As someone who up until recently only ever bothered to use eyelash curlers on Very Special Occasions (such as my wedding day), you might wonder how I ended up with not just one, but three such implements in my possession.
The first, from Shiseido, came in a gift set with the liquid eyeliner I love and a mascara; the second is one of those tiny curlers designed for curling the corner lashes from Ruby & Millie, bought to use up a Boots coupon I had and the third is the famous Shu Uemura curler, picked up at the airport in Hong Kong to use up the last of my Hong Kong dollars before leaving.
I'll admit that all three languished in my makeup case for a long time, gathering dust. I was happy to just use a mascara wand to give my lashes a bit of a curl by applying the mascara and then just holding the lashes up with the wand for a moment or two while the mascara dried to give them a bit of lift. And then I woke up one morning, not long after I'd had my baby, and realised that it wasn't just the deathly pallor and huge dark circles that were making me look more knackered than I even felt, but my eyelashes were actually so sleep-deprived that they were pointing straight down.
Now I don't usually have the lushest lashes, but on a normal day the ends do manage to raise themselves above the lashline without any assistance, so to see them actually hanging down was an odd experience and one that needed to be rectified right away. So I hunted out my Shu Uemura eyelash curler, blew the dust and cobwebs off and gently curled my poor droopy lashes before applying mascara. And miracle of miracles, with my eyes opened up that bit more I suddenly looked as though I might have actually got three or four hours of sleep and not just the one or two I'd actually managed.
Since then my sleep has improved and my lashes have bounced back, but I've become a bit addicted to the eyelash curler. Even when I'm not applying any other makeup, most days I'll manage a bit of eyeliner, curl my lashes and apply mascara and manage to look quite presentable as a result.
Eyelash curlers can be a bit intimidating to many people, so here are some tips:
- Search for a pair that fits your eye shape - some can be narrower than others and you don't want them pinching your eyelid at the corner if they don't fit well. Ask to try them out at the makeup counter before buying. Alternatively, the corner eyelash curlers that Ruby & Millie and Tweezerman (among others) sell are great for just curling the outer lashes that really make all the difference.
- Don't apply mascara until after you've curled your lashes. At best it can result in a weirdly crimped effect and at worst it can result in you pulling your lashes out when you take the curler away - ouch.
- To get the curler in the right position, look straight ahead into the mirror, then bring the curler up to eye level and slowly blink while bringing your lashes into place, to avoid trapping any in the corners. Place the curler close to the base of the lashes, but press it closed very gently at first, so you'll feel it if you've accidentally positioned it too close to your skin before any accidents happen.
- Pinching the curler shut very tightly can make your lashes look like they've been bent at a right angle, so instead close the curler gently but firmly and then pump it open and closed a few times, without moving it from its position. Do this at the base of the lashes and then move it out to the centre of the lashes and repeat to get a sweeping curl which should really open up the eye.
- Lastly, apply mascara to hold the curl in place and voila - wide awake eyes are yours!