These Best Pre-Mascara Primers Are Like Foundation For Your Lashes

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Pre-mascara primer is sort of like foundation for your lashes. It doesn't improve your looks directly, but it does serve as a sort of groundwork to pave the way for your makeup to shine even brighter. And in the case of mascara, the leading pre-mascara primers will result in a fuller mascara look that really sticks out.

Not only does pre-mascara primer improve the look of mascara, but it also makes sure your lashes stay in good shape, too. It adds length, improves the health of your lashes, and even keeps your lashes in place for longer. For its short-term and long-term benefits, pre-mascara primer is considered a must-have in many makeup collections.

If you’re interested in trying out pre-mascara primer yourself, we’ve prepared a small list of products for you to check out and try out. They all have their own advantages, so be sure to take a look at them closely before you make your decision. With that being said, here are our top five picks for pre-mascara primers.

Comparing the Top Pre-Mascara Primers of 2022 in Detail

Lancome Paris Primer  —  Best Overall

pre-mascara primer reviews

Key Features

  • White primer color
  • Fits in most pouches
  • Unboxed
  • Weighs 0.018 kilos

This first mascara primer comes in a beautiful white color. The color may make it seem like it won’t make your lashes look nice and dark, but on the contrary, when you apply the mascara, it’ll result in a fuller and more captivating black. The base comes in a 0.18oz bottle, which means it will last you for quite a while, especially if you don’t use mascara primer every day.

The product itself comes unboxed, so don’t be surprised if it arrives at your doorstep without one. The dimensions of the product measure at 2cm x 8.9cm x 11.2cm, which is small enough to fit in most makeup pouches. It’s a fairly simple product overall, but then again, it’s a primer, so it’s not as complex as other makeup products in the first place.

Honest Beauty Primer  —  Best Combo

pre-mascara primer reviews

Key Features

  • 2-in-1 product
  • Can be purchased with eyeliner
  • Cruelty-free
  • Simple product design

You almost never use a primer without mascara, so it makes sense that some companies sell both products together in one package. Honest Beauty sells a 2-in-1 stick that has a primer side and a mascara side. They can be used separately and are easy to apply on your eyelashes after a bit of practice. The design of the packaging is simple and sleek, which gives it this stylistic and luxurious vibe.

The mascara and primer combo is packaged in a 100% tree-free paper carton. It’s also ophthalmologist tested, and cruelty-free, too. With EWG certification, and being an award-winning product, there are plenty of reasons to love Honest Beauty’s 2-in-1 product. You can even get an eyeliner with your purchase, too, if you’re willing to spend a little extra money.

Milani Primer  —  Best Color

pre-mascara primer reviews

Key Features

  • Violet primer color
  • Made by an East LA company
  • Comes with applicator
  • Works on virtually all lashes

Primer colors are actually pretty interesting. While the black color of mascara covers up most of the primer, the two products actually mix quite a bit, and depending on the original color of the primer, you’ll get different results. In this case, the primer’s color is violet, and when mixed with black, you get a very bold and assertive black finish that really pops out to the eyes.

The primer, made by Milani, can be applied with the applicator included with your purchase. Milani’s an East LA company, and their products are the result of connecting with their diverse local community. This means that their products, including this one, are perfect for all sorts of people, especially since primer is something that works regardless of skin color, eye type, and so on.

Grande Cosmetics Primer  —  Best for Eyelash Care

Key Features

  • 0.1 fl oz.
  • White color
  • Made with beeswax
  • Smudge-proof

One of the advantages of mascara primer is its ability to lengthen eyelashes. And this isn’t an exaggeration, as it really does produce visible results. Eyelash primer helps shape your eyelashes into the desired shape, making them stand out more and resulting in them appearing longer than usual. This particular primer is designed to both lengthen and thicken the eyelashes, so if you want your eyelashes to really pop, this is one surefire way to do that.

The primer itself features a white color that adds a slight brightness to the mascara when applied together. Made out of natural ingredients such as Carnauba Wax and Beeswax, this product is safe to use, and is great if you’re one who doesn’t like using artificial chemicals. While you only have 0.1 fluid ounces of the primer to work with, that’s more than enough for dozens of outings and events.

