, pub-5075614835530024, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Best Mascara Primer | Drugstore Dupe for Dior Maximizer 3D and Marc Jacobs Lash Primer | Classically Contemporary

Monday, October 5, 2020

Best Mascara Primer | Drugstore Dupe for Dior Maximizer 3D and Marc Jacobs Lash Primer

Mascara Primers from the Drugstore

My mascara primer journey began a few years ago when I received a sample of the Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple volume plumping lash primer ($39) as a GWP from the Dior boutique in Vegas. Once it ran dry, I knew I had to repurchase the full size. This primer is my absolute favourite for its ability to create dense texture and fullness, while also improving the natural thickness and curl of our lashes thanks to an oil-serum concentrate infused into the formula. I end up using less mascara when I have a lash primer on, and it helps reduce clumping, crispiness, dried out lashes and flaking/transfer throughout the day.

This discovery completely changed my mascara game, and since the near $40 price tag is a bit steep, I wanted to try out a whole bunch of other formulas on the market starting at $5 to see if they even compared. This Dior tube does last a very long time though, so let's see how the others stack up.

Best Mascara Primers

I look for mascara primers that are almost stretchy, ones that allow my mascara to move with me throughout the day since I wear glasses and my lashes tend to touch the lenses, which can cause flaking. Some mascaras dry down to a very hard finish and aren’t super flexible, and those tend to flake the most and can create darkness underneath my eyes. Mascara primer also helps make my mascara come off easier, so it's a win-win addition overall. I also find that a favourite lash primer makes any mediocre mascara better. This is because it creates a barrier between the oils that naturally condition our lashes, and the drying lacquer of mascara. The primer helps protect the lacquer from oils that break it down and cause transfer under/over the eyes, and protect the lash hairs underneath from any damaging effects.

My Lash Concerns: 

  • I have long lashes that don't curl easily, and frankly point straight downward
  • I use the Surratt Curler before applying primer
  • I need lift, volume and separation - I can also handle a touch of the clumpy lash look

My Ideal Primer Provides: 

  • Overall volume and separation 
  • Lash density
  • Lash conditioning, no drying feel
  • A visible coating on the lashes

Mascara Primer


  • Apply both primer and mascara to top and bottom lashes
  • Make sure you apply mascara right away. Don't wait until the primer fully dries or it will become too hard/crunchy/clumpy/tuggy.
  • Use mascara brush to pull and roll lashes to a curled position (from the top of the upper lashes) for maximum hold and false-lash effect
Drugstore Lash Primer Review

Best Overall: Dior Diorshow Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer (10/10)

This lash primer's formula, dubbed an "air-pumped texture," coats each lash with a dense layer to intensify the effects of your mascara. Plus, it's infused with an oil serum concentrate to improve the thickness and curl of your lashes—immediately and over time. In the clinical study, subjects reported 73% more curl after eight weeks of application and 90% more curl when compared to their bare lashes. Nothing else feels as weightless, moisturizing and uplifting as this gorgeous formula. But a few come close!

Essence volume booster lash primer $4.99 (9/10)

The essence volume booster lash primer instantly increases the volume of any mascara. Infused with açai oil and mango butter for nurtured lashes. Apply the primer before your mascara for a bump to your volume. I've heard TONS of bloggers rave about this stuff and I also really like it. The photo above is a bit dark, but the soft brush applies a good amount on the lashes, not too clumpy. The overall packaging is pretty low quality (the stopper has popped out a few times) but I'll take it for the price.

Covergirl Lash Blast Amplify Primer $9.99 (5/10)

With the classic Lash Blast corn-on-the-cob chunky brush, this primer helps to condition and prime lashes to maximize the results of your favourite mascara. It coats my lashes OK and claims to have plumping fibres, but I find the brush to be too big to hold enough product for easy application. I need to dip in many times. This has great reviews online so a decent option if you don't want to shell out on Dior. I don't think it curls the same way, but it definitely helps with longevity of your mascara.

Rimmel London Ultimate Lash Boost Mascara Primer $8.99 (4/10)

Guys... not only does this look the same as the Covergirl, but the ingredients are LIKE THE SAME TOO. Ugh, way to be original, drugstore brands. Anyway for $1 less you get slightly worse packaging and the same fibres that attach to your lashes to give you added thickness, length and volume, while Argan, jojoba and coconut oils keep them fluttery and feathery-soft. Reviews for this are on literal opposite ends of the spectrum, so I'd recommend going with the Essence since these chunky brushes really suck for even application.. it comes out nearly bare.

Drugstore vs High End Mascara Primer

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Primer $10.49 (7/10) 

This is a goodie! Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, this tried and tested lash primer is the perfect pairing to your favourite mascara to instantly boost your lashes. This lightweight eyelash primer coats for visibly thicker lashes and a smoother mascara application. Lashes are delicately wrapped in a smooth layer of primer, to create an even base, building dramatic volume and length on each lash. Conditions over time for soft, nourished lashes. It isn't good for curling though, so that's why I don't give it top marks.

L’Oréal Paris Lash Paradise Mascara Primer $14.99 (4/10)

This pink-tinted mascara primer thickens lashes with voluptuous volume and helps to enhance mascara wear. Tested under ophthalmological control, it is also suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. I must say that it is so difficult to layer mascara over top of it, it makes my fine lashes extremely clumpy. I wasn't able to get a pic of it before I tossed it, so only go for this if you want clumps. I do like the mascara still, but layered over Dior 3D Primer.

Marc Jacobs velvet primer epic lash primer $35 (5/10)

Marginally better than Lash Paradise Primer, this is another MEGA THICC primer for my fine (but dense) lashes that I just don't have time for. The conditioning base maximizes the benefits of your favourite mascara for a false-lash look. I would honestly say to get L'Oréal if you like this one, they're practically the same! 

Let me know if you have a fav primer, or if this may have encouraged you to try one out! Now that we're wearing masks, there's never been a better time to focus on great eye makeup.


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