Eyelash Curler Roundup
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Update (2018): A lot of these curlers have been discontinued since I originally made this post, so I rounded up a new batch for you, complete with measurements! You can check it out here.
Back when I was on the quest for an eyelash curler that fits my eye and lashes perfectly, I told myself that I wouldn’t buy any more once I found one. But of course when I did find one – the Chanel curler – it turned out to be limited edition (supposedly at least –
it’s still available on the Chanel website Update: not anymore). So I kept my eyes open just in case, and ended up getting the Dior one too. I was pretty satisfied at that point, but when I ran across the eyelash curler from Surratt at Barneys recently, I saw that it was actually a pretty good fit too… and so that one came home with me.
I was definitely done looking for lash curlers at that point, but I guess they weren’t done looking for me. I was running dangerously low on my everyday sunscreen (EltaMD UV Clear) so I did a quick order from DermStore since they actually had it a bit cheaper than Amazon. They do a ‘free mystery gift’ with most orders there, and wouldn’t you just believe what I got – yup, a Dermstore lash curler. Even my husband is starting to notice the trend; when he saw me unboxing the newest curler his response was “don’t you already have a lot of those?”
If you ask me, lash curlers are one of the hardest tools to pick out. Regardless of how good it is, if it doesn’t fit the shape of your eye – well, it’s pretty much useless. Reviews are tricky, because we all have different eye shapes. You can’t depend on the product description, because they almost never say what eye shape the curler is best for – or worse, that it’s ‘universal’ (false). I’ve done comparisons on most of the ones I have, but with the new additions to my, ahem, collection, it seems like a good time to show them all side by side.
You may have noticed I’ve left out a couple that I’ve reviewed before. I unfortunately no longer have the Shiseido curler (because it didn’t fit my eye at all), and the Shu Uemura S curler is so different from traditional ones that it didn’t really make sense to include it here. If you want to check them out, you can see my previous ramblings about curlers here:
- Shiseido vs Shu Uemura Lash Curlers
- Shu Uemura S Eyelash Curler
- Chanel vs Shu Uemura Lash Curlers
- Dior Backstage Lash Curler
I tried to be as precise as possible with the measurements, so here’s an example of how I traced the curve:
Then I used digital calipers to measure the width from end to end, and the depth of the arc. There’s one other thing that I haven’t figured out how to measure yet, and that’s the downward curvature of the bottom curling rail (where the silicone pad sits). As you’ll see, that can be just as important as the other dimensions. Since I’ve gone into detail on the Shu, Chanel and Dior curlers already in other places, I’ll focus mainly on the Surratf and Dermstore curler here. But anyway, onto the good stuff….
Surratt Relevée Lash Curler ($
25 Edit: the price is now $30) – Even though it doesn’t necessarily look like it at first glance, the Surratt curler is actually pretty narrow. It has a shallower arc than most of the others, and the curling rail has a slight downward curve. Out of the five it’s not the best fit for my eyes – my lash line has more of a downward curve than the curler does – but I can get a good curl without pinching. When it’s fully extended, the opening is huge. Unnecessarily huge, I thought – until I tried to use my other curlers on a pair of fluttery false lashes. The Surratt curler is the best one I have for falsies, no questions asked. You need plenty of space to get extra-long lashes in there, and this definitely beats all my other curlers on that point.
The construction of the curler is also incredibly impressive. The first thing I noticed when I picked it up was the metal. Unlike the usual aluminum, it feels very sturdy and solid. I requested more information about the materials via their facebook, and a brand rep confirmed that it’s made of iron with an acrylic resin finish. You’d probably think that would make it super heavy, but not so. My food scale (unfortunately not digital) puts it right at 1oz whereas all the other curlers come in at just barely a hair under an ounce. The Surratt type logo is engraved into the top of the curler, meaning it will never fade off – something that I’ve already noticed happening on the Dior curler.
The ergonomics are also excellent. The circular finger loops are large enough for me to get my thumb into, but not so big that it’s uncomfortable to hold. In other words, I wouldn’t expect finger sizing to be an issue for most people. The silicone pad is on the denser end of the spectrum, and the curler closes all the way across with very little pressure, so you won’t crimp your lashes or wear out the pad right away. It does come with an extra pad, which is pretty standard these days.
Overall I’m incredibly happy with it, even if it doesn’t 100% line up with my eye shape. It’s a little on the expensive side for a curler, but not hugely so – and honestly, I would have expected it to be a tiny bit more expensive than it is, considering the upgrade in materials.
Recommended for: Small to medium eyes that are somewhere between round and flat, and false lashes
Maybe not so much: Very round or protruding eyes.
DermStore Eyelash Curler ($12) – This one was a huge surprise! The ‘mystery gift’ from Dermstore/Blush is usually a peach lip balm, so it was fun to see this in my order. Alas – the shape is all wrong for me. The arc is fairly shallow, which I could deal with, but the bottom rail doesn’t have much curve to it. I think it would be ideal for folks with a flatter lash line, but if you have very round or protruding eyes, it’ll be safe to skip.
