I have stick-straight eyelashes that refuse to curl. No, seriously—I’ve tried exactly everything. I’ve bought every possible curling mascara and heated lash curler, and I’ve attempted every trick that involves pushing, pinching, and squeezing your lashes before and after applying mascara, all in a (wasted) effort to get some semblance of a bend to my Asian eyelashes.
I even shelled out some money for the Holy Grail of eyelash curlers—the one that’s so beloved, it was name-dropped by Gisele Bündchen in “The Devil Wears Prada” and is still fondly referred to by a single moniker (“Shu”) in the beauty industry. I’m talking about the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler BUY IT, which is considered the crème de la crème of all curlers, and I even splurged for the limited-edition 24k-gold version, because why not. And, uh, it sucked. Sorry, Shu, but not even your magic was a match for my lashes, which flopped back down immediately after pulsing them with the curler.
So when I was on a photoshoot earlier this year, I was already resigned to the fact that my friend and makeup artist Rommy Najor wouldn’t be able to get my lashes to bend to his will, which I promptly told him. But instead of admitting defeat, he scoffed and said, “Babe, I got this,” and pulled from his kit a small, stainless-steel curler that looked like a mix between nail clippers and a torture device.
He took it to my lashes, gently pressing and crimping them in tiny sections for a minute, and for once in my life, my lashes weren’t left floppy and blah—instead, they were left insanely lifted and curled, to the point where my eyes themselves looked brighter and more awake. And, even better, the curl lasted literally all day, like to the point where I was ready for bed and still had a visible bend.
After freaking out to Najor about his wizardry, I promptly went online to investigate the device, which, as I found out, is the Prima Curl Up Japanese Eyelash Curler BUY IT. It’s a third of the size of a regular curler, and it works by targeting your lashes in super-small sections, allowing you to apply more pressured control for a more pronounced bend. You literally just position the curler at the base of your lashes, like usual (I like to start at the outer corner of my eye and work inwards) and then clamp down. Then swipe on your mascara to hold the curl, and boom; you’re good to go.
The process definitely takes some time to get used to, since your fingers are placed closer to your eyeball than with traditional curlers, but it’s still pretty fool-proof. Plus, it’s only $20—which is about the same price as the cult-favorite Shu—and comes with a package of replacement silicone pads, though it’s not totally clear how often you should change them. I’ve had mine for about six months and still haven’t replaced the pads, but I feel better knowing that I’ve got some extra, just in case.
Overall, though, this tiny curler is by far the best $20 I’ve ever spent on a beauty item, especially some random thing I bought off of Amazon. It’s honestly a game-changer for stick-straight lashes, and I tell pretty much everyone I meet about it. Though I do have one request for the makers at Prima: Can you pretty please make a 24k-gold version? Because I would buy that in a heartbeat.