Best Mascara Primers

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A Brief Glimpse at Cosmetic History

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but society sets certain standards that are either short-lived or practiced for years. A good example of such is the use of cosmetic products, including makeup for different types of occasions. Since early human civilization, the concept of beautifying one’s face was practiced through the use of grinded precious stones. This evolved through the years, but has remained in its very context—a norm that defined the magnificence of ladies and royal blood in many places all over the world.

In ancient Egypt, people used products specifically to protect, darken, and thicken their eyebrows and eyelids. From there, this practice, which was also related to their religion, spread to nearby countries and eventually became the center of fashion and routines amongst women in higher social classes. In 1913, the first non-toxic mascara was manufactured. From then on, the product and its by-products have emerged and flooded the market through cosmetics manufacturers, big and small alike.

Do I Need It?

If you are not into makeup and are not familiar with the ‘role’ that every cosmetic product plays, then you are probably thinking, ‘Why would I need to buy a primer? I can buy the mascara and apply it by itself, and save on a few dollars!’

Then again, come to think of it—these primers would not be sold and bought if they were not any good for consumers. So what are they exactly for?

Before applying your choice of foundation, you apply a makeup primer that will make your skin feel smoother. The primer basically helps the makeup seep in a smoother manner, thus, making it last longer. For the face, primers are available in three different forms: powder, gel, and cream.

This is basically the same with mascara primers, which are also know as eyelash primers and lash enhancers. While mascaras are applied to achieve thicker and longer lashes by itself, mascara primers were invented to enhance this capability further.

Some people are satisfied with the results that they get from mascaras. However, the longer and thicker your lashes are, the better they accent your eyes. And this is practically the reason why people use fake lashes and endure the hassle of putting them on. Then again, wearing fake lashes is not for everyone. Some people suffer from infections and allergic reactions to the lashes and glue, which both have chemicals that can irritate the skin. And although this might not look like a cause for concern, it is best to remember that an allergic reactions near the eyes can be more serious than it may seem.

This is where mascara primers come in. The name speaks for itself. It enhances the lashes before you apply your mascara, making it even much thicker and longer. It also prevents your mascara from flaking and leaving you with dark eye circles that will ruin your ‘do, unless you’re going for a grunge and haggard look.

Choosing a Mascara Primer

How Much Is It?

Prices depend on the brand and the package, but you can definitely bag a mascara primer for as low as $5.55 to as much as $19.95. If you are on a tight budget and are new to wearing mascara primers, going for an affordable yet popular cosmetic brand is always a wise decision. This way, you can try it on and decide whether you’d like to invest in more of these products in the future.

WIll It Stay Long?

Who would want makeup that washes away instantly after applying it on your face? Nobody. One vital thing to look for when choosing a mascara primer is a long-lasting brand, which will, in turn, keep your mascara intact for longer too. You can try out water-resistant ones that will not get messy when you sweat or get them wet (probably with tears, unless you’re planning to go swimming with full makeup on!). Although most people rely on water-resistant mascaras to do the trick, choosing a long-lasting primer will double up the strength, and will deliver the best results, especially if you need to wear makeup for longer hours at a time.

Will It Be Good To My Eyes and Lashes? 

Due to the influx of cosmetic products from different parts of the globe, one can never be too sure about any brand that claims they are safe and effective. Again, since these products are meant to have contact with your skin and other sensitive parts (such as the eyes), you need to watch out for harmful ingredients that may cause unwanted side effects.

Some people are easily charmed by a few flowery words and affordable prices, and this can be a dangerous habit when it comes to choosing your mascara primer. Always check if it’s a reliable brand, and not just some fly-by-night companies that come from all over the world. Watch out for harmful ingredients that can commonly be found in many other cosmetic products, too, such as Quaternium-15,. PEGs, butylated compounds, lead, and phthalates.

Will It Compliment My Makeup? 

Everyone wants their lashes thick, long, and curly. These are the attributes that people hope to achieve in their search for the best mascara and mascara primers. It is best to check and do some research if a certain brand will let your lashes stay curled. If you settle for just any name, you will find that many primers will straighten your lashes even before you put on your mascara. Ironically, even if it does thicken your lashes and make them look longer, they will not appear in their best and will only be a waste of time and money.

The 4 Best Mascara Primers

The Pros:

Affordable yet reliable: Buying from a trusted brand is at the top of the list when purchasing cosmetics. Coming from the renowned cosmetics brand, L’Oreal, this mascara primer is actually one of the most bought at $5.55 each. You can never go wrong with popular brands, especially if you’re a newbie to mascara primers—or anything that’s to be applied on the skin, for that matter.

It actually does a good job! Apart from its name, this primer truly does the trick. It volumizes and lengthens the lashes, giving it a fuller look that accentuates the eyes. When used correctly, it does give out the best results that won’t make you feel guilty about buying it. L’Oreal succeeded in creating a convenient primer that does not clump. Numerous reviews state that this brand makes you feel and look like you are wearing falsies—only in reality, you just added a good eyelash primer to your good ol’ mascara.

Conditions and Takes Care of Your Lashes: After using this primer, you can actually feel that your lashes as softer. That alone is an assurance that it does take care of your lashes and does not damage them at all.

Acts like mascara glue, but washes away easily with water! Who would have thought that something that makes your mascara stay for so long would easily wash away with water? This mascara primer is the amalgamation of convenience and efficiency. You can put on any amount that you want, and see how thick it goes because of its white color. Then you will just have to wait for about half a minute for it to dry, before you apply your mascara on it. It stays where it is for hours, and you can expect to get compliments, whether you’re on full makeup or just wearing a simple eye ‘do.

