Will Eyelashes Stay Curled Without Mascara?

young woman holding an eyelash curler and mascara skeptical about curling her lashes without mascara

Will eyelashes stay curled without mascara? Well, the answer depends on a few different factors. Whether or not natural lashes retain curl is largely up to genetics.

Otherwise, previous damage and heat treatments can also cause lashes to not stay curled. To find out more and see what can be done to curl even the most stubborn eyelashes, continue reading below!

Can You Curl Your Lashes And Not Use Mascara?

Yes, you can curl your lashes and not use mascara. There is no beauty rule in place that states that you absolutely must use mascara after curling your lashes. Honestly, mascara isn’t for everyone. Some people choose to forego it completely. 

When it comes down to trying to retain curls, however, it may be better to use mascara. There are folk out there that won the genetic lottery (you know who you are) and their lashes stay curled. Most of us aren’t so lucky. That’s when it is time to turn to curl-boosting alternatives like waterproof mascara. 

Waterproof mascaras are a great product to help with curl retention. They don’t smudge and are perfect for all-day wear. Naturally, if you have eyelashes that can hold a curl after using an eyelash curler, you don’t have to apply mascara.

While mascara adds a certain je ne sais quoi, it isn’t mandatory. If you are confident with mascara-free curled lashes, totally go for it. Another alternative to using mascara is Vaseline—yes, Vaseline—which we’ll go into detail about in the section below. Let’s just say that Vaseline really pulls through as an ol’ beauty reliable.

Does Vaseline Keep Eyelashes Curled?

Yes, vaseline will keep eyelashes curled. This little beauty trick gained traction back in 2019, but it’s still making waves today. We can thank TikTok for that. 

Although the technique has been refined since its inception, the steps are still simple and straightforward. All you will need is a trusty eyelash curler (a new lash pad is a plus), Vaseline, and a spoolie. 

The steps to get perfectly curled eyelashes with Vaseline alone are as follows: 

  1. Start with clean, dry lashes. No makeup needed.
  2. Apply a light layer of Vaseline with the spoolie or, if you prefer, with clean fingers. Avoid touching the eyeball itself and avoid the lash line.
  3. Next, curl your lashes as you normally would. Hold the curler in place for 10 seconds. At this point, you can comb your lashes against the curler with the spoolie if you’d like. It will not impact the final result, save for straightening lashes and encouraging an even coat of Vaseline.
  4. Release your curler and—ta-da! Beautiful lashes that will last you all day. 

Do keep in mind that Vaseline can transfer. If you are planning on wearing eyeshadow, be careful. Sweating can also cause the Vaseline to come loose, eventually dropping the curl. Otherwise, this method can just be fantastic at moisturizing quenched eyelashes.

Why Don’t My Lashes Hold A Curl?

There are a few reasons why your lashes won’t hold a curl. The biggest influencing component is your genetics. If your genetic code makes your lashes more inclined to holding a curl, then congrats!

If not, then you’re trying to find answers to the above question. The type of eyelashes least likely to hold a curl are straight and thick. Straight lashes are stubborn: there’s no beating around the bush here. They are notorious for caving to gravity and losing curls within minutes.

Meanwhile, thick lashes are harder to shape in general. They’re simply resilient. Another possible reason your lashes are not holding their curl could be past damage. This would mean damage caused by previous lash treatments (e.g. lash lifts, extensions, tints) or poor lash care.

By and large, pulling, tugging, plucking, and burning your lashes can make them weak and unable to keep a curl. So, if you find yourself with some traumatized lashes, refrain from curling for a while. Give them a break. Some strengthening serum can help them bounce back, too.

How Can I Make My Eyelashes Stay Curled All Day?

If you want your eyelashes to stay curled all day, we recommend using waterproof mascara. Most of your standard mascara out there ends up smudging and loses lash curl. There are some individuals out there that may suggest layering more mascara on in this situation.

Sure, two or three coats won’t necessarily hurt but don’t do more than that. Too much mascara can absolutely make your lashes so heavy that your perfected curl will drop in a heartbeat. On top of this, run-of-the-mill mascara will smudge from the moisture of your eyes and skin.

On account of waterproof mascara’s formula, the product is a lot less likely to smudge. Moreover, it dries quickly so the shape of your lashes will hold. Sounds like a dream, right?

Well, keep in mind that despite drying well, waterproof mascara is also drying. Your lashes will need some TLC between wears. Based on the assumption that you want to forego mascara completely, your next best bet will be Vaseline.

The Superman of the beauty world, Vaseline can keep your lashes curled for upwards of 8 hours and even make them look darker. A lift and a tint in one. Just be sure to keep the petroleum jelly out of your eyes to avoid any negative side effects. 

Final Thoughts: Will Eyelashes Stay Curled Without Mascara?

Overall, getting the hang of curling eyelashes is tricky. It’s an art that takes time to be perfected. That being said, if you have some stingy lashes that won’t get in line, don’t lose hope yet. You may be struggling to curl your lashes because of genetics or some past damage. 

Although stubborn and frustrating, you can achieve an all-day curl in either case. It is all about finding what works for you. Regardless, you’ll want to keep your eyelashes hydrated. Serums work wonders and if your eyelashes are damaged, they’ll help hasten the recovery. 

When it all comes down to keeping your eyelashes curled, waterproof mascara works best. It is fast acting and resistant to running. However, it can dry out your lashes and they will require extra attention between wears.

Another alternative can be Vaseline, which can hold a curl for hours and darken your natural lashes if applied properly. Vaseline can help as a moisturizer as well. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to opt for the Vaseline method on mascara off-days.

No matter what you choose to do, go with what makes you feel the most confident. Whether that be straight eyelashes, curly lashes, mascara, Vaseline, or no makeup.  


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Categorized as Makeup

By Cierra Tolentino

Cierra Tolentino is a beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves keeping people up-to-date with the latest beauty trends in skincare, hair care, and makeup. Finding answers to tough questions is her thing. When she has free time you can find her chasing down a clumsy toddler and obsessively drinking tea.