6 Stories That Changed My Beauty Routine In 2014

The best part of the xoVain community is definitely the knowledge I get from my fellow contributors. We all have very different points of view and it’s great that I get my eyes opened to things I normally wouldn't consider.

While learning new things is a daily occurrence here, finding something that actually changes my routine is far more rare. These six posts shook up my beauty life in a pretty major way.

Nude Blush for People Who Don’t Like Blush

Before reading Taylor’s piece about nude blush I’d always thought it wasn't for me. Most things described as “nude” in the beauty world don’t work on dark skin, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do nudes at all. Make Up For Ever HD Blush in Indian Rosewood turned out to be the perfect shade for my skin, and it’s become the blush I reach for most frequently.

6 Coconut Fragrances That Don't Remind Me Of That Time I Drank Too Much Malibu Rum As A Teen

I’m a sucker for tropical fragrances, but often I find them too sweet. I’d already bought a bottle of Bronze Goddess by Estée Lauder when this piece went up, but I wasn’t convinced until I read Kara’s description. A tropical scent that is refreshing rather than cloying, this is absolutely up my alley. It layers beautifully and will always remind me of the summer I started writing for xoVain.

How I Waterproofed My Signature Makeup Look For My Miami Vacation

Alle and I are in fairly constant communication about many things (butts, makeup, Chris Hemsworth’s arms, the costumes from the show Reign), so we’re always learning from one another. When she wrote about Make Up For Ever Aqua Brows, she taught me that indestructible brow products do exist. Seriously, there is no better brow product, everyone else should just stop. The sales associate at Sephora tried to talk me out of buying it and now that I use it I want to go back and yell at her. That’s how good it is!

The San Francisco Apothecary Brand You Need To Know About

It’s a good thing I don’t live in the Bay Area anymore, because if I did, In Fiore would surely bankrupt me. Not only are their products luxurious and beautiful, they also work so well. Since I started using the Lustra and Treat cleansers my skin is clearer and softer than ever, and the body balm has made the rest of my body crazy-soft. I know not everyone is interested in spending that much on products, but, for me, it’s been 100% worth it.

Why Voting With Our Wallets Is A Woman Of Color’s Best Defense

Everything Lauren writes is totally brilliant, but this call to action for women of color to make our frustrations heard with our wallets, in addition to our voices, was straight up inspiring. Before reading the article, I'd been using products by a brand that had discontinued my shade of foundation, but Lauren's words changed my mind--and my beauty buying habits. In the same way that I wouldn’t be friends with someone who doesn’t value me, I won’t support companies that do the same.

You Asked: “How The Heck Do I Prevent My Manicure From Chipping?”

I couldn’t talk about the year’s most influential pieces without including the one Alle wrote specifically for me! I'd bemoaned my inability to make a manicure last during one of our marathon texting sessions, and she gave me a step-by-step lesson in how to correct my at-home nail game. I still (proudly) maintain my dirtbag status, but now I’m a dirtbag who can paint her own nails and keep them from chipping.

It’s a been a stellar year for me here at xoVain (both as a reader and a contributor). By far my favorite part has been how willing everyone was to share their immense knowledge. Never change y’all!

  • What did you learn this year here on xoVain?
  • Did anybody else experience any serious game-changers?