Forget Extensions—This Tool Took My Sparse, Thin Lashes to the Next Level

Listen, I love a lot of my features, but I have a bone to pick with my eyelashes. They're thin, sparse, stick-straight, and short. And while some of the best mascaras can enhance them, it's only to a certain extent. Mascaras can make my lashes look defined, but the product also weighs them down and doesn't really give me that "eye-popping," lush effect that I dream of.

There was a point in my life when I did have the most amazing lashes that got me a ton of compliments. But that was when I was on these eye drops for my glaucoma that had very similar ingredients to Latisse, so my eyelashes were full and thick and beautiful. My eye doctor has since switched me over to different drops as part of my regimen, so I'm back to my natural state.

Needless to say, I'm always looking for products that can give my lashes some life. Growth serums, highly rated mascaras… I'll try them all. So it was only fitting that I give heated eyelash curlers a try. I use a regular eyelash curler pretty much every day since I find that curled eyelashes make my lashes and eyes pop (especially since my lashes normally point downward). So I was intrigued at what a heated one would do. And if we're being completely honest here, I was worried about the heat factor. Would I burn my eyeballs or singe my already-sparse lashes? Well, I was ready to find out.

I decided to try two highly rated heated eyelash curlers that were recommended to me: Grande Cosmetics GrandeLash-Lift Heated Lash Curler and Lash Star Heated Eyelash Curler. Before using the devices, I put on two swipes of mascara, as both manufacturers suggested to do so. They're both rechargeable (via USB power) and wireless.

Grande Cosmetics GrandeLash-Lift Heated Lash Curler

First, I tested out Grande Cosmetics' curler, which has two different heat settings. Once you click the "on" button, you just need to watch the red button at the tip of the device, which turns white once the device is heated thoroughly. (It took about a minute for it to heat up.) When it came to actually getting it close to my lashes, I was very gentle and went very slow since it was my first time using a heated eyelash curler. The directions said to rest the curler at the base of my lashes, pull upward, and hold for 10 seconds so it's an upswept curl. After the first pull, I was genuinely surprised that the device did not feel scalding hot like I thought it would. It felt like just the right amount of warmth but didn't feel like I was going to burn my eyeballs or lashes. I think it's because it has a grooved safety-slot design (and the Lash Star one has it too). I loved that the Grande Cosmetics' lash curler was curved in a way that fit my eye shape perfectly, so I was able to curl most of my lashes with one swipe.

Best heated eyelash curclers


Sarah Yang

It took me about seven to 10 swipes upward to get my lashes curled perfectly, and when they were—boy, was I impressed. My lashes were lifted, and even though I had mascara on, they were still holding strong and defying gravity. And I even put more mascara on afterward, and it was still holding up well. Normally, when I used my regular eyelash curler, the curl goes away once I put more mascara on. After the first try, I was pretty certain I was going to be a heated-eyelash-curler convert.

Best heated eyelash curclers


Sarah Yang

Lash Star Heated Eyelash Curler

Next up was Lash Star's heated eyelash curler. For this one, I applied Lash Star's Full Control Sculpting Mascara, which my colleague, senior beauty editor Erin Jahns said was totally amazing. She wasn't wrong. It defined my lashes really well without making them look or feel very clumpy or heavy. Since my lashes are so thin, mascara can really make them feel weighed down—but not this one.

Then it came time to try out the device itself. I turned it on with the press of a button. The device has four different temperature settings: 65ºF, 75ºF, 85ºF, and 95ºF. After less than 30 seconds, it was ready to go. Like the Grande Cosmetics device, I held this one close to my lash base and swept it upward to lift the lashes.

Best heated eyelash curclers


Sarah Yang

It took about the same number of swipes to curl my lashes. And while the Grande Cosmetics one fit my eye shape better, I felt that the Lash Star device was easier to handle when it came to getting into my harder-to-reach lashes, like the ones near the corner of my eye. My lashes were lifted and had a flirty curl going on. The mascara held up pretty well, but I had two more coats to define them even more. And again, the mascara didn't weigh down the lashes or make them lose their curl.

Best heated eyelash curclers


Sarah Yang

I honestly loved both devices, and now that I'm lucky to have both, I think I'll alternate between using them. It's up to your particular preference when choosing between each one—they're very similar and have a few minor differences, but they'll both give you pretty, curled lashes. As for me, a heated eyelash curler is a big game changer. I'm definitely going to be using one more than I use my regular eyelash curler from now on. It just works miracles for these thin, short lashes of mine and keeps them curled for way longer.

And if you're looking for more lash help, take a look at other heated curlers and lash products below.

More Heated Eyelash Curlers

Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler Comb

This eyelash curler is powered by one AA battery. The circular comb helps you separate, curl, and lift the lashes quickly.

Acavado Heated Eyelash Curler

With this curler, there are two heat setting. For thinner lashes, it's recommended to use low heat, and for thicker, you'll want to use the high-heat option. It also comes with a small cleaning brush to use when you're done.

Chella Heated Eyelash Curler

Powered by a AAA battery, Chella's heated eyelash curler heats up in 40 to 60 seconds. 

More Lash Products to Try

This serum contains vitamins, peptides, and amino acids to promote longer and thicker lashes. All you need to do is apply along the base of your lashes daily and let dry.

Senior beauty editor Erin Jahns says she's been using this mascara since middle school. "Mascara is kind of my thing, and this budget-friendly formula is one of the few to boost my long, straight lashes with mega-watt volume without weighing them down," she says.

To say Essence's mascara is a cult favorite would be the greatest understatement. This product has over 220,000 ratings and 4.5 out of five stars on Amazon, after all. It volumizes and lengthens without leaving any flakes or clumps.

Jane Iredale's product is a lash extender and conditioner which acts as a primer for mascara and also extends its wear time. The formula contains algae extract to condition and protect.

Glossier's mascara is great for defining your lashes. "I use this mascara almost every day. It boasts one of the most natural finishes in the mascara market, and lightly fans, separates, and elongates your lashes in the most flattering and fluttering of ways. If you're after a super-believable your-lashes-but-better vibe, you've found your baby-pink ticket," Jahns says.

Use this primer to add length, curl, and volume before your mascara. Its formula contains microfibers and vitamin E to promote lash growth.

Here's another cult-classic mascara. This one has an intense black pigment, so it delivers a lot of drama and definition.

The Who What Wear beauty team recently reviewed this viral mascara, and it got glowing reviews. "Not only does this mascara give me the longest lashes of my life, but it causes my eyes zero irritation—zip, zilch, nada. And I've worn it multiple days in a row. I'm bursting with joy!" says Caitie Schlisserman, beauty director, branded content.

While I'm going all in with my heated eyelash curler, I'm expecting that I'll take a break from the heat sometimes and use my regular curler. I have this one from Kevyn Aucoin in my makeup bag, and I love it because it never pinches or tugs.

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