Seeing famous people express joy, whether through tears, vacation jumps, or gym workouts, is common in the media – on screens, Instagram, and magazines.
If your mascara is smudge-proof during any situation, there’s likely a special formula at play. Wondering how to find a waterproof mascara? Hollywood makeup artists use this tip to avoid smudging for their A-list clients. Regular mascara can smudge, especially in wet environments. The modern waterproof versions not only prevent smudging but also lengthen, curl, and add volume for those coveted long, thick lashes.
To make your search easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best waterproof mascaras. Whether you’re attending events, hitting the beach, or doing hot yoga, these mascaras will keep your lashes looking fabulous.
Table of Contents
What Is A Waterproof Mascara?
Waterproof mascara is designed to resist moisture. It contains waterproof polymers and resins that prevent smudging or running when exposed to moisture.
People with makeup allergies or sensitivity often choose waterproof mascaras because they are less likely to irritate the eyes. They’re also popular in hot and humid areas, as they prevent makeup from melting and smudging.
While waterproof mascaras work well for many, they may not be ideal for everyone. Individuals with dry or sensitive skin might find that these mascaras make lashes appear drier and more brittle.
It’s important to note that removing waterproof mascara can be a bit tedious and may lead to watery eyes if not done carefully.
8 Best Waterproof Mascaras
We highly recommend COVERGIRL Clump Crusher Waterproof Mascara for its affordable price and impressive results. The scooped brush provides just the right amount of mascara, giving you thick and well-defined lashes.
Testers love the mascara, noting that it doesn’t smudge, effectively lengthens lashes, and adds fullness. While some wished the brush had longer bristles, the short bristles expertly separate and lift lashes. The curved shape of the brush covers a larger area, earning praise.
Plus, it’s part of Ulta’s Conscious Beauty program, ensuring the use of the best and most eco-friendly materials.
Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof Mascara is a favorite among 15,000 Sephora customers and comes recommended by InStyle’s makeup experts. Its standout feature is the fluffy S-shaped brush that effortlessly coats lashes in a single swipe.
Reviewers praise the brush’s shape, making it easy to capture every lash. The end bristles, while not noticeably smaller, have an inward slope, making it convenient to reach small lashes at the bottom, inner, and outer corners of the eyes.
Our review team noted its impressive adherence to various surfaces. It doesn’t smudge or flake, even when exposed to water and eye drops. While it’s not a curling mascara, users appreciate its smudge-proof nature, incredible volume, and lengthening effect.
MAC In Extreme Dimension Waterproof Lash Mascara boasts precise measurement and control in challenging conditions. The silky formula promises to lengthen, lift, and curl lashes, as confirmed by an InStyle test reader.
Testers found the mascara easy to apply, offering an interesting hold. Despite initial skepticism about the unusual wand design, they discovered it provided more stability than a traditional wand, enabling more precise application. While the mascara effectively lengthened lashes, it didn’t contribute much to the desired curl. Some felt their lashes appeared slightly weighed down.
For those prioritizing water resistance, the product excelled. It passed splash and wine tests with flying colors, leaving no noticeable stains during the test. However, removing the product proved a bit messy.
Achieve long-lasting, natural-looking volume with Neutrogena Hydro Boost Plumping Waterproof Mascara. This mascara is designed to withstand swimming, sweating, and crying. Its slightly tapered full bristle brush allows for easy lengthening, defining, and curling of lashes in just a few swipes.
A reviewer describes it as a classic Neutrogena product—easy to apply, clean-feeling, and reliable. It ensures lashes stay lifted with a natural look throughout the day. The reviewer even put it to the test with tears and water, and to her surprise, it didn’t smudge at all.
Opt for Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara if you crave dramatic volume. The medium-sized, bushy brush is crafted to capture and lift each lash.
Testers highlight the easy application despite the brush’s ability to expertly coat each lash. The effect is long-lasting and dramatic, making it unsuitable for those who prefer a subtle look. Applying more than two coats may appear a bit heavy, but it doesn’t feel cumbersome due to the defined volume it provides.
