Monday, March 2, 2009

Eyelash Curlers: the Peril of Pretty

When is the worst time for a ladybug to unexpectedly land on your hand? When that hand is holding an eyelash curler that is, at that very moment, clamping down on your eyelashes. Fortunately, I didn't pull out all of my lashes.

Do you need to risk such grievous injuries? Probably not. Unless your lashes are extremely long or stick straight out, an eyelash curler will probably only make a minuscule difference in the look of your eyes, and if you're not careful, it can do more harm than good. If you truly feel the urge to curl, here's some pointers!

First, don't spend lots of money on a curler. I have several eyelash curlers, including the cult favorite, award winning one by Shu Uemura. At $20, the company claims it's ergonomically designed, precisely measured, and balanced to apply the optimal amount of pressure for the perfect curl. All of this science is apparently lost on my lashes, because my $4 Revlon curler performs identically. Were it not for the slight difference in the density of the curler's pad, and the fact that Shu Uemura embosses it's name on their product, I doubt even Mr. Uemura himself could tell the difference.

Armed with your tool, lash curling is easy, provided you take your time in a well-lit (preferably ladybug free) room. Always curl your lashes when they are 100% clean; mascara makes the lashes brittle and more prone to breaking from the pressure of the curler. Additionally, curling over a fresh coat of mascara is likely to press lashes together, creating clumps.

Resting the eyelash curler against your lid, place your lashes between the pad and the top bar so that your top lashes hit the top bar when your eye is open. Blink a few times; this helps ensure that all of your lashes make it into the curler. Squeeze slowly and gently, curling in two or three passes, one near the root of the lash, another in the center of the lash then finally near the tips of the lashes, if necessary. Whether you choose to curl with your eye open or closed is a personal preference; I find it easier to keep them open.

Press for about 10 seconds, but not as hard as the curler will allow you to- too much pressure will result in an obvious crimp instead of a soft bend. If you find your lashes don't easily accept a curl, try warming your eyelash curler with a hair dryer for just a few seconds, and ALWAYS feel the metal parts of the eyelash curler before you put it near your eye! When you finish curling, top with your usual mascara, which will act as a fixative to help hold the curl.

2 comments:

Suzy said...

I couldn't help but laugh at the opening of this post hehe. I know how you must have felt.

It wasn't a ladybug that decided to be evil with me, but I did manage to rip out most of my eyelashes on my right eye last night while trying to curl my lashes :(

I just hope they grow back!

Jessica said...

Suzy,
If you happen to have an extra $120 lying around, you could get a prescription for Latisse- an FDA approved treatment that increases the length, thickness and darkness of the eyelashes.

Of course, it takes a minimum of 4 weeks to see results, which is right around when your plucked lashes will be coming back in. Don't worry, even if you don't have the cash to shell out, your lashes should be back in full force within 8 weeks.

While you're waiting, if the lash loss is obvious, applying individual lashes may be a good option- they come in several different lengths to match your own. Waterproof adhesives like Ardell's LashTite or Duo Surgical Eyelash Adhesive will even help lashes stay on for days at a time, provided you don't use oil based makeup remover on your eyes.

Good Luck!

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