Come rain, shine or heatwave, I’ve found a waterproof

Somewhere along the line, I took against waterproof mascara through no fault of its own. Its superior ability to hold a curl is beyond dispute, but I found that nine times out of 10, when people thought they wanted waterproof mascara (oil-based and not lifted by water), what they really needed was a smudge-proof one (usually polymer-based and not lifted by oil). And since I neither swim nor gym, I never had much cause to reconsider my position.

It wasn’t until I picked up a silver tube to take with me to Glastonbury –wrongly taking it for an eye crayon – that I found a mascara that meets both these needs. Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is terrific and has proved a keeper. It stayed fast in humidity, rain and the recent sweaty heatwave, never once smudging, flaking or running.

But what I loved most about No Smudge is its look. It isn’t in the least subtle (seriously, who ever asked for subtlety from a mascara?) and gives noticeably longer, blacker and more fluttery lashes. But at the same time – and distinct from its competitors – it stays on the right side of convincing during a season where (speaking for myself, at least) overtly glamorous makeup is not the desired aesthetic.

In not clumping, spiking or adding the kind of hefty volume that calls for a load of eyeshadow to stand up to it, this mascara hits a sweet spot between wallflower and drag queen that feels befitting of summertime. Thanks to the wispy-textured brush, it doesn’t clog, however many coats I have stroked on in a professional attempt to force it to.

It is, however, pricy, at £26, and this is where trouble enters paradise, so allow me to say that a pretty good dupe during a cost of living crisis is e.l.f’s Big Mood Waterproof Mascara, which costs a very affordable £7. It offers the same clean, soft and fluffy finish that can make a big difference without looking effortful, and comes with a similar nylon brush. (I am, broadly, less keen on the bendy rubber brushes some brands offer, but if those are your favourites, try Maybelline’s excellent range of waterproof mascaras.)

As with all waterproof products, the practical drawback lies in the extra minute it takes to remove with an oil-based cleanser (and even then, don’t be surprised if there’s still a hint of mascara stain lingering under your cleansed eyes after sleep or shower). This can be a little wearying – and drying – over time. But when staying put really matters, its refusal to go quietly is reassuring.

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