I have curled my lashes every day since I was 16. My lashes are stick-straight, so curling them is the best way to look more awake and open up my eye area. Since I’ve been doing this for decades, I’ve tried many, many eyelash curlers. A decent eyelash curler has a handle that comfortably fits your fingers. A great eyelash curler isn’t just comfortable; it ensures that your lashes don’t get pinched, and it molds them into a nice swoop. The difference comes down to the eye bed, an inch-long curved strip (often made of silicone) that acts as a resting place for your lashes during the curling process.
Below are my picks for the best eyelash curlers out there, including fancy ones, drugstore ones, and the one all the makeup artists are obsessed with. Read on for all of them, including the eyelash curler I’ve been using for three years straight.
The Best Drugstore Eyelash Curler
Great eyelash curlers are hard to find at a drugstore price point. This is one of the best-reviewed affordable ones on Amazon, with almost 700 reviews and close to a five-star rating.
The Best Eyelash Curler for Sensitive Eyes
Tweezerman has an extensive line of affordably priced curlers that work just as well as the pricier ones, according to most internet reviews. On this one, the eyelash pad — the rounded crescent which helps shape lashes — is silicon rather than the more common rubber, making it a good option if you have sensitive eyes. I personally found that this didn’t hold a curl as long as the others, but my lashes are particularly stubborn.
The Best Eyelash Curler for Newbies
This one is a longtime favorite of makeup artists because it gives a pretty, soft swoop to the lashes, rather than an unnatural 90-degree angle. It’s a perfect starter lash curler if you want to try something comfortable that yields instant results. My only caveat is that my friends with wider or bigger eyes reported that the eye bed (the part you press up against your eye socket) wasn’t very comfortable.
The Shu Uemura Backup
This one is loved by makeup artists because its eye bed is slightly wider and less round, so it works better on a variety of eye shapes. It also opens a little wider, which makes it more comfortable to use. If you can’t find the Shu Uemura one, which is in limited retailers, this is a good backup.
The Universally Loved Eyelash Curler
The One With All the Amazon Rave Reviews
Amazon reviewers are positively ecstatic about this curler. There are close to 9,000 reviews all praising this one as being “the best.” Reviewers rate this one close to five stars and praise it for being easy to use and effective, without any pinching.
The One That Gives Your Lashes a Perm and Works With Extensions
If you’ve tried eyelash curlers before and have been frustrated at their lack of hold, try a heated one. As scary as they sound, they do hold a curl for longer and are ideal for extensions (mechanical eyelash curlers can damage them). This is one of the highest-ranked ones online, and it’s easy to use — it doesn’t become unbearably hot. You gently press it against the middle of your lashes to give yourself a lash lift.
The Eyelash Curler You Can Charge by USB
This curler works very similar to the Chella one mentioned above, except that you can actually charge it by USB. It’s pretty genius.
The One for Teeny-Tiny Lashes
If you are determined to curl every single lash, try this. Despite its pincer-like shape, it won’t snatch your lashes but it will precisely help you curl every single baby lash, even those close to your tear ducts or the edges of your eye. Just don’t hold it upside down. The pink curved section should go on the bottom.
The Exceptionally Cute One
This eyelash curler isn’t just cute; it’s functional, too. If you want one you can display on your bathroom counter, this one checks that box. Plus, it’s non-pinching and gentle, and the eye bed is supportive and bouncy so your lashes don’t feel crimped.
The Best Overall Eyelash Curler
Unlike other curlers that I’ve tested out which pinch or prod or secretly yank an eyelash out when I’m not paying attention, this curler feels like a hug. The eye bed is formulated so that it delivers the best curl swoop, one that instantly opens the eye and makes you look more alert. It is so cushion-y that it feels like my lashes are resting on their own special pillow. Notably, even the handle of the curler is different — it’s double-barreled, which is like a fail-safe that prevents you from over-squeezing or crimping your lashes. Don’t just take my word for it. One of my other colleagues tried it after hearing me rave about it and simply said, “I feel supported.”
This article was originally published on May 4, 2018. It has been updated throughout. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.