Happy New Year!
I didn't write an end-of-the-year beauty post last year (I did publish a perfume one). I wasn't feeling it. I was also questioning my place in the beauty blogging world, unsure if in a world of Kardashian imitators I still had anything to contribute. But 2015 taught me a lesson or two and affirmed to me that there's a growing audience that doesn't look at the world through an Instagram filter and my ten years of independent and unaffiliated beauty blogging do amount to something. That, and the support of true friends and regular reader is what kept me going and brought us to this moment. I coordinated this "Best in Beauty 2015" with Jessica of Tinsel Creation. It often feels like we're the last ones standing when it comes to old-school beauty blogging, so it fits, and it's a pleasure.
Here's the beauty year that was through my eyes:
2015 brought Asian beauty into the mainstream. You can now get a variety of incredible products on Amazon and even from Sephora. Korean brand TonyMoly has an actual store in NYC, and everyone seems to have incorporated sheet masks into their routines. Snail goo is relatively cheap and easy to source, Laneige products are are Target, and I'm in heaven.
Least Favorite Trend
Instagram brows. Instagram skin. Instagram eye makeup. Instagram sponsored posts.
This app started as a wacky way to post your lunch and raindrops on your commute to work through a filter that looked like your dad's 1970s camera. Now it's a way to promote stuff, to filter your skin into a wax figure level, and the eyebrows. Don't let me start on the eyebrows.
Still making up my mind on this trend
Strobing. I'm all for highlighting. I've always preferred highlighting to extreme contouring on my own face, because it works better for me. But strobing, or extreme highlighting, is sometimes taken to such a level I'm not sure one would enjoy looking at these photos two years from now. I want to glow, not look radioactive, and there's a difference.
Best ad campaign, heartwarming moment, uplifting collection
I didn't expect to be in tears over anything MAC, but MACnificent Me featuring my friend Tresor and a group of other unique and deserving individuals touched me like no other. The lipstick was fabulous as well.
Couldn't Stop Buying
Palettes. Especially eye shadow palettes. Palettes were everywhere, especially in the last quarter of the year gearing up to the holiday season. So many colors, so many textures, so much irresistible beauty. Among the best ones (maybe THE best ones) are the four Viseart palettes I now own (I've added the Dark Mattes and Satin Nudes to my collection). I was good and took full advantage of various sales, so it took the sting of the price, but I have to tell you, even at $75-80 a pop it's hard to do better than this French brand.
My First Dabbling
Indie American brands that produce standout colors and textures at affordable prices and are still made in the USA. Colourpop and Makeup Geek are still learning and growing, but the handful of items I bought and started testing have impressed me greatly. And have I mentioned that they manufacture here in the US?
This year I abandoned the idea of DIY nails and signed my life over to a local salon. They gel manicure has been a sanity and nail saving as I haven't had a broken nail since last May. No more chips or flakes, and getting my pedis professionally done got my back to send me a thank you card.
Best Foundation Discovery
Everyone was doing foundation in dropper form, be it in an actual serum texture or as a pure pigment (Cover FX. And, yes, I still owe you an "all the foundation I've tried this year" post). But the one I really really loved? The $80 Japanese Albion Gel Mask foundation I discovered through Lisa Eldridge. Best finish ever.
Most Disappointing Beauty Book
Speaking of Lisa Eldridge, the long anticipation to her book, Face Paint, about the history of makeup culminated in a sense of letdown. The book itself is gorgeous, the information fascinating, but it needed a firm hand in editing and tightening the writing. Lisa's videos are enriching yet succinct. I wish the same could have been said about her book.
Most Satisfying Beauty Book
Long time in the making (wasn't it announced around five years ago?), Dita von Teese's beauty book, is far more practical and a lot less eccentric than you'd think. Dita knows beauty and this book has definitely delivered.
Unlike with palettes and eyeliners, I did my best to curb my lipstick shopping this year and use up the sea of reds and plums already in my possession. Success was moderate at best, but this is the one lipstick I'm thrilled to have purchased: Sophia Loren No.1 Lipstick by Dolce & Gabbana.
If you were around the first time something was on trend, it's best to think carefully partaking in it again. That's all I'm going to say about brown matte lips.
If you've already visited Tinsel Creation for Jessica's list and want a roll down memory lane (more like a drunken tumble), here are my previous year-end posts, starting with 2006:
2006 (including perfume)
2007 (including perfume)
2009 (including perfume)
2012 Part A
2012 Part B
2013- The Husband's
Image: Joseph Kuhn Regnier, Illustration from ‘The Works of Hippocrates’, 1934