I finally tried Muji’s plastic eyelash curler

I’m obsessed with building the perfect travel makeup kit. I’ve discovered that for really short trips, sachets make great substitutes for bottles and jars; which got me thinking… how do I create a flat makeup kit? Flat so it can fit easily and neatly into any bag. The one makeup item that was “bulky” and couldn’t be flattened was my eyelash curler. I have the one from shu uemura ($30), and only recently started using the similar version from Maquillage (both are very good).

Then it occurred to me, Muji has a flat and very portable plastic eyelash curler; and a few years ago when I wrote my second book Editing Beauty II, I interviewed the General Manager of Muji, who told me that she carries this curler with her all the time. In fact, this curler was also one of the key products mentioned in Muji’s investigation against local brand IUIGA, for selling a dupe, claiming that it was from Muji’s manufacturer.

So the curler must be good, right?

This is what it looks like:

Muji’s eyelash curler

It is definitely considered compact, compared to the usual metal curlers from shu uemura, Shiseido, Chanel and every other brand that does an eyelash curler. In all the years that I’ve been curling my lashes, I’ve never once bought or used the Muji one; I judged it based on how it looked compared to the ones I’m used to. It just didn’t look professional — like a real eyelash curler, so to speak.

But this week, in my quest for the flattest makeup kit I can create, I bought the Muji eyelash curler. It retails at $7.30, and you can check it out on Muji’s website here. Unfortunately, Muji hasn’t restarted their online store yet, so you have to make a trip down to a Muji outlet to get it.

Using the Muji curler is straightforward. Just hold it against the eye close to the base of your lashes, with the lashes in-between the rubber pad and the plastic top:

Then slowly and gently press the handle of the curler to clamp the lashes. With the lashes clamped, turn the curler — also slowly and gently — in an upwards motion like this:

This is what it looks like from the side:

What amazed me about this curler was not only how simple it was to use, but that it feels safer (less chance of pinching!) than traditional metal curlers! Look at the clamping action below… it will only pinch lashes and not the eyelids!

The thick rubber pad sits against the eyelid and acts as a safety buffer so the plastic top doesn’t get close enough to the eye to pinch it.

And it actually curls lashes really well! Here’s Hannah’s lashes curled, without any mascara. You can see a difference between the lashes on both her eyes (the right eye closer to the camera has the lashes curled).

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like this curler so much; I thought it would just be part of my travel kit and that’s it. Instead, I ended up using it every day since I bought it.

Is this going to replace my shu uemura and Maquillage eyelash curlers? Not yet, at least. I’m going to keep them around in case this Muji one breaks, or becomes less effective over time and use. We’ll see. In any case, what a find.