All You Need To Know About Waterproof Mascara

We’ve all been there. You head to the ladies room after running around in the 90-degree heat and discover, to your horror, you now resemble the face of a late night LIV adventure. Except it’s only 3 p.m. Or worse: Your BFF is finally getting hitched to the man of her dreams and you are a big ole softie who quickly gets raccoon eyes as she walks down the aisle. How to solve this ongoing debacle? Waterproof mascara, of course!
While that seems like a no-brainer, the intricacies of the water-insoluble mascara world are actually quite complex. For instance, waterproof mascara is thicker than the regular stuff, wreaking more havoc on your lashes than water-y eyes do on your ego. So in the middle of wedding, allergy, and swim season we turned to the pros at Bal Harbor's Gee Beauty. Natalie, the expert makeup and skin care partner at one of our favorite shops, gave us the lowdown on waterproof mascara and healthy lashes, all from a convenient Miami perspective. Boat day? Pool party? Gym sesh? Psh, no problem. Get ready to look all sorts of smudge-free and beautiful.
Photographed by Nina Westervelt at Marc Jacobs fall 2012
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Natalie is one of the partners at Gee Beauty (along with her mother and siblings, a makeup and skin care studio located in the Bal Harbor shops. Gee focuses on educating people about their skin instead of simply providing cosmetic solutions.

Gee Beauty 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, 305-868-3533.

Photo: Courtesy of Gee Beauty
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When should you wear waterproof mascara?

“Even before you start looking, consider when you’ll need to wear it. I suggest choosing waterproof if you’re going to a wedding, are dealing with an extra hot climate, have allergies, or are an athlete. On another note, some women's lashes don't curl, but because waterproof mascara is a tougher substance, it can help give curl when body and volume are lacking.”

Photographed by Nina Westervelt at Marc Jacobs fall 2012
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How should you protect your lashes?

“You should really protect your eyelashes with an eye primer/lash primer, which will help condition your lashes. We recommend Talika Eyelash Conditioning Cream — it focuses on lashes and nails, so it strengthens and builds proteins and follicles in the lash line and eyebrow. I would also suggest using a lash conditioning gel; it is exceptionally hydrating. Talika Eyelash Lipocils is an amazing botanical that heals, strengthens, and builds up your lashes. Apply it both in the morning and at night and you will see a huge difference.”

Talika Eyelash Conditioning Cream, $30, available at Talika.
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What should you look for in waterproof mascara?

“Obviously, you want the mascara to be water-resistant, which is slightly different than being waterproof — it adds a little more flexibility and is much easier to take off. Look for mascara that has a type of wax — I recommend beeswax — for water repellence. There is definitely completely waterproof mascara out there. For those of you looking to jump into a pool and keep your mascara intact, it’s more about how many coats you apply: the less you coat, the better. I suggest just testing and seeing what brands work best for you.”

“Our Gee Beauty Lush Mascara ($30) is protein-rich, which builds to make the lashes thicker. It gives the lashes strength and flexibility. Botanical extracts and antioxidants (vitamin E) also condition the lashes, and our fiber brush lifts, thickens, and separates to ensure mascara won't clump or flake.”

Gee Beauty Lush Mascara, $30, available at Gee Beauty, 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour, 305-868-3533.
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How should you remove waterproof mascara?

“Sometimes it can be difficult to remove, so make sure you have hypoallergenic, opthalmologist-tested eye makeup remover of a reputable brand. You want to make sure that if it does run, it won't cause any irritation. You can also use protein-based lash conditioning gel to remove your makeup and hydrate your lashes, but make sure you don’t pull them out. Unless you are super careful about taking off your mascara, I wouldn't recommend taking it off every day.”

Almay Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads, $4.99, available at; Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Eye Make-Up Removal Lotion, $5.99, available at; Dermalogica Precleanse, $35, available at dermalogica.
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How should you apply waterproof mascara?

“The less you apply, the less chance you have of it running. Again, if you want to put on mascara and jump into the pool, lightly coat the lashes with just one layer. Go very gently and start at the lash line, wiggling the brush horizontally at the base, then move the brush wand throughout the lash line to the tip. If you apply it in this horizontal way, you will create a thicker look. While you should apply a light coat when going swimming, a heavier coat could be applied for a nighttime look.”

What should you do if your mascara runs?

“Don't let tears or water flow freely down your face. First, take a tissue and dab into the corner of the eye to absorb all of the moisture. Then use a Q-Tip gently below the lash line to help blend the mascara, which might actually create a smoky eye look. Waterproof mascara doesn’t run, but it can be harsh on the lashes. Water-resistant has more of a likelihood of running when direct water is applied, but is less harsh and easier to take off.”

Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Waterproof Mascara, $26, available at Sephora, 721 Collins Avenue, 305-532 0904; Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, $6.40, available at Maybelline; Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash, $23, available at Sephora, 721 Collins Avenue, 305-532 0904.