Happy New Year!
2015 was an interesting year for me in various ways. Professionally, it ended happily: I went from collecting unemployment to piecing together several part-time and freelance gigs to securing a full-time position in my field. Due to all this work-related effort, I didn’t blog as often as usual; and, since my primary work location moved from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn, my beauty shopping and sampling patterns were drastically altered. (My wallet is grateful, at least.)
That being said, here are my favorite things (and just a few complaints) about my beauty experiences of 2015:
Hall of Fame: Guerlain still reigns supreme for me. Fortunately, their pricey makeup (foundation, primer, eye shadow, etc.) is so good that a little goes a long way, and each item lasts for ages.
Lip Color: In my favorite category, I went either high or low. I received Guerlain Rouge G Le Brilliant in Bianca as a gift, and it became a new favorite. At the other end of the spectrum, I became obsessed with Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain in Honey Love and Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Rose Quartz.
Haircare: I gave up on overpriced salon lines this year and went drugstore. I’m never going back. My new loves are Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Cleansing Conditioner, Suave Curl Defining Gel Serum, and TresSemme Perfectly (un)Done Wave Creation Sea Foam. Dumb names, ugly packaging, excellent performance.
Fun Skincare: LUSH released products that felt like they were made for me: Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask and Cup O’ Coffee Face and Body Mask (really more of an exfoliating scrub).
Practical Skincare: My biggest beauty problem of this year was the dermatitis that plagued me on and off for months. (Still undiagnosed; some kind of allergy?) The dermatologist recommended CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser and CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion. I like them so much that I’ll keep using them even now that my problem seems to have been fixed (fingers crossed).
Nail Polish: I received Lauren B Greystone Grey as a gift-with-purchase and I’m very impressed by its color, texture, and wear. At the drugstore, I bought Nonie Creme Colour Prevails Nail Lacquer in Blue Blood. The applicator is great; the polish’s endurance is shockingly poor.
New to Me: Thanks to Gaia‘s recommendations, I purchased and liked several products from Kiko Cosmetics. However, bad in-store customer service almost ruined the experience for me.
Favorite Ads: Tilda Swinton for NARS. I loved seeing her incomparable face in magazines and store windows.
Least Favorite Ads: Estée Lauder is dead to me, now that they’ve started using a Kardashian to appeal to younger customers.
Best Overall Trend: So many new Asian beauty shops in New York City! Tony Moly, Club Clio, The Face Shop…I’m hooked.
Worst Overall Trend: Too many women crayoning their eyebrows into solid rectangles. We are not Cara Delevingne, nor were meant to be. Lighten it up, ladies.
Most Overrated Beauty Brand: Why is Rodin such a critics’ darling? It doesn’t do anything that other niche brands haven’t already been doing for years, and its signature facial oil has a truly sickening scent.
Still Doesn’t Get Enough Credit: I’m still bothered by its recent packaging issues, but I can never figure out why Lipstick Queen‘s innovative formulas are still relatively overlooked by the beauty media.
Cutest Packaging: Albion continues to create the sweetest, silliest, most hard-to-resist presentations for Anna Sui, Paul & Joe, and Ladurée.
My Beauty Resolutions for 2016: Keep it simple. Use what I already own, when possible. Get a massage once in a while!
How was your year in beauty?
Please do stop by The Non-Blonde to read my friend Gaia’s reflections on 2015, too!
Image via Vintage Ad Browser.