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For eyes that pop and lashes that bring the drama, a coat or two of mascara will, unfortunately, only get you so far. While we highly encourage beauty lovers to experiment with a range of formulas and wands for their wispies, we’d also implore you not to sleep on the best eyelash curlers. These handheld cosmetic tools gently pinch your lashes in an upward position for maximum length, bend, and volume.
Designed to prep and prime your lashes before swiping on your favorite mascara and eyeshadow, eyelash curlers create a fanned-out curl in mere seconds. “They lift the lashes, make eyes look more awake, and make lashes look more noticeable,” celebrity makeup artist, Jamie Dorman tells WWD. But similar to mascara, no two eyelash curlers are created equally, and different designs cater to specific eye shapes and lash lengths. So how can you tell which eyelash curler is best suited for your desired look, without spending too much time (and money) testing out your options? By paying attention to detail.
The Different Types of Eyelash Curlers
In an interview with WWD, celebrity makeup artist Clarissa Luna rejoiced over the fact that the days of “applying a hot spoon to your eyes are over,” thanks to the evolution of eyelash curlers over the years.
“The curlers of today come in a variety of styles, sizes, and technology,” Luna told us, noting that while traditional styles are still the most popular, there are other models on the market that cater to a range of eyelid shapes and lash lengths, at every price point:
- Traditional eyelash curler: Per creative director at ShikSona Beauty and Glam Set Go professional makeup artist, Victoria Stiles’ definition, traditional eyelash curlers are “standard stainless steel scissor-handle” instruments. Traditional eyelash curlers are, contrary to popular belief, not for everyone (which is why, thankfully, the market has expanded with new designs). According to Laura Roncagli, a professional makeup artist in Venice, Italy, and co-founder of MyBeautik.com, these tools offer the best results for those with tight eyelids, who “find it difficult to get a natural-looking lash curl.” She adds that they’re also good for anyone with straight lashes who wants “an extra lift at the roots for an appearance of length, volume, and thickness.”
- Heated eyelash curler: Like a curling iron for your lashes, Stiles tells WWD that heated curlers “use a comb to bend the lashes upward with heat.” These types are best “for newbies and the eye-sensitive or squeamish,” concludes Stiles. Professional makeup artist, Shiedha Williams Burbage adds that heated curlers can be great for someone “with coarse, thick, or stubborn lash hair.”
- Spot eyelash curlers: Spot eyelash curlers are miniature versions of traditional designs that, rather than the entire lash line, focus on smaller sections of lashes. According to celebrity makeup artist, Alexa Persico, spot eyelash curlers are particularly great “for people who have almond-shaped eyes, or for those with smaller eyes that need more of a grip on the lash.”
How to Use an Eyelash Curler
- Step 1: The first step to using an eyelash curler is to prep your tool. Dorman tells WWD it’s important that the silicone pad of the curler is in place, otherwise, it could cut off lashes, rather than curl them (yikes). Once in place and secure, wipe the curler and pad clean with a dry cloth for optimal hygiene.
- Step 2: Align the entry of the curler with your eyelid, and position the curler around your lashes before closing it shut. Dorman warns the clamp should not be positioned right up to the edge of your eyelid, as this could cause pulling and lash fallout.
- Step 3: Clamp down on your lashes. Dorman recommends holding your lashes in the curler for 5 seconds before releasing them.
- Step 4: To give lashes an optional extra curl, Dorman suggests moving down the lashes and repeating the clamp for 5 seconds. “Release a few more times down the length of the lashes.”
- Step 5: Finish off your eye look with your favorite mascara.
When using an eyelash curler, it’s important to remember that incorrect usage can result in damage to the lashes. To prevent lash breakage, experts recommend using a lash curler before your mascara application as mascara makes your lashes more prone to sticking to the device and being pulled out or broken. Most eyelash curlers come with a replaceable pad, which should be changed every six months to ensure that your curler is still delivering a perfect curl and to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Below, explore the best eyelash curlers that will help you curl your lashes like a pro.
