makeup looks

How to Use an Eyelash Curler the Right Way

Get the lash look you want by making the best of this simple tool.
August 24, 2022
How To Use An Eyelash Curler


There’s nothing quite like the appearance of curled eyelashes — especially as a starting point to a dramatic, fanned-out lash look. But if curling eyelashes isn’t as easy as putting on your favorite mascara, then it’s time to add an eyelash curler to your makeup bag

We know what you may be thinking: It’s an old, well-known tool you haven’t invested in for a reason. But eyelash curlers really make a difference for your lashes — it’s all about knowing the proper way to use one.

The thing is, if you’ve never learned how to use an eyelash curler before, you may not be sure how to make it a part of your daily makeup look. You may have even heard rumors about how lash curlers can damage or harm your lashes — but we all know how reliable rumors are. And if you’re just learning how to apply eye makeup, you’ll soon find out that a curler is a must-have. 

Luckily, a lash curler is actually pretty easy to use. Below, we’re spilling trade secrets on how to curl eyelashes and upgrade your eye makeup routine.

How to Choose the Right Eyelash Curler for You

Before you can start to use an eyelash curler like a pro, you need to find the right tool for you. Not all eyelash curlers are created equal so make sure you have one that serves your needs. Here’s how to find it:

1. Understand Your Lash Type

The same way you choose the best mascara based on your lash type, you should make your lash type a priority when choosing the type of eyelash curler. Some of us get short, straight lashes, some people have long lashes that fall, and then there are the folks who clearly performed the most selfless act of kindness in a past life who end up with long, curled lashes that have lift (yeah, we can’t stand them either). The point is, your eyelash curler should be effective in serving your lash needs and this will depend on your lash type.

2. Do Your Research

Don’t feel like you have to buy the first eyelash curler you lay your eyes on. While eyelash curlers will differ across brands, they also differ across function. You may decide that you want to invest in a heated eyelash curler over a traditional eyelash curler. Heated eyelash curlers can also be really beneficial if you have overly curly lashes and need to stretch them out a bit to get your desired lash look.

3. Test Your Options

Once you decide on the type of lash curler you want, try out different options. Luckily, beauty stores typically have these tools available to try before you buy. That way, you’re not stuck with an item for which you have no practical use. 

Are Eyelash Curlers Bad?

An eyelash curler is an effective tool for giving you a lifted and curled lash look that can be enhanced by mascara. There’s no such thing as a bad-acting eyelash curler (in the context that they mistreat your lashes), there are just bad practices and techniques for using them. 

If you’re not using your eyelash curler the right way or under the right conditions or you use a dirty lash curler, there could be negative consequences (we’re looking at your eye infections). But overall, eyelash curlers aren’t bad for your lashes. 

The Right Way To Use An Eyelash Curler

Get the dramatic lashes of your dreams with these tips on how to use an eyelash curler the right way, and mimic what the pros do.

1. Always Use a Clean Tool

Eyelash curlers need to be cleaned, just like your makeup brushes do. Neglecting to clean your curler can lead to an eye infection — so make sure to add your eyelash curler to your list of makeup tools that are due for a cleaning. You can simply wash it with soap and water, or waterproof makeup cleanser like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types, for a clean, blank slate.

2. Curl Your Lashes Before Mascara

Do you use an eyelash curler before or after mascara? Well, you should always curl your lashes prior to applying mascara — not after. Not only can working in the opposite order lead to a dirty lash curler, but curling after can actually crack your lashes in the process since mascara makes your lashes stiffer. This is why eyelash curlers can sometimes get the rep for being bad for your lashes. It’s not the curler, it’s how you’re using it.

3. Don’t Forget to Curl Upward

A lot of the time, people forget to clamp their lash curler over their lashes and to gradually work the curler upward, but you don’t want to skip this step. Doing this will give your lashes an instant lash lift along with some curl — not to mention it will keep your eyelashes curled for longer.

4. Don’t Keep the Same Curler Forever

Generally, lash curlers aren’t the type of product you can keep forever and never replace. Over time, the pads that help curl your lashes wear out, and you’ll notice your curl isn’t quite as nice. You can buy replacement pads for some eyelash curlers, which lets you keep your curler for the long haul, but others might require buying a whole new lash curler altogether.

Does Curling Your Eyelashes Damage Them?

Using an eyelash curler shouldn’t damage your eyelashes as long as you’re doing it the right way. If you’re using a heated eyelash curler and leaving it on too long then you could potentially cause heat damage to your fringe. Follow the instructions for temperature control and don’t overdo it and you won’t need to worry that you’ll lose your lashes in an attempt to make them curled and lifted.


How to Add a Lash Curler to Your Makeup Routine

Now that you know the basics on what to do and what not to do with your curler, let’s get into incorporating it into your daily makeup routine. Follow these steps for curled lashes and an easy eye makeup look.

1. Clean Your Lashes

Remember, it’s best to begin with clean, bare lashes (this is especially important if you use a heated eyelash curler). Curling lashes that are already coated in mascara can leave you with a crusty, gunky curler, making it harder to use. Since we’re sure we can all agree that’s a situation worth avoiding, give your lashes a quick wipe down — to remove any mascara residue — before grabbing your lash curler.

2. Curl Your Lashes

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 base of your lashes as you can without pinching your eyelid. Close the clamp on your eyelashes, and hold it for five to seven seconds. After you release, walk the eyelash curler out and repeat once in the middle of your lashes and once at the tips for a complete curl.

3. Add Your Eye Makeup

If you’re going for a no makeup, makeup look, feel free to skip this step. Otherwise, you’ll want to apply eyeshadow and eyeliner before mascara, or you could end up with lashes covered in eyeshadow fallout — and that’ll just add more time to your makeup routine. 

Sweep on a neutral shadow from the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow collection, then use the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner for a simple top lash line or to create a trendy winged liner look

Finally, grab a lash primer, like the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara Primer/Base and give your lashes a swipe before you layer on your L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara. Place the brush at the base of your lashes, then gently sweep up to the tip, being sure to completely coat each lash.

Next: 13 Drugstore Mascaras That Will Replace Your Luxury Faves

Written by: Shalwah Evans, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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