How to Curl Eyelashes

By Anna Lei

Voluminous, curly lashes open your eyes and enhance your appearance. If you aren't blessed with naturally curly lashes, you can take several steps to get the look. For maximum effects, use an eyelash curler, a mascara geared toward curly lashes and follow a few basic tips to get the eye-popping, curly lashes of your dreams.

Close up of woman's eye and eyelash curler
credit: bst2012/iStock/Getty Images
You can rub your fingers together and heat your lashes with your fingers before curling them to help keep them curled.

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How to Use a Eyelash Curler

Start the process with an eyelash curler, a hand-held tool that clamps over eyelashes and pushes them upward to make them curly. Ensure your lashes are clean and mascara-free.

  • Open the eyelash curler and gently clamp it over your lashes so the tool touches the base of your lashes -- not the tips of your lashes -- while keeping your eyes open.

  • Hold the clamp for 10 seconds, and then release.

  • Repeat a couple more times while moving the curler closer and closer to the tips of your lashes for extra curl.

To curl your bottom lashes, if desired, flip the eyelash curler upside down and curl them in the same way.

Bonus: Curling your lashes every day with a curler may actually train your lashes to curl more, celebrity makeup artist Taylor Chang-Babaian tells

Selecting and Applying Mascara

Once you've curled your lashes with a curler, enhance the curl by choosing a mascara that promotes curly lashes. When selecting mascara, choose one with a normal tubular wand, which will provide your lashes will volume and definition.

A normal tubular mascara wand will also ensure curly lashes if you apply most of your mascara at the base of your eyelashes and not the tips. Too much mascara on the tips will actually weigh them down and ruin the curl.

When applying your mascara, move your mascara wand back and forth in a horizontal direction and then move it out to the tips of your lashes to enhance the curl for both bottom and top lashes.

Curling Without an Eyelash Curler

If you don't have an eyelash curler, you can use a metal spoon. Press the back of the spoon against your eyelid and use your finger to press your eyelashes into the edge of the spoon -- your finger takes the place of the clamp of an actual eyelash curler. Hold for 10 seconds. Continuing pressing your eyelashes to the spoon while moving the spoon toward the tips of your eyelashes for added curl.

Tips for Maintaining the Curl

Keep your eyelashes curled throughout the day with a few simple tricks:

  • Apply mascara while you curl your lashes. Clamp the eyelash curler over your lashes and apply mascara with the lashes clamped in the curler.

  • Use a blow dryer to heat your eyelash curler. Heating your eyelash curler makes curling easier and may make the curl last longer.

  • Move the angle of the eyelash curler around while curling your eyelashes for even curlier lashes.

  • To make your mascara last longer -- which will make your curl last longer -- apply waterproof mascara over your regular mascara.