Friday, May 14, 2010


Dear Budget Belle,

I've been curling my eyelashes in the morning, but the curl never seems to stay. They look curled and pristine when I'm putting on my make-up, but as soon as I do a last minute check before I run out the door it looks like I didn't do anything at all. What am I doing wrong?
----Long-Lashed in Louisville

Dear Long-Lashed,

Curling your eyelashes is a quick and easy fix to making your eyes look more open (think wide-eyed ingenue) and giving you a younger, fresher appearance. Having said that, it's not the most intuitive make-up technique. If you're not sure how to do it, you can end up with a quick curl that will fall flat in a matter of minutes. No worries - once you master the technique, you can have Audrey Hepburn lashes in mere seconds. The trick? Time. Just a few extra seconds of applying pressure with an eyelash curler will make all the difference.
First, you need the proper tools. An eyelash curler (I recommend Shu Uemura - it's pretty much the best eyelash curler ever invented and it runs around $20-$25 at Sephora) and mascara. I know the eyelash curler looks like a medieval torture device, but I promise it doesn't hurt. If you feel any pinch at all, you're doing it wrong. (Insert "that's what she said" joke here. See? And who says we think all of our readers are female? Hello, boys!)

Back to basics - make sure that you have no make-up on your eyes. You don't want to curl your eyelashes if you already have on mascara, because you run the risk of the mascara sticking to the pad inside the eyelash curler and pulling out some eyelashes. Ouch! Also, I don't like to curl my eyelashes if I already have on eyeshadow or liner, because it may smudge everything.
Hold the curler like you would a pair of scissors, with the curling part facing up. Some people like to heat the curler for a few seconds with a blowdryer. I use this method with my hairdryer on LOW and it does hold the curl for much longer. However, if you're a newbie at curling your lashes, I'd skip that step for now. Wait until you get the hang of the process before you add hot metal to the mix. (Wise words for many situations. Wow, I'm punchy today.)
Position the curler so that the upper lashes are between the inside edges of the curler. Some people like to close their eyes, put the curler in position, then open them; some people like to keep their eyes open the entire time to get the curler into position - it's really just your personal preference. I tend to put the curler close to my eyelid, look down a bit so my lashes get lower, then look up to get them into position.
Once your lashes are in position, squeeze the handles of the curler together and hold for about 10 seconds. Then, release the hold and move the curler down your lashes just a little bit (do NOT pull the curler down the length of your lashes). Squeeze the handles and hold for about 5 seconds. You're going to repeat this process as you go down the lash. I find that this gives you a little extra curl and holds it for a while longer.
After you've repeated this process down the length of your lashes, apply mascara as usual. Repeat the process with your other eye.
There you have it - perfectly curled eyelashes. It sounds like a long and difficult process, but I promise it's really easy! If you're still not getting the hang of it, leave a comment or send me an email.

Yours Truly,
Budget Belle

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