5 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Your Eyelash Curler

5 Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Your Eyelash Curler

Curling your eyelashes is one of the tried-and-true small secrets that makes a big difference in the way your face and makeup looks in almost no time. Your lashes will instantly appear longer and fuller because the bend pushes them up and fans them out, which also makes your eyes look more open, awake, and defined.

But these benefits are only possible if you curl your lashes correctly— and avoid making any of these mistakes (which can even damage them!).

1. You curl your lashes after applying mascara.

Not only does this make your eyelash curler extra gunky, it can also harm your lashes. Mascara coats your lashes, then dries, making the hairs harder and less flexible. Curling lashes when they’re in a stiff state can cause them to break or even pull them out if they get stuck on mascara that’s not totally dry on the curler.

How to fix it: Instead, always curl your lashes before applying mascara, and make sure your previous day’s mascara is off your eyes completely — or you risk having your lashes stick to your curler, potentially tearing them out.

2. You’re clamping down too hard.

If you want to have long, healthy lashes, apply only gentle pressure when curling them. Pressing down too strongly can not only give your lashes an undesirable 90-degree angle bend rather than a realistic curve, it can also break your lashes.

How to fix it: Bring the curler close to the base of your lashes, making certain that it’s not touching the eyelid skin. Squeeze lightly for a couple of seconds, then release, moving the curler to the center of your lashes’ length, then squeeze again. Repeat towards the tip of your lashes (this ensures you’re getting a nice gradual curl rather than a harsh bend).

3. You never clean your lash curler.

Even if you’re always curling your lashes before applying mascara, there’s a chance that eyeliner, eyeshadow, bacteria, and dead skin cells can accumulate on it, which can make it less effective— or not effective at all.

How to fix it: Once per week (or as needed), pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a cotton pad and wipe it all over your eyelash curler to de-gunk it. Make sure the curler is totally dried before using it.

4. You never replace the pad.

Over time, the small pad inside your eyelash curler can get dirty, split, or crack, so your curler won’t work as well. Plus, if you wear down the pad, which is there to protect your lashes, you risk harming them with the curler’s exposed metal.

How to fix it: Swap in a new one every few months or when you notice that it has accumulated grime or become cracked or damaged. Some curlers come with replacement pads. If not, you can often purchase them from the brand.

5. You’re buying low-quality curlers.

You want an eyelash curler that curls effectively without harming your delicate lashes, so the quality counts. “It really makes a difference to invest in a well-made eyelash curler,” explains Laramie, a makeup artist in New York City and Los Angeles. “I recommend the versions from Kevyn Aucoin, Shu Uemura, or Bobbi Brown.”

How to fix it: The GH Beauty Lab picks for best eyelash curlers below (including an affordable less-than-$5 option!) quickly and effectively curl lashes of all lengths on a variety of eye shapes.