Sunday, 16 November 2008

Longer, thicker, curlier lashes is the promise of many mascaras. We go to great lengths to find out which waterproof mascaras work best.

The Basics

  • As a general rule, the color of your mascara should complement your hair color. 

  • Black is good for a more dramatic look. There are a variety ofdifferent shades of black — they’re subtle, but it can make adifference.

  • Application is usually what makes the biggest difference. Finding the right brush for you is more important than what goes on it:

    • A curve-style brush gives you more lift.

    • A comb-style brush helps separate and define your lashes.

    • A smaller brush helps get to smaller areas to coat every lash.

    • Big brushes deposit more color on your lashes but require a bigger tube.

  • Larger tubes of mascara tend to dry out and clump faster. Most — if not all — mascaras dry out before the tube is empty.

  • If you want curly lashes, invest in an eyelash curler instead of pricey mascara.

  • If your mascara smudges, it may not be the product. Too much moisturizer or a greasy under-eye concealer can cause mascaras to break down.

Other Considerations

  • Waterproof mascara can be a challenge to remove, which means it’s harder on your eyes and lashes than regular mascara. Unless you’re constantly dealing with a moist environment, it’s best to only use waterproof mascara occasionally.

Be Aware

  • All mascaras are basically the same formula, so don’t believe the marketing hype. Remember that cosmetics companies don’t need to substantiate claims like “thickening”, “lengthening” and “curling”.

  • Don’t pump the wand in and out of the mascara. This lets more air in and causes the mascara to dry out faster.

  • Mascara gets clumpy as it gets older, no matter what brand.

  • Mascara is easily contaminated by bacteria so don’t share it, and replace it often (e.g. every three months).


We wanted to find out which mascara could stand up to a regular day and to some extreme smudging situations. We tested these waterproof mascaras: 

  • Lancome: $26.00

  The Bay Amazon.com
  • Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof: $5.99

  Well.ca Drugstore.com
  • Revlon: $9.59

  Well.ca Amazon.com
  • Elizabeth Arden:$22.00
  The Bay


(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)

Smudge Test

We went to the waterslides, worked up a sweat at a hot yoga class, and shed some tears slicing onions wearing all of our test products. We found:

  • All of our contenders had similar results, no matter the cost or brand. There was a bit of flaking, but no smudging.

Application Test

  • Our testers were fans of the Lancome brush, but not the price

  • Maybelline came a close second with an easy, effective application brush.


We say buy cheap and replace often. Maybelline Great Lash is our mascara of choice.



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