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We Tried 5 Waterproof Mascaras, Here’s What Passed the Smudge Test

waterproof mascaras I Dermstore Blog

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to swap out heavy formulas for melt-resistant staples, like a waterproof mascara that will take you from the office to your favorite pilates class. While many mascaras boast the ability to withstand the elements, only a few truly live up to that claim. To see which water-resistant formula reigns supreme, we asked five participants from the office try one of our top-selling waterproof mascaras for one week. From late-night dips in the pool to a Saturday-night disco, follow along to see which products didn’t leave us with racoon eyes.

  1. 1. BY TERRY Mascara Terrybly Waterproof
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    1. BY TERRY Mascara Terrybly Waterproof

    Reviewed By: Joann R., Copywriter
    First Impression: The first thing I noticed was how nice and luxe the packaging is. The bristles are close together so it’s easy to grab every lash. Typically, I lean toward thinner application heads with hard bristles. This one is the complete opposite of what I’m used to with its fatter application head and fluffier bristles, but it did the job! I also never use waterproof mascaras because I assume they come with a drier formula, but I didn’t experience that with this one.
    Results After One Week: I tried it multiple ways—over falsies as well as on bare lashes—and had it on from day to night. I didn’t notice any transfer when I used it over falsies but I did notice it transferred to my lid when I applied over my natural lashes. I think the reason why the mascara transferred when I applied it over natural lashes is because I didn’t have any eyeshadow on, so my lids were a bit oily. With that being said, the product definitely has long-lasting wear, which I appreciated.
    The Verdict: I would use this again as an “emergency” mascara, in case I don’t have one within reach. But since I like more “drama” to my lashes, this will not be my go-to. On the other hand, I would definitely recommend it to my no-makeup makeup girlfriends or my mom. It’s a great mascara if you want to achieve a more natural look.

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  2. 2. theBalm Scuba™ WaterResistant Black Mascara

    Reviewed By: Mel F., Graphic Designer
    First Impression: The bristles are shorter than the other mascaras I’ve used, which I was initially concerned about because I always thought that you get voluminous lashes by using a big fluffy brush with long bristles. But once I swiped it on, all my concerns went away. The consistency is great—smooth and does not clump (which is my biggest pet peeve with mascara).
    Results After One Week: I applied this once in the morning and that was it. It stayed on through normal daily activities, working out at the gym, swimming laps and a flood of tears. I accidentally slept with it on one night and it still looked fine the next day—with very minimal flaking.
    The Verdict: I’m pretty sure this is my new favorite mascara! It goes on very nicely and really makes your lashes look healthy and thick. It never smudged or gave me racoon eyes and the packaging is super cute. I would definitely encourage everyone to try it out!

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  3. 3. Tarte Cosmetics Lights, Camera, Splashes™ Waterproof Mascara
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    3. Tarte Cosmetics Lights, Camera, Splashes™ Waterproof Mascara

    Reviewed By: Annie R., Beauty Editor
    First Impression: As soon as I opened the mascara I noticed that the formula is on the thicker side. The wand picks up a generous amount of product so I recommend scraping some of it off against the tube before applying to avoid clumping. Upon application, I immediately noticed how much longer my lashes looked. I also noticed a slight curl to my normally straight lashes. Definitely an added bonus!
    Results After One Week: I applied this in the morning without a single touch-up. Because the formula is a bit thick, I wouldn’t use this more than once or you might end up with caterpillar-like lashes. Midday, I noticed a tiny bit of smudging under my eyes but I wear multiple layers of a highly pigmented eyeshadow so I’m pretty sure it’s just excess residue. Outside of that, this product really is waterproof considering I didn’t notice any signs of racoon eyes after going to the gym or waiting in line at the DMV on a hot day.
    The Verdict: If you’re looking for a mascara that’s actually waterproof, this product is right up your alley. Because of the medium-to-thick consistency, it will add some noticeable drama to your natural lashes. I have very moist eyes so I’m constantly on the hunt for a waterproof mascara—the search is now over!

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  4. 4. d.j.v. MIARAY Fiberwig Mascara

    Reviewed By: Sophia A., Social Media Coordinator
    First Impression: The thing that stood out to me from the beginning was the curved application head and the defined bristles. Upon closer inspection, I knew that each lash would get the proper attention it deserves with this product.
    Results After One Week: This mascara definitely helped to enhance the look of my natural lashes. It didn’t clump my lashes or make them feel heavy, but rather they appeared longer and fuller. I’m happy to report that the formula doesn’t flake or smudge throughout the day. I was surprised to see that it held up nicely during sweaty moments (i.e. pilates class and a Saturday-night disco).
    The Verdict: I can see myself using this product for daytime purposes, mainly because it gives a natural no-makeup makeup look, doesn’t flake or smudge and can handle my periodic workouts. However, for night time, I prefer a little more oomph. Everyone should have a different day and night mascara and this should be in that daytime repertoire considering it’s long-wearing, easy to apply and sweat-resistant.

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  5. 5. Glo Skin Beauty Water Resistant Mascara
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    5. Glo Skin Beauty Water Resistant Mascara

    Reviewed By: Helen K., Affiliate Marketing Manager
    First Impression: The mascara looked kind of clumpy on the brush when I first opened it, but luckily it applied very nicely and easily. My lashes are on the short side so immediately I noticed that they looked a bit longer after applying.
    Results After One Week: As a mom of a very energetic toddler, I’m always grateful for makeup that’s long-wearing. With my busy work schedule and evenings spent running after a small child, I don’t always have time to fix or re-apply my makeup. With that being said, I was thrilled to see that this mascara held up pretty well throughout the day. I didn’t notice any flaking or black smudging under my eyes so that was a major plus for me.
    The Verdict: With this mascara, you’re getting a very good product at a fair price. I would definitely continue to use it and even recommend it to my fellow mommy friends. Also, if you’re on the hunt for a cruelty-free option, this is a great product to try!

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Senior Editor at Dermstore

Annie Ryu

Annie is a Senior Editor at Dermstore. When she’s not writing about the latest breakthroughs in skin care or interviewing industry experts on their best beauty tips, she likes to indulge in good coffee and bad reality TV.