Mascara base is a cosmetic that is applied on the eyelashes before mascara is put on. The desired result is to emphasize the effects of mascara, which is generally used to create the appearance of longer, thicker-looking eyelashes. It also helps stop the mascara from running, smudging, clumping and fading.
Also called mascara primer or eyelash primer, mascara base is a type of makeup base designed to enhance mascara performance. Some include a conditioning ingredient and vitamins to keep lashes soft and separate, since mascara tends to be drying — especially waterproof versions. The base is typically clear, white, or off-white in color, although tinted versions exist as well. Once mascara is applied over the base, the color of the primer underneath should not be visible. White mascara base is helpful for using colored mascaras. Purple or blue mascara might not show up well on dark lashes, but using primer to create a white base helps make tinted mascaras look more brilliant.
If used properly, mascara base can be a money-saver as well. Since the cosmetic is designed to prime lashes and create a good basic surface for mascara, fewer coats of mascara may be required. Fewer coats can mean a tube of mascara will last longer, although most have a shelf life of three to four months and should be replaced when they reaches their expiration dates. Mascara primer has a similar shelf life.
Mascara base is applied in a manner similar to that of regular mascara. Hold the cosmetic wand horizontally, at the base of the eyelashes, and wiggle the brush slowly through the eyelashes to apply a coat of the base. Mascara can be applied while the base is still wet, so there is no need to let the coat dry before proceeding. The wand of a base may look different than a mascara wand, because primer wands tend to have bristles that are shorter, stiffer, and closer together to ensure the fullest coverage of the lashes. Only one coat of base is necessary. Those who wish to curl the eyelashes should do that step before applying base or mascara.