11 Best Mascara Primers: Get Instantly Luscious Lashes

mascara primer


What’s the first thing you notice about a person when you first meet them? For me, it’s all about the eyes. They often say more than words, cluing you into things that are more than skin deep. That’s why I think we’re all searching for ways to make our eyes stand out. We shadow, line and define them.

When your lashes are lacking, do you pile on the mascara or resort to falsies to amp up your look? If they’re thinning, or short, you can turn to eyelash growth serum to help improve their look, and it seriously works, by the way. But it seems like this whole lash thing should be simpler, and it can be.

If you’ve never used an eyelash primer or mascara primer, it’s much like using makeup primers. This semi-magical stuff preps your lashes so mascara glides on smoothly and smudges less. These primers are also amazing at separating and defining your lashes, as well as making them look lots fuller and way longer.

You really can have luscious lashes in a wink with any of these Best Mascara Primers, so pick the one that seems right for you, and get ready to be wowed by your gorgeous eyes.

jane iredale lash conditioner, mascara primer, eyelash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Conditioning formula
  • Supports lash growth
  • Makes lashes look lush
Price: $23.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
grandelash primer, mascara primer, eyelash primer, lash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Curls set well
  • Promotes lash growth
  • Makes lashes fuller looking
Price: $25.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
blinc lash primer, mascara primer, eyelash primer, lash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Peptide formula promotes growth
  • Black color is easier to cover
  • Leaves lashes feeling supple
Price: $26.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Benefit They're Real tinted eyelash primer and mascara duo Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Defines lashes well
  • Comes with mascara
  • Awesome applicator
Price: $34.94 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
diorshow maximizer 3d, mascara primer, eyelash primer, lash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Promotes lash growth
  • Pumps up lash volume
  • Increases lash curl
Price: $43.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
l'oreal lash primer, mascara primer, eyelash primer, lash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Makes lashes look longer
  • Reduces mascara use
  • Sets in curl
Price: $6.74 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
clinique lash building primer, mascara primer, eyelash primer, lash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • Separates and defines lashes
  • Help mascara stay in place
Price: $24.78 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
tarte lash primer, mascara primer, eyelash primer, lash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Vegan friendly
  • Pumps up volume
  • Comes with mascara
Price: $31.84 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
butter london eyelash primer, mascara primer, eyelash primer, lash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Makes lashes look crazy long
  • Great applicator
  • Helps prevent racoon eye
Price: $20.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lancome white mascara primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Conditions lashes
  • Defines lashes
  • Reduces amount of mascara needed
Price: $32.57 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lash primer and mascara combo Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Primer + mascara
  • Defines lashes well
  • Reduces flaking
Price: $24.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. jane iredale PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner

    • Conditions and strengthens lashes
    • Makes your mascara more effective
    • Volumizes the look of your lashes
    • Increases the staying power of mascara
    • Not as effective as eyelash growth serum for longer term results
    • Thick and a bit sticky texture
    • Can cause eye irritation
    • Some applicator breakage reported

    This mascara primer gives you one coat coverage that both thickens, strengthens and lengthens your lashes for a better look now, and healthier lashes in the long term. This eyelash primer preps lashes for your mascara, separating and thickening their look.

    It also makes for easy application of mascara, allowing it to wear longer and smudge less. While it’s not officially a lash extender, this lash primer coats each and every lash, so when you add mascara to the mix, your lashes will appear to have far more volume than when you use mascara alone.

    It can be worn alone at night as well, to condition your lashes and brows while you sleep. For a great daytime look, top with a coat of jane iredale PureLash Mascara. To keep your brows in line, and fill them out with natural looking color, jane iredale PureBrow Brow Gel is a fantastic eye ally to keep in your makeup kit.

  2. 2. Grande Cosmetics GrandePRIMER

    • Curls and sets lashes well
    • Micro-fibers make lashes appear longer
    • Peptide formula conditions and encourages lash growth
    • Applicator brush picks out and separates lashes well
    • Bright white formula takes extra effort to cover fully
    • Can clump a bit if you let it dry before applying mascara
    • It’s heavier and a bit stickier than some
    • May irritate eyes

    A single step eyelash primer, GrandePRIMER coats your lashes with flake-free, lengthening micro-fibers. This formula features peptides to condition and pamper lashes so they’ll perform their best. This thick white mascara primer helps to make lashes look voluminous, especially after using a coat or two of GrandeMascara.

