Well here we are in December, fast approaching the end of another year, and as we get ready to say farewell to 2015 I find myself in rather a reflective mood. So, for my final feature of the year I’m trawling back through the top hair and beauty trends of the last twelve months; reminiscing over the highs and lows of this years looks, pondering which ones may well stick around into 2016, and which ones may be better left behind.
Now, it turns out that the top beauty trend of 2015 isn’t actually a beauty trend at all! Instead, this year, that honour goes to a hairstyle. Yes, the top spot for 2015 trends goes to a topknot – or to be precise the ‘man bun’. According to thinkwithgoogle.com the ‘man bun’ (love it or loathe it!) was one of the most popular searches of the year (US search results) and this year, for the first time, there has been more online interest in men’s hair than women’s, by about 6%. In fact, hair related searches ranked highest in the most searched beauty terms of the year, above both make-up and skincare. In addition to the afore mentioned ‘man bun’ other popular hair related searches included ‘purple hair’ which increased in favour from February onwards (largely attributed to Katy Perry’s appearance at The Grammys) and in the same period searches for ‘Rainbow hair’ increased by 148%! But it’s not just colourful hair that proved popular this year, grey hair retained it’s position as one of the most sought after shades, and this is likely to continue into next year, with early reports of Spring 2016 hair trends suggesting a general movement towards lighter and softer hair colours in the coming year.
Moving away from hair towards make-up trends, contouring maintained it’s popularity during 2015 (and for a brief period of time ‘hair contouring’ actually became a thing!) however, throughout the year the focus has moved away from the original dramatic look to become an altogether more subtle affair, with the advent of ‘strobing’; a look which focuses exclusively on highlighting areas of the face that naturally catch the light (mainly the cheekbones, bridge of the nose and the cupids bow) to sculpt the face and achieve a healthy looking glow. Being both universally flattering, and a much easier technique to master, this is one trend that I would personally and professionally like to see stick around into 2016.
This year also saw us give a nod to the make-up fashions of the 90s, with more than one trend being influenced by the decade – although on the whole the looks were less severe than the originals. Matte lipsticks in berry, red brick and plum shades enjoyed a popular resurgence, and the warm brown lip that defined the 90s also experienced a modern revival, a look sported extensively this Autumn by numerous celebrities including Gigi Hadid, Joan Smalls, Chrissy Teigen and Kylie Jenner.
Now Kylie Jenner get’s another mention for a trend that I would argue should certainly be left in the past, namely ‘The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge’ that swept the internet back in April. The challenge saw many of her followers attempt to emulate her famous voluptuous pout by placing their lips in a shot glass and then sucking the air out, thus creating a vacuum, which causes the lips to swell. A dangerous trend which produced an array of disastrous results among the many people who publicly gave this a go. In this case I really disagree with the old adage that ‘beauty is pain’.
Later in the year face-masks had a moment. First came the craze for sheet type face-masks, with users ‘sheet mask selfies’ sweeping Instagram. This then made way for the more recent trend of ‘multi-masking’ where several face-masks offering different skincare benefits are applied to different areas of the face simultaneously to create a bespoke DIY facial treatment. I can certainly see the positives in this, particularly if you have combination skin, or the type of complexion that behaves very differently throughout the year, when it would make sense to invest in more than one type of mask. However, if not then it isn’t the most budget friendly trend, and it certainly isn’t a time saving treatment!
So there we have it, a look back at some of the hottest hair and beauty crazes of 2015. Do you have a favourite? What beauty trends do you hope to see in 2016? Tweet me at @SarahUrbanEcho