Year In Review: My 10 Favorite xoStories From 2014!

Bug barrettes, dupe comparisons, itchy scalps, beauty lessons learned from cats, and more.

OK, ya'll. Here's my roundup of my favorite xoStories from the past year. I had a blast looking through all my old posts, reading comments from you fine people, and, in general, remembering everything I'd done in 2014 for this glorious, glorious website.

Just a quick little note: You readers and commenters keep me so motivated and inspired, and I love hearing from you! I love your reaction gifs, I love your kind comments, your thoughtful criticisms, and everything in between. Here's to a wonderful past year, and here's to a wonderful year moving forward. XO!

Does A $5 Dupe Perform As Well As Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder?

Who doesn't love a good comparison, especially when you could save a sizable amount of money? I really went all out with this one, including a flash test! The results may surprise you, and BONUS: Our favorite (former contributor) scientist Kevin weighs in throughout the comment section, too!

This Alien Elephant Dryer Bonnet Is As Useful As It Is Ridiculous

I have to include this post because it was a hilarious contraption that was so, so fun to both use and write about. Update: I totally break it out when I want to set my hair with a nice deep conditioner, and yes, it does an excellent job. And FYI my cats are still as afraid of it now as they were the first time I used it.

Common Causes Of Itchy Scalp That Will Make You Cringe

OK, so researching this story, writing this story, and re-reading this story made me feel all itchy and weird. And judging by the comments, many of you were creeped out, as well. But you know what? This is a really, really informative piece that incorporates expert dermatologist know-how. If you have any questions about itchy scalp, this is a great place to start!

His And Hers No-Makeup Makeup: How ANYONE Can Get An Enhanced Natural Look

Who says ladies are the only ones wearing NMM? This story by yours truly features an in-depth how-to for "all natural" makeup on both a woman and a man. Plenty of ladies have already mastered this look, as you know, but not as many men. That's primarily because many men simply don't want to be caught wearing makeup. My takeaway? When it comes to NMM, women don't want people to know they're wearing makeup, either.

Which Of These 8 Bad Skin Habits Are You Guilty Of?

We here at xoVain really went into overdrive with our acne coverage during Acne Awareness Month. In the end, I'd like to think that the xoVain vs. acne battle led to a victory for all the fabulous people who frequent this part of the Internet! Anyway, this comprehensive list of skincare no-nos got readers buzzing in the comments, and hopefully it lead to better habits!

Beauty Lessons I Learned From My Cats

Who says your pets can't teach you some serious beauty lessons? In this story, I share the various ways in which my felines have inspired me in that area. My favorite part of the whole article, though, is the comment section. I love seeing all your pets!

9 Beauty Products I Always Restock

Oh, how I love a good HG beauty product roundup. I love talking about my favorites, and I especially love hearing about yours. You better believe I'm still using these nine products, and I even picked up a few items that've made their way into my regular rotation thanks to the comment section!

6 Lip Colors That Always Get Compliments

You know what xoVain loves? LIPSTICK. I mean, who doesn't? I've since acquired more lip colors that I reach for on the regular, but the products in this roundup are still some of my consistent favorites. I loved hearing about (and seeing) your favorites, too.

Halloween Tutorial: American Horror Story: Asylum

I've gotta include this one on my list, mostly because I was so darn proud of how well it turned out! Who knew that a little white and black paint could have such a seriously scary effect? I hope some of you wore this for your Halloween costume. If not, there's always next year.…

Gilded Bug Barrettes: A DIY Hair Accessory That Will Get You More Compliments Than Shrieks

The best way to spend a lazy afternoon? DIY! Duh! This fun little project was both super cheap and super easy, which makes it one of my favorites I've done for the site. The perfect marriage of creepy and cute, if I do say so.

  • Anyone start using a dryer bonnet this year?
  • What bad skincare habits did you break?
  • Any new dupes you're excited about?