The Expert Guide to Curling Your Eyelashes

Curling your lashes is one of those oft-overlooked steps that can make all the difference. It seems superfluous, sure, but once you start doing it correctly, it's hard to believe you ever neglected it. That being said, it can be intimidating. A lash curler looks kind of like a torture device, and it's not exactly self-explanatory in execution. 

With that in mind, we reached out to one of our favorite makeup artists, Kelli Bartlett, the director of makeup artistry for Glamsquad, for quick and easy steps to getting it right each time. She offered up five tips, along with product recommendations, that will help even the most novice lash curlers get through it. So without further ado, read on for how to best curl your eyelashes, and trust—you'll never forgo it again.

Meet the Expert

Tobi Henney is a makeup artist based in New York City. Her client roster includes the likes of Ashley Graham, Barbara Palvin, Charlotte Lawrence, and more. She previously served as L'Oréal Paris Makeup Director for Australia.

Step One: Prep Your Lash Curler

Once you've selected your lash curler of choice (Henney recommends this Surratt option), be sure to clean it off with a makeup wipe. This will remove any dust, caked on mascara, or debris from prior use to pave the way for more precise, hygienic lash curling.

surratt curler
Surratt Beauty Lash Curler $34
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Step Two: Get into Position

"Once you've got a clean lash curler, the best way to start is to tilt your head slightly in the mirror, open up the lash curler, and then just gently lift the curler over your upper lash line," says Henney, adding that you want to get as close to the lash line as possible without pinching it. "And then just slowly pinch it while looking in the mirror." Henney recommends pulsing the lash curler onto your lashes a few times before releasing, rather than just holding it shut on the lashes.

Be sure that your curler is reaching the outer lashes in order to create the fanned-out, wide-eyed lash look.

Step Three: Apply a Lash Primer

After curling, Henney recommends applying a quality lash primer to help boost dimension. Remember, don't go overboard with the primer; a thin layer is all you need to optimize your lashes for mascara application.

velvet primer
Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Primer $27
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Step Four: Top it Off With Mascara

Henney recommends finishing the look with this Marc Jacobs mascara, which she describes as "ultra volumizing." Remember that volumizing mascaras are formulated for those with more sparse, thin lashes, while lengthening mascaras are better suited for those who have a thick volume of lashes, but are lacking in the length department. Volumizing mascaras usually feature a fluffy, feathery brush (many iterations include an hourglass applicator shape), while lengthening mascaras typically feature a rubberized applicator with more "spiky" bristles to grip lashes. If volume and length are a concern for you, don't be afraid to layer different mascaras.

velvet noir mascara
Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara $27
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