    This lash primer is bright white, so you might notice that you’ll need to pay a little extra attention to fully coating your lashes after they’ve dried, but the overall effect is definitely worth the effort. The water resistant formula helps to strengthen your lashes as well as prevent breakage.

    We totally love the unique applicator brush that makes it easy to get to those tiny lashes in the inner corners of your eyes, as well as lower lashes. That’s one reason it gets our nod as a best mascara primer.

    GrandeLash lash primer is great for coating, setting and curling your lashes. Keep in mind, for the best results, follow immediately with mascara to avoid clumping.

  3. 3. blinc Lash Primer

    • Makes lashes look longer and fuller
    • Contains lash growth promoters
    • Lashes feel supple, even after mascara
    • Black color is much easier to cover with mascara
    • Formula is a bit runny and can smear
    • Tends to get clumpy with extra coats
    • Tube can dry out too quickly
    • Doesn’t wash off as easily as some

    As a regular mascara primer user, I’ve often wondered why so many lash primers come in white. They’re sometimes hard to cover and it takes extra coats of mascara to make sure your lashes don’t have white peeping though. blinc figured it out on behalf of all of us with this lash primer that comes in either black or white.

    The upside of white is that it’s kind of exciting when you see just how long your lashes look, but this black eyelash primer is so much less stressful. With conditioners like D-Panthenol and Tocopheral Acetate, and a lash growth promoter, Pentapeptide-17, this primer amps up your lashes, making them look thicker and longer.

    Simply add one or two coats prior to using mascara. After your lash primer and your mascara have dried, your lashes actually feel more supple and less dry than when using mascara alone.

  4. 4. Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer & Mascara Duo

    • Defines and primes
    • Wicked awesome applicators
    • Tint makes it a great double for casual mascara days
    • Comes with mascara and lash primer together
    • Water resistant formula makes it tougher to remove
    • Too many coats can get clumpy
    • Can cause eye irritation
    • A bit on the spendy side

    If you’re looking to define and prime your lashes with just a swipe of color, the Benefit tinted eyelash primer is a sweet way to do it. This water resistant primer separates lashes with a spikey applicator brush that has a tip that’s perfect for those hard to reach tiny lashes.

    It adds a touch of sable brown color to your lashes, so it’s the perfect cheater for mascara, especially if you’re headed to the beach. Did we mention that it’s water resistant? Oh yes, we did. This mascara primer is infused with Pro-Vitamin B5 to condition and moisturize your lashes.

    Super cool is that you can top it with a coat of Benefit They’re Real mascara, because this awesome deal comes in a two pack, with lash primer and mascara together. And because it’s such an awesome price, you’ll naturally want to try both products together. You’ll be amazed at how long and lush your lashes look.

    If you like to keep your lash products to a single brand, this Benefit They’re Real! eyelash primer and mascara are some of our favorites for long wear and lack of flaking and smudging.

  5. 5. Christian Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer

    • Seriously volumizes lashes
    • Excellent applicator for defining lashes
    • Formula includes lash growth serum for improved lashes long term
    • Doesn’t clump and flake
    • Somewhat spendy
    • White color can be difficult to cover
    • Improved lash growth not seen by some users

    If you’re looking to pump of your lash volume, Diorshow Maximizer 3D delivers results that will impress. This mascara primer, plus lash serum, features an air-pumped texture that coats each lash with a dense, fluffy layer, to intensify the effects of your fave mascara.

    This primer promises to deliver three times more volume, and 90 percent more curl. That’s a huge benefit for those of us with chronically straight lashes. It improves your lash appearance in the short term, but with regular use, the serum portion of this product helps you to grow longer, thicker and more beautiful lashes.

    You can also use this eyelash primer at night as a lash pampering plus, to increase growth. The applicator on this eyelash primer is especially good at separating and defining each lash, which means your mascara is going to look clump free and totally fab.

