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Best Eyelash Primers

Updated October 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 18 Models Considered
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    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best eyelash primers

    Last Updated October 2018

    Mascara is an easy, effective way to draw attention to your eyes. But if your mascara just doesn’t make your lashes look as long or as thick as you’d like, it may be time to add a new product to your makeup routine. With an eyelash primer, you can get full, fluttery lashes every time, no matter what mascara you use.

    But if you want your lashes to look as good as they can, choosing the right eyelash primer is key. You have to know what ingredients to look for and the tint, brush, and other features that will leave you with envy-worthy lashes. With so many eyelash primers on the market, though, sorting through all the options can get a little confusing.

    BestReviews is here to help. We conduct comprehensive product research, so you can find the best items for your home. If you’re looking for an outstanding eyelash primer, keep reading our shopping guide. It’s full of helpful advice for finding the ideal formula for your lashes.

    Some eyelash primers come as part of a double-duty product – one end of the tube houses the primer, while the other end holds mascara, which means you need one less product in your makeup bag.

    What is an eyelash primer?

    An eyelash primer is a product that usually serves as a base for mascara. You apply it to your lashes before your usual mascara, and it not only helps condition your lashes but forms a coating around them to increase both length and volume. A primer usually has a slightly sticky texture, which helps mascara cling to it effectively.

    Depending on the formula you choose, though, you don’t necessarily have to wear an eyelash primer under mascara. You can apply it to bare lashes, and use it on its own as a conditioning treatment on light or no-makeup days.

    A high-quality formula for outstanding volume

    Christian Dior has a reputation for outstanding lash products, and the Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer is no exception. It features an oil serum concentrate that helps condition the lashes and an air-pumped texture for easily coating each and every lash. The result is lashes with triple the volume. And you’ll see stronger lashes long-term with continued use.

    Benefits of eyelash primers

    There are several benefits to using an eyelash primer with or without mascara.

    Because an eyelash primer forms a sticky base around your lashes, it makes it easier to coat your lashes with mascara, so you can apply it more quickly. The sticky base also means that mascara stays put on your lashes all day. That means you don’t have to worry about flaking or smudging.

    An eyelash primer can also make your lashes appear longer and thicker, which often means you don’t have to spend time applying false eyelashes when you want a more dramatic look for your eyes. If you have stick-straight eyelashes that don’t hold a curl well, an eyelash primer can help keep your lashes lifted after you use an eyelash curler.

    Eyelash primers contain moisturizing ingredients that help condition and strengthen your lashes to keep them as healthy as possible. Some eyelash primers actually contain ingredients that stimulate lash growth so you can enjoy longer, thicker lashes over time.

    While you should coat all your lashes with an eyelash primer, be careful not to overload your lashes with the product. You can wind up with clumpy lashes once you add a coat of mascara.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Features to consider for eyelash primers

    Active ingredients

    For an eyelash primer to enhance your mascara and condition your lashes, it must contain the right active ingredients to get results. The best primer formulas usually contain more than one active ingredient.

    Vitamin E has a wide array of benefits for the hair and skin because it’s an antioxidant that can help provide protection from free-radical damage. In lash primer formulas, it helps to moisturize and soften your lashes to keep them from becoming dry and brittle. Vitamin E has also been known to help promote lash growth.

    Vitamin B3, which is also known as niacin, can help moisturize and strengthen your lashes, as well as help promote lash growth.

    Vitamin B5, which is also known as pantothenic acid or panthenol, helps build up the hair follicles along your lash line to make your lashes as long and thick as possible. It also helps to moisturize and condition the lashes.

    Microfibers are small threads that cling to your lashes to help them appear longer and thicker for more dramatic-looking lashes after you apply your mascara.

    Peptides are a chain of amino acids that help strengthen and condition your eyelashes. They’re often found in lash growth serums, so an eyelash primer that contains peptides usually has long-term benefits for your lashes.

    Tint

    Most eyelash primers are white in color. When you apply the primer to your lashes and allow it to dry, though, it essentially becomes clear. You can apply mascara over a white or clear primer to darken your lashes, or you can wear the primer by itself for a natural look that still conditions and moisturizes your lashes.

