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The best waterproof mascaras prove reliable in the best and worst of times, preventing smudging and running onto the rest of your face. Much like waterproof eyeliners, mascaras with waterproof formulas will give you the confidence of all-day wear, especially when you’re met with watery eyes (whether that’s allergies, crying, etc.).
One of our other favorite things about a waterproof formula is its ability to keep your lashes curled – a big win for those of us who use a lash curler on the daily, and want to keep those babies lifted.
And when you’ve got your hands on a cleansing balm or oil, you’ll soon realize that learning how to remove waterproof mascara isn’t as hard as you might have thought – no pulling or rubbing necessary.
So whether you want smudge-free crying, longer lasting makeup, curled lashes that won’t fall, or all of the above, check out our picks for the 10 best waterproof mascaras.
10 Recommended Waterproof Mascara in Canada
- 1. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara
- 2. Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara
- 3. Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky-High Mascara
- 4. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara
- 5. Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara
- 6. Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
- 7. IT Cosmetics Tightline Waterproof Mascara
- 8. Christian Dior Diorshow Iconic Waterproof Mascara
- 9. Essence Lash Princess Waterproof Mascara
- 10. Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Waterproof Mascara
What is the Best Waterproof Mascara?
There’s no putting it any simpler: L’Oréal Paris hits it out of the park with their Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara. If you were like us then you probably got excited when they released a waterproof version of their regular Lash Paradise, since you’re getting their lash-enhancing large, pear-shaped brush that’s going to get right into those lashes and volumize from root to tip – all with a waterproof formula. And this means your curl is going to hold stronger and longer than the regular version.
L’Oréal’s other pick on this list – the Voluminous Carbon Black – is another favorite for its ridiculously easy volumizing and simple design. One of the main differences is the wand shape, where the Voluminous Carbon Black has a more classic brush without any curves, so it won’t grab onto your curl as well as Lash Paradise. Still an excellent choice nonetheless.
Top tips: How to use waterproof eyeliner properly
If we’re looking at high-end waterproof mascaras, Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara is our top pick. The brush is large, covering every millimeter of lash whilst plumping up that volume with a creamy formula. We love it because there are no frills – it’s straight to the point with simple packaging and is sweat-proof as well as smudge-proof.
We also can’t go past mentioning Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara. Another drugstore hit for its unique brush design and different shade options like black and brownish black, it focuses on both lengthening and volumizing with a unique brush tip.
Keep reading for more detailed info on these mascaras, as well as the rest of our top picks.
Waterproof Mascara Reviews
1. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara
Best Overall Drugstore
Brush Type: Volume| Shades: Black, Navy, Black/Brown | Volume: 7.3ml
Lash Paradise quickly became a cult favorite, so it was no surprise when they decided to release a waterproof version. Aside from the gorgeous packaging, our eyes were caught by the curved brush tip, which scoops inwards from the base and goes back out at the top.
This means your lashes are basically hugged by the bristles, meaning more product is loaded onto the lashes. But even so, there’s no clumping as the formula is evenly distributed by the more than 200 bristles. We noticed that this didn’t flake, smudge, or clump throughout the day, and we also realized you can build up even more volume and coverage than L’Oréal’s Voluminous Carbon Black mascara.
Volume is the focus here, but we also noticed some length added, especially to the lower lashes (we love how easy it is to hug those bottom lashes without smearing anything on the undereye). A primer is available as well, which is applied underneath the regular mascara. We found that it even further lengthened the wear-time and also enhanced the depth of color. It’s not completely necessary, though, and we think the mascara on its own worked impressively in the long-lasting waterproof department.
- Over 200 bristles for an even coat & to prevent clumping
- Curved-shape brush hugs your lashes & enhances the curl
- Waterproof formula lasts during day & night wear
2. Lancôme Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara
Best Overall High-End
Brush Type: Volume| Shades: Black | Volume: 8ml
What we love most about this mascara from Lancôme is its ability to stick to the classics. For a high-end product, it delivers exactly the quality you’d expect, but without any gimmicks or frills that plenty of high-end makeup can come with. A simple, big brush tip (as the name implies) manages to hug lashes effortlessly and get into every corner.
