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When eyelash curlers go bad: Urban beauty myth turns true life horror story

Tuesday, October 01, 2013   |   4 comments

I hope you're wearing a decent waterproof mascara for this Halloween-appropriate tale because it will make your eyes run. Far away from your eyelash curlers, probably.


A little while ago there was an unfortunate incident in our flat. I was curling my eyelashes, which is something I've done almost every day without issue for the last sixteen years and means that I've probably clocked up somewhere between 8,000 to 10,000 problem-free reps.

Since a fair number of those have taken place in moving planes, trains, and automobiles and I still managed to achieve full-on, long-lasting, crimp-free lift without inadvertently reefing out a single lash, I'm pretty confident in my ability to wield a pair of eyelash curlers like a total beauty ninja. And I never expected that my first major lash accident (lashccident?) would take place while I stood perfectly still in front of the bathroom mirror.

But that's exactly what happened.

Operating on autopilot, I stuck my thumb and middle finger into the handles, opened the curlers while raising them to my eye, and carefully aligned my lashes with the silicone pad before gently squeezing to wrap the jaws of the implement around my lashes.

Which was when I felt a searing pinch shoot along the inner corner of my eye.

My first thought was that I'd somehow trapped part of my eyelid and sliced it open with the curlers. Oh Jesus. I felt sick. And since I wasn't sure what sort of lacerated horror would greet me in the mirror when I moved them, I took a moment to steady myself before unclamping the curlers. Which caused another red hot dart of pain.

Still. There was no blood and no cut. The relief was immense. Until I realised that there were also no lashes left along the inner quarter of my lashline.

Instead they were stuck in the eyelash curlers, having been ripped out by the roots.

Aiiiiieeeeeee. 


The offending instrument. I decided to spare you the gruesome front-on
shot where you can really see my lashes - root bulbs 'n' all - stuck in it.

Now before you fling your curlers across the room in horror, I should clarify that mine were defective. Closer inspection revealed that the silicone pad had split longways, so my lashes ended up being pushed into its cleft by the metal upper (first pinch) and, when it was released, the two sections of the split pad sprung back together, clamping tightly around the lashes and reefing them out (second pinch.)

These are only about nine months old and I'd replaced the pad during the summer, so I contacted Shu Uemura to say what the hell, you guys?! They advised that if I took my receipt and the curlers back to the point of purchase they'd be replaced (as it was less than a year since they were bought.) And if I ever find the receipt, I'll be sure let you know how that goes.

Thankfully my lashes seem to be growing back normally. I'll admit I was a weeny bit traumatised by the experience and took a break from eyelash curlers in the immediate aftermath, but now I'm almost ready to get back on that there horse. Almost.

But I'll tell you this for nothing: I'll be checking my next set over like a hawk with OCD every time I pick them up.


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