This $5 Find Is My Secret Weapon for Impossibly Long Lashes That Rival Falsies
I can't believe I've gone my entire writing career without talking about lash primers. (I know, shame on me as a beauty editor.) Usually, you'll find that folks fall into the "yay" or "nay" camp when it comes to lash primers, but I'll make it very clear where I stand. I'm full in the "yay" camp and will use this opportunity to talk about why I love them so much. The best part is, you don't even need to spend a fortune on a good one, either. There are so many great drugstore formulas out there that cost as little as $5.
Not bad for a little product that can condition your lashes, strengthen them, add volume, and enhance your mascara shade. If you've been considering adding one to your repertoire, look no further. I've rounded up the best formulas you can find at both places like Sephora and your local drugstore. Keep scrolling.
Do you need a lash primer?
Do you absolutely need a lash primer? No, you don't. Celebrity makeup artist Judi Gabbay isn't necessarily a fan. "I personally don’t love lash primers," she says. "While some promise to make the lashes thicker, it can actually create a clumpiness and can add weight to your lashes, resulting in spider lashes without any lift. Alternatively, layer your mascara in light coats for the most lifted, natural effect."
I won't lie, some days I find it easier to use hacks like Gabbay's and call it a day, but others, I need to call in the big guns. Personally, I think using a lash primer can boost your mascara formula and help keep it in place if used correctly. It's been a lifesaver for me on many occasions and I now prefer using one over not. It's all about personal preference. The best thing to do is give one a try for yourself and see if you like it.
Do lash primers work?
I think an argument can be made for both sides here. On one hand, like Gabbay said, lash primers can add a lot of weight if you're not careful and can make your mascara clumpy. On the other hand, though, I have a few lash primers that I absolutely swear by. Using a lash primer has also been one of the only things that prevents my mascara from smearing all over my under-eye area. My under-eyes are is already naturally oily, but now that I use an eye cream as well, let's just say it doesn't always mix well with mascara.
I think that primers work as long as you use the right formula for your lashes and don't go overboard on using one. A little trick I also use is to let the primer dry just a tad before applying your mascara, otherwise, it can get a bit messy and clumpy. If you wait a minute though, there are usually no issues. For the best of the best ones, keep reading below.
Best Lash Primers
Tarte's Opening Act conditioning treatment is a favorite lash primer of mine. It features cellulose, a plant-based agent to thicken, caranuba wax to ensure a smooth application, and olive esters to condition and protect your lashes.
Milk Makeup's clean formula is packed with cannabis sativa seed, poppy seed, and sunflower seed oil to nourish, hydrate, and strengthen your lashes naturally.
This lash primer from Morphe really grew on me. At first, I was a tad apprehensive about using a bright-blue formula, but trust me, you won't regret trying it out. The electric blue hue in this primer is actually meant to amplify your mascara color and make it appear more vibrant. I've received the best results with black—it makes your mascara really pop.
Milani's lash primer is designed to be clump-free and helps amplify volume and length underneath your mascara. It forms a flexible, lash-extending film that lengthens while the violet hue of the primer also works similarly to the Morphe primer. It boosts your mascara's color to make it stand out even more.
If colored mascaras are your cup of tea, try this dual-ended conditioning option from Item Beauty—it's a true all-in-one product. The formula features rice bran to help define and lengthen lashes, bamboo extract to add volume, and sunflower wax to nourish and condition.
Infused with microfibers, vitamin B5, and vitamin E, this option from Lancôme helps improve lash thickness over time while the white color of the formula also helps create an intense false-lash effect when paired with your mascara.
Grande's lash serum has a lot to offer, but so does its lengthening and thickening lash primer. Pop this on as a first step. It has peptides to strengthen your lashes and a natural wax blend to promote volume.
This triple-action formula from Dior boosts volume, enhances curl, and helps improve your lashes over time with daily use. It contains cotton nectar to soften and protect lashes and cornflower floral water to enhance your mascara's color.
Best Drugstore Lash Primers
L'Oréal mascaras are classic (and efficient), but why not amp up your formula by using one of the brand's lash primers, too? The Voluminous Lash Primer instantly thickens every lash, builds dramatic volume, conditions, and amplifies your mascara formula of choice.
Essence's Lash Princess mascara is still one of my all-time favorite budget formulas. But recently, I've discovered that I've been using it all wrong because I haven't been priming my lashes with the brand's Volume Booster Lash Primer. It does everything a lash primer should including conditioning and boosting volume. I can't wait to try it out with Lash Princess for even better results.
This creamy, lightweight mascara primer gives an instant boost to your lashes. It glides on evenly and maximizes your results—all for just $11.