At first we were a little skeptical since these large-sized brushes usually clump, but what makes this one different is its super creamy formula that helps it slide on smoothly. This also means that it’s buildable, so you can achieve a more natural or full-coverage look depending on what you feel.
We suggest dabbing it on a tissue before applying a second coat, as that will give you the smoothest effect. A 24-hour wear-time coincides with a sweat-proof, smudge-proof formula, which means no flaking as well.
- 24-hour wear-time with sweat & smudge-proof formula
- Creamy formula prevents clumps
- Large bush & bristles grip to lashes & hold curl
3. Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky-High Mascara
Best 2-in-1 Volume & Length
Brush Type: Volume & Length| Shades: Black, Brownish Black | Volume: 6ml
If you love a good ol’ 2-in-1, then Sky-High from Maybelline is for you. While the name implies a focus on just lengthening (“sky high” as in your lashes will reach sky-high), we were pleasantly surprised by the fact that it offers both length and volume. And while it does offer both like Maybelline Lash Sensational, it offers even more length thanks to its gripping design. This is mainly thanks to the shape of the brush, which is wider at the base than at the top.
This means when you apply, the wider base will push more product into the base of your lashes, creating more volume, while the thinner top part fans out your lashes and lengthens. It’s also a Flex Tower Brush, which means it’s a flexible material that moves with your own movements, giving you more control during application. We enjoyed this flexibility because it allowed us to bend the brush to get right into the base of the lashes without much effort at all. Bamboo extract helps to both prevent clumping and increase wear-time, as it doesn’t weigh down the lashes.
- Unique flexible brush with wider base enhances volume
- Spaced bristles & thinner brush tip create length
- Infused with bamboo extract to stop clumping for a smooth application
4. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara
Best Drugstore Volumizing
Brush Type: Volume| Shades: Black | Volume: 8ml
You want volume? You’ve got it with L’Oréal’s Voluminous Carbon Black mascara. It doesn’t get more straightforward than this, where this mascara’s sole focus is giving you luscious volume in a couple of swipes. Volume can be tricky, as it’s easy for things to get clumpy – fast. What makes this product stand out from other volume-focused mascaras is its ability to separate your lashes, whilst building product evenly. With a large brush, it can be difficult to apply even coats, but Carbon Black works impressively well to prevent clumping, flaking and smudging.
A buildable formula always rates highly for us, as it gives you the freedom to build product as much or as little as you’d like, depending on the look you’re going for. And since it’s waterproof, you don’t have to worry about anything flaking off or running, no matter how much you apply. While we’re here, we’ll also talk about the packaging – it isn’t anything flashy, but keeps things sleek and simple with black and gold coloring.
- Buildable formula to get your desired coverage without clumping
- Large brush distributes product evenly
- Dramatic volume with intense black pigmentation
5. Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara
Best for Defining Lashes
Brush Type: Volume & Length | Shades: Black, Brownish Black | Volume: 9ml
Clumping well and truly takes a back seat with the original Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara. This has one of the most unique brush shapes out there, with a curved fanning design that conforms to the shape of your lashes, so that it can reach every corner and end.
Another design feature is the ten layers of bristles, which ensures the even distribution of product, and allows each bristle to catch each lash – resulting in an overall more defined look. What we suggest when using it is to apply with the concave side first to lengthen, then flip it around and use the outward curved side to add more volume.
We love how easy it is to add definition to the lower lashes using the smaller bristles at the tip of the brush, as they avoid too much product being brushed on. Another unique feature is the rose hip oil infusion, which softens and moisturizes your lashes for longer wear – something you don’t always find in waterproof versions.
- Infused with rose hip oil to moisturize lashes
- Buildable formula with unique curved fan brush
- 10 layers of bristles for more defined lashes
6. Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara
Best High-End Volumizing
Brush Type: Volume| Shades: Black | Volume: 10ml
If you’ve got some extra cash to spare, and want to go for something high-end, you can’t look past the High Impact Waterproof Mascara from Clinique. This is a cult-classic in the waterproof department, and we find that it definitely delivers in regards to its namesake – you’re getting a high-impact result with a deep black shade. It’s not as intense as Lancôme’s Monsieur Big Waterproof Mascara, but it still gets the job done well thanks to its thick bristles.
