I have always loved the no-makeup makeup look, and in my youth tried to recreate it by actually wearing no makeup at all (side note: that didn’t work too well for me, and over the years I have gotten marginally better). After some trial and error with a heated spoon (another bad beauty flashback), I discovered that the best tool to recreate the wide-eyed, “Who, me?” natural look I aspired to was not in fact in the kitchen but the eyelash curler! Over the years I have bought and tested most of the curlers on the market—which luckily has grown since my first dalliance with a teaspoon and my Mother’s Revlon blow dryer. Here I round up my top five:
The newest in my collection is also my current favorite: the Surratt eyelash curler (a.k.a. the Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler, if you’re feeling fancy). It’s sleek, chic, and works as well as it looks! It’s not prone to pinching and creates a great, long-lasting curl—the silicone pad also holds up well to daily use. Plus it comes with a dangling brand tag for extra visual impact, like keeping the size sticker on your flat brim baseball cap or the dealership plates on your new car longer than necessary. Just like I need people to know I drove all the way to Glendale for my Hyundai, I need people to know that I have a Surratt eyelash curler and they can too!
Pairs well with: tubing mascaras, such as Surratt Beauty Relevée Mascara and Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara
I initially bought this curler as a Sephora checkout impulse buy—I feel this article speaks to my lack of self-control, but just in case you needed another reminder—but it turned out to be a great and affordable option! Although it takes a little more force than others on this list to get the perfect curl, it's as well made as pricier options and provides a soft, natural look. Sephora's website tells me it's made in Japan, and it shares a lot of similarities to the Japanese-made higher priced options on this list. Definitely an excellent choice for someone new to curlers, or as your makeup bag back-up curler.
Pairs well with: Sephora Favorites mascara sampler, because I always throw more than one thing in my bag when impulse buying at the register
Another excellent, affordable option that can be purchased during your next Target run or when you're wandering the aisles at Walgreens deep in thought (am I the only one who finds wandering drugstores therapeutic?—maybe that's the subject for another post). There are a few good drugstore options—including Revlon—but I prefer Tweezerman as it gives good curl with minimal effort, and its pads hold up well to repeated use. It might not be as sexy as other options, but sometimes you just want something to work, damn it! And if that's your style, Tweezerman is a great option.
Pairs well with: other drug store stapes, such as L'Oréal Telescopic Mascara, Maybelline Full 'N Soft and Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
This curler needs no introduction. It's the Beyoncé of eyelash curlers for a reason—it works hard, sells out almost immediately, looks good, and lives up to its own hype. It provides an excellent natural curl and is my favorite to use when I don't want to wear mascara (and maybe even try to fool people into thinking my eyelashes are just naturally that curly). I'm not sure I convince anyone, but this curler gives me the confidence to try! A beauty staple for a reason, you can't go wrong with the Shu Uemura.
Pairs well with: other cult classics, such as Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara and Lancôme DÉFINICILS High Definition Mascara—or nothing at all!
I bought this curler once it was recommended by beauty guru and makeup artist Lisa Eldridge in several of her (incredibly soothing and informative) make-up tutorial videos. It took me a long time to come around to loving it because it's much less dramatic than other options on this list—it gives an incredibly natural look, but that also means it doesn't provide the impact some people may be looking for in a curler. However, if you already have curly lashes, this might be exactly you are looking for! It also works really well when you are already wearing mascara—which I know is a faux pas, but sometimes you are in a pinch (pun intended), and exceptions need to be made! Not my absolute favorite, but definitely one that I turn to when the occasion calls for it.
Pairs well with: dramatic, look-making mascaras such as Too Faced Better Than Sex and Dior Diorshow Mascara