Try Estée Lauder Little Black Primer for Lashes Curled Like Roman Arches, Lifted Like My Bangs in the ’80s and Defined Like Merriam-Webster

Published in: Estee Lauder, Eyes, Makeup, Product Reviews

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

Estée Lauder’s Little Black Primer, $24, available now at counters and online

Holly Golightly. 🙂

I wonder what Holly would have thought about Estée Lauder’s Little Black Primer ($24), because I know what Kendall Jenner probably thinks about it, or maybe, since she’s the official spokesperson, but I dunno…I’ve always been more of a Holly Golightly gal.


And Holly sure did love long lashes and little black dresses.

Not that Holly would have needed a lash primer like this one because her fringe always looked fierce, even when she was rolling out of bed at 2 in the afternoon (probably because she was wearing false lashes).

As for me, I will happily complicate my makeup life when it comes to things like eyeshadow (“Absolutely! A third color in the crease sounds like a brilliant idea!”), but not so much when it comes to mascara.

When it comes to mascara, I usually keep it simple. One tube, a couple coats on my top lashes, and that’s it.

Most of the time.

Sometimes, though, like when I’m feeling fancy, I’ll do a separate swipe of MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash mascara on my lower lashes.

But Estée Lauder’s Little Black Primer is turning me into a Lady Layers-a-Lot. When I use it with my regular go-to mascaras, my lashes look downright dreamy — curled like Roman arches, lifted like my bangs in the ’80s and defined like Merriam-Webster.

Estee Lauder Little Black Primer

Estée Lauder Little Black Primer with Buxom Lash Mascara on top

More than just a primer, although that’s the main way I use it, as a lash-lengthening, lash-separating, curl-locking base coat for other mascaras (its effects aren’t too dramatic; more casual, but definitely noticeable), it can also be used in a couple of other ways.

Like, as a straight-up mascara by itself, because unlike most lash primers, which are white, the formula is black, so it darkens yo’ fringe.

And you can also use it as a top coat. Yup, right on top of your regular mascara, to which it adds a layer of water-resistance and reduces smudging and flaking.

Honestly, I never expected to be impressed by anything called a mascara primer, but I’m starting to come around to the idea.

Stuff I wear with it just pops, even problematic mascaras that usually make my lashes clump or refuse to hold a curl. I’m serious, it turns a sad, overcooked baked potato into garlic mashed potatoes and gravy.

When used as a primer, Estée Lauder Little Black Primer really sets mascara up for success. It separates the little lash hairs, smooths everything out and locks down the curl. Any extra length it adds, while noticeable, isn’t extreme, but what it does for separation, smoothing and curl hold makes it worth the extra step for me.

It also stops flakes and smudges from ending up under my bottom lashes, keeping my under-eye area so fresh, so clean.


Now, truth be told, you can achieve a similar effect by loading your lashes first with a lengthening/separating/curling waterproof mascara before applying your regular mascara, but Little Black Primer was made for this. It smoothly takes to mascaras that you layer on top of it.


It works hard for you, like your own personal backstage crew, to make your mascara the star of the show.

PRICE: $24
AVAILABILITY: Permanent, available now at Estée Lauder counters and online

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 11 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. It looks like an awesome primer, and it’s even cheaper than the Chanel Beaute primer I use. I love that it’s black, so I can use it for lazy days when I don’t want to apply a mascara, I can use this alone. I gotta have it! <3
    Alyssa Melanie recently posted … 5 Best Red Nail Polishes for Valentine’s Day

  2. buckycatt says:

    Bought it & love it under & alone. Will have to try it on top! Don’t you just love the name too? Thanks for the lower lash suggestion. I also like Clinique’s bottom lashes mascara for superfancy occasions.

  3. I got it on Monday and I’ve been using it as a primer since then! I quite like it. I love how it separates my lashes so well.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Two Dashes of Glam | Valentine’s Vavavoom

  4. Fancie says:

    Ooo your lashes look amazing! This seems like a pretty good primer and it’s cheaper than the Dior one I use
    Fancie recently posted … What’s Inside My Makeup Bag

  5. Kim says:

    Well, you know if there’s anything I invest in, it’s my fringe! 🙂 It might take me a little while to come around to the idea of a primer but I’m not against it. And thank you for turning a kinda-crummy day into a laugh with your sky-high-80s-bangs reference. HAHA!

  6. Tatiana says:

    A tinted primer! Genius. Well not really. It sort of makes sense. I always wondered why the other primers are white. I have today off, I guess a quick stop in the cosmetics department has now gone on my agenda.

  7. Kwmechelle says:

    *This* Years ago I used the Estée Lauder lash primer that was white. I loved it. Not exactly sure why I stopped using it. Maybe me was trying to save my pennies to invest in other things. I will say that I’m pleasantly surprised that they now have one in black (and I wonder if it’s the same white version that I once used). The white one definitely made an impact & made my drugstore mascara perform like a dream. May have to invest in this primer.

  8. Melanie says:

    I have been looking into trying this, and I’m wondering if its curling power could be duplicated by the Rollerlash from Benefit…

  9. gio says:

    This sounds great! I’m not sure I’d use it everyday, but it’d be perfect to add that extra oomph to my lashes for a special occasion.
    gio recently posted … Book Reviews: Smart People Don’t Diet, Fashioning Fat, & Beautiful Encore

  10. Chelsea says:

    I need a new mascara, Le Volume de Chanel has been smudging on me like crazy! Also need something waterproof for circus. This isn’t exactly what I’m looking for, but it looks lovely on you!

  11. Erin says:

    It looks great!
    Erin recently posted … Review: 14 Hands 2012 Merlot

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