The Best Waterproof Makeup of 2021

Avoid smudging and running when you have fun in the sun this summer

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Makeup and sweat very rarely get along. Whether you’re navigating a humid day or a grueling workout, your makeup is bound to run, smudge, or drip right off—unless you’ve invested in some sweatproof options. “Waterproof makeup contains the same types of pigments as traditional makeup, but they have added ingredients that prevent them from being washed away by water,” Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist says. 

What are these oh-so-special, water-resistant ingredients? Film formers, according to Dr. Zeichner. “‘Film formers are large molecules that form a waterproof film on a surface,” he says, adding that some of the most common film formers are silicones and acrylates. “Silicones are commonly used in skin and hair care, because they give products a slick feeling,” he says. “Acrylates provide water resistance and help keep products in place, acting like glue for your makeup.”

What’s nice? There’s a lot of waterproof makeup out there. So you can pretty reliably find a sweatproof version of your go-to cosmetics.

Here are the best waterproof makeup products on offer—including one makeup remover designed with waterproof makeup in mind.

Our Top Picks
It can lengthen, volumize, and curl your lashes, as well as give you that sweat-proof application you’re looking for.
The thin formula promises to go on smooth, giving you lightweight coverage you can build up and blend.
Loaded with emollient ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba oil, and cottonseed oil, the pencil feels smooth and almost gel-like.
Widely recognized as one of the best on the market, this waterproof liquid eyeliner glides on smoothly and dries quickly.
Relying on classic waterproofing agents—like trimethylsiloxysilicate—this gives you that sweat-resistant finish you crave.
With a unique hybrid design of part cream and part powder, it makes the eye shadow both intensely pigmented and long-lasting.
This lipstick is designed to go on matte and stay firmly in place for up to 16 hours—even if you work up a sweat.
Designed to be suitable for dry, oily, or combination skin, it promises to be a pretty versatile option.
Waterproof and smudge-proof, it's long-lasting enough to keep you going for up to 48 hours.
Packed with conditioning and soothing ingredients, you can rest assured knowing it should leave your skin feeling soft.

Best Mascara: Tarte Lights, Camera Splashes Waterproof Mascara

Tarte Lights, Camera Splashes Waterproof Mascara
Pros
  • Four-in-one formula

  • Free of parabens and sulfates

  • Cruelty-free

Cons
  • May be tough to remove

  • May feel clumpy or sticky

It can be tough to find a mascara that lengthens and volumizes—and it can be even tougher to find one that’s also waterproof. Thankfully, Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara fits this bill. The mascara relies on beeswax (more formally known as cera alba) and carnauba wax (cera carnauba) to repel moisture every time you wear it, giving you that sweat-proof application you’re looking for.

It also contains something called PVP/eicosene copolymer, an ingredient that’s commonly used in makeup to make products more water-resistant. In other words, the mascara promises to hold up to even your sweatiest workouts. And since it’s designed to add length and volume to your lashes, it promises to be a pretty versatile pick.

Best Foundation: L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation SPF 25

L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation SPF 25
Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable

  • Features SPF

Cons
  • May cause breakouts for some

  • Some may find the coverage too light

L'Oréal’s Infallible Fresh Wear Foundation is a fan-favorite for a reason. It’s lightweight, long-lasting, and waterproof—and it even comes equipped with SPF. The thin formula promises to go on smooth, giving you lightweight coverage you can build up and blend. And since the foundation promises to feel breathable, it isn’t just sweat-proof enough to get you through your workouts—it’s comfortable enough to wear as you exercise.

Silicone-based ingredients—like dimethicone and PEG-10 dimethicone—lend the foundation its silky-smooth texture. And classic waterproofing agents—like trimethylsiloxysilicate—keep the foundation from dripping down your face the moment you work up a sweat.

Also nice? The foundation is available in 40 different shades, so it shouldn’t be hard to find an option that suits your skin tone.

Best Pencil Eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil
Pros
  • Easy application

  • Cruelty-free

Cons
  • Needs frequent sharpening

  • May fade throughout the day

  • May be tough to remove

A good pencil eyeliner goes on smooth, but it still gives you plenty of control. And that’s exactly what Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil promises to do. The eyeliner is loaded with emollient ingredients—like vitamin E, jojoba oil, and cottonseed oil—that make the pencil feel smooth and almost gel-like.

But since the eyeliner is designed to be quick-drying and water-resistant, you shouldn’t have to worry about your eye makeup running. The eyeliner relies on synthetic wax to repel moisture, and it turns to a silicone-based compound called cyclopentasiloxane to dry quickly. Plus, it’s available in 34 shades and three different finishes (matte, satin, and metallic), so you’ll have plenty of options to consider when shopping.

