Not all of us were lucky enough to be born with naturally thick, dark, and curly eyelashes. Although lashes come in different lengths, fullness, and even colors, the standard for beauty has generally remained the curled is better.
While you can’t change the lashes you were born with, you can learn how to curl your eyelashes! Curling your lashes can make a world of difference – you just need to practice the proper technique.
As someone who makes a living as a makeup artist, I’ve learned a trick or two over the years. I’m more than happy to teach you how to curl lashes for your best look yet.
Can you train your eyelashes to curl?
If you want curled lashes regularly, you can train your eyelashes to do so. Naturally straight eyelashes will want to bounce back to their everyday shape, but a little bit of training can help slowly adjust their appearance.
Use an eyelash curler daily to train your lashes. I think these are the best eyelash curler for straight lashes. You can help create a natural curl in your lashes by using one every day.
Below are three different ways to curl your eyelashes.
How to curl eyelashes using an eyelash curler
If you’ve never used an eyelash curler, this little contraption can look a bit intimidating. Have no fear, though; it’s easy to use!
The best eyelash curlers are usually metal and feature rubber pads between the clamps. The rubber pads protect your lashes from harsh, metal ridges and give you a rounded curl instead of a crimp.
If you want instant gratification try a heated eyelash curler. These work quickly and give your lashes a long-lasting curl.
Hold the lash curler close to your eye and open the clamp. Position it as close as you can to the base of your upper lashes without touching the sensitive skin on your eyelid.
Close the clamp firmly on your lashes and hold the curler steadily in place for 30 to 45 seconds. Be careful not to make any sudden jerks or movements, as this can cause you to accidentally pull on your lashes.
If you have a lot of thick lashes, try curling them in sections from the base to the middle to the tips. If you’ve got lash extensions be sure to only curl the base of your lashes, and only if you are sporting a classic set!
How to curl eyelashes using mascara or gel
Mascara can help hold your eyelash in place. After you have curled your lashes using a mechanical curler, apply one to three coats of your favorite mascara. Layering like this is okay, so long as you don’t pack it on too thick.
Too many layers of mascara can cause flaking. It can also lead to an unnatural look that makes your lashes stick together.
For the best hold, choose a waterproof mascara. Waterproof mascara is harder to take off at the end of the day, but it will hold the shape of your lashes the longest.
Apply your mascara from the roots to the tips, using an upward motion to push your lashes up. You can also try gently wiggling the mascara brush as you push upward to fan out your lashes.
Lash gel is another excellent option if you don’t want to add color or thickness to your lashes. Lash gel is a clear substance that you apply like mascara. It comes in a similar tube with the same type of brush and uses the same application process.
You can use lash gel to hold your curl in place by applying it in an upward motion from the roots of your lashes to the tips. The gel will dry clear, giving you a fabulous, natural curl look.
As an alternative to mascara or gel, you can also try using Vaseline on your lashes. Not only does this petroleum jelly have several benefits, but it can also help your lashes appear fuller and thicker.
How to curl lashes using a warm spoon
If you don’t have a lash curler or don’t like the one you’re working with, you can try the warm spoon method instead.
What you’ll need is:
- A metal teaspoon
- A glass
Fill your glass with hot (but not scalding) water. Place the teaspoon in the glass and let it sit for around three minutes.
Remove the spoon from the water and dry it off with a clean washcloth. You don’t want your eyes to get wet during this process. Be sure to test the temperature of the spoon with your finger or wrist before applying it to your eye.
Place the warm spoon over your eyelid, lining up the bottom edge of the spoon with the top of your lash upper lash line. Using your thumb, press your lashes up against the rounded part of the spoon and hold them there for 10 to 20 seconds.
You can repeat this process as needed to fix any missed lashes or squished sections. The warmth from the spoon will help your lashes keep a curled shape, much like the heat from a curling iron would in your hair.
You can set your lashes with mascara, gel, or Vaseline if you’d like, or keep them as it for a natural look.
While the methods above are helpful in curling eyelashes before and after, these tips can help you maintain your best lashes yet.
Practice proper maintenance
Just like the hair on your head and your skin, your eyelashes need a certain amount of care and maintenance. Proper care is crucial if you wear makeup and curl your lashes every day.
Always remove your mascara at the end of the day. Leaving mascara on your eyelashes overnight can cause them to become dry and brittle, leading to weak hairs and breakage.
If you wear lash extensions use a quality lash extensions shampoo to regularly clean your lashes and keep them in tip-top shape.
Use a gentle makeup remover and take your time – no need to scrub your lashes hard.
Brush your lashes out after removing makeup using a clean lash comb. Apply a conditioner, such as castor oil or nourishing coconut oil.
Clean your curler
Any application tool you use on your face needs to be cleaned regularly, including your eyelash curler.
Before each use, run it under hot water and wipe it off with a clean cloth. At least once a week, disinfect your curler completely.
Don’t rub your eyes
Rubbing your eyes will smear your makeup, but you should try to avoid rubbing your eyes even when you’re not wearing makeup.
Rubbing your eyes can not only put you in contact with infection-causing bacteria, but it can also cause damage to your roots. Your lashes are sensitive, and rubbing them can make it harder to achieve a full curl.
Can you curl your eyelashes every day?
If you’re trying to train your eyelashes, you may need to gently curl them every day to get the shape to take hold. But curling every day may be harmful to these delicate hairs.
Your eyelashes and the skin surrounding them are very sensitive, so using a harsh technique regularly can damage them and cause pain. Too much yanking and improper care can lead to things like ingrown eyelashes, inflammation, a stye, or general discomfort.
Try to avoid curling your eyelashes every single day. Give them a break and aim for no more than every other day, and make sure to practice the proper care we mentioned above.
Key takeaways on curling eyelashes
Curling your lashes isn’t rocket science, but it can take a bit of practice. Just remember these tips:
- Use a mechanical or quality heated eyelash curler (gently!)
- Apply mascara to lock in curls
- Try the warm spoon method
Use these tips and take care of your eyelashes for the beautiful look you’ve always wanted.
Laura is a beauty expert with 5 years prior experience working in cosmetics and lash salons. When not writing you can find her experimenting with the trending makeup looks, or reading a good book snuggled up with her French Bulldog Max. Laura is currently a contributing writer and Beauty Editor at BeatyStack.