Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara review: does this waterproof formula really stay put?

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara promises 10-hour budge-proof, smudge-proof cover for lashes

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara
(Image credit: Bobbi Brown)
Woman & Home Verdict

If you want a long, fluttery lash look that stays put all day, this is a winning formula.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Really lengthens lashes

  • +

    All-day staying power

  • +

    Can be layered over other mascaras

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Hard to build up dramatic volume

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Trying to find the best mascara can be harder than you think. You may have found the perfect wand that delivers length, volume and curl in a beautiful inky black finish only to find that by midday it’s melted southwards and left you looking more panda-eyed than flirty feline. 

That’s why every make-up bag demands a solid and dependable waterproof mascara to rely on in hot weather, or at the gym or hotel pool. Even when the weather’s not particularly balmy, our day-to-day toing and froing can result in smudges and smears. So it’s no wonder Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is loved by beauty editors and make-up artists alike. In fact, it pretty much sets the bar for waterproof mascara.

So is this the best mascara for you? If you like your lashes long, fluttery and smudge-proof, then it very well may be the perfect fit.

Ease of application

The brush of Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara has undergone a redesign following feedback from Bobbi Brown’s global make-up artists. The new head has been designed to coat, curl and coax every lash evenly without clumping, and the slightly tapered tip means you can get right into those teeny-tiny lashes at the inner corner of the eye. 

The wand itself is quite short and stubby but this gives you more control when coating the eyelashes. You can certainly add multiple coats without fear of clumping but you won’t gain masses in the way of volume – this is most definitely a more natural, fluttery lash finish. 

What’s it like to wear?


RRP: £25.50
Shades: Black

The great thing about this mascara is how well it plays with other formulas. So if you love the effect of your own mascara then apply as normal and layer Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara on top to seal it. 

Think of it like a waterproof top coat. If you want to brighten your entire eye area (aside from finding the best eye cream for dark circles), curling lashes is a must before you apply any mascara. Once we’d curled our eyelashes, this mascara locked it in and held the curl in place all day.

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara sweep

(Image credit: Bobbi Brown)

Staying power

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara markets itself as a “raincoat for lashes” – and it certainly lives up to that! A rogue itch caused me to rub my eye but the mascara did not smudge, smear or transfer on to my skin whatsoever. I like to coat my lower lashes too, but find that most mascaras leave an unsightly dark smudge under the eye within the first hour or two after application. 

This, however, did not budge so there was no need to top up my concealer during the day either. The resilience of this mascara is so good that it understandably demands a little extra effort when it comes to taking it off at the end of the day, so make sure you know how to remove waterproof mascara properly. I found that a good eye make-up remover is the best bet here. Splash some on a cotton pad and gently sweep over the eye area. 

Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara: our summary

This might not be the cheapest waterproof mascara on the market but it certainly stands up to its 10-hour wear claim, and more. It locked in our long, fluttery lashes from morning till night, and impressively for such a steadfast formula, it didn’t weigh on the lashes at all, which is a particular plus for older, finer lash types. What it lacks in dramatic, mega-volume it more than makes up for in length, definition and longevity. This mascara creates a defined, curled flutter that looks like your own natural-born lashes but way, way better! 

Stephanie Maylor

Stephanie Maylor is a Beauty Editor working across five national magazine titles, with almost 15 years' experience in the industry.  She has written for many brands, including woman&home, Grazia, Now, More!, Fabulous, NW, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Essentials, Best, Chat, and OK! online. 

In 2010 she launched her own beauty blog, which was shortlisted for Best Beauty Blog in the 2011 and 2012 Johnson & Johnson Beauty Journalism Awards. She has interviewed many high profile industry experts and celebrities including Alesha Dixon, Twiggy and Christina Hendricks.