The Best Waterproof Mascaras That Will Last Through Your Sweatiest Workouts

Celebrity makeup artists and makeup lovers alike share their favorite budge-proof formulas at every price point.

closeup of eye wearing mascara
Photo: Photo by Aleksandra Rupar on Unsplash

There are few makeup products as transformative as mascara. Wearing a couple of coats of a volumizing or lengthening formula has a way of taking your makeup or bare face to the next level. That's why it's understandable if you want to wear this coveted product while working out. Compare it to a new matching workout set — when you look good, you feel good, right? Sometimes you want a little confidence boost before going on an outdoor hike or hitting a spin class.

The good news is, unlike complexion products which dermatologists say are a no-no if you're trying to avoid potential sweaty breakouts, mascara doesn't directly touch your skin, making it an exception to the no-makeup-while-working-out rule. That said, if you want your mascara to last no matter what activity you're doing, your best bet is to opt for a waterproof formula. Waterproof mascaras are budge-proof formulas made to survive your most sweaty workouts, the hottest of summer days, and, well you know, water.

So, the next time you're thinking about doing a few laps in a pool or an intense HIIT workout, opt for a waterproof formula that won't leave you with dark under-eyes that resemble a raccoon afterward. Ahead, check out the best waterproof mascaras that will give you the most beautiful lashes and stay put no matter what the occasion or activity.

How Do Waterproof Mascaras Work?

Waterproof mascaras are all about the ingredients used, says Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist and founder of Beauty Stat. "Waterproof mascaras differ from traditional mascaras in that they are formulated to resist humidity, rain, [sweat], or even tears," he says. "They typically contain waxes or polymers that help them stay put." The waxes and polymers (aka a long chain of molecules) used in waterproof mascaras are intended to coat the lashes and repel water, sweat, or humidity, according to Robinson.

"When looking for a waterproof mascara, I always look for waxes [as] these protect the lashes from sweat, tears, and water," affirms Keita Moore, a celebrity makeup artist. Common waxes used in waterproof formulas to look for are beeswax or carnauba wax, while popular polymers are Vp/Eicosene Copolymer, says Robinson.

Best Waterproof Mascaras to Try:

01 of 10

Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara


What You'll Love: Looking for a waterproof mascara that does it all? Try the Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara, which lengthens, curls, volumizes, and conditions your lashes due to the inclusion of carnauba wax, an emollient ingredient that softens the lashes and ensures a smooth application. The innovative brush features both short and long bristles that help coat and lift every single lash with ease.

Customers Say: "This is the only mascara that works for my straight lashes. Looks beautiful and long-lasting," wrote one reviewer. Another noted, "This has been my go-to waterproof mascara for the last six years, and I have no reason to change. It stays put, it doesn't have any irritating ingredients that burn your eyes, and it lengthens and highlights your natural eyelashes nicely."

02 of 10

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

Too Faced

What You'll Love: If you're someone who puts on mascara in the morning in hopes of getting defined, curled lashes all day long but finds your lashes pin-straight by noon, then the Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara is the answer to your problems. "I love the formula of this mascara, but I'm most impressed with its hourglass-shaped brush that allows you to shape and curl your lashes," says Billie Gene, a celebrity makeup artist. The brush paired with the formula that includes water-resistant polymers allows you to create definition around your eyes that lasts all day long.

Customers Say: "Great long-wear formula!" wrote one reviewer.

03 of 10

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara

What You'll Love: The Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara is made to deliver lashes that are curled to perfection thanks to its unique curved brush. This best waterproof mascara also offers the "perfect amount of drama to lashes [that] will not budge," says Jonet Williamson, a professional makeup artist.

Customers Say: "I was hesitant to spend this much on a mascara, but it does better at keeping my lashes curled than other curling mascaras I've tried," said a reviewer.

04 of 10

Grande Cosmetics GrandeMASCARA Waterproof Conditioning Peptide Mascara

Grande Cosmetics

What You'll Love: Admittedly, some waterproof mascara formulas can leave your lashes feeling sticky or dried out. When shopping for the best waterproof mascara, the key is to look for one that lasts but also does good things for your lashes to protect against potential damage. "You want to always make sure it's conditioning [for] your lashes and not damaging," says Gene. Enter: the Grande Cosmetics GrandeMASCARA Waterproof Conditioning Peptide Mascara, which is like a skin-care product for your lashes. It's formulated with peptides and vitamin E to condition, strengthen, prevent breakage, and offer healthy-looking lashes that stay defined for a day's worth of activities.

