The Great Mascara Test of New Year’s Eve 2014

Stick me on deserted island and I’d ask for a pile of books and some mascara. There is something to be said for flaunting thick, full, long lashes. Whether I am hiding behind them or using them to get shit done, mascara makes me feel as if I could rule the world. (Am I right, ladies?) I rely on mascara to liven my tired winter weather-beaten face. Even on days when my skin looks blotchy and my hair frizzy I can always rely on mascara to pull everything together.

In preparation for New Year’s Eve, a night when pre-midnight eye contact is of the utmost importance, I tested a few mascaras. I was looking for something that gave me lush, full lashes but that didn’t lose anything in the way of length. I wanted my lashes to look perfect but also natural, you know, perfectly natural or naturally perfect.

The following conclusions are the result of lots and lots of eyelash batting (thank you to all the men who pretended it was completely normal when I stared you down on Madison Avenue!)

Benefit They’re Real

The best mascara for the faux eyelash lover, They’re Real leaves you with thick, long, luscious lashes, even if a little reminiscent of spider’s legs. This mascara does beg the question of whether or not your eyelashes are real because the length it begets is so not natural.  It’s perfect for those who love high-impact, big-drama makeup. A go-to for going out on the town and for anyone weary of putting on actual fake lashes but vying for that over the top effect. I was asked twice the day I wore it if my lashes were real and I couldn’t have been more pleased to answer yes, yes they are. In fact, it says so right on the tube.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

With one sweep of the hourglass wand one experiences something that is not in fact better than sex, but actually kind of close plush, full, curled lashes. With a few more sweeps of the slightly cumbersome brush you can achieve a full fringe of thick, dark, doe-eyed lashes similar to those of violet-eyed Elizabeth Taylor. Less dramatic than the aforementioned Benefit iteration this mascara is a good every day go-to – especially if you want to look like Elizabeth Taylor everyday. Better Than Sex is best used at bat as you feel like you are capable of anything while wielding such luscious lashes… like seducing the perfect man standing across the bar.

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Bobbi Brown Intensifying Long-Wear Mascara

The perfect balance between natural and why-yes-I-have-really-long-thick-perfect-lashes, thank you very much. It’s perfect for every day use but with continued application can easily take you from day to night. It delivers soft, touchable lashes that won’t leave you with raccoon eyes by dint of smeared flakes. It kept my fringe looking pert until I finally decided to take it off even if that may have been some 16 hours later.

Lancome Doll Eyes Mascara

This mascara seems best for those already endowed with thick, long lashes. Despite continued attempts at creating that wide-eyed, flirty, doll eye I was usually left with a fair amount of clumps that I would later pick at while staring at my computer. The mascara smudged under my eye half way through the day, giving me a particularly intense case of raccoon eye. Good if you’re going for that worn in look.

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Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

This mascara does nothing particularly amazing in the way of volume or curl but everything you could hope for in length. I imagine that this mascara is a cult favorite due to its unbelievable shelf life. I keep it around to fill that space between mascara purchases for when I’m too tired to stop at Sephora. Great Lash Mascara has always been there to hold me over until my next trip down the rabbit hole. This mascara is consistent and stable and sometimes, like with men, in the fickle world of mascaras there is nothing more that you could hope for. Though this may not be my sole New Years Eve come-kiss-me-now mascara I will probably throw it in my clutch for that 11:35 retouch… because it’s reliable and by that time in the night it just has to work.

The Unhappy Side to NY State’s Illegal Happy Hours

An article found on Yahoo and attributed to ABC News says that Massachusetts has re-affirmed it’s ban on the practice of happy hour. The article points out that Kansas recently decided to allow it. The Boston Globe chimed in: "It was a horrific 1984 drunk driving fatality that resulted in the Massachusetts  happy hour prohibition: a woman in Braintree was killed by a driver who had consumed seven beers at a happy hour event…" There-in lies the rub. Although everyone who imbibes loves a cheap drink or 2-for-1 special, the law is there to save lives.

Most pedestrians and some operators would be surprised that New York State does not allow happy hours and "drink specials."  Liquor laws are regulated by the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) which issues licenses. The City of New York is not involved. Rules concerning dancing and building code and hours of operation are city matters. Sometimes licenses are issued with 2am caps because of pressure from community groups, but the SLA overrides. In the city, it’s hard to believe that we are part of a state where people live in suburban or rural municipalities. Here, people might easily down multiple drinks after work and hit the road in bad shape. Happy hours are thought to put thousands of drunk drivers on the road at peak driving times. It makes sense. Happy hours thrive all over town. 

