Mastering the art of perfectly curled eyelashes is an ongoing quest for the beauty editors here at Team Zoe—we’re all ears for cutting edge tips, tricks and products that promise to give us the fullest fringe possible. We caught up with Kira Nasrat, lead resident makeup artist at Violet Grey, who shared everything you need to know on the subject (and trust the woman—she’s worked with everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Lupita Nyong’o). From products to use, techniques to employ and game-changing hacks to know, think of this as an all-inclusive digest to achieving your best lashes yet.
What is the best eyelash curler on the market and why?
“Utowa’s Eyelash Curler is the best hands-down—it was created by the son of the late Shu Uemura, Hiroshi Uemura. Often times with lash curlers the first thing people think is, “Oh great, it’s going to curl my lashes and that’s pretty much it.” But, there’s a trick to it—you want to pay attention to the tension in the tool, and Utowa’s product is top notch in that regard. You want tension because that’s what’s going to help you curl your lashes more. If you have one that’s too flimsy, it’s not going to get a good grip on your lashes. The Utowa curler also has a really nice shape to it, which is hugely important. It’s not too wide where you’re going to have gaps at the sides [where lashes can get stuck between the metal pieces], but it’s small enough to fully gather your fringe so you can really clamp on and get a nice curl. The way it’s designed is impeccable—similar to its Shu Uemura predecessor [an iconic and industry-preferred product], it has its own unique design. The pad on this product [the rubbery part on the bottom portion of the clamp] never falls out and doesn’t wear out like others.”
What to do before curling your lashes:
“Before you start, make sure your lashes are fully dry. A mistake people tend to make is when they’re rushing to get ready after they shower, they curl their lashes and throw on mascara while they’re still slightly damp. They then think that the products they’re using don’t work, and that’s really not the case—it’s because the canvas wasn’t well-prepped! Think of it as if you try to curl your hair when it’s wet—the curl is not going to hold, and it’s going to cause damage or breakage. Prep your tool by heating it up with a blow-dryer, allowing it to cool to comfortable temperature before using it. Lastly, sprinkle a bit of baby powder onto your lashes to plump them before applying mascara.”
How to properly use the curler:
“Place the curler at the root of your lashes and think about applying pressure separately in three sections—in the inner corner of the eye, the center and the outer corner. A special tip for the center [where the bulk of your lashes will be gripped] is to hold it down for a few extra seconds, then follow with a couple gentle taps of pressure to give extra attention and really lock in the curled shape.”
What to do if you have eyelash extensions or false eyelashes:
“You definitely need to be more careful and delicate when handling the tool with falsies or extensions. Again, make sure your lashes are dry—I can’t stress enough how important that is! Then, brush out your fringe with a clean mascara wand or comb to ensure the hairs are not tangled. When you’re ready to curl, instead of clamping at the base with your tool, use light pressure to tap into the middle section of the lashes to gently give the shape some curl.”
How to use mascara to get the best curled lashes:
“After your lashes have been curled, it’s time to play up the effect with mascara. Your first coat should be applied in a very thin layer. The formula shouldn’t be clumpy or thick—to loosen it up, put the tube in warm water. For this base coat, I love using the Serge Lutens mascara because it’s thin, waterproof and really locks in the curl. For your next few coats, layer on Charlotte Tilbury’s Full Fat Lashes mascara, which is going to give you massive volume. These two formulas work together as the perfect pair for gorgeous curled lashes.”