After years of failure, I've finally found the one.

By Brennan Long
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Woman Applying Mascara
Credit: Laflor/Getty Images

I was 15 years old the first time that I realized that eyelash curlers were going to be a necessity in my makeup bag. I had attempted to put on fake eyelashes for a ballet performance, while my real lashes stuck straight out underneath the perfectly curled strips from the drugstore. No amount of mascara could introduce the natural and fake layers of fringe. 

I went through the next few years of high school wishing to trade in my curly hair for straight locks and my stick lashes in for my sister's that seemed to bend perfectly upwards. Eventually I did learn the right way to style my curly hair, but I have yet to fall in love with my straight eyelashes. Even if I don't wear mascara for some outings, I rarely leave the house without a quick squeeze of the eyelash curler.

 I had spent years picking up $5 curlers from the drugstore, but I was never thrilled with the results. Those tools always seem to do the bare minimum, while my mascara and application technique did all the heavy lifting. 

During a 2020 edit of my entire beauty routine, I decided to look into an eyelash curler that would go above and beyond. After reading too many online reviews, I eventually put my Ulta Rewards to good use and splurged on the $22 eyelash curler from Shiseido. I am happy to report that this tool lifts every single lash, corner to corner, without pinching my eyelid. Just a good squeeze before mascara, and my eyes immediately look bright and open. My lashes bend up from the root in a natural pattern, and stay lifted throughout the day.

Eyelash Curler
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Buy It: $22; Ulta.com

Since this tool gets to all my fringe in one single application, I'm not spending precious morning time curling my lashes from each and every angle of my eye. I used to solely purchase mascara with a curved wand, but now that my eyelash curler does its job I've been able to experiment with formulas that work the best for me and not worry about the shape of the brush. In short, my new favorite beauty tool was worth the price tag. The next time I do leave home, I'll be triple checking that I dropped this Shiseido curler in my makeup bag.