How to Use an Eyelash Curler the Right Way

Plus, what to look for when you're buying an eyelash curler.

woman using eyelash curler

Considering the popularity of lash lifts and lash growth serums, people are clearly clamoring for fuller, longer, curlier lashes. So the ongoing ubiquity of the eyelash curler is also no surprise. It looks a bit like a medieval contraption, but this coveted beauty tool is found in makeup kits around the globe. Incorporating this device into your routine adds no more than a minute or two—and has a major payoff—as long as you know how to use an eyelash curler correctly.

Ready to add this little handy gadget to your regimen? Since using one for the first time can feel...intimidating, we're offering a step-by-step makeup tutorial on how to use an eyelash curler. But first, let's talk about what makes a good eyelash curler.

How to Choose the Best Eyelash Curler

"An eyelash curler takes your makeup look to the next level," says Dema Jaber, makeup artist and founder of Lash Star Beauty. "Using an eyelash curler helps elongate the lashes and points them up rather than straight out, making them appear much longer giving you a more open eye look and long full lashes."

But as with any product, some eyelash curlers are better than others. "Make sure that the curler you use has a rounded rubber pad in the base of the curler," says celebrity makeup artist AJ Crimson. The larger and softer the cushion, the better. This makes for a more comfortable usage experience, and it also helps protect your lashes from breaking under pressure.

Also, make sure that the curler opens and shuts easily and that it's comfortable to handle. Finally, the curvature should line up with your eye shape. The latter two qualities to look for in an eyelash curler will vary from person to person, so don't be afraid to shop around until you find the best option for your lashes.

Crimson recommends the following eyelash curlers:

How Often to Use an Eyelash Curler

Beauty experts say that it's safe to use an eyelash curler every day—with one caveat: Keep it clean. Wipe it with a makeup remover wipe after every use to prevent bacteria buildup that can lead to an eye infection. You should also replace the pad every three to six months.

How to Use an Eyelash Curler

Knowing how to use an eyelash curler is pretty simple, but there's definitely an art to the process. Follow this step-by-step eyelash tutorial and you'll nail those fluttering, Bambi-like lashes every single time.

Step 1: Start With Bare Lashes

A common mistake people make when using a traditional eyelash curler is that they apply mascara first. (If you're wearing adhesive falsies, apply them first and then curl them.) Jaber says you should always start with naked lashes for several reasons.

  • It prevents your eyelashes from sticking to the curler, which is likely to happen if you're already wearing mascara.
  • It prevents your lashes from clumping together or looking spidery.
  • It keeps your curler much cleaner in the long run.

Step 2: Look Down

"My trick to ensure you don't nip your eyelid when curling your lashes is to look down," says Jaber. She says that by looking down, you'll have easier access to your lash line and are less likely to nip your delicate eyelid skin.

Step 3: Gently Clamp Down

Bring the opened curler up to your lashes. The lashes should fall between the two clamps. Gently clamp down while making sure you don't have any skin between the clamps.

"If you feel a pinch, move the curler outward away from you," says Crimson. If all's clear, you can press more firmly. The goal is to get as close to your lash line as possible without accidentally nipping your skin.

Step 4: Hold and Pulse

Once comfortable, press down firmly (but not too hard) for about five seconds. Jaber recommends a gentle pulsing rhythm. Repeat all the above steps on your other eye.

Step 5: Apply Mascara

After both lashes are curled, it's time to go in with your favorite mascara. Apply as usual, making sure to get into the root of your lash all the way to the tip. If you want, you can use an eyelash comb afterward to further separate your lashes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I achieve a more dramatic effect with my eyelash curler?

    For a more striking effect, gently tilt the handle of your lash curler up while holding it on level with your lash line. This will create a larger angle to your curl, making it look more dramatic.

  • How do I clean my eyelash curler?

    Each time you use your eyelash curler, wipe the rubber pads with a cotton ball and 70% isopropyl alcohol to prevent bacteria from forming.

  • Should I use a heated eyelash curler?

    If your lashes are naturally straight, they might not keep the curl for very long. In that case, a heated eyelash curler could make the curl last longer and give your lashes a more defined look.

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