Our shopping writer's Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review: is this two-in-one mascara worth it?

Our Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review puts this mascara-primer duo to the ultimate test

Side-by-side images of a person wearing the Honest Beauty mascara while holding the white mascara tube on the left and a person holding the mascara tube in front of a green house plant on the right side, for the Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review.
(Image credit: Future/Kenedee Fowler)
Woman & Home Verdict

A double-sided mascara and primer duo filled with 'clean' and moisturizing ingredients that give short lashes the lift and length they need. Impressive from the off, this doesn't smudge or flake, but the two-step process won't suit anyone who is in a rush.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    'Clean' ingredients

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    Included mascara primer

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    Lengthens lashes

  • +

    Lasts extremely well

  • +

    Biodegradable, tree-free packaging

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Not the most affordable drugstore mascara

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    Takes a little longer to apply

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On the fence about adding this award-winning mascara to your cart? Let our Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review be the deciding factor. This cult buy from the home and beauty brand promises lengthened eyelashes with lift, which, as a short-eyelashed girl, are two things I always look for. So of course, I had to put it to the test and deliver my truthful review.

Specifications

RRP: $17.99/£19

Shades: Black

Key features: Made with jojoba esters and free of parabens, paraffin, synthetic fragrances, silicones, and mineral oils. 

Whether you're shopping for the best mascara to give your lash extensions a break or you're on the hunt for the best drugstore mascara for flutter on a budget, a reliable mascara is always a makeup bag go-to. And when it's filled with moisturizing ingredients like Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer mascara, that's even better.

This mascara stands out from most drugstore mascaras due to its double-ended primer and mascara functions, but does it live up to its award-winning status? That's what my in-depth Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review will tell you. 

Our beauty writer's Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review

The packaging

A person holding an opened white mascara tube with the primer end, for the Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review.


(Image credit: Kenedee Fowler)

I’m a sucker for nice packaging and this Honest Beauty mascara definitely passes in the aesthetic department. Its clean and minimal look matches the brand’s pared-back and sustainable values. The white tube has two sides; one end houses the small, lash-lifting primer wand, and the larger mascara wand is on the other. Aside from its labeling, I love how easy it is to differentiate the two ends, with the primer side being pretty in pink. 

Formula and ingredients

For someone whose makeup bag isn’t loaded with eco-friendly beauty products, I was really excited to try this mascara as its carton is made from recycled tree-free paper and it is also packed with what the brand calls 'clean' ingredients such as nourishing jojoba esters. This mascara is free of parabens, paraffin, synthetic fragrances, silicones, and mineral oils. So if you’re looking for the best mascara for sensitive eyes or just trying to stay away from beauty products with these ingredients, Honest Beauty's mascara is an option I would recommend. And if all that focus on what's excluded leaves you wondering is mascara bad for your eyelashes? The short answer is it can be if you have particular sensitivities and don't use it with care. 

When opening the short-bristled primer wand, I noticed how thick and buttery the texture was. There weren't any strong smells from either the mascara or primer. Still, after wearing and applying this mascara for a few weeks, I realized both mascara and primer smelled a bit like shea butter, which isn't listed so was perhaps from one of the other natural ingredients like beeswax or jojoba.

Applying and first impressions

Three side-by-sides of a person not wearing the Honest Beauty mascara on the far left, the same person in the middle wearing the Honest Beauty eyelash primer, and the same person on the far right with the Honest Beauty mascara on

Kenedee's lashes without makeup (l) after applying the primer (m) and with both the primer and mascara on (r)

(Image credit: Kenedee Fowler)

When I first got my hands on Honest Beauty mascara, it looked and felt a bit more luxurious than your average drugstore mascara, and the same stands for how it applies and wears. 

The star of the mascara duo is the primer. This layer acts as a base for the mascara, similar to the best face primers for wearing under your foundation. Its job is to lift and lengthen your lashes before you top them off with mascara. After just one pass with the primer wand, I couldn’t believe how much longer my short eyelashes already looked (my mouth was open in amazement) The brand recommends waiting 30 seconds before applying the extreme-length mascara, which is an important step to follow. When I first tested this mascara and applied both ends back to back I didn't see the full lengthening effect.

After waiting 30 seconds, the primer was semi-dry. I was a little nervous because I didn’t think the mascara would go on smoothly over the dry primer, but after applying a coat of the mascara, all of my worries went away. The mascara acted as a top coat and basically darkened the primer while adding a little length. Even though this mascara requires a two-step process with the primer and mascara, I loved that I didn’t have to apply multiple coats of mascara to see results. I was able to coat every lash with the primer’s small bristle wand then quickly top it off with the mascara’s medium-sized wand.

How does it wear?

After wearing Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer for three whole weeks, I can confidently say I put this mascara through the ultimate test. From wearing it in place of my best false eyelashes on dinner dates to running errands amid freezing temperatures and casual days in, this mascara wears really well in every setting.  

When I first started wearing Honest Beauty mascara, I was nervous that my eyelashes wouldn't look as natural, smudge-free, and long as they did after first applying. But thanks to its long-lasting formula, even on the coldest days with my eyes naturally tearing up I didn't experience any flaking, clumping, or running.

Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review: W&H verdict

A person holding a white mascara tube with a light coral pink end and the company name Honest printed on the mascara tube in black, for the Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review.


(Image credit: Kenedee Fowler)

So what's the verdict of my Honest Beauty Extreme Length + Lash Primer review? I can truly say this is one of the best drugstore mascaras I’ve tried. From its sleek packaging to its ingredients and the way it lengthens and volumizes my short eyelashes, I will definitely rave about and recommend this mascara to anyone. But, if you're someone who is constantly rushing in the morning, the two-step application process might not be 100% ideal. 

And although its $17.99/£19 price tag isn’t the most affordable for a drugstore mascara, if this is within budget for you, it’s worth every dime. So, if you’re on the fence about adding this mascara to your cart, I would definitely say as long as you can afford the extra dollars and morning minutes, add it and check out. 

Kenedee Fowler
Shopping Writer

Kenedee Fowler is a shopping writer based in the United States. She joined woman&home in September 2022, and ever since has been sharing her expertise with the brand to help readers source gifts for any occasion and on any budget, reviews products so you don’t have to, and scout out the best deals and products to give you the best value for your money. Before joining woman&home, Kenedee was a home editorial fellow for Insider Reviews, where she wrote in-depth reviews and articles across the home vertical.

Kenedee is a recent graduate from the number one journalism school in the US, the University of Missouri - Columbia, where she gained hands-on experience as a multimedia journalist at mid-Missouri’s local news station.