If you frequently wake up and check your face in the mirror only to think, “Whoa, my eyelashes are all over the place,” don’t worry, that is incredibly normal! The average person has around 150 to 200 eyelashes, and sooner or later, some of them are bound to fall out of line. Luckily, most people aren’t getting close enough to your face to actually notice your unruly eyelashes, but still, it can be annoying.
There are methods to tame your wonky eyelashes. The more often you coax them all into the right direction, the more you’ll “train” them to sit that way on their own—just like you can train your hair to part in a certain direction. You’ll need a few handy tools and some patience.
Start with a lash comb
Your eyelashes are hairs, so like the hair on the rest of your body, you should comb them to help them stay in place. Mind. Blown.
One trick is to comb out your lashes after you get out of the shower, because your lashes will dry in whatever shape they’re in when they’re wet (again, just like your hair). Use a lash comb or a dry spoolie to comb out your lashes.
Use lash primer or clear mascara
There’s a primer for everything these days. Lash primer preps your lashes for mascara by providing a surface for your mascara to stick to, making your mascara more effective.
Most importantly, lash primer helps to wrangle those unruly eyelashes into place. It also thickens and lengthens your lashes, which can be helpful for the short curly eyelashes that are determined to do their own thing. Try the Givenchy Base Mascara Perfecto or the Stila Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer.
You can also use clear mascara for the same purpose! It may not “prime” your lashes for the mascara, but it will certainly help brush them into place.
Use a heated eyelash curler
Now, to set the eyelashes in place, you’ll need an eyelash curler. And if you really want to get the job done, use a heated eyelash curler (which can double as an eyelash straightener, if that’s your goal). It’s the best tool for the job, because the heat allows the curler to truly bend the hairs into shape. Reviewers love the Hitachi Eye Crie Eye Crie Eyelash Curler and the Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler With Comb for fixing short or downward-facing eyelashes.
If you don’t want to invest in a heated eyelash curler, you can achieve a similar effect with a blow dryer and a regular eyelash curler. Use the blow dryer to heat up the eyelash curler, then test the heat on your wrist before applying it to your lashes for at least 30 seconds.
If your lashes get tangled while they’re in the curler, or if you accidentally achieve a weird shape, brush them out again and re-curl.
Then add waterproof mascara
Lastly, mascara is the most efficient way to actually hold your eyelashes in place all day long. It’s like a styling product for your lashes!
For this to be effective, you need to use a mascara that’s strong enough to hold the curl throughout the day. Waterproof mascaras are often longer-lasting, so they’re great for this. Two options are the Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Mascara and the Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara.
If you notice any clumping, remove some mascara and/or manually separate the lashes before the mascara dries.
Voila! It may take some practice to get the hang of these tricks, but once you do, your crooked eyelashes don’t stand a chance.
Kim Wong-Shing is a writer, lipstick junkie, and plant mama in New Orleans. She grew up in Philadelphia and went to Brown University. She's previously written about wellness, beauty, pop culture and other topics for LittleThings, NaturallyCurly, Lifehacker, HelloGiggles, Wear Your Voice Magazine, and other publications.