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Five of the best ways to get lifted, curled lashes that last

By Megan Bedford

Five of the best ways to get lifted, curled lashes that last
Batter up! Here's how to give lasting lift and eye-opening curl to your natural eyelashes, even if yours are short and straight.

Cursed with stick-straight lashes that are barely visible? You’re certainly not alone.

Enhancing your eyelashes so they curve up into a long, lifted and voluminous set has spawned a huge, quickly growing beauty category that includes all manner of mascara, serums, treatments and more.

But getting those short, straight lashes to hold a natural-looking curl sometimes requires a combination of great products and tweaked technique when achieving a great set.

There are a few great products and tricks to use, but if all else fails, you could try mastering the application of false lashes!

Use an eyelash curler

If you’ve never used one, an eyelash curler can appear clunky and intimidating, but get to grips with its use and it will likely become an indispensable part of a makeup routine. 

Choose a good-quality one, as the mechanism and shape are generally more effective and gentler on your lashes than very cheap options. As each person’s eye shape varies, different curlers may be more or less effective so it may be a challenge to find the perfect option for you.

Begin with clean eyelashes as doing after mascara can cause sticking which can pull and damage your natural lashes, not to mention clumping the pigment together.

With your eyes open place the curler over your top lashes so they rest in between the top and padded base, stopping as close to the root of your eyelashes as possible. Clamp down on your lashes carefully and hold for a few seconds before releasing.

Once you are experienced, you can also clamp a second time by moving the curler slightly outwards further down the lashes to create a further curled effect.

The small pads inside the curler should be replaced every 4-6 months, depending on how often you use it, or they lose the firmness that provides a good curl.

Using a heated version or heating a metal eyelash curler slightly with your hairdryer (test the temperature on your hand before using!) can also help the curl last a lot longer.

Choose a curling mascara

Choose a curling mascara with a curved wand that helps scoop each lash up and coat it evenly from root to tip. The pigments contain waxes and often polymers that adhere and set, helping provide a type of ‘scaffolding’ to hold the curl in place. This is why it’s important to achieve an even application along each lash.

Many people also find waterproof mascara better for holding a curl in place. As waterproof mascaras block moisture they can have better staying power and hold but regular use can cause lashes to dry out and become brittle, especially as they need a stronger cleansing product to remove.

L-R: Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara; Maybelline Colossal Curl Bounce Waterproof Mascara; Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner; Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler; Glam By Manicare Heated Lash Curler

Apply enough, but not too much!

Try to keep mascara to only one or two coats as too much product on each lash can weigh it down. However, if you don’t apply enough you won’t achieve the coverage that helps hold a curl in place.

Lash primers that provide extra volume may also make each lash too heavy, so avoid their use if you’re looking for more curl and lift, unless it’s specifically intended to help with that.

Try a serum

Lash serums and conditioners help deliver key ingredients in order to keep your eyelashes in optimum shape. Most over-the-counter options use a combination of specific peptides (chains of amino acids) that support the production of healthy keratin to nourish, condition and strengthen lashes, prevent breakage and reduce fallout.  If this conditioning results in stronger, longer lashes, their natural curl will be stronger and more visible.

A lash lift is applied in-salon and helps lashes hold onto a bold curl for weeks. 

Get a lift

Like an 80s-style perm, but for your lashes. This salon-only treatment can be a game-changer, especially if you like to go makeup-free. The results of a salon lash lift mean your lashes stay naturally uplifted for weeks and help the natural length of your set from root to tip appear more visible.

All lashes have a natural shape to them but this process helps temporarily change yours, thanks to each lash being treated with a lifting solution. 

It does mean you need to be okay with keeping your eyes closed for at least 30 minutes, often longer, but that’s the hardest part of the process and you can lie back and relax in the meantime. During the treatment time your lashes are attached to, and curled over, tiny silicone rods and set with a solution, often containing keratin. They can be also tinted darker during this process for an even more defined look. 

The fluttery, lifted results last anywhere between 6-12 weeks depending on the natural growth and shedding cycle of your lashes.



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