benefits. So I never capitulate on the subject because curling lashes is an essential part of creating beautiful makeup.

Just the simple act of curling your lashes will open up your peepers, making you look more alert. When eyelashes swoop upward, they appear longer and your eyes look more open.  Those two effects combined result in a younger looking you.  Whenever I discuss what makes someone look more youthful, I always reference babies.  Think of their long lashes and perky, bright eyes.  As we age, our features begin to lose that freshness; eyes seem to droop a bit more and lashes are less luscious.  Using makeup to your advantage can help fool the eye and cheat some years off your face.

In six seconds your eyes can go from dull to lively with just the squeeze of a lash curler.  First you need the right curler, and then you need to know the right technique.  There is a way to do it without hurting yourself while achieving maximum results.

Sub-truth: Not all eyelash curlers are created equal.

It really is worth the money to buy a more expensive curler.  For years, Shu Uemura’s has been touted as the gold standard, but now they are only available for purchase online.

The lash curler I currently use in my kit is by Kevyn Aucoin, and I love that the rubber pad comes in a fun red.

Other good options include the one from MAC, Japonesque and Sephora brand.

That’s pretty much it.  I’ve yet to find a drugstore version that I think does the job.  Just because something costs more money, as we all know, doesn’t mean it will work well, either.  So if I haven’t listed it here, most likely I tried it and didn’t like it.

If you have a small lid space or eyelashes that droop in the outer corners, a curler like this one from Japonesque can be really useful for getting into trickier places.  Because the band size is smaller, it takes a few times to get to the entire lash line.

Heated curlers are something I have not really gotten into because I feel they are not nearly as effective. Although they are manufactured for safe use around the eye area, I personally don’t like the warm sensation near the eyeball.


Always curl lashes before mascara! Otherwise you risk breaking off eyelashes and gunking up your lash curler, which will make it impossible to use properly.

If you look into the mirror with your nose up, making your eyelids lower, it’s easier to scoop into the lash line with the curler and your eyes won’t dry out as quickly, which will prevent you from blinking a lot.  For maximum effect you want to get as close to the roots as possible without pinching your skin.  It’s best to do a very light squeeze before really clamping down to make sure it’s safe to press harder.  Then clasp down with the curler very firmly for three full seconds. Your goal is to create a beautiful curve, so you’ll have to determine how hard you need to squeeze your lashes to get them standing upward just enough, without creating an L shape kink in them.  Be sure to fully release the eyelashes and open up the curler before pulling it away from your eye.


Eventually the springs and the rubber pad on the curler will wear down.  All good curlers come with a replacement rubber pad, which should be swapped out every 6-9 months.  A quality eyelash curler will last, with daily use, around a year and a half.

It’s important to clean the curler every so often so bacteria is not collecting on it day after day and going into your eye.  Just a cotton swab with a bit of witch hazel will do the trick or a quick rinse in soapy water.  Just make sure to leave it out to dry in an open position so you don’t get rust.
  • May 31, 2018

    by Lilla

    It's also true that one should be careful with a curler. A friend of mine was curling her eyelashes so much that they got damaged. I suggested her Cherish Lash serum and she restored them in 2 months. As to me I curl just a little with a spoon and don't put too many layers of mascara.

  • June 4, 2012

    by Emilia R

    Ok, I'm professing my ignorance in the lash curling department. While I have straight lashes (& not nearly as luxurious as I'd like), I've always just dealt with them b/c most curlers are just too dang big!
    I notice that the Shu Uemera brand is on everyone's lips.
    Before I shell out the dough to order up my own, would someone please dish the deets on what makes those leaps & bounds better than others? (Particularly for anyone dealing w/ similar lash/eye issues.)

  • January 16, 2012

    by Kristen Arnett

    Hello to all and sorry to be so late in the conversation. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. To answer as many questions at possible let me say that if you find your method of curling and the brand you use to be effective, then great! As long as you are getting a great curl, that's really all that matters. Regarding damage over time, I have been curling my eyelashes for years and haven't noticed any problems, nor have I heard from others they have. So as long as you treat your lashes with care (and don't rub and tug on your eyes) all should be well.

  • November 4, 2011

    by Ozana

    Hi, thaks for the tutorial. I was however wondering whether curling eyelashes every day does not damage them in time? Or even when you do it once? Thanks. O

  • October 29, 2011

    by Mary

    I've never tried anything but my Shu Uemera, but I love it!

  • October 27, 2011

    by Susan Seyler

    Hi Kristen,
    Great post as usual. I was wondering if you might add the Shiseido lash curler to your list. I admittedly haven't used one in quite some time, but word was that they were made by the same company that made the Shu Uemura curlers and I used to use them interchangeably, not being able to tell the difference unless I looked at the imprint. If that's still the case, they might be an easier to locate sub for our precious Shu.

  • October 22, 2011

    by spo

    Right you are, Ali - my feelings exactly! I too use the Hot Lashes kit and love it! It is a really good quality curler, as you said.

    I have long straight lashes too and I love the look I get from Hot Lashes.

  • October 21, 2011

    by Ali

    ~ Thanks for your wonderful post~! I love all articles about eyelashes, makeup, mascara, as I have really straight lashes and when curled makes my eyes look Hugh.

    The best ever heated eyelash curler I have ever found is the Hot Lashes eyelash curler, makeup Artist kit. I love sharing with others about great products.

    Loved the reviews on Amazon and was impressed. There is also a site of the same name Hot Lashes.

    This curler is exactly like the Shu Uemura curler with a 24k gold plated curler and this small heater base. Keeps my lashes curling till the next day. and my eyes pop... HTH~

  • October 21, 2011

    by spo

    Great article on eye lash curlers! I kind of like the heated ones, though. You use them the same way as the standard curler and it really is only warm - not at all dangerous and the curl lasts forever. The pinching, which can be a problem with any curler, is still there though.

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