26 June 2012

Why Shu Uemura trumps the Shi(t)seido Eyelash Curler

Remember this post, in which I said I wanted to try the Shiseido eyelash curler?  Shu, oh Shu--I am so sorry I strayed.  Would you could you ever forgive me?

Now, let me put out this caveat: I don't know if the Shiseido eyelash curler I picked up (and promptly returned) was the one that received rave reviews--reviews that claim it is better than Shu's.  You only have to google image that shit to see a multitude of comparison photos.  As you will also see upon google imaging, the Shiseido curler appears to come in two colours: one that is silver (similar to Shu's) and one that is dark-charcoal.  I have only seen the latter here in Canada.  So, that was the one I purchased (and again, promptly returned).

I kid you not when I tell you that I knew it was a complete fail (yes, we just time-machined back to 2008, and yes, I randomly chose that year.  I do not know the exact year in which "FAIL" and "WIN" and "EPIC" penetrated the mainstream vernacular.  Let's just move on.) at first attempt. 

Why?  And how could I have been so sure after one measly attempt?

It all comes down to control and precision.  The whole thing was just wrong.  I jabbed myself in the eye several times and called it quits.  Had this been the curler that stole my curler virginity, it would have been the first and last time I used a curler.  Let me just say that the two-dollar curler I used before Shu was easier to use.  In this video by KarlaSugar, she lists four variables to consider when choosing an eyelash curler that works best for you.  The first two related to the curler's curves.  She made two hand motions to demonstrate the curvature, but I didn't quite understand what the second one was referring to.  The third variable was the size of the head (lol, let's not go there.) and the last was the sponginess of the pad.

I think that there is one additional factor to consider that may not seem particularly important, but was immediately noticeable (not in a good way) when I used the Shiseido curler, and that is the distance travelled by the two 'legs'.  Or, put another way, the height of the space between the top and bottom clamps.  I will elaborate below.  But here is a rundown of the various shortcomings of the Shiseido curler that made it an overall fail.  I'll also add here that I did not find a significant difference in the resistance of the pad; that is, neither felt spongier than the other.

Fail #1: The Curve of the "Clamps"
L-Shiseido; R-Shu Uemura
As you can see quite easily, the curve difference is quite significant.  Depending on your eye shape, the curvature of the clamp will be more or less advantageous for you.  As I said in my want-list post, I thought that my eyes had a flatter shape that could benefit from a lesser curve. 

Simply put, I was completely wrong.  The flatter curve did no favours for my eyeshape, whatsoever.  Also, because the curve was flatter, it made the curler much harder to centre onto the eyelid and maximize the amount of lashes to catch inside the clamps.

Fail #2: The Width of the Top Clamp
L-Shiseido; R-Shu Uemura
I'm not sure if the pictures allow you to see what I am talking about, but do you see the green diamonds?  The Shiseido curler has a much thinner top clam.  Which means there is less coverage on your eyelid.  Which means it is much easier to aim the top clamp too high above the lash line and (1) pinch your eyelid, (2) poke your eyeball, and (3) completely miss the root of your eyelashes upon clamping.  This difficulty is exacerbated by Fail #1.  Or you can say that Fail #1 is exacerbated by Fail #2.  Whatever floats your boat.  Now let's talk about what those red rectangles.

Fail #3: The Gap between the Top and Bottom Clamps
I hope that you can see the difference in height between the left rectangle and the right rectangle.  The gap between the top and bottom clamps is, of course, directly related to the extent to which the curler can actually open (and therefore the distance travelled by the two rings).  As I mentioned above, this may not seem too important.  But again, it's all about control.  The greater distance your fingers have to travel, the more room there is for error.  And with a curler that already has issues with control, it makes it that much more difficult to achieve an effective curl (and avoid the dreaded crimp).  I find that with Shu, you can place the opened curler onto your eye, wiggle it so that it's snuggled up against your lash line, and squeeze--gradually guiding the curler up and out to create a natural curl (again, to avoid crimping).  Because the gap between the Shu clamps is shorter, there is less distance between your two fingers holding the curler, giving you more control and allowing for more minute and agile movements.  And again, because the distance your two fingers have to travel is less, the clamping motion can be done more steadily.

Fail #4: The Material?
I don't know what either is made of, and I could totally be out to lunch with this.  BUT, the Shiseido curler felt somewhat plastic-y, as opposed to the solid, metal feel of Shu.  So, the overall "feel" of Shu is smoother (perhaps it has to do with the quality of the hinge as well) and just seems more durable.

Who knew I had so much to say about an eyelash curler?  Please tell me my education was not for naught.

- R

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