Value is also something to note here, since you’re getting 10ml in one tube, whereas most high-end contain less. The brush is really straightforward and nothing too unique, but that does mean it does what it’s supposed to in terms of volume. With such a beefy brush and large bristles, your lashes are coated well and thick. You don’t have to worry about clumping, though, since the bristles are spaced apart, giving your lashes room to separate. It’s also quite a long brush in size, so it reaches more lashes in one swipe.
- Buildable volume with large brush and thick bristles
- Deep, rich black color also enhances to look of volume
7. IT Cosmetics Tightline Waterproof Mascara
Brush Type: Length| Shades: Black | Volume: 3.5ml
We’ve spoken about unique mascara designs here already, but arguably the most unique on this list goes to the IT Cosmetics Tightline. It features an ultra-skinny wand and brush, which isn’t something you’ll usually see with mascaras. What makes this skinny design stand out is its ability to reach from root to tip of your lashes, allowing greater definition and coverage. We found that this results in a more lengthened lash, as the product is able to travel from base to tip, pulling up and out for a lengthier, fuller look.
Something else you might not notice at first is that this is a 3-in-1 mascara – it can act as your lash primer, eyeliner and mascara all in one step, and can also last for up to 12 hours of wear. Another distinctive feature about Tightline is its ingredient list, which includes an infusion of collagen, biotin, jojoba, chamomile, aloe and more. These are all conditioning ingredients, which means that lashes are kept healthy in the process.
- Ultra-skinny brush offers more coverage from base to tip of lashes
- 3-in-1 design with lash primer, eyeliner and mascara all in one
- Infused with conditioning ingredients including jojoba, biotin, collagen, aloe, and chamomile
8. Christian Dior Diorshow Iconic Waterproof Mascara
Best High-End Long-Lasting
Brush Type: Volume| Shades: Black | Volume: 7.9ml
It’s as simple as this: Diorshow Iconic Waterproof Mascara from Dior does not budge. It’s really the hardest-wearing mascara we’ve tried from this list. Now don’t get us wrong – each product we’ve chosen has great staying power (they are waterproof, after all), but if you’re looking for extreme wear at a high-end price, this is a solid choice. It’s created with an Oblique style brush, which has silicone bristles that are designed to curl as well as volumize.
Silicone brushes are one of our favorite types because they reduce clumping and provide a smoother application in most cases. This Oblique style is also what gives a curling effect, as the twisting bristle design helps separate and lift the lashes as you apply.
We found that the overall end result is somewhat similar to Clinique’s High Impact Waterproof Mascara, but it has more staying-power than Clinique’s. A Lift Model Extreme complex is incorporated into this mascara, which is based on the composition of hairspray, and in partnership with the waterproof formula, is the secret ingredient that makes it so long-wearing.
- Oblique style twirling brush enhances curl and volume
- Life Model Extreme complex creates extreme wear lasting power
- Shorter silicon bristles help catch each lash for definition
9. Essence Lash Princess Waterproof Mascara
Best Value Drugstore
Brush Type: Volume| Shades: Black | Volume: 12ml
One of the best-rated online, the Essence Lash Princess Waterproof Mascara is drugstore done right. At $4.99, we’ve found that this is the best value-for-money on the drugstore market, as it offers volumizing effects, as well as a defined lash. Essence calls it the “False Lash Effect Mascara” on the tube, and we can safely stand by that claim. With a fairly standard conic-shaped brush with soft bristles, you can get deep into the lashes for coverage from the base to the ends.
We also noted that it didn’t clump or flake by the end of the day, so it’s a standout waterproof formula. Buildable volume is also possible with two to three coats, but we think that’s only necessary if you’re going for a really intense look – just one coat gave more defined, darkened lashes. We also can’t help but mention the packaging, which is a fun design with light blue accents (it never hurts to have a cute looking mascara in your kit) and with a larger handle for easier grip.
