2011’s Top Beauty Trends

Each new year means new developments in the beauty industry—after all, even the most tried-and-true blockbusters once started out as new ideas. Remember when Brazilian Blowouts, mineral makeup, and palettes first hit the market? Here are our picks for the most ingenious innovations, products, and trends of the year, which we’ll all be seeing a lot more of from now on.
How-Tos and Get-the-Looks
Effortless Hair
Nail Art
B.B. Cream
Blow-Dry Bars
Porcelain Complexions
Colorful Eye Color in the Daytime
Shellac
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How-Tos and Get-the-Looks

There’s nothing worse than buying an eye shadow and not knowing what to do with it. Some beauty brands have gotten wise to the fact that even seasoned pros are sometimes hit with a dearth of inspiration, so many new eye shadow trios and palettes come with instructions on the best ways to combine and apply the shadows. With specific tips on where to place which shadow, it’s like a paint-by-numbers for your face. Although Smashbox and Stila are leading the way on this trend, look for lots more to follow next year.

Effortless Hair

Remember when an updo involved hot rollers, curling irons, and tastefully placed ringlets? God, that was terrible. Nowadays, buns and braids—things anyone can do without a lot of time or effort—are legitimate fancy-event hairstyles. If you want to use those rollers and flat-irons, go for it, but you don’t have to.

Nail Art

Nail polish is the shoes of beauty products. Everyone can wear it—it doesn’t matter what you look like, what you weigh, or what your skin tone is. Nail polish always fits and always looks good. It’s about time that we had fun, fresh, seasonal nail colors year-round, not to mention that the internet is brimming with videos showing you how to do amazing designs.

Photo credit: CND Creative Nail Design

B.B. Cream

It’s not a foundation, it’s not a tinted moisturizer, it’s not a tinted sunscreen…it’s something in between, and it’s the perfect solution for evening out skin tone without a ton of makeup. B.B. Creams (shorthand for “blemish balm”) hit the states this year after being huge in Asia, and now women can’t get enough of these self-adjusting skin perfectors. (_Boscia B.B. Cream SPF 27, $48, Sephora)

Blow-Dry Bars

It’s always been possible to schedule a blowout at a regular salon, but the new blowout-only spots popping up in cities all over the country make it easier and faster to get salon-quality straight hair. They don’t cut or color, but unlike at regular salons, the stylists at blow-dry bars are all experts at straightening because they do it all day, every day. Services at blow-dry bars even tend to be cheaper because there’s faster client turnaround and less overhead for the salon. That’s what we call a win-win.

Porcelain Complexions

For years, women’s magazines extolled the importance of sunscreen on one page, and on the next told us that we should get a “golden glow.” But that hypocrisy is waning, and more beauty experts are now extolling the value of protecting your skin. Fair-skinned beauties graced the runways, red carpets, and silver screens in a big way this year (Thank you, Twilight?), making it not only safer, but also more fashionable to embrace the white. Us terminally pale gals couldn’t be happier.

Colorful Eye Color in the Daytime

Say it with me… “It’s okay to wear teal eye shadow to the office!” Because it is! To the office or just about anywhere else you damn well please. There’s no need to stick to natural-looking neutrals when purples, coppers, metallics, and pastels are now perfectly acceptable daytime looks.

Shellac

With all the amazing nail art that’s been around this year, a simple manicure that lasts and lasts can almost get lost in the shuffle. But the thing to remember is that some women don’t want crazy colors or funky designs—they just want a nice, professional manicure that lasts, without having to resort to acrylics. That’s where Shellac comes in…it’s shiny, strong, and really does stay fresh for fourteen days.

Related Stories:
Twelve Days of Christmas Manicures
The Best of 2011’s Holiday Makeup Collections
Be Party-Ready in a Flash with This Holiday Emergency Kit

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