Not all waterproof mascaras are created equal. Here’s our edit of the very best.
Words by Katie Thomas
There are three occasions in life that when your regular mascara won’t do: a wedding, a sweaty gym class and when you go on holiday. At times like this, the best waterproof mascara is required.
There’s nothing worse than mascara running down your face and sometimes even the best mascara wont cut it. So a mascara that can happily withstand ugly crying/Barry’s Bootcamp/a spin class/swimming/sun bathing/pool parties/ugly crying is a must.
Traditionally, waterproof mascaras are quite dry in texture, which is intentional as they have to withstand a soaking. And while that bodes well for water-proofing, they can flake onto the tops of the cheeks and make lashes look wiry and brittle.
Luckily, those aren’t the best waterproof mascaras. But there are a few gems out there that will stay on your lashes through everything. From wind, sun and rain to sweat, tears and hotel pool water, all the while lengthening, thickening and curling obvs. If you want everything to be waterproof, read our best eyeliners piece to find the best waterproof eyeliner.
There are colourful options (like YSL’s fun offering), natural options (thank you Suquu) and the downright outrageously fabulous options (yes that’s you Dior). We’ll find the right one for you.
F.Y.I removing waterproof mascara is an art and an ordinary make-up remover wont cut it. Look for oil-based removers that will break up the formula without damaging your lashes. A couple of favourites include Smashbox Its a Wrap Waterproof Makeup Remover, £16.50, and Benefit They’re Real! Remover, £14.50. Douse a cotton pad with either of these and press and hold for 10 seconds onto your eyes. Don’t drag at your lashes at it’ll damage them.
A waterproof mascara is almost as important as your sun protection when it comes to packing for a hot holiday. Almost.
So take a look at our gallery to find one that tickles your fancy…
This mascara is a forever favourite. We love all Clinique mascaras (check out their Bottom Lash Mascara, it’s insane), but this waterproof offering is super duper. It doesn’t feel drying and it won’t flake or slip off in high heat. Huzzah.
Sometimes poolside glamour calls for something other than black. This is the mascara you need – dramatic colour pop lashes.
The celebs love this (Kim Kardashian is rumoured to be a fan). It’s adds length and definition and has an unrivaled inky-black formula that really makes your lashes stand out.
We love Max Factor False Lash Effect, you love Max Factor False Lash Effect, we all love Max Factor False Lash Effect. Guess what you’re gonna love the waterproof version too.
A couple of coats of DiorShow mascara gives bold, glossy and dramatic lashes. The waterproof version is just as amazing and lasts all day if you’re hitting up the beach, spending the day in the pool or your own wedding. Naturally, there’s a blacker-than-black shade but there’s a wearable rich brown which we love that looks super natural.
While this mascara is called ‘No Smudge’ and it does do a very good job of staying put it’s also waterproof. It lengthens, curls and doesn’t run, clump or flake. It’s a clever little thing.
Our favourite BADgal mascara has a waterproof counterpart and its long-wearing, smudge-proof and volumising. What more could you want?
Not technically a mascara but this product is brilliant nonetheless. Just a apply a couple of coats of the topcoat over your favourite mascara to make it waterproof. You can even apply it over false lashes. It’s called ‘Genius’ for a reason.
This formula has staying power like nothing else. Not only can you swim wearing it until your hearts content, but you can go hell-to-leather in the gym too without it so much as migrating to the skin under the eyes. This stuff is great.
If you’d never dream of wearing make-up on the beach, but are conflicted with still making your eye’s pop. Please let us introduce you to Suquu’s Natural Curl Mascara, which is 100% waterproof and hugs your natural lash shape with it’s inky formula.
Everyone loves an offer. I mean BOGOF gives us life non? Well check this one out – two mascaras for the price of one. One for daytime that lengthens and one for the night that volumizes. And both waterproof. Mic drop.