The one tool Stylist’s beauty team always use – even on make-up-free days

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Eyelash curlers can often get a bad rap due to their intimidating appearance but they can make a big difference to your final look. Here, we answer your most-asked curler-related questions and round up the best ones on the high street.

Eyelash curlers. You either love them or are yet to discover the myriad benefits of using them.

These handy tools have the ability to lift and curl your eyelashes in one simple clamp (bare with us). The result is longer, defined lashes that look great alone or help to give your mascara a real boost.

However, these contraptions are often missing from beauty kits as they can appear a bit… well, scary. Yes, they look like a mix between pliers and a torture device and you may have heard stories of pinched, sore skin but they’re completely safe when used properly and can make a big difference.

To help put your mind at ease, we asked Warren Dowdall, senior pro artist at Bobbi Brown, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about eyelash curlers. 

And once you’re convinced (you will be), we’ve rounded up our picks of the best ones. From the most affordable to the one that makes it near-impossible to pinch your skin.

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What effect does an eyelash curler have on lashes?

“A lash curler is your lashes’ best friend – especially if you have straighter lashes. It helps to add lift and curl at the root of the lashes and put them in the perfect position to maximise the impact of your mascara. This makes your eyes look bigger and more open.”

How can you avoid accidentally pinching your skin with an eyelash curler?

“Firstly, be sure the protective pads are in place along the curler itself and take your time. With the curler open, gradually move it up the lashes towards the root of the lash. Tilt the top of the curler down so it touches the lashes – this is your gauge and if you feel the top of the curler on your lid you’ve gone too far. You need the curler to get as close to the root as possible without touching any skin.”

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Do you have any tips/tricks you rely on when using eyelash curlers?

“Take time to get your placement right especially if you’re not confident using a curler. Once you’re happy with your placement, clamp down gently for five to 10 seconds. Gradually move down the lashes, opening and closing the clamp as you go.

“Be mindful not to put too much pressure on your lashes as you want a curve, not a crimp. Take some extra time at the end to add an extra curl to the outer lashes to give some drama to your look.”

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Should you heat your eyelash curlers before using them?

“You can – but not all the time. Lashes are hair and so applying heat constantly can cause them to lose moisture and dry out, which can cause breakage down the line.

“If you really need your curl to stay in place for a special occasion, use a blow dryer to heat the curler for a couple of seconds. Be careful and blow on the curler to cool it before applying to your lashes. If you do warm them up, give your lashes some TLC when you get back home and apply a little lip balm on them to add some moisture back in.”

Do you apply mascara before or after?

“Mascara should be applied after you’ve curled your lashes. Otherwise you’ll risk getting your eyelashes caught or pulling them in the curler. Not to mention a clumpy and uneven finish to the mascara itself.”

11 best eyelash curlers 2022

  • Best eyelash curler for newbies: Bobbi Brown Gentle Curl Eyelash Curler

    As well as its chic black metal finish, this Bobbi Brown has an ergonomic design and padded bar to help prevent pinching your skin.

    Shop Bobbi Brown Gentle Curl Eyelash Curler at Bobbi Brown, £21

    buy now

  • Best on the go eyelash curler: Kiko Milano Eyelash Curler

    Kiko Milano’s eyelash curler is a great on-the-go pick for all eye shapes and eyelashes. It features ergonomic handles for easy precision and its small size is perfect for stashing in your bag.

    Shop Kiko Milano Eyelash Curler at Feelunique, £4.45 

    buy now

  • Best aesthetic eyelash curler: Nars Eyelash Curler

    Nars’ eyelash curler offers a truly stylish design with its sleek matte black finish. Your eyelashes will benefit from ultimate comfort with the soft contoured pads.

    Shop Nars Eyelash Curler at Asos, £14.50 

    buy now

  • Best cult eyelash curler: Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler

    A cult classic, this stainless steel lash curler lifts lashes into a softly defined curl. The professional-grade design is easy to use and the red rubber pad makes it easier to line your lashes up before clamping down.

    Shop Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler at Cult Beauty, £17

    buy now

  • Best comfortable eyelash curler: Mac Full Eye Lash Curler

    Mac’s Full Eye Lash Curler is a favourite, due to its comfortable squeeze motion that allows you to achieve standout curled lashes in seconds.

    Shop Mac Full Eye Lash Curler at John Lewis, £16.50 

    buy now

  • Best affordable eyelash curler: e.l.f Pro Eyelash Curler

    Affordable yet high quality, this e.l.f eyelash curler has padded handles for better grip and curls lashes beautifully.

    Shop e.l.f Pro Eyelash Curler at e.l.f Cosmetics, £5

    buy now

  • Best eyelash curler for sensitive eyes: Tweezerman Deluxe Classic Eyelash Curler

    Tweezerman’s Deluxe Classic Eyelash Curler has silicone pads, unlike traditional rubber ones, to prevent your lashes from sticking and minimise the chances of irritating sensitive eyes.

    Shop Tweezerman Deluxe Classic Eyelash Curler at Lookfantastic, £17

    buy now

  • Best eyelash curler for a dramatic finish: Dior Backstage Eyelash Curler

    One of the handy products utilised for dramatic lashes on Dior’s runways, this tool has ergonomic handles, soft padding to avoid pinching and a curved design for a super defined curl.

    Shop Dior Backstage Eyelash Curler at Boots, £21

    buy now

  • Best lightweight eyelash curler: Tatti Lashes Eyelash Curler

    Designed to reduce the risk of eyelash breakage the lightweight eyelash curler provides comfort with its soft rounded pads and is great for everyday use.

    Shop Tatti Lashes EyelashCurler at Asos, £9 

    buy now

  • Best if you’re short on time: Laura Mercier Artist Eyelash Curler

    This Laura Mercier tool has a clever wide-angled design, allowing you to get the majority of your lashes into the curler in one go. Just squeeze and you’re done.

    Shop Laura Mercier Artist Eyelash Curler at Cult Beauty, £20

    buy now

  • Best easy to use eyelash curler: Tweezerman Procurl Lash Curler

    Tweezerman offers some of the best beauty tools around with the Procurl Lash Curler being one of them. The rose gold curler features a unique 60-degree angle for your best eyelash curl yet. The silicone pads are hypoallergenic and are double-barrelled for easy application.

    Shop Tweezerman Procurl Lash Curler at Cult Beauty, £22 

    buy now

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