The Best Drugstore Waterproof Mascaras

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Whether you're preparing for a wedding, heading to the gym, or hunkering down to watch a movie all but guaranteed to bring the waterworks, you know there's only one kind of a mascara that will save you from embarrassing streaks — a reliable waterproof one. But here's a little secret: there's not actually much of a difference between an under-$10 tube from the drugstore and a pricier one you'd find at a department store. The best drugstore waterproof mascaras are smudge-proof, raccoon-eye resistant, and capable of delivering million-dollar lashes — all for a fraction of the cost of designer brands.

From a lengthening mascara that's great for swimming to a clump-free, volumizing one that stands up to sweat, you're guaranteed to find a waterproof mascara here that meets your needs and has your back. However, it's important to keep in mind that there are some trade-offs to be made. While a long-lasting, waterproof mascara will hold up no matter what circumstance you're in (hot yoga, no problem!), that also means you'll need a good makeup remover to get it off at the end of the day.

Not surprisingly, many time-crunched ladies out there (myself included) want the best of both worlds: a wash-off waterproof mascara. However, that usually requires vigorous scrubbing that can obliterate lashes. For that reason, I've also included some inexpensive, gentle makeup wipes that are extremely effective at getting even the most stubborn mascara off, and won't add more than a few seconds to your routine.

Now it's time to shop. The mascaras below are all are under $8 and have beauty aficionados raving.

1. Best Waterproof Mascara For Swimming

Let's be honest, swimming with mascara on is the ultimate test. You need to be confident that it's completely waterproof, lest you want small children running from you at the pool. Fortunately, Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara is the real deal. Its staying power is so strong, in fact, that it's even a little hard to get off even when you're ready to remove it.

In addition to being smudge and budge-proof, it also adds tons of volume, thanks to its unique fanning brush, which features 10 layers of bristles that fan out every little lash.

What fans are saying: "I have sensitive and severe dry eyes that water spontaneously. I need waterproof mascara because of this. This stays on till I take it off! Works amazing, swimming, sweating, rubbing, and crying with no smears. It also thickens and lengthens with very little clumping, as well or better, than high end expensive mascaras I've used. This is my daily mascara and I use it even if I don't wear other eye makeup."

1. Best Sweat-Proof Mascara

Whether you're spinning or sunbathing, you need a sweat-proof mascara that can stand the heat. Maybelline Volum' Express The Colossal Big Shot waterproof mascara won't run, smudge, or flake even when you're dripping. In fact, it's the mascara of choice for a much-watched Peloton instructor. Its unique wavy brush reaches root to tip for some seriously bold volume, plus the collagen formula glides on easy, without clumping.

What fans are saying: "This was $6.97 and, at least on me, it did not clump and it did not flake! or smudge, even overnight. I can't believe how amazing this mascara is. Of course, it adds length and volume but what I love is that it doesn't budge. Summer is coming and I'm thinking this will even hold up in heat and in the water! A lot of look for under $7!!!!"

3.Best Waterproof Mascara For Lengthening

If you're looking for a waterproof mascara that stays on all day and adds some much-needed length to short lashes, than L'Oréal Paris Voluminous Butterfly Waterproof Mascara is the only way to go. The "Butterfly Brush" is asymmetrical to extend every last lash, even the tiny corner ones. It reaches from the root to add volume, and the unique fiber formula glides on silky smooth.

What fans are saying: "I love the way the brush works on my short eyelashes. It makes them look longer and fuller than any other mascara I've tried. I've tried really expensive ones and even ones with the microfibers that are supposed to lengthen or thicken your lashes. NOT EVEN CLOSE to this product!"

4. Best Waterproof Mascara For Sensitive Eyes

A classic drugstore staple like Maybelline Great Lash Lots Of Lashes Mascara might not be seem like an obvious choice for sensitive eyes, but it's hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist-tested, contact lens safe, and easier to remove than some waterproof options. It also features a conditioning, smudge-proof formula that glides on smoothly for long, thick lashes.

What fans are saying: "I have sensitive eyes and allergies, so I cannot wear traditional mascara. This product extends my natural lashes and makes them more prominent. I have also used it as an eyebrow definer, and it keeps those eyebrow hairs from straying. It doesn't cause any negative side effects, either!"

Also Great: Make-Up Removing Wipes That Work On Waterproof Mascara

These Neutrogena Cleansing Fragrance Free Makeup Remover Facial Wipes easily remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara, without damaging or pulling out your lashes. The towelettes are gentle, mega-convenient (you don't have to rinse your face afterwards), and great for travel too. And since they've been ophthalmologist, dermatologist, and allergy-tested, even those with sensitive eyes can feel confident using them.

What fans are saying: "After experimenting with multiple products over the years, I’ve determined the Neutrogena wipes are the most effective at removing all the heavy duty eye makeup I wear daily. I usually get the regular formula, however I purchased fragrance-free accidentally, and hoo-boy what a lucky mistake! These perform exactly as expected, but the fragrance-free-fragrance is so much more tolerable; furthermore, there seems to be a difference in the formula’s texture, which I greatly prefer in the fragrance-free version. Definitely repurchasing in the future."

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