Testing Cargo Cosmetics' Swimmables line of makeup.
August in Ohio usually means one thing: humidity. And if you’re planning an outdoor wedding or reception—or even if you just want to pop outside during your indoor event for some photos—you might find that the muggy August weather does little to help with your makeup. Add to that all the hugging and happy tears, and you might feel like your makeup game is doomed.
Enter Swimmables, the makeup line from Cargo Cosmetics that’s designed to be water-resistant, smudge-proof and sweat-proof. I decided to put those claims to the test.
Ulta used to sell the brand, but when I went to the store for swatch tests, I was informed that the makeup is now online-only. Fortunately, the helpful sales associate thought it might be available at Kohl’s, and she was right—I found the entire Swimmables line at the Kohl’s store on Olentangy River Road in Clintonville. (Of course, the line also is available online at cargocosmetics.com if you’d rather buy straight from the brand.)
The line is basic, but complete: Swimmables Longwear Foundation (eight shades, $34), Swimmables Water Resistant Blush (three shades, $26), Swimmables Water Resistant Bronzer (one shade, $29), Swimmables Longwear Brow Pencil (three shades, $20), Swimmables Longwear Eye Shadow Stick (eight shades, $20), Swimmables Eye Pencil (12 shades, $18), Swimmables Waterproof Mascara Top Coat ($22), Swimmables Lip Pencil (four shades, $18) and Swimmables Longwear Matte Liquid Lipstick (six shades, $18). I included Cargo’s Better-Than-Waterproof Mascara ($20), even though it’s not technically part of the Swimmables line.
Because Columbus Weddings doesn’t accept free products from brands (and I don’t have the budget to buy an entire face’s worth of products for one test), I had to settle for swatch tests of everything. This means I didn’t really get to put the mascara top coat to the test, though I have my doubts about the concept. It claims to add a “lightweight waterproof seal” to your favorite mascara, though I can’t help but feel that eventually you’d have to deal with a good bit of your regular mascara mixing into this tube. It’s white in the tube, but promises to be an “invisible formula.”
Everything swatched beautifully; the blush and bronzer had a lovely cream-to-powder consistency, and the eye and lip pencils glided like a dream. The liquid lip did take quite some time to dry down, and of course I wasn’t able to test it on my actual lips to see how it felt in terms of comfort.
Swatches of everything, including details on wear time, are in the photo gallery above.
I wore the swatches on my arm for a few hours to test their smudgability—a word I just made up—and found that once everything dried down, it stayed put. No amount of running errands or cuddling with my dogs could make those products budge. And because my car is currently without functional A/C, I was able to test some of the sweatproof claims, too; they all held up.
The next step was to give everything a true water test, in the shower, about two hours after application. I made sure my swatched arm got nice and wet, but I didn’t scrub with soap or any kind of product.
The powder products were where I had my biggest doubts, followed by the foundation. And I was right: The blush and bronzer were the first to wear down, fading over the course of a few hours and washing off completely in the shower. The foundation was a little more stubborn, but definitely had faded post-shower. The brow pencil faded significantly as well, and the mascara washed off completely … though I’m willing to chalk that up to the fact that I had applied it to skin, not lashes as intended.
By this time it was nearly 9 p.m., so I decided to break the cardinal rule of makeup and wear the remaining products overnight.
The next morning was surprising: The brow and lip pencils had faded significantly, but the foundation had held on to its post-shower pigmentation, and the eye pencil, shadow stick and liquid lip were only slightly faded.
To remove, I first tried my super-gentle Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover Lotion. Barely had any effect on the remaining product, though I do think it got most of the foundation. No surprise there—I buy that lotion because it’s so gentle, so I didn’t expect it to pack much punch. I was able to remove everything with my go-to swatch remover, a brush cleaner from Japonesque. Obviously nothing you’d want to put on your face, but I think that any oil-based makeup remover should do the trick. (If you want a recommendation, I like Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple Mineral Oil-Free Facial Cleansing Oil.)
The verdict? I’d want to do a proper wear test of the foundation, blush, bronzer, brow pencil and mascara/mascara topper before passing any judgements. But I can definitely get on board with the liquid lip, eye shadow stick and eye and lip pencils. I’m always on the hunt for a great liquid lip that’s comfortable AND will last me through that afternoon coffee or happy hour with friends—I’m terrible at remembering to reapply—so I’ll definitely be looking into the shade offerings there.
Have you tried Cargo’s Swimmables line? What did you think? Sound off in the comments!