Barry M Showgirl Extra Lengthening Mascara Review

It is not a lie that I have tried many, many mascaras. I've tried a lot of drugstore brands, as well as one higher-end option, the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara. My eyelashes are naturally curly, dense and lengthy enough to look fine on their own, but they're somewhat thin, which makes them appear shorter than they actually are. A good lashing of mascara opens my eyes up and makes me look alert and brings attention to them, which I am told is my best feature.

What I look for in a mascara are some length and some volume, but nothing heavy, clumpy or thick. I like something that individually coats each lash and separates them. This is why I pick mascaras with plastic/rubber bristles rather than a fibre spoolie. I also look for thinner formulas that don't coat my lashes too thickly, weigh them down or clump them together. I know, I'm rather specific when it comes to mascaras, and to date I have only found a couple that fit the bill, even if they're not Mr Right.

This mascara by Barry M just so happens to be the first product I've used from the brand. As soon as Big W started stocking them, I was intrigued, as they were a cruelty-free brand and a bit on the affordable side. They're well known for their nail polishes, but I only had eyes for their mascaras (pun intended). The bright silver packaging with little black stars and giant Hollywood-esque marque text caught my attention first. Sure, it's a bit tacky but, to be honest, I actually like the design. It's very showy.

Yes, that was another lame attempt at a pun.

I read reviews and looked for swatches on the mascara but they are a little hard to come by. I had to wait a few months before I could try it as I had another mascara on standby that needed to be used before it could be disposed of. I really wanted to try this out so I took my chances when Big W had one of their 50% off certain brands. I wanted to use this for at least a month before writing my review because no mascara review is complete without pushing the product to its limits.

This mascara comes in a uniform plastic cylinder, with no awkwardly shaped sides a la Essence Lash Princess Mascara, and it is coated in silver foil that doesn't wear off. But the black print has scratched off slightly after being carted around in my bag for a month. The packaging opens easily, though it might prove to be a little slippery if you've closed it tightly and your hand is wet or sweaty. It's airtight and I've experienced no drying out.

Moving forward, this mascara applies like a dream. It glides over the lashes smoothly and evenly, so there's no patchiness or awkward clumps at the tips. The formula is creamy enough that you don't have to scrape it off of the brush nor do you have to use a light hand. The plastic wand defines and lengthens the lashes carefully but also ensures that the lashes aren't thickly coated like some fibre spoolies are wont to do.

What I really like about this mascara is that it looks just as flawless with two coats without clumping or weighing the lashes down. I prefer using only one coat of mascara in general because I always find them to clump my lashes together or make it spidery/heavy, but this one impresses me in that department.

As you can see, there's a lot of definition going on, and it doesn't look heavy or thick, which is a huge plus. The above picture is with just one coat, while the picture below is of two coats on the top lashes. There's not a huge amount of difference between one or two coats, but there's a bit more definition and the length increases just a tiny bit. Nothing to write home about if you're expecting a false-lash effect, but this is perfect for me because it doesn't hide the rest of my eyeshadow that my hooded lids have covered up.

The only problem that I have with this mascara is that it isn't waterproof or water-resistant, so at the end of the day, with my glasses being the harbinger of humidity, I find a tiny amount of it migrates down to the bottom lid. It's not noticeable unless you're so close to the mirror your nose touches it. Or, if you're assaulted in the face by steam several times a day from a cup of tea or a dishwasher at work, you can see a faint darkness on the bottom lid, in the outer corners. However, it's not flaky, so that's another bonus.

All in all, I'm actually really happy with this mascara, and it's the best one that I've tried to date, surpassing even my former favourite, the ModelCo VolumEyes mascara. The next one on my list is the deluxe-sized Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara that came with the Grande Hotel Cafe. I've ordered theBalm's Mad Lash Mascara during their 50% off sale but I had it sent to Cat's house in the US since shipping was cheapest that way. That said, I won't get to try it out for a few months.

What is your holy grail mascara? Are there any cruelty-free mascaras that you'd recommend?



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