While most beauty products come with a learning curve (hello, liquid eyeliner!), many of us started using eyelash curlers without any tutorials or teachers. After all, they're pretty straightforward, right? Not necessarily. This go-to tool comes with its own set of rules and they can either give you beautiful eyelashes or leave you wanting more. We’ve uncovered a few of the most common hair-curling don’ts so next time you pinch your most delicate hairs into those fluttery curves, you’ll do so without any collateral damage.
Mistake #1. Pressing or Pulling Too Aggressively
You’ll know if you’re going overboard if you can feel the pressure on your lashes or if the strands end up looking more bent than curved (you want a C shape, not an L). Tugging too hard at your lashes might not only pluck them out altogether, but it can weaken hair follicles even when the hairs appear to be in place. A good eyelash curler won’t require a ton of force, so squeeze gently instead of pulling lashes outward and don’t secure the curler too close to your lash line.
Find Out: Why Are My Eyelashes Falling Out?
Mistake #2. Using a Dirty Eyelash Curler
Like all the tools in your beauty arsenal, eyelash curlers can also build up bacteria that can cause issues, like irritation or styes. Clean them regularly. Celebrity makeup stylist Lusine, who’s worked with Victoria Justice, suggests cleaning the rubber strip every three to six months. Wipe down the pad with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol and make sure it’s dry before you use it again. On that note, keep an eye on that pad on the curler and replace them every month or so.
Mistake #3. Applying Mascara Before Curling
This is one of the most common mistakes in the game. Experts agree you should curl first, then apply a lightweight mascara that won’t weigh your lashes down. Instead of giving yourself more volume or lift, mascara can make lashes sticky and possibly get pulled out by the curler, Carly Giglio, Stila’s manager of pro artistry, explains to Self.com.
All in all, using an eyelash curler carries a few risks to thick and long lashes. In order to avoid breaking and pulling, be gentle, diligent, and clean. You can also strengthen your lashes by supplementing with serums, such as Vegamour’s GRO Lash Serum or GRO+ Advanced Lash Serum, which harnesses the powers of full-spectrum hemp, red clover, and mung bean to keep hair and follicles as healthy as possible. That way if you happen to get a bit too clamp-happy on accident, you can ensure your lash and hair wellness will be as strong as possible to handle it!
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