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How to Use Eyelash Curlers

The eyelash curler is a great tool to add lift and curve to eyelashes – if you know how to use it properly. Curlers work wonders by making the eyes look more open. They are also great for stubborn, limp or shorter eyelashes that need an extra helping hand to curl more. Here is our guide to eyelash curlers and not turning them into a torture device!

Basically, to make your eyelashes look longer and more curved.

An eyelash curler is a hand-operated mechanical device used to curl eyelashes for cosmetic purposes. In other words, curlers put an upward curve into the lashes, which creates the look of eyes being more open and the lashes longer.

It is usually only the upper eyelashes that are curled – lower lashes don’t need curling, plus that would be really fiddly!

Types of Eyelash Curler

If you’re a little bit hesitant to use curlers or are put off by the look of the traditional clamp curler, there are other designs to look at.

Most makeup brands have an eyelash curler as part of their range of makeup tools. Also, curlers come in different sizes, shapes and designs. For example, some are heated, others are not. When looking to buy an eyelash curler, try out as many brands and designs as possible.

Traditional Clamp Curler

  • The most commonly seen curler, consisting of a scissor-like handle that opens and closes two curved plates at the “business end”.
  • The lower plate is tipped with a removable rubber or silicone pad, which cushions and protects the lashes. This pad must be placed correctly to work properly to prevent lash damage.
  • Spare rubber pads are usually supplied and can be bought separately. Replace them when they get too compressed or worn out.
  • Lots of makeup brands make these curlers, and they do vary in size, curvature and shape, so try in-store to see which work best for your eye shape.

Compact Clamp Curler

  • This type of eyelash curler works in the same way as the traditional clamp curler by using pressure on the lashes to create a curl.
  • We think this design is a bit easier to use and is possibly a better choice for people who are a bit wary of the traditional clamp design.
  • Being small and compact, these curlers are perfect for handbags or travel. They also have space in the base for spare pads.
  • There are also larger versions that are heated.

Corner Lash Curler

  • These small and highly portable curlers are great for getting corner lashes. Also good for people with really thick or long lashes, as you might find it easier to manage a few lashes at a time.
  • They look a bit like tweezers and work in a similar way by simply squeezing the two tips together. There is a rubber pad on one of the tips to cushion the lashes.

Heated Wand Curler

  • Easier to use than a traditional curler because no careful lining up and clamping are required. 
  • Curlers have a pen-like handle with a comb tip, which has ridges for the lashes to sit in. The tip can be curved or straight and comes with a detachable lid to protect it.
  • Heat is provided by batteries, which sit in the handle and are turned on/off via a switch. Some curlers have a light to indicate that the tip has heated to the optimum curling temperature.
  • Once heated, place the comb tip under your lashes. Then press upwards and in towards your eye to create the lift. Keep it held to your lashes for 5-10 seconds at a time. You can also use a slow upward rolling action.
  • These curlers can be used before or after mascara (once it has dried fully). This is good if you want to top-up and curl during the day.

How to Hold a Clamp Lash Curler

As a curler can be used on you or a client, this affects which way round you hold the curler. Very simply, the curve of the top plates needs to match the curve of the eyelashes they are going on to.

So, for using on yourself, the curve rounds away from you. For use on a client, the peak of the curve is facing you (so, you’re looking at the back of the plates, often where the brand name is).

The finger positions are the same either way – your thumb goes in the first loop, middle finger in the second loop and put your index finger on for support. You will likely want to use the same hand you write with to hold the curler.

Using eyelash curlers
How to hold clamp eyelash curlers.

Using a Clamp Lash Curler

You will need – curlers, mascara, makeup remover, cotton buds.

1) Lashes should be clean and dry. Remove ALL traces of makeup from your lashes, especially mascara. You can apply all other makeup before using curlers EXCEPT mascara – only use curlers before applying mascara (else the mascara can smear, crumble, or make the lashes stick together).

2) Check the curlers are clean and the rubber pad is in the right position. The little rubber pad is there to protect and cushion your lashes. If it’s not positioned correctly, you could break or dent your lashes.

3) To help access your lashes more easily, you may find placing a finger on the upper eyelid and lifting the eyelid skin also lifts the lashes.

4) Hold the curler correctly and open fully. Place your lashes right through the opening.

5) Move the curler back so that the rubber pad sits just before the base of your lashes and follows the curve of your eye.

6) Blink (keep the curler still) and this should flick any stragglers into the curler opening.

7) Gently and slowly close the curler. If it starts to pinch at all, open up the curler and move it slightly forward (or tilt it forward) away from your eyelid and try again to get the right position.

8) Gently squeeze the curler closed for between 5 to 15 seconds – repeat a couple of times until you get the curl you want. Don’t press too hard – you could damage your lashes or leave a crimp mark.

9) To remove, open the curler fully and then remove the curler from your lashes. Don’t pull the eyelash curler from your eyes before you have released the pressure or you will pull your lashes out! Yes, ouch.

10) You may need to move along the lashes to curl them all, especially at the ends of your lash line. Not all curlers will curl every lash in one hit.

11) Repeat on your other eye.

12) Apply mascara. Add a couple of finer layers of mascara (allow the mascara to dry before adding more) rather than one great big thick one. Unless clumpy tarantulas are your thing. And work the mascara right into the roots of your lashes to really work that lift. Comb them through afterward with a clean brush to separate and remove any clumps.

13) Admire one’s lashes. Flutter them a few times and feel the breeze!

eyelash curlers and how to use
(Left): Step 2 – check the curlers are clean and the rubber strip attached. (Middle): Steps 3 & 4 – lift up the brown and insert the lashes into the open curler. (Right): Steps 7 & 8 – close the curler and gently squeeze.

Tricks & Tips

  • Clean curlers regularly to remove any eye makeup and to prevent infection. The rubber pads on the clamp curlers can be removed and washed.
  • Replace old or damaged rubber pads to help protect your lashes from damage.
  • Don’t share eyelash curlers or mascara, unless you like eye infections. If you are a makeup artist, always sterilise curlers before and after every use and never share mascara wands. Read more about good working practices in makeup.
  • Practice! Using curlers can take a bit of practice, especially the traditional clamp curlers. Don’t give up after one or two attempts.
  • To create a more sweeping curl, you can use the curler along the whole length of the lashes to create a more gentle curl up. So, start by clamping at the root of the lash as normal. After which, move a little forward, to halfway up the length of the lashes and clamp again. Finally, clamp again towards the tips of the lashes.
  • Heat your curlers if you have stubborn lashes. If your curlers don’t have a heated feature, you can use a hairdryer or run the curlers under hot water first to warm them up a little. But don’t get them crazy hot and burn your eyelids.
  • If you find it hard to get mascara right up to your lash line using a mascara wand, then you can use a brush to get into the lash line instead. Firstly, dip a brush with short and firm bristles (like an eyebrow brush) into the mascara wand to pick up some product. Then, paint the mascara onto your lashes. This is especially useful if you have light-coloured lashes.
  • Using eyelash curlers on false eyelashes. The process is to curl your own lashes first, then apply your false eyelashes. Once the glue has fully dried and the false lashes are firmly stuck down, use the curlers on everything to bring the false eyelashes and your lashes together.

Find Out More

4 thoughts on “How to Use Eyelash Curlers”

    1. Hi Lisa, we’re not sure if you mean you can’t find a replacement to buy or how to insert a new rubber piece. So two answers!

      To buy a replacement – you can find rubber strips on Amazon etc. Some brands have their own strips for sale and there are also generic ones.
      To insert a new piece – firstly, open the clamp using the handles and take off the old rubber piece. There is normally (depending on the make of curler, of course) a little groove or slot where the rubber sits. The rubber will be slightly curved – simply match this curve to the curve of the groove and pop it in. Squeeze the clamp together. It should be really easy.

      Hope this helps ?

  1. Nice blog. Everyone should read it to know the exact using technique. I have used GUBB USA Eyelash curler on my eyes and it has worked great for me!

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