These Lash Primers Make Your Mascara as Dramatic as Your Personality

When I am looking to go hard with the lashes, my secret weapon is to start with a lash primer. (I guess it's not a secret anymore, but whatever.)
Publish date:
August 8, 2016
shoppables, primers, lashes

People ask me all the time what I do to get my lashes looking so long, full, and curled. The truth is: not much. In fact, I've actually pulled away from mascara quite a bit this year. I typically stick to my favorite product that gives my lashes just the right amount of vamp, while still making them look like better versions of my natural lashes. Sometimes, I want big lashes to be the center of attention, but lately that hasn't been the case.

We all know that, for some cruel reason, men tend to have better natural lashes than women. I happen to be one of those men. Mine are good, but you should see some of the guys I hang out with. We're talking inexplicably long, curled lashes. Their lids almost look like they have double rows of lashes, like shark's teeth.

(BTW don't Google "shark double row teeth." I just did and I regret it. Also, I'm not exactly sure if sharks actually have two rows of teeth, but I did see Finding Nemo.)

To really juice my lashes up, I use a lash primer first, but I should say straight away that there is one thing you need to keep in mind when using a primer before a mascara. The priming product is going to cling to your lashes like a first layer of white mascara, so the real mascara you follow it with won't have exactly the same effect as it would on your bare lashes. The primer brush is just as important as the black mascara, and the mascara brush won't take to your primed lashes the exact same way as it would to your naked ones. Primers are also great for adding length and volume but aren't totally ideal for lash separation and definition.

For the sake of this article, I used the same mascara on top of each of the primers to really showcase their differences. I chose Lancôme's Définicils High Definition Mascara, which Byrdie tells us is the most popular mascara on the internet. I thought this was appropriate seeing as I am also very popular on the internet.

Let's do this.

As I mentioned like three seconds ago, when I am looking to go hard with the lashes, my secret weapon is to start with a lash primer. I've talked about one I love before, but there are two newbies that recently dropped, starting with GrandePRIMER.

This is the one I've been using for a while now:


It goes on very white, which can be a blessing and a curse, but it does a great job of beefing up lashes and prepping them for mascara. GrandePRIMER gives your lashes length, volume, and general fullness, flinging them out for your most dramatic, cartoon lashes yet.

Here I am ~primed & dangerous~

My only gripe with this one is that sometimes I find myself fighting to make sure all of the white primer is covered, which leads me to pack on more mascara than I would otherwise.

The goal here is big lashes, not lashes with product caked onto them, so use a light hand when applying this primer because you're going to have a lot of white to cover if you go too hard with it.

Smashbox Photo Finish Lash Primer

This baby is my personal favorite, for a few reasons. For starters, the primer goes on clear! It lengthens without leaving a base of white that you have to work to cover up. You can put on as much or as little mascara as you want, without worrying about covering up any of those pesky white spots.

Second, one side of the brush has little bristles to pack on the product and thicken things up, while the other side has a row of longer bristles to comb the product through, avoiding any clumps. Of the three primers in this article, this one gives you the most definition, which I think you can see below:

I like that the primer is more of a gel because it feels like it goes on thinner, like it's doing its job while creating the perfect base to let the mascara really do its thing. Of this bunch, it's the most thought out, and it's a product that makes it easy to define your lashes without taking away from your mascara. It works with you, you know? I wore this one Friday night, and my boss actually asked me if I had gotten eyelash extensions again, which I don't even have to tell you is a ringing endorsement.

L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Primer

You knew I wasn't going to leave you without a drugstore option, right?

This primer is similar to the first option at a fraction of the cost. The big thing I noticed with this primer is that it took to the lashes best. One swipe and there was a lot of white product for me to work with, so you don't need to risk clumping your lashes with multiple passes.

This one was the best of the three in terms of volume. I could tell that even before I applied the mascara. It brings your lashes together with just a couple of passes so you can really serve up some drama when you apply your mascara.

TBH, I'm pretty impressed with this one. It definitely holds its own against the more expensive primers and, at under $10, why wouldn't you buy it? Seriously, I'm asking.

Do you use lash primers? What about lash fibers? What's your favorite mascara? I love hearing which one you guys love because the top two or three that always get mentioned are the ones that I can't stand. Tell me everything in the comments!

Tynan has huge lashes on Twitter @TynanBuck.