Though the mascara offers significant formula with each application, it is easily removable with facial tissues and micellar water—requiring minimal effort. While lightweight and highly productive, it has the potential to clump lashes, making it ideal for bold looks like the doll’s eye trend on TikTok but less suitable for subtle styles.
Discover longer and fuller lashes with L’Oréal Bambi Eye Waterproof Mascara, especially if your lashes are on the shorter side. Testers praise its impressive lengthening effect, with one saying, “My lashes look big, like false lashes without glue,” achievable with just a few swipes.
The mascara excels at maintaining length and volume, staying in place through various challenges. One reviewer tested its durability by crying, blinking, sneezing, and intentionally smudging it, but the mascara remained intact. Despite its resilience, it’s easily removed with minimal effort, requiring just two wipes with a makeup remover pad.
While the large, bulbous brush is great for creating volume, it may not be ideal for lower lashes, according to some reviewers. One suggests that a smaller brush would be better for applying to more sensitive lower lashes.
Explore the often overlooked Maybelline New York Lash Discovery Waterproof Mascara if you’re in search of a reliable lengthening mascara that stays put. Despite being less known than some of Maybelline’s other popular mascaras, this one is waterproof and sweatproof.
Equipped with a long, thin brush resembling an eyebrow pencil, this mascara features a lengthening formula. The narrow tip of the brush allows for precise application, especially on the lower lash line. It impressed us with its ease of application and its ability to stay in place throughout the day. If you find most mascaras too large for the lower lash line or struggle with smudging, this mascara is tailored for you.
While it excels at creating beautiful, lengthened lashes, some online reviews mention that it may not be the best choice for those seeking significant volume.
Consider the Innisfree Skinny Waterproof Microcara Mascara if you struggle with smudging and flaking and desire well-defined lashes.
Featuring an ultra-fine brush, this mascara makes it effortless to coat each lash while achieving the desired intensity. The winning combination of a lash-lengthening formula and the curling effect of the thin brush stands out.
Our reviewer was initially skeptical about the brush’s ability to evenly spread the formula but was pleasantly surprised by its effectiveness. She did note that the length and slim profile of the pencil made it a bit challenging to grip initially. However, the remarkably realistic results quickly outweighed this minor difficulty. With just the right amount of product on the brush, both application and removal were a breeze, much to her delight.
Benefits Of Using Waterproof Mascara
If you have oily skin or reside in a humid area, waterproof mascara stands out as a top cosmetic choice. Here’s why:
Waterproof and Sweatproof: It resists water, sweat, and tears, ensuring it won’t smudge or run throughout the day.
Eye Comfort: Ideal for those with sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers, as it is less likely to cause discomfort.
Long-Lasting Definition: When applied correctly, waterproof mascara provides a dramatic and defined effect that lasts all day.
What sets waterproof mascaras apart from regular ones?
Waterproof mascaras are different from regular ones because they have more and different waxes and silicones, making them resistant to water.
However, the extra ingredients can make waterproof mascaras heavier and harder on lashes, sometimes causing dryness.
There are exceptions, like Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Plumping Mascara, which aims to hydrate lashes instead of drying them out.
Waterproof Mascara Ingredients
When picking a waterproof mascara, the key is in the ingredients. To simplify the distinctions from regular mascaras, let’s break it down:
- Found in waterproof mascaras.
- Examples: acrylates copolymer, styrene/acrylates copolymer, polyurethane-35.
- Purpose: Creates a protective barrier on lashes, preventing smudging or running in water.
Wax or Oil Base:
- Higher concentration in waterproof mascaras.
- Examples: beeswax, carnauba wax.
- Purpose: Helps mascara stick to lashes better and adds water repellency.
- Some waterproof mascaras have these.
- Example: dimethicone.
- Purpose: Enhances water resistance by forming a flexible film on lashes.
- More common in waterproof mascaras.
- Example: isododecane.
- Purpose: Forms a thin, waterproof film when mascara dries, keeping it in place even in water or humidity.
Who Is Waterproof Mascara For?
If you desire full and lush eyelashes, waterproof mascara is a must-have. Here’s who it’s perfect for:
Sensitive Eyes: Ideal for individuals with sensitive eyes as it won’t smudge or wear off easily.
