Panda eyes – they’re only cute on pandas, which can be a bit of a problem when you’re out and about in the summer heat and end up with mascara halfway down your face. Whether you’re braving the Middle Eastern summer or heading off on a beach holiday, now is the time to invest in a waterproof mascara that will keep your peepers looking perfect come sweat, sun, or sea.
With that in mind, the Savoir Flair team tested six different waterproof wands to find out which ones lived up to their claims. Read on to discover the best waterproof mascaras that will see you through the summer and beyond.
Tom Ford 'Waterproof Extreme Mascara' – Haleh Nia, Founding Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
Remember that episode of Friends when Ross shouts, “Rach, she’s got like three hairs!” about Emma to Rachel, who is worried her daughter’s hair will get stuck in a swing? Well, I’m the grown-up version of Emma, except with three lashes instead of three hairs. So imagine my surprise when I received this mascara for a review on its waterproof capabilities and it ended up actually lengthening and curling my lashes to the extent that it looked like I was wearing falsies. Already a win.
I showered, swam, and exercised with this mascara on all week long and — lo and behold — it didn’t budge. It’s actually so waterproof that it’s difficult to take off, even when you want to. Despite being armed with an arsenal of beauty products meant to lift off waterproof mascara, I legitimately struggled with removing it at night (and thus ended up with panda eyes in the morning). The verdict? Like its namesake, Mr. Tom Ford, this mascara is hella sexy – and hard to get rid of.
Clarins 'Truly Waterproof Mascara' – Noor Tehini, Managing Editor
On most mornings, I’m out of bed by 6 a.m. and on my way to the gym by 6:40. No one looks good that early in the morning – not without the help of a little makeup magic, which unfortunately doesn’t seem to do well with sweaty workouts. If you, like me, have come to that conclusion the hard way, you’ll be happy to know that there is a solution, and that solution lies in waterproof makeup.
To be considered a winner, the perfect waterproof mascara would therefore need to see me through my most sweat-drenching workout – a.k.a. Flywheel. I put the Clarins ‘Truly Waterproof Mascara’ to the test this week and not only did it stay in place through a grueling 45-minute spin class (sporadic face toweling included), but it also didn’t budge in the shower afterwards.
The only downside to this product? If you’re used to simply using a wet cotton bud to gently wipe away any little errors in application, you’ll find it much harder to get rid of any unwanted mascara marks on your eyelids, even if you’re using makeup remover. So that’s minus one point for making me late for work today.
Estée Lauder 'Sumptuous Waterproof Mascara' – Frankie Rozwadowska, Beauty Editor
It’s official – I’ve found my new favorite mascara. When I say it’s waterproof, I mean waterproof. A magic wand on all levels, this mascara saw me through showers, a swim, a sobfest session while watching The Lion King (it gets me every time), and a day submerged under water at Wild Wadi – not to mention countless sweaty Mojo Reformer Pilates sessions that required two-mile-long power walks in 40-degree heat and humidity to get there. It lengthens, thickens, is easily buildable, and contains lash-thickening fibers that plump up even the finest and sparsest of lashes. The ultimate plus? It doesn’t require a ton of makeup remover and vigorous scrubbing to get rid off, which I still can’t get my head around as no amount of water or sweat managed to make it budge. It’s definitely my summer savior.
Guerlain 'Maxi Lash Waterproof Mascara' – Maya Itani, Photo Editor
I’ve been blessed with long eyelashes, but they lack volume, which is why I always opt for mascaras that make them look thicker. I’ve never had much luck with waterproof mascaras, but I was looking forward to trying this one from Guerlain. During the week, I put its waterproof powers to the test and kept it on while I worked out, washed my face vigorously, and even slept. The verdict? It did not budge. The only time I did see a bit of black residue under my eyes was after a scorching hot shower.
This mascara definitely lives up to its waterproof reputation – taking it off was a mission, to say the least. I had no luck with a water-based makeup remover, but managed by using an oil-based one and a lot of effort, losing a few of my own precious lashes in the process. My biggest issue with this product? I like my lashes to look super thick, but noticed that using two coats caused my eyelashes to clump.
Dolce & Gabbana 'Passioneyes Waterproof Mascara' – Sophie Gerendasi, Accessories Editor
I love mascara. If I had to pick just one beauty product to use for the rest of my life, mascara would be it. Naturally, I was really excited to try Dolce & Gabbana’s new ‘Passioneyes Waterproof Mascara’. I never use waterproof makeup and was looking forward to seeing how it compared to the regulars.
I gave this product a proper run for its money. I swam with it on, rushed from meetings to Iftars, and went for long and very steamy (thank you Dubai weather) runs at night – and I failed to find even the tiniest of smudges under my eyes. Incredible! This bad boy stays on, so much so that it takes an extra effort to get it off. What I liked most about it was the way it came off; it didn’t run down all over my face as normal mascara would, but rather it peeled off in little dry pieces.
I love big lashes and I usually layer on a few coats of mascara, but I found that difficult to do with this product as it dries rather quickly, meaning you have to act fast. It took a few applications for me to get the hang of it.
I still adore non-waterproof mascara that you can build and layer easily, but after just a few days, this product has me convinced that I need it in my makeup kit as a summer staple.
Dior 'Diorshow Waterproof Mascara' – Samia Qaiyum, Sub-Editor
Let me preface this by saying I’m an eyeliner girl, through and through. As a relative newbie to the world of mascaras – sacrilege, I know – I was convinced that starting out with Dior anything was a foolproof plan. I decided to put the ‘Diorshow Black Out Waterproof Mascara’ to the test – and what better way than over a vat of Thai noodles and through a walk in the sweltering heat? Initially, the mascara went on too thick and clumpy, but I remained optimistic. With just a little help from an eyelash comb, my lashes actually looked great and felt really hydrated – no complaints.
Soon after, I found myself at an obscure Thai joint, parked over a steaming and relentlessly spicy bowl of ‘Pad Khi Mao’. And if that wasn’t enough, I decided to aimlessly roam the muggy streets of Al Fahidi in 38-degree weather right after. In the midst of all this, a glance in the mirror revealed that the mascara had taken about three hours to smear itself all over my under-eye area, finally helping me relate to all that raccoon-eyed beauty humor. Overall, I’d say this mascara is a safe choice if you’re heading out for a short, mild-mannered meal in an indoor setting.