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Testing Waterproof Mascaras

I’ve been on a hunt to find a truly waterproof mascara for my upcoming holiday to the tropics. I thought this would be an easier task than it turned out to be. Over the last few weeks, I’ve bought three different waterproof mascaras, ranging from the ‘drugstore’ variety, to the mid-range and finally, the luxe variety. To me a waterproof mascara shouldn’t only stay on should you decide to go swimming or have a cry – it should also be smudge-proof. The summer in Australia is quite humid, so moisture in the air can easily make regular mascara run or smudge (and it needs to stand up to humidity/moisture on my holiday!). I don’t think this is to much to ask for, especially since most beauties would understand that this staying power comes at a cost – waterproof mascara can be a b*tch to take off. But I accept that necessary ‘flaw’. So was any of them a winner?


Let’s start with the most expensive of the bunch – Armani’s Eyes to Kill – Wet – Waterproof Mascara.


I bought this mascara for about $40 from Fresh Fragrances and Cosmetics (it doesn’t appear to be in stock at the moment). Out of all the waterproof mascaras, this one makes my lashes look the best. It lengthens and adds volume, which is something waterproof mascaras never used to do. It doesn’t make your lashes look clumpy and it leaves them seriously dark and black – perfect for defining the eyes without having to use any other makeup. How did I test this mascara’s ‘waterproof’ and ‘smudge proof’ claims? I wore this guy to the beach. Did the mascara leave my eyes? Yes. It smudged quite a bit under my eyes and on my brow bone. I didn’t even swim, so this was a disaster. I don’t know if it’s because I had sunscreen on my face, but I wasn’t rubbing my eyes, so I don’t how the sunscreen would effect my lashes to that extent. The brush itself was comfortable to use and separated by lashes, so I’m soooo bummed this didn’t work. I can’t even wear this to work or on days off, because when you have dark under eye circles, the last thing you want it more darkness to be added underneath your eye. It creates like a ‘shadow ring’. When it comes to staying power, I would give it a 2.5 out of 5 (5 being the most smudge-proof, tear-proof, water-proof mascara you can think of!).


Above: Armani’s Eyes to Kill ‘Wet’ Waterproof Mascara

The next mascara I tested, was Smashbox’s Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara. It comes in at $29 at Mecca Cosmetica, which is quite middle of the range. This brush head was the biggest, but it also picks up the most mascara out of the lot, so if you aren’t careful, it can make your lashes clumpy. It does lengthen lashes and gives them volume. This one unfortunately… also smudges beneath my eyes and on my brow bone. Not as much as the Armani formula, but it’s still noticeable.


Above: Smashbox’s Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara

It’s a deep black shade and I like the effect that it leaves. It’s definitely more lengthening than it is volumising, but it doesn’t do a bad job at the latter. This one is especially difficult to remove. Perhaps this is because the formula seems to be pretty ‘thick’. What waterproof rating would I give it out of 5? A 3 out of 5. My mum tried this mascara also and it did smudge on her, so it’s not just me! 😛 As it isn’t cheap as chips, I am quite disappointed with this failure. Could an even cheaper option, be better?

I set my sights on a ‘drugstore’ mascara, picking L’Oreal’s False Lash Butterfly Wings Waterproof Mascara. I haven’t bought a drugstore mascara in a while (my favourite ‘everyday’ formula is Dior’s Diorshow Mascara, whilst atm I am using Chanel’s Le Volume De Chanel) but I loved L’Oreal mascara’s when I was in high school. This one comes in at $25.95, which ain’t super cheap, but it’s cheaper than the above pickings (I’d wait for a 20% off sale on L’Oreal cosmetics in Priceline if I were you).


Above: L’Oreal’s False Lash Butterfly Wings Waterproof Mascara

First of all, the brush surprised me. I do prefer big traditional styled mascara brushes, just because I’m a sucker for volume. This silicone brush wasn’t to bad, despite the weird shape. It separates lashes nicely, but only slightly lengthens them whilst adding darkness and definition. It isn’t volumising at all. Be aware that the silicone spikey bits (especially the longer ones at the base of the brush) can hurt a little if you use the brush to close to the lash line (ouch!). Is it waterproof and smudge-proof? I would say so – BUT – and there is a but I’m afraid… after a a few hours, the mascara on your lashes can start to crumble. I weirdly don’t mind this, because it doesn’t make the lashes look super great, so it’s another excuse to not use it. Rubbing your eyes therefore, is a big no no, when wearing this mascara. Rating out of 5? 3.8/5.

So where does this leave me? 🙁


I don’t think I will be taking any of these mascaras on holidays with me. They are just to much hassle, especially since they don’t deliver. It’s quite frustrating actually, that you can buy a product based on these basic claims, which don’t hold up. I can’t take the products back to the store from which I purchased them from because of Australia’s crappy return laws, although Sephora is starting to turn this around in Aus at least. I should buy my next picking from Sephora, but alas I’m running out of time as I leave in a weeks time. I may buy something from the airport if something catches my eye, but I’m not sure if I’ll get the chance and I’m a little bewildered by ‘waterproof’ products atm.


While mascara is a very individual thing (i.e. I look for volume and darkness in a mascara because I have lighter eyelashes with length and naturally curled lashes) the waterproof claim should hold up for 90% of individuals, if it is to be marketed as a waterproof mascara. Perhaps manufacturers are trying to make their formulas to fancy and hence are going wrong with the basics? I remember using a cheap as chips, Avon waterproof mascara as a teen, so perhaps that will be my next bet.

In the meantime, do you have any recommendations for me beauties? Do you struggle with one category of makeup, despite your tries and tribulations? 

Catch ya next time!

Beauty Bee~

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