Year in review 2009


It was a strange year... deep in the depths of a recession that's having a so-called 'jobless' recovery [read: not recovering] and the end of a transformative (good and bad) decade worldwide. Lest we stray and get all serious, without further ado, our 2009 List:




The coolest, cleverest and most exciting things in beauty last year...



ELLIS FAAS - This range has innovative (and clever) packaging, it's stylish and subtle and the colours are beautiful, moody and the Ellis Red is one I hope to see around (and use) for years.

THE PREEN POWER DRESS - Looks good on everyone, even Amy Winehouse and the two baps she's smuggling on her chest.

MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN BUBBLES - Yet another innovative and playful product. Using bubbles to create a home fragrace. Whimsical and beautiful. What a great addition to the beautyscape.

LIBERTY BEAUTY HALL - I mean... it just gets better and better every year. Bravo. By far the coolest bricks and mortar place for beauty with some pretty cutting-edge brands.

LIVING PROOF no frizz - It's like teflon for the hair, so it keeps it frizz free but doesn't weigh it down like traditional anti-frizz serums do. Even good on thin, fine hair. Science being used for good, I say.

NICHE SKINCARE - 2009 was a beautiful year for niche brands and the free flow of foreign brands to new lands... evolve beauty, Absolution unisex skincare, Nature Girl, Nia, MV Skincare et al. It's a fine time for consumers on the prowl for something new and, possibly, quite good for you.

MIDDLE EASTERN SCENTS - Never ever before have I liked heady, syrup-y, smoky scents, but it was love at first sniff for me all because of Amouage Epic. We re-entered a bygone era perfume and, god damn it, I like it.

RENAISSANCE OF COCO - CHANEL and its namesake were everywhere this year, and we will happily be sporting our CHANEL badges and our Rouge Coco lipstick (launching February) straight through 2010 as well. We loved the movies, have the book on hold at the library and are over the moon about a strong, unique, truly accomplished woman being at the forefront of media attention again.

HOME FRAGRANCE - Frederic Malle, Hermes, Prada... everyone is getting in on the home fragrance game, with funky products like rubber incense, scented paper and diffusers. Haute fragrance for the home.

THE RECESSION - No, I know, the contracting of an economy does not feel good, but hopefully you did buy less useless shit this year, and that includes beauty products you never intend to actually use.

PACKAGING - Rob Ryan for Snowberry, evolve, Elis Faas, Le Metier de Beaute, Andrea Garland, Model Mirrors... The list goes on. Many are clever and beautiful, making our daily routines that much more streamline and pretty (and maybe a touch more environmentally responsible too).




Just because everybody is doing it, does not make it okay...


TRANNY STILETTOS - If I never see another pair of ghastly platform stilettos again in my life, it will be too soon. You trick NO ONE into thinking you're taller or your legs are longer with those tasteless things. There is nary a pair of shoes in the shops right now without unsightly blocks of false confidence attached to the soles. Ick.

CRIMPED HAIR - Just not pretty.

1980S POWER MAKEUP - I was torn on this one... I love strong makeup sometimes, but the tween desire to take the 1980s and run with it - good and bad - just put me over the edge. Cakey powder, super smudged blue eyeliner with coral lips, race car stripe blush, heavy contouring and power brows just don't look good... at least not together! See Melaine Griffith in Working Girl if you don't believe me.

BLACK MAKEUP - Another trend that could be cool but just isn't really. On nails... meh, I'd go for something with a hint of colour. And we rim our eyes with black anyway, which leaves lips and cheeks. Do not put black makeup there for obvious reasons.

EYEBROW INSANITY - Shave 'em off a la crack whore... use prit stick to apply black pipe cleaners for a new, chic Groucho Marx look!? What the f**k are beauty editors thinking? Are you trying to play a trick on your readers? They're not falling for it.

AGELESS PERFUME - Smells like something Paris Hilton would wear. I don't feel younger; I feel nauseous.

SPERM FACIAL - I mean, this one must have been created (MUST) for shock value alone. What, did the fish pedicure and bird poo facial stop causing a stir in the press? Just like with violence in movies, we seem to get ever and ever more desensitized to this nonsense.

ADONIA LEG TONE SERUM - YOU. CANNOT. RID. YOURSELF. OF. CELLULITE. WITH. A. SERUM. But if you really believe it's possible, then send me the $100 instead and I'll send you a jar of something that's equally effective. Like taking candy from a baby...

BUNNY EARS - Wrong. Looked bad on Madonna, would look bad on you.

RIP PRESCRIPTIVES (& b never to busy to be beautiful) - A slice of our adolescence will soon be resting peacefully beauty heaven.

ROYAL PURPLE LIPS - The designers tried it in 2008, and again in 2009. It's just ugly. Want your skin to look sallow? May we suggest a tube of this stuff.

THONG AS HAIR TIE as a beauty tip in US Cosmo - This one needs no explanation.

DUCK FACE - A crime often committed by those with trout pout but just as often by girls who think it's sexy to sport puckered arsehole-like lips instead of smiles for pictures.




ZZZZZ... oh, excuse me, I fell a sleep for a moment there!


LADY GAGA - Do we care? I mean, do we really care? Pretty mediocre music and vocals and the constant, recalcitrant scuffle for attention is, oddly enough, boring.

KATE MOSS INC. - La Moss and her banal brand of drug chic are everywhere. Clothes, scents, books, commercials, ad campaigns, covers. How is it possible that the Powers That Be have not tired of her? Maybe because the masses still shell out for anything with her name slapped on it. Instead of becoming invisible because of her ubiquity, she has become an increasingly sought-after commodity, defying all logic and the theory of supply and demand. She persists like a bad toe fungus and will make it onto my 'meh' list again next year, no doubt.

JADE NAIL VARNISH - This trend was okay, but I noticed that my gnawed cuticles stood out more when I wore it. One to be worn whilst channeling a 1960s ski bunny. Done in small doses, it was fine. But we were inundated with too much minty goodness for it to last long. Fun while it lasted...

SLENDERTONE FACE - Seems to work a bit on some, but nothing a bit of old-fashioned massage couldn't do.

THE SUB-LEBRITY - Reality slebs, Cheryl Cole, all the girls and boys featured in the pages of The Mail. Joan Collins hit it bang on in her, ironically enough, Daily Mail piece. And we're moving on...

MEGAN FOX - Ended 2009 with some lip plumping gone wrong, we hope 2010 isn't as enthralled with such vapidity as 2009 was. Again, b. o. r. i. n. g.

DEMI'S W COVER - Um, we all know covers are air brushed. Not news.

ALEXA CHUNG AS STYLE ICON - Really? I will never understand some things. Seems a sweet girl, not an avante-garde fashionista.