You know those mornings when you wake up, look in the mirror, and are legitimately terrified of the zombie woman staring back at you? Well, same (thanks for nothing, after-dinner espresso shot). And while the combination of under-eye concealer and mascara can usually help to make you look slightly more alive in these moments, even that has its limits… especially around 2 p.m., when the concealer rubs off and mascara drips into raccoon eyes and you find yourself staring into another mirror wondering why the F your face is rebelling against you.
If this sounds all too familiar, fear not—because a makeup artist who works under the legendary Pat McGrath gave us an entirely new—and dare I say even better?—way to make ourselves look more awake, no makeup required.
Ready for this? Instead of reaching for the usual suspects, grab an eyelash curler. “Eyelash curlers and mascara do not necessarily go hand in hand,” confirms celebrity makeup artist Duchess Natalia. “While mascara does help to hold the curl longer, a good curl can actually help to open the eye and make it look more refreshed.” Not only will this method keep your lashes looking longer and more lifted for the long-haul, but since you’re not using any product, it’s the perfect solution for situations when you want to look bright-eyed but don’t necessarily want to layer on makeup—like if you’re heading to a yoga class or on a long flight.
“If you use the curler with no mascara, you’ll appear more fresh and awake— only add mascara if you want to bring the drama and add depth to your eye,” says Natalia. Or, if you don’t want the added va-va-voom of mascara but are worried your lashes won’t hold their curl, give them a coat of clear mascara.
Eyelash curlers might seem like one of the more intimidating beauty tools out there, but once you get the hang of them they’re surprisingly easy to use. In fact, when you take mascara out of the equation, it’s only three easy steps:
- Turn your chin toward the mirror and look down the bridge of your nose, which will help reveal more of your eyelid and make it easier to thread your lashes through the device.
- Rest the pad of the top bar onto your eyelid, as close to the root as possible (but not so close that your’e going to clamp the lid). “It is very important to go as close to the root as possible to give your lashes a good lift and not a weird crimp halfway down the shaft of the hair,” says Natalia.
- Close the curler hard on your lash, pump it three to four times, and release.
One more pro tip? “I love to add a bit of heat from my blow dryer directly to the pad on the curler, to give a bit of extra lift,” says Courtney Dailey of Wondergloss Beauty. Careful, though—you might get so good at curling, you’ll throw out your mascara for good.
If you do still swear by mascara, here’s how to ensure it stays in place all day—no raccoon eyes, ever. And these waterproof picks won’t budge through sweat, tears, or a Megaformer Pilates-induced combination of the two.
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