Primers are not just for your skin; they’re also a game-changer when it comes to your eye makeup, too. We’ve all heard of eyeshadow primers, but do you know about the multitude of benefits of using a mascara primer?
Essentially a base coat for your lashes, a priming mascara will revolutionise the way you use mascaras. For one, I am converted and unless I’m in a hurry – you can bet I’m applying one as part of my daily makeup routine (scroll down for some of my favourites!). A lash primer will give you bigger, better and separated lashes and even more. If you want to know what else they can do for you, read on…
What are the benefits of using a mascara primer?
‘Do mascara primers work’ in short, yes, they do, and in my opinion, they are worth the extra effort. But, you need to keep in mind that different primers have different functions – some are great for adding volume, others good for a curling boost and some are created purely to enhance the health of your lashes; helping them grow longer and stronger. Here are some of the typical benefits you can expect.
• Increased volume – aka thicker lashes! Great for sparse lashes or thin lashes requiring an extra boost – pair with a volumising mascara for extra drama!
• A lengthening boost – primers can add a couple of extra millimetres onto the length of short lashes – use a lengthening mascara for long fluttery lashes!
• Staying power – they can help with the longevity of your mascara; preventing unwanted flaking or smudging.
• They help avoid the dreaded clump – by providing a separating and smooth base for your mascara to adhere to, using a mascara primer can help eliminate clumping.
• Added separation and definition – for the same reason they help avoid clumps, a mascara primer is perfect for separating and defining the lashes before adding a coat of mascara on top.
• Strengthened lashes – most priming formulas will include lash-strengthening ingredients that will help your lashes last and potentially grow longer as they become less susceptible to breakage and falling out.
• Conditioned lashes – more often than not, primers are infused with beneficial vitamins and minerals to improve your lashes’ condition and look. Some can even help your lashes to grow!
• Intensity – a tinted primer can add intensity to the pigment of your usual mascara, making your lashes the centre of attention.
Why it primes: A serum-based primer; it helps to reveal the optimal colour of your mascara as well as intensify your lashes by adding three times more volume and 90% more curl, as well as adding length.
Wand: A large soft elastomer brush that makes separating lashes easy.
Consistency: air-pumped texture that coats each lash with a dense and airy layer to enhance your natural lashes.
Application: leave 30 seconds before applying your mascara.
• Light but dense texture adds weightless volume to lashes.
• Pure WhiteTM complex reveals your lashes’ optimal colour and intensity once mascara has been applied on top.
• Improves lash appearance, thickness and curl with enhanced results if used over time.
• Can be used both before mascara or as an overnight treatment for lashes.
I love this one for when I want to add lots of drama and curl to my lashes. The whipped ‘airy’ texture makes coating each lash a dream and using it repeatedly has made my lashes more curly, naturally. I also like to use it as the very last step in my before-bed beauty regime. A quick slick of this on my lashes every night has improved my lashes ten-fold – they look longer and thicker thanks to the oil serum concentrate included in the formula.
1. The Nourishing Mascara Primer
Why it primes: it creates fuller, more intensified lashes as well as improving lash health by stimulating lipid production and collagen production in your lashes.
Wand: an innovative dual coloured brush has black coloured fibres to separate lashes while the fluffy soft white fibres create a smooth application.
Consistency: a pale pink creamy formula.
Application: leave 30 seconds before applying your mascara.
• Natural waxes to strengthen lashes
• Contains cotton nectar – rich in rare sugars to provide nourishing properties for lashes.
• A soy protein extract helps strengthen lashes.
This is the one I love for a night out. Why? Because it gives me stacks of volume in record time and I’m always in a rush! I apply it just like I would a normal mascara, wait a few seconds and then add a volumising mascara on top – no need for fake lashes and my eyes look as though I’ve spent way more time on them!
3. The Lengthening Mascara Primer
Why it primes: it adds instant definition and colour to your lashes and makes your mascara last longer as well as adding extra volume, lift and length – but in a subtle way.
Wand: a custom extra flex brush is designed to move with the lashes for increased separation and avoid clumps.
Consistency: tinted liquid gel texture.
Application: you can apply your mascara immediately afterwards.
• Water-resistant gel formulation.
• Lash conditioning provitamin B5.
• Glyceryl stearate and butylene glycol help to lubricate and retain moisture in the lashes to give a soft and smooth appearance for a natural look and feel.
Spoiler alert: this is my favourite mascara primer because it’s perfect for everyday wear and it’s no-hassle application makes it quick to use. It has a subtle brown tint which means I can even get away with not wearing any mascara while wearing this; it gives such a natural and flattering effect that works perfectly with barely-there makeup. Equally, it looks great underneath your favourite mascara. I love how separating the brush is, it really intensifies whatever mascara I apply on top of it!
How to apply a mascara primer…
One of the questions I get asked a lot when it comes to priming mascaras is: ‘do you let a mascara primer dry before applying mascara?’ Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule; however, I’d recommend that you leave it for 30 seconds if it’s a pale-coloured formula because it could affect the colour of your mascara if not dry. If it’s brown or black, you may not have to wait as long.
If you’re curling your lashes, ensure you do this first then apply your lash primer just like you would a mascara – taking care to coat each lash including the harder-to-reach corner lashes.
Some mascara primers you can wear alone without a mascara (the Benefit one below is a good example) or some primers are great for popping on before bed if you’re after an extra overnight conditioning boost for your lashes.