When You Need Waterproof Mascara (& 3 Newbies to Try)

Thu, 17 January 2013 12:40PM

Confession: In the past, I filed waterproof mascara in the ‘Great Idea, I Probably Should Do It’ category, along with multi-vitamins and Epsom salt baths.

I just never really got around to getting into it. Save for a splurge on Dior’s waterproof Diorshow for my wedding.

It didn’t help that a makeup artist once told me, early on in my beauty-writing life, that waterproof mascaras are simply repackaged volumising ones. It stuck in my head. The result was that I didn’t really see any major need to add them to my mascara repertoire, which already included formulations promising to do so many things to my lashes – thicken, length, curl, condition, colour etc. And if I ever got a mascara smudge, I simply wiped it off with a cotton bud. No biggie.

But then along came my summer break, and a few extra-curricular tasks, which included testing three waterproof mascara newbies.

And I now file these magic little wands in the ‘So Handy’ folder, where they’ve becomes besties with cleansing wipes and all of those little sample bottles that are so handy come holiday time.

You see, there’s a time and a place when waterproof mascara is a godsend…

  • When you’re in the midst of a hot, sweaty, muggy summer. Which would be now. I’ve just come to appreciate how joyful it is not to have to check my eye makeup for smudges throughout the day.
  • On a holiday that involves water sports or trekking up mountains (why you would be wearing mascara in this situation is a whole other issue).
  • If you’re a cry-prone celebrity off to the Oscars, where you’ll likely get an award and choke up in front of billions. We’re talking about you, Gwyneth.


  • If you’re about to get married, an event at which you could very likely shed or tear or a hundred.
  • If you have straight lashes and want something to really hold your lash-curler’s work in place.

If you found yourself ticking any of those above boxes, pop these three on your to-try list …

Out Now: Maybelline New York Volum’Express Falsies Everlasting Mascara, $19.25, pharmacies

This promises to not only be waterproof but also sebumproof (science-speak: it contains both hydrophobic and lipophobic polymers; now you know) – so if you have oily eyelids, or even if you like to wear creamy eyeshadow, this one’s for you. It does the job: stays put. Plus, it gives a little length along with volume, and it holds a curl nicely.

Out February 10: YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof, $52, department stores


The original False Lash is a cult buy – and this waterproof version lives up to the hype. It’s a seriously good formulation, and excels at separating and lengthening lashes beautifully, without clumping (although if you layer up for extra volume, you will need to use a spoolie brush to clean things up a little). It’s also quite luxe – not drying as many waterproof varieties can be. Oh, and the best thing, in my opinion, it not only comes in Black, but also Brown, Blue and Violet (purple lashes possibly being the new black). It’s an investment, sure, but a great one for, say, a wedding. Buy a classic shade for your ceremony – then lash on a bright one for your after-party.

Out February 17: Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, $38, department stores

It’s not as sensationally amazing as its non-waterproof sister – but that’s not to say this mascara isn’t great in its own right. It delivers a clean, lengthy swipe of colour for a neat lash look that holds up all day long. Which is what waterproof mascara should be about, after all.

My final thoughts on the subject … Despite what that waterproof-mascara-averse makeup artist once swore, I don’t find these formulations overly thickening. You need to really work them in and build them up – but have make sure you have a spoolie brush on hand to de-clump as you go. But, of course, having zero smudgy black streaks all over your face by midday makes the effort all worth it. Finally, there’s the issue of removal … Don’t start wearing waterproof mascara without buying a remover that will actually do what it promises to do. I have to sing the praises of Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover, $35, department stores. Blot it on with a cotton pad until your mascara dissolves. Don’t, I repeat don’t, pull or tug. Waterproof mascara is so clingy that yanking at it could pull away all your lashes with it. And that would defeat the whole purpose of buying any mascara at all, wouldn’t it now?

Tell me, Primpers, do you rate waterproof mascaras?

If so, which is your fave?

Kat x

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  • Posted by: LouAna Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 01:23pm

    My fav water proof mascara is the covergirl lash blast length, I’m not all that keen on wp mascaras, they dry up too quick… mid-feb is always the best for new prods, sales are over, Christmas/NY/hols finance crunch eases a bit and for those who get paid monthly Feb is a short month. February is my favourite month…

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 01:32pm

    Thanks for the reviews! I need a new Waterproof mascara, will check out the Maybelline one :)

  • Posted by: anitas.artistry Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 04:08pm

    I used to love the Revlon Colourstay mascara.
    It didn’t move at all.
    Ahh I miss that one….

