The Best Waterproof Mascaras for Every Budget | BuzzFeed Reviews
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The Best Waterproof Mascaras

We hope you love the products we recommend! We do a lot of research and testing before making our picks for the best thing to buy in each price point. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change. For more info on how we choose products and make money, go here

L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara

$6

  • A solid dupe for the mid-range favorites
  • Length, definition, and volume
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • The top of the drugstore-beauty heap
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Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara

$22

  • High-glam length and volume
  • Stays put through tears and humidity
  • Non-sticky, non-clumping
  • Ophthalmologist-tested, safe for contact users
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Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara

$23

  • Almost too waterproof
  • The length, volume, and curl trifecta
  • Won't flake or clump
  • Natural-looking
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While we appreciate the dramatic effect of a single smoky tear rolling down a cheek, for the most part, we prefer it if our mascara stays put. We rigorously (and sweatily) tested some of the top-rated waterproof mascaras out there to see which ones lent our lashes the best clump-free length, volume, curl — and, of course, water resistance.

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L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara

Starting from $6

The Details

size: 0.28 oz.

available in two colors

Fragrance-free

Ophthalmologist- and allergy-tested

What / Who It's Best For

  • Budget-conscious people
  • People with sparse lashes
  • Anyone with oily eyelids

Why We Love It

This category was a toughie. While there are plenty of legit drugstore beauty products out there, many of the highly rated “cult favorites” we tried were pretty disappointing. With a lot of the products we tested, the effect was basically like drawing on our eyelashes with a permanent marker. Sure, they were blacker, but that was about it. But not so with our pick for this price tier, L’Oreal Voluminous Lash!

L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara close-up of tip

Far be it from us to use the word “dupe” with any authority, but this stuff strikes us as a pretty good dupe for Buxom, our mid-range favorite. The brush and the effect are almost identical — though it does suffer a bit by comparison in its layerability and curling power (on the other hand, a fair number of reviews praised it for its layering prowess, so IDK!). It did do an undeniably great job separating, lengthening, and volumizing, and honestly, it looked pretty dang good with just one layer. This mascara definitely lives up to the “voluminous” in its title — nearly 400 Ulta reviewers praise its volume-adding abilities. So if you’re looking to pad out sparse lashes, look no further!

Reviewers also call it out as a solid dupe for our runner-up $$ pick, Too Faced’s wildly popular Better Than Sex, and some even gave the edge to L’Oreal for being less likely to clump and flake. Ulta reviewer pris writes, “The Better Than Sex has a brush that tends to clump product more this one [L’Oreal] — [which] has a great brush that separates and lengthens.” (We agree.)

L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara top view

Like our other two picks, the L’Oreal mascara stayed put all day. We didn’t go snorkeling in the stuff, but when it comes to everyday wear — even fairly swampy everyday wear — you’ll be golden. A number of reviewers have noted that it’s one of the few mascaras that can stand up to oily eyelids. It was medium-hard to remove; some reviewers recommend coconut oil, but any oil-based makeup remover should do the trick.

Perhaps our favorite thing about this mascara is that it costs less than $6! Think of all the mascara you can buy with the money you’ll save.

User Reviews

"I swiped on some of this mascara as soon as I got back to my car, just to see if it lived up to the hype. So far, so good, even if I looked a little kooky with mascara on one eye and bare lashes on the other. It felt like nothing on my lashes and didn't distract me the way some mascaras do, so I forgot it was there until a few hours later when I hopped in the shower. Oops — I ran my hands over my face and felt the mascara. I probably had an epic raccoon eye, right? Wrong. I got out of the shower and it was like nothing had happened. No running, smudging, or flaking. It only came off with makeup remover. They weren't kidding when they said this stuff is waterproof. So go ahead, cry your eyes out. This mascara won't judge you."
— Forgetful Fran From Ulta
"The best mascara I have ever tried for my straight and short lashes!!! I am seriously so glad I found this. It holds my curls super well. Makes my lashes look long, dramatic, and voluminous. I didn't think it was possible with my straight and short lashes. I pretty much do not get any fall-outs or smudges throughout the day. It washes off fairly easy with oil cleanser. The only con is the brush is big, so I have to be careful when applying and make sure I take off excess product from it before applying."
— ihiwx From Walmart
"Typically, I don't wear mascara because of past bad experiences where I'd end up with raccoon eyes, but this mascara is my new holy grail product. It makes my lashes look amazing and doesn't flake or run. So far I've been wearing it through hot summer days, and it stays on! I've never tried the Better Than Sex mascara that everyone says this is a dupe for, but if you're not ready to spend that much on a mascara (like me) I totally recommend this one!!"
— obessed From Ulta

L’Oreal

The everyday standby

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Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara

Starting from $22

The Details

Size: 0.37 oz.

Paraben-free

Phthalate-free

Synthetic fragrance-free

Ophthalmologist-tested

What / Who It's Best For

  • Glamazons and vampires
  • People with sensitive eyes
  • People who live in warm climates

Why We Love It

The great thing about mid-range beauty products is that they look and feel fancy-ish, but by hovering around the 20-dollar mark, they’re also reasonably affordable. In this mid-priced category, our seal of approval goes to Buxom Lash Mascara. First things first: Its look is very vampy, very glam, and very lash-defining. A major selling point for this one is the brush (more than half of the Ulta reviews specifically call it out); its hourglass shape allows it to coat lashes evenly and in one fell swoop, so you’re not doing that classic mascara dance where you accidentally coat the left side of your eye way more than the right. The brush is also very toothy, so it does a good job of coating each individual lash. The result is seriously long, thicc eyelashes.

Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara tip

One of the mascaras we tried in this price tier was the top-selling Too Faced Better Than Sex (did you know that a tube of that stuff sells every seven seconds?), which was neck and neck with Buxom until it came to the all-important question of clumping: Better Than Sex got clumpy pretty fast, resulting in spider lashes, while Buxom was clump-free all day. Reviewers were split on the Buxom brush’s curling abilities, and we found that Better Than Sex gave a slightly more dramatic lash swoop. Better Than Sex and Buxom have similar brushes, but Buxom’s is just thinner enough to make it conducive to curling without clumping, which we believe is reason enough to award it the crown.

And lest you think we forgot about our chosen modifier, this stuff also stays on, moisture be damned. Unlike our $$$ pick, Eyeko Sport, Buxom doesn’t seem designed for actual submersion, but it’ll outlast humidity and watery eyes easily. Sephora reviewer cmt4wa reports that it “lasts through 100% humidity and 100-degree heat in a Mexican jungle without smearing or budging” and leaves “no raccoon eyes, not even when crying, and no smudging.” And despite its heroic staying power (it remained perfectly intact through another very active — and humid! — summer day), we found it pretty easy to remove.

Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara with tip standing up

Buxom mascara is ophthalmologist-tested and safe for contact wearers, and it contains no synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, or petrochemicals. According to a bunch of sensitive-eyed reviewers, it’s not irritating. And for those of you living that cruelty-free life, please note that while the Buxom brand is cruelty-free, its parent company, Shiseido, does test on animals.

If you’re a fancy human who’s still on a budget, Buxom is your best bet for big, beautiful, buxom (??) lashes that won’t irritate your eyes and will actually stay put.

User Reviews

"I've tried a lot of ‘waterproof’ mascaras...this one works the best by far. It stays on for more than 24 hours without a smudge, and keeps your lashes looking pretty. The price is not bad either. There are other ones out there that are more expensive but don’t work as well as this one....a must-have!"
— wendysjc From Sephora
"I adore this mascara. Something about the shape of the brush and the sturdiness of the wand make for a winning combination. Don't let the large ends fool you — it can reach even the tiniest lashes at the corners without making a giant mess on your face. Not to mention it really does make for giant, pinup-worthy lashes."
— Errrrrin From Sephora
"I use this product pretty much any time I leave the house. It stays put and doesn't end up flaking off or under my eyes... unless I forget to remove it at night, of course. ;) I only use this product in waterproof and have been using it for at least three years, maybe four, after buying almost every mascara available on the market from expensive to very expensive to organic. I buy two at a time and each lasts four to five months, depending on usage. It washes off easily with anything oil-based (removers or simply facial oils)."
— MamaOThree From Sephora

Buxom

Embarrassing name, great lashes

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Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara

Starting from $23

The Details

size: 0.29 oz.

Paraben-free

Cruelty-free

What / Who It's Best For

  • Glasses wearers
  • Athletes/frequent gym-goers
  • People who live in a humid climate

Why We Love It

“Sport” is not a word traditionally associated with cosmetics, but when it comes to waterproof mascara, Eyeko Sport is our MVP. It lengthens, separates, and curls, which was not the case for other contenders in this category. Compared with the other mascaras we tried, Eyeko Sport had a subtle (read: non-clumpy) look. (Competitors Lancôme Definicils and Diorshow had, respectively, a skinny, straight brush that helped define and separate the lashes, and a serious clumping problem.) It dries quickly (and securely — more on that later), so it’s easy to add layers until you reach your optimal length. And if you want lid-grazing lashes but can’t be bothered with the medieval torture instrument that is the eyelash curler, Eyeko’s curved brush will give you a nice curl in one step. Its curling and lifting abilities are especially beneficial for glasses wearers who want their long lashes to rest against their eyelids rather than their eyeglasses.

Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara Brush

This stuff is high-gloss black, but still looks fairly natural (maybe because it goes on so evenly and non-clumpily). It’s available only in black, so if you’re looking for something a little lighter, you’re out of luck with Eyeko. But if black mascara is the alpha and omega of your eyelash needs, this one is a real eye-opener.

Given that this review purports to crown the best waterproof mascara, I’m sure you’re wondering how Eyeko Sport stands up to moisture. The answer, of course, is extremely well. Some reviewers noted that they were able to go full-on swimming in the stuff without a single smudge. And while we didn’t actually submerge while wearing it, this mascara didn’t budge during a trip to the weightlifting gym or a rainy walk with a dog. It was, in fact, a little hard to take off after said activities. (But not so hard that it wasn’t worth it. Beauty is pain!! Though you might want to take the advice of some reviewers and pick up a bottle of oil-based makeup remover.)

Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara Box

It’s $26 a tube, which isn’t cheap, but it’s cheaper than many of its peers and much more impressive. (And good news for animal lovers: All Eyeko products are 100% cruelty-free.) If you need a second (or third, or fourth) opinion, you’re in luck, because this stuff has a lot of loyal users who are anxious to convince you.

User Reviews

"This mascara is the bee’s knees! I was beginning to think that I'd never find a waterproof mascara that wouldn't make my lashes stick together. This mascara had everything I was looking for: waterproof, non-sticky, and natural fibers for length. Hands down, this has been the best mascara for the money!"
— Estee Dahan From Ulta
"This is the best non-smudging waterproof mascara. I live in a high-humidity state, so I always have smudges even from waterproof mascara, but not with this one! What makes it even better is that the applicator helps keep lashes curled and the formula doesn't clump up. If you have problems with mascaras smudging under your eyes it's worth it to give this mascara a shot!! I have tried just about every waterproof mascara and none comes close to this."
— HJBD From Ulta
"I've never found a mascara that I love. My eyelashes are pretty stubborn, but when I apply this after curling it, they actually stay curled. You can wear it lightly or heavily and it looks great. I love it."
— Tilf From Ulta

Eyeko

Luxe curl and staying power

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