Making it look like I got a full eight hours...
Like primers, setting sprays, or translucent powder skincare products, eyelash curlers don't get a lot of love. They offer no pigment or colour payoff and they're scarily clinical, thus usually hidden in the bottom corner of our makeup bags.
But my life (and face) changed for the better when I found an effective eyelash curler - no, they're not all the same. I've heard the legend of the Kevyn Aucoin curler for years, but I always wondered how different it could really be. After using it, though, I have to say: it really is exceptional. With other eyelash curlers I've picked up in high street stores and pharmacies, I've had to clamp down a handful of times before all my lashes were curling in the same direction, at the same height. But this gets the job done in one clamp.
What's more, after a few seconds of pressing my lashes between its springs, I looked more awake instantly. My dark circles appeared less intense, and my under-eye bags looked less puffy. All of a sudden, I wasn't horrified at the thought of going without mascara.
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Now, not a day goes by where I don't take 30 seconds to clamp my eyelashes into place. If I'm having a no makeup day: eyelash curler. If I'm going on a night out (remember those?): eyelash curler. In fact, eyelash curlers can now fulfil every last one of your false lash dreams. It doesn't matter how expensive your mascara may be - if you don't know use an eyelash curler, your mascara won't be able to reach its full potential.
The trouble is, most of us look at eyelash curlers and think, ‘What do I do with them?’ and ‘How do I not spoon out my eyeball by accident?’. Well, that's where we come in. In the interest of delivering the most seamless, long-lasting results (and nixing the risk of breaking or pulling out your lashes), we broke it down into a comprehensive guide. Below, our best advice for how to use an eyelash curler.
ALWAYS USE YOUR EYELASH CURLER BEFORE MASCARA
While some people may choose to break out their lash curler after they’ve already swept on a coat or two of mascara, you’re better off beginning with clean, bare lashes. Mascara coats your lashes, then dries, making the hairs harder and less flexible.
Curling lashes when they're in a stiff state can cause them to break or even pull them out - not to mention the state it will leave your eyelash curler in. Instead, always curl your lashes before applying mascara, and make sure your previous day's mascara is off your eyes completely — or you risk having your lashes stick to your curler, potentially tearing them out.
tilt your head
Everyone’s eye shape is different, but a good general step-by-step rule of thumb is to look into a mirror and position your head correctly. This will allow you to get the curler in place without accidentally pinching your eyelid (we've all done it, and none of us care to repeat it again).
To help avoid any curler-induced injuries, keep your chin up and tilt your head slightly back for the best angle.
GENTLY DOES IT
Start by holding the lash curler up to your eye. While your eye is open, open the curler. Place your lashes between the clamps, getting as close to the root of your lashes as you can without pinching your eyelid.
Close the clamp gently on your eyelashes and hold it for a few seconds. After you release, walk the eyelash curler out and repeat again in the middle of your lashes and once again at the tips for a complete curl. Easy, right?
pump it up
If the above method isn't working for you, don't fret. All lashes need a different amount of time to get a curl and make sure it stays. Some lashes can take up to 25 seconds in one curl action. Gently pumping the curler at the root is a really good way of avoiding any hard bends in the lash.
By not concentrating the bend on one area, you avoid an L shape and create the perfect, gentle curl. Once you've achieved the curl of your dreams, feel free to pile on as many coats of mascara as you want.
Yes, you should be cleaning your eyelash curler. Even if you're always curling your lashes before applying mascara, there's a chance that eyeliner, eyeshadow, bacteria, and dead skin cells can accumulate on it, which will not only make the tool less effective - it can lead to infection.
Once per week (or more if needed), soak your eyelash curler in soap and water. Wipe it down using a cotton pad or clean cloth to de-gunk it. Make sure the curler is totally dried before using it. Oh, and while you're at it - be sure to replace the small rubber pad inside your eyelash curler every few months too.
Over time, they start to wear out meaning your eyelash curler won't work as effectively and you risk harming your lashes with the curler's exposed metal. With some lash curlers, you can buy replacement pads so that you can keep your curler for the long haul, while others might require buying a whole new lash curler.
Main image by @thesabinakarlsson