Home Makeup 9 Best Non-Waterproof Mascaras

9 Best Non-Waterproof Mascaras

by Gabbi

Everyone wants to have beautiful lashes, but not everyone is blessed with them. Thankfully, there are dozens of incredible mascaras that can darken, lengthen, curl, and thicken your lashes.

But with so many options comes overwhelm. It’s so hard to choose the right mascara when you don’t know what to look for.

There are choices for everyone: waterproof, non-waterproof, natural, non-toxic, black, brown, blue, lengthening, volumizing, and so on. Take your pick.

So, what are the best non-waterproof mascaras? When it comes to waterproof or non-waterproof mascaras, there are many strong options. Some love the convenience of not worrying about smudging your mascara from humidity (or sometimes, tears), while others don’t want to deal with the somewhat difficult removal process of waterproof mascaras.

If you are in the latter group, this article is for you. Are you looking for the best non-waterproof mascara that gives you amazing lashes without damaging your natural ones? We’ve got you covered.

We’ll go over all of the top-rated options for non-waterproof mascaras that are currently available, and we’ll tell you everything you want to know about them so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

How To Choose The Best Non-Waterproof Mascara

There are lots of factors to consider when choosing your mascara. But before we dive into them, let’s talk about why you might want a non-waterproof mascara.

Waterproof Vs. Non-Waterproof Mascara

As you can imagine, waterproof mascara has a stronger hold on your lashes and does not get dissolved by water. 

This can be very convenient if you’re worried about smudging your mascara while swimming, going out in the rain, or just watching a sad movie with a glass of wine (we’ve all been there).

But convenience comes with a cost. Removing waterproof mascara at the end of the night can be a hassle.

You might need special makeup removers that work on waterproof makeup in order to dissolve the compounds in your waterproof mascara. 

As you’re trying to rub it off, you might even pull some of your lashes out – ouch! This is not ideal for you if you’re trying to have thick, healthy lashes.

Waterproof mascaras also often contain per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which have been associated with impaired immune function, certain cancers, and increased risk of diabetes, obesity, and endocrine disruption, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health.

While the effect of waterproof mascara on your health is unclear, many people would rather be safe than sorry, so they choose to use non-waterproof mascara.


When selecting the best non-waterproof mascaras, we focused on the formula first. Most mascaras are made with some sort of pigment and a waxy substance that coats your lashes and makes the pigment stick to them.

Some mascaras are made totally vegan, meaning they don’t use any animal products like beeswax or lanolin. If that’s not important to you, then beeswax-based mascaras have great wearability.

There are many mascaras on the market that have “clean” formulas these days, meaning they don’t contain any sulfates, parabens, or fragrances that can irritate your eyes. We make sure to include a lot of these cleaner formulas on our list.

We also tried to prioritize formulas that have eyelash-nourishing ingredients like castor or jojoba oil. It’s always great when your makeup can help, rather than diminish, your natural beauty.


Another important factor to look at when picking your non-waterproof mascara is the brush type. 

The brush is what makes the mascara perform so well. Some brushes are better suited for adding length to your lashes, while others are more adept at adding thickness and volume.

Many companies also create unique brush shapes that combine both of those factors to offer you the best of both worlds.

When putting together our list of best mascaras, we made sure to pay attention to their brush types and how well they deliver what they promise.


Just because you’re choosing a non-waterproof mascara, it doesn’t mean that you don’t want your mascara to stay put all day without smearing or crumbling. 

We made sure to recommend mascaras that can truly last through the workday – or a night out – without failing you. 

Certain ingredients, like silicones, make mascaras last longer and stick to your lashes better. But we also relied on a lot of personal reviews and feedback from real users.

Based on their reviews, we were able to choose only the best and most reliable non-waterproof mascaras that really work!

Best Non-Waterproof Mascaras

Here are the best non-waterproof mascaras based on our research:

RankProductKey Features
1.Buxom Lash Volumizing MascaraGives you volume without clumping, contains nourishing vitamins and antioxidants
2.Pretty Vulgar Faux Reals Extreme Volume MascaraIncredibly clean and vegan formula that gives you “faux lash” effect
3.Blinc UltraVolume Tubing MascaraBest of tubing mascaras that give you length and volume in one swipe. Easy to wash off
4.ILIA Limitless Lash MascaraClean mascara that gives you length and conditions your lashes while you wear it
5.Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash PrimerIncludes primer and mascara in one tube. Clean EWG-certified formula that lengthens your lashes
6.e.l.f. Big Mood MascaraHuge volume on a small budget
7.Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting MascaraGives you a very natural look while lifting and curling your lashes for the entire day
8.essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect MascaraFalse lash effect on a budget - lots of length and volume at the same time
9.Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Washable MascaraTen-layer bristles brush that coats every single lash for a fanned-out effect

1. Buxom Lash Volumizing Mascara

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If you’re looking for incredible volume and shine, this Buxom mascara has got you covered.

Its formula is incredibly smooth and infused with glossy patent leather pigments, vitamins, and antioxidants to keep your lashes looking healthy and fierce.

Buxom has added rose water and vitamin E to its formula to help you hydrate and nourish your lashes while you’re wearing it.

Their brush is specifically designed to maximize volume. It consists of an hourglass shape with many longer and shorter bristles placed together in a way that picks up every single eyelash and coats it in the thick mascara formula.

We love that despite all the volume it creates, this mascara does not produce any clumps. And it’s very easy to wash off with water and a cleanser, so you won’t be stuck rubbing and pulling your eyes at the end of the day.

