Beauty

By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein

I remember being both scared and excited to use one. To me, it represented a rite-of-passage into womanhood. Watching my older sister use the frightening contraption always made me cringe, and I was convinced blindness would be the result of using it – nonetheless, I wanted one.

The eyes can be a girl’s best feature, so it’s very important to look for new and improved ways to enhance them, be it with make-up, eyebrow waxing, and well, of course, optometrists.

With the time, energy and money we pour into eye shadows, eyeliners, mascaras and eye cream, it is a sad occurrence when one stops there and does not take advantage of one particularly eye-opening gadget (no pun intended) – The Eyelash Curler. Now, personally speaking, I can’t recall ever doing more than walking into the nearest drugstore and purchasing a $3.00 eyelash curler whenever mine happened to have broken, or become so infested with bacteria, even I knew it needed to be replaced. Therefore, I was not surprised by my initial temptation to march into Duane Reade (or visit http://www.drugstore.com) and test out the array of inexpensive curlers by say, Revlon or Maybelline as research for this story. However, not wanting to disappoint my readers, I ventured instead into Saks Fifth Avenue to get the latest scoop on this be all, end all beauty necessity.

My trip to Saks revealed that there is, in fact, a limited selection of eyelash curlers bearing an actual reputation. There’s the curler by Trish McEvoy. This half-moon-shaped metal curler comes equipped with a rubber pad (and one replacement pad) for comfort, safety and hygiene. In a beautiful French accent, the girl at Trish explained that the material of the rubber was actually silk and safe on the eyes. I wasn’t entirely convinced my research was over, so after indulging in a free makeover (I love their oh-so portable make-up and you should definitely check out Trish McEvoy’s new book, The Power of Make-UP, I decided to take the fervent advice I received earlier that day from the Stila spokespeople and make my way over to Shiseido. I can’t recall exactly what the man at the counter told me, but suffice it to say, I was sold. From an overly enthusiastic speech, I learned that this curler is ergonomically designed to fit the eyelids perfectly without pinching.

Its shape matches the natural shape of the eyelid; so all lashes can be curled in one simple step. In turn, the eyelashes will follow a natural curl, opening the eyes wider and making them appear more vibrant. The black rubber lining (and replacement lining) grips the eyelashes firmly yet safely, and the curl will hold for hours. The Shiseido product-pusher got so excited and passionate about this curler, I couldn’t help but believe him.

Before moving on, let me share with you Shiseido’s helpful hints on using the gadget:
Hold the curler by positioning the upper frame on the upper lashes and carefully close the lower frame holding the upper lashes between both frames.

For a more dramatic look, curl the lashes three times – starting from the eyelash roots and working towards the ends. To clean, wipe with tissue or a dry cloth after each use.

Thinking I had completed my research, I began talking to the girl at the MAC counter, since I was also at Saks on my quest for a new funky shade of eye shadow. But when I mentioned my newfound interest in eyelash curlers, the Mac girls’ eyes widened as though she had used 10 eyelash curlers! She exclaimed, The best one by far is by Shu Uemura. You can only find it at Bergdorf Goodman‘s or Barney‘s, and I swear by it! It’s truly amazing! With further inquiring, I found out that what makes the Shu Uemura so extraordinary is it’s shape. To the naked eye, this curler looks like any other.

But a closer look will show you that it has a rounded shape as opposed to straight across (wait, aren’t they all rounded?). According to the Shu Uemura spokeswoman at Barney’s this will give you the perfect curl”. Furthermore, the silicone rubber with which the curler pad is made (perhaps that’s what the girl at Trish McEvoy was trying to say, but it came out ‘silk’ instead) is the best material to use for gripping and curling. Designed originally for the Japanese eye, the curler will round your lashes upwards and outwards rather than bend them upward. One must be sure to use a lightweight mascara when using this curler. For your convenience, Shu Uemura makes the perfect mascara to accompany their eyelash curler. I was convinced the Shu Uemura curler was going to be $40 but no, it was a semi-reasonably priced, $15. So a girl doesn’t have to break the bank to get those fab lashes we all wish we’d been born with!

Originally published October 2003
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