You Can Still Safely Curl Your Lashes Without a Lash Curler

Here's how.

My initial thought when I began exploring how one might curl her lashes without the use of a lash curler was that it sounded dangerous, like a beauty disaster waiting to happen. But that was before, I know things now, and I've determined that it is possible to curl your lashes safely without a curler. While the techniques we're exploring here probably won't give you quite the boost of your favorite lash curler, they will work in a pinch and shouldn't leave you with fewer lashes than when you started (please see beauty disaster).

Woman Curling Lashes
Getty/Bernd Vogel

How To Curl Lashes with a Mascara Wand

Of the three safe options I'm sharing here, this is probably the most straightforward—and you might even already practice this to prep your lashes prior to curling with your tool. After applying mascara, give it one more coat using a back-and-forth motion, but this time hold the wand at the top of the lashes for about 10 seconds before finishing the upward swipe. Don't let the first mascara coats dry completely before following with your curling layer—you want the mascara to set fully post curl, not before.

How To Curl Lashes with a Cotton Swab

Start by applying mascara. The key here is to use the long side of the cotton swab, not the cotton portion that might result in little fibers sticking to your still-wet mascara. Place the swab at the base of the lashes and gently press toward the eye crease, holding for 10 seconds at the base, middle of the lashes, and tips.

How To Curl Lashes with Aloe Vera

Remember back in the early aughts when high school girls the country over were applying hair gel with reckless abandon, scrunching those strands into oblivion as they tried to coax out every last bit of wave? This technique is kind of like that, except not as crunchy and you won't look back on the photos and cringe. Grab a mascara spoolie and apply just a hint of aloe. You don't want the aloe going on too thick or else it could flake off when dry or travel over to the eye when applying or setting. Your best bet for curling your lashes with aloe is to let them go au naturel. I would not suggest applying mascara over the gel, sounds like a bad case of the mascara flakes if you ask me.

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In my research for this story, I read about quite a few other methods that sounded or looked downright unsafe. I skipped anything that involved warming a tool (i.e. warming a toothbrush head, a metal spoon, or even holding a wooden cotton swab over an open flame—I know). One technique called on using a room temperature spoon to curl lashes similar to how one might curl a ribbon using a pair of scissors, pulling the ribbon taut, and pulling through. I was good with the non-heated spoon part, but they lost me with the ribbon curling analogy. A little curl is nothing to sacrifice our hard-earned lashes for. Then there were the ideas that revolved around using the fingertips to gently push lashes upward as the mascara dries. While it was stressed that only clean fingertips should be used, we've all seen those hand washing experiments involving moldy bread. In the name of a little extra volume for my lashes? No thanks.

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