Ask a Beauty Editor: How to Use a Heated Eyelash Curler—and the 4 Best to Try

Upgrade your lash curl game.

Close-up of extended eyelashes
Photo: Yoshiyoshi Hirokawa/Getty Images

Ever wanted to pick the brain of a beauty editor? Or get beauty product recommendations from someone who has tried them all? You've come to the right place. In our weekly series, beauty editor Hana Hong answers your biggest skincare, hair care, and makeup questions, all submitted by Real Simple readers. Tune in every Tuesday and submit your own burning beauty questions here for a chance to be featured.

Reader question: "Can you recommend the best heated eyelash curlers, and how to use them? Are they safe to use?" —Cristy Briones

Using a regular eyelash curler looks tortuous enough, so using a heated eyelash curler can feel extra intimidating. But much like regular hair, eyelash hair simply refuses to listen sometimes—and when that happens, it's time to bust out the heat.

Think of it like a curling iron—a bit of heat can help better shape your lash hair for a longer-lasting hold. "Heated eyelash curlers are ideal for creating a more defined lift and prolonging a curl, especially people who can't seem to hold one," says makeup artist Beck Wainner.

And the best part? Any lash type can use it. "Anyone who wants to achieve a curled lash can (and should) turn to a heated lash curler," says Cindy-Paula Rodriguez, consulting makeup artist for Grande Cosmetics. "They're great for people who have super straight lashes or unruly curly lashes since the heat will give the lashes some discipline."

However, with any heat comes heat damage, so it's especially important to proceed with caution. (Not to mention eyelash hair is especially wispy and delicate, so you're dealing with very delicate territory.)

The most important thing to consider is the heat setting. Rule of thumb: If it burns your skin, it shouldn't be used on your lash hair. "It's important to choose a heated eyelash curler that reaches the perfect level of heat, even on its highest setting," says Rodriguez. "Just like applying heat to your hair, if applied in excess, you can damage your lashes."

Before using any heated curler, gently run the comb along your fingertips to get a feel for the temperature. Some curlers will have one set temperature that's deemed safe for your lashes, but others will have different temperature options, so you'll have to adjust as needed.

"You also want to look for an eyelash curler that has safety features to protect the skin on your eyelid from direct heat contact," says Rodriguez. Unlike a traditional eyelash curler, a heated eyelash curler is shaped like a wand with a heated comb tip and has no clamp. That means that no skin-pinching or unsightly crimping will occur when using one, but it also means your skin is more vulnerable to heat exposure.

And whatever you do, never use a heated eyelash curler after applying mascara. "This is a BIG no," says Wainner. "It will melt your mascara, make your lashes susceptible to breakage, and make it obvious where you used the curler on your lashes."

But don't let all that scare you! While the idea of applying hot temperatures so close to your eyeballs might make you raise an eyebrow, heated eyelash curlers are perfectly safe to use when used correctly. I wouldn't leave your lashes hanging (straight)—so I put together a makeup artist-approved tutorial for curling lashes with a heated eyelash curler.

How to Use a Heated Eyelash Curler

  1. Start with clean lashes. Wet or damp lashes will not sustain the curl and will make them fall back to their original shape.
  2. Curl your lashes with a normal eyelash curler (if desired). Using both types of curlers can help achieve maximum lift.
  3. Choose a temperature setting that best suits your lashes and comfort level. It's best to start on the lowest setting, then increase only if needed.
  4. Place the lash curler close to the base of the lash and slowly pull the curler upward along the lashes (like you're ironing your lashes against your lid) for at least 10 seconds, so that the heat can penetrate.
  5. Repeat this motion until you have the desired amount of lift and curl. You may need to go over some spots multiple times.
  6. To seal in your curled lashes, comb through them and finish off with a few coats of your favorite mascara.

Best Heated Eyelash Curlers

Looking for a few recommendations? Here are some editor- and expert-approved favorites.

01 of 04

Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH-LIFT Heated Lash Curler

heated-eyelash-curler-Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH-LIFT Heated Lash Curler

This gentle yet effective tool delivers just the right amount of heat to coax your lashes into its most curled, fluttery state. Also important: The head has a grooved safety slot design that prevents it from coming into direct contact with the eyelid.

02 of 04

Acavado Heated Eyelash Curler

heated-eyelash-curler-Acavado Heated Eyelash Curler

An Amazon favorite, this eyelash curler is unlike other heated curlers due to its wider comb, which is ideal for getting every lash at every angle. The temperature-controlled function means your lashes won't break off, and it delivers thermal heating in just seven seconds so you don't have to wait too long for it to ready up.

03 of 04

TRIIR Heated Eyelash Curler

heated-eyelash-curler-TRIIR Heated Eyelash Curler

With three temperature settings for different eyelash types, this heated curler works for everyone—use the lower setting for fine, thin lashes and the higher setting for thicker, stiffer lashes. Its double head combines a traditional curler with an eyelash comb that you can use to brush away the eyelashes for a natural-looking curl. Bonus: The heated part has an arch design that better fits the natural curve of your lashes (read: great for heated lash curler newbies).

04 of 04

Lash Star Heated Lash Styler

heated-eyelash-curler-Lash Star Heated Lash Styler

A flash drive that converts into a heated eyelash curler, this handy device is easily charged almost anywhere, thanks to the attached USB port.

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