The Beauty Tool I Will Never Stray From



Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

Curling your eyelashes is the best way to open up your eyes, look more awake, and even make your eyes look bigger! The right mascara, and even eyeshadow/liner application can help with that too–but nothing beats the impact curled lashes can make!

I have stick straight, downward turned eyelashes, so curling is an absolute must for me every day that I wear makeup.

I’ve tried a few different lash curlers over the years but absolutely nothing compares to the Shu Uemura eyelash curler. It’s iconic for a reason. It gives the lashes a perfect curl that lasts and doesn’t pinch. It also lets me get as close as possible to the base of the lashes too!

My routine involves warming the curler up with a hair dryer (for just a few seconds, it should not be hot) and holding it in place at the base of my lashes for a few seconds, and squeezing it a few times to turn the ends of the lashes upwards too.

For me, it’s the tool that I really don’t feel like I can do my makeup without!

Do you have an essential beauty tool? I’d love to hear what it is in the comments below!

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Comments (55)

  1. Julia says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Can you recommend a great Mascara? I cannot find one that doesn’t flake!

    • Emma says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      I second this! My mascara always flakes and smudges. Any suggestions, Kate?
      xx Em

      • Dani says
        Posted May 2, 2016

        Mary Kay just came out with a new mascara, literally like just debuted last week. Lash Intensity Mascara. Its the bomb dot com, no joke. It’s not offered online yet, only through Independent Beauty Consultants. And affordable ($18). I’d be happy to give you some more info. (Not trying to be a pushy salesman, just sharing my honest opinion, it’s legit)

    • Dani says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      Mary Kay just came out with a new mascara, literally like just debuted last week. Lash Intensity Mascara. Its the bomb dot com, no joke. It’s not offered online yet, only through Independent Beauty Consultants. And affordable ($18). I’d be happy to give you some more info. (Not trying to be a pushy salesman, just sharing my honest opinion, it’s legit)

  2. Annie Howard says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Kate, when do you use your curler? Before or after you apply the mascara?

    • Candace says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      You should always apply your mascara AFTER curling your lashes.

  3. Jordan says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Yes!! I have used Shu Uemure eyelash curler since high school! I’ve never found another that works as comfortably!

  4. Kelly says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Random, but what’s the nail color? Love it!

  5. Ashley Beth says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I agree on the absolute necessity of an eyelash curler! I bought the Shu Uemura curler two years ago and loved it. When I realized it was time for a new one, I didn’t have time to order it (I need it NOW!). I ran into Target and grabbed a Sonia Kushak curler. When I got home I compared the two and I kid you not–THEY WERE IDENTICAL! There was a different color coating on my $8 version, but every single detail, down to the tiny little screws and lines in the metal was EXACTLY the same. The Sonia Kushak version has worked exactly as well as my expensive Shu Uemura and it’s a fraction of the price and easy to purchase. Good option for those who don’t want to shell out the cash for a Shu Uemura.

    • Sarah says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      Thank you for this tip!

    • Kate says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      Really? I have to try that one now!

      • Jennifer says
        Posted May 2, 2016

        Where do you find refills for it? Or do you just buy a whole new one? Thanks!

    • AA says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      ”When I realized it was time for a new one”- did you know you can buy refills for the rubber piece in the curler? That way you don’t need to re-buy the whole thing.

      • Jennifer says
        Posted May 2, 2016

        Really?! Where? I have found them for Shiseido but not for the Shu Uemura.

      • Ashley Beth says
        Posted May 4, 2016

        Yes, I’ve replaced the pads, but have also noticed after a while (1 1/2-2 years in my experience) that the spring mechanism weakens and I don’t get as tight a curl. I have also been told by Sephora employees that eyelash curlers should be replaced every 6 months, which seems much too often to me. Now that I’ve discovered the Target $8.99 Sonia Kashuk curler is near identical to Shu Uemura, I don’t mind replacing it more often. 🙂

      • LE says
        Posted May 4, 2016

        Where did you all find replacement pads for Shu Uemura? I used to have a Shu Uemura curler (and loved it!) and used to be able to purchase replacement pads at Sephora but I was told the last time I went in that they stopped making replacement pads. Since then I switched to Sephora’s brand eyelash curler, and like it, but not as much as the Shu 🙂 I had not heard that you needed to replace your eyelash curler so frequently. 6 months does seem awfully soon!

  6. Kim says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Love that curling tool! I forget to use mine more days than not but this brand of it is great!

    Kim .. the best beach/pool cover up & bag!

  7. Jackie says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I love following Lisa Eldridge, who is a fantastic make-up artist and currently the Creative Director for Lancome. She just posted on her blog about a beauty spree she went on in NYC, and how she has always loved the Shu Uemura too, but recently found the Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler. So far she said that she likes it even better, so I’m thinking of picking one up from Sephora! Using a lash curler always makes me feel more awake. 🙂

  8. Posted May 2, 2016

    I’ve never actually thought to heat up the eyelash curler first. I have super straight eyelashes, so this would probably be a great idea for me.