Best Liquid Eyeliner : Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner

Stila Liquid Eyeliner
Pros
  • Eyeliner can last up to half a year

  • Long-lasting wear

Cons
  • May be tough to remove

  • Liquid formula may require some practice

Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is widely recognized as one of the best waterproof liquid liners around. The eyeliner promises to glide on smoothly and dry quickly, so you shouldn’t have to worry about skips or smudges.

Its fine, marker-like tip should give you plenty of control every time you apply the eyeliner. The eyeliner relies on film formers—like styrene/acrylates copolymer and acrylates/octylacrylamide copolymer—to resist moisture. These go-to ingredients lend the eyeliner its sweat-proof endurance—giving you crisp, controlled lines that should last all day.

Best Concealer: Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer

Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Full Coverage Waterproof Concealer
Pros
  • Smooth, lightweight texture

  • Non-comedogenic

  • Tube can last up to four months

Cons
  • Limited shade range

  • Requires a lot of blending to prevent cakiness

Looking for a long-wearing concealer that won’t run the moment you start sweating? Benefit Cosmetics’ Boi-ing Cakeless Waterproof Concealer is here for you. The concealer promises long-lasting wear that won’t cake or crack. And despite its lightweight formula, the concealer should give you the full coverage you’re looking for.

It relies on classic waterproofing agents—like trimethylsiloxysilicate—to give you that sweat-resistant finish you crave. And since it’s available in 14 different shades, it shouldn’t be too tough to find an option that looks great on you.

Best Eye Shadow: L'Oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Shadow, Iced Latte

Pros
  • Can be applied with one's hands

  • Contains conditioning ingredients

Cons
  • Formula may be fragile

  • Not as pigmented as other options

Eye shadows are rarely designed to be waterproof. But L’Oreal Paris’ Infallible Waterproof Eye Shadow genuinely is. The eye shadow boasts a unique hybrid design: It promises the easy application of an eye shadow powder and the smooth texture of an eye shadow cream. This combination makes it both intensely pigmented and long-lasting.

And since it comes equipped with film formers—like nylon-611/dimethicone copolymer and polyethylene terephthalate—you can rest assured knowing it’s waterproof, too. The eye shadow is available in 24 shades, all of which promise to stay on your lids for up to 24 hours at a time. So snag a go-to or stock up on a few—either way, you’re in for a new favorite.

Best Lipstick: Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Lip Color
Pros
  • Long-lasting, matte coverage

  • Easy to apply

Cons
  • May feel sticky or dry

  • May wear off as you wear it

Many lipsticks are designed to feel waxy and smooth. But Maybelline’s SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick is designed to go on matte and stay firmly in place for up to 16 hours—even if you work up a sweat. The waterproof lipstick relies on classic water-resistant ingredients—like trimethylsiloxysilicate and paraffin oil—to stay on, rain or shine. It even comes complete with a few conditioning ingredients that should leave your lips feeling soft and moisturized.

Take full advantage of the lipstick’s uniquely shaped applicator as you apply the high-pigment product onto your lips. Its tapered tip should offer plenty of control, giving you clean lines, full coverage, and a perfect pout.

Best Setting Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Pros
  • Easy to apply

  • Suitable for all skin types

  • Oil- and paraben-free

Cons
  • May not be as effective as standard waterproof makeup

If you’re looking for a way to make your go-to makeup a little more waterproof, consider setting it with Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. The spray promises to keep your makeup smudge-proof and sweat-proof for up to 16 hours at a time. And since it’s designed to be suitable for dry, oily, or combination skin, it promises to be a pretty versatile option.

The setting spray relies on polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), a fixing agent that promises to keep your makeup in place once you’ve applied it. It also contains a few conditioners and moisturizers that should keep your skin from drying out underneath all your makeup.

Best Eyebrow Gel: Maybelline TattooStudio Waterproof Eyebrow Gel

Pros
  • Lasts for up to 48 hours

  • Easy to apply

Cons
  • May be difficult to remove

  • Limited shade range

  • Not non-comedogenic

These days, your makeup isn’t finished until you’ve given your eyebrows a little love. And Maybelline’s Tattoo Brow Waterproof Eyebrow Gel makes it easy to do so. The waterproof gel comes in eight different shades, making it easy to find an option that suits your brows. It also comes with two mascara-like applicators you can use to get the precise coverage you’re looking for.

