Ask Kaylin: When to Curl Eyelashes

Category: , , , , / 2/12/2014
Image: Michele Catania via Flickr and Creative Commons
Some people are born with naturally curly lashes, but most of us are not. If you haven't curled your lashes before, you might be amazed at how it can open up your eyes and create a more feminine look. But when do you curl your lashes? Read on to find out.

Anonymous:
Do I curl my eyelashes before I put on mascara? Or after?

Kaylin:
Different makeup artists have different preferences, but I tend to say curl before mascara if using a metal (manual) eyelash curler, and curl after mascara if using a heated lash curler. Why? When using a manual curler, there is a greater risk of breakage if curling after mascara. Also, some artists claim the curl is "set" with the mascara (instead of heat with a heated curler). When using a heated lash curler, I have found that I have better results with mascara already applied.

Pro tips:
  • Make sure to replace the pads in metal eyelash curlers every 3-6 months, or anytime they are dry or cracked. Wipe lash curlers clean with a tissue when you wash your brushes (weekly). Many eyelash curler replacement pads are interchangeable among brands.
  • Clean heated lash curlers by running a wet wipe through the comb until any mascara is removed.
  • If you are wearing false eyelashes, I recommend applying mascara, applying false lashes, and then using a heated curler to curl your own lashes so they blend with the false lashes' curl.
Product recommendations:
If you're a pro makeup artist or have a flatter eye shape, I highly recommend using a heated lash curler. In fact, I prefer them because there's very little risk of burning or pinching. Just be sure to warn your clients that it might feel a little warm--it's an unusual sensation but many find it pleasant.
  • Manual lash curlers: Shiseido makes a highly-rated eyelash curler and does not test on animals. Most drugstore brands will do the trick, but I recommend looking for cruelty-free brands such as E.L.F. if you're on a budget.
  • Heated lash curlers: I personally use this one from Japonesque in my kit, and it's held up well over the years. If you're a pro, just be sure to carry an extra battery (or two).
Disclosure notice: This review contains affiliate links. No additional compensation was accepted and the opinions are my own. Please verify any claims with the manufacturer, especially if you have any allergies or concerns.

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