  9. Kate says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Mine is also this eye lash curler I have very long lashes and it makes such a difference! I would also say good quality makeup brushes…I love my Sonia Kushak brushes, might need to try the eye lash curler.

    Kate – what are your thoughts on your new espresso maker?

  10. Meredith says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    An eyelash curler for me is a must as well, but I have a problem I hope you can help with! I curl my lashes after I apply my shadow and eyeliner…and then when I use the eyelash curler, it inevitably removes or smudges some of my eyeliner. I’ve tried waiting a few minutes to let my gel liner “set”, but still always noticeably takes off some. Any solutions?

    • Amber S. says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      YES! THIS! (Whyyyyyy…? So frustrating!!)

    • Posted May 2, 2016

      Just to preface this – I’m not being snarky at all – you could just curl your lashes first before putting on your eye makeup. I sometimes do that – mostly because I think I only have time to slap on some mascara then find out I have time to do a whole eye – and it works just fine.

      It’s funny – I have an order to how I put stuff on too that I have been doing for so long that I sometimes forget the order is not set in stone and there is no right way to put on make up… 😀

      • Erica says
        Posted May 2, 2016

        I curl my lashes first to avoid smudging, but they’re really long and once they’re curled the lashes are in the way and I can’t get into the lash line with shadow/liner without smashing out some of the curl. I end up doing a second curl, really lightly to minimize smudges. Seems unnecessary but I can’t figure out how else to do it.

        I got a Shu Uemura for Christmas based on Kate’s rec. I like it, but it can crimp my lashes weirdly if I’m not careful. I try to go as lightly as I can, lots of repeated light squeezes to get a bend instead of a sharp crease. And the curl I get varies dramatically along my eye — when the middle lashes are super curled, the outer ones are still straight. It feels like it shouldn’t be this hard!

        It’s ridiculous you can’t get replacement pads, though. That’s terrible from a sustainability perspective. Not sure I’d rebuy based on that.

      • Meredith says
        Posted May 3, 2016

        Agreed….we definitely get used to our own “process”, and it’s hard to think outside the box! 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion….I’ve tried that before, too, but if I curl my lashes first, it’s almost impossible to get my eyeliner right. Annoying either way!

  11. McCall J says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Just in the last few days I’ve been looking at getting a new/NICE eyelash curler. I’ve heard so many good things about the Sheseido, the Kevyn Aucoin, and this one! I can’t make up my mind!

  12. Sarah says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Totally agree! I use an eyelash curler every day regardless of if I’m putting on mascara. I always want my eyelashes to look curled and not just stick straight.

  13. Angie says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Where can I buy refills for the Shu eyelash curler? I agree it’s the best one out there. Wish it was easier to buy.

  14. Posted May 2, 2016

    Gosh, I’m amazed. I never thought eyelash curlers *actually* do anything! Of course, I’ve never heated mine up with my hair dryer, will definitely have to give that a try!


  15. Allison says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Have you tried the Kevin Aucoin eyelash curler? I haven’t tried the Shu Uemura but got the Aucoin after reading that he designed the Shu Uemura one and at the end of the day felt it wasn’t versatile enough for all eye shapes. I’d be curious to hear your take on the Aucoin if you’ve used it since it’s two slightly different curlers designed by the same person.

  16. Brittney Lea says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    Okay…I have a question. I was always told to never use a eyelash curler because it stunts the natural growth of the eyelash…it’s that true or just a myth? I’ve fortunately haven’t had to use one because my eyelashes don’t grown straight but I was just curious. I see eyelash curlers in beauty magazines and on some of my favorite beauty bloggers and they don’t see to shy away from using a eyelash curler so maybe what I’ve always been told was wrong? Any information you can share would be greatly appreciated :)!

  17. Melanie says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I have to agree – eyelash curler is the essential make up tool. 🙂 Essential as in… if I only had 30 seconds and then had to go I would be using it. But I think the next one for me would be great eyeshadow brushes. Totally transforms the quality of application and how much time it takes to do it.

    • Melanie says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      Oh! And I meant to add, I use Sonia Kashuk brushes (the kind with the “ergo” grip.)

  18. Meg says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I’ve always been too afraid to try an eyelash curler.

    • Nilda says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      Me too, so I curl my lashes with a teaspoon. I’ve been doing this for 25 years now with great results.

  19. Posted May 2, 2016

    Never thought of warming it up first… gonna have to try that! My eyelashes go straight down too and get stuck to my bottom lashes. I feel like I’m always making weird faces trying to open my eyes wide enough to make them let loose!!

  20. Beth says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I have weak and brittle lashes. I used to use an eyelash curler daily, but found that often – many eyelashes came out with it. Was I doing it wrong? Was it just a cheap curler? Or are my lashes just doomed because of their weak nature to begin with?

