Splurge or save: Mascara primers

Mascara primers give your regular lash wands an extra boost.

Some are made to be applied as a primer, while others can be applied over mascara to further lift and curl lashes.


Essence Lash Base Mascara

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$5.50, from selected Watsons stores

A white base primer to help lengthen and thicken lashes.

Promises extra volume when mascara is layered on top.

Review: While this creamy white primer did not give my lashes extra curl, it did add length and volume to the effect of my regular mascara.

This is a good value-for-money buy.


Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection

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$25, available at Sephora stores from the middle of this month

The first of its kind, this product is made to revive droopy mascara.

It is made with copper powder and pathenol to condition lashes.

Do not confuse it with the brand's popular Subversion Lash Primer, which is used before mascara application.

Review: It is almost impossible to re-do your mascara once it has hardened and become clumpy, especially when you have applied a thick coat.

The more mascara you pile on, the worse it will look.

So I really like the thought that went into the creation of this product.

The product is a clear serum that you comb through hardened mascara-coated lashes to soften them, without disturbing the rest of your eye make-up.

Once the mascara was softened and the clumps removed (I wriggled the comb through the lashes multiple times), I could layer on more mascara easily to make my lashes look even more lifted and voluminous, without any mess.

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

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$40, from Estee Lauder counters

Made to be used in four ways: alone as a tint to subtly curl and darken lashes while conditioning them; as a primer for extra oomph to the lashes; as a dark base to make coloured mascara pop; and as a top coat that will turn your favourite mascara into a water-resistant one.

Review: This black and creamy formula set the curl on my lashes after I had crimped them with a curler.

It also lenghtened and darkened my lashes slightly.

This is the perfect product to wear on its own when all you want is a subtle mascara.

It works better than the regular clear gel mascaras in the market. As a primer, it helped the mascara I layered on top to go on even more smoothly.

My lashes also looked longer than when I did not use this product as a primer.

To turn your regular mascara waterproof and smudgeproof with this Little Black Primer, you would need to coat lashes completely and thoroughly with it.

This article was first published on February 6, 2015.
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