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Top 5 Best Waterproof Mascara | 2017 Reviews

May 5, 2016
Waterproof Mascara Buying Guide

Top 5 Best Waterproof Mascara | 2017 Reviews

There’s no phrase which strikes fear into the hearts of women who think their makeup is perfect than “raccoon eyes.” (Well, maybe “we really need to talk” might be just as fearsome, but that’s a topic for another day.) And there’s no culprit which can cause raccoon eyes faster than bad, non-waterproof mascara.

Selecting the wrong mascara and liquid eyeliner can create many issues, including not being able to curl those frustratingly- stubborn straight eyelashes, making your eyelashes clump together to look like you have just five or six giant, thick lashes, flaking that gives the appearance that your eyes have dandruff, or simply giving your eyes a look that isn’t “really you.” And choosing a non-waterproof brand puts you seriously at risk of black floods in rainy weather, hot or humid weather – and definitely at weddings.

Finding a waterproof mascara that will let you do exactly what you want with your lashes is tough enough, without even considering the different types of product you can choose from. Lengthening, thickening and volumizing mascaras are just the most obvious varieties, and that’s not even getting into a whole discussion about the types of application wands available.

We’ll keep this as simple as possible as we look at the top 5 best waterproof mascaras, pointing out their pros and cons and what they’re best used for. Don’t be scared – we’ll make it easy.

You may also want to check out our comprehensive Best Waterproof Mascara Buying Guide here.​

Quick Comparison Table

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara

CoverGirl Plumpify Blastpro Waterproof Mascara

Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara

Christian Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Volume Lifting Mascara

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara
CoverGirl Plumpify Blastpro by LashBlast Waterproof Mascara
tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mascara
Christian Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Waterproof Bold Volume Lifting Mascara

$$$

$$$

$$$

$$$

$$$

0.18 ounces

0.44 ounces

0.24 ounces

0.38 ounces

0.21 ounces

No parabens

No parabens

No parabens

With parabens

No parabens

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara

A no-smudge mascara is certainly one of the products you’d want to look for, so the name of this product alone isn’t enough to make it our top-rated brand. The Bobbi Brown mascara provides both lengthening and thickening of lashes; in fact, it’s thicker than most of its competitors so it will give you great volume and a natural look with just one coat, and will make your eyes even fuller and more and more dramatic, if you build your look with additional applications.

This mascara is also great, in combination with its patented application brush, at defining and curling lashes to look their best. The smudge-proof name is warranted for most women, although to be fair there are some women who produce so much perspiration that there probably won’t be a product that doesn’t smudge at least a little on them. In general, though, you don’t have to worry about smudging – or about clumping, bleeding, flaking or having to constantly re-apply, since the Bobbi Brown mascara is very long-lasting and basically trouble-free.

The No Smudge Mascara is safe for use with contact lenses and is ophthalmologist-tested. The only things to be aware of are that it is not hypoallergenic, and since it doesn’t come off in water you may need a strong waterproof eye makeup remover to take off your mascara at the end of the day (which is actually a badge of honor for any waterproof mascara).

Performance that’s better than a drugstore brand will cost you more than a drugstore brand, of course, and the Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is no exception, at $32. We think you’ll find that it’s worth it.

Details of the Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara

Size

0.18 ounces

Parabens

No

CoverGirl Plumpify Blastpro by LashBlast Waterproof Mascara

CoverGirl Plumpify Blastpro by LashBlast Waterproof Mascara

On the other hand, you can also get great performance from a drugstore brand, if you’re willing to compromise just a bit. This CoverGirl Blastpro waterproof mascara is a good example, and it doesn’t require much of a compromise at all – you just have to get used to the extra-large brush which can be a little tricky to maneuver at times.

First, let’s address the “plumpify” that’s in the brand name of this product. The mascara is supposedly designed to volumize and thicken lashes more than lengthen them; being totally honest, there wasn’t as much thickening as we expected. Your lashes will definitely look thicker, but not by 50% like the company claims. Don’t get us wrong, the mascara does a nice job of plumping up the look of lashes, just not by an incredible 50%. However, CoverGirl doesn’t make several other claims that it should, because the mascara lengthens lashes much more than we thought it would. A mix of more volume and longer lashes was just fine with us, and we expect it will be with you, too.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the mascara itself. It goes on cleanly and easily without clumping, lasts all day, and is as waterproof as you’d ever want it to be with no flaking or smudging after it has set. The Blastpro also does a decent job of curling lashes and a terrific job of separating them, two more attributes crucial for any top-level mascara. As with most waterproof products, you’ll need a strong remover to get it off once you get home. We’d probably describe the “very black” color as just plain black, but it does the job.

Now, about that brush. It’s larger than any mascara brush you’ve probably ever seen, with a unique figure-8 “double action” shape that lifts the lashes extremely well for application. It ensures that there’s no clumping, but there are so many bristles going in all directions that you may find that you end up with little spots of mascara on your eyelids, at least until you get the hang of the brush. After that, we think you’ll really like it.

The price for this drugstore brand is a welcome $10, and that’s definitely more than fair for a waterproof mascara that lasts all day while adding length and volume to your lashes.

