Editor's Letter: The best moments in Beauty and Health for 2014

Susannah Taylor 24 December 2014

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The Year in Beauty and Health

It was the year that Kim Kardashian’s bottom grew to extreme proportions and beauty bloggers became the new celebrities. Susannah Taylor  reports on the 20 most eventful beauty and health moments of 2014.

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1. The Body Part: Kim Kardashian’s bottom

As Kim Kardashian’s fame grew and grew this year, so, it seems did her bottom.  Peak booty time  came in early November with the publication of a photoshoot in PaperMag where Kim looked to have her buns enhanced out of all proportion and basted in olive oil. The aim was apparently to #BreakTheInternet, and love her or hate her, it certainly caused a cyber-furore.

Paper magazine

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2. The Style Icon: Amal Clooney

To be honest, she had us hooked with the red Alexander McQueen gown at her rehearsal dinner, but Amal Clooney then wrapped her svelte body into an Oscar de la Renta lace wedding gown, wore a super classy Stella McCartney white trouser suit with wide brimmed hat (shown here), and the following day, strutted her stuff in a thigh skimming Giambattista Valli petal-strewn mini dress. Any woman that can out-do George Clooney on his wedding day (be honest, we were all looking at her, not him), is a style icon in the making.  We can’t wait to see more of her in 2015.

Getty Images

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3. The online sensation: Food bloggers

Forget film stars, food bloggers join beauty bloggers (see point 6) as the new wave of celebrities these days. From the super stylish Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley (of Hemsley and Hemsley ), to the model-like Deliciously Ella  (who cured a very rare illness by eating well), to the super cute clean-eating Madeleine Shaw  (bottom right) and the beautiful Yes Chef Tess War  (top left) all these ladies are shouting out the brilliant message that it’s cool to eat organic, preservative-free, nutrient-rich food. With over 367,000 Instagram followers between them, this is one girl group worth listening to.

Instagram

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4. The mega brand: Estee Lauder

If you think Estee Lauder is all about Advanced Night Repair Serum and thick face creams, think again. Earlier in 2014, Estee Lauder Companies (who also own MAC, Jo Malone London, Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford Beauty and Clinique amongst many other brands) snapped up three niche and uber hip beauty brands - the artisanal modern french fragrance brand Le Labo , exquisite fragrance maker Frederic Malle’s Editions de Parfums , and cult skincare brand Rodin Olio Lusso . This week they also acquired the must-have face mask brand Glam Glow. Not only all this but they have also declared Kendall Jenner, the catwalk-strutting step sister to Kim Kardashian as their newest ‘face’ . With 15 million followers on social media, it’s sure to be a match made in cyber sales heaven. Watch this space...

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5. The beauty no-no: extreme facial tweaking

In their search for on-screen perfection, their quest for youth or a pap-ready face at all times, many celebrities have overdone the Botox , fillers and whatever-else-they’ve-had-done this year. Undeniably the most memorable was Renee Zellweger  who appeared on the red carpet looking, literally, like someone else.

Getty Images

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6. The new celebrities: Beauty bloggers

With their approachable, smiley manner and passion for makeup, many beauty bloggers now have bigger followings than Hollywood superstars and now take up a large proportion on the Youtube inline views (every month YouTube registers more than an incredible 700 million views of beauty related content). Some of the best are the hugely accessible Vivianna Does Makeup , (177k followers on Instagram), to the lively, and very thorough Essie Button  (337k followers on Instagram) to the now mega famous Zoella who has 3.5 million Instagram devotees and whose new book Girl Online  sold 78,000 in a week beating JK Rowling and Dan Brown. Go girls.

Instagram.com

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7. Photo of the year: The Belfie

We blame it on Kim Kardashian’s seemingly ever expanding derriere (or perhaps it all started with Pippa Middleton’s a few years back at the Royal Wedding that started it all),  but this year it seems that the new erogenous zone has most definitely become the backside. With Rihanna, Beyonce and Kim K all posting images of their rear views on Instagram, the Belfie (bottom-selfie) photo has become something of a status symbol. We could also therefore say, that exercise of the year was probably the rump-enhancing squat.

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8. The hair colour: Purple

Thought purple rinses were for grannies? Think again. This year, shades of lilac became the it hair colour. Our favourite ultra violets? Nicole Richie, who this year went from mauve to a midnight blue, and our other is the incredibly beautiful blogger In the Frow  (shown here) whose hair fluctuates between pastel pink and a delicate shade of lavender. Sounds awful? Take a look at her instagram, it’s utterly gorgeous…. trust us on this one.

Instagram @inthefrow

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9. The body trend: The chic crop top

Once the reserve of Ibiza beach goers and teenyboppers, the crop top became one of the biggest trends of last summer. Worn with gusto by everyone including 40 year old celebrities with abs of steel (thank you Gwyneth and J-Lo), they appeared on all ages and in every setting from high streets to red carpets (we're talking structured tops rather than lycra tight ones). It's time to start an ab attack -  this might be a look that will hang around through 2015.

Getty Images

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12. The haircut: The Lob

It started with Karlie Kloss who cropped her hair at the beginning of the year into a between-shoulder-and-chin length lob  (long bob) with a refreshingly modern effect. Others that followed were equally show-stopping from Beyonce’s curly crop to Jourdan Dunn’s graduated affair that aligned with her razor sharp cheekbones (shown here). So fresh does the lob look, we predict it will have longevity right into 2015 and beyond.

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10. The drink: green juice and smoothies

This was the year that people stopped turning their noses up at green juices , tried them, and actually quite liked them. A trend started by health pushers who’d whizz up say, a kale, avocado, cucumber, lime and apple smoothie in their Vitamix (essential for no ‘bits’ smoothness) as a means of packing in as many nutrients as possible, green juices and smoothies, have now made it into the mainstream. Pret a Manger and even Sainsbury’s now stock them (although best made at home) hopefully pushing sugar-laden orange juice a little futher off the shelves.

