Beauty Clinic: Panda eyes desperately seeks waterproof mascara

Friday, November 25th, 2016

close up portrait of a young woman crying make up running down face

Q I’m looking for a reliable waterproof mascara. My eyes tend to be watery anyway, and worse in winter if I’m outside in a biting wind and/or rain. Please can you recommend something?

A Like many women, we have the same problem and have tried countless mascaras in the pursuit of non-panda eyes. What we have noticed over the years is that mascara’s ‘waterproof-ness’, and indeed general performance, seems to vary with individuals (a well-evidenced beauty dilemma) and also that some mascaras that are not labelled as being waterproof do the job very well.   Equally, some products that boast of being 100 per cent waterproof are – quite simply – not.

Sarah was trialing a Neals Yard Remedies mascara when she got caught in a deluge for a good 15 minutes. The product did not budge, despite making no claims to be waterproof, and was a really good everyday mascara, with 78 per cent organic ingredients. One reviewer, however, found it flaked off, underlining the point about individual response. Neals Yard Remedies Lengthening Mascara, (£16 in black only), from www.nealsyardremedies.com.

At ‘Beauty Steal’ level, Jo finds that Revlon Ultimate All-in-One Mascara, (£9.99 in a choice of three shades) stays put reliably and has a fantastic wand: grippy, and small – which actually makes it fantastically manoeuvrable, easy to access even the teensiest lashes. (It’s available in a waterproof and a non-waterproof version.)

So, for us, it was back to a coat of Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara (currently £18.90, only in shade black at johnlewis.com), which, as one reviewer says, ‘does exactly what it says on the tin – no smudges even with tears or rain’. (Though again the odd reviewer found it didn’t work, to the mystification of the rest.) The clever thing is that when you apply No Smudge over any other mascara, (eg Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara, £21, available in black, one of Sarah’s long-term favourites), you make your lashes waterproof immediately.

Recently, Clinique launched Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara, (£20 in Black Onyx only), which ‘resists smudges and smears for up to 24 hours yet removes easily with warm water’, according to the blurb. Again we have been testing this for a few days in recent downpours and it certainly hasn’t moved. (NB the fat tube looks like it might house a big fat wand but in fact the wand is nice and slim, which we prefer as it’s easier to control.)

Finally, in order to avoid the risk of eye infections, please do replace mascara every two to three months after opening – and always if you do have any type of eye infection – and don’t share. If you have a problem, consult a doctor.