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The Best Waterproof Mascaras

🕚 Updated July 2023

Waterproof mascara withstands sweaty workouts, happy and sad tears, surprise downpours, poolside splashes, and long days. Whatever level of a makeup enthusiast you are, waterproof mascara can be extremely useful.

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  Best for Length & Volume Best Cruelty-Free Longest-Lasting Best for Lash Health Best with Color
Paris Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara
Poppy Austin
Argan Oil Waterproof Mascara
Pacifica Beauty
Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mascara
Full ‘N Soft Waterproof Mascara
Pozilan Professional
4D Silk Fiber Lash Waterproof Mascara
Our SummaryThis mascara is a top performer, even among the high-end brands.This is mascara you can feel good about using that looks amazing on your lashes.Keep your lashes looking fabulous no matter what the day brings.This pick thickens, nourishes, and softens your lashes.Catch someone's eye with the bold colors of this waterproof mascara.
Pros✓ Lengthens
✓ Adds volume
✓ Smudge- and flake-proof
✓ Soft lashes
✓ Lengthens and thickens
✓ Nourishes with argan oil
✓ Smudge- and flake-proof
✓ Clean ingredients
✓ Cruelty-free and vegan
✓ Hypoallergenic
✓ pH-balanced
✓ Natural and nontoxic
✓ Includes coconut oil
✓ Long-lasting
✓ Comes off gently with makeup remover
✓ Thickens lashes
✓ Vitamin E keeps them soft
✓ Enhanced natural look
✓ Fun colors
✓ Lengthens, thickens, and separates lashes
✓ Safe for sensitive eyes
Cons✗ Hard to remove even with certain makeup remover formulas✗ Generic wide-bristled brush✗ Not as dramatic
✗ Drier formula
✗ Not dramatic
✗ Smudgy
✗ Not comfortable for sensitive eyes
✗ Too bold for everyday wear
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The Best Waterproof Mascaras

A blonde woman applies black mascara to her upper lashes.

Mascara is a staple of most people’s makeup routines. While some use mascara as a finishing touch, others use mascara as their main makeup tool. For either type of person, a waterproof formula should be in your makeup repertoire for long days and outdoor adventures. If you want to add some to your makeup bag, here are some trusty waterproof mascaras.

Buying Guide for Waterproof Mascaras

A pink tube of mascara with the wand out on a pink surface.
Alena Sadreeva/Shutterstock.com

Why buy waterproof mascara?

If you have “the gift of tears” and are a fan of mascara, then maybe a waterproof version is a better option! You can enjoy a full range of emotions without constantly having to dab your raccoon eyes or touch up your makeup. If your day brings you from work to the gym, back to work, and out with friends with no time to reapply make-up in between, a waterproof mascara may be a better option for you. A good waterproof mascara will stay in place during a sweaty gym session, a trip to the pool, and after a long day. You decide when to remove your mascara, not your activities.

What should you consider when choosing a waterproof mascara?

With such a range of options, how do you decide which one is best for you? It depends on the look you want and what is most important to you. These are the most pressing things to consider in a waterproof mascara:

  • Color: Black mascara can make your eyes pop, while brown-toned mascara can give a more natural look. Some brands will even offer brighter colors like blue or green for a vibrant look.
  • Formula: You can make your lashes appear much longer and thicker with specific formulas, and some will include a growth serum in the formula to try and grow your lashes. Some will focus on eliminating clumps and flakes to promote a smooth and long-lasting application.
  • Sensitive Formulas: For those who suffer from irritation or redness from the usual ingredients in mascaras, there are natural, hypoallergenic, or non-harsh formulas to ease discomfort.

How should you wash waterproof mascara off?

Normal mascara often washes off with a little warm water, but waterproof mascara is a different story, and we want it that way so that it doesn’t end up all over your face after a gym session or an unexpected downpour. When you’re ready to remove the mascara, to avoid damaging your lashes by trying to scrub it off, use an oil or oil-based makeup remover on a cotton pad and hold it to your lashes for around 20 seconds. This will help to break the waterproof mascara down gently. You can then slide the mascara off your lashes with a few wipes.

Our Picks for the Best Waterproof Mascaras

Best for Length & Volume

L'Oreal Paris Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara

This mascara is a top performer, even among the high-end brands.

Pros: This waterproof mascara boasts the major benefits: volume, length, no smudging, and long-lasting wear. It’s free of flakes and clumps and looks great with two coats to maximize your look. It also keeps lashes feeling soft instead of hard and crusty, a common issue among other waterproof mascaras.

