I get it. Truly I do. Eyelash curlers are daunting. And intimidating. And maybe even a little scary looking. So why on earth would you want to put one near your eyes?

This is why: eyelash curlers have the wonderful ability to transform your lashes from straight to dramatically curled in just a few seconds. Sure, it's a unique-looking tool, but it's not going to hurt you – you just need to know how to use it properly.

Familiarise yourself with these four simple steps and you'll not only be the owner of amazingly fluttery lashes, but your eyelash-curling tool of choice will never find itself collecting dust again...

How to use an eyelash curler correctly

Step #1: make sure your lashes are clean.
Never use an eyelash curler after applying mascara. Why? As mascara dries, it hardens, making your lashes stiff and inflexible. By ignoring this rule, it's likely you'll snap-off your lashes rather than curl them, which is not a good result. Oh, and semi-wet mascara can also stick to the tool, causing your lashes to rip off. Ouch. Eyelash curlers love clean, dry lashes, so reach for some make-up remover before getting started if need be.

Step #2: heat your tool with a hairdryer.
There are amazing heated eyelash curlers on the market (I'm looking at you, Mirenesse iCurl Twin Heated Lash Curler) that put in the hard yards for you, but if your curler is the traditional type, make use of your hairdryer instead. By blasting the curler on low heat for around five seconds, you'll adequately prepare the tool for optimal curling, and ensure the curl holds for longer. Just be sure to touch it with the tip of your finger to check it's not too hot.

Step #3: position with precision.
Take the curling tool and position it as close possible to your eyelid. (Don't get so close that you risk pinching your skin, though!) With your top row of lashes in between the top and bottom pads, gently squeeze the curler together. Hold this position for at least 10 seconds, and repeat if necessary to achieve your desired curl, before moving on to the other eye.

Step #4: reach for your mascara wand.
For a fresh-faced look, you can leave your curled lashes bare. Or, if you're after even more definition, opt for a volumising or lengthening mascara. (We love: ARTISTRY Lavish in Cashmere Mascara.) Apply two coats on each eye, wiggling the wand from root-to-tip as you apply it for perfect lash separation and a clump-free finish.

Tip: it's always wise to check your eyelash curler is clean before attempting to use it. Foundation, concealer and germs could make their way on to the tool with regular use, so apply eye make-up remover to a cotton pad or some cotton tips, and wipe over the clamping area.

Do you know how to use an eyelash curler correctly? Or do you have one that never gets used? Will you be trying to get fluttery, full lashes now you know how to use this tool properly?