Saturday, May 30, 2009

Revlon vs Shu Uemura - Battle of Eyelash Curlers

They look similar, do the same job and work the same way. But a 3 dollars curler is actually a lot different from a high-end one. If you already have a Shu Uemura curler, you can skip the post. But if you wonder why does some curlers works better than the others, read on.

Here are two eyelash curlers, one from Revlon another is from the Shu Uemura, they are both relatively new (I used each of them for 3 times at the most) and are in same condition (reads "I have never stepped/sit on them.")

1. They both look like a curler, alright?
2. They work in the same machanism, where a rubber pad placed in a gullotine is pushed up to curl the lashes from below.


Revlon ranges from $2.99 in Traget to $5 dollars in certain drugstores.
Uemura retails fro around 20 bucks in Sephora but since my mom got if for me in Hong Kong, it was around 90 HK dollars, which is 12 US dollars. (I might as well call it free since mom got this...)

Revlon has a lifetime warranty that you can send back defeated (but not abused) item back for a new one...I mean, the postage must already be around 3 dollars not to mention you have to wait forever to get it back. I really doubt anybody will bother return it to Revlon. In short,it's an empty promise.

The Shu Uemura curler, in the other hand, claim that you should only use if for less 6 months since "the curler will somehow disintegrate when the second rubber pad wears off"...I personally don't think the curler will break down the moment you've used it for the 100th time...It's a clever tactic of theirs so that the time you are supposed to have your curler, it will always be in a tip-top shape, after that period, you can't blame them even if something happens (maybe you accidentally squash it ) , since it's "expired".

3. Weight
The Shu Uemura is slightly heavier than the Revlon, when rested on hand, Uemura just stands there steadyily, for Revlon, I need to grasp it a bit to make sure that it won't fall to the side.

I think stability is quite improtant in tool since you can potantional pull out your lashes or hurt your cornea with this.

4. Curvature of Barrel
The Revlon has a relatively big curvature that resembles a semicircle while Uemura curler is noticeably flatter, this explain why the Revlon (and other cheaper curlers) tend to pinch the eyes when you want to get close to the lash line, I am guessing it would be more economic to make mold that is more curved since the stuff that the metal flab is molded on can be smaller, as all cheap curler are very "curvy".

I've heard people say something like, I am (insert nationality here) it fits my eyes perfectly, I personally think that while there are slanted Asian eyes, or European almond eyes...what matters for eyelash curler is more like the curvature of eyeball, and since we are all human, the curvature might be more or less similar. Smaller companies, to cut down the cost, never bother to do the research on average human eyeball curvature.

5. Shape of the Barrel
The top of metal flat, Shu Uemura curves outward while Revlon just just straight up uncurved so when you aim the curler inward (or you have puffy eyes like me) the top of Revlon will poke and hurt when Shu Uemura won't.

6. Cross Section of Rubber Pad

Shu Uemura is shaped like a mushroon with bigger flat top when the cross session of Revlon pad is domes shaped.

If you remember high school science (it will be middle school science if you are from Asia.) pressure equals to force divided by contact area so revlon will give way too much force. (no wonder it broke my lashes.)

7. Elasticity of rubber Pad.
Shu Uemura is gummy while Revlon is more stiff/rigid . Just like the same idea that bone with more calcium breaks easier since it lacks the elasticity compare to a cartilage. You know, it's the pressure thing again...

Overall, if the overwhelmingly good rating on makeup alley is not good enough, when it comes to eyelash curlers (like all makeup tools) you are really getting what you paid for. (And doesn't it tick you off when you pay for something and it breaks your own lashes off?)


  1. great review! i was wondering if shu uemura's eyelash curler was worth purchasing since it is alot more expensive. compared to the many other brands on the market. except calcium is meant to make bones stronger and therefore less likely to fracture. your example of the bone and cartilage sounds kinda strange to me, althought i get what you're trying to say =P
    I'm convinced i should give Uemura's one a try ^^

    i was wondering, have your tried the shiseido eyelash curler? Cos alot of people tell me it's really good and i wanted to know if Uemura or Shiseido's eyelash curler was better. =)

  2. Curvature, cross-section, elasticity? Reminded me of physics. Anyway great review!

  3. Very detailed. I have both but I haven't tried the Revlon yet. I think the 6 month "expiry" it just ridiculous. And LOL about the eyeball curvature. It is important though.

  4. Hi Mint:
    I haven't tried the Shiseido one, I have the Shu Uemura for over a year now (I wrote the review a year ago and I thought it would be too nerdy to post it up) and I probably used it for less than 10 times...

    But anyway, Shiseido Maquillage has a nickle colored curler that looks pretty cool, I might give it a try later when I have money to burn...

    As for the Shiseido curler, from the way it looks, it also has a top barrel that curve outward as well as the mushroom shaped pad...people said that it's less likey to pinch so I guess it's even flatter?

    As for the calcium stuff, I think I might mix it up with hyperostosis (or am I further away now?)...I was trying it say that as bone grow more mature (deviate from the infatile cartilage like state) it breaks more easily because it's more rigid althought it's technically more strong, like the force concentrate on other area...

    Anyway, not saying that cartilage are more strong...they are just less likely to break than bone.

    Ha, I would call this high school science at the most... Physics is like data, error annalysis, models that don't works and seminars that people attend just for the food...

    Anyway, I was about to weight the curler in our lab and use the beaker to find out the volomne (thus the density) but figured out my TA would look at me I didn't do it and just gave an estimate instead...

    I have heard people saying that Japanese brand has better engineering...I guess it's about figuring out the eyeball curvature and stability weight for an eyelash curler?

  5. wow that was an excellent review! Thanks so much :)

  6. awww this is a wonderful review, I've always seen Revlon but never really thought about trying them :)

  7. Hate drugstore curlers! >:| Great battle!!

  8. no way is it nerdy x3 detail is great in reviews. i'm glad you posted it up!

    ic, i'll settle for the shu uemura one then.
    i get your analogy though, its like poking you finger in jelly compared to a cookie. lol

    looking forward to your next review =3 *thumbs up*


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