This Waterproof Mascara Stays On Through Every Cry, Swim, and Sweat

It also got a glowing review from a firefighter who wears it for 48-hour shifts and someone who wore it through a wedding and a downpour.
By Rachel Dube
September 09, 2020

Although I consider waterproof mascara an essential (hey, if you haven't had mascara all over your face at some point, have you even lived?), it's nearly impossible to find a truly perfect option. Truthfully, I've tested way more waterproof mascaras than I want to admit, yet I always end up with the same results: either it smudges and I get total raccoon eyes, or it doesn't go anywhere but is nearly impossible to remove.

Luckily, after trying countless disappointing mascaras, I found the one that stays put through it all and doesn't take 10 steps to remove: Urban Decay's Perversion Waterproof Mascara (Buy It, $25, sephora.com)

When I first used Perversion, I was impressed with how shockingly well it stayed on. I wore it in the pool during a heatwave for more than four hours, and it didn't move an inch. Since that first use, I've cried, sweat, and swam in this mascara more times than I can count. Each time I end the day with zero smudges whatsoever. I put this waterproof mascara through the wringer, and the results never cease to amaze me.

Staying power aside, it's also just a solid mascara. Not only does the formula glide on super easily, but it also coats each lash evenly without getting clumpy or brittle (and without leaving any smudges on my eyelid, since it dries super fast). With two or three coats, the black pigment makes my brown lashes noticeably darker and adds enough definition and volume that I can skip eyeliner altogether. (Note: It only comes in black.) It also holds a curl super well (without even using an eyelash curler!) making my eyelashes look super full. (Related: Serena Williams Relies On This $7 Waterproof Eyeliner, No Matter How Hard She's Sweating)

The mascara doesn't just look good — it's good for your lashes, too. The formula contains proteins, amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and honey extract. Amino acids and honey help strengthen and condition lashes, while proteins help with the formation of keratin (a fibrous structural protein found in hair, nails, and of the outermost layers of the skin), which helps eyelashes stay strong. Together, this triple threat helps promote lash growth and keep lashes healthy.

Unlike other waterproof mascaras, removing this Urban Decay mascara is super easy. All I do is use the same cleansing balm used to remove my other makeup — Erborian's Solid Cleansing Oil (Buy It, $39, sephora.com) — water, and a gentle washcloth. In the past, I've had trouble removing other waterproof mascaras with this same balm without scrubbing aggressively. I can wipe Perversion off with this balm and minimal scrubbing, using only as much effort is necessary to remove the rest of my makeup.

I'm not the only one who feels this way about this mascara. Users on Sephora claim that Perversion is "hands down the best waterproof mascara" that they have tried. Users also say it, "holds the curl all day without using a primer" and "looks the same at the end of the day as it does when I first put it on." One reviewer on Ulta says she "wore this for the first time for [her] sister's wedding and it lasted through bright sun and sweat, as well as a torrential downpour." Another wrote that "as a firefighter, I had a hard time finding a mascara that wouldn't smear down my face. During a 48-hour shift I am running multiple calls where my mascara could smear down my face but it doesn't move. Even when I shower inverter's these calls my mascara is still there! This is the only mascara I will ever use." Come on — is it even possible to get better proof that this mascara stuff works?

If you've been on the hunt for the perfect mascara, your search ends here. I can guarantee that purchasing the Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Mascara will be one of your best beauty decisions ever. (And FWIW, if you're in the market for a non-waterproof mascara as well, I absolutely recommend its sister, the regular Urban Decay Perversion mascara.) While it might be a bit more pricey than a drugstore mascara, it lasted me around five months and way more uses than I can count — plus, not having to worry about dark and smudgy under eyes through all of life's adventures is totally worth the price, IMO.

Sephora