Road Test: Waterproof Mascaras

We find the ones that stay put

If you love wearing mascara but have suffered one too many smudgy, shadowy, "raccoon eye" disasters, then you've come to the right place. We believe every girl deserves to have long, sexy lashes anytime she wants, even in a pool or if she's been having a good cry. With that in mind, we collected the best and brightest waterproof mascaras to test. Here's what our testers had to say.

Product name: Maybelline Full 'N Soft Waterproof Mascara
Claim: Expect outrageously full, soft, healthy-looking lashes that won't run, smear or smudge and a quick-dissolve system that helps in easy removal. No more hard, brittle lashes.
Tester says: What really bothers me about most mascaras is the clumpy, stiff feel I get after applying a couple of coats. I've never tried a waterproof mascara before, but I like the idea of mascara that promises to stay put in unreliable weather and at the gym. Full 'N Soft lived up to its claim, as it saw me through the day and didn't require a pre-dinner touch up. The real reward for me, though, was how soft and natural the mascara was, even though I put on a few layers. My only complaint is that the thick, straight brush made it a little hard to apply, as I have short lashes. But other than that, this product is my new standard. It comes off very easily with just face wash and water.
Price: $6.79
Available: Select retailers

Product name: Clinique Gentle Waterproof Mascara Long-Wear Lash Intensifier
Claim: For the outdoors-inclined, Clinique promises super "staying power" that's reliable for active sports and will come off with ease.
Tester says: If you're an athlete or you love a natural, down-to-earth look, you'll love this mascara. It's not for dramatic movie star lashes '- it's for when you want to look like you aren't wearing any mascara. While the enhancement is subtle, it's definitely long-lasting. This mascara didn't clump or give me a raccoon-eye effect after several hours. It washed off quite easily. They weren't kidding about this being "gentle." This would be a great everyday mascara for anyone who wears contacts.
Price: $13.50
Available: Select retailers

Product name: Avon beComing Swimwear Wetproof Mascara
Claim: Waterproof for longer wear. Defines, lengthens and separates lashes.
Tester says: I was looking for mascara I could wear to the pool, and the name of this one screamed, "Pick me!" The shiny metallic tube looks really classy, and that sealed the deal. This mascara is nice and moist and very easy to apply. It did lengthen my lashes, but didn't thicken them, and it took a little longer to set than my regular mascara. I wore it to the pool, though, and there was no smudging after several laps! I would recommend this mascara to anyone who wants to maintain her "eyes" in the pool. Be prepared though: It required several dabs of makeup remover to get it off.
Price: $11
Available: Avon.com

Product name: Urban Decay Lingerie and Galoshes for Lashes
Claim: This two-in-one mascara has a primer (the "lingerie") on one end, enriched with fibers to add lift, length and oomph. It also contains a post-mascara sealant (the "galoshes"), which you apply after your regular mascara sets. Urban Decay promises this mascara won't travel whether you're at a wedding, a pool party or the beach.
Tester says: I couldn't resist this adorable lavender wand with the little "cami" and rain-boot graphic on either end. Very chic! This is the perfect choice for anyone who has a favorite mascara and doesn't want to switch because it will make your mascara waterproof. I admit I didn't care much for the primer, which didn't lie smoothly on my lashes. The galoshes (how cute!) went on more easily, although I needed to dab off the excess. In the end, my lashes were soft and moist, and my regular mascara didn't flake or smudge, even after I spent hours on the dance floor in a steamy, crowded club.
Price: $15.50
Available: Select retailers

Product name: L'Oreal Full Definition Voluminous Waterproof Mascara
Claim: Will soften and thicken lashes in a single, easy application, with no smudges or flakes. Recommended for all-day wear and contact-lens wearers. Has vitamin E.
Tester says: I wear contact lenses, and most mascara irritates my eyes, which makes me teary, which in turn makes me streaky and smudgy. This fragrance-free mascara is great for sensitive eyes. It glided on smoothly, and I got big-time va-va-voom instantly. A single layer was all I needed to make a significant difference in my lashes. It saw me through a yoga class and dinner with my boyfriend, and it came off easily with makeup remover.
Price: $6.99
Available: Select retailers

Product name: Max Factor Stretch and Separate Waterproof Mascara
Claim: Waterproof, smudge-proof, smear-resistant formula. It's safe for contact-lens wearers and it's hypoallergenic.
Tester says: This was truly a great lengthening mascara, though it takes a little longer to set, so make sure you wait for it to dry. I used this mascara every day of my Caribbean vacation. It gave me fuller lashes and didn't smudge or flake once. It took several dabs of makeup remover to get it off.
Price: $6.49
Available: Select retailers

Product name: Almay One Coat Waterproof Mascara
Claim: Volumizing formula builds lashes double thick in one quick, smooth, clump-free, waterproof application. Specially designed Quick Coat Brush wraps mascara evenly around every lash as it separates for a full, lush look.
Tester says: This is a "loud" mascara for those on the go. It gave me very thick and sexy lashes in one coat. I tried a second coat, which was not needed. Two coats made my lashes overtly dark and thick, and individual lashes clumped together. I recommend sticking to one application only. It is fragrance free. I actually fell asleep in the mascara and woke up with no smudging or flaking. It was very easy to remove with makeup remover the next morning. Then I reapplied it.
Price: $ 5.99
Available: Select retailers

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