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What a Mascara Primer Can Do For Your Lashes

close-up portrait of young woman with mascara on

Talia Ali/EyeEm/Getty

What do foundation, mascara, and eye shadow all have in common? They work better with a primer. We know... ugh. It may seem like an unnecessary step, but smooth a quick coat of primer on before your favorite mascara and you’ll get thicker, longer, and stronger lashes. How? And why? Well, the formulas in today’s story thicken, lengthen, nourish, and provide a perfectly tacky surface to which the mascara adheres. Instead of clumpy, damaged lashes, you'll be left with lashes that survive every application.

opening act lash primer
Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer $22

Tarte are the geniuses behind one of the best-selling mascaras of all time, Lights, Camera, Lashes! ($23), so the fact they're also behind one of the best primers shouldn't come as a shock.

Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple volume plumping lash primer
Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume $30

While plenty of brands make primers that only work well with their mascaras, though, Dior's is one we'll layer under any. Seriously, bring it on. Watch your eyelashes lift into perfect separate curls, and then follow it up with the mascara of your choosing. It'll look like you're wearing falsies.

Kush lash primer
Milk Makeup Kush Lash Primer $24

Speaking of falsies, Milk Makeup's Kush Mascara ($24) gives you the perfect no-way-those-are-real look, and their primer takes that to the next level. When the two are combined they give you spiky, full, Twiggy-style lashes that will make you feel like a makeup pro.

Conditioning Collagen Lash Primer
LashFood Conditioning Collagen Lash Primer $20

Volume-boosting, nourishing, and sculpting? Sign us up. We particularly like that this primer contains collagen, as it's great for giving lashes that va-va-voom that we're always looking for out of mascara.

subversion lash primer in a white tube
Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer $22

From the people who brought you Perversion ($25), Subversion ($22) is a primer to take your lashes all the way. If you want the falsie look without the gluey feeling or difficulty of falsies, this is where you should turn.

MJB velvet lash primer
Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Lash Primer $27

This lash primer is meant to enhance and condition, not change the effects of, your normal mascara. Think of it more like a cushion that your mascara rests on.

givenchy base mascara perfecto
Guerlain Base Mascara Perfecto $29

Perfectly fluffy and separating, there's a reason Guerlain's mascara primer is one of the highest rated on Sephora's website. Of course, we wouldn't expect anything less from them—but we were particularly impressed at how light this formula was.

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