Mar 15, 2024

The 10 Best Drugstore Waterproof Mascaras of 2023 Under $12

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To carry you through beach days, weddings, rom-com marathons, and more.

If you, like us, are in search of a waterproof mascara that rivals Taylor Swift's Eras Tour look that managed to stay pristine through a deluge, we're happy to serve. You'll find yourself reaching for it more often then you might think: lackadaisical days spent whiling away by the pool or beach, seriously sweaty workouts, hours and hours spent running errands, and events brimming with happy tears (like weddings). Perhaps surprisingly, many of the best waterproof mascaras are from drugstore brands, and they work hard to plump, separate, and lengthen lashes.

Just ahead, find the 10 best drugstore waterproof mascaras to keep in your makeup bag for all of life's wet, teary moments. All of these products fall below $12, and you can pick 'em up both online and at your local drugstore. There are non-clumping mascaras for volumizing, lengthening, separating, and lifting lashes—all without smudging or streaking if they get wet. Bring it on, beach day.

Here's a waterproof mascara you'll want to keep around for the lashes in the inner corners and your lower lashes. The brush is slim and small for covering every last lash without a smudge. Reviewers write that it's also a good pick for anyone with deep-set or small eyes.

If your lashes often feel brittle or fragile when you're not wearing mascara, a hydrating formula like this one from Neutrogena might help. It's formulated with hyaluronic acid and keratin to not only make lashes look longer and thicker, but also strengthen them for the long haul.

This consistently viral mascara from Maybelline fulfills the holy trinity of mascara achievements: volume, lift, and separation. Not to mention it's budget-friendly and adds thickness while still looking natural.

Revlon's hugely popular waterproof mascara is one of the best mascaras period, not to mention one of the best waterproof options. Reviewers rave about how well it curls lashes and plumps them for a dramatic look.

Get the doe-eyed look with L'Oréal's popular eye-opening waterproof mascara. The formula doesn't transfer (a key feature for wet or sweaty moments), and reviewers note that it curls even the straightest lashes.

NYX is beloved by the beauty world for a reason, people! (Well, actually, many reasons.) This waterproof mascara is likely the most waterproof one on our list, so if you're an enthusiastic swimmer—or crier, no shame—reach for it, stat. Review after review notes that it doesn't create raccoon eyes or flake off throughout the day.

Looking for fluttery, wispy lashes over thick volume? You'll want to look for a lengthening mascara like this one from Essence, which has a fluffy conical brush to create those natural-looking lash extensions. And the price is practically unbeatable.

There are few beauty woes more annoying than expertly applying mascara only for your lashes to stick together the moment it dries. CoverGirl's Clump Crusher mascara aims to do exactly what the name implies: Get rid of clumps and separate lashes. Just to note, its formula is water-resistant rather than waterproof, so it's good for watery eyes from allergies, extra sweaty workouts, and the like, but probably not swimming.

Forgo the pricey lash extensions and messy false lash application and instead snap up E.l.f's mascara, which essentially does the same thing. It's boosted by jojoba wax, which the brand says holds your lash's curl throughout the day.

For big eyes and naturally long lashes, look to this classic option from CoverGirl. The brush is large, with lots of bristles to separate your lashes and evenly distribute the formula to reach from corner to corner.

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