2. Pretty Vulgar Faux Reals Extreme Volume Mascara

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For those looking for both a clean and cruelty-free vegan formula, this Pretty Vulgar mascara has it all. 

The formula is incredibly clean: no fragrances, no talc, no gluten, no oils, no sulfates, no parabens, and all vegan ingredients. 

It’s made with synthetic beeswax and rice bran wax to maintain strong but gentle consistency. 

Its brush is soft and fluffy and features a subtle hourglass shape which helps add volume to the lashes. It also adds a good amount of length and overall lives up to its promise of giving you a faux lash effect.

Users love that it gives them fuller lashes without looking overdone or clumpy. Many have said they’ve stopped wearing eyeliner because this mascara is THAT good. Try it for yourself!

3. Blinc UltraVolume Tubing Mascara

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Tubing mascaras are becoming all the rage, and we’re here for it. Tubing mascaras contain tube-like polymers which wrap around each individual lash, generating an enhanced lengthening effect. 

There has been an influx of tubing mascaras coming out by different brands, but this Blinc one is one of the best.

The benefits of tubing mascaras are that they give you the kind of length and lift that you can’t get from a conventional mascara unless you’re willing to spend 30 minutes every morning curling your lashes and applying several coats of product to get the desired effect.

Blinc’s UltraVolume Tubing mascara gives you an impressive faux lash look in one single swipe. If you’re going for drama – this will give it to you.

The mascara features a nice fluffy brush that both lengthens and curls your lashes up. 

The best thing about this mascara is that despite the volume it gives you, it’s so easy to wash off. Just a little bit of warm water and gently massaging with your fingers will remove all the tubing polymers without smearing under your eyes or leaving a mess.

If you’ve never tried a tubing mascara before, definitely give this one a go!

4. ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara

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This ILIA mascara has a lot of fans all over the world. First of all, it has a great clean formula.

Made with a blend of organic beeswax and carnauba oil, it is 99% naturally derived and free from fragrances and synthetic dyes.

It’s also actually good for your lashes. ILIA has added keratin oil and shea butter to help condition and nourish your lashes while you wear it. It’s like a serum for your eyelashes that doubles as a mascara!

The brush itself features a patented design, with long bristles that comb your lashes and coat each strand separately – giving you tons of length and pigment, without the dreaded “spider-legs” effect.

If you’re looking for a clean mascara without harmful chemicals that gives you length and conditioning – this is a great choice.

5. Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer

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This mascara is a 2-in-1 solution that comes with a lash primer. The primer helps enhance the mascara’s performance and longevity. 

The formula of the mascara is infused with nourishing jojoba esters and free from parabens, paraffins, synthetic fragrances, silicones, and mineral oils.

The brush is designed to build length, and it does so well. The bristles are firm and straight, allowing you to comb through each lash while coating them with the buildable formula. This mascara doesn’t clump or make your lashes stick together.

We love that this mascara is EWG-certified, meaning it’s made with the cleanest ingredients that aren’t linked to any health issues.

The primer really helps make your lashes look long and healthy, while the nourishing pigmented formula of the mascara gives you instant runway eyes.

6. e.l.f. Big Mood Mascara

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This is an award-winning mascara that fits every budget. Known for the dramatic volume it gives you, this mascara is smudge-proof and creamy. 

Don’t be intimidated by the size of the brush – it’s big. But it’s made that way intentionally, to pull at ever lash you have and make it pop.

Despite the size and big promises of volume, the creamy formula does a good job of never clumping, so your lashes will look great.

The Big Mood Mascara features a vegan formula and uses jojoba oil in its formulation to nourish and condition your lashes all day.

There’s a reason so many people love this mascara. If you’re looking for big volume on a small budget – this is a great option.

7. Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara

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This Benefit mascara is great for those who are looking for a more natural look while still enhancing and awakening their eyes.

This mascara has a great formula that adds smooth length and curls your lashes up. Because it doesn’t add too much thickness to your lashes, it looks very natural.

The mascara features a unique patent-pending hook and curl brush, that is specifically designed to gently pick each lash and curl it up while coating it with the nourishing formula. 

The result? Beautiful, natural-looking, bright eyes with long perky lashes. 

One user said of this mascara, “With one coat my lashes were to the ceiling.” We think that sums it up pretty nicely.

8. essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

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This mascara recently got popular on TikTok, which means a lot of people like it. 

Designed to give you the best of both worlds – length and volume – this mascara features a fluffy, slightly cone-shaped brush that coats every single lash in its rich formula while providing it with lift and length.

Most users agree that it lasts all day without flaking or smudging, and gives their lashes a dramatic look. 

We like the formula because it’s vegan and cruelty-free, however it does not contain any lash-nourishing ingredients like some of the other mascaras on our list. That being said, it’s a great mascara for those looking for good performance on a budget.

9. Maybelline New York Lash Sensational Washable Mascara

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If you want to elongate, separate, and fan out your lashes, look no further than this Maybelline mascara. It’s been around for a while and it’s only gotten more popular with time thanks to its unique brush and solid formulation.

The brush was designed specifically to fit most eye shapes. It consists of ten layers of bristles, ensuring that each lash is coated and separated from the rest, giving you that fanned-out effect.

The brush makes it so that this mascara works well for everyone. Short lashes, long lashes, unruly lashes, straight lashes, and sparse lashes… every lash out there will get longer, thicker, and curled by this wand.

The only downside is that this mascara is not vegan or particularly “clean” but it works well and gives you incredible lashes at an affordable price.

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