Unfortunately, I have not been blessed with long, curly eyelashes. Mine are not too short but very straight and don't hold a curl for longer than 5 minutes, even with eyelash curlers.
For what seems like years I have been on a quest to find the mascara that actually does what it promises. I don't expect to look like I'm wearing falsies but a curl that lasts all day (or most of it anyway) what I long for. Well.. I think I have found it. Max Factor's False Lash Effect is amazing.
I use heated curlers in the morning and then apply a coat or two and the curl lasts all day, until I remove it in the evening. The brush is really fat and it did take me a week or so to manage to apply a couple of coats without getting it all over my face. It also doesn't dry too quickly so you can get your lashes really evenly coated and not clumpy.
I use the waterproof version and it can be a little stubborn to remove but you don't get any flaking or smudging and I do rub my eyes quite a lot. I've tried so many mascaras and the only thing that came close to this was Diorshow, and that was an absolute pig to remove.
For around £7 you can't go wrong.