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Don't let rain (or tears) ruin your mascara — 12 waterproof picks starting at $5

There's an expert-approved pick for every budget.
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Summer is on the horizon and rising temperatures have probably got you ready to rotate your seasonal beauty products. While you might want to wait on some things like foundation to determine your summer colors, there are other, easier switches that can be made almost immediately like mascara.

Warmer weather means more days spent outside (probably sweating) so you'll want to replace your current mascara with a waterproof and smudge-proof formula that will stand up to beach days, outdoor activities and a little sweat.

Makeup artist Jeannia Robinette tells Shop TODAY that the best waterproof mascaras are long-lasting and don't require a touch-up. “You can go to work, to the beach, workout and you’ll be set all day," she says. "You don’t have to worry about your mascara running, getting in your eye or smudging; you can just go about your day, and it won’t move.”

We turned to Robinette and celebrity makeup artist Megan Lanoux to get the scoop on waterproof mascaras that you can rely on for the summer and beyond. The best part? They start at just $5.

Best waterproof mascaras, according to experts

L’Oréal Voluminous Volume Building Waterproof Mascara

After trying dozens of different waterproof mascaras for an underwater photoshoot in Antigua, Robinette found that the L’Oréal Voluminous Volume Building Waterproof Mascara worked best. “I tested and tried so many different mascaras, even dunked my own face in the water for research and this mascara was the best,” she says.

“This has been one of my favorite waterproof mascaras for years,” she adds. “I like it because you can build your lashes up and make them look full without getting that sticky feel that waterproof mascaras can sometimes give.”

Not only is it an expert favorite, but it also won best budget mascara in our own Beauty Awards earlier this year.

L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara

“This is probably my favorite drugstore waterproof mascara,” Lanoux says. “While a lot of waterproof mascaras leave your lashes feeling dry, this one does not. It also gives my lashes a very natural look.”

Lanoux isn't the only one who loves the L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara. It has over 37,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon.

One impressed reviewer said, "I have worn it all day on multiple occasions with no flaking. I have purposely left it on overnight, and there was the smallest amount of flaking but still looked amazing even after a full 24 hours of wear."

Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies Waterproof Mascara

You can't go wrong with a classic like this one. The beloved Maybelline waterproof mascara has a unique spoon-like brush designed to lift and separate to create fuller lashes with zero clumps.

“This mascara gives a nice lift and curl to the lashes,” says Robinette. “The brush allows you to get a great dramatic lash without any flaking. It keeps the lashes plump all day and it’s cheap too.”

Pixi Beauty Lash Booster Waterproof Mascara

“I like this mascara because it does it all,” Lanoux says. She describes it as opening up her eyes and delivering on curl, length and volume.

The Pixi Beauty waterproof mascara delivers a "push-up" effect that will last all day long. The cone-shaped brush evenly coats each lash, and the formula is available in various shades, including "blackest blue," which helps the white part of your eyes pop.

Benefit They’re Real Lengthening Mascara

Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara isn’t necessarily marketed as a waterproof mascara, but Robinette raves about how well it stays on.

“It gives you very dark and deep lashes — kind of like dramatic doll lashes,” she explains. “The brush allows you to perfectly separate your lashes, but make sure when you put it on you’re ready to go because this stuff is no joke. When it dries, your lashes will stay exactly how you put it on, all day.”

Best waterproof mascaras, according to shoppers

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Waterproof Mascara

Affordable makeup brand Essence is best known for quality products at low price points that actually work, like the Lash Princess Curl & Volume Mascara. This waterproof mascara is no different, according to the rave reviews on Ulta with several shoppers saying its the best the brand has to offer.

Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof Mascara

This volumizing mascara boasts zero clumping and instant results like 10 times more volume and instant fullness and length. One reviewer called it their "holy grail mascara" and even said it lasted through an intense workout.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High Waterproof Mascara

You might recognize this mascara from its non-waterproof counterpart's viral TikTok fame. Just like the original, shoppers can't get enough of this mascara — it has over 83,000 verified five-star ratings on Amazon.

"As I'm getting older, I feel like my lashes are shorter and thinner than they used to be so I've been testing many mascaras to give them some volume and length and after spending a lot of money I really didn't have, I figured I'd try this and I was absolutely amazed," one reviewer raved.

Bestidy Twinkle Starlight Long Curl Waterproof Mascara

According to the brand, this mascara has a formula that will keep your lashes long, thick and voluminous through rain, tears and sweat. Reviewers agree, with one person calling it "totally giftable" after wearing it for over 12 hours in high temperatures and even shedding some tears.

Pacifica Beauty Aquarian Gaze Water Resistant Long Lash Mineral Mascara

Infused with ingredients like coconut oil, kelp extract and vitamin B, this mascara is formulated to hydrate and strengthen your lashes while simultaneously lengthening and volumizing them. "I used to use a very expensive waterproof because I figured you had to pay for the amount of reliability, but this showed me I was wrong," one verified five-star reviewer wrote.

Milk Makeup Waterproof Rise Lifting + Lengthening Mascara

This waterproof mascara is new to the brand but already receiving rave reviews from shoppers. According to its description, it lifts and lengthens lashes, holds curl and even adds volume. "I HAVE NEVER LOVED A MASCARA MORE!!" wrote one enthusiastic Sephora reviewer. "It is definitely very waterproof. It rained while I was wearing it and I looked up an a giant droplet fell directly in my eye and it didn’t even fall or look off slightly."

Nudestix Vegan Splashproof Mascara

This mascara touts its ability to not only be waterproof but sweatproof, too! The brand describes it as a long-wearing "high-performance mascara" and Sephora reviewers are loving it. One reviewer said it was the perfect choice for all the happy tears they shed on their wedding day.

Meet the experts

  • Jeannia Robinette is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist that has been in the beauty industry for more than two decades.
  • Megan Lanoux is a New York-based makeup artist, hairstylist and groomer.