Backstage at Fashion Week, at shows like Versace, the grunge makeup look that was so popular in the 90s has reappeared.
This nostalgic aesthetic is far from minimalist. It features eyeliner, bright lipstick (and sometimes bleached eyebrows), applied messily with no precise lines in sight. It’s a lived-in look that has recently been adopted by the likes of Julia Fox, Sydney Sweeney, and Gigi Hadid.
These smudged, smoky eyes, seemingly inspired by the full-face you get at 2 a.m. in a club bathroom with zero light, actually require a degree of precision to work – and to do that, you need the right tools.
No matter what kind of look you’re trying to create, whether it’s bold and daring or giving up maximum makeup for a simple swipe of mascara, having a product that you unintentionally smudge throughout the day will never be at the top of your wish list, especially when it comes to this particular eye product.
Instead, you want a mascara that won’t flake, smudge or clump even when the weather gets hot and, most importantly, even on essential occasions that might cause a tear or two, such as throughout the wedding season.
We want our cosmetic line to support our work. So, we’ve compiled below some mascaras that you can get creative with yet stay firmly in place all day long. Not all of these mascaras are necessarily waterproof, and they wash off easily at the end of the day.
Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Volume 2
Volumising is the name of the game with the Legendary Lashes mascara. It offers a jet-black formula with plenty of colour pay off that gives a fluttery look to lashes – but without dreaded clumping. Instead the brush is designed in such a way as to coat each and every lash with the formula to give a thickening effect. It’s also buildable but when locked in place, will last all day without smudging or running.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Zero Smudge Lengthening mascara
Get bright eyes and lush ends with just one swipe of this mascara. This mascara will give lashes an eye-catching look that will make you pretend you’ve slept for 8 hours. This is achieved by the way the brush is made. The microfiber bristles separate each lash for seamless coverage from root to tip. Polymers are added to the formula to stay put for up to 15 hours, according to the brand, but it certainly won’t smudge after a few hours and throughout the night.
Lancôme Lash Idôle Waterproof Mascara
Whether it’s to ward off a sauna-like commute, a date night, or a night on the town, Lancôme carries its line of mascaras that have become cult favorites for those in the know. It’s one of the brand’s water-resistant formulas, making it a must-have in your vacation toiletry bag. It has a lifting effect on the lashes, and thanks to the curved design of the wand, it fans out during application. Whatever the weather, whether it’s humid, raining, or showering, this product stays firmly in place without smudging or clumping.
Urban Decay Lash Freak Mascara
Lash Freak mascara from Urban Decay has one of the best names (try not to sing the classic Nile Rodgers song from 1978) and is one of the most unique-looking brushes on the market. It has an asymmetrical construction with a rounded tip so you can target individual lashes, while the edges ensure no lashes are left without a volumizing lift. With the effect of false lashes, you can achieve 20 hours of results with just a few swipes using this super long-lasting formula. It’s resistant to smudges or sweat, so keep it handy throughout the wedding season so nothing can stop you from hitting the dance floor.
Rimmel Scandaleyes Wow Wings Mascara
When you use this mascara, you will be asked if your lashes are natural or what brand you are using, which is a testament to the XL lash look. The brush has two sides, so you can use it to coat your lashes for volume, but you can also use it to apply length. This mascara adds pigment to your lashes, while the olive oil and silk powder in the formula add nutrients to strengthen and condition your lashes, preventing breakage that can lead to flaking and smudging.
Kevyn Aucoin The Volume Mascara Rich Pitch Black
Legendary makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin created this formula to last all day and all night even if ugly crying is on the agenda. You may notice at first that the texture is slightly wetter than other brands and that is the key in order to offer lengthening in one fell swoop. The tube is also super slimline so you can pop into your evening clutch for top-ups if necessary.
Too Faced Waterproof Better than Sex
Too Faced has released a waterproof version of what was once the UK’s best-selling mascara, Better than Sex, and we think it rivals OG.
What makes it so great? It starts with its formula. Enriched with porcelain flower extract to condition lashes without flaking, peptides to produce an intense black color, and film-forming polymers and collagen, this mascara is designed to handle every situation. From sweaty gym sessions, hot showers, or tearful moments, it provides smudge-proof, all-day wear, no matter the case.
This is used with an hourglass-shaped brush – claimed to be inspired by the shape of Marilyn Monroe – to ensure that every lash is covered, lengthened, curled, and lifted for a complete doll-eyed look.
Milk Makeup Rise Mascara
Its Kush mascara has reached cult status, but Milk Makeup is adding another lash-lengthening string to the mix with its new Rise mascara. It’s the first 93% natural mascara with patented vegan lash wrap technology that binds each lash together – curling, lengthening, and adding volume with every swipe. It glides on effortlessly, and it won’t clump or smudge once set.
Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara
Specific expectations are set when the name of your product reflects your intentions for it. Bobbi Brown’s No Smudge Mascara, of course, does exactly that.
Although it is the brand’s smallest mascara at 5.5ml, it does go a long way to proving that small is big, delivering a massive amount in just a few swipes.
We’re a sucker for short mascara because it also gives you reasonable control in reaching the outer edges of your lashes. It’s also an amazing buildable mascara that creates an eye-opening and lengthening effect that looks lovely and natural. It can also be layered on top of most other mascaras for an instant waterproof finish.