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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 2012's Biggest Beauty Trends Explained

It was a colorful, volumized, and thoroughly entertaining ride in the world of beauty this year. But will any of the year's top ten trends endure? We have a few theories.

It was a colorful, volumized, and thoroughly entertaining year in beauty.

2012 brought us

Technicolor Hair:

This trend officially started gathering steam in 2011. Remember when

Blunt Bangs:

Anna Wintour will probably argue with this, but we're pegging this trend to Rooney Mara and her Girl with the Dragon Tattoo alter-ego,

Textured Nails: Nail art got 3-D this year. Glitter and crackle was no longer enough for the insatiable hordes who are obsessed with new nail polish gimmicks (yes, we are often in this group). Ciate's caviar nail kit brought it to the masses (even though DIY nail artists have been doing it for a while). Then came velvet, sequins, and anything else we could manage to stick to our tips. It even showed up on the runway, most notably the

Halo Braids:

Braids have been a favorite of designers and celebs alike for many seasons. And the halo/milkmaid braid is now a red carpet staple. It's the updo of a new generation of starlets.

Verdict: This one will endure, at least for a little while. First of all, it's fairly easy for you to do on your own, unlike some of the more elaborate braids. And secondly, it's so, so cute.

Cat Eye/Graphic Liner:

To say this is a trend is a little bit silly, because this look has been in and out of favor since the 60s. But it has roared back with a vengeance this year for sure. We've seen really graphic eye liner on the runways, and so many stars of all ages have busted this eye out for a stroll down the red carpet.

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Verdict: It definitely has staying power, but may be somewhat limited due to the learning curve for applying a cat eye correctly. It's effing hard. But the beauty industry is glutted with eye liner products to make your life easier in this regard, and just look how cute Taylor Swift always looks with her signature flick.

Big Top Knots:

Cindy Lou Who's hair is having a moment this year after the chic, messy bun of yesteryear migrated higher up on everyone's head. Miley Cyrus's (RIP) even got

Weird Perfume Concepts:

Some celebs (and one fast food chain) used some pretty unique gimmicks to try to make their fragrances stand out in the glutted perfume market this year. Lady Gaga's black juice, Nicki Minaj's throughly creepy bottle, and Britney Spears's two-sided spritzer are the three stand-outs in this category. And


This is the most surprising hair trend we've seen this year, just because it is so vintage and almost costumey. When done subtly (a la Zooey Deschanel) it works, but when done as a beehive (sorry Ashley Judd), not so much. Not to mention all that backcombing can't be good for your hair.

Verdict: Leave it in the 50s.

Stiletto Nails:

This is a trend that's been a favorite of flamboyant pop singers (and

Dark Lips:

With all the fashion world in love with the 90s this year, it makes sense that the dark, wine pout of that decade came roaring back. The Met Ball in particular was particularly wine-lip heavy.

Verdict: While it may not be so ubiquitous in seasons to come, we think it could be an edgier alternative to classic red. Don't throw away that NARS Volga just yet. Just make sure to check your teeth frequently!