There comes a moment in every girl’s life (or, rather, every mascara-wearing person’s life) where she finds herself sporting some eyelash-coating goo well below her lash line, and, moreover, finds herself looking like a raccoon. Blame it on a tear-inducing event (hashtag wedding season), a generally fragile temperament (we don’t judge, you do what you need to), or a quick plunge in a body of water, but the fact remains that rocking an unintentional smoky/drippy eye is plain embarrassing. These are the moments waterproof mascaras were made for, but who has the time to figure out which of them work? And then, which you can actually take off without resorting to power-scrubbing? Well, I do.
So, to the bathroom sink I went to very scientifically test 10 of these so-called "waterproof" mascaras. Step 1: Application. Step 2: Splash water on my face. Step 3: Gently rub my eyes and wipe away excess moisture. Step 4: Take selfie. The winning formulas below:
Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara passes my makeshift test with flying colors. After a few splashes of water and a couple of good old-fashioned eye rubs, Buxom held onto my lashes and not my under-eye circles. Success! And, just as importantly, the long and wide plastic bristle brush fights against clumps and provides a smooth, extra-black coating to my naturally light lashes.
Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara also earns a winning grade. While this mascara has the challenge (or perhaps, benefit?) of going up against its bestselling, non-waterproof sister-version, it stands up. Featuring Chanel's innovative plastic spiked applicator and silky formula, this mascara goes on smoothly to get you one step closer to optimum lash-batting glory, which lasts even post-pool.
L’Oréal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara is a surprising winner. Again passing my scientifically certified, 100%-guaranteed-accuracy test, L’Oréal's is an economic option that doesn't sacrifice quality. Employing a traditional soft bristle brush, the thicker formula (and slightly less ultra-black) means a moderately fuller coat on my god-given barely-there lashes.
YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils Waterproof Mascara is yet another waterproof option worthy of its name. It creates a delicate effect via its narrow, spiraled applicator—not too thick on your now clump-free, longer, darker, and fuller lashes—and really does last all day.
bareMinerals Lock & Coated Waterproof Lash Topcoat does not hold up to its comrades in waterproof-ness, but I chalk up its failings to insufficient wait time. Unlike the rest of the bunch, bareMinerals' is a waterproofing topcoat for those of you who can't bare to abandon your new favorite Alber Elbaz Lancôme Show mascaras but are dying to get wet. I splashed myself only a few seconds after application and things got a little runny, so I recommend applying a good five minutes before the waterworks begin in order to harness its true potential.
In conclusion, waterproof mascaras may have their drawbacks—they tend to clump easier, spoil quicker, and are prone to flakes—but they certainly come in handy. And make for interesting bathroom-mirror selfies.
P.S. Your Cle de Peau (the greatest under-eye concealer in all the land) is not waterproof. I would recommend trying another concealer if you’re concerned about revealing dark circles and streaking, beige-ish lines around your eyes. But which one? Suggestions? As always, we're eager to hear your ideas on how to moisture-proof your makeup.
Selfies by Elizabeth Brockway.