Covergirl Primer  —  Best Variety

Key Features

  • Two color options
  • Leaping Bunny Certified
  • Cruelty-free
  • Creamy formula

We mentioned earlier that the color of the primer actually affects the resulting look of the mascara that’s applied over it. And this particular product actually comes in two different colors: white and black. You already are familiar with the effects of white primer, but black primer is actually fairly interesting in the sense that it doesn’t change the look of the mascara compared to when you don’t use a primer.

This is perfect if you are satisfied with the look of the mascara when applied alone but would like to use the primer to improve eyelash length and volume. Both products are made out of natural ingredients such as beeswax, are cruelty-free, and are certified by Leaping Bunny. If you want your mascara to look the same as it did without a primer, then you’ll definitely want to get the “Very Black” color option.

How to Find the Right Pre-Mascara Primer: A Buyer's Guide

Pre-mascara primer has been a relatively underused makeup product, but its benefits speak for themselves. Here’s what you need to know about this revolutionary eye product.

What Is a Pre-mascara Primer?

A pre-mascara primer, or a mascara primer for short, is a makeup product designed to be applied on the eyelashes before mascara. The goal of pre-mascara primer is to improve the volume and length of the eyelashes, keep them in place, and improve the overall effect of mascara once it is applied.

Why Should You Use Pre-mascara Primers?

It improves your eyelashes

Pre-mascara primers are very useful when it comes to altering the look of your eyelashes. Sure, you can definitely change the shape and look of your lashes through mascara alone, but when combined with mascara primers, you’re able to do so much more. Pre-mascara primers improve the look of your lashes by making them fuller, longer, and keeping them in place.

The primer makes your eyelashes look bigger by shaping them into their desired positions. You see, eyelashes are actually longer than you think, and the reason why they appear small or short is that they’re either curved in a way that makes them look small or the lashes themselves are thin. These two problems can be solved with primer, as not only does it add a layer of thickness to the lashes, but it also shapes the lashes to appear longer by moving them upward or downward more.

Aside from improving the size and volume of your lashes, it also keeps them in place. Mascara can lose its effectiveness over time, and this can result in your lashes returning to their original shape. With pre-mascara primer, you’re able to keep it in its desired position for much longer, which is vital in events and parties that take longer than expected.

It makes mascara look better

Mascara looks good on its own, but when combined with a primer, it looks much, much better. When mixed with bright colors such as violet or white, it creates a resulting look that is dark, but full and even slightly shimmery. This look cannot be recreated with traditional mascara, and so using primer for the sake of altering its looks is completely viable.

Alternatively, if you’re already content with the look of the mascara, then your best option is to get a primer that doesn’t affect the final look. These types of primers often have dark colors, such as black, so as not to interfere with the actual look of the mascara. You’ll want to get these primers if you’re primarily using the primer for its eyelash-improving properties.

Things to Consider When Buying a Mascara Primer

Pre-mascara primers are simpler than other makeup products to a degree, but you still need to pay attention to a few things before buying one.


This has been mentioned quite a few times already throughout the buying guide and product list, so we’ll keep it brief, but for those who have just come to read this section, here’s a quick breakdown of the importance of primer color.

Primer, while not exactly visible after applying mascara over it, actually still has an effect on the final look. It blends, in a way, with the mascara, and the color of the primer actually affects what the mascara will look like. Bright colors will add fullness and make your lashes pop just a bit more. Alternatively, colors that are much darker, such as black, will do little to nothing in improving or altering the color of your mascara.

So, in a nutshell, it all boils down to this: if you want to alter the look of your mascara, go for brighter colors. If you like the way the mascara looks on its own, get a primer with black or darker colors instead.


Mascara primers aren’t exactly sold by the gallon. In fact, they’re actually sold in fractions of a fluid ounce, like many makeup products. This means that if you use it often, you’ll have to buy quite a few of these primers at a time. Depending on your frequency of usage, it may be wise to buy three or so primers at once, so that you won’t have to purchase so often and spend a lot on shipping fees.

Pre-mascara Primer Price Range

Pre-mascara primers cost less than $10 to $15, depending on the product. Some products offer a 2-in-1 package with both mascara and primer, and these can cost more depending on the brand.