A good mascara can be hard to find. Throw water into the mix, and your day-to-day formula needs to be reevaluated (unless you're cool with mascara streaks running down your face). Whether you're swimming in a pool or taking a dip in the ocean on your next tropical vacation, a waterproof mascara is essential for enhanced lashes that won't budge. But if you want the best waterproof mascara for swimming without risking panda eyes in the process, you're going to want to have a look through this tried-and-true list
Obviously, a regular mascara won't hold up to swimming, but a water-resistant formula won't always work either. Water-resistant mascara is great for a workout or a good cry, but it isn't formulated to withstand actually being submerged in water, which is why you want to look for something that says waterproof (except in the case of one unique water-resistant mascara, below).
Waterproof formulas do tend to be thicker and more drying on lashes since they lock out moisture, which is why finding one with conditioning ingredients, like rose oil and coconut oil, for example, can help keep lashes from feeling brittle or breaking. You can also put the tiniest bit of Vaseline on your lashes before applying your waterproof mascara for a DIY way to prevent dryness.
Also, don't forget to properly remove your mascara at the end of the day to avoid eye irritation. With waterproof formulas, you're going to have to put a little more effort into getting it completely off your lashes. Eye makeup remover, micellar water, or an oil-based cleansing balm will do the trick. I like to soak a cotton pad with Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water and hold it against my lashes for a few seconds before gently wiping the eye makeup away.
Ahead, you'll find the best waterproof mascaras for swimming that Amazon users have already put to the test and given their seal of approval.
1. Best Overall: An Award-Winning Waterproof Mascara
Designed to hold up to everything from extreme sports to floating in the pool, this Allure Best of Beauty-winning mascara from Eyeko uses a waterproof Thixotropical gel formula that repels water. The formula is also fiber-enhanced to pump up lashes, and it contains collagen and 11 different fruit extracts to help condition and prevent them from breaking.
Despite having fibers in the formula, Amazon users note that it doesn't flake, and stays on so well that an oil-based makeup remover is necessary. "It stays put even during my most grueling training sessions at the gym, after swimming in the ocean or paddle boarding, and even after a quick shower," notes one devoted fan.
2. Budget Pick: Best Drugstore Mascara For Swimming
One of my favorite personal formulas, this waterproof mascara is amazing at catching every lash and plumping them for a lengthened and volumized look. Despite being waterproof, the L'Oreal Paris Lash Paradise formula doesn't feel clumpy when you apply it, but instead has a creamy texture that makes it easy to layer if you want a more dramatic effect.
And Amazon users seem to agree, with over 1,500 five-star reviews. "It's truly waterproof," writes one reviewer, adding, "It doesn't sweat off or come off in flakey clumps if I forget I'm wearing it and rub my eyes." Another reviewer who really put it to the test writes, "I wore it on an all-day white water rafting trip that included cliff jumping and swimming … at the end of the day, my lashes looked exactly the same as when I first put this mascara on."
3. For Sensitive Eyes: Best Natural Mascara For Swimming
Finding a natural mascara that doesn't run down your face at the first sign of sweat is hard enough, but for swimming, it's next to impossible. Enter Pacifica Beauty's Aquarian Gaze mascara, which is vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without parabens, phthalates, and other potentially irritating ingredients. Available in a classic black and dark blue color, the mineral mascara also conditions lashes thanks to ingredients like coconut oil, kelp extract, and vitamin B.
Though the formula is technically water-resistant, multiple Amazon reviewers note that it stays put. "This is definitely the best waterproof mascara I've ever used," says one reviewer, adding, "It stays on in both chlorine water and in the salty ocean."
4. Also Great: Best Tubing Mascara For Swimming
While traditional mascaras coat your lashes in pigment, tubing mascara contains polymers that wrap around your lashes, creating a waterproof barrier. The tubes are actually able to be eased off with warm water and a damp cloth, but fair warning: they come off in a tube shape that almost looks like your own lashes (don't worry, it's just the mascara). Great for lengthening, tubing mascara is also the perfect option if you like to apply a single coat of mascara since the tubes can't be layered.
Blinc's Mascara Amplified is a particular Amazon-favorite, with one reviewer writing, "It's great for camping, swimming, etc. because you don't get racoon [sic] eyes and yet you don’t need a lot of extra gear to remove it." Another adds, "You can swim and sweat with no worries as long as you don't rub your eyes."
5. Also Great: A J-Beauty Mascara For Swimming
This Japanese-made mascara is a cult-favorite for its lightweight fiber formula that keeps lashes lengthened and curled (without ever getting clumpy even after layering) for up to 10 hours. Reviewers also love that the Heroine Make mascara doesn't irritate eyes, even if you wear contact lenses.
Amazon users note that it doesn't budge once it's applied, saying, "[It] stays on forever … I can even swim laps and it stays put." Other Amazon users agree. "This mascara is the best I have ever tried," declares another reviewer, adding, "My lashes never flake when I wear it, [and] I wore this while swimming, and my mascara was still there."
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