Eyelash Curler: What It Is & How to Use It

“The eyes are the windows to the soul” wrote many scholars and poets from the days of Matthew to this day.

And we, the mortals, try to make this portal to our soul as attractive as possible. A well known way to make the eyes appear bigger and more pronounced is by manipulating the eyelashes.

The eyelashes provide an important biological function: they are sensitive to the touch and protect the eyes from airborne debris, in the same way that whiskers tell a cat that something is near by.

Our eyelashes develop in vitro during the 22nd to 26th weeks of gestation. In adults, the lashes take about 8 weeks to grow. The color of the lashes tend to be darker than the head hair.
Lashes appear in other mammals as well. The camel’s lashes are known to be especially long and thick to protect it’s eyes from sand storms. Horses, dogs, cats, cows and even ostriches have eyelashes as well.

Long eyelashes have been considered throughout the ages as a sign of femininity. Women try to enhance the appearance of the eyelashes through coloring them with mascara or wearing artificial eyelashes that are glued to the base of the eye lid where normal eyelashes usually grow. The latest fashion calls for eyelash extensions that are glued individually between your own eyelashes and last for a few weeks. Permanent tinting of the eyelash also exists.

In recent years the drug companies have turned their attention to the eyelashes as well. We started hearing a lot about Latisse, a medication approved by the FDA in 2009, for the purpose of enhancing the growth of eyelashes. Another medication, called Lumigan, is normally prescribed to treat glaucoma. One of the side effects of this medication, it was discovered, is to grow long and new eyelashes.

But if you don’t want to resort to medications that have some side effects (the Lumigan for example will darken your eye color turning hazel eyes to brown), there are other methods: eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara and eyelash curlers.

Eyelash curlers are in existence since the beginning of the 1930s, invented by William McDonnell of Rochester, New York. They were made of metal and later had rubber pads. The best ones today are still made of very light metal with silicon pads. Some editions are made of 24k gold.

This crimping tool with a scissor-like handles is designed to make your eyes appear wider and brighter by curling the upper lashes, slanting them back towards the brow. This way, it is believed, they open the eyes and provide a frame.

How to Use Eyelash Curler?

For the process to be clean and fast, do it before applying mascara.

  1. Open the curlers and trap the upper lashes in between the pads as close as you can to the base of the lashes.
  2. Close the curler and hold for a few seconds. Release and move up the lashes until they are facing the direction you desire.
  3. To accelerate the process you can heat up the curlers with a hair dryer. Warm them up, do not make them too hot to touch.
  4. Apply a good coat of mascara.

Do not pull the lashes to the side with sudden movements or slide the curler instead of opening it up. With some practice this process lasts a mere few seconds.

You can always “touch up” the curve of the lashes after you’ve applied mascara, but remember to clean the silicone pads with eye makeup remover. You don’t want the old mascara crimp the lashes in the wrong direction. Manufacturers recommend to change the pads every two months or so.