Mascara's secret weapon: primers that will help them do their job

The secret weapon of longer, fuller lashes isn't all down to just the mascara, you know. Mascara primers are often the hidden helper. Here are some I love...

If you're one of the lucky ones - someone whose natural lashes are full, long and darkly coloured – you're probably thinking: Mascara primer?! Do I really need one? And that's fair.

However, if you're not quite as blessed in the lash department, whether yours are straight, short, blonde, sparse or broken, a mascara primer could be just what you need to get a more dramatic lash look without having to add falsies. I've tried all of these ones and found them to be tops.

secret weapon


1 MAC False Lashes Maximiser

€18 from Brown Thomas

It's got a really tapered and targeted brush so you can get in and coat every single lash without worrying about getting black bits all over your eyelids. One of the best parts of primers - they dry down invisibly.

2 Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer

€21 from

My favourite of the list (and of course, the most expensive – I really know how to pick them!) this one coats every lash, protects and volumises all at once. I couldn't be without it.

3 Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer


€2.79 from Penneys and pharmacies

The cheapest on the list, this one competes with the pricier options. It's got a really full brush so you can start building the volume from the very start.

4 L'Oréal Double Extension Mascara and Primer

€16.99 from

I've been using this mascara on and off since I was 16 and it's never let me down. Double-ended, you're getting both your primer and your mascara in one fell swoop.

5 NYX Big and Loud Lash Primer

€7.45 from


Budget-friendly and really effective, this one didn't last me as long as the other bottles but did just as good a job at priming and prepping my lashes.

Read more: I tried €348 worth of mascara and here are the ones that came out on top

Read more: Three for Tuesday: Volume-giving mascaras that you might not think to pick up

Read more: Perversion: Our New Favourite Mascara

Photo from Jason Lloyd Evans

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