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Breaking Down Beauty: What’s The Point Of Mascara Primer?

By Sheila Arkee

I’ve never been one to understand the big whoop about using a mascara primer before applying mascara. Perhaps because the ones I’ve used (ahem, MAC) left my lashes feeling like a gloppy mess with no fringe benefits (pun intended).

Having come across positive words about Hard Candy’s 1000 Lashes Fiber Mascara Primer in White, I was positively ecstatic to come upon a display at Walmart that didn’t look as if it hadn’t been restocked since December 2009.

Here’s the primer itself, in a tube that looks as if it would be squeezable, but is actually made of a hard plastic.

The primer works by adding these little fibers to your lashes to bulk them up and give them some length.

To show you what this primer is all about, I tested it with both MAC’s Opulash and Rimmel’s Lash Flirt, which are my two main mascaras these days.

On my left eye, I’m demonstrating MAC’s Opulash:

Naked eye.

Mascara alone.

Primer plus mascara.

On my left eye, I’m demonstrating Rimmel’s Lash Flirt:

Naked eye.

Mascara alone.

Primer plus mascara.

Am I impressed with the results? Not really. I like the look with Opulash the best, but the spidery look with Rimmel’s Lash Flirt is no bueno, no bueno at all. I’m sticking to my guns and ditching the primer – when I feel the need for a little something extra, I’ll take the extra time to throw on a pair of false lashes.

  • Lemish

    I totally agree. I’ve been using DiorShow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum & Primer and I have yet to be impressed. I think I get better coverage and definition with mascara alone. I’m using the rest of the tube to see if it lives up to it’s promise of improving overall lash condition.

  • http://youravon.com/trinagrant Trina Grant

    I used a two-sided mascara/primer years ago when Revlon or Maybelline or a similar company first came out with it, and I was not impressed, either. I have not used any since. I appreciate your reviewing that for us, so I did not have to go out and buy any for myself. I had been wondering if the formulas had improved in the years since I last used it.

    As far as your tests, I agree. The first one looked better with the mascara alone to me. The second one looked spidery like you said. Also, when I used primer, it was a white paint-like substance. I would be afraid to use anything that was going to put tiny fibers in my eyelashes. It just sounds like a bad idea ;)

  • Wendy

    What is it about the Hard Candy display that looks like it never gets restocked or cleaned? Every Walmart I’ve been to has well stocked and somewhat tidy makeup, except for HC, which looks like a bomb went off.

  • Christina

    I use Urban Decay mascara primer once in awhile when I want to wear a colored mascara. Usually colored mascara doesn’t show up on my lashes, but when primed with a white primer…ta da! You can see the color! :)

  • admin

    Christina – that’s a great idea for colored mascaras! I never thought of that.

  • http://silhouettescreams.blogspot.com SilhouetteScreams

    Thanks for this post, I prefer how your lashes look without the primer! I’ve always stayed away from lash primers myself for fear that I’d get spider lashes. :X

  • Nessa

    I found that HC lash primer works best with mascara wands with bristles rather than the rubbery/plastic kind, if that makes sense.