  21. Posted May 2, 2016

    I used the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler for years until they stopped selling it at Sephora and it became more difficult to get. I switched to the Sephora brand one and have liked it.

    • Tess says
      Posted May 2, 2016

      I was so disappointed when I found out Sephora stopped selling it. I still have my old one, but it is time for an update.

  22. Posted May 2, 2016

    I’ve been having a problem with keeping my lashes curled throughout the day. I’ll have to try the hair dryer trick. Although, I just switched mascaras from Lashblast to Lash Sensational, and I’ve noticed such a difference!

    • Kara says
      Posted May 3, 2016

      I have super straight, long lashes and I finally found how to keep them curled all day. Heating the curler is a game changer for sure. But then I watched a video of someone suggesting putting on a coat of waterproof mascara first, letting that dry for a minute or so, and then putting on your regular mascara. I don’t like waterproof mascara because of trying to get it off but this method WORKS. It’s amazing. And with the coat of regular mascara it isn’t hard to get it all off at night. I wear glasses a couple days a week and if I don’t do this they rub against my glasses and it drives me crazy, but this keeps them curled all day long. The blogger I saw do this said that regular mascara is water based, so it would be like curling your hair and then spraying it with water. Of course the curls would come out…sounded legit to me and it really does work!

  23. ali says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I used my Shu Uemura one for the past 3 years, with the one free refillable pad included. Just recently, I went on a eyelash curler shopping hunt because the pads had finally cracked and needed replacement. Turns out Shu doesn’t sell refill pads, you need to buy a brand new one altogether. I couldn’t justify buying a brand new one, so instead bought a Shiseido one. Turns out the pads (2 for $8CAD) can actually fit into the Shu one, albeit a tad short. I’ve since kept the Shiseido one because I find it can get my outside lashes better because I have more almond shaped eyes. Hope this information helps for those reading.

  24. Jody K says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I have a totally unrelated question for you…BTW, I have enjoyed your darling tutorials for a few years now. Anyway…I’m in my late 50’s having fun with my silver hair…well it’s getting more and more silver by the day. Question I have is how to keep it silver and not yellowing. I use a lovely purple shampoo every once in a while but the underneath stays nice and the top layers are still yellowing, detracting from my shiny crown. Then I decided it must be the hairspray I use, yellowing the top layers. Ok…now how to find a hairspray that won’t do that…Do you know of something?!? Any tips on silver hair welcome!

    Thanks so much!

  25. Katherine says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I agree eyelash curler is a must. Couldn’t imagine not using it every day. I just bought the Kevin Aucoin (similar to Shu and Shiseido imo) after having a lot of ‘bad lash days’ with the lousy Tweezerman curler I had bought to save a buck. They sure look identical side-by-side but I guess that doesn’t mean anything because the performance is totally different. Lashes are much better now and stay curled all day!

  26. Courtney says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    What is your nail polish color? It is so beautiful!

  27. Becky says
    Posted May 2, 2016

    I watched your periscope today (maybe it was old? I just got on this evening) and I was really liking the products you used. Is there a list somewhere of the products you used (cc cream, lash fibers, all the pixi products you used) it just went fast for me but I want to try some of your suggestions! Thanks!

  28. Alice says
    Posted May 3, 2016

    Some days I love this curler and some days I hate it, I think I struggle with most eyelash curlers as my eyes are big and round ha ha. I have to agree this one is very nice at giving your lashes a natural curl, instead of pinching them!

    Alice ♡ // beautybyalicee

  29. Barbara says
    Posted May 3, 2016

    You always have beautiful nail polish on. I love this color. Do you mind sharing the brand and color?

  30. Michelle says
    Posted May 3, 2016

    I absolutely love my Japonesque heated eyelash curler. One thing I cannot live without. Purchased it at Ulta. My lashes are stick straight and this helps tremendously. Just be carefully when it gets too hot.

  31. ABC says
    Posted May 3, 2016

    What is the name of your nail color? I love it!

  32. Posted May 3, 2016

    I love your eyelashes

    What kind of Mascara would you recommend?

  33. Posted May 3, 2016

    I have the same type of lashes that you do! I haven’t tried this lash curler…but I’ve heard SO MUCH about it that I really need to give it a go. Your lashes always look nicely curled.

  34. Posted May 4, 2016

    I can’t wait to try this eye lash curler. I will add it to my wish list from your fantastic reviews and recommendations. I feel like an eyebrow pencil is a must for me.

  35. Mel says
    Posted May 9, 2016

    Ugh, I’m terrible at using eye curlers. I really want to start using it as part of my everyday makeup routine. It’s so hard to develop a new habit! lol.

    Mel |

  36. Posted June 13, 2016

    I have never found an eyelash curler that does ANYTHING …. my eyelashes look exactly the same whether I use a curler or not.