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Which waterproof makeup is best?

If you go swimming, get stuck in the rain or shed a few tears while wearing makeup or eyeliner, you could get smudges around your eyes or end up looking like a raccoon. Waterproof makeup stays in place even when exposed to moisture, including tears in your eyes or rain. The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is first-class waterproof makeup.

What to know before you buy waterproof makeup

How it works

Waterproof eye makeup has extra ingredients, including dimethicone copolyol, that helps it stay on your lashes or eyelids and develop a strong, waterproof bond. Dimethicone copolyol is a polymer that acts as a barrier to humidity, sweat, water and tears. 

Many of these waterproof makeups also include a variety of waxes since wax stays in place when exposed to moisture. Beeswax, candelilla wax and carnauba wax are the most popular and common waxes used. Waterproof eye makeup also has less water content than other formulas, encouraging a quick drying time that contributes to long-lasting wear.


Some of the benefits of waterproof makeup include being perfect for sports and swimming and resisting running and smudging. This waterproof makeup will remain on your eyelashes or eyelids, even if your eyes tear or water. Waterproof makeup also stands up to heat exposure, humidity and moisture for long-lasting wear.

Removal before sleep

You should never sleep with your makeup on, and waterproof makeup is particularly drying, which means that leaving it on when you go to bed can lead to lash breakage and loss, as well as dry skin on your eyelids or breakouts on your face.

What to look for in quality waterproof makeup


Different brands of mascara and other waterproof makeup have many ingredients with benefits to your eyelashes and eyelids, in addition to the pigments that give waterproof makeup its color and the waxes and polymers that help it remain in place. Some companies include collagen in their waterproof makeup to build strength and minerals and vitamins to nourish your eyelashes and skin and encourage growth. 

Some waterproof makeup doesn’t include artificial dyes or fragrances, parabens, sulfates and harsh chemicals for people who like using natural ingredients. And vegan options are available for people who like to use cruelty-free makeup products.


Many waterproof mascara brands have wands with fluffy, large brushes that separate and define. In contrast, other brands have unique designs with comb-like tops or rounded bristles for applying mascara to small eyelashes.

Color selection

Waterproof mascaras and eyeliners come in classic tones, like brown and black, but many companies also provide bright and edgy colors, including pink, gold and blue.

How much you can expect to spend on waterproof makeup

Waterproof makeup ranges in price from about $5-$50, depending on the quality and features of the makeup.

Waterproof makeup FAQ

How does waterproof eyeliner stay in place?

A. Waterproof eye makeup includes ingredients that repel water to keep the water from ruining your makeup. These ingredients include synthetic or natural substances, including dimethicone copolyol or wax. These emollient ingredients tend to lead to thicker makeup formulas than products that aren’t waterproof.

How regularly should you replace waterproof mascara and eyeliner?

A. Repeatedly removing the mascara or eyeliner wand from the tub will expose it to the air over time, and running the mascara through your eyelashes or the eyeliner to your eyelids will introduce bacteria to your waterproof product. 

Even if a tube of mascara or eyeliner lasts longer than a few months, it’s still a good idea to replace your mascara or eyeliner after three months of using it. If you don’t replace your waterproof makeup often enough, you could place your eyes at risk of infection and irritation.

Are there any natural products that can effectively remove waterproof makeup?

A. Yes, instead of using cold cream or eye makeup remover, you can use a natural plant-based oil to remove stubborn waterproof mascara from your eyelashes. Coconut oil or olive oil are excellent options since they are gentle and moisturizing and probably won’t sting or lead to allergic reactions.

What’s the best waterproof makeup to buy?

Top waterproof makeup

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

What you need to know: This product is considered the most loved eyeliner online, and reviewers say it stays on through everything.

What you’ll love: This waterproof product is praised for not melting, fading or running no matter what happens. It’s also simple to use and goes on smoothly. The eyeliner’s super-thin applicator makes it simple to create a dramatic or subdued line.

What you should consider: This eyeliner might need to be replaced often since it dries out quickly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top waterproof makeup for the money

Maybelline New York Sky High Volumizing Mascara

Maybelline New York Sky High Volumizing Mascara

What you need to know: This popular waterproof product will give you long-lasting coverage and voluminous and lengthened eyelashes.

What you’ll love: This product is safe for sensitive eyes, allergy-tested, ophthalmologist-tested and made with bamboo fibers and extracts for extra fullness. The mascara also includes a flexible brush that will cover your whole lash without any clumping.

What you should consider: This mascara can be hard to remove, and some people say it doesn’t wash off, even after multiple days.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Make Up For Ever Waterproof Eyeliner

Make Up For Ever Waterproof Eyeliner

What you need to know: This waterproof product is perfect for those who like to apply eyeliner to their waterline. 

What you’ll love: This waterproof eyeliner glides on easily and lasts all day, even when you’re swimming. Reviewers love the creamy texture of this product and the intensity and range of color options.

What you should consider: This product is an eye pencil, and you need to practice caution when sharpening its tip.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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