Waterproof mascaras aren't just for those days when you find yourself crying your eyes out but don't want raccoon eyes. They can do so much more work in making sure your makeup looks good throughout the day. On those hot summer days when you feel like you're drowning in a pool of sweat, at least your lashes will still look good. Or during allergy season when you're sniffling and have those watery, red eyes—well, at least you don't have to worry about any smudging there.
Bottom line: With a waterproof mascara, you'll be ready for anything. And because we can't really predict the future, just being prepared makeup-wise is one nice thing to check off your list, even if it may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things.
The only hitch is that there are A LOT of waterproof formulas out there. And some don't really work as they say they do. Some mascaras will dry those lashes out or require a vat of makeup remover to get off at the end of the day or just smudge at the tiniest tear. To help in your quest to find the best one, we've rounded up a list of our favorites and the best-reviewed ones out there:
Build on this formula, whether you want a lighter, more natural look or a heavy, dramatic one. The mascara will keep your lashes curled and defined for the whole day.
What the reviews say: "Hands down the BEST water/cry/smudge-proof mascara on the market! Been a fan for 10-plus years! I wake-surf and wakeboard a couple times a week and my mascara NEVER runs, smears, or smudges through an entire day on the lake and in the water. If you are looking for something that stays put, you have found your new mascara!"
Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara is a cult favorite, and its waterproof version isn't a letdown, either. The volumizing formula contains collagen and is an intense black. Two coats will leave you with curled, dramatic lashes.
What the reviews say: "My favorite mascara! Love it, but it is hard to take off your lashes. It is really lengthening and not as clunky as you would think. Yes it is actually waterproof. I wore it all day at the beach, swimming in the ocean, and in the pool."
L'Oréal's Lash Paradise is on our list of best drugstore waterproof mascaras, too. It will volumize and lengthen your lashes while holding up for the whole day.
What the reviews say: "This L'Oréal mascara is hands down the best one I've EVER owned and I will never try another so long as they keep making this one! No clumps, makes them full with one application, and doesn't flake even in the 90-degree heat today after I sweat my butt off running around after my niece and nephew."
Another one on our drugstore list, Maybelline's Lash Sensational has a brush with 10 layers of bristles to make sure every part of your eyelash is coated. Your lashes will look so long after applying.
What the reviews say: "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."
The waterproof version of this cult-favorite mascara doesn't disappoint. It lengthens, thickens, and curls. And it comes in three colors: black, blue, and brown.
What the reviews say: "This is the only mascara I use! I use it with a lash primer. It makes my lashes gigantic, it's buildable, and it lasts ALL day. Love it."
Finding a natural waterproof mascara is a tough task, but this volumizing one from Ere Perez is a best seller. It's formulated with essential oils and avocado oil to nourish and encourage growth.
What the reviews say: "I loved this mascara so so much! It just glides on your eyelashes and does not run when your lashes get wet. It is also small enough to slip into any container and take on the go."
For super-intense lashes, look no further than Giorgio Armani's mascara. The formula goes on lightweight while leaving your lashes super long and plumped.
What the reviews say: "LOVE THIS mascara!! I have really dry eyes so I have to constantly apply drops, and with this I do not look like a racoon."
Covergirl's Lash Blast mascara is already a go-to for many, and its waterproof formula comes highly rated too. Use it to pump up the volume on your lashes while ensuring it doesn't leave any annoying smudges throughout the day.
What the reviews say: "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."
If you have sensitive eyes, you don't have to worry about any irritation when applying this mascara. It's fragrance- and paraben-free. And it also contains jojoba oil and ceramides to nourish lashes.
What the reviews say: "I really like this mascara, because I have watery, allergy-prone eyes, and it is truly waterproof. Another thing is that I have sparse short eyelashes, especially the bottom lashes. I would have to get two different mascaras—one to lengthen and volumize the top lashes, and one with short bristles for the short, sparse bottom lashes. This brush is perfect for both lashes."
