Monday, March 31, 2014

Sample Test: Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Effet Extension Mascara

Y'all, I am a normal person (kind of). I do not have unlimited funds to be going out and buying every damn piece of makeup I want.  If I did, instead of having a roommate I would fill a second bedroom with pretty bits and pieces acquired in outrageous shopping sprees.

That ain't life, though, so over the past year or so I've made my peace with samples and come to love them.  Honestly, I'll probably never get around to buying eye cream since I learned to pierce the sample packets with a safety pin so I can actually use it for a month.

Up for consideration: Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes Effet Extension Mascara

I know, so much name on that sucker.  I'll admit, this is a mighty fine black mascara, and I'm not going to pretend that I've never paid a ton for a luxury mascara.  It's got one of those alien-looking brushes with a bulb on the end that you use to get up in there and cover every little lash.  It's very black, and it didn't flake at all for me (admittedly, I only wore it for about 5 hours, so I can't speak to that very well.  Whatever.  And it did give pretty bananas length, and a middling amount of volume.

Summary:  If you've got the money to spare, go for it, but I'd rather go the drugstore route and use the $20 I saved on something else.

You can get 0.24oz of this mascara and 0.5oz of Givenchy's eye makeup remover in a set for $29.50 right now on Sephora's website.  Oddly, you can also get the full size mascara without the remover for $30.  So that's weird.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Revlon Parfumerie Nail Polish in Pink Pineapple

As someone who reads about beauty products incessantly, very rarely do I come across a product that completely and utterly disappoints me.  I've told you before about my general love of Revlon nail polishes: reasonably priced, great colors, excellent wear.  I would even go so far as to say that Revlon is my favorite drugstore brand across the board. 

But this nail polish.  Smells.  Unbearable.

Lightly scented?  LIGHTLY SCENTED, MY ASS.  The wretchedly strong odor of this admittedly adorable color is that chemically sweet smell that I most strongly associate with the scratch and sniff stickers popular in my childhood.  Times a million.  It gave me an almost instant headache, so much so that I literally scraped this off my nails just to get rid of it because I didn't have any remover on hand.

If you have no sense of smell, this is a perfectly lovely pink at a very affordable price, though it did have some leveling issues and took 3 coats to avoid streaks.  3 very stinky coats.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Favorite Vloggers

When I first started getting into the wild world of blogging, I was mostly a reader. There was something about vlogs that just seemed weird to me, plus I couldn't listen to music at the same time. In retrospect, I think it had something to do with the fact that I hear a very specific voice for each writer, and I didn't care for the reality to interfere with whatever sound my mind manufactured.

Of course, you can only be beauty blog obsessed for so long before you start dipping your toes into other arenas. I now have a full blown YouTube addiction, so I thought I'd share with y'all my top 5 vloggers of the moment.

Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup
The OG, my original love, the first vlog I ever got into, and one I still watch religiously. Anna seems so genuine, and I am completely enamored of her makeup style, with her mix of high and low maintenance looks. But mostly I'm just obsessed with her unfailingly good taste in products and all the beauty bumf (as she would say) to which I've been introduced through her channel. (Not gonna lie, also obsessed with the gorgeous reflection from her ring light that she gets in her eyes.)

Amelia of Liana Beauty
Gorgeous flowing locks? Check. Videos ranging from everyday life to beauty? Check. Adorable fluffy dog? CHECK. Love this gal. Another entry from across the pond (as all of these are, natch), Amelia brings her very sweet and constantly amused person to the masses in all of her videos. I particularly love her haul videos, as she covers a wide variety of products and I get to look forward to all of her reviews to come.

Monday, March 3, 2014

KOVAL Distillery

I've just had my third blogiversary, y'all!  Thank you to those of you who have been reading since the beginning, and welcome to those of you who have joined since :)  On to the show:

It's still really cold in Chicago.  I know you people in LA are sad about your rain, and that DC is having another snow day, but it is March 3rd and I am still powerfully afraid that I'm going to get frostbite.  The other problem is that this is the time of year when you've kind of run out of indoor activities and everything pretty much devolves into getting drunk in your house or getting drunk at a bar.  Even this can lose its shine and fail to assuage the misery of an endless winter, so I brainstormed a bit, and I discovered a new indoor activity!

Distillery tour!

Yes, still alcohol related, but also educational, and a little bit grown up.  KOVAL Distillery is located on the North Side of Chicago and has the distinction of being the first legal distillery within Chicago city limits since the Prohibition era.  It was started by a a couple who decided they were done with DC and ready to have a family, and what goes together better than alcohol and conception?

Since I like learning, and I basically knew nothing about distilling, I was quite pleased at the detail our tour guide went into about the process, while still managing to avoid any potentially terrifying examination of chemistry.  The facility we toured was the original space for the distillery, which was founded in 2008, though they have since moved their main production about a mile and a half down the road to a larger space with a much larger still.

That there is a still, which I believe she (I can't remember our guide's name, but she was lovely) said was a 300 gallon still, but I have no confidence in my memory, since I was a little brunch drunk.  The best part?  Samples! Of the overwhelming number of whiskeys KOVAL produces, we sampled their White Rye, Toasted Rye, Four Grain, and Millet.  They also produce a selection of spirits and liqueurs, of which their Sunchoke Spirits, Rose Hip Liqueur, and Coffee Liqueur were provided for a taste.  I'm already quite a fan of the Rose Hip Liqueur, but that Coffee one definitely knew what it was doing, and would be a great addition to any home bar or kitchen.

I don't want to spoil the whole tour for you, so I'll leave it there.  Although it's not free, I don't think $10 is too much to pay for something interesting to do, and you'd be supporting a local business.  You can view the full tour schedule and reserve a spot online at their website, in addition to learning more about their full range.