Beauty Q&A: What Does Mascara Primer Do?

April 05, 2023
Marisa Petrarca
By: Marisa Petrarca | by L'Oréal
Close-up image of a person with brown eyes applying mascara to their eyelashes, collaged on a purple background with graphic designs and the Beauty Q&A logo

If you’re anything like us, you’ve tried every mascara, lash serum and set of falsies out there in the hope of getting the longest, most voluminous lashes possible. But there’s one lash-boosting category you may not have experimented with: mascara primer. To find out if eyelash primers are the miracle product your beauty routine has been missing, we turned to makeup artist Andrew Velázquez.

What Does Mascara Primer Do?

"The objective of a mascara primer is to provide real lash hairs with keratin or to work with mascara to avoid clumping, separate the lashes, increase volume and lengthen,” says Velazquez. “Some primers might even make mascara waterproof, depending on the formula."

How to Apply Your Mascara Primer Correctly

While you can apply primer with an eyelash spoolie, it’s best to use the wand that comes with the product. “The brush is already meant to work synergistically with the formula,” says Velazquez. “For application, I would recommend lifting your chin up and using a compact to look down so the lashes stick straight out.” Then, as you’re applying the product, round the brush into the lash to help curl and separate each hair. Make sure the primer is completely dry before applying your mascara on top. We recommend waiting at least 30 seconds after applying your primer before you go in with mascara.

Our Favorite Mascara Primers

Photo: Chaunte Vaughn, Design: Juliana Campisi

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