  6. 6. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara Primer

    • Super affordable
    • Makes lashes look seriously longer
    • Keeps your lashes looking curled
    • Helps to condition lashes
    • White color can be hard to cover completely
    • Can get a bit clumpy if you use more than one coat
    • Needs a better applicator wand
    • Thick formula can be tough to apply evenly

    If you’ve never tried eyelash primer, and you don’t want to make a major investment on something you’re not sure you’ll love, this L’Oréal lash primer is the perfect first step. It was my first primer too, and I still use it. I discovered it quite by accident because my mom’s lashes looked so long and lush, I asked if she’d started curling her eyelashes.

    She handed me her tube to try, and wow – what a difference. My naturally straight lashes curled up and stayed that way, even after I put on my mascara. While it’s pretty thick in consistency, it goes on quite smoothly, and once dried you can see your lashes looking boosted significantly.

    It also allows you to use less mascara than you might normally, because you really need only one coat to make your lashes look amazing. While it doesn’t claim to increase lash growth, it definitely does allow you to stop using your eyelash curler so much, which can make a big difference in lash health, long term.

    If you want one less tube of lash product in your makeup bag, check out the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Superstar Washable Mascara. It comes in a two-part tube, with primer on one end and mascara on the other. Very handy, especially for travel.

    If you don’t mind two tubes, and you want full sizes of each of the mascara and eyelash primer, consider the L’Oreal Paris Cosmetics Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara, in addition to the primer. You’ll be all in for just slightly more than ten bucks for both.

  7. 7. CLINIQUE Lash Building Primer

    • Lengthens and volumizes lashes
    • Lashes stay curled, even with wetter mascaras
    • Conditioning formula makes for healthier lashes
    • Ophthalmologist tested
    • Simply spendy
    • White primer can be difficult to cover with mascara
    • May clump when layered too thickly
    • Works best when dry before mascara application

    Serious lengthening and volume are the benefits of CLINIQUE Lash Building Primer. As a lover of all things CLINIQUE, I was introduced to this great primer years ago by my girlfriend who was the general manager of my local Nordstrom store. This mascara primer was a wake up call, when it came to longer looking, more noticeable lashes.

    The bright white primer separates and defines your lashes well, and keeps them looking perky and visible, even after you put on some of the wetter brands of mascara, which can be major curl killers. I’m a fan of the fact that’s it’s ophthalmologist tested, which is always reassuring for a product you’re going to get near your eyes.

    This non-irritating formula also features conditioners to keep your lashes softer and healthier. It’s also super easy to remove with soap and water, or your favorite eye makeup remover. And since you’re game to try a best mascara primer, we’d also suggest using it on your lower lashes, along with CLINIQUE Bottom Lash Mascara. Talk about some serious drama.


  8. 8. Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer + Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara

    • Definitely adds volume and length
    • Companion mascara included
    • Dermatologist tested
    • Vegan friendly and cruelty free
    • Expensive compared to some
    • Can get clumpy with too many coats
    • Some packaging issues reported

    What’s not to love about an eyelash primer that comes with a fabulous mascara included? Just when you were thinking this primer was above your budget, they sneak in an awesome mascara surprise that gives you the chance to try two companion products at once.

    This lash primer from Tarte most definitely increases the look and length of your lashes, separating and then adding volume to each lash. It’s also great for giving your lashes that curled look, simply by using upward strokes of the applicator brush.

    I’m nuts about this primer because it works well, as long as you use a light touch. Don’t add multiple coats, because it will start looking clumpy. The other thing I appreciate about this mascara primer is that your lashes actually look more natural, and less like you’ve piled on tons of mascara, especially if you apply the latter while your primer isn’t quite dry.

    Your lashes and the white primer will be covered more easily while in the still moist state. Natch, if you like the spider leg look for your lashes, you can do that too, but I’d recommend against it for everyday wear. We love that all of the cosmetics from Tarte are dermatologist tested, vegan friendly and cruelty free.

  9. 9. butter LONDON Fit Lash Mascara Primer

    • Pale blue color makes it easy to see tiny lashes
    • Delivers length and volume because of tiny fibers in the formula
    • Helps keep mascara from smudging
    • Natural conditioners make your lashes more healthy
    • Not as lengthening as some
    • Blue color can be hard to cover with mascara
    • More spendy than some

    We’ve talked about white, brown and even black eyelash primers, but baby blue? That’s a new spin on the way to plump and prep your lashes. Infused with lash loving conditioners like Meadowfoam seed oil, (sounds so British, doesn’t it?) shea butter extract and wheat-derived amino acids, you actually get healthier lashes when you lavish on this mascara primer.