  • Posted by: Jensta Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 04:27pm

    I love the Clinique one but the Maybelline one is more in my budget.

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 04:49pm

    I tend to favour waterproof mascara in summers. Would love to try the Clinique one, normally but the Maybellines waterproof ones and they work fine though.

  • Posted by: ssminnow Enthusiast // Thu, 17 January 2013 05:54pm

    I’m not really a fan of waterproof mascaras as I find them too flaky and stiff. I find my mascaras last pretty well and if I’m doing something active I have tinted eyelashes for a bit of definition.

  • Posted by: SydneyRose Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 07:15pm

    Good review on these brands of waterproof mascaras.

    I wear non-waterproof Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping mascara most often. Although I also keep one Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping waterproof mascara handy for those hot muggy summer days when I’m going to be outdoor.

  • Posted by: PrettyPrincess Master Fan // Thu, 17 January 2013 07:45pm

    I have been using diorshow, I love it!
    Although I did buy it duty free in a buy one get one free pack so it was very affordable!

  • Posted by: loopylexy Master Fan // Fri, 18 January 2013 09:56am

    I don’t really use waterproof mascaras because they’re so annoying to get off. What kind of make up remover do you need to remove the hydro/lipo-phobic one??

  • Posted by: Lucy // Fri, 18 January 2013 11:52am

    I needed this article a day earlier! Was sadly at a funeral yesterday and had to race out to get some waterproof mascara for it! I went with Maybelline Colossal as I love the original formula – however was kinda disappointed. It was everything I remembered disliking about waterproof – typically dry and didn’t do much for my lashes. It did stay put, but wasn’t all that impressed. I wish I’d tried that new Maybelline one instead!

    I also despise having to get them off at the end of the day – I’m too impatient!

  • Posted by: p3charmed Master Fan // Fri, 18 January 2013 01:49pm

    nah, im not a fan of waterproof mascaras, ive never found ive ever needed one and i hate the fact they’re so hard to get off, which i know is the whole point of them…

  • Posted by: Jessielyn Master Fan // Fri, 18 January 2013 03:10pm

    My favourite waterproof mascara is L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagene Million Lashes. It separates your lashes so they’re not spidery, and it literally does. not. budge.

    So great!

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Fri, 18 January 2013 04:05pm

    I love them although not for everyday wear. Definitely if your headed out and dont want to worry about anything smudging waterproof is a great option.

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Fri, 18 January 2013 09:22pm

    great tips

  • Posted by: beautybee1 Master Fan // Sat, 19 January 2013 09:35am

    I think they are useful when you’re on a beach holiday but otherwise I don’t tend to use them as I do find them hard to remove.

  • Posted by: Lisa-1294413802 Master Fan // Sat, 19 January 2013 01:48pm

    I sweat, I cry. I always go for waterproof mascara. Love the Maybelline.

  • Posted by: beautiful87 Master Fan // Sun, 20 January 2013 02:16pm

    i am not a big fan of waterproof mascaras, they take a long time to get off

  • Posted by: lolo Master Fan // Wed, 23 January 2013 07:13pm

    That Falsies mascara is brilliant! No smudging, no fallout, no nothing! Works wonders and inexpensive too :)

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Fri, 25 January 2013 05:35pm

    im also not a fan of waterproof mascaras

  • Posted by: melany Master Fan // Fri, 1 February 2013 01:09pm

    I use the Maybelline Falsies Waterproof Mascara but haven’t heard of the Everlasting version… must try!

  • Posted by: crystal Enthusiast // Wed, 6 February 2013 10:23pm

    Can’t remember the last time i used a waterproof mascara but if I did it would probably be a Maybelline one.

  • Posted by: diva89 Master Fan // Sun, 17 February 2013 01:45pm

    they are hard to remove afterwards

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Fri, 14 June 2013 08:30pm

    I will have one of each please. Waterproof mascara can be great if it starts raining while out and about. No black streaks down the cheeks.

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Thu, 27 February 2014 07:57pm

    Out of all the mascaras I own I only have a couple of water proof ones. I don’t have a favourite.

  • Posted by: Private Name // Sat, 15 March 2014 10:09am

    I LOVE the maybelline falsies flared. it is waterproof and not clumpy. It gives a natural, fake eyelashe effect

  • Posted by: Pat // Sun, 22 June 2014 08:51am

    Use the Somaluxe Face Wash – thats the only thing that is able to remove mascara without having to be rough on my eyes. I have been using Somaluxe for 2 months now, and my skin is the happiest in years. . .

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