Looking back on 2014’s hottest trends

2014 has seen the rise of internet vlogging stars like Zoella

As another year draws to a close, many of you will already be looking forward to 2015- the promise of a new start and a chance to put the low-points of the year before behind you. For some, this will mean making New Year’s Resolutions, promising to be healthier, get fit or take better care of your appearance. For others it might be a vow to see friends more or find a hobby. Whatever you choose, the true test is whether you make it through January with your resolutions still intact.

Before we wrap up 2014 for good though, we thought we’d have a final look back on the year and take a moment to remember the hairstyles, makeup and other trends that became favourites in 2014.

The rise of social sharing

From award ceremony selfies to Ice Bucket Challenges, 2014 continued to see the gap between celebrities and ‘normal’ people lessen thanks to social media channels like Instagram. From pictures of their pets to selfies with family members, what were once rare, paparazzi-snapped glimpses into the private lives of the stars are now becoming normal and every day occurrences- easily accessed by scrolling through Twitter or Instagram.

But an increase in this celeb ‘sharing’ culture also, unfortunately, brought with it a massive attack on celeb privacy in the form of the infamous iCloud hack in which private pictures of celebs like Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst were made public. The rumour was that celebrity iCloud accounts had been hacked as victims gathered at the Emmy Awards, while others argued that these pictures may have been stolen in another way. Whatever the truth of the situation though, it certainly raised important issues surrounding the privacy and safety of personal electronic devices in today’s sharing culture.

2014 also saw the continued rise of the YouTube star, with figures like Zoella and Tanya Burr skyrocketing to fame in the wake of their increasingly popular video blogs. In what is perhaps a natural evolution from blogging, people began to share snippets of their lives in the form of videos on YouTube, and in the past few years vlogging has become massively popular. From makeup tutorials to look-books and lifestyle advice, vloggers are paving the way in a new kind of social sharing.

Though there are now countless lifestyle and beauty vloggers out there, not all of them are successful, but the ones who are reap massive rewards and in many cases make their sole living this way. From Zoella, whose recently released book went on to be the biggest selling debut novel ever to Tanya Burr who has released her own beauty line and Alfie Deyes who has hosted a show on Radio 1, the popularity of video bloggers is continuing to rise and 2014 has seen a real shift in the status of people who share their lives in this way.

Hair and beauty trends

In a move away from the pixie cuts and matte lips of 2013, 2014 seemed to focus on more natural, effortless hairstyles and sheerer colours for the face. Natural makeup looks with just a hint of colour from a bold lip became a popular choice for red-carpet celebs and beauty bloggers were preaching the merits of contouring and adding a subtle shimmer to your cheekbones.

Although the wild, untamed eyebrows made popular by Cara Delevingne on the catwalks of 2013 were toned down, statement brows were still very much a thing and in 2014 thick, filled in eyebrows became a popular trend. As did extra-long, sharply pointed acrylic nail extensions (A.K.A stiletto nails), which became favourites with celebs like Jessie J and Nicki Minaj.

Hairstyle wise, it was the grown-out, laid-back look that became popular amongst celebs and by the end of 2014, everyone from Taylor Swift to Emma Watson was rocking the ‘lob’. It’s essentially a grown out bob: shoulder length, casual and blunt but without the severe lines of the traditional bob cut.

The lob has quickly become a favourite among celebrities, probably because of its versatility. It’s easy to style and can be dressed down with tousled waves or made smooth and sleek with straighteners. It’s a grown up look but, unlike the bob, is low maintenance and bang on trend going into 2015.

Adapting books for the big screen

It’s commonplace now for the film rights to successful books to be snapped up pretty quickly, and 2014 seemed to see more book-to-film adaptations than usual. From the long-awaited third and final instalment of The Hobbit – based on the book by J.R.R Tolkien – to the sci-fi film version of Michael Faber’s Under the Skin starring Scarlett Johansson.

There was massive hype surrounding the release of The Fault in our Stars, based on the book by John Green. Teenagers everywhere speculated wildly about the casting of the main characters Hazel and Gus and a video trended which showed young fans’ overly emotional reactions to the trailer of the film. Similarly, the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl met massive box office success when it shot to number 1 in the UK box office back in October, making more than £9 million in just over a week. Even the film’s restrictive 18 certificate didn’t hold it back.

The Hunger Games films, as well as adaptations of the Marvel Comics continue to reign over box offices everywhere, and with the release of Fifty Shades of Grey – the first film adaptation of E.L. James’ bestselling trilogy – expected on 14 February 2015, it looks like film adaptations aren’t going anywhere in 2015.

What are your predictions for 2015? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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Jamie Bell is the managing director of Illuminated Mirrors. You can find Jamie on Google+; he also occasionally updates the Illuminated Mirrors Facebook page.

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