The *Only* Waterproof Mascaras Worth Buying That Are All $14 or Less


(Image credit: @joannacoops)

We could talk about mascara for hours on end, dissecting the different formulas and brushes and debating which ones are actually the best of the best. (FYI: We kind of already did.) Still, different situations will call for different mascaras. For example, if you're going to the office or brunch and want a soft, natural look, a lengthening mascara is probably best. On the other hand, if you're going to dinner or meeting friends for drinks and want a sultry, defined look, a volumizing mascara is the one for you. Let's say you're going to the beach or pool and just want to avoid the smudging and flaking that comes with excessive summer heat. In that case, it's a waterproof mascara that you want. 

Speaking of waterproof mascara, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get one. In fact, some of the best formulas are found at the drugstore. Don't believe us? Keep scrolling!


(Image credit: @claire_most)

What to Look For in a Waterproof Mascara

When it comes to choosing the right waterproof mascara, makeup artist Andrea DiSabatino says to start by inspecting the mascara label. "When selecting a waterproof mascara, make sure it's clearly marked as 'waterproof' to resist moisture, tears, and smudging," she says. "Look for the 'long-lasting' label to ensure it stays fresh throughout the day. Smudge-proof is essential to prevent raccoon eyes, especially in humid or wet conditions." 

Aside from the label, DiSabatino says it's time to consider the wand. "Your applicator wand is a personal choice, but it should offer easy and precise application to coat each lash evenly," she says. "Consider additional lash benefits like volume, length, or curling, depending on your preferences. Don't forget to check for any ingredients that might cause irritation, especially if you have sensitive eyes; opt for hypoallergenic options to reduce the risk of a reaction." 

And don't think that just because it comes from the drugstore, it won't be as effective as other, more expensive formulas. "Don't underestimate the power of drugstore mascaras," DiSabatino says. "Even professionals, myself included, vouch for them!"

Best Overall: Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Waterproof Mascara

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.