Customers Say: "This mascara adds a lot of volume to your lashes with just one application. The color is true and goes on smooth. This mascara comes off easily with micellar water or any makeup remover," said one reviewer. "A true waterproof mascara. Long-lasting. Doesn't dry lashes. Also great for lengthening and thickening lashes," said another.

05 of 10

L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara

L'Oréal Paris

What You'll Love: You can't go wrong with a waterproof mascara that will last through sweat, rain, and (hopefully happy) tears and is wallet-friendly. "I love the L'Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara because it creates such fluffy, voluminous, and long lashes," says Alexis Oakley, a celebrity makeup artist. "A little goes a long way with this product as well."

This best waterproof mascara also doesn't clump or flake, according to Dominique Lerma, a professional makeup artist. "I am obsessed! I am currently on tube number three of this formula, [which is] when I know I have a good thing going here and that price point is the icing on the cake."

Customers Say: "It glides smoothly. It stays. It makes my short and straight (down) eyelashes look like a million bucks! This is indeed my one and only," said one reviewer. Another confirmed its greatness, saying, "I've ran out of how many times I've purchased this! This is my favorite mascara. I like to get the Blackest Black or the Black Brown color in Waterproof. It will last you longer than you would even like. Great stuff."

06 of 10

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara


What You'll Love: If you're on TikTok, chances are you know about the Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara. When the traditional version launched it broke the internet and now one search of the hashtag #skyhighmascara offers more than 542 million views. Luckily, the famous formula is now available in a waterproof option that offers the same incredible results that lasts. This mascara is lightweight and offers insane length without making your lashes look clumped together.

Customers Say: "I got a sample of this mascara and was pleasantly surprised! It was easy to apply, has a great brush, wasn't clumpy, stayed on without smudging or flaking, and was easy to remove with makeup remover. I've used many different mascaras over the years and this one is a keeper!," wrote one reviewer.

07 of 10

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Waterproof Mascara


What You'll Love: Available for $5, the Essence Lash Princess False Lash Waterproof Mascara is an absolute steal. It has over 30 thousand five-star reviews on Amazon for its ability to replace your eye lash curler and make your natural lashes look like a pair of falsies.

Customers Say: "This is amazing!!! It makes my lashes so long and beautiful! I don't even have to use my eyelash curler!!!" wrote one reviewer, while another said, "I've been using the same mascara for about 10 years, but this has replaced it!"

08 of 10

Lancôme Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Waterproof Mascara


What You'll Love: If you aren't into dramatic-looking lashes, but want a formula that'll a long-lasting lift and subtly curl your lashes , then the Lancôme Lash Idôle Lash-Lifting & Volumizing Waterproof Mascara is it. Whether you're headed to the gym or the grocery store and need a little boost, it's the perfect lightweight topper for any no-makeup makeup look. It effortlessly glides onto your lashes without smudging or clumping.

Customers Say: "After only a few swipes my lashes are separated, long and hold a curl all day. Plus it doesn't clump at all. I got this during the sale for half price so it was definitely worth the price for me, I wish I bought 2! I recommended it to 2 friends and they both bought it and fell in love too!" said one reviewer.

09 of 10

NUDESTIX Vegan Splashproof Mascara


What You'll Love: Those with sensitive eyes know the struggles of finding eye makeup that doesn't cause irritation. When shopping for a waterproof mascara, make sure you're keeping an eye (pun intended) out for formulas with non-irritating ingredients. The NUDESTIX Vegan Splashproof Mascara is vegan, gluten-free, and crafted without potentially irritating parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. It also comes in recyclable packaging for an added environmental bonus. As for what is in the tube? Plant oils, such as argan and mango seed oils, to moisturize and strengthen lashes.

Customers Say: "I have really been enjoying this! It doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes. It holds a curl well," wrote one reviewer. "This is one of the best waterproof mascaras I have tried. I am very picky with mascara and this one does everything I want a mascara to do and is waterproof too!" said another.

10 of 10

Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara


What You'll Love: In the world of best waterproof mascaras, Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara is a classic. If your #lashgoals include volume, this formula is a go-to pick, says Lerma. "I have fallen in love with the hefty brush size along with the product. The results are feathery and ultra-voluminous lashes that look beautiful and stay put for 24-hour wear."

Customers Say: "This stuff is super waterproof. My eyeliner might run, my eyeshadow might fade, but this mascara soldiers on," said one reviewer.

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