Top Eyelash Curlers of 2022
- Best Eyelash Curler for Makeup Artists: Surratt Relevee Lash Curler
- Best Luxury Eyelash Curler: Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler
- Best Eyelash Curlers for Beginners: CoverGirl Makeup Masters Eyelash Curler
- Best Drugstore Eyelash Curler: E.l.f. Pro Eyelash Curler
- Best Rated Eyelash Curler on Amazon: Brilliant Beauty Lash Prodigy Eyelash Curler
- Best Mini Eyelash Curler: Japonesque Go Curl Travel Eyelash Curler
- Best Eyelash Curler for Hooded Eyes: Tweezerman Classic Lash Curler
- Best Heated Eyelash Curler: TRIIR Heated Eyelash Curler
- Best Eyelash Curler Overall: Shiseido Eyelash Curler
- Best Eyelash Curler for Straight Lashes: Nars Eyelash Curler
- Best Eyelash Curler for Sensitive Lashes: Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
- Best Eyelash Curler for Almond Eyes: Dior Backstage Eyelash Curler
- Best Eyelash Curler and Mascara Duo: Tarte Picture Perfect Duo
- Most Cushioned Eyelash Curler: Laura Mercier Artist Eyelash Curler
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Surratt Relevee Lash Curler
Best Eyelash Curler for Makeup Artists
A must-have in the makeup kits of Hollywood’s best makeup artists, the Surratt Relevee Lash Curler delivers red-carpet-ready lashes with every curl, elongating and lifting the appearance of your lashes and eyes. Not only is it a fan favorite for its feathery, fanned-out curl, but also for its pinch-proof, ergonomic design and bouncy silicone pads, which prevent pain and minimize the chances of breakage.
Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler
Best Luxury Eyelash Curler
Sleek by design, the Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler firmly grips your lashes to create an eye-opening curl on every eye shape and lash type, even stubbornly straight lashes that never hold a curl. Featuring curved rubber pads that bend and shape every single lash, this top-rated, expert-trusted eyelash curler also delivers the mobility and flexibility needed to curl your bottom lashes as well.
CoverGirl Makeup Masters Eyelash Curler
Best Eyelash Curler for Beginners
The CoverGirl Makeup Masters Eyelash Curler is equipped with a bouncy, soft rubber pad that curves to reach every last lash. Gentle enough for sensitive eyes and for those who can’t quite get the hang of eyelash curlers, this top-rated tool gives your eyelashes a remarkable boost in lift to create dramatic volume without nipping the lid or causing pain.
E.l.f. Pro Eyelash Curler
Best Drugstore Eyelash Curler
Low in cost but high in ratings, the E.l.f. Pro Eyelash Curler lifts, curls, and lengthens lashes, creating the best curl you can get on a tight budget. Dubbed the brand’s “secret weapon for a flawless face,” the tool’s sleek curvature promises an easy curl, and its ergonomic handles, padded with rubber, ensure users will get the stronghold necessary for optimal control and precision.
Brilliant Beauty Lash Prodigy Eyelash Curler
Best Rated Eyelash Curler on Amazon
The Brilliant Beauty eyelash curler is one of Amazon’s most popular eyelash tools. With over 34,000 reviews and an average 4.2-star rating to its name, this tool (available in rose gold, jet black, platinum, and prism finishes) is made from premium-grade, stainless steel and comes packaged in a silk bag for safe-keeping. Special features include a calibrated hinge for uniform pressure every time, a 48-degree arc that ensures all lash lengths and eye shapes can reap their perfect curl, and an elongated silicone pad for comfort. What’s more, your purchase also includes two extra silicone refill pads, to extend the shelf life of the curler.
Japonesque Go Curl Travel Eyelash Curler
Best Mini Eyelash Curler
Japonesque has been around for years, and its Go Curl Travel Eyelash Curler has garnered quite the cult-following since its initial release. This pocket-size curler is perfect for travel, but that’s not what makes the tool so beloved and innovative. Its unique shape (almost like a miniature remote control) has reviewers raving: They can get closer to the mirror and secure a strong grip, yet there’s no need to apply too much pressure. Users note that they prefer the plastic over metal material as it’s softer on lashes, and that just one clamp results in the perfect curl.
Tweezerman Classic Lash Curler
Best Eyelash Curler for Hooded Eyes
Built with an ergonomic design to deliver professional-level control and curl precision, the Tweezerman Classic Lash Curler opens and lengthens your lashes with its thick, curved silicone pads, which are crimp-proof and hypoallergenic. Plus, its smooth, easy-to-use squeezable handles won’t result in breakage or damaging your lashes.
TRIIR Heated Eyelash Curler
Best Heated Eyelash Curler
Don’t think of heated eyelash curlers as a curling iron for your lashes; that’s a scary image. However, the tools do share a similar objective: To take hairs from flat to fabulous with some bend. TRIIR’s model is highly recommended by Amazon users: It’s a rechargeable, electric tool that preheats in a mere 10 seconds, to one of three temperature settings ranging from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 176 degrees Fahrenheit. This tool is dual-headed, but with a clip-type head that can also be used on false lashes, while a comb-style brush head on the opposite end is designed to comb and shape natural lashes. The portable device also runs on a chargeable battery.