    Other lash primers are tinted to help darken your lashes for a more intense look. Black and brown are the most common colors for tinted lash primers, and these primers can be layered under a mascara in the matching shade to really make your lashes stand out. Lash primers that have a black or brown tint can also be worn on their own.

    There are also a few eyelash primers that are available with a blue tint. Blue shades like cobalt and navy can make your eyes appear brighter, so a blue-tinted primer can help your eyes pop. However, if you layer a traditional black mascara over a blue primer, you likely won’t get much effect from the blue shade because it won’t be visible beneath the black. For a brightening effect, blue-tinted lash primers should either be worn on their own or under a corresponding blue mascara.

    Brush

    Like mascara, eyelash primer comes in a tube with a wand-style applicator that has a brush at the end. While most primer brushes allow for fairly easy application, it’s important to consider the design of the brush when you’re choosing a primer.

    For an eyelash primer, a brush that separates the lashes to make sure that each and every one is coated with the product is your best bet. Look for a narrow, short-bristled brush or a comb-like brush to make sure that you distribute the primer evenly through your lashes.

    EXPERT TIP

    Apply eyelash primer just like mascara. Start with the brush at the base of your lashes and gently pull upward to make sure you coat each and every lash.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    For soft, fluttery lashes, run a lash comb through your lashes after you apply your eyelash primer. That helps separate the lashes so they appear more defined.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Prices for eyelash primers

    Eyelash primers vary in price based mainly on how many active ingredients are in the formula. Most primers range from $3 to $45.

    Eyelash primers that contain only one active ingredient, meant mainly to condition the lashes, typically cost between $3 and $15.

    Eyelash primers that contain two active ingredients that are meant to condition the lashes and help them appear longer and thicker usually cost between $15 and $30.

    Eyelash primers that contain three or more active ingredients and are meant to condition the lashes, help them appear longer and thicker, and encourage lash growth generally run from $30 to $45.

    A lash primer with natural ingredients and proven results

    The Tarte MultiplEYE Lash Enhancing Primer is ideal for anyone who wants to boost the volume of their lashes. It contains an exclusive HydroPlant peptide, which helps lengthen lashes and has been proven to increase lash volume by 739% with three coats in a clinical study. We also love the cone-shaped brush and precision bristles that help coat every lash.

    Tips

    • Always apply eyelash primer to clean, makeup-free eyelashes.

    • If you plan to curl your eyelashes, use your curler before you apply your lash primer. You may wind up pulling out some lashes during curling if they’re already coated with primer.

    • Allow the eyelash primer to set on your lashes for about 30 seconds before applying mascara. The primer should still be slightly tacky but not wet when you apply your mascara.

    • If your lashes aren’t as long and thick as you’d like after applying eyelash primer and mascara, add a second coat of mascara for added drama.

    Pair your eyelash primer with any type of mascara that you like. Volumizing, lengthening, fiber, and defining mascaras all work well with a lash primer.

    FAQ

    Q. Is it safe to use eyelash primer every day?

    A. Because eyelash primers contain ingredients meant to moisturize, condition, and strengthen the lashes, you’ll usually achieve better-looking lashes if you apply the primer regularly. However, if you have sensitive eyes, make sure to choose a lash primer that’s ophthalmologist-tested. These formulas are less likely to irritate the eyes.

    Q. Can I use eyelash primer on my bottom lashes?

    A. If you like your bottom lashes to look more defined, feel free to apply a coat of primer before you add your bottom-lash mascara. Eyelash primer works just as well for your lower lashes as it does for your upper, so you’ll see the same lengthening and volumizing action.

    Q. How do I remove eyelash primer?

    A. Whether you’re wearing an eyelash primer on its own or under mascara, the removal process is the same. Use an eye makeup remover like micellar water to gently remove the primer and other makeup from your eyes with a cotton pad before following up with your usual facial cleanser. If you use a waterproof mascara over the primer, make sure to choose a makeup remover that can handle waterproof products.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Linsay
      Linsay
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer

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