- Conic-shaped brush sculpts lashes and increases volume
- Buildable coverage with up to three coats
10. Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift Waterproof Mascara
Brush Type: Volume & Length| Shades: Black, Brownish Black | Volume: 8.58ml
Maybelline’s Falsies line is also a cult classic, but it’s had a few upgrades since the original you might remember. This version is the Falsies Lash Lift Waterproof Mascara, which is designed to volumize, lengthen, and curl – it’s the curling part that’s impressed us the most, and what makes it a standout on our list. The brush is double-curved and shaped like an hourglass, meaning it hugs the lashes in such a way that enhances the curl.
(Pro tip: We still suggest an eyelash curler if your lashes are particularly straight. This mascara will curl slightly without a curler, but if you want the full effect, use a curler beforehand.) With this design, the product is able to capture each lash and spread more evenly, resulting in greater volume and a more defined curl. If intensity is what you’re looking for, as well as something that keeps that curl, this is the way to go.
- Double-curved brush design provides lift and enhances curl
- Fiber bristles grab lashes from root to tip for more length
- Infused with Kera-fiber for strong-hold formula
How to Choose a Waterproof Mascara
Discover some things you should look out for when choosing a mascara with a waterproof formula – it won’t be the same as when you’re choosing a non-waterproof mascara as there are different aspects to pay attention to.
Even if the mascara you choose has the best waterproof formula out there, nothing matters unless you pick the right brush shape for the effect you want.
Products like the L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise, Maybelline Lash Sensational, and Maybelline The Falsies Lash Lift, have curves in their brushes. This curve is designed to curl and lift the lashes for a more dramatic look – ideal for those who have naturally straight lashes and need that enhanced curling effect.
The standard brush shape can be seen with the Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara, L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black, Clinique High Impact, Christian Dior Diorshow Iconic, and Essence Lash Princess. This shape is fairly straight up and down, perhaps slightly smaller at the tip of the bristles, and is ideal for those who focus on definition and volume.
Then there’s the more unique brush designs, like with Maybelline Sky High and the IT Cosmetics Tightline mascara. These focus more on lengthening rather than volumizing, so choose them if you’ve already got naturally thick lashes and want that extra oomph in length.
So it’s clear that you’re choosing a waterproof formula, but there are other things to consider before making that final decision. Do you have particularly sensitive eyes? Go for something with a conditioning formula, like the IT Cosmetics Tightline and Maybelline Sky High products. Look out for formulas infused with rose hip oil, jojoba, biotin, collagen, aloe, and chamomile, amino acids, acai, etc.
A lightweight type of formula is also something to choose if you want to be able to easily remove the mascara at the end of the day. A waterproof formula should stay in place, but be easily removable using a balm or oil, without having to pull on your lashes.
Much like every makeup product out there, you’ve got a plethora of choices between drugstore and high-end. A lot of the difference comes down to the brand and formula combinations used, but there are plenty of dupes out there for higher end mascaras – hence why we’ve included a combo of both drugstore and high end.
If you’re up for paying the higher price tag, then by all means choose a more expensive brand name. If your budget falls more in the drugstore lane, then you’ve also got stacks of different designs to choose from, no matter if you’re looking for volume, length, or both.
The packaging encompasses the style, the size or quantity of product, and the purpose of the design of the handle.
When choosing the style, it all comes down to personal preference. The same can pretty much be said for the quantity of product – do you want it to last longer than a couple of months? Pick a large volume, from 8ml and up.
And for the handle, look closely. Some mascaras come with curved handles for easier grip, like the Essence Lash Princess, or there are some with cone-shaped handles like Maybelline’s Lash Sensational. An easier grip means you have more control over application, which leads to more even coverage. You won’t go wrong with a regular tube-shaped handle, though, as they are still user-friendly to hold.
Our Final Thoughts
While a great non-waterproof mascara will give you the effects you’re looking for, it just won’t have the same staying power than the best waterproof mascaras. A waterproof formula is basically like a safety vest that will back you up when you need it – crying sessions, swims, showers, an unexpected downpour – it’s got you covered and completely smudge-free.
And for those who need that extra help in the lash-curling department, a waterproof formula is designed to hold for a strong-wearing, long-wearing experience. Remember to pay attention to the brush shape when choosing your own, as not all products offer the same effects between lengthening and volumizing.