The eyebrow gel relies on go-to ingredients—like trimethylsiloxysilicate—to repel moisture. This makes the eyebrow gel waterproof, smudge-proof, and long-lasting enough to keep you going for up to 48 hours. That’s an incredibly long time for makeup to stay on your face. So you can rest assured knowing the limiting factor won’t be how long this eyebrow gel can last—but how long you want to wear it.

Best Bronzer: Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer

Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer
Pros
  • Easy to blend and build

  • Dermatologist-tested

  • Gluten- and paraben-free

Cons
  • Not transfer-proof

  • Needs a powder brush for even coverage

Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer is a classic bronzer that promises long-lasting, waterproof wear. The bronzer boasts a warm, shimmery color. And since it promises to be easy to build and blend, you can get a look that’s as natural—or dramatic—as you want it to be.

The bronzer relies on classic waterproofing agents—like trimethylsiloxysilicate—to stay on all day. And, since it’s packed with conditioning and soothing ingredients, you can rest assured knowing it should leave your skin feeling soft.

Best Makeup Remover: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
Pros
  • Gentle and suitable for most skin types

  • Fragrance- and colorant-free

  • Doubles as a makeup brush cleaner

Cons
  • May not be suitable for those prone to acne

Removing waterproof makeup can be very difficult. After all, the makeup is designed to last as long as possible—withstanding water, sweat, and more. But DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil promises to help you get the job done. The fan-favorite makeup remover is loaded with oils that promise to bind with common makeup ingredients, helping you remove your waterproof makeup without much hassle.

Since the makeup remover relies primarily on natural ingredients—like olive oil, rosemary leaf oil, and vitamin E—it promises to be suitable for all skin types. And when you’re done using it to remove your makeup, you can even use it to clean your makeup brushes.

Final Verdict

Every item on this list would make a worthy addition to your makeup collection, depending on what you’re looking for. But if you want to upgrade your entire makeup collection with just one purchase, Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray (view at Nordstrom) is a pretty great pick.

The spray may not make your regular makeup as water-resistant as waterproof makeup, but it should make your regular makeup more water-resistant than it already is. This makes the spray a budget-friendly way to level up your entire makeup collection—without forcing you to replace everything you already own.

What to Look for in Waterproof Makeup

Style

Waterproof makeup is available in a variety of different styles. And depending on how and where you like to wear your makeup, you may not need every item in your collection to be waterproof. Consider which pieces in your makeup bag seem to be the most smudge- or run-prone, and consider replacing those first.

Water-Resistant Ingredients

Being able to read a cosmetic ingredient list isn’t necessary—but it can be useful when you’re shopping. So to determine what’s making your makeup waterproof, look for ingredients like silicones, acrylates, and waxes.

Other Key Ingredients

Odds are, you don’t just want your makeup to be waterproof—you want it to be waterproof and effective. So it’s worth it to pay attention to the other ingredients on the label, too. Do you want something shimmery, moisturizing, or equipped with SPF? Keeping an eye out for other key ingredients can help you understand exactly what you’re getting. 

FAQs

How to take off waterproof mascara without makeup remover

Since waterproof makeup is, well, waterproof, you won’t be able to remove it using water. Instead, you’ll likely need something oil-based. If you can, use a waterproof makeup remover or micellar water. But if you don’t have either on hand, look for something that’s oil-based—and gentle enough to use near your eyes—like petroleum jelly. (Try not to make a habit out of this, though.)

How to make your makeup waterproof

One simple way to make your makeup more water-resistant? Use a water-resistant setting spray once you’re finished applying your makeup. The setting spray will cover your makeup with a light, water-resistant film—making your entire look more sweatproof.

You can also apply a water-resistant primer to your face before you put on the rest of your makeup. 

Is waterproof makeup bad for you?

“The ingredients that make the makeup more waterproof can also be drying to the skin and lashes,” Dr. Hadley King, a New York City-based dermatologist, says. “Some ingredients may also be potentially comedogenic, which could contribute to clogged pores and acne breakouts.” (The word comedogenic just means likely to clog your pores.)

So while waterproof makeup isn’t necessarily bad for you, it isn’t great for you either. Dr. King recommends using waterproof makeup sparingly to avoid dry, broken-out skin and brittle lashes.

Can you swim with waterproof makeup?

Yes! If your makeup is truly waterproof, you should be able to swim with it on. (Unfortunately, some so-called “waterproof” products are more water-resistant than others. So you might want to test out a product before subjecting it to a full-on swim.)

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, effective, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.

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