How To Make Even The Most Stubborn Eyelashes Stay Curled All Day Long

Experts explain.

by Miki Hayes and Audrey Noble
Originally Published: 
Wondering how to make your straight eyelashes stay curled? Experts tell Bustle here.

If you were born with doll-like lashes, kudos. Having to curl eyelashes every day is not only a nuisance, but sometimes it doesn't even last. As someone with stick-straight lashes, my eyelash curler is simultaneously my best friend and my worst enemy. I rely on it daily to help my eyes appear bigger and brighter. But the curl it provides never lasts as long as I want. The struggle to have endlessly curled lashes is real. However, there is a way to curl lashes to make sure the curl holds longer.

Lashes lose their curl for many reasons. According to celebrity lash stylist and founder of Envious Lashes Clementina Richardson, some people just have naturally straighter eyelashes that don’t hold curl well. She lists humidity, the type of mascara you already use, and repeated damage (i.e. clamping too hard with an eyelash curler or over-processed lash treatments) as the other reasons your fringe might fall flat. Celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes agrees and adds that it can come down to something as simple as your mascara being too heavy or not curling your lashes correctly.

Although it is much faster to just pinch the lashes in one place at the base, it’s not going to give you a long-lasting lift. Instead, pulse the curler throughout the length of the lashes. Curling at three points instead of just one — base, middle, and top — will create a natural, eye-opening look. And besides this, if only one section falls, the lashes will still appear to have some curl to them.

Looking for more ways to make your eyelashes stay curled from morning to night? Read on for more expert-approved tips.

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Always Use A Waterproof Mascara

One of the simplest things you can do to make sure your eyelashes stay curled all day long is to apply waterproof mascara before your regular mascara. A waterproof formula can seal the curl to ensure your lashes won't droop throughout the day (think of it like hairspray for your lashes). Of course, you can stop at the waterproof, but you can also layer your favorite mascara on top for longer and thicker lashes.

Put Mascara On Before Curling

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

You may have heard that you should always curl your eyelashes before applying mascara. The reason: If you curl your lashes after applying mascara, the mascara can stick to the curler and cause your lashes to either break or be pulled out (ouch). However, if you're very, very careful, curling your lashes after applying mascara instead of before can actually help your curl hold. Just be sure to wait long enough after applying mascara so that it is completely dry before you take a curler to your lashes. You'll also want to proceed more slowly than you normally would. Use gentle pulses and never squeeze too hard.

Use An Eyelash Curler Strategically

Hughes says to first start with the center of your lashes, pushing the curved portion against your lid. She says you can even push a little bit on your actual eyelid to let the curler get as close as possible to the root of your eyelashes. Next, you’ll want to gently clamp lashes together to make sure you’re not pinching skin. Once you’re in the clear, clamp a bit more firmly to get that deep curl. After, she says do these steps again on the inner lashes and then again on the outer lashes. “It’s all about the angle in which you hold your tool,” she says. Her go-to tool is the rèphr Eyelash Curler for an even and long-lasting curl.

Consider A Lash Lift

If you’re looking for long-lasting curls, try a treatment like a lash lift. These chemical treatments create a deep curl that lasts anywhere from four to six weeks. “The entire length of your lash is curled, from the base to the tip, so you can see its full length,” says Richardson. “They are ideal for people who want to add curl without the volume or texture of lash extensions.” She adds that lash lifts are great for those with lashes that are longer than 4mm and a lash technician will help you decide the amount of curl based on the desired styling.

If you want dramatic lift, volume, and texture, she says to consider booking an appointment for eyelash extensions. When done by a skilled professional, they can also last four to six weeks and won’t damage your lashes.

Don’t Touch Your Lashes


One of the easiest ways to make sure your lashes stay curled is to keep your hands off. “Don’t touch your lashes throughout the day,” says Richardson. “Be very gentle with them.” If you have the urge to pick, she recommends using a spoolie to gently brush them out.

Never Heat A Mechanical Lash Curler

Although heating an eyelash curler with a hairdryer has been touted as a hack to prolong a curl, this method can actually be quite dangerous. Of course, if you proceed with extreme caution, it can work, but the potential harm and damage is not worth it. Because the skin around the eye is so much thinner and more sensitive than other areas, it is surprisingly easy to burn using this method.

While thicker, darker lashes can tolerate a little more heat than finer, lighter ones, it can be difficult to know just how much heat is being applied. There's really not much worse that can happen when curling lashes than releasing the curler and finding that all of your lashes have burned off. “You should never apply anything hot near your eyes, this can potentially not only damage your eyelashes but also your actual eyes,” says Hughes. “When applying heat to your eyelashes, think of it as applying heat to your hair: eyelashes are much more fragile and will break or become extremely dry with heat.”

“When you heat your metal eyelash curler with a hairdryer, you’re not controlling the heat,” adds Richardson. “You can easily burn and damage your lashes.” Instead, she recommends a heated eyelash curler that has controlled settings.

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