Eyelash Curler Mistakes You’re Making
ARTICLE FROM : SELF
When I was 15 and rummaging through my mother’s vanity, I found an odd-looking contraption that turned out to be an eyelash curler. I immediately starting using it to make my eyelashes pop. Fast-forward a decade later and I use an eyelash curler regularly, but I’m not at all sure that I’m using it properly. How long am I supposed to squeeze my lashes? Do I use it before or after applying mascara? Does it make a difference if I spend $10 or $25 on one? Is it OK to use one every day—or have I been inadvertently damaging my lashes all this time?
Despite their scary appearance, eyelash curlers aren’t dangerous—but they do need to be used the correct way so you don’t accidentally pull out lashes or pinch your eyelid (ouch!). I spoke with makeup artists Andrew Colvin and Carly Giglio, Stila Cosmetics manager of pro artistry, to get the lowdown on all the mistakes you could possibly make with an eyelash curler and how to stop them.
1. You’re not making eyelash curling one of your first steps.
Experts like to curl lashes before makeup, as part of skin-care prep. This will help open the eyes and also to see the eye shape a bit better. Besides, Colvin says, “If you’ve done a perfect undereye concealer or perfect liner, you wouldn’t want to risk smudging it with the lash tool.”
2. You’re not using a good quality curler.
If you plan on curling your eyelashes, you want to use the best tools possible. Stay away from curlers that have a slippery grip, as they can get caught on your eyelashes and pull them out.
3. You’re not holding the eyelash curler correctly.
Place your thumb and index fingers in the designated grip holes, then open the curler wide enough for your top lashes to fit between the rubber cushion and metal top, Giglio says. Get as close to your eyelash roots as you possibly can without touching the skin. Tightly squeeze and close the curler onto lashes.
4. You’re not using proper technique.
Colvin recommends pumping your curler four to eight times at the root, then pumping up along the lashes to reach the tips for a final curl. “This gives a ‘curve’ and less of a ‘crimp’ that pumping the lashes [a number of times] in the same spot would result in,” he says. In other words, a crimp would result in the eyelashes getting bent into an L shape rather than a gentle curve. How long should you hold the curler on your lashes? Giglio recommends clamping down and holding tight for about five seconds.
5. You’re applying too much force.
Slow and steady is the name of the game. Squeeze the curler gently instead of pulling your lashes outward or crimping, says Colvin. If you have a good lash curler, you don’t need to apply a lot of force. Squeezing too vigorously can break off lashes or pull them out.
6. You’re not heating your eyelash curler.
Heating your eyelash curler will help lock in the curl. You can add heat to your eyelash curler prior to curling by holding a blow-dryer close to it for a few seconds. Of course, be sure to blow on the metal curler before applying to lashes to avoid burning yourself! This trick also works if you have coarse lashes that won’t curl easily.
7. You’re applying mascara before curling your eyelashes.
Experts say this is probably one of the most common mistakes you can make when using an eyelash curler. Instead of giving yourself more volume or lift, mascara can make lashes sticky and possibly get pulled out by the curler, Giglio explains. Applying mascara after curling can also help hold the lashes in place, and a good curling and volumizing mascara will help maximize your curl.
8. You’re forgetting to curl those hard-to-reach eyelashes.
Some eyelashes will be harder to reach than others. Instead of trying to squeeze them all at once, Colvin recommends using also a mini lash curler for getting those hard-to-reach lashes on the corners.
9. You’re using a dirty eyelash curler.
All makeup tools need to be cleaned regularly, so not cleaning your eyelash curler is a big no-no. Using one coated in dried, crusted mascara can result in damaged lashes or styes, Colvin says. He recommends cleaning the rubber cushion and metal once every two months with a makeup wipe. For a deeper clean, you can wash it with dish soap and set out to dry overnight.
10. You’re using an old rubber or silicone insert.
Replace the rubber cushion on your eyelash curler once it starts to wear down, which tends to happen about every three months, depending on how often you use it, Giglio says. Using a dried-out crusty insert won’t give you the best possible curl. Pro tip: Swap out rubber inserts for silicone ones, which Colvin says last longer. He recommends silicone inserts from brands like Surratt, Kevyn Aucoin, Shiseido, and MAC.
11. You’re applying fake strip lashes before curling your eyelashes.
Put your fake lashes on after you’ve done your curling and you won’t have to worry about the pressure indenting your falsies. However, if you have semipermanent lash extensions, Colvin recommends staying away from your eyelash curler entirely, as you won’t get the same degree of curve. “The [extensions] get indented a lot more under the pressure of the curler than the natural lash hairs,” he says. “This leaves you with two different rows of lashes.” Probably not the look you’re going for!
12. You’re curling your eyelashes right after a lash lift or keratin treatment.
A lash lift is like a perm for your eyelashes, and it creates an upward shape that you’d get from a really good mechanical curler. Lash lifts should last six to eight weeks, Giglio says, but notes the duration will depend on your individual lashes. “These treatments are good for people who can’t use a curler because their eyelashes are too short or straight,” she explains. However, if you’re able to use an eyelash curler and want to do so following a lash lift, wait until “you start to see the curls not be as heavy as they first were,” which may be the “last one or two weeks of the treatment,” she says.
The same caution applies to keratin treatments for eyelashes, also known as keratin lash lifts. “A keratin lash lift also lifts and curls, but it is more long-wearing and makes your eyelashes even fuller (think of it like a keratin treatment for your hair),” explains Giglio. Keratin lash lifts should last 8 to 12 weeks. You should only use your eyelash curler toward the end of the treatment, and be gentle, pumping your lashes with care.
13. You’re worried that using your eyelash curler every day will cause your eyelashes to fall out.
As long as you’re using a clean curler and curling instead of crimping, experts say it’s totally safe to use your eyelash curler every single day.
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