Another common practice that is outlawed is the "open bar." New York State prohibits free booze or one-price-for-unlimited liquor events. That’s every New Year’s Eve event. This can sometimes be circumvented by making it a private party with special event permits, and by doing all sorts of tricks to get around the rules, but most places just do it without a thought. Open bars are advertised and promoted and commonplace. 

Somewhere down the line, someone is going to get in trouble. As my mom used to say, "it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt." A horrific accident or some sort of trouble or brawl will focus attention once again on the regulations. 

Linkage: Jesse Tyler Ferguson Supports Illinois Same-Sex Marriage, Emmy Rossum Is Just Too Pretty

Bow-tie enthusiast and Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson stopped by Chicago yesterday to lend his support in the fight for same-sex marriage, the legislation for which may pass in the Illinois General Assembly before the session ends on June 9. Said Ferguson: "A lot of people who were not comfortable with marriage equality … turn on the television and see a show that has a lot of different families in it — and one of those families just happens to be gay. They’re realizing they have a great time watching the show, then they’re watching a gay couple that’s having a lot of the same problems and issues they have. They realize ‘Oh they’re not so different from me.’ And at that point, we’re in their living rooms." [Chicagoist]

South Korean screenwriter Young Il Kim has penned a film titled Rodham about, well, duh. [Politico]

Speaking of questionably titled biopics, jOBS, starring Ashton Kutcher, will close out the Sundance Film Festival and see an April theatrical release. [Deadline New York]

If you were rooting for Lil’ Wayne in your office Worst Tattoo of 2013 pool, it looks like you’re coming out ahead already. [Crushable]

Zooey Deschanel in Glamour: "I want to be a fucking feminist and wear a fucking Peter Pan collar. So fucking what?" Do you, girl! [Jezebel]

EGOT winner Mel Brooks gives some solid advice on how to make all of your creative dreams come true. [Fast Company]

Look, I get that times are tough but if you’re willing to let your boss fart on you then maybe you should just go on unemployment? [The Gloss]

If you expect Kathy Griffin to apologize for trying to perform oral sex on Anderson Cooper during the pair’s annual New Year’s Eve hosting gig, you can, well, suck her dick. [EW]

Emmy Rossum (or, as I like to call her, The Poor Man’s Jennifer Love Hewitt) claims she was almost not even considered for her role in Showtime’s Shameless because she was too pretty. It’s a little early in the year for this, yes? [The Frisky]

"[W]e eagerly await the BuzzFeed post, 10 Reasons We Raised $20M to Write More Things Like “Pretty Japanese Girls React to Drinking Poop Wine.” [Observer]

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We’ll Never Get Tired of Watching Taylor Swift Make Out

If you worked in the BlackBook office, you would know that we occasionally enjoy discussing Taylor Swift. Like much of the rest of the world, we are enthralled by her love life. Personally, I’m not mad if her jams come on the radio; when it comes to the slew of men she parades around with, however, I have an issue. Girl, Tay Tay, can ya keep it in your pants for a second? We’ve seen her jump from Jonas to Mayer to Lautner to Jake and, more recently, Kennedy to Harry Styles, or, as I like to call him, "the hot one" from One Direction. Excuse me while I remind myself I am a grown woman well past her teens. 

My latest qualm with the megastar comes both from her atrocious New Year’s Eve performance and the video that has surfaced of her sucking face with Harry Styles—surrounded by a bajillion people at the stroke of midnight. Taylor, being a seasoned maker-outer, never lets up. She makes out as if no one is watching, no one except THE WORLD. She squeezes the life out of "the hot one" as if they really will last forever. I’ve watched the entire video (and others) a handful of times and it’s noticeably clear that Styles gets uncomfortable as if he just wants this chick to ease up and stop being a Lenny. There’s no way this will last another week or two, if I do say so myself. On a personal note, I hope I make out with more boys in 2013 than Taylor Swift, cuz you best believe I am counting!

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A Roundup Of Our Roundups of New Year’s Eve Parties in LA, NYC, Chicago, and Miami

It’s New Year’s Eve. Do you know what you’re doing tonight? This is important, so don’t screw it up. If you’re at the wrong party, you will know nothing but failure through the entirety of 2013. You have but one shot to start the year on the right note, partying at the right spot to the right music while drinking the right cocktails with the right people, so that at the magic moment of midnight, the stars will align and imbue you with the righteous energy of the cosmos or something. And yet everybody is different, which means we can’t choose a party for you. We can only offer a menu of healthy options, one of which is certain to deliver the summation of your hopes and dreams on this auspicious early-winter evening. What I’m trying to say is we’ve compiled lists of the hottest New Year’s Eve parties in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, and you can look at them for last-minute ideas, or just to have an awareness of what some cool people are doing tonight. Auld Lang Syne, everybody. 