Getty Images

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11. The new beauty icon: Lupita Nyong'o

If ever there was a celebrity this year who has broken the beauty mold then that’s Lupita Nyong’o . Wearing vibrant and cutting edge colour not only in her outfits but in her makeup too, her look is as refreshing as an ice pop all year round and actually pre-empts 2015 beauty trends perfectly. Her world tour for her appearances surrounding 12 Years of Slave were impeccably modern: orange lips juxtaposed with a serene sky blue Prada dress at the Oscars; fuchsia pink lips and petrol blue eyes that coordinated with her pop art Miu Miu dress at the LA premiere and scarlet lips with smokey eyes that complemented her white grecian Prada dress in Toronto. A style icon in the making.

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13. The makeup technique: Contouring

We blame this year’s craze for contouring on the mega brand that is again, Kim Kardashian. Love her or hate her, when Kim posted on Instagram earlier this year how she contours her face, a makeup craze was born (type ‘how to contour your face' into Google and up come 12,3000,000 results). Be warned however, there are key tricks to getting it right: you need the correct shades of shadow (no pink blusher), a highlighter that’s not too metallic and a great brush to blend, blend blend. We did a video with makeup artist Liz Pugh to show you how here ...

Catwalking.com

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14. The body trimmers: Insta-fitness

Five years ago it was all about Facebook; two years ago, all about Twitter, but 2014 was definitely the year that belonged to Instagram. According to TechCrunch, the picture-based app has been valued at a cool $35 billion; it is also the perfect platform for health and fitness lovers to reveal their daily routines with many using it now as their shop window.

Our favourites of 2014 are @kayla_itsines , an Australian born personal trainer with 1.7m followers, London-based fitness guru @thebodycoach  who’s attracted 90,000 followers since the beginning of the year, and @yoga_girl  a beautiful blonde yogi based in Aruba who is photogaphed in ridiculously bendy yoga poses on incredibly beautiful beaches.

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15. The Fitness Fad:  HIIT

This year the fitness world went absolutely crazy for HIIT . A way of exercising that athletes have practised since time began, High Intensity Interval Training is about doing short bursts of intense exercise instead of steady cardio for a longer period of time. Championed by Dr Michael Moseley   (he of the 5:2 fame) in his book Fast Exercise , the best thing about HIIT is that it works, is for all ages, is scientifically proven to improve fitness levels fast and keeps your metabolism revving for 24 hours post exercise, which can't be said for slow jogging. With a HIIT class now in every gym in the country, it is revolutionising the way we exercise today.

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16. The Launch: Get The Job

The beauty industry employs more than 1 million people in the UK and is worth £17 billion (and set to grow 16% by 2016). With an audience of highly engaged beauty and health fanatics at our fingertips, we here at Get The Gloss had a hunch that it would be a good idea to launch a careers platform  aimed specifically at the beauty and wellness industries. Our aim? To discover the very best talent for the very best brands. Launched on the 13th November with a buzzy event  that included speakers Sali Hughes, Liz Earle and owner of Blink Brow Bars Vanita Parti, this area of our site is going from strength to strength. See our video of the launch here  and for enquiries click here .

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17. The movement: Anti-obesity

The stats say it all: in the UK one in four adults are now considered to be obese (a figure, which if left unattended is predicted to rise to over half by 2050), and over 20% of children leaving primary school are considered to be clinically overweight. What’s more, the problem is costing our health service an terrifying  £4.2billion a year.  Thankfully, this year, the wheels appear to have been set in motion to  tackle The Big Issue. In August, the Royal College of GPs and 11 other organisations called for a Child Obesity Action Group to be set up and National Obesity Awareness Week  kicks off on 12th Jan. We here at GTG got together a group of experts earlier in the year to create some videos on the subject. ..

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18. The transeasonal trend: Braids

Once the the reserve of school girls and Pocahontas, 2014 showed us that plaits  are here to stay. No longer restricted to the beach or in the gym, the plait in its various guises  - from waterfall to halo, fishtail to cornrow - is now perfectly acceptable everywhere from red carpets, at the office and all seasons. Which one will you try?

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19. The campaign of the year: Strong not skinny

It’s a message we have championed here at GTG since we launched two years ago, but it really feels like a ‘strong not skinny’ body image is now firmly taking hold. Maybe it has something to do with more and more women being into fitness than ever before (and hardcore fitness at that), or maybe it’s down to those Victoria's Secret Angels  who #TrainInsane to get runway-ready.

It helps that a new wave of style leaders are also making it cool to be fit:  Sunday Times Style magazine launched their campaign #FitNotThin and Net-A-Porter launched their sportswear section Net-A-Sporter  , whilst famous women from Beyonce to Nicole Sherzinger, J-Lo, Millie Mackintosh and Ellie Goulding are very vocal about their love of fitness. All in all, we are just glad it’s put the thigh gap out of fashion. Long may it last.

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20 The food: Kale

If foods were celebrities then Kale would be the Beyonce of vegetables right now. Why have we become a nation obsessed? Well a portion of kale contains more goodness than Gwyneth Paltrow’s supplement cupboard: 80g contains 120 mg of calcium, is an excellent source of folic acid (a B vitamin - important in pregnancy and supports the immune system) is rich in lutein (which keeps eyes healthy), contains 17 times more vitamin C than carrots, is an excellent source of vitamin K (maintains bones and blood), is virtually fat free and very low in calories. In other words it is RIDICULOUSLY good for you. Get munching.