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The guinea pig chronicles: Mascara

Is your waterproof mascara a standout or a washout? We reduced 5 subjects to tears in order to find out

It’s an all too common scenario: one dip in the Mondrian pool and our mascara (despite the “waterproof” label) has us looking like Tammy Faye Bakker after a run-in with Hurricane Floyd.

The ultimate challengeFive human guinea pigs from beautyscene’s extensive research department put some 15 waterproof mascaras to what they determined was the ultimate test: to slice their way through a bag of yellow onions. On the whole, most waterproof mascaras might hold up in a dense fog, but are simply no match for your average Barbara Walter’s interview/Gilroy Garlic festival/shotgun wedding. Here are the winners:

Five human guinea pig Our first subject, Edith, knife in hand, cried her way through half the bag of onions and Chanel’s Extreme Wear didn’t even smear one drop. “I showered later that evening—which normally leaves me looking like a raccoon—and it still didn’t come off,” Edith noted. “This stuff is great!” The verdict: From sous chef to sex kitten and back again.

Ironically, the only mascara we researched not claiming to be “waterproof”—Shu Uemura’s “water resistant” mascara—proved to be the most resilient of the bunch. “Forget water!” exclaimed Sandra, two days later. “It’s impervious to make-up remover, too. See? I’m still wearing it.” The verdict: Planning to swim upstream?

Lancome’s Eternicils Enduring Mascara did, for the most part, endure, except for a minor gray smudge which gave Jessica a smoldering “smoky eye” look. The verdict: Suggested marketing campaign: “After work cocktail party? No need to change makeup. Just add water.”

Estee Lauder’s Raincoat Waterproofing TopCoat, although not a mascara itself, is a clear sealant applied over regular, non-waterproof mascara. “I normally don’t use waterproof mascara because I don’t like the consistency,” remarked Sheirly. “But, this is the best of both worlds.” The verdict: A solid bet for that Beaches/Terms of Endearment double feature.

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