Makeup » How to Use a Heated Eyelash Curler?

How to Use a Heated Eyelash Curler?

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If traditional eyelash curlers are intimidating, we get it, and there’s a solution! Enter the heated eyelash curler world. While the idea of putting a hot instrument near your eyes might sound questionable, this version can often be much easier to use and tends to be universal for a wider range of eye shapes.

The learning curve for a heated eyelash curler can be much gentler than with a traditional eyelash curler. Plus, this nifty beauty tool can often be used on mascara-coated lashes – something that’s usually discouraged with traditional eyelash curlers. So, if you’re starting to warm up to the idea of a heated eyelash curler (no pun intended), keep reading and pick up a few tricks of the trade to turn you into a lash curling pro.

In this article:

What Is a Heated Eyelash Curler?

Not everyone is blessed with naturally curly eyelashes. But if you want curly lashes, you only have a few choices. Either you use a lash curler, invest in faux lashes of some type (strips or extensions), or opt for a lash lift or lash perm. If you want something less long-term or time-intensive, using an eyelash curler is a great way to create a temporary curl in your lashes.

A heated eyelash curler is an alternative to the traditional metal or plastic lash curlers that aren’t intended to be used with heat. However, it’s well known that many people preheat traditional metal eyelash curlers with their blow dryers to aid in setting a curl in their lashes. The drawback of doing this is that if you get your curler too hot and you’re not precise when trying to curl your lashes, you can not only catch your eyelids in the clamp but also burn them.

Try the heated eyelash curler, a device designed specifically to use heat to curl your lashes. While there are a few styles available for this type of beauty tool, the most common option is a single slightly curved wand with grooves or comb bristles that help lift and separate your lashes.

What Is a Heated Eyelash Curler?

Pros & Cons of Heated Eyelash Curlers

As with any other product in the world, there are benefits and drawbacks to heated eyelash curlers. Depending on your overall goals, frequency of use, and experience level, this beauty tool can be a blessing or the bane of your existence.


  • Fewer chances of crimping or pulling out your lashes
  • Smaller learning curve makes it ideal for beginners
  • Travel-friendly design
  • Can often be used after applying mascara, resulting in a better curl
  • Adjustable heat setting makes most heated curlers ideal for a variety of lashes
  • Many are USB-powered, making maintenance easy


  • Often may not perform as well on bare natural lashes
  • Cannot be used on wet mascara-coated lashes
  • Figuring out the right heat setting for your lashes can be a trial and error scenario
  • Not all heated lash curlers come with lash separators, leading to clumpy lashes
Pros & Cons of Heated Eyelash Curlers

How to Use Heated Eyelash Curlers?

We mentioned that heated eyelash curlers have a smaller learning curve than traditional clamp-style eyelash curlers. But that’s not to say that there isn’t any adjustment period – especially if you’re used to using traditional lash curlers.

  1. Pick a Curler That’s Compatible with Your Eye Shape

    As compared with traditional clamp eyelash curlers, heated eyelash curlers often feature a curved wand. Many of these are longer, making them ideal for a wider range of eye shapes. But if you have longer lids, it’s going to be important to find a curler with a wand that can easily grab all of your lashes in one swoop instead of requiring multiple attempts.

  2. Start with a Clean Tool

    Just like with traditional eyelash curlers, you should always start with a clean tool. This is a product that you’re using near your eyes. The last thing you want to do is to introduce bacteria and get an eye infection. Always clean your lash curler after you’ve used it and it’s cooled down.

  3. Clean vs. Mascara-Coated Lashes

    Beauty experts can’t agree over whether you should use a heated eyelash curler with or without mascara. But if you checked our roundup, you’ll note that most brands are designed to be used with mascara. In many cases, they specifically state that you should start by coating clean lashes with mascara. However, there’s a caveat. While you can use heated eyelash curlers after applying mascara, your mascara should be dry, not wet.

    Whereas wet mascara with a traditional eyelash curler can result in lost lashes, the concern is different with a heated curler. Instead of lost lashes, you’ll just end up with a streaky mess. With dry mascara, the heat from the lash curler can warm it up. This allows your lashes to lift and curl. And then, as the mascara dries down again, it sets the curl in place.

  4. Start at the Base of Your Lashes

    For best results, it’s always a good idea to start at the base of your lashes and slowly work your way up the length. To ensure a proper curl, lift the lashes as you work upwards, somewhat forcing them into the curl shape you prefer.

    Rely on the curling wand to help lift or hold your lashes into the position you want them. You may need to go over your lashes more than once to get the desired effect. But for every sweep, try to keep the total time (from base to tip) to no more than five seconds.

  5. Don’t Overdo the Heat

    Just like you shouldn’t get crimp-happy with a traditional clamp lash curler, you need to be sparing with heat when you use a heated curler. Most heated lash curlers feature multiple heat settings and include instructions with recommendations on what setting to pair with which types of lashes.

    Hard-to-curl lashes and faux lashes (think lash strips and lash extensions) tend to need more heat to effectively take a curl. In contrast, natural lashes can be paired with a lower heat setting. You’ll want to slowly glide the wand over or under the length of your lashes. Avoid leaving the curler in place too long over any specific section of your lashes.

    Along the same lines, avoid attempting to re-curl your lashes throughout the day or relying on this tool for daily use. There is such a thing as too much heat. So, just like excessive heat tool use on the hair on your head can damage your hair, so can a heated eyelash curler damage your lashes if you use it too much every day.

  6. Try Pairing It with a Traditional Lash Curler

    Some beauty experts swear by using a traditional lash curler first, applying a coat of mascara, and then following up with a heated eyelash curler after the mascara dries. While this isn’t a requirement, it can be a great way to get a big lash curl if that’s your goal.

How to Use Heated Eyelash Curlers?

Heated Eyelash Curler FAQs

Still have doubts about heated eyelash curlers? No worries, as we answer some common questions below!

Are Heated Eyelash Curlers Safe?

The simpler slim wand design ditches the classic clamp style from traditional lash curlers, reducing the risk of accidentally pinching your skin. And because it features a heating element, it can provide an even heat that’s not too hot, ensuring that you can curl your lashes without burning yourself. These two factors alone make heated eyelash curlers a safer alternative to traditional clamp-style eyelash curlers – especially if you’re guilty of heating your lash curler with a blow dryer.

Do Heated Eyelash Curlers Work on All Lash Types?

Depending on the heated eyelash curler you select, you can use them on natural and faux lashes. This includes lash strips and extensions, and in many cases, they can be used on mascara-coated natural or faux lashes as well. However, always check the instruction manual to confirm lash compatibility.

Can You Burn Yourself with a Heated Eyelash Curler?

If you’re concerned about burning yourself, most heated lash curlers feature a barrier design that doesn’t allow the heating element to come into direct contact with your skin. However, heat settings can vary across devices, with many offering much higher temperature settings designed to work on thick, fake lashes. These curlers, especially if you hold them for too long close to the base of your lashes, can potentially burn you.

Photos via @brittanyjayclark, @monapetre, Instagram