Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Pre-Mascara Primer

Last updated on August 4, 2022

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Pre-Mascara Primers

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Base Conditioning Pre-Mascara Primer

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

L'Oreal Paris

Voluminous Base Conditioning Pre-Mascara Primer

L'Oréal Paris' 0.24-ounce mascara primer is lightweight and volumizing. It conditions and separates your eyelashes to help boost your mascara's overall effectiveness.

Overall Take

Prepare to FlutterWait until you get your hands on this product; you'll be thrilled at how well it works!

 Runner Up

COVERGIRL Lash Blast Amplify Lightweight Pre-Mascara Primer


Lash Blast Amplify Lightweight Pre-Mascara Primer

Made by Covergirl, this 0.44-ounce neutral white eyelash primer features a lightweight, creamy formula that contains coconut, jojoba and coconut oils for healthier lashes from the roots all the way down to the tips. It glides on easily and dries quickly, too.

Overall Take

It's For Added ThicknessLike the brand's other products, this primer is never tested on animals and is certified cruelty-free.

 We Also Like

L’Oreal Paris Lash Paradise Thickening Pre-Mascara Primer

L'Oreal Paris

Lash Paradise Thickening Pre-Mascara Primer

Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara has a delicate pink tint and is infused with rose oil to curl lashes and help mascara adhere better. The applicator brush has more than 200 bristles, and the tube contains 0.27 fluid ounces of the primer. It's also ophthalmologist-tested and suitable for contact lens wearers and sensitive eyes.

Overall Take

Gives You a BoostYou'll be amazed at the difference when using this pre-mascara primer.

 Strong Contender

Essence Cosmetics Volume Booster Vegan Pre-Mascara Primer

Essence Cosmetics

Volume Booster Vegan Pre-Mascara Primer

Here's a conditioning 0.35-ounce pre-mascara primer that nourishes and thickens eyelashes. At the same time, it increases volume using natural ingredients like mango butter and acai oil. It is made by Essence, a PETA-certified cruelty-free brand.

Overall Take

TLC For Nourished EyesUse this primer time before applying your mascara, and you'll appreciate how full and thick your lashes are!

Buying Guide

You use foundation primer on your face and eyeshadow primer on your lids, so why not use a base coat of product under your mascara? Pre-mascara primers come in tubes that look like regular mascaras, but the product inside is either clear, white or white with a subtle tint. That gets covered up by the mascara, though, so you won’t see the lighter color.

These primers create moisturizing shields around each lash and contain oils, waxes and other smoothing ingredients that make mascara cling better. They prep the lashes for what is to come, giving them more volume, definition and sometimes curl. Some also contain nourishing ingredients like oils, waxes and collagen that keep eyelashes healthy and moisturized. If you want even more volume, shop for ones that contain mini fibers.

Like mascaras, these primers come with different kinds of applicator brushes. Some products offer a primer on one side and mascara on the opposite for added convenience. Primers are usually less expensive than mascara, and you only need to put on one coat. Follow that up with one or more coats of your regular mascara.

To apply a pre-mascara primer, curl your eyelashes first. Apply one thin layer of primer from the roots down to the tips of your lashes and allow to dry for 30 seconds. Then, you can put on your favorite mascara. It only takes about a minute or two to put on the primer, which adds almost no time to your daily routine.

What to Look For

  • To ensure even coverage, apply the pre-mascara primer in a zig-zag motion or wiggle it as you brush it through your lashes.
  • You can stick with the same eyelash primer and mascara brands, but you don’t have to.
  • Pre-mascara primers also help to prevent clumping.
  • Even when makeup is dermatologist-tested and cruelty-free, it can still cause allergic reactions. If your eyes get red, burn or sting, stop using the product and contact the manufacturer.
  • Misusing eye makeup can also cause problems. Don’t apply it in a moving vehicle, and never let anyone else share it. Avoid using makeup products if you have an eye infection.
  • Some people moisten dried-out mascara and primer with saliva, but this is also a bad idea. Discard old eye makeup after three months, and replace it with new products.
  • Keep your eye makeup clean; dirt and oil can lead to eye infections.

More to Explore

People have always desired thicker, fuller eyelashes, but mascara is a reasonably new invention compared to eyeshadow and eyeliner. Ancient Romans and Egyptians darkened their lashes with ointments, burnt cork, kohl and malachite, but Eugène Rimmel, Queen Victoria’s perfumer, created the first natural mascara.

His creation was concocted out of Vaseline and coal dust and was all the rage back in the day. Then in 1917, Mabel Williams worked alongside a drug manufacturer to invent “Las-Brow-Ine,” which eventually became Maybelline. Now, this brand (and practically every brand that makes mascara) also makes eyelash primers.

From our partners