Take me swimming on the first date: The best waterproof makeup

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Over the past year or so, I’ve seen guys (and some ladies, too) post memes about taking women swimming on the first date to see if they’re “actually pretty” under all the makeup that we wear. Well, the answer is “yes,” and don’t chastise us for exercising our right to beat our face to the high heavens, or go au naturel whenever we want.

But, if your date tries to pull a fast one on you, and actually take your swimming on the first date, make sure you have these waterproof makeup finds in your arsenal so when you pop out of that pool and out of his life, you’ll still be looking fine as ever.

Primers and Setting Sprays

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water ($16/$32): This is a lightweight primer made for ladies who don’t like the silicone feel of most primers. A few sprays will leave your skin smooth, primed and ready for whatever.
  • Becca Ever-Matte Primer ($15/$36): This primer keeps oil at bay, and smoothes out pores and bumps for a flawless finish. A little goes a long way, so don’t over apply the product to your face for a dry, cakey look.
  • Blue Marble Setting Spray ($11–32): This setting spray is water based, and it is guaranteed to last all day long since it’s specifically made for theatrical makeup.
  • Skindinavia Bridal Finishing Spray ($39): This setting spray was made with brides in mind, so it’s “kiss-proof, cry-proof and sweat-proof.” If it can get you through a wedding, I’m sure it can last in the pool.
  • NYX Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer ($6.99): This is my holy grail of eyeshadow primers! It’s cheap and truly does make your eyeshadow, eyeliner and brow products waterproof.


  • Make Up Forever Water Blend Foundation ($43): Make Up Forever’s website says this foundation is lightweight, luminous and is 80 percent water! You can wear this on your face and body for a smooth, moisturized look.
  • Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation ($35): Kat Von D is the queen of long-lasting, heavy duty, waterproof makeup. Her Lock-It foundation is perfect for ladies who love the high coverage, matte look. Apply it with her new Lock-It foundation brush or with a beauty blender for a smooth finish.
  • Cover FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation ($40): Cover FX has become a favorite for women of color because of their extensive shade and undertone range. This foundation is water based, so it gives a natural finish while easily covering any acne or hyper-pigmentation marks.


  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($29): This concealer is a beauty addict staple, and it’s rightfully so. It’s creamy, hydrating and gives you a lit-from-within look without trying too hard. YouTuber Iris Beilin uses it on all of her tutorials (she even tested it in the pool), and she always looks flawless.
  • Black Up Radiance Concealer ($29.50): Black Up is a French brand made specifically for black skin, and their concealer is perfect for brightening up our skin without making it look ashy. This concealer is long-wearing, hydrating and it banishes underage puffiness.
  • Mac Pro Longwear Concealer ($21): This concealer is a must-have for ladies with oily skin. It’s matte and won’t break up when your natural oils begin to come through. Plus, a little goes a long way!

Blush, Highlighter and Bronzers

  • Magnolia Makeup Illuminator ($15): This illuminator is perfect for brown skin, and makes it look like gold comes out of your pores. It’s finely milled and a little sweep of it across your cheekbones will make you look like a goddess.
  • Iman Cosmetics Luxury Contour Trio: This product is one of Iman’s newest additions to her makeup line. It has three, gorgeous shimmery shades for blush, highlighting and contouring.
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector ($38): Becca has the highlight game on lock, and it’s easy to see why. Each of their highlighters gives a heavenly glow and they have five shades that will complement even the deepest of skin tones.
  • Covergirl Queen Bronzer ($6.99): I have yet to find another bronzer that fits my skin like this one does. The tones and undertones easily give my skin a sun-kissed glow without making my face look too orangey or red.

Eyeliners and Mascaras

  • Lancome Grandiose Waterproof ($32): This is the best waterproof mascara I’ve ever worn (Maybelline’s Push Up Drama is a close second). I accidentally fell asleep with this mascara on one night, and when I woke up, it looked just as good as it did the day before. This will only come off with coconut oil or a waterproof makeup remover.
  • Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel 77 ($15): This liner has become a cult classic thanks to YouTubers who ranted and raved about how deeply pigmented, creamy and long-lasting this liner is. I bought it in New York City a few months ago, and I’ve barely picked up another liner.
  • Elf Lock and Seal ($3): This will keep your eyeshadow in place all day long! It’s especially perfect for hooded eyes, so your shadow won’t transfer from your lid to onto your crease.

What are your favorite waterproof finds? Let me know in the comments below!


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