Makeup Artists Say Waterproof Mascaras Can ‘Wreck Your Lashes’—Here Are 5 Long-Wear Options To Try Instead

Photo: Stocksy / Lucas Ottone
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Waterproof mascara defies the elements and will cling to your lashes for long-lasting wear. While that may be helpful on days when you're sweaty or shedding some tears, makeup artist and beauty trailblazer Sir John says they're not good to use on a regular basis.

"I'm not really a huge fan of waterproof mascara," says Sir John, who just launched an online workshop through Sessions by MasterClass where he teaches makeup techniques. "It's like if you were to spray hair spray on your lashes every day. It's wrecked people's lashes over the years. Save it for those days where you know you're going to cry, and it's fine. As long as you're not wearing it daily, and it happens to be like once a month, or every couple weeks, then you're in a good place."

Experts In This Article

If you're now in need of a new everyday mascara, we've got you covered. Sir John, as well as a few other makeup artists, are here to share their favorite non-waterproof, long-lasting mascaras. You can also check out the best mascara for short lashes.

5 long-lasting mascaras to wear instead of waterproof

Photo: L'Oreal
L'Oréal Voluminous Mascara — $10.00

This is Sir John’s go-to mascara. He put it to the test during Beyoncé’s Formation tour, and knows it can stand up to hours of sweating and moving. “It’s my favorite mascara,” he says. MUA Neil Scibeli seconds this rec. “L’Oréal Paris’ voluminous original mascara in blackest black has been my longtime favorite non-waterproof mascara,” says Scibelli. “I’ve used it on clients in active settings ranging from the ballet to the red carpet and it truly holds up! It’s still smudge-proof and long-wearing.”

Essence Lash Princess
Essence Lash Princess — $5.00

“My go-to has been Essence Lash Princess for ages,” says makeup artist Mary Irwin. “That formula is basically life-proof—it always lives in my kit and my personal bag.”

Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift
Maybelline Falsies Lash Lift — $12.00

Celebrity MUA Shadi Malek says this is her favorite mascara. “Its brush is thick on either side and thinner in the middle—this really helps lift and coat the lashes completely,” she says. “It’s washable and very, very black which I love.”



L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise
L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise — $12.00

“I love how thickening and natural this mascara looks, it lasts all day, and I know I can find it in any drug store which is a huge bonus if you’re often on the go or run out because you use it, well, every day,” says makeup artist Emily Amick. “I just attended a wedding recently and if I’m at a wedding I am going to cry—it’s a well-documented fact. I forgot to pack any waterproof mascara with me, and even still Lash Paradise held up.”

MOB Beauty Mascara
MOB Beauty Mascara — $29.00

“One of my new obsessions is from MOB Beauty,” says Irwin. “The founder was the original chemist for MAC cosmetics at the beginning of the brand, and the formulas are really groundbreaking. Their new mascara is refillable, vegan, and cruelty-free. It stays on for ages while also being easy to remove.”

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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