I don't think it's dramatic to say that we take our mascaras very seriously here. We have our absolute favorites, we're always testing new ones, and we're continually on the hunt for tubes that are specially made for specific purposes (like sensitive eyes). And for good reason: Mascaras can really finish your entire makeup look. They'll make your eyes pop, your face look more awake (especially when you're running on minimal sleep), and you can get by with just them and no other makeup on.
There are so many mascaras out there that promise a lot of different things—volumize, lift, lengthen, etc. And then you've got the waterproof versions that are supposed to withstand not only heavy tears but watery eyes from allergies, sweat, and weather (like rain).
Waterproof mascaras are ideal if you need something that lasts the whole day and, of course, if you're expecting tears or a smudgy, raccoon-eyes situation. The best ones offer a level of protection so you don't have to worry about your makeup being messed up throughout the day. And the good news is that there are a lot of great waterproof mascaras out there, especially of the affordable, drugstore variety. We did our research to find the best drugstore mascaras, based on reviews. Take a look at what we found below.
L'Oréal's Lash Paradise mascara comes highly recommended on Amazon with over 11,000 ratings and four stars. It volumizes and lengthens, all with one coat. One Amazon customer gave a rave review with one caveat: "This has quickly become my absolute favorite mascara. Lashes look so lush and beautiful, but not fake overly done. The formula feels so light, almost like it's whipped. It doesn't run at all throughout the day and washes off very easily. My only complaint is that it seems like it dries out quicker than other mascaras I've used."
The brush that comes with this mascara has 10 layers of bristles to give you even more coverage on every lash. Just a note that some reviewers say it takes a little bit of practice to use at first. It comes in two shades: Very Black and Brownish Black. One Amazon reviewer said, "I naturally have eyelashes that go straight down. There is absolutely no curl to them whatsoever (the complete opposite actually) and I feel like eyelash curlers have also been culprit to my lash loss. This mascara is exactly what I was looking for. I have lost a lot of volume in my lashes over the years because I was using really intense mascaras that would not come off without having to scrub hard and lose a lot of hair in the process. This mascara stays on ALL day and makes a huge difference in how full my lashes look. It removes easily with makeup wipes and does not flake throughout the day."
Covergirl's Lash Blast is one of my personal favorites. It lifts and volumizes my lashes so it actually looks like I have some, and I rarely get the dreaded clumping when I use this one. One Amazon reviewer wrote, "I've been using this product for years now and it is hands down the best mascara that exists. It stays on all day and never needs to be re-applied... The mascara NEVER, and I mean NEVER, gets clumpy. The brush separates my lashes and evenly coats each one to make them look FULL and long. I also use the waterproof one when needed and it never comes off when swimming and works just as well to coat each lash."
Labeled an Amazon's Choice product, Rimmel's waterproof mascara contains collagen and keratin for volumizing power. And the brush is designed to be big so it can get to every lash. One reviewer said, "Love this mascara! Coverage is great, two coats gives you gorgeous lashes. I have gotten so many compliments since I started using this mascara, and it is half the price of my old mascara!"
This mascara is formulated with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and keratin, so it not only defines your lashes, but it also leaves them strong and hydrated. One Amazon customer said, "I have always had short, thin eyelashes, so mascara is a must for me when going out. Because I have oily skin, I like a waterproof mascara because it tends to stay put. This mascara is really, really waterproof. As in, you will need an eye makeup remover to take it off at night. It will not come off with just soap and water. It does coat my lashes very well to make them look thicker and gives me additional length. I also like that my lashes look a little glossy when using this mascara."
Talk about oomph. This mascara is supposed to make your lashes look four times fuller. With over 11,000 ratings and 4.5 stars on Amazon, we actually believe that claim. The formula also contains D-Panthenol and Ceramide-R to protect and condition your lashes. One reviewer said, "This is a great mascara. It goes on smoothly, no clumps, and stays all day. I don't have to worry about smudges or smears beneath the eyes. This is truly a waterproof mascara. I can go swimming, or take a bath, and it still looks fabulous! It comes off easily when I want it to."
This one is another Amazon's Choice with 4.5 stars. Revlon's waterproof mascara contains carnauba wax, which is supposed to give some extra volume without clumps. One review reads, "The mascara goes on smoothly with little or no clumping. It is long lasting and doesn't flake on my face—a big problem for me. I'm not ending up with black undereyes from my mascara at the end of the day. It does not irritate my sensitive eyes."
Nyx's mascara comes with a tapered brush to get even the smallest lashes. The formula is phthalate-free and leaves a soft and feathery look. One Target reviewer wrote, "Love this mascara. I have thin lashes so this helps hold a curl and bring a little more life back to my eyes."
Maybelline's The Colossal mascara has over 4000 ratings and four stars on Amazon. It contains collagen to plump lashes, while the brush has wavy bristles to coat and define lashes. One reviewer confirmed that it is indeed waterproof: "Bought this for a vacation to Mexico. Was perfect for being in the pool/ocean. It stayed on great! Almost too great.. really had to scrub at my eyes to get it off at night, but I'm fine with that if it means I don't have runny mascara raccoon eyes all day!"
This mascara lengthens and defines and also nourishes your lashes with keratin as an ingredient. One Amazon reviewer said, "This is one of the best mascaras I have tried. I love the non-irritating formula; good for contact lens wearers and sensitive eyes. It is not flaky or overly cakey either, just beautiful color and lash separation."
This mascara's brush is curled to lift and coat your lashes from root to tip. One Amazon customer said, "I was surprised how good that skinny brush worked when I first tried this mascara. It easily gets under the lashes to give them a lift and makes them look longer."
This waterproof mascara is both vegan and cruelty-free, and it lengthens, volumizes, and prevents clumps. One Target reviewer said, "I've purchased so many mascaras, at all price ranges, but found myself reaching for this one. The smaller brush gives me more control in applying. Don't end up with product on the sides of my face. Gives a natural appearance. Doesn't clump or flake for me."
Wet n Wild's mascara contains vitamin E to moisturize and protect lashes while defining and lengthening. It's also cruelty-, gluten-, and sulfate-free. One Target customer wrote, "It actually has buildable, defined, volume more than anything else. Very malleable formula so I can adjust the curl on my lashes if needed. The standard rubber like brush makes it easy to reach tiny lashes or the very tips. Smudges a bit but I haven’t found a single mascara that doesn't."