Have you ever noticed that waterproof mascaras are kind of controversial in the beauty world? After talking to countless celebrities, makeup artists, friends, and beauty editors, the confirmed consensus seems to be that people either love them or hate them. So we decided to do what every on-the-fence beauty hoarder does best: Make a pro/con list. The orthodox pros: durable, water-resistant wear, and superior lift and volume. The cons: dry, tacky consistency, and laborious removal. That being said, did you notice how we strategically threw the word "orthodox" into the mix there?
Despite common thought, there are some waterproof mascaras that are actually pretty great—in fact, they may even be better than their non-waterproof formulaic counterparts. So while we've already devoted roundups to the best waterproof mascaras for summer or which ones can be found at the drugstore, we wanted to dedicate a separate write up to the best waterproof mascara formulas, period. Sound good? Ahead are 11 of the best waterproof mascaras Byrdie editors would trust with their blood, sweat, and tears. (Or at least the two latter.)
Okay. So this limited-edition, tear-changing formula from the eye makeup wizards at Eyeko isn't your average waterproof mascara. For one, it's the prettiest shade of rich midnight blue for those times when you want to intensify (and brighten!) your typical mascara look. And second, it's infused with lash conditioners like keratin and shea butter to discourage damage and dehydration in the long run.
Consistently, this is one of the top-reviewed waterproof mascaras we come across, which makes it a nonnegotiable choice for our best-of-the-best waterproof mascara lineup. Not only is it waterproof (obviously), but it also yields the pristinely curled, lengthened, and beefed-up lashline we've seen sans extensions, perms, or tinting. Therefore, it's well worth the $27 price tag if you're on the hunt for a do-it-all formula.
If you're looking for one of the best waterproof mascaras with less bite where your budget is concerned, look no further. The original is an editor and makeup artist favorite for its mega-watt separating and volumizing perks, and the waterproof iteration is cut from the same cloth. Sure, it's slightly more difficult to remove post-wedding or The Notebook viewing, but in our eyes, it's well worth the absence of raccoon eyes.
According to managing editor Lindsey Metrus, this is her be-all and end-all formula where the best waterproof mascaras are concerned. (However, as a disclaimer, if you only want a jet-black finish, this brownish-black pick probably won't be for you.) That being said, if you love a more natural color payoff; sweatproof, waterproof, and smudgeproof resistance; and a stellar ingredient makeup featuring the nourishing likes of Amazonian clay, vitamin C, and silky waxes to condition and protect damage-prone lashes, meet your new waterproof mascara must-have.
Sure, it may have the naughtiest name in the bunch, but it's honestly 100% warranted thanks to its allure in both pigment, thickness, and length. Boasting high-quality, water-resistant polymers for go-hard or go-home results (aka it won't move until you want it to), this one from Too Faced is a good option to have in your mascara arsenal for when you want mischief—but not from your mascara. Plus, the formula is pumped up with collagen for lash-improving results for FWB—fringe with benefits—perks in the long run.
Don't be fooled by its mystical name—this vegan and cruelty-free mascara from natural beauty brand Pacifica introduces tons of benefits to your lashline. Including, but not limited to, stargazing length and fan-like separation sans clumps, flaking, or dried up, brittle lashes.
There's no denying that splurging for a waterproof mascara just under $50 feels like borderline savagery to your bank account. But then again, this deep, dark, intensely luxe mascara from Tom Ford is essentially the Tesla of all waterproof mascaras. So ultimately, it just depends on what you're in the market for. If you are willing to splurge, we predict a lust-filled affair thanks to an epic combination of jet-black carbon pigments and clump- and cake-discouraging powders that fortify and fill even the sparsest of lashes.
However, if a $50 mascara just isn't in the cards, fear not. This newish formula from L'Oréal is practically one-fifth the price of the former and sacrifices little in the expectations department. Editorial Director Faith Xue actually wrote an ode to the non-waterproof formula, but honestly, this iteration is just as good. The unique brush design features over 200 bristles, and a soft, wavy construction ensures that no lash goes uncoated.
Senior Editor Hallie Gould has expressed her love for Monsieur Big many a time for Byrdie, and this luxurious waterproof version provides the same, ultra-max punch of volume, drama, separation, and length. If you love a large, satisfyingly dense brush and bold, voluptuous results to follow, you've met your waterproof mascara match. Plus, the effect will wear on for a full 24 hours with not a flake in sight.
Only the best waterproof mascara formulas would have the gumption to suggest performing a cannonball immediately upon application. Thus, here we are. And frankly, known and loved for its play-hard formula strategy, we wouldn't expect any less from Urban Decay. Boasting a high-tech yet lightweight gel-based formula, this exclusive Japanese formula encourages a mesmerizing, feathery gaze, enviable length, and volume to the max. The brand says it best: "Mermaids can now sing their siren songs with abandon, and high-maintenance types can cry all they want." Noted.
If achieving incomparable curl and hold is your typical M.O. where your mascara game is concerned, meet Dior's Diorshow Iconic Mascara ($30). No, it's not quite as famous as the original, cult-favorite Diorshow formula. But to be completely transparent, we love this one so much more. Designed by the brand for red carpet events, fashion shows and uncontrollable crying jags (okay that last one we're just surmising), this best-selling formula gifts lashes with long-wearing curl, volume, and length for a full 24 hours—no smudging or budging allowed.
And there you have it! 11 of the only (and the best) waterproof mascara formulas Byrdie editors trust their precious lashes to when sweat or waterworks threaten.