With Thanksgiving just moments away, it seems like a great time to celebrate the best products, treatments, beauty trends, and style innovations of the year. So before you stock up on new products for the holidays try out some of the best of the best—and avoid a few of tree cutting San Mateo sketchier looks or trends.
It’s been documented widely that bad hair days can actually affect your mood and productivity—well, braids to the rescue! From intricately woven box braids, to tiny braid accents and from the Fashion Week runway to red carpet appearances, braids were everywhere this year.
Prettiest Plaits: Melanie Laurent sporting a messy mermaid look
Slightly Scary: Kelly Osbourne’s intricately woven lilac locks included lots of braids and studded hair combs and off-color hairpieces.
First if was the Jennifers (Lawrence and Hudson) who appeared with much shorter cuts on the red carpet. Then we saw celebrities including Pamela Anderson who was once known for her long blonde locks, appearing everywhere with a more modern version of the Mia Farrow look.
Best for: Anyone tired of high maintenance hair. So if you’ve had it with straightening, blowing or extending your tresses, this look is for you (and me!).
Worst for: People like Beyoncé, who went public without hair extensions for a few days and then went back to the over the top tresses she’s known best for.
BB creams (blemish balm) are so 2012. The newest creams (CC stands for color control or color correct) can disguise your spotty parts and hide under eye bags without leaving you looking like you’re wearing a reverse raccoon mask.
One to try: Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream is not cheap ($42 ) and the packaging seems a bit sparse, but you only need a tiny amount of product to subtly smooth out any imperfections. Best part is that your skin looks dewy instead of dry.
Keep an eye out for: Iman is set to launch her own CC cream geared to women of color. Look for a wider variety of colors to suit a complex array of skin tones.
I’m not sure that anyone in the cosmetics industry could have predicted the passion for nail art of the past few years. And I’m not entirely sure that women will be ready to give up this new nail hobby despite the predictions that next spring is about bare or neutral nails.
Best new launches: Essie Sleek Stick nail stickers. For about $10, you can stick on elaborate combinations of color and crystals. (Try for a neutral yet sparkly holiday look)
And avoid: I know that those pointy edge nails look so fierce, but they’re highly impractical for real life activities like applying contact lenses or hugging a baby.
Return of the Sweater Dress
If the ’50s were known for curvaceous sweater clad starlets, this year has seen the rise (and falling hem) of the sweater dress. Pair with high boots and opaque tights for a glamorous look, or with leggings and flats to run errands. Look for detailing near the face to draw attention away from lumpier spots or wear with a wide belt to nip in your waistline.
Go figure: Who knew that Victoria’s Secret, best known for their gem-encrusted bras, had such a robust selection of ? Contrasting trim and open-back detail make things less prim.
Classic curves: And lest you think that sweater dresses best suit only the svelte, has some fantastic looks for every shape and size.
Goo for Guys
It’s been a long time coming, but the explosion in new products for men seems to have reached a high point. Tom Ford Men, released earlier this 94401 922 Peninsula Ave., San Mateo CA is incredibly popular.
Keep an eye out: ManCave is a father/son founded cruelty free line of products just for guys. Originally sold exclusively in the U.K., you can find 888-405-6810 Cedarwood shower gel and other products on their website ($8.50 )
The jury is still out: Menaji Skincare started off with the standard products for men and has expanded to include color products, like the Camo Concealer ($26 ). I’ve tested the formulation in real life and loved the texture, but since my guy refuses to actually wear any product, I can’t report on the staying power.
Beauty Gadgets and Gizmos
Ever since the Clarisonic took off and set off a beauty gadget revolution, more companies have launched their own must have beauty toys.
On the horizon: I’m lucky enough to have tried out the Le Mieux Facial Scrubber, which is used by aestheticians and skin professionals. Scrubber seems like too harsh a word, since it’s more of an ultrasonic tool that barely touches the surface of your skin but deep cleans makeup and unclogs pores. ($250 ). Patty Bunch, makeup artist for Sean Saves the World and The Millers says that long hours under hot lights can create potential skin disasters for actors and that the facial scrubber “helps remove my actors’ make up gently and more effectively than using harsh cleaners and facial scrubs.” I’m generally skeptical about new products, but loved the results.
Drugstore version: This year’s offerings include the Spa Sonic, a more affordable option at about $65 (on ), offers four attachments including a brush for face and a sponge for microdermabrasion.
is a noted and quoted style expert and former celebrity makeup artist. She’s the author of and , and the forthcoming Ancient Prayer: Channeling Your Faith 365 Days of the Year. Tweet with her or like her new page on . Need help style stalking your favorite celebrity looks? Write to Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.