Sometimes, when I’m looking at myself in the mirror before putting on makeup, I think of this very specific scene from the 2011 rom-com Friends With Benefits (not to be confused with No Strings Attached, a nearly identical movie). It’s the opening scene where Mila Kunis’s character is getting broken up with by Andy Samberg’s character. When she asks for an explanation, he starts to list out reasons, the final one being Kunis’s famous eyes. “You have really big eyes and that freaks me out sometimes,” he says. As someone who has never been broken up with by Andy Samberg but who definitely has really big eyes that sometimes freak people out, I could relate.
Unlike my tiny lips, my big eyes are actually one of my favorite features. Because they’re big, though, I like to apply a good amount of eye makeup to really highlight them. And if you ever see me leave my house without mascara on, you know that something is seriously wrong.
Even though mascara is my hero product, the one thing I absolutely need to be wearing to not feel naked, I’ve never found one that was life changing enough for me. And yes, I’ve tried them all: Lancôme's Monsieur Big Mascara, Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara, Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel, Covergirl’s Lash Blast. Don’t get me wrong, those are some of my favorites — but none of them ever gave me lashes that were long enough to truly compliment my larger eyes. And, because eyelash extensions actually do freak me out, I’ve always had to depend on mascara that left a little too much to be desired.
For years, I just accepted that mascara would never fully satisfy me. I would depend on false lashes for all big events and nights out. Every weekday morning I would coat my lashes in 15 layers of mascara just to go to work. And then on one fateful day, somewhere between the application of my 7th and 10th coat of Rimmel’s Lash Accelerator, it hit me. Maybe what I was missing wasn’t the perfect mascara but the perfect mascara primer.
I’m all about a minimized beauty routine, but mascara primer seemed like an extra, entirely necessary step I couldn’t believe I’d skipped for so long. I had seen the Lancôme Cils Booster XL Vitamin-Infused Mascara Primer in various celebrity makeup artists’ kits and backstage at fashion shows for years, so I decided to finally order a tube of the famous primer with over 1,200 five-star reviews from Nordstrom.
The Cils Booster XL is formulated to maximize the effects of your go-to mascara by evenly coating and smoothing your lashes. The primer doesn’t clump, and it’s special sauce is the microfibers and vitamin E it contains, which help add extra length and thickness. The first time I applied it, right after I used my eyelash curler on each lash for 30 seconds, I wanted to cry of happiness (I’m dramatic). Not only did two coats take my lashes to new heights, the primer also lifted my lashes like nothing I’d ever seen. My mascara glided on seamlessly afterwards. I didn’t need to apply nearly as many coats as usual and I finally had the look I was always striving for: the I-can’t-believe-they’re-not-fake eyelash look.
The first time I went out after using the primer, all of my friends, every single one of my co-workers, the barista who made my morning latte, and even my almost-always-oblivious boyfriend, asked if my eyelashes were real. Now, if that isn’t the result everyone wants when they put on mascara, then I don’t know what is. The Cils Booster XL makes me want to bat my eyelashes at everyone who passes by me and, hey, I’m not mad at it.
The tube costs around $26 and it is by far the most life-changing $26 I’ve ever spent. It’s lasted me for over a year and I don’t have to apply that much to get the desired eyelash-extension look. Sometimes I’ll even apply it at night for a deep-conditioning treatment and my lashes have never looked or felt better. And if my big eyes ever freak someone out? Well at least my lashes look incredible.
Shop the best selling Cils Booster XL at Nordstrom below.
Lancôme Cils Booster XL Vitamin-Infused Mascara Primer
Shop Now: $26, nordstrom.com
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