Best Mascara Primer to Hold the Curl 2024

best mascara primer to hold the curl

New for 2024: Best Mascara Primer to Hold the Curl

I thought this would be a great time to update my “Best Mascara Primer to Hold the Curl” because there’s been a lot of changes! Pmel Essence has been my all-time favorite but it’s getting harder and harder to find. You can still purchase it here. 

pmel essense mascara primer

Having naturally straight eyelashes I’m always searching for a product that holds the curl without using waterproof mascara. Another favorite of mine that is clear just like the PMEL is Kiss Me Mascara Base, but this has gotten difficult to get as well. So, we are still on the hunt for clear products that are easier to access.

So, currently, Dr. Fixer or Kiss Me Volume are the best options. Both have slight fibers, Kiss Me is black and Dr. Fixer is slightly more clear. 

best mascara primer to hold the curl

I still follow the same steps for the past 20 years!!

Step One: A must-have is an eyelash curler. I prefer the Shu Uemura brand but you can use any brand that you’re comfortable with. Start from the base of your lashes and quickly close and open the eyelash curler. Move the curler halfway up towards the tips.

Step Two: Apply any of the best mascara primer to hold the curl: Dr. Fixer, Kiss Me Volume, Kiss Me Mascara Base, or Pmel. This step is the KEY to keep your eyelashes curled. As a friend once told me “ it’s like hairspray for your eyelashes”! The primers dry fast, so I do one eye at a time. 

Step Three: Now add your favorite mascara! I feel any mascara has worked with these primers. My all-time favorite for many years is Lancome Hypnose Drama. The brush is curved, and I feel the bristles are spread out so it separates the eyelash. The formula is volumizing if you use one coat it’s more spidery, and two coats give volume. If Lancôme is too high-end for you a drugstore dupe is Maybelline Volume Express Falsies. If you have issues with smearing then Kaylin swears by Caliray Mascara! I love mascaras and below I have reviewed some of the mascara’s that I’ve tried.

Step Four: My last step is to use a comb mascara. I like to use a volumizing mascara first to give volume and then follow it up with a comb-type mascara to separate the lashes. I absolutely love Browlash but like the PMEL it is hard to come by. I’ve tried several comb mascaras for a replacement. At this time Loreal Telescopic seems to be the best.

Eyelash primer to create volume: my favorite is Channel LA BASE Mascara

Your eyelashes will never be the same! 

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Mascara Reviews

BrandNameBrush StyleReview
LancomeHypnose DramaCurvedOne of my all-time favorites is Hypnose Drama, and I’ve repurchased it for years! It’s a curved brush. The bristles are further apart to create separation and no clumping. The formula is medium, but it lengthens, and with additional coats, it will create volumize.

The Falsies Volume ExpressFluffyThis mascara is another Allure Award 2019. The brush is curved with bristles. The formula is medium, but it lengthens, and with additional coats, it will create volumize. This is a perfect dupe for Lancome Hypnose Drama.
LancomeMonsieur BigFluffyThis brush is more on the fluffy side but the brush is pretty large in size. This is another one of my favorites. The formula is thicker than the Hypnose Drama so off the bat it’s more volumizing. It could tend to be more clumpy but I use a metal comb to comb my lashes.
Fenty Beauty
Hella Thicc Volumizing Mascara
FluffyThis brush is fluffy and volume is medium.Similar formula to Loreal Voluminous, but brush is slightly more tapered and thinner.
CalirayCome Hell or High WaterFluffyThis brush is fluffy and the absolute best if you have problems with mascara smearing. The formula is medium thickness and clean. It creates volume and considered a tubing mascara. Water resistant, but comes off with warm water.

Rare Beauty
Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing MascaraFluffyRare Beauty is by Selena Gomez. The brush is the fluffy style, but bristles are further apart than YSL (Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils) and Lancome (Monsieur Big). This is similar to Maybelline’s “The Falsies Volume Express” in both brush style and formula. Rare Beauty claims to volumize, curl and lengthen. With Asian eyelashes, I don’t feel any mascara is curling. I think this lengthens and gives volume but with a natural look, not as dramatic as the YSL and Lancome.
LorealVoluminousFluffyThis mascara is one of my all-time favorite drug store choices. The brush is fluffy, and the formula is thick. It is very volumizing and could be very clumpy, so I use an eyelash comb to separate the lashes and separate any clumps. The formula and brush could be a dupe for the YSL.
YSLMascara Volume Effet Faux CilsFluffyThis mascara brush is another fluffy one (bristles are close together and heavy) but larger in size than most. The formula is thicker and volumizing but can be clumpy, so I use an eyelash comb to separate the lashes and separate any clumps. It has a distinct smell, so that could be an issue for some.