There’s nothing worse than spending a day on the water or in the sun only to have your mascara run and smudge. And, we’ve learned the hard way that not all waterproof mascaras do what they say they will. Luckily, our editors have tried them all. These are the best waterproof mascaras that actually survive brutal summer days.
“I adore Benefit’s original BADgal BANG! Volumizing Mascara. When it was time to switch over to waterproof this summer, I knew what I had to do. I recently moved to the beach, so now I never know when I may decide to take a dip in the sea, whether it’s during a beach day or after getting drinks nearby, so I need a mascara that is along for the whole ride. The formula boosts volume big time and was shown to provide up to 36 hours of waterproof wear.”
—Allie Hogan, associate beauty editor
“Waterproof mascara isn’t a daily essential for me, but I love having one in my makeup bag for those times when it’s necessary, like a wedding (I always cry during vows) or pool day. This new one from Milk Makeup is the waterproof version of its best-selling RISE Mascara that won our 2023 NewBeauty Award for Best Lash-Lift Mascara. It stays put through tears and pool splashes from my toddler but doesn’t turn my lashes into a brittle mess. It’s also not impossible to remove when it’s time to take it off (like so many waterproof mascaras are).”
—Brittany Burhop Fallon, director of beauty
“This brand-new mascara lasted through days of jet skiing, swimming and lots of sweating at the lake with not a smear in sight. The best part: Removing it didn’t require any tugging or magic acts, either.”
–Danielle Fontana Dooley, associate director, digital content
“My mascara pet peeve is a formula that travels down to my under-eye area within hours of use. One minute I’m lashing it up and the next minute I’m giving raccoon eyes. Lancome’s Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara doesn’t budge on humid days, pool and beach days and Netflix binges. It makes my lashes a lot thicker, so it’s best for when you want a dramatic, high-impact lash look.”
—Tatiana Bido, features editor
“I haven’t laid out on the beach in forever, but my parents do have a pool that’s tested many a products in its day (don’t tell my dad that might have contributed to the filter breaking last summer). Two standbys: Diorshow and Too Faced—both of which I religiously buy at Sephora to make sure I always have a second in stock.
I only recently started using the essence line and what they are making for under $5 is, in a word, amazing. Their mascaras have been standing up to the July New York City heat and humidity, so I think it’s safe to say they’re solid.
—Liz Ritter, executive editor
“I love all things Rare Beauty, but I was genuinely shocked by how durable the Perfect Strokes Universal Volumizing Mascara is. Not only does it make your lashes look incredible–and clump free–I’ve worn this product to the beach, to workouts, and it never budges.”
—Isabelle Bueno, editorial assistant
“I have short and very straight eyelashes, so even when I curl them, I have a hard time getting mascara to look like anything at all. I really like the Bambi Eye because it gives you that lift and volume, but it also separates the lashes and gives them the kind of definition I really need. You look like you have mascara on, for sure, but that really benefits someone who doesn’t have much lash to begin with.
—Rowan Lynam, staff writer