Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base Review – The best primer on the market?

I’m not usually one for worrying when a product is discontinued; there’s always an alternative out there but I did nearly keel over when I found out that my beloved Shiseido mascara base had been replaced by a new formula; the Nourishing Mascara Base:


Shiseido Mascara Base, the original, was simple the best lash primer – ever. It held curl perfectly and you could match it with the worst mascara ever and it would still be amazing.

Nourishing mascara base (and I will do a side by side comparison after this review) promises to add volume, hold curl, add length and make lashes more supple.

The new mascara primer comes in a plain tube:

The brush is different from the original, it’s quite spiky and reminds me of a toilet brush. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing! On the contrary, it combs through the lashes nicely!

The product is a greyish gel:


Here it is applied to curled lashes. It adds a gloss to the lashes although I wouldn’t use this product on it’s own.

There’s no irritation at all using this product which I can sometimes get with primers and it doesn’t seem to do much on – but trust me it sets the curl and locks it in.


I used a generic crappy mascara here – as you can see, it DOES hold curl. It has added some volume but remember I didn’t use the best mascara here, I used a cheap one I wouldn’t normally consider putting on day to day.

Praise the lord! The reformulation has not been a disaster!


Here is my other eye (there is eyeliner on this one – sorry, the life of a beauty blogger!) – this is the mascara on curled lashes NO PRIMER. As you can see they flop:



At £21 this is not by any means a cheap purchase but you will either be someone who needs a lash primer or not.

Some people can use any mascara and look lush lashed, but if you need help in terms of holding curl, enhancing the finish, length and volume then this is THE primer. I have tried many and none of the others compare, really.

I like this because it means I can wear any mascara on my lashes – when I use a mascara that can hold curl, it can be hard to remove. With this primer I can use something like a generic drug store mascara or something heavy and creamy like YSL Faux Cils and the curl will stay – also it is easier to remove at bed time so we are all happy!

Comparison to the original coming up!

Do you use a lash primer product?

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  1. Pam says

    I don’t use a primer, but I’m starting to think about it. I have lashes like yours and most mascaras I’ve tried in the past flopped on me. Based on mining yours and Kathi’s excellent blogs, I tried the Shiseido Integrate curl and volume and while I love it, it is a PAIN to remove (I’ve been using makeupforever’s remover – not really a fan). So much so that I’m worried about ripping out all of my eyelashes and caushing unnecessary wrinkles by all that tugging. While I need something that stays put (I work out in the middle of the day so my eye makeup needs to be sweat proof), I really don’t like how difficult it is to remove eye makeup (I got the Lunasol gel eyeliner – again, LOVE it but holy cow, it’s even worse than the mascara to remove).

    So, I am going to pick up this primer and see for myself. Thanks as always for the latest beauty news!


  2. says

    Does it last a long time? I would assume so being Shiseido. I don’t know if I need primer but looking at the difference I want to try it now XD
    Stacie xoxox

    • Row says

      Hi Stacie

      Yes it will last all day but you can experiment with different mascara. I personally wouldn’t use a really waterproof mascara with it because this helps hold curl, I use something more nourishing and gentle on top if that makes sense! x