As myriad memes attest, 2016 will not go down in history as one of the world’s best. But we can take some comfort in the fact that in the realm of beauty at least, things were looking up. Below, we’ve rounded up the most memorable beauty moments of the year – it’s not too late to try them yourself.
1. Glitter lips
Perhaps as an antidote to the darkness of recent world events, make-up artists lit up the runways with lashings of sparkle. Pioneered by Pat McGrath at Atelier Versace (pictured), few have been able to resist the allure of a glitter lip (us included – see how we fared here).
From Bella Hadid’s waist-long French braids to Beyoncé’s skinny plaits in Formation, 2016 was the year we forgot the topknot and twisted our tresses instead. From boxer braids to Dutch, romantic halos to fishtails, the runways were rife with braids in all iterations, and we were swift to follow suit.
3. The no-make-up movement
Ever since she hit the VMAs sans make-up, Alicia Keys has become an unwitting poster girl for bare-faced beauty. Since then, she’s done gigs and even posed for photo shoots without so much as a flick of mascara – and her celeb friends are following her lead. Even Kimmy K has toned down her notorious contouring work in favour of a more natural look. Expect to see more in this direction next year.
4. Lily-Rose Depp
Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis’ genetically blessed daughter made multiple debuts this year, from film roles to walking her first fashion show (Chanel) and securing a beauty campaign as big as they come: she’s the face of Chanel’s new No.5 L’Eau fragrance. Needless to say, her beguiling brand of beauty has everyone entranced.
5. Urban Decay Naked palette
The cult beauty brand returned to its roots this year with the launch of a new Naked palette – Ultimate Basics. 12 brand new, beautifully nude Urban Decay eyeshadow shades? Beauty junkies are still recovering from the excitement.
6. Glitter everywhere
It’s not just our lips getting the high-shine treatment – from glitter-encrusted nail art to dazzling eyeshadow, lustrous strobing and even metallic hair tattoos (thanks, Lucy Hale), 2016 was the year of sparkle. Haven’t got on board yet? NYE is your chance.
7. Hair swaps
Balmain’s A/W ‘16 collection risked being completely eclipsed by Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner’s hair swap. Social media speculation went into overdrive – did they dye their hair or didn’t they? – before it was revealed the pair were actually wearing Balmain Hair couture wigs.
8. Platinum blonde
Are we finally moving beyond balayage? It looks that way, as stars experimented with icy white blonde locks. Notable mentions go to Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence and Khloe Kardashian.
9. Breaking boundaries
2016 was the year mega beauty brands broke with convention, from Covergirl choosing a 17-year-old boy, beauty blogger James Charles, as their first male face, to Pantene securing MMA champion fighter Ronda Rousey as their ambassador. Bravo.
10. Dyson’s hairdryer
When Dyson moved beyond household goods and into the beauty sphere, no-one saw them coming. But four years, 103 engineers, 600 prototypes and 1625-kilometres of human hair later, they unveiled the $599 Dyson Supersonic – a revolutionary hair dryer that’s lightweight, relatively quiet and promises a silky smooth finish without the need for styling products.