Photo: Courtesy of Surratt Beauty.
Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm or Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous. And, while we love many of those standouts that have gained loyal followings, we've been wondering why others quietly fly under the radar. With that in mind, we've launched Cult Classics, a series in which we'll introduce you to the products you should really, truly know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand-new, but they definitely have staying power.
There's a certain silver eyelash curler that's considered to be the industry's gold standard — it's in everyone's kit, it has won several awards, and just about every beauty guru worth their salt has at least one on standby. So, when Troy Surratt set out to launch his ultra luxe Japan-made cosmetics line, there was a serious question of which categories he thought he could dominate...and which he simply couldn't.
For example, "I did not try to best YSL's Touche Éclat," he says. "I've always found that it works miracles under the eyes and blurs out lines and imperfections." But, when it came to lash-curling, he says: "I knew there had to be a way to make the experience more enjoyable for both makeup artists and consumers."
And, so began the visits to the factories and labs in Japan, where Surratt sourced his velvet-like powders and handmade makeup brushes. It was there that he found a truly unique manufacturing process, in which artisans hand-calibrate each curler, checking it for precision. If the clamp mechanism is faulty, that curler is recycled, and the metal is melted down to make a new one.
As it's so meticulously made, it's no surprise that the product is innovative in more ways than one. For starters, each finger slot is comprised of two metal loops (instead of just one), so you have to squeeze less in order to achieve your desired result. Additionally, Surratt felt like the majority of curlers ended up falling short (literally) on many an eyelid. "Most of the products on the market right now have a 'U' shape," he explains. "That means that there's a potential for the eye to be pinched, which causes so many women to fear their curlers. As a makeup artist, curling someone's lashes is probably the scariest thing I have to do, so I didn't want the pressure! Mine is just a bit longer, and I find it fits the arc of the eye much more comfortably."
Surratt named his precious creation "Relevée," after the ballet term that means to be raised on one's toes. "It's about lifting and elongating, giving the lashes an upward arc — not that crimp!" he explains. "It's more graceful and uplifted — just like ballet toes going up on pointe."
To get the most curl out of your clamp, you should "pump" once at the base of your lashes, once midway through, and once at the very ends. If you concentrate the curl only at the beginning, you'll end up with more dent and less elongation. "This way, you change the angle that the lashes hit the eyes, which makes them look two to three times longer," Surratt says. "It also allows [for] more light reflection, which makes you look brighter and more awake."
A couple of weeks after Relevée danced into Barneys stores, it sold out. And then, we spotted it in the hands of more than one makeup artist at Fashion Week, who all insisted it was the new classic — with the potential to replace that ubiquitous, aforementioned silver curler.
If you're anything like us, you'll find that after the three pumps on each eye, your lashes will be so gorgeous that mascara will become totally optional. Those are certainly words we never thought we'd actually believe.
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