The Top New Year’s Eve Parties in NYC

The Top New Year’s Eve Parties in LA

The Top New Year’s Eve Parties in Chicago

The Top New Year’s Eve Parties in Miami

Into going out and doing things? Then download the free, GPS-enabled BlackBook City Guides app for your iPhone or Android and always know the best spots to hit, wherever you are. And if you want to stay on top of all the major openings and events, sign up for BlackBook Happenings, a fun, informative, non-spammy email newsletter with the latest and greatest goings-on, delivered to your inbox every Monday.

Kick Off 2013 With a Killer Meal

Sure, the holidays came and you ate, and drank, and ate again, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge on the last night of 2012. What better way to go out with a bang, than with a feast to ring in the New Year. 

Celebrate with South American flare at La Mar Cebichería Peruana, where the swank Peruvian eatery hosts a New Year’s Eve pisco party. For $40, slug pisco sours from the open bar in the upstairs lounge from 7pm to 2am, and dance to the live DJ. If you want to go for a ceviche-laden, four-course dinner, $135 gets you that, and the open bar.

For a French-themed New Year’s, the West Village brasserie La Villette offers four-course ranging from $49 to $185, depending if you want the early dinner seating or the Champaign fueled 9pm seating. Either way, you get lobster and scallop tartare, foie gras terrine, house-made tagliatelle with truffles, and filet mignon. They have an all-night liquor license so the party doesn’t end until 8am.

You can also get French in Brooklyn at the Vinegar Hill House. There, $80 gets you a four-course meal with choices including blood sausage with apple, wild boar with chestnut puree, pear salad with truffle, and crepes. For $100, you can have a Champaign toast and late dinner—DUMBO style. 

Carnivores rejoice, at Back Forty West you can get a meat-laden table with four-courses done family-style for $75. Try the 12-hour smoked lamb shoulder, cowboy steak, and whole baked sea bass.

If Thai is how you want to ring in the New Year, Harold Dieterle’s Kin Shop has an $85, three-course tasting menu with options including seared diver sea scallops with Szechuan peppercorns, braised beef short ribs with curry, and butter poached lobster with kaffir lime buerre blanc. Drinks not included.

Starting at $95, you can dine on a six or eight-course Mexican tasting menu at Empellon Cocina. Feast on chef Alex Stupak’s smoked chicken with Earl Grey mayonnaise and caviar or wild Norwegian Steelhead trout with mezcal butter, and be glad you can celebrate the New Year every year, and not just when the Mayans calendar claims it’s an important date.

Finally, for some party with your dinner, Swine in the West Village is hosting a glam rock and hair metal bash from 10:30 to 2am. The party features an open bar with era-appropriate punches, hors d’oeuvres, and a buffet. Naturally, pork will be the main star of the menu.

The Top New Year’s Eve Parties in L.A.

This is the cheesiest New Year’s Eve photo ever. We hope your evening looks nothing like this. And it won’t – if you attend one of these top New Year’s Eve parties in L.A. Whether you like it flashy, glamorous, foodie, or weird, we’ve got you covered. Go out with a bang, bubbly, and a good story you can share over your eggs Benedict and hash browns on the first day of ’13.

The Top NYE Parties In NYC

Look, don’t stress. Who cares that your trip to Miami fell through, your sister announced she’s visiting, or your best friend you were going to eat Chinese food with bailed on you for a guy she met on the F train. It’s okay. You can still reclaim an unstoppable NYE night and New Year at one of these top New Year’s Eve parties in NYC. From rock anthems, to tarot cards, to monkeys, to lavish five-hour open bars – we’ve got you covered, and you will be okay. Tipsy and making as many poor decisions before your resolutions as possible, but okay.

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Jay-Z to Headline Barclays Center’s First NYE Show With Coldplay

This fall, Jay-Z helped introduce the brand-new Barclays Center, the home of Hov’s Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders, to the people with a series of shows. And now, as Kanye West foretold on “Big Brother”: “I told Jay I did a show with Coldplay. Next thing I know, he got a show with Coldplay.”

Jay-Z and Coldplay have rang in the New Year together in Las Vegas before with Kanye West, Beyoncé and others, and now they’ll come together again for the first ever New Year’s Eve show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. So now, Brooklynites who always set high expectations for New Year’s Eve only to have them bitterly demolished when you realize you’re forever alone or you have to take care of your drunk friend or something else generally goes awry, here’s your thing to maybe overbuild your expectations about. 

For a preview of what the NYE show may look like, here’s Jay-Z and Coldplay performing "Lost" together.