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Waterproof Mascaras That Do The Job!

02 Jun 2016 - Share →

There are plenty of times when a reliable, waterproof mascara formula is essential - think weddings, sensitive watery eyes, rainy days (the UK right now!), swimming, sports and humid climates. Waterproof mascaras are also good if you like to curl your eyelashes and find that non waterproof formulas don't hold the curl. Here are four good ones that I've used on myself and carry in my kit - two premium and two drugstore, all thoroughly tried-and-tested by myself and my #houseofeldridge team.

It's worth mentioning that waterproof mascaras generally don't deliver the same instant 'false lash' type effect of their non-waterproof cousins but, with a little work, they can look just as fabulous and the long-wear and curl-holding properties are definitely a bonus.

Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara 
I keep this mascara in my kit as a lot of my A-list clients like it - I've used it for tons of red carpet events (can't risk any flaking or smudging in the heat!) and it always looks great. It has a small, thin bristle wand which is good for getting right into the roots of the lashes and the fibre formula is helpful for adding length to short/straight lashes. I find that you need to add quite a few layers if you want good volume but it is really great for holding curl. Available here.

Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof
I also carry this in my kit and use it whenever I want a really intense, full-on lash look - the girls in my studio also find this to be the most waterproof formula they've tried, so a good option for summer holidays. The brush is curved (almost 'S' shaped), with firm bristles that manage to get to all the tiny lashes and for curling and pushing up the lashes from the root. The formula is rich and glossy so just a couple of coats gives maximum volume for a dramatic finish (and actually too many coats might leave your lashes a little clumpy - fine if you like that kind of look!). The original Hypnôse Waterproof is also brilliant for a more natural, defined and separated finish. Hypnôse Drama Waterproof available here, Hypnôse Waterproof available here.

Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Waterproof
I've used this mascara a lot in my tutorials - the chunky, flexible, rubber wand has a mixture of straight and spherical bristles that leave lashes full and defined, fantastic for a drugstore buy. I find that a couple of coats is enough for me, however the formula is thin enough to allow you to go back in and layer up without any major clumping issues if you like. It's fully resistant to oily eyelids and general heat so a good day-to-day option but not for swimming as we found that lots of water + eye rubbing left some black marks under our eyes. Available here.

Max Factor False Lash Effect Waterproof
I've used Max Factor mascaras for years and think that they're consistently great. This one is my assistant Jessie's favourite waterproof formula - she says that it stays put through hot days and gym sessions etc. I tried it on holiday a couple of years ago and found it good although I personally found it didn't withstand swimming in the sea. The fat plastic brush is   great for getting length, volume, separation and definition and it can also hold curl well, though I would always recommend that you curl your lashes first if you're after a noticeable lift. Available here.

Another option is you could try is a tube mascara - these generally use formulas made up of flexible polymers (rather more traditional oils and waxes) that, when applied, 'shrink wrap' around each lash, forming little tubes that can be built up by adding extra coats. There are lots of great ones available in Asia, and a popular Western option is blinc Mascara - though it claims a water-resistant as opposed to waterproof formula, I've heard great things about its staying power. However, the lash result is very natural and lengthened as opposed to dramatically volumised. Tube mascaras are also good for sensitive eyes as you don't need eye makeup remover/cleanser to take them off, just lots of hot water and gentle pressure to 'slide' the tubes off your lashes. 

Any other kind of waterproof mascara will need to be removed thoroughly with a heavy duty, bio-phase type remover. I like Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover (Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Eye Makeup Remover is good drugstore version), but often if I don't want to use anything too oily I'll just reach for my Bioderma. Watch my Makeup Removal Tutorial below for tips - the key is to be patient and don't rub or pull the eye area.

Tell me about your smudge-, tear-, pool-proof mascara favourites in the comments! X

Watch my Summer in The City - Heatproof Makeup film below - it's packed with tips for finding and applying long-lasting formulas so your makeup stays put in hot, humid weather.


All my products are 100% cruelty free, fragrance free and suitable for sensitive skin