The four-in-one mascara does A LOT: lengthens, curls, volumizes, and conditions your lashes. It doesn't contain parabens, phthalates, or mineral oil.
What the reviews say: "This mascara is amazing!! I've been through a rough couple of months, but you can never tell when I accidentally cry because this stuff is the bomb! It takes a little bit to come off with micellar water, but I use the Drunk Elephant makeup removing balm and it comes off like a charm!"
Use this mascara to plump your lashes, without worrying about the formula drying them out. It contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and keratin to strengthen and hydrate your lashes.
The weightless mascara has a brush with flexible silicone brushes to fully coat every lash for a dramatic and defined look. The smudge-proof product works all day long.
What the reviews say: "This mascara is really excellent. It's very black, lengthens, and holds a curl. Plus it's waterproof. I always have to use a volumizing mascara (even non-waterproof) over whatever lengthening, waterproof mascara I use but I didn't with this one. Love how my lashes look—I can actually see them."
Another cult favorite, Lancôme's Monsieur Big gives you 12 times the volume and stays put for 24 hours. The gel formula is easy to apply and doesn't clump.
What the reviews say: "Excellent. After years of wearing extensions this was the only mascara that compares and gives you a similar look. It gives you full, dramatic dark black lashes similar to extensions, love!"
One single swipe will leave you with thick and long lashes. The brush makes it easy to apply the mascara smoothly and evenly so you won't experience any clumping or flaking.
What the reviews say: "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 too."
Not only does this mascara lengthen, curl, and separate, but it also contains vitamin B5 to promote healthy, hydrated lashes. It's recommended to wear this with a mascara primer.
What the reviews say: "This is one of the very few mascaras that works for me. I have long, dark lashes yet straight. I always have to use a curler but WOW I was surprised! It kept my lashes curled and beautiful all day."
By Terry's waterproof mascara contains carbon micro-pigments to enhance your lash color without drying. The formula boosts volume but doesn't clump or flake.
What the reviews say: "I have medium-length lashes that are stubbornly straight and my mascara always ends up smudging under my eye, even though I curl my lashes and use waterproof mascara. I've been using this mascara for about two months and it doesn't smudge very much. It's a very good mascara for the office or a more 'natural' look, but if you're looking for dramatic lashes, this isn't it."
This mascara's brush has wavy bristles to cradle and coat lashes. The formula also contains collagen to plump up your lashes even more.
What the reviews say: "This is a good waterproof mascara with full coverage of the lashes. The wand picks up every lash and makes the lashes look fuller. It doesn't, however, give the great length you might be looking for, but does give enough length for beautiful lashes. You must be careful to not let mascara dry if you plan on building up the volume and length. Once it dries it stays put even through the night. Very little flaking if any."
Nyx's mascara is buildable and easy to wear. The tapered brush makes reaching the smallest lashes foolproof.
What the reviews say: "This mascara is actually a pretty good drugstore find. It seems to volumize and lengthen my lashes, making them look fuller and wispy. I did not find that it smudged or flaked off through out the day which is nice. The packaging is really smooth and sleek. I'd highly recommend this mascara to anyone!"
You can wear this mascara for up to 10 hours and not worry about smudges or raccoon eyes. The formula contains three high-volume fibers and lash-advancing vitamin complex to keep them healthy.
What the reviews say: "I LOVE it. It gives me long, separated, beautiful lashes. It unfortunately got a cry test, and it was waterproof as can be. I get no smudging or flaking like some reviews have stated. I'm a convert."
With an ultra-skinny wand, this mascara lets you really get the root of your lashes for a super-full effect. It leaves you with a dramatic lash line and up to 12 hours of continuous wear.
What the reviews say: "When I picked this up at the I didn't realize the difference in the brush and that this product has multiple uses. I was skeptical it could be useful with such a tiny brush, but it actually does coat my lashes well, and so far no clumping or lashes sticking together. This also helps my mascara go on smooth and gives me great big gorgeous lashes. Like I said, not what I expected, but I'm happy with it!"