I’m currently going through my “I need to wear mascara” phase. I’m a scuba diver and also enjoy going to the pool, AND I’m a girl! LOL seriously why do girls need to wear make up when exercising or doing water activities, you ask? It’s a self-confidence booster, and it makes me feel good when I do…as long as it stays where I put it. So I need a waterproof mascara that will maintain through my water activities without the panda-eye. I also have my Asian lashes to contend with: Short and straight on top and very lacking on the bottom. I don’t curl my lashes much either, basically for fear of pinching my skin, and they rarely hold a curl anyway when I try.
Here are some good videos where I learned how to put on on mascara and how to curl lashes.
It’s been a few years since I wore mascara and when I did I bought the blinc mascara (aka kiss me) mascara from Sephora. It’s a tubing mascara that was also $26. Basically as you apply the mascara on it coats your lashes in a protective tube. It is smudgeproof as it does not react with the oils of your skin, and pretty waterproof. I say “pretty” because I do recall that the tubes came off once when I was at the beach or pool. And I do mean tubes. With blinc you save on make up remover because all you need is steamy water, like from a shower. The steam expands the tubing around your lashes and then you can slowly pull them off. This also translates into: Don’t wear this mascara if you plan on going into the hot tub…or if you do, just don’t touch your lashes until after you’ve gotten out and cooled down.
I’m going to go on the assumption that mascara technology has changed since 2009 and right now I’m trying to see if there is a mascara on the cheap and cheerful side of the financial scale that will maintain on a water-filled day. On a day in September 2012 I did some research (two-hours worth) on waterproof mascara reviews and the results are amazing. Basically everyone has their OWN favorite mascara. Not one really stood out from the pack. From drugstore brands (CoverGirl, Maybelline, etc.) to high-end brands (Givenchy $30 a tube! wow!).
So I was left feeling very overwhelmed with my choices. I finally narrowed it down to four waterproof mascaras: Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara, CoverGirl Professional All-in-One mascara, L’Oreal Double Extend, and Maybelline Full ‘N Soft. I bought them all at CVS because they have a great return policy on beauty supplies. 30 day no questions asked on opened or unopened beauty products as long as you have the receipt. So you can try even AFTER you buy. Sounds like a logical policy to me.
Let’s just say I was feeling pretty proud of myself and my research. To top it off, two of my cousins were in town, both of whom are make up artists (Seevon’s in New York and Pam’s in California), so I could get their opinions. They’re also sisters. A make-up talented family. Seevon suggested blinc. (That was before I figured out that kiss me changed the name.) She said that she used that for her brides. It withstands wedding tears. Nice to know for my back up if need be.
I told Seevon about my bag of goodies, but none of them she has used. Pam on the other hand quickly debunked them ALL at once. As she looked through them she said “Return. Return. Return. Return.” Her advice, L’oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes. She just wore it recently and that got her through wedding tears as well. However, she did not know if it could withstand pool or beach use. The next night I saw her she had bought me a tube of it. Thanks P!
So I had 30 days to try 5 mascaras. I had a whole elaborate plan to do this review. Like packaging, curling quality, ease of application and removal, illusion of lash thickness, wand shape, smudge factor (awake and after sleep) and of course waterproofness. Well, I have to be honest, getting up early for curling, going to work and then motivating myself to go to the pool during the week sounded quite exhausting. So my review is not as extensive as I would have liked, but it was what worked for me.
First up, Pam’s choice:L’oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes. Very nice gold tube. It’s odd shape makes it easy to open. Application was easy. Not very thick though. I kind of curled my lashes. It kept what I had. Wand shape was standard straight and wide. The masacara got through the day with no smudgeness. A little smudgy out of the shower. And some flakes and skin next day after bed. Overall not too shabby. Mascara was not tried in pool or at the beach.
Second mascara was the Almay One Coat Nourishing Mascara. I guess my expectations for this mascara was a little high and unrealistic. I was really hoping for “extra” lashes, which obviously it didn’t give! LOL It just made do with what I have and since I already don’t have much I was disappointed with the reality of it. Oh well. I did not curl nor take this masacara to the pool or beach. Application was easy. It coated a little bit thicker, but nothing too crazy. (The problem with writing these reviews after the fact is you tend to forget what the results are.) I can’t remember the smudgness nor waterproof factor. All I know is that it wasn’t exciting enough for me to keep it.
At this point I was on day 4 or 5 of testing and I was getting kinda bored. Unlike Pam I just don’t have the patience to try a bunch of make up. I just wanted to find the ONE already! LOL So I sifted through the final three mascaras and decided their fate.
I read alot of great reviews about Maybelline’s Full ‘N Soft, I was excited to try it, but the reviews did say that it gave a more natural look. I decided probably not what I was going for. So that went in the return bag.
Next was the L’Oreal’s Double Extend. It had a primer on one side and the mascara on the other. Hmmm, too much work for me. I wanted simple. In the bag it went.
So the third and final mascara I decided to try was the CoverGirl Professional All-in-One mascara. It almost seemed to call out to me once I broke the seal and pulled the wand out. The brush was curved and somehow it seemed to make a difference in the ease of application to my short and sparse lashes. It kept the brush on my lashes and away from my eyes. I’ve also come to learn it’s ok to go messy on the application, especially on my short bottom lashes. Just clean up after with lotion and a qtip. The coat of the mascara went on thicker. Not false eyelashes thick, but more than natural. Smudge factor was low after a shower and after a night of sleep. Waterproof was pretty good. Tried in shower AAAAND at the beach, although I did wear a mask at one point in the water. Face still got wet though after, but it seemed to have passed the beach test.
Shower Test Update on CG Professional All-In-One 09/20/12: If applied thickly and worn in warm water the mascara does run, but a wipe and rinse around the affected eye areas should wash away the panda effect. I still need to test in cold water pool and will update accordingly.
After all this testing I conclude that for me, CG Professional will be my primary mascara. It is easy to apply and there is no fear of clumping. It makes my lashes look thicker and I do not have to worry about it so much when I hit the surf or pool. The black also has better staying power than the brown. The L’Oreal Voluminous False Fibers will be my secondary drug store brand mascara.
I know that what works for me will not necessarily work for you. If you’re a Scuba Diva and/or a Bathing Beauty tell me in the Comments section which mascara works for you when you dive or swim and what type of lashes you have. Please also see my post regarding really good waterproof eyeliners by Milani.