Humid Regions: A great alternative in humid regions where traditional mascara may struggle to stay in place.
While waterproof mascara is effective, it’s crucial to note:
Regular Removal: Regularly remove waterproof mascara to prevent drying out and brittleness of lashes.
Hypoallergenic Option: Opt for a hypoallergenic waterproof mascara to avoid eye irritation.
Humid Environments: If you live in a humid environment, choose a mascara that can withstand sweat and water.
What Makes A Quality Waterproof Mascara?
For optimal hold and water protection, choose a quality waterproof mascara. Not all waterproof mascaras are the same, so consider the following factors when making your selection:
- Must be water and oil-resistant to withstand sweat, tears, and water.
- Provides long-lasting hold without fading or smudging.
- Features a brush that coats lashes evenly, reaching even the hard-to-reach places.
- Should not clump, but rather separate and define lashes.
- Withstands rain, water splashes, heat, and humidity without smudging.
- Comfortably wearable throughout the day and easy to remove at the end of the day.
How to Easily Remove Waterproof Mascara
Don’t worry—it’s easy to remove without harming your lashes. Follow these simple steps:
Soak a Cotton Pad:
- Use your favorite makeup remover or micellar water.
- Place the saturated cotton pad on closed eyes for 30 seconds to loosen the mascara.
- After soaking, gently swipe the pad across lashes.
- Avoid vigorous rubbing to prevent irritation or lash damage.
- Cleanse your face as usual to remove any remaining product.
- Ensure your skin is thoroughly cleaned, eliminating excess mascara.
Precision with Cotton Swab:
- Use a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover for hard-to-reach areas.
- Target specific spots with precision, avoiding unnecessary rubbing.
Consider Cleansing Balm:
- If regular makeup remover doesn’t work, try a cleansing balm.
- The balm’s oils effectively break down waterproof mascara for easier removal.
By following these steps, say goodbye to waterproof mascara hassle-free and keep your lashes healthy.
1. Does waterproof mascara irritate eyes?
Waterproof, sweatproof, and tearproof mascaras are designed for durability, but their tough composition can be challenging to remove, leading to eye irritation for some.
To avoid this, opt for an eye-friendly waterproof mascara approved by an eye doctor or labeled hypoallergenic.
Steer clear of mascaras with harmful compounds like formaldehyde, and choose a product made from natural ingredients for a lasting, irritation-free experience.
2. Is waterproof mascara bad for your eyelashes?
Waterproof mascara is excellent for resisting rain, sweat, and tears, making it ideal for those in humid regions or prone to sweating.
However, the compounds in waterproof mascaras can dry out lashes and are more challenging to remove than traditional formulas. To care for your lashes, remove waterproof mascara gently with a mild cleanser, avoiding eye scratching.
Look for nutrient-rich waterproof mascaras to keep your lashes healthy. While waterproof mascaras offer long-lasting results when used sparingly, it’s essential to maintain good lash hygiene.
3. How Often Should You Replace Waterproof Mascara?
To keep your eyes healthy and vibrant, replace your waterproof mascara every three months. This isn’t just a random rule – there’s a good reason for it! Changing your mascara regularly prevents potential eye infections and skin reactions.
Here’s why: over time, makeup, including mascara, can become a breeding ground for bacteria. When it comes to something that touches your eyes, avoiding any chance of contamination is crucial. So, make it a habit to get a new tube of waterproof mascara every few months for those lively and infection-free eyes!
4. Is it advisable to wear waterproof mascara every day?
Wearing waterproof mascara every day isn’t recommended by experts because it can potentially dry out your lashes.
According to Greenberg, it’s best to avoid daily use if possible. If you still want to use it regularly, Cantor suggests using a conditioning lash primer underneath to prevent the mascara from drying out your lashes. However, Greenberg advises saving waterproof mascaras for special occasions or long days when touch-ups might not be convenient.
5. Can I go swimming with waterproof mascara?
Yes, you can go swimming with waterproof mascara. When applied correctly, it should stay put in wet conditions. Just keep in mind that removing waterproof mascara can be a bit tricky and often requires an oil-based solution.