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My eyelashes are dark, reasonably long and rather thick. Lucky me, right? Well, they also point straight downward at an angle that makes them basically disappear into my eyes. (If an eyelash is long but no one can see it, is it even there?) Like many of my straight-lashed sisters, I'm well-acquainted with the one-two punch of an eyelash curler and a waterproof mascara—the former for obvious reasons, the latter because its higher wax content locks in the curl better than a standard mascara. (Any non-waterproof formula that markets itself as “curling” is a tube of empty promises, as far as I'm concerned.)

But even with knowledge of the first two rules of Straight Lash Club, I still hadn’t found a combo that a) held the same eye-opening curl for the entire day and b) actually added a decent amount of volume, since any extra bulk tended to weigh my lashes back down to their default state. That is, until recently, when I finally discovered the holy grail duo that’s led to more compliments on my lashes than I’ve ever gotten in my life. Here’s exactly what makes my once-invisible lashes look like a million bucks.

Nordstrom

Step 1: Kevin Aucoin Eyelash Curler

First off, I’ll admit that prior to making the switch, I’d been using the same eyelash curler for years (though, of course, I’d cleaned it and replaced the pad). Sure, it curled in the strictest sense of the word, but it often left the lashes on the end looking wonky or missed them entirely. After doing some research, I finally landed on Kevyn Aucoin’s model, and its superiority is immediately apparent: The extra-wide opening makes it easy to fit all my lashes in without any awkward maneuvering; the red silicone pad is springy, not squishy, and the contrast makes it easy to see what I'm doing. The result? Fanned-out, sky-high (but still natural) arcs without a crimp in sight.

Buy it ($21)

Nordstrom

Step 2: EyeKo Sport Waterproof Mascara

I bought this on senior beauty editor Jenny Jin’s recommendation, and she didn’t steer me wrong. Previously, I’d vacillated between super-light lengthening formulas that kept the curl but lacked any oomph, and more volumizing formulas that looked good at 9 a.m. but left my lashes flattened out by midday. Somehow, this wonder manages to be the best of both worlds. The fiber-enhanced formula actually lets me build up to my desired thickness without making the curl drop a single millimeter. Combined with the excellent base the Kevyn Aucoin curler gives me, this leaves my lashes looking bold, defined and fluttery until I finally wash it off at night.

Buy it ($26)

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