Shiseido Eyelash Curler
Best Eyelash Curler Overall
Created with all eye shapes in mind, the Shiseido Eyelash Curler boasts an innovative edge-free design to minimize pinching and pain. Not only is it great for sensitivity-prone eyes, but its curved construction and flexible rubber pads ensure that every lash is catered to, creating gentle pressure on the lashes for a high-impact, fanned-out curl.
Nars Eyelash Curler
Best Eyelash Curler for Straight Lashes
Able to reach every lash thanks to its controlled, contoured pads and universally eye-fitting design, the Nars Eyelash Curler transforms pin-straight lashes with its eye-opening curl, without pinching or pulling too hard on your lashes.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
Best Eyelash Curler for Sensitive Lashes
An industry favorite for its lash-enhancing design, the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler handles your delicate eyelashes with the utmost precision and care to produce a long-lasting, fanned-out and feathery curl. Boasting a new and improved “mushroom” shape that tends to every lash without irritating the skin, this top-rated and best-selling lash curler curves to suit every eye shape and applies the perfect pressure to reveal lifted, elongated and voluminous lashes.
Dior Backstage Eyelash Curler
Best Eyelash Curler for Almond Eyes
A makeup artist staple, the Dior Backstage Eyelash Curler helps you achieve perfectly lifted and curled lashes with its unique design, which adjusts to your eye shape to reach every lash. Featuring a soft and cushioned pad, this top-rated eyelash curler minimizes pinching and breakage while delivering a comfortable and secure lift every time. It also features ergonomic and easy-to-squeeze handles for maximum comfort. According to the brand, the curl lasts for up to eight hours.
Tarte Picture Perfect Duo
Best Eyelash Curler and Mascara Duo
Tarte may have mastered the art of concealing dark circles and blemishes with its award-winning concealer, but before there was Shape Tape, there was Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara, a formula that proved Tarte knew how to enhance eyes to their full potential. Its eyelash curler only strengthens that argument. The tool is ergonomic, with a curved, wide, angular mouth that can accommodate all lash shapes and sizes. The handles are also lined with purple silicone pads to ensure that users can get a strong grip. Plus, your purchase comes with the aforementioned mascara to finish off your look in one slick swipe.
Laura Mercier Artist Eyelash Curler
Most Cushioned Eyelash Curler
As far as this writer is concerned, Laura Mercier can do no wrong, and the brand’s Artist Eyelash Curler is no exception. This beautiful tool (coated in a brassy hue) features a double-handled grip and silicone padding the mouth for optimal density and dramatic curling effect. The extra pillowing, while firm, also protects lashes from damage and pulling. The result? Panoramic lashes that make your eyes pop.
How To Clean Your Eyelash Curler
To extend the lifespan of your eyelash curler, you have to give your tool a little TLC. Luna tells WWD it’s as simple as removing the silicone pad and using micellar water on a cotton swap to break up any makeup residue stuck on the metal and silicone. Once the residue has been cleaned off, Luna suggests following the same steps, this time using isopropyl alcohol for good measure.
“Try to do this once a week to kill any bacteria and to keep your lash curler working smoothly,” Luna says, adding that If the eyelash pad has “any tears or deep creases,” it’s time to replace it. And if you notice your eyelash curler feels loose or has started squeaking, it’s time for a replacement. “Makeup artist rule of thumb: Replace once a year.”
Meet the Experts
Clarissa Luna is one of the most sought-after celebrity makeup artists. She was trained by the legendary MUA, Sam Fine, and she’s the makeup artist responsible for some of Megan Fox’s most iconic red carpet looks.
Shiedha Williams Burbage is a 15-year beauty industry veteran with a devoted clientele who love her natural, refined aesthetic. To meet the ever-growing demand for her services, she started Hellooo Gorgeous, a makeup company specializing in luxury makeup for bridal and special occasions.
Celebrity makeup artist Alexa Persico loves a bold, flashy eye look with sky-high lashes. As founder of her eponymous makeup brand, she offers bright, glittery eyeshadows balanced with a wide selection of neutral lip options and contour shades.
Victoria Stiles is a professional makeup artist with Glam Set Go, an on-demand beauty service in Northern Virginia and Maryland, that sends in-demand makeup artists and hair stylists straight to your door for an at-home appointment.
Laura Roncagli is a professional makeup artist in Venice, Italy, and the co-founder of the Italian brand My Beautik.