When I was about ten, I discovered my mother's makeup drawer. I'd spend hours in front of her vanity buffing on coral blush, penciling on liner, and layering on an absurd amount of mascara. But the one item that intimidated me too much to try—at first, at least—was the medieval-looking clamp next to her tweezers: an eyelash curler. I'd seen my mom use it countless times, opening her eyes wide in the mirror and squeezing deftly, revealing long, lifted lashes and a wider gaze. When I finally worked up the nerve to give it a go, I gingerly placed my lashes between curler's metallic jaws and squeezed. And it hurt! Badly! I'd clamped too tight at the base, pinching the fragile skin at my lash line. I shoved it back into the drawer, lucky to still have my lashes attached to my face, and didn't pick it up again until my mom gave me a real tutorial.
Whether you're a total pro at wielding a curler or you're a beginning looking to learn how, it's not just about the technique. The right curler is vital for achieving the ideal lash: lifted but not bent, curled but not crimped. Soft pads, ergonomic shape, a no-slip grip, and other details are the difference between getting a falsies-effect in seconds and the swift pain of plucking your hairs out. Here, we've rounded up the best curlers on the market for every eye shape, budget, and preference so you can beat the learning curve.
There's a reason this option gets name checked in The Devil Wears Prada: it's been the MVP for makeup artists and beauty editors alike for years. The flexible silicon pads provide a gentle curl without pinching the sensitive skin at the lash line.
This easy-to-grip tool helps steady the hand and get a more solid lift and a bend that lasts until it's time to wipe your mascara off. And the silicone pads are soft enough to prevent breakage if your lashes are on the weaker side.
The bounty of rave Amazon reviews has spoken: the lift this no-slip curler offers is unbeatable, and it has a sweet price point.
If you love the look of a rounded, tighter bend—doll eyes, if you will—this classic delivers. For a natural look, try squeezing the lashes at the base, the middle, and towards the end and skip the mascara.
If you have flatter lids or lashes on the shorter side, this curler lacks the steep curve of other options that'll allow you the right angle. Or if you want to give your cat eye an extra feline effect, angle the pads towards the outer corners and give them a good squeeze.
It might sound scary to put heat this close to your precious corneas, but Panasonic's option is totally safe and easy to use. The comb at the tip separates every lash while it warms them, giving them a pretty bend right at the base without the annoying crimping effect some standard curlers can have.
If you're new to curling and think these tools look straight-up medieval, Surratt's option is a good place to start. The finger holes allow for a no-slip grip, and the ergonomic curve of the pads help create a fool-proof bend, even if you're cringing the whole way through.
The pinch-y end of this mini curler is optimal for getting the right angle for hooded lids and grabbing onto shorter lashes. Or use it on just the outside corner hairs if you want to give a little extra oomph before you apply mascara.
The wide silicone pads are the secret to a good curl here: they provide a comfy press without pinching, and they provide a uniform lift from the inner to the outer corners.
Compact, kind of cute, and curls like a champ. Flip the plastic lever open and squeeze for a gentle bend on-the-go without the risk of ripping out your lashes.
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