The first eyelash curler I ever tried was from Revlon back when I was in high school and unfortunately it didn't do much for my straight lashes. I was scared that I would accidentally pull out all my lashes so I didn't try using one again until my college days when I had a Trish McEvoy makeup lesson at Saks. My first high-end eyelash curler purchase was was from Trish McEvoy and I've loved it ever since. I've since tried curlers from Armani, Chanel, Le Métier de Beauté, Shiseido and Shu Uemura (original and the individual). I would say all are good, but my top three favorites include Trish McEvoy, Chanel and Le Métier de Beauté.
What I look for in an eyelash curler: I focus on the curve (how it fits my eye) and the density of the pads (I prefer something on the softer side but not too soft). I'm Asian without a crease in my lids. There is a curve to my lids but my eyes are not deepset. My lashes are very straight which makes them appear shorter than they are. I found Armani's pad too stiff (making it difficult to get a good curl), Shiseido's shape didn't work with my eyeshape and pinched in the corners, Shu Uemura's was good, I have no complaints yet I think there are better options. The individual eyelash curler was good in concept but impossible for me to hold in my fingers.
It can be a challenge to see how these all compare unless you find a retailer that carries all the brands. Right now, there are various Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom stores that should carry most of the above brands. For the three that I do love, here's the breakdown and photos first, then detailed thoughts below:
- Trish McEvoy wins for all around function, price and design (for me)
- Le Métier de Beauté wins for having the most lightweight easy to use design with the softest pad
- Chanel wins for aesthetics and has the thickest pad
Trish McEvoy's Eyelash Curler ($18) is a silver colored curler that comes with 1 replaceable pad and is made in Japan. If this came with refills available for purchase separately this would be holy grail material. The Trish Curler has the best feel in my hands. I have small fingers and while most eyelash curlers are virtually identical in shape and size, I sometimes find it difficult to hold some because of the angles or size of the handles. The pad has a medium density which I find ideal for getting a consistently even curl on both eyes by applying slight pressure. The pads last quite a long time and clean easily. I've repurchased numerous times. I find the Trish method of application to be helpful (although it might seem like common sense to most): "Position the Eyelash Curler as close to the base of the lashes as possible. Gently squeeze for 10 seconds, then 'walk' the curler out along the length of the lashes, squeezing as you go." I typically only squeeze for 4 seconds before releasing and moving the curler. I find curling the lashes in 3 sections helps get an even natural curl.
Chanel's Eyelash Curler ($34) is one of the newest on the market for the US. It was released in Asia a year ago, is made in Japan, and comes with 2 replacement pads. The Chanel curler comes in all black and out of all the curlers I've seen, the Chanel has the sleekest most sophisticated look. It has a very similar feel to the Trish McEvoy with an almost identical curve. The Chanel pad is thicker and stiffer but not too stiff. The curler gives a very good curl. For me, there is just one problem. Having black lashes with a black eyelash curler makes it very difficult to see exactly what I'm curling. The dark color of my lashes blends with the curler no matter what lighting I use. This requires a magnified mirror for me to see what I'm curling. This isn't too big of a problem though - if I start at the base of my lashes, I can see where to place the first curl and then work my way to the tips in three evenly spaced squeezes. Still I wouldn't use this if I were in a rush, the Trish and Le Métier work just as well and I don't have to look super closely to know what I'm curling.
Le Métier de Beauté's Eyelash Curler ($18) is finally available for sale at Neiman Marcus stores. For a while it was only available as a gift with purchase at various locations. This curler has the most curve out of all three that I'm reviewing in this post. It also has the softest most cushy pad I've ever tried. This was something I was not used to when I first tried it. Being softer I found that my first attempts gave me an uneven curl on both eyes as I was not able to apply consistent pressure. I was able to achieve a nice curl easier than ones with stiffer pads, but the result was uneven. After a bit of practice I was able to get used to the softer pad and have fallen in love since. A softer pad means that this curler doesn't last quite as long. I believe a replacement pad is included.
My general eyelash curler thoughts: I've been told that one needs to replace pads every 3-4 months and the actual curler every 9 months. I find the pads do wear down but am not always good about replacing consistently. I do clean after every 2-3 uses with makeup remover. For the actual curler, I'm equally bad about replacing. I've been told that the alignment of the hinges goes out after use which is why replacement pads are not sold for a number of brands. I always thought this seemed like a marketing scheme, but have noticed that replacing the curlers about once a year does make a difference when you compare a used one to a brand new one.
For more resources, tips and insights, I recommend these:
- The Non-Blonde's review on Le Métier de Beauté's Eyelash Curler
- Café Makeup's beautiful review and comparisons on Chanel and Le Metier (these are a must-read!)
- Thoughts on replacement frequency, cleaning tips, brand comparisons see the Q&A at Sephora.com
What's your favorite eyelash curler?