Do You Need to Use Waterproof Eyeshadow on the Wedding Day?

In general, the answer is yes. Here, we explain why and share some of our top product picks.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

makeup trial hello blue
Photo: Hello Blue Photo

Every woman can agree that smudged, smeared eye makeup is nothing short of a nuisance on the average day, which is why it's especially frustrating on your wedding day. As you smile for photos and greet family and friends at cocktail hour and the reception, the last thing you want to be thinking about is whether or not your eyeshadow is still in place. As far as big-day beauty goes, waterproof products are the gold standard, and that goes for your eyeshadow, too.

After all, a wedding day is a day like no other: There are a lot of factors to consider, including the very real possibility that tears (happy ones, of course) will be shed, the elements you'll be exposed to, and the fact that you'll want to hit the dance floor without worrying about ending up with raccoon eyes. Waterproof eyeshadow, expertly applied by a professional makeup artist, will help ensure your beauty look remains flawless from the beginning of the day to the end. If you can book your beauty team to stay throughout the day for makeup touch-ups, that's even better.

If we've sold you on the importance of waterproof wedding-day eyeshadow, the great news is there are so many options, from a wide variety of beauty brands, to choose from. Talk to your makeup artist about your desire for a long-lasting option or consider some of our top picks, which we've outlined below. One note? Eyelid primer is a must, even when using products that promise long-wear. Applying a primer, which essentially holds the products on your skin longer and prevents creasing, is a simple way to help ensure your look lasts.

Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadow
Courtesy of Sephora

These waterproof eye shadow sticks are absolutely magical, and we love their creamy consistency, which can be swept across the lid with ease, making touchups a breeze. What's more, they come in matte, shimmer, or sparkle formulas, so there's something to suit every bride's big-day look. Whether you use one as a base for other powder shadows or wear it alone, they provide beautiful, long-lasting color that every woman will love.

Shop Now: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Shadow, $29,


Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow
Courtesy of Ulta

You don't need to spend a fortune to get a great waterproof eyeshadow, and this inexpensive option is proof. The cream formula promises 24-hour wear and comes in seven lovely colors. We like to use it both as a base with powder shadows added on top or in the crease and on its own—either way, the formula will last throughout your event.

Shop Now: Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow Pot, $7.99,

Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Waterproof Cream Shadow Stick
Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Incredibly easy to apply, this budge-, crease-, and fade-proof cream shadow is an all-around winner. Since it's available in a huge array of colors, it's easy to find one that complements your style. And since the brand promises your shadow will stay put for at least eight hours, you can feel confident you won't need any touchups between the ceremony and reception.

Shop Now: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick, $30,


MAC Longwear Paint Pot Eyeshadow
Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Available in seven colors, MAC says this highly-pigmented creamy eyeshadow will stay put all day long—literally. It promises full 24 hour coverage, and the formula has been tested by ophthalmologists and dermatologists to be safe for eyes and skin.

Shop Now: MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot Eyeshadow, $23,


Tarte QuickStick Waterproof Eyeshadow and Eyeliner
Courtesy of Sephora

Here's a two-in-one product that can't be beat: This innovative waterproof product from Tarte features eyeshadow on one end and eyeliner on the other. The brand says the formula results in a budge-proof eye look that can be applied in under 30 seconds.

Shop Now: Tarte QuickStick Waterproof Shadow and Liner, $25,

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles