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How to Use an Eyelash Curler Without Damaging Lashes

Get the lash look you want by making the most of this simple tool.
October 23, 2023

There’s nothing quite like the appearance of curled eyelashes — especially as a starting point for a dramatic, fanned-out lash look. But if curling your eyelashes isn’t as easy as putting on your favorite mascara, then it’s time to add an eyelash curler to your makeup bag. An eyelash curler is a well-known beauty tool you probably haven’t thought too much about in terms of proper use past watching your friend or a beauty influencer on social media use one. 

If you’ve never learned how to use an eyelash curler before, you may skip adding it to your daily makeup look altogether. However, it’s a useful tool that takes your lashes and makeup look to the next level. Luckily, a lash curler is actually pretty easy to use. Below, learn all you need to know about eyelash curlers including how to curl eyelashes to upgrade your eye makeup look.

How to Add a Lash Curler to Your Makeup Routine

Getting right into it, here learn how to use an eyelash curler and the best way to incorporate it into your daily makeup routine. Follow these simple 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. Give your lashes a quick wipe down — to remove any lingering mascara residue from a past makeup look or eye crusties — 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, gently move the eyelash curler out towards the middle of your lashes and repeat the clamping method 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 L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow collection, then use L’Oréal Paris Infallible Grip Precision Felt Waterproof Eyeliner for a simple line of makeup on your 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.

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. Curl Your Lashes Before Mascara

The age-old question — do you use an eyelash curler before or after mascara — has caused many makeup beginners to accidentally damage their lashes for years. To confirm, you should always curl your lashes before applying mascara — not after. 

Not only can working in the opposite order lead to a dirty lash curler, but curling after can actually make your mascara flake in the process since some mascara dries very stiff. 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.

2. Don’t Forget to Curl Upward

When using an eyelash curler, make sure you gently clamp the curved, padded part of the lash curler over your natural lashes and gradually work the curler upward. Doing this will give your entire row of lashes an instant lash lift along with some curl — not to mention it will keep your eyelashes curled for longer.

3. 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 makeup-removing cleansing wipes like L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes for a clean, blank slate. These wipes will remove all traces of makeup, dirt, oil and bacteria for an impurity-free eyelash curler, ready to lift lashes. 

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.

How Often Should You Use an Eyelash Curler?

You can use an eyelash curler once a day before adding mascara to your lashes. However, like with any beauty product, you should consider giving your eyelash curler a break every now and then to maximize its longevity. When it comes to the health of your lashes, it’s okay to use an eyelash curler daily because lashes are growing and shedding constantly. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), it’s normal to lose between one and five lashes per day. 

If you do use an eyelash curler daily, make sure you keep your tool clean and replace the rubber pad in the curler after three months of constant use. This will limit bacteria spreading and offer you the best-curled lashes possible.


Does Curling Your Eyelashes Damage Them?

An eyelash curler is an effective tool for giving you a lifted and curled lash look that can be enhanced by mascara. If you’re not using your eyelash curler for its intended purpose or you use a dirty lash curler, there could be negative consequences (aka eye infections). But overall, eyelash curlers aren’t bad for your lashes. 

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 eye 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.

Next: The 10 Best Waterproof Mascaras That Won’t Smudge or Budge

Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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