Whether you love them or hate them, fear them or embrace them, eyelash curlers are a major tool that when used properly can give you instant confidence in your lashes. You’ll want to show them off to the world and wonder why you never picked up a pair before.
So lets have a look at the ins and outs of the elusive eyelash curler and see if we can get to the bottom of their exact purpose and with any luck, put those fears of this weird contraption to bed once and for all!
The Invention of the Eyelash Curler
Back in the days when moving picture was gaining huge attention and the Hollywood starlets of the 1920s were beginning to make their statement on screen, make-up was every actress’s best friend. The trends of the time meant that eyes were a huge focus and with a lot of movies being shot silently, it was the eyes that emoted to the audience and conveyed the mood of the script. So of course, the “less is more” rule hadn’t really taken effect back then.
Make-up counters were appearing more locally and available to women everywhere and there was no longer a stigma attached to women who wanted to wear make-up. The femininity was being embraced and there were now fabulous stars to iconise and model after. That didn’t just stop at fashion, make-up trends were making their way into the mainstream and still to this day, the likes of Hollywood actresses, rock stars and supermodels pave the way in fashion, accessories and make-up.
So it is no shock to learn that the eyelash curler was developed and patented during the roaring twenties as mascara was doing the job on screen but on close ups or in person, the eyelashes needed a little more to bring the “Wow” factor. It was a great device as it showed off the person’s naturally enhanced eyelashes and was attainable to everyone that wanted to bring that Hollywood drama to their eyes. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t!
How does the Eyelash Curler Work?
The first eyelash curler actually hasn’t changed that much over time and you will see the same designs in most curlers on the market today. Well I suppose, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The device usually looks like the handles of scissors but with two angled pads at the end that are designed to clamp onto the upper eyelashes and give them more lift. There are heated versions, but these of course carry more risk and can cause damage to the lashes as well as the surrounding skin or the eyes if used improperly.
Now although the eyelash curler relies on pressure to create un upward lift of the eyelashes, being gentle is the only way forward with this device or the only outcome will be loss of some eyelashes and pinching if you use it too close to the eyelid. So remember to clamp the lashes as close to the lid as possible for about 5-10 seconds and then slowly release. Continue this motion until you are nearer the tip of the eyelashes and the end result will be a classic upward curl ready for you to apply your favourite mascara.
The thing with all unfamiliar routines like this is that you may not get it right the first time. Your angles may be off and you may have to get past that initial blinking reaction when getting closer to your eye with this strange contraption! But as with everything we do, practice makes perfect and once you get to grips with your eyelash curler, you will become an expert in no time.
The DOs and the DON’Ts
DO invest a decent eyelash curler. I’m not saying to spend through the roof on a new device but make sure you are investing in quality as you want your eyelashes to appear longer, not lose them.
DO learn to work with your eyelashes. All lashes vary in shape, some are more curved and some are straighter. Work with your angles so you end up with a natural looking curve and not harsh looking eyelashes.
DO read the instructions before use! It may seem quite simple to use but different eyelash curlers do slightly different things depending on how they are made. If they have little pads to cushion your eyelashes, find out what they are made of.
DO clean your eyelash curler properly. They will collect oils and residue and the pads in the curler will need changing from time to time. More-so if you don’t look after them properly. Bacteria can collect in the pads of the eyelash curler too, so cleaning will help prevent any nasty infections.
DON’T Apply mascara before using your eyelash curler. This is the fastest route to damaged eyelashes. If you forget to use your curler before applying mascara and are dead set on lifting those lashes, gently remove your mascara, condition and start again. It will be worth the extra time when you see how healthy your lashes remain to be.
DON’T forget to condition your eyelashes. Using an eyelash conditioning serum to keep your lashes looking and feeling healthy as well as encouraging growth and strength will pay off massively in the long run, especially if you are putting your lovely lashes under the strain of an eyelash curler.
DON’T be afraid of your eyelash curler, hold it right and get to grips with how much pressure you need to apply and you will avoid catching your skin when clamping.
Curling Your Eyelashes for Different Eye Shapes
So, this may not have even crossed your mind, but your eye shape is very important when thinking about curling your eyelashes. As much as we would all love naturally longer and fuller looking eyelashes, none of us want to end up with that plastic doll look where eyelashes end up looking like a huge block above the eyelid! So if you are already very wide-eyes, curling all of your lashes up to the lid could mean you end up with this exact look.
You could also end up buying the eyelash curler that doesn’t fit your eye shape, and therefore cause more damage or at best, just not reach the lashes that matter. It’s good to be kind and fair to your lashes by understanding your own personal eye shape and what you should do with your curler to give you the best enhancement without ending up looking over the top and keeping those eyelashes in top form!
Almond shaped eyes tend to have a naturally longer lash line and are more angled toward the outside edge. A lot of curlers are symmetrical and have a basic curve with a “one size fits all” selling point. But if your eyelashes already have the outer length, you may find these difficult to use as you won’t be able to grab all of your lashes at once or may accentuate the curve in the wrong place.
If you have rounder and larger eyes, then buying an eyelash curler with a deeper and smaller radius should be your option to avoid pinching of the skin in the middle and also so you can catch even the smallest outer/baby eyelashes. Deeper set eyes would suit the opposite as the length of lashes may already be there, but a deeper curve may end up missing the main bulk of the eyelashes toward the centre of the eye.
If you are buying an eyelash curler that is universal, consider whether your eyes have a more typical shape or not, if your eyelashes already have length and curl or if you need your curler to do more for you. A great universal eyelash curler is the Xlash Eyelash Curler, which combines velvet soft grips, a wide radius and a sleek look and is a fantastic option for all eye shapes.
Curl Your Way to Fantastic Eyelashes
I barely leave the house without adding a little move curve to my eyelashes these days. So I definitely think that given the change to read through the right information and make sure you are doing it properly, curling your eyelashes is the best way to enhance them temporarily The best thing about it is that if you go wrong, it doesn’t last forever!
The key is to keep those lashes nourished and conditioned throughout any make-up or enhancing routine you have. It is like moisturising your skin each day. You know it keeps your skin in healthy condition and that the natural ingredients are there to help and not hinder. So treat your eyelashes the same before reaching for the curler.
And remember, it make look like a medieval torture device the first time your get on in your grips, but it can become a staple in your make up kit if you let it, and soon enough you will have the lashes you deserve!