Cons: It takes a high-performing makeup remover to completely remove this top-performing waterproof mascara. Too much scrubbing can actually damage the lashes you are trying so hard to care for and enhance. If you enjoy this mascara, be sure to find a makeup remover that easily takes the day off when you’re ready.

Bottom Line: This waterproof mascara is quite popular, even converting some loyal fans of high-end brands because it performs well and is more affordable. If you’re looking for a waterproof mascara that enhances your eyes with length and volume and is still soft to the touch, this is definitely worth the try. Just be sure to have a strong, hydrating makeup remover on hand as well!


Best Cruelty-Free

Poppy Austin Argan Oil Waterproof Mascara

This is mascara you can feel good about using that looks amazing on your lashes.

Pros: This formula promises to lengthen and thicken lashes while hydrating with argan oil. It’s resistant to smudges, smears, flakes, sweat, and water for at least 24 hours. This brand is committed to being cruelty-free, vegan, and safe for users, including those with sensitivities. The argan oil contributes to moisturizing and strengthening your lashes while giving them a glossy look.

Cons: The brush is the biggest drawback for users. While the formula is a favorite, especially among those with sensitive eyes, the brush has a more generic design. If the brush is a hindrance, consider buying your own brush to get the most from this waterproof mascara.

Bottom Line: The mascara delivers the benefits that a mascara-loving fan looks for while also caring about the ethics of development and the comfort of the consumers. The added argan oil actually creates healthier lashes, making this a win-win-win option.



Pacifica Beauty Aquarian Gaze Water-Resistant Long Lash Mascara

Keep your lashes looking fabulous no matter what the day brings.

Pros: For long and thick lashes that last all day without flaking, try this waterproof mascara. It stays in place whether you’re sweating, swimming, or having a good laugh with your friends. The formula is natural, nontoxic, vegan, and made with coconut oil to keep your eyelashes hydrated and healthy. When you’re ready to remove it with makeup remover, it comes off without needing harsh scrubbing.

Cons: This mascara doesn’t provide the dramatic look that some other brands do, but it does enhance and amplify your natural look. Even with the coconut oil, some users found it too dry to apply and even drier as the day progressed.

Bottom Line: This nontoxic vegan mascara stays in place while enhancing your natural beauty. It may not be as dramatic as other mascaras, but it adds a lovely look that lasts all day.


Best for Lash Health

Maybelline Full 'N Soft Waterproof Mascara

This waterproof mascara thickens, nourishes, and softens your lashes.

Pros: While this mascara delivers thick lashes, it also includes vitamin E to nourish and soften your lashes. The included vitamin E helps your lashes stay soft all day instead of turning brittle or flaking off. It boasts the ability to withstand sleeping, swimming, and sweaty workouts while still keeping lashes soft and separated. It’s easy to take off with makeup remover, preventing lash loss.

Cons: For those with thin, sparse lashes, it doesn’t provide a dramatic look. The ingredients can be problematic for lens-wearers or those with sensitive eyes. Lashes may be softened with vitamin E, but it might also make it more likely to smudge.

Bottom Line: For an enhanced natural look that doesn’t contribute to lash breakage, this waterproof mascara is an affordable option and a favorite of many! However, if you’re looking for a more dramatic effect, try one of our other picks.


Best with Color

Pozilan Professional 4D Silk Fiber Lash Waterproof Mascara

Catch someone's eye with the bold colors of this waterproof mascara.

Pros: Deep pigments in purple, blue, and green add extra fun and personality to your makeup. The clump-free formula thickens each lash. It comes with a comb to be sure you get the lash separation you desire. This bold, colorful beauty stays in place all day long and withstands rain, tears, or sweat. It’s also safe for sensitive eyes. When you’re ready, remove the color with your favorite makeup remover. This pack comes with all three colors, so you can be expressive in each hue.

Cons: Most people probably won’t want boldly colored mascara for everyday wear. If you’re looking for subtle color, you can add a bit of brown or black as a top coat.

Bottom Line: This waterproof mascara delivers on bright, colorful beauty with the other qualities many women look for in mascara. Hypoallergenic ingredients make this bold look safe and comfortable to wear all day long when you’re wanting to spice things up.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right waterproof mascara is a personal adventure that doesn’t seem thrilling until you find that perfect formula. Consider these choices to help bring a satisfactory boost to each and every day you wear your next favorite waterproof mascara.

Alesha Billie Alesha Billie
Alesha Billie is a momma to three kiddos (unless we count the furry ones) who has been writing and researching for over 15 years. After a start as a romance ghostwriter, she's written countless full-length novels in addition to articles, blog posts, advertorials, memoirs, and eBooks. Read Full Bio »
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