Aside from the shape, I’m pretty impressed with it. The material feels very nice, and there are no roughly finished edges or bad welds. It does take a tiny bit more pressure than the others to get it to close evenly all the way across, but seriously – that’s a thing you’ll only notice if you’re a madwoman sitting in the living room with eyelash curlers in both hands, opening and closing them like crab claws. Yes, that’s what I’m doing in between typing. The finger loops are average size, but have black silicone cushions on them which can be easily removed and put back in. The rounded top will be really nice if you have fully hooded lids and need to hold your lid away from your lash line, but I could see it maybe being a problem for deep-set eyes.
This one unfortunately doesn’t come with a replacement pad, but I’m betting the Shiseido refills would fit in it. Replacement pads or no, it’s still a steal at twelve bucks.
Recommended for: Small to medium eyes, lash lines that don’t have much of a downward curve, hooded lids.
Maybe not so much: Large, protruding, deep-set or very rounded eyes.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ($20) – I got this one because it gets such high praise from… well, everyone. And it’s definitely an excellent curler, well-built, comfortable to handle, etc, etc, but it’s just plain old too big for my eyes. I don’t actually use it, but I’ve kept it around for reference.
Recommended for: Medium to large rounded eyes.
Maybe not so much: Small eyes or flat lash lines.
Chanel Recourbe Cils de Chanel Precision Eyelash Curler ($34) – I was thrilled when I found this curler – it had been out of stock for a while and I thought it was gone forever. I was even more thrilled when it showed up at my house and I realized it’s basically the perfect fit for me. The materials are good quality, the construction is great, the black & white is super sexy. Honestly though, I’m not sure I’d buy it again, especially now that I’ve found a couple other options that work for me. It’s a great curler, but the price goes just a little past the point of diminishing returns.
Recommended for: Small to medium rounded eyes.
Maybe not so much: Large eyes, flat lash lines.
Dior Backstage Lash Curler ($23, discontinued) – Again, I really enjoy this curler too. It’s a really nice fit for my eye; the bottom rail doesn’t curve down quite as much as the Chanel, but it still gets to the base of my lashes easily. Build is solid. The pad is nice and soft, though that does mean it’s starting to show a bit of wear sooner than the others. It comes with two replacement pads, though, so I consider that fair. I was a tiny bit disappointed that the logo started rubbing off when I used oil-based makeup remover to clean it, but that doesn’t change how it works, obviously.
Recommended for: Small to medium, average to rounded eyes.
Maybe not so much for: Large eyes.
I realize this little round-up skews pretty hard toward curlers for small eyes – for the obvious reasons – so feel free to share your favorite curler (and your eye shape) in the comments!
Hue RocksAugust 3, 2014 at 4:54 am
My first and only eyelash curler was the Shu Uemura one. I decided to splurge on “the best one”. But I know someday I’ll get another one that matches my eye shape XD.
NikkiAugust 6, 2014 at 10:09 am
It’s definitely worth finding one that fits – it makes a world of difference! If you have a mall with a Sephora and department stores you should be able to check out quite a few different options.
SoseonoJanuary 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm
Hi, I posted some data points using your method on Reddit (the website link goes to the Reddit post), and wanted to let you know. Thank you so much for your post! It was a great revelation. Happy New Year!
NikkiJanuary 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm
Thank you, this is incredible!
ValerieSeptember 2, 2016 at 12:08 am
Hey! Great roundup! Which curler would be best for small downturned (on the outter corner) eyes with a rounded lashline?
And are there any affordable versions?
NikkiSeptember 2, 2016 at 8:19 am
Out of the ones I’ve used, I think the Inglot BM curler (the black one) might work and it’s $11. Sephora also makes the Show Curl XL ($17) which isn’t as rounded front to back but has a very downturned bottom bar. I haven’t seen it in person so I’m not sure how big it is, might be worth checking out if you have a Sephora near you though.
RachelNovember 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm
Thank you for undertaking this fabulous study!
Hesitating between .Surratt, which I tried in Sephora, and the Shu, which I cannot try before purchasing. I happily used a Tweezerman model with purple pad for years. Seems to have run out of steam. The Shu looks as though it is most closely shaped to Tweezerman.
ThereseDecember 14, 2016 at 9:56 pm
I ran out of Surratt Refills, what do silicone pad do you know that will fit my Surratt curler?
NikkiDecember 14, 2016 at 10:08 pm
Ooooh, that’s a tricky one. The base of the Surratt curler pad is a bit angled and all the other ones I currently have (Shu, Chanel, Dior & Inglot) the bases are straight up and down. The Shu pad will fit in the Surratt curler (so I’m assuming the Shiseido pads also will, and you can buy those separately) but the top of it is a little more rounded, I think due to the way it’s shaped. I sent an email to the Surratt customer service folks to see if the pads can be purchased separately. It seems like most brands don’t sell them separately but it never hurts to ask, I guess!
NikkiDecember 15, 2016 at 10:37 am
Wow, Surratt CS got back to me in record time! The customer service rep said you can contact them directly (I used the contact form on their website: http://surrattbeauty.com/contact_US.html) and they can provide new pads for the cost of shipping.
ClassicallyFabFebruary 20, 2017 at 11:49 am
Wow! That’s so great that Surratt has such fantastic service! So glad that you reached out to them to find out about the pads, as I was a bit worried about not being able to find them.
Mrs Susan LongDecember 15, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Wow wonderful review My lashes are so short most curlers can not encase my lashes any advice or suggestions? ( i have small eyes that are hooded and deep set)