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11 Best Mascara Primers for Instantly Luscious Lashes

mascara primer

123RF.com (Evgeniia Medvedeva)

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. Don’t leave lash length on the table by skipping mascara primer.

If you’ve never used a lash primer or mascara primer, it’s much like using makeup primer. 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 when you use mascara primer, so pick the one that seems right for you and get ready to wow everyone with your gorgeous eyes.

jane iredale mascara conditioner Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Conditioning formula
  • Supports lash growth
  • Makes lashes look lush
Price: $23.20 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Christian Dior lash primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Promotes lash growth
  • Pumps up lash volume
  • Increases lash curl
Price: $34.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lash primer plus mascara Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Convenient combo pack
  • Buildable for effect
  • Nourishing formula
Price: $34.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White lash primer by Grande Cosmetics Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Curls set well
  • Promotes lash growth
  • Makes lashes fuller looking
Price: $24.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
blinc lash primer bottle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Formula promotes growth
  • Black color is easier to cover
  • Leaves lashes feeling supple
Price: $26.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Clinique lash builder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Ophthalmologist tested
  • Separates and defines lashes
  • Help mascara stay in place
Price: $22.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Tarte lash building primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Vegan friendly
  • Pumps up volume
  • Comes with mascara
Price: $35.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Benefit mink primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Defines lashes well
  • Tinted primer
  • Awesome applicator
Price: $33.78 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lancome white lash base Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Conditions lashes
  • Defines lashes
  • Reduces mascara needed
Price: $30.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
white mascara primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Uses magnetic technology
  • Makes lashes look long
  • Cruelty-free formula
Price: $20.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
pink mascara primer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Makes lashes look longer
  • Reduces mascara use
  • Sets in curl
Price: $9.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. EDITOR’S CHOICE: jane iredale PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner

    • Conditions and strengthens lashes
    • Makes your mascara more effective
    • Volumizes the look of your lashes
    • Increases mascara staying power
    • Thick and a bit sticky texture
    • Can cause eye irritation
    • Some applicator breakage reported

    This jane iredale primer gives you one coat coverage that 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 or get the primer and mascara in a combo pack. 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. Christian Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer

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

    If you’re looking to pump up 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.

  3. 3. RevitaLash Double-Ended Eyelash Primer + Mascara

    • Makes lashes look long and full
    • Buildable for more dramatic effects
    • Nourishing peptides condition
    • You can wear like colored mascara
    • Darned expensive
    • Not as volumzing as some
    • Some reports of dried out product

    This brilliant and bold blue lash primer plus black mascara from RevitaLash is one of our favorite grab-and-go solutions for beautiful eyes. RevitaLash is one of our favorite companies because we love their super-effective eyelash growth serum. This mascara primer has the ability to be worn alone. If you’re looking to give your eyes a brighter and whiter look, blue is the go-to color.

    But this mascara primer also preps your lashes for super-smooth RevitaLash mascara application, with the added bonus of a bit more drama and fullness. The stiff applicator brush makes it easy to separate lashes and coat them evenly, and for best effect, apply your mascara while this primer is still wet. That way it will go on more smoothly than you might be used to. It’s slick.

    RevitaLash lash primer is buildable, so you can use more coats to get your desired look. That’s somewhat unique because most primers will get clumpy with too many coats.

    This formula has conditioning peptides, which are also in their eyelash growth serum, so healthier lashes are in the offing when you use this best mascara primer. As a side note, many of us like to spend money with companies who support the causes we care about. RevitaLash has made an ongoing commitment to breast cancer awareness and education, and that’s an initiative we can get behind.

  4. 4. Grande Cosmetics GrandePRIMER

    • Curls and sets lashes well
    • Micro-fibers make lashes appear longer
    • Peptide formula encourages growth
    • Great applicator brush
    • Bright white formula takes extra effort
    • Can clump a bit if you let it dry
    • 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 coat 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.

  5. 5. 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
    • 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. This blinc Primer listened and comes in either black (featured above) 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.

  6. 6. CLINIQUE Lash Building Primer

    • Lengthens and volumizes lashes
    • Lashes stay curled
    • Healthier conditioning formula
    • Ophthalmologist tested
    • Simply spendy
    • White primer can be difficult to cover
    • May clump when layered too thickly
    • Works best when dry before mascara

    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. We’d also suggest using it on your lower lashes, along with CLINIQUE Bottom Lash Mascara. Talk about some serious drama.


  7. 7. 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 this Tarte Opening Act set 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.

  8. 8. Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer

    • Defines and primes
    • Wicked awesome applicators
    • Tint great for casual mascara days
    • Water-resistant
    • Formula 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.

    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.

  9. 9. Lancome Cils Booster Xl Mascara Enhancing Base

    • Catches and defines even small 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 Lancome Mascara Enhancing Base 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.

  10. 10. PÜR Fully Charged Mascara Primer

    • Magnetic technology makes fibers cling
    • Paraben and cruelty-free formula
    • Allows you to use less mascara
    • White color can be difficult to cover
    • Can clump with multiple coats
    • Not as lengthening as some others

    Believe it or not, this Fully Charged Primer from PÜR uses magnetic technology to take your lashes to a new level of amazing. Fibers add extra volume to wimpy lashes as well as enhancing their length. Unlike some others, this white primer works best when you let it dry before applying a coat or two of PÜR Fully Charged Mascara. Honestly, with a coat of the primer first, we found one coat to be sufficient, which means your mascara is going to last a lot longer. 

    Paraben-free, you can feel good about using this near your eyes. You’ll also love that this formula is cruelty-free and one of the more affordable options. We like that it keeps your mascara in place which means less raccoon eye at the end of the day.

  11. 11. Most Affordable: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise 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
    • Can get a bit clumpy
    • Needs a better applicator wand
    • Thick formula can be tough to apply

    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 Paradise Base 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.

    This primer is infused with rose oil which makes mascara adhere better to lashes. That 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 a 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 this primer. You’ll be all in for just slightly less than twenty bucks for both.

Is Primer Good For Your Lashes?

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. 

These peptides actually send signals to your cells to trigger them to promote lash growth, according to ModernTherapy.com.

Why Are Lash Primers Different Colors?

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 so you can get more even mascara application. In fact, you'll see lashes you never knew you had.

There are a couple of colored primers, like RevitaLash's brilliant blue primer and L'Oreal Paris' pale pink 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. The upshot of that brilliant blue primer is that you can wear it alone for a sassy club night out.

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.

Will You Still Need to Curl Your Lashes When You Use a Primer?

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.

Your 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.