The Cons:

One thing, however, is that this primer does not work with all mascaras. Perhaps L’Oreal intended this primer to be used with its own line of products, as it does work perfectly when applied before any L’Oreal mascara. With other brands, on the other hand, it either lengthens the lashes at a miniscule rate, or does not thicken them at all. You may find that it does work good on a few other brands, but it would be best if this is used on a L’Oreal mascara to avoid any regrets.

Does what the mascara can: Because this primer does what a mascara can with two layers of application, some people say it’s unnecessary to buy it. However, this is exactly what is being overlooked about mascara primers. Mascaras alone can easily get messy, leave particles under your eyes, and cause your lashes to clump together. But with a mascara primer, all these things are avoided, and the mascara’s full capacity, so to speak, is achieved. On the other hand, this primer is cheaper than the same brand’s mascara, so there’s no reason at all to buy this instead of using twice the amount of mascara each time.

A rule of thumb when using this primer, though, is to never forget your lash comb (that is actually true for any brand of mascara primer).


The Pros:

Volumizes and lengthens with almost any mascara: One exceptional quality of this brand is that it does not only do its job—it works hand-in-hand with any other brand of mascara  of your choosing. That makes it excellent for those who aren’t fond of sticking to one name, but are used to buying from different brands just to see which ones are the best. And like L’Oreal, this mascara primer does what it should, although you must be very careful in applying it to attain the best results. Another amazing thing about this primer is that it actually helps your lashes grow longer and thicker!

It’s Cruelty-free! Hurray for not being tested on animals! This primer is a great option for animal-lovers and anyone who basically does not want their cosmetic products to come from brands that are profit-oriented to the point that they do not care about living things.

Long-lasting: It glues your mascara well and lets it stay in place, whether you’re about to work out, or even sleep in it. Many people even say it stays in even if it gets wet with tears or under a shower, for as long as you don’t rub it. That being said, this primer is great for those who want to look dashing with long, thick, and curly lashes while they go out for a run or do their daily dose of exercise. Whatever is in your itinerary, you can expect this primer to stay with you through thick and thin!

The Cons:

A bit pricey compared to others. This primer is sold at $16.99 at Amazon, and that makes it about $10 more than L’Oreal. If you’re ready to invest that much in a primer, then this product is definitely worth every penny.

The applicator brush is a bit delicate. The primer does dry quite quickly as compared to other brands, so if you’re not careful and used to applying it fast, the primer might dry up too soon and trying to comb it with the brush will ruin the whole thing. Some people also claim that this primer clumps up and does not go on smoothly, while others say the opposite. Perhaps it all depends on how you apply it on your lashes.

The Pros:

Goes on smooth and dries quickly: It’s very easy to attain longer and fuller looking lashes with this brand. It is easy to apply, as it goes on smoothly on your lashes, and dries quickly so you can apply your favorite mascara soon thereafter. It does an excellent job in preventing your mascara from smudging, however, it does clump on some parts mainly due to its thick consistency.

Lasts for a long time: Without primers, mascaras tend to melt and leave their place way before you even expect them to. This mascara primer is among those which help you maintain your eye makeup in impeccable shape even after hours of dancing and partying. Perfect for special occasions and casual events, this primer is a good choice for those who want their lashes to look long and thick. Even on oily lashes and skin, this primer keeps hold of your mascara so you would not end up like a zombie before the party ends.

The Cons:

Clumps if you don’t brush it enough. That’s totally easy to understand. Given its thick consistency, this primer does make your lashes clump  if you do not brush it enough before it dries up. Then again, if you apply it correctly, you will get excellent results that will emphasize your eyes and your eye makeup, if you ever have one. Otherwise, having long and thick lashes will also make you look a lot better, even when you’re too busy to make your face up.

Another negative comment about this brand is that the brush has bristles that are too wide for thin lashes, that they almost do nothing even after brushing numerous times.

Some people say that this primer makes their lashes dry and brittle, and actually breaks them off in the morning. On the other hand, with good aftercare, you will know that leaving your mascara on, no matter what brand it is, is never good for your skin and eyelashes. So while Radiant Complex has some pretty good reviews on their lash primer, there are also several negative feedback that needs to be considered.

The Pros:

Very affordable price. At $3 per piece, who would have thought that you can get a good primer for those date nights? This is by far the cheapest yet effective mascara primer in the market that you can trust.

Does well considering the price: At such a discounted price, you would be amazed to see that this primer DOES thicken and lengthen your lashes. The only downside, perhaps, is that you will need to apply more coating as compared to more expensive and popular brands. It makes your mascara stay and prevents smudging, and also works well on eyebrows.

The Cons:

The applicator’s shape is not as good as other brands, and that makes it a bit difficult to apply the primer equally to all your lashes.

It does not thicken the lashes as well as other more popular brands, or other expensive ones. Then again, you can never expect a $3 product to perform as greatly as $20 products, wouldn’t you?

Some people complain about how small the product is, thinking it would not last them long enough.

At the end, buying a mascara primer would depend on how  much your budget is. If you are new to using primers, and you are willing to spend more on this additional piece of cosmetics to your purse, you can opt to get the more expensive ones. Just make sure to apply the primer the way it should be, or else you will end up with clumped lashes and probably smearing mascara. If you want to try using a primer first and see if it is worth the money, then going for cheaper brands won’t hurt. Remember, though, to choose your primer carefully, so as to avoid damaging your lashes instead.

(Last Updated On: April 22, 2018)

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