The Eraser-Size Beauty Tool That's Missing From Your Purse

Travel-size eyelash curler--don't leave home without it.

I like how something simple like curling my lashes dramatically opens up my eyes, but on most days I forget to curl them. (Actually, I just use the time I'd spend curling to rush out and get that last sesame bagel at the coffee shop down the street.) And as much as I'd like to bring my beloved Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers with me to work, to the suburbs, or to friends’ apartments, they are just too expensive and too delicate to throw haphazardly into my backpack.

That's why I love the idea of the travel-size eyelash curler: A nifty plastic tiddlypush that promises dramatic, gravity-defying curl and collapses to the size of an eraser. It's like the Transformer of the beauty world, bringing you one step closer to Megan Fox levels of hotness.

To that end (is there any other?), I purchased three popular travel eyelash curlers to compare. Y’all ready? Transform and roll out!

Things Are Looking Up, Sephora

This curler is adorable! It’s roughly 1.25 x 2 inches, hot pink, and sits comfortably in the palm of my hand. It has an easel back that flips down and a spring-loaded squeezy-curl mechanism for maximum ease of use.

PROS: The curling effect is naturally rounded (not crimped), lasts most of the day, and is easily touched up, if you remember to throw it in your bag.

CONS: The curve of this curler is a touch flat and the shape doesn’t really hug my lash line, so it was hard to get all my lashes at once. I found that the open-ended cage design was better for precise section curling, although I still managed to pinch my eyelid when I wasn’t being careful. It's a little difficult to see through the curler as you're using it.

Because my eyelids are almond shaped, I suspect that the shape of these curlers is better suited for folks with rounder eyes. My eyes are not deep set and it was fairly easy to hold the curler flush, but again, I think that it may be difficult for some to adjust to the compact size of this curler.

The other big con is that the plastic of this curler felt flimsy, akin to the latching mechanism on my waffle iron (which, incidentally, is broken). It definitely doesn’t have the smooth, secure action of my Shu Uemura curlers. I have a hunch that this curler will break sooner than later.

Go Curl, Japonesque

I plaintively confess to having been flim-flammed by the geniuses behind cosmetic marketing. They pulled a real number on me. This curler looks the same, feels the same, and curls the same as the Sephora brand.

PROS: The upshot, in this case, is that the Go Curl is cheaper than the Sephora curler, especially with the $3.50 Ulta coupon. Additionally, Japonesque offers free refills for the life of the curler, which is an attractive offer given how stubbornly reluctant I am to purchase new pads.

CONS: If my instinct concerning the life expectancy of the Go Curler curler is correct, then you won’t be cashing in free refills for terribly long.

Deluxe Travel Eyelash Curler, Sonia Kashuk

The Sonia Kashuk curler is less compact--clocking in at 1.5 x 2.75 inches--and mimics the look of a traditional curler: The handle flips out and locks so you have a longer stem to hold. This allows for a more balanced center of gravity and makes this curler more stabilized than the other two.

PROS: Instead of an easel back trigger, this curler had a button on the facing side that pushes in, and by some miracle of Rube Goldberg mechanics, the cage slides up to curl your lashes. Because the trigger button is on the facing side of the curler, you have to hold it further from your face than is typical, but that’s not a deal breaker for me.

The curl that I got from the Sonia Kashuk curler was impressive. A couple squeezes gave me rounded, natural lashes that lasted all day. I didn’t have to curl in sections, as with the other two curlers, and the curve shape was rounder and didn’t pinch at all.

CONS: The overall quality of this curler felt superior to Sephora and Japonesque, but Sonia Kashuk doesn’t offer refills, which is a bummer.

The Kashuk curler is my favorite of the three, but finding the perfect fitted eyelash curler is a lot like finding the perfect fitted pair of jeans. I’d encourage y’all to try them before committing.

Do you use an eyelash curler? Would you buy a second one to carry in your purse for on-the-go curling? Drop any other travel-size curler product recos in the comments!