I have a love-hate relationship with eyelash curlers. They definitely get the job done, seriously upping the wow-factor of my peepers. But even after much practice, I still manage to pinch my delicate eyelids once in a while and I always shed more lashes when I use the tool regularly. It’s easy to accidentally yank out or break off your lashes, even if properly using the most expensive of gadgets.
Fortunately, an eyelash curler isn’t the only way to give yourself the doe-eyed look. If you’re over the damage, have yet to master the technique, or simply left your curler at home while on vacation, check out these three eye-opening alternatives.
Here’s how to safely curl your lashes—no metal curler required.
1. Use a spoon.
Actor Eiza González says her mom taught her this very important beauty hack at a young age—and it’s almost too easy. Just grab an ordinary spoon from your kitchen drawer, warm it up, press the curved edge against your lashes, and hold with pressure from your thumb for a few seconds. “When you don’t have a curler, you can run to your kitchen and warm it up with your hands,” she tells Vogue. You can also heat up the spoon under warm water or with a quick burst of air from your blow dryer.
2. Use a Q-tip.
Q-tips are great for cleaning your ears (just don’t swab too deep!) and removing fossilized eyeliner, and they’re also perfect for curling your eyelashes. After applying a coat of mascara, hold the middle section of the Q-tip—not the fluffy ends—horizontally along your lash line and push up on your lashes. After 10 to 15 seconds, your mascara will have dried, locking the curl in place.
3. Use your finger.
No curler, Q-tip, or spoon in sight? Your finger should do the trick! Wash your hands and apply a coat of mascara, then use your index finger to curve your lashes up and hold. It might be a little messy, but the method works mighty well in a pinch.
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