    Better yet, you’ll wowed by the wicked volume and length your lashes appear to have afterward, because this primer’s loaded with tons of tiny fibers to create a more dramatic effect. This mascara primer is also helpful in getting your lashes to stand up and stay curled for the whole day.

    The light blue color makes it easy to see, and it ensures you get all your lashes coated – even those tiny babies in the corners of your eyes and on your lower lid. We love the spikey little primer brush applicator, although it would be better if it had that spikey end, and this one doesn’t.

    This primer maximizes the effect of your mascara, and helps to keep it from smudging during the day. But the lengthening effect means you can probably skip the falsies, except for fancy nights out. Follow up with butter LONDON Iconoclast Mega Volume Lacquer Mascara which has, hands-down, our favorite applicator ever.

  10. 10. Lancome Cils Booster Xl Mascara Enhancing Base

    • Catches and defines even the smallest lashes
    • Conditions for healthier lash growth
    • Lets you reduce mascara to one coat
    • Keeps mascara from flaking
    • Doesn't enhance curl
    • Goes on a bit thick
    • Tends to make mascara more clumpy

    This conditioning mascara primer from Lancome makes lashes look longer and get healthier. It uses tiny micro-fibers to add extra length and thickness to your lashes, and conditioning vitamin E to help them grow thicker and fuller. Plus it protects lashes while it conditions, and helps to eliminate clumping once you do apply your mascara. 

    Because it coats lashes smoothly and evenly, and it captures even the tiniest lashes at the corners of your eyes, it actually intensifies the look of your mascara, without having to use multiple coats. Used in combination with Lancome Grandiose Wide-Angle Fan Effect Mascara, which conditions and promotes growth, you’ll be on your way to your most gorgeous peepers ever.

  11. 11. LORAC The Royal Treatment Primer & Mascara

    • Primer and mascara combo saves time and drawer space
    • Accentuates and defines lashes
    • Makes lashes look super long
    • Wetter formula kills curl
    • You're stuck with both products even if you only like one of them
    • Thick mascara formula can look clumpy

    If you love getting a two-fer, this lash primer and mascara duo it a great way to take your lashes from “meh” to magnificent. No need to store two different tubes in the drawer, because this double ended combo gives you both. The blue primer brightens your eyes, and the wand is wicked at catching every last lash and lengthening it.

    The black mascara then goes on super smoothly without clumping or flaking, so lashes look naturally long and lush. The two products seamlessly blend together giving you a great look without those spider leg lashes. Whew.

Almost every primer delivers lash conditioning love, along with the instant gratification of a big lash look right now. Some primers also contain those powerful peptides used in lash growth serum, a total bonus.

Most eyelash primers are white, which seems counter-intuitive, since you're probably going to cover your lashes with a darker mascara. The upside is that they clearly define all of your lashes, making them much easier to see for even application. You'll see lashes you never knew you had. There are even a couple of colored primers, like butter LONDON's baby blue primer and LORAC's blue primer.

They both claim to make your eyes look brighter. Not to dis that notion, but that color isn't going to show anyway, once you've applied mascara.

Some of the newer primers are available in black and dark brown shades. In my opinion, they're a whole lot easier for achieving the best mascara coverage. As an admitted primer junkie, I have struggled a bit with the white ones, even though I use them all the time.

Have you ever curled your lashes, only to use a wetter mascara and have them fall flat? So frustrating. My absolute favorite thing about eyelash primer is that it gives you a curled look, that sets, and doesn't wilt with mascara. Fabulous.

Technique also has a lot to do with primer success. Some suggest you apply your mascara while the primer is still wet. Others suggest you let it dry, before applying your mascara. One thing they all have in common is, if you apply too many coats, you'll end up with lashes that look more like spider legs. If you like that look, go for it, but for a more natural lash appearance, I'd recommend you use a lighter touch to keep both your primer and mascara from clumping.

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