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What Is A Mascara Primer And Why Do You Need One?

What Is A Mascara Primer And Why Do You Need One?
Sophie Page
Beauty & Lifestyle Writer2 years ago
View Sophie Page's profile

If you're anything like me you have an abundance of makeup, tools and skincare - but one thing we seem to find missing from Glossiies’ makeup bags are mascara primers

But what is a mascara primer we hear you ask? Glossies, we have the lowdown on what a mascara primer is, its benefits, how to use one and even our eight favourite mascara primers on the market right now.

What Is A Mascara Primer?

You wouldn't apply foundation or eyeshadow without a primer,  and this should be the same when it comes to mascara… So, what is it?

A mascara primer is a makeup product designed to act as a base coat for your lashes. Just like the primers, we apply to our lids and face, this primer works to enhance the benefits of your mascara. 

Mascara primers are usually white in colour and in packaging. This is usually so you can spot the difference upon purchase. Don't worry though Glossies, the white lashes disappear after your first coat of mascara.

These primers are enriched with different ingredients than in your regular mascara though, and these are similar ingredients to those you'd find in your favourite skincare products. The benefits are similar too - keep reading to find out what these are!


The Benefits Of Mascara Primer

  1. Strengthens - A mascara primer is formulated with keratin, the protein you find in your hair. So when lashes are coated with this they are conditioned and nourished, all so your lashes can remain strong.
  2. Prevents Clumping - Applying mascara primer separates each lash and smooths them out. Clumping only occurs when a cluster of lashes are coated with mascara together. Primer prevents this.
  3. Lengthens And Thickens - Thanks to the effective ingredients, (like keratin, biotin and one of my faves vitamin E) after frequent use your lashes will naturally become stronger, thicker, healthier and longer.
  4. Increases Longevity Of Your Mascara -Mascara primers leave your lashes with a tacky yet smooth base. This allows your mascara to stick on and last longer than it would without a primer. 
  5. Volume And Curl - Applying mascara after a primer helps hold curl for longer too,giving you a voluminous look! 

How To Apply a Mascara Primer

  1. Tilt your head back and look into your mirror. 
  2. Start applying your mascara primer by gripping your lashes at the root, wiggle your wand through your lashes right to the tip, making sure you coat each lash. 
  3. Do this again but apply to the top of your lashes.
  4. If you struggle to make your lower lashes pop with just mascara, then apply primer on these lashes too! 
  5. Just like a face primer, let your mascara primer sit for around 20 seconds so it's partly dry, partly damp. After this, go ahead and apply your favourite mascara on top.

Top tip - just like mascaras, mascara primers have a three-month shelf life. So make sure you replace yours after three months of it being open.Want to know more about how long makeup lasts and their expiry dates? Take a look at our Beauty Editor's guide to How Long Do Makeup Products Last?

Our Eight Favourite Mascara Primers

What's hot right now? We think these mascara primers are!

benefit They're Real Tinted Lash Primer

Glossies, we've all tried the BADgal Bang mascara by benefit - and we know its worth the coin. Now its time to try their mascara primer! This tinted, lash-intensifying formula adds definition, volume and length! 

Ingredients like pro-vitamin B5 mean your lashes will thicken ver time and, if applied correctly, your lashes will be separated too,  ready for a smooth, clump-free mascara coating.

Lancôme Cils Booster Mascara Base

This primer by Lancôme is a white lash primer that comes with pretty much every primer benefit there is! If you want longer-looking lashes, this is your new go-to…

Infused with valuable vitamins, it’s the perfect first step to a voluminous eye look and promises magnified curl, volume and length for 24 hours too. Gliding effortlessly onto the lashes, it creates a smooth base for mascara application. 

My favourite thing is its wand, however. A triangular, thin brush lets you reach every lash, right to the corners and every lower lash too!

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara Primer

Maybelline has taken the term 'Sky High' to a whole new level with its mascara primer. Ingredients, including jojoba oil and panthenol, hydrate after every coat which aids the elasticity of each lash. This helps your lashes hold your mascara and aids longevity with no fallout. As with any primer, it separates each lash, giving you a fluttery finish!

Clinique Lash Building Primer

Clinique was good enough for Elle Woods and it's by far good enough for our top mascara primers list. Promising to double lash length, volume and curl, this primer needs to be in your makeup bag!

Created with a thickening polymer blend, it creates protection, strength and body. With conditioning properties too, over time this primer nourishes, smooths and softens lashes.

Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer

Urban Decay is known for its effective primers. The brand’s All Nighter Face Primer and Eye Potion have some intense results - and this is also the case for its lash primer.

The formula of this primer is creamier than others. Adding weight to your lashes, this makes it easier for mascara to hold on and for you to create thicker, fuller-looking lashes!  Vitamin E and panthenol are the superstars in this mascara primer too, nourishing, conditioning and acting as a mask for your eyelashes too.

L'Oréal Paris Paradise Lash Primer

My favourite thing about this primer is its wand! The ultra-soft brush helps you apply the primer without damaging your lashes. And, with added jojoba oil, your lashes will be softened and nourished. This, in turn. gives you healthier, stronger lashes - and healthy lashes hold your mascara better and for longer. 

Max Factor False Lash Effect Max Out Primer Mascara

This fab primer has a very unique ingredient - blue micro-pigments. These make your lashes appear darker, longer and thicker and help you get the most out of your mascara! Think volume, think definition and think much longer lashes.

Rimmel Volume Boost Lash Primer 

This one is one of the best value for money primers out there. Under £7, it’s a bargain! This volumising primer adds major length, volume and a splash of sass too.

Rimmel has added the bold benefits from its iconic mascaras and mixed them with the success we see from skincare. The result? A mascara primer that gives you drama while conditioning and improving lashes too.

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Sophie Page
Beauty & Lifestyle Writer
View Sophie Page's profile
You know how people say putting on your favourite clothes can instantly boost or change your mood? Well that's how I feel when I put on my favourite makeup. Makeup isn't to cover up, it's to show off our personality - and I love how everyone does their makeup in their own unique way! I never leave the house without a tinted lip balm in hand, and just like everyone right now, I love a good dupe!