Details of the CoverGirl Plumpify Blastpro by LashBlast Waterproof Mascara

Size

0.44 ounces

Parabens

No

Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mascara

tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mascara

We have to admit that we have a soft spot for tarte products, since they’re always very good (or better) and have no parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes or frangrances, or any of that other “bad” stuff in them. The company’s waterproof mascara isn’t quite as good as its non-waterproof sister, but it’s still one of our faves.

The primary benefits you’ll see from the Lights, Camera, Splashes! mascara (who makes up these names, anyway?) are lengthening and separating, rather than volumizing, but then again, it’s tough to find any waterproof product that will give you thick, thick lashes all by itself. It will curl eyelashes quite nicely too, and the curls will hold for the day.

The tarte mascara goes on easily, and although it takes a few minutes or so to dry completely, the wait is worth it. Your mascara is going to be very waterproof and isn’t going anywhere for the rest of the day after that; no flaking, no smearing, no clumping. (And no removal with soap and water either – you’ll need a real makeup remover to get this stuff off.)

Because of the non-toxic ingredients, and the ingredients that aren’t inside, this mascara is going to be appreciated by your lashes and face. There’s a “Skinvigorating” mix of beeswax and mineral pigments to soften as the mascara is applied, so you don’t get the stiff-lash feeling that remains after many products go onto your lashes. The tarte waterproof mascara only comes in black, and while it’s not overly-pigmented, it’s an attractive color. For about $25, we like this one a lot.

Details of the tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mascara

Size

0.24 ounces

Parabens

No

Christian Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

Christian Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

This is one of the more expensive mascaras on our list, at around $27, which is not particularly surprising when it carries the Dior name. However, it’s a good mascara and carries the extra advantage of being available in three colors: jet black, bright blue and brown.

First, let’s talk about one of the things we mentioned at the start, exactly what you’re looking for from your mascara. If your primary goal is exquisitely long lashes, the Diorshow mascara is where you should be looking, because it will extend your lashes wonderfully. Fullness is secondary with the Dior product, although you’ll find that you will still get some noticeable thickness as well and you’ll be able to craft some good curves, too. All in all, it’s a solid choice for those who “want it all” – as long as length is first on the list and dramatic lashes are further down.

The mascara goes on soft and creamy, and is easy to build if you want to add several layers. It won’t clump, and while it smears slightly (more than we would expect from a high-end product) and can flake a bit toward the end of the supply, it wasn’t a terrible problem and won’t be a major issue for most people. It is toward the top of the “long-lasting” scale, not always lasting a full day but not disappearing after a few hours, either. It’s also in the middle of the scale of the waterproof mascaras we’ve looked at; it may not withstand the flood of tears stemming from the marriage of your best friend to the guy you’ve always wanted, but it’s fine for normal circumstances. That also has its upside, in that you don’t need dynamite (or an oil-based makeup remover) to get it off.

There’s one other thing you should know about the Diorshow mascara: the brush that comes with it is h-u-g-e. It reminds us more of a brush you’d use to wash a baby bottle than one for delicate application of mascara. It’s not impossible to work with, but just be aware there will be a learning curve as you get used to manipulating it in small areas, particularly when trying to get to the roots of your lashes.

We like the choice of three colors, especially the brown. The purple is nice, and while the jet black is an attractive color you shouldn’t expect a highly-pigmented super-black. We’re a bit surprised that the Christian Dior Diorshow mascara is one of the go-to products for makeup pros and often seen on the catwalk since it does have its drawbacks, but it’s definitely one of the better waterproof choices available.

Details of the Christian Dior Diorshow Waterproof Mascara

Size

0.38 ounces

Parabens

Yes

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Waterproof Bold Volume Lifting Mascara

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Waterproof Bold Volume Lifting Mascara

Here’s one more expensive option. In many ways it’s the opposite of the products we’ve included on this list of top 5 best waterproof mascaras, because it’s designed to make your lashes bold and thick rather than long and luxurious (although it does add some length as well). That’s unusual for waterproof products, but many women are looking for these properties and paying $27 for a small tube may be worth it for them.

The Estee Lauder mascara with the huge name goes on smoothly. With just one layer it makes your lashes appear thicker, but doesn’t cause the accompanying issue of stiffness or clumping that you often see with drugstore products promising to thicken lashes. You can keep building without getting spikes or unnatural-looking lashes, and the brush separates nicely, too. Length is a secondary benefit but it is still a benefit, just not to the degree you’ll see with competitors like the tarte mascara we’ve reviewed. The curl is pretty good as well, but again not the primary quality of the Sumptuous Bold Volume mascara.

Once this product dries it will last you for an entire day (or even longer if you’re headed out for the evening) with no flaking or smearing, even if you have oily or watery eyes, and its waterproof properties are as good as any of the mascaras we’ve looked at in these reviews. As you know by now, that means you’ll need a strong makeup remover to convince it to leave your lashes at day’s end. This Estee Lauder mascara is only available in black, but it’s a good-looking color and will look natural on your newly-thickened lashes.

Its price is in line with some of the other high-end products we’ve reviewed, but the size of the tube is smaller so you’re really paying more for the Bold Volume than for the competitors. Even so, it may be just what you’re looking for.

Details of the Estee Lauder Sumptuous Waterproof Bold Volume Lifting Mascara

Size

0.21 ounces

Parabens

No



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