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The 31 Best Beauty Instagrams of 2015

2015 is coming to a close, leaving a stream of memorable, inspiring, and transformative beauty Instagrams in its wake. Each week on, we share our favorite recent beauty moments as seen on the app, from behind-the-scenes runway snaps to beach-day selfies (or #belfies, as the case may be)—after all, it provides an instant glimpse into the lives of the models, makeup artists, and style influencers who pioneer beauty trends soon to be seen around the globe. And, like a well-edited beauty yearbook, a quick backward glance at our chosen photographs makes identifying the looks that defined the year as easy as a simple scroll.

Kendall Jenner at the 2015 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

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All things gilded and opulent were in favor these past 12 months, a trend owed in large part to makeup artist Pat McGrath. Hairstylist Luigi Murenu captured one of McGrath’s mothlike mask creations—crafted from an ethereal medley of pearls and lace—backstage at Givenchy’s Spring 2016 show, where Murenu finished off the artfully regal look with a metallic gold headband wreathed around a slicked-back bun. McGrath continued her reign with a takeover in the Tuileries, where she dusted her newly released, high-impact fairy dust—the Pat McGrath Project in Gold 001—on the eyes of Bella Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Lily Donaldson, and more. Offbeat trendsetters like Sky Ferreira and sisters Simi and Haze found streetwise ways to embrace the sparkle on eyes and lips alike.

When it came to hair, romantic plaits and waves were defining factors this year. Brushed-out, Marcel-inspired waves saw a resurgence at Lemaire, a look mirrored in modern fashion by model Frederikke Sofie—who paired her signature peroxide mane with a pair of rounded black spectacles worthy of Woody Allen—andFernanda Ly, whose pastel pink shade recalled a cotton-candy cloud. And braids took on new life: From Mary Charteris’s woven, paisleylike crown to Georgia May Jagger’s mini buns (an homage to Minnie Mouse) to Lisa Bonet’s baby braids, interwoven styles felt fresher than ever. And last but not least, Kendall Jennerarranged her glossy mahogany mane into a halo of hearts, resulting in the most-liked Instagram photo of all time.

From memorable manicures—Caitlyn Jenner’s sky blue thumb against a Starbucks cup was proof that a picture is worth a thousand words—to the return of Derek Zoolander, this year’s best beauty Instagrams reminded us to have fun, smile more, and think outside the box. Here’s to embracing beauty in all forms in 2016.

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Fashion notes: Flats are fab, but don’t get too comfy

In November, vice president of global buying at Net-a-porter, Sarah Rutson, made a visit to ­Dubai. At an intimate gathering at Jean-Georges restaurant, she gave a presentation on her top 11 trends for spring/­summer, and a theme that became rather recurring throughout many of the trends, was the flat shoe.

It was enlightening to hear a top international fashion ­figure chat about the trend ­appeal of flat shoes – a refreshing change from the stereo­typical picture of snobby fashion editors and sky-high stilettos. While a big part of me is overjoyed to hear this, there’s a little voice in the back of my head anguishing over the depletion of heels in the market. It’s no grass-roots fad; the flat-footed trend has swept up the fashion elite.

Fashion notes: Flats are fab, but don’t get too comfy

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The fact that designers have taken to dressing their models in flats on the runway goes to show the power of the heelless shoe. It marks a certain drift from the typical high-heeled definition and portrayal of femininity to a more laid-back, pressure-less style, which somehow retains and can even add to the wow factor of a look. A good pair of metallic brogues, taupe loafers or even Nike trainers can certainly work wonders for an outfit.

When I get ready in the ­morning, sometimes the ­process of deciding what shoes to wear with my outfit becomes dreadfully time-consuming. Pointed flats or strappy sandals? T-bar wedges or printed Oxfords? For fashion girls, it’s vital that your shoe game is on point. Take a look at the ­image on the right. Which shoes would you pair the rose pink sweater and accessories with? Do you automatically gravitate to one or the other? Or would it depend on the kind of mood you’re in, or the type of event you’re attending?

Heels and flats are becoming more and more intrinsically interchangeable. And while flats are becoming increasingly acceptable in all aspects of fashion, you have to admit, they don’t always evoke the same overall image as heels do. If you know me at all, you’re aware of the fact that I hardly wear heels, and practically live in trainers. I’m not one to trudge around airports, shopping malls or the office in products that pinch my toes and make my heels sore. But I also appreciate that romantic and powerful attitude that high heels can project onto a wearer, and I don’t think that we should do away with them altogether. By all means, splurge on stylish flats, but at the same time, preserve your heeled beauties, too, and ­recognise when they should be worn.

After wearing only flat-heeled shoes for many months, when I tried out a pair of heels the ­other night, I just couldn’t take it. I felt like a clumsy ­kitten learning how to use its legs, and was so ashamed of my awkward walk that I kicked them off and put on a pair of ballerinas instead. Footwear can make or break a look – and these flats definitely broke mine. Worse, I turned into a ­depressed, snappy ­monster and was slightly insecure about my outfit throughout the night. I saw other women turn up in their Manolo Blahniks, ­Jimmy Choos and Zara ­renditions and wish I had just soldiered through my high heels – ­pinches and all.

Footwear really makes all the difference in an outfit – and while flats are appropriate for most occasions, there are some events, particularly evening ones, where heels hold all the magic. All I ask is that you give both a fair chance – and if you ultimately decide on flats, ­maybe carry a pair of heels with you in the car just in case you change your mind.

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Dalton - Dameron

Laura Shelby Dameron and Stewart Shuler Dalton were united in marriage Saturday, November 28, 2015 at six o’clock in the evening at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Reverend Dr. John William Yates, III officiated. Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at the Carolina Country Club. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Barker Dameron, III of Raleigh. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Thomas Barker Dameron, Jr. and the late Dr. Dameron, and the late Mr. and Mrs. William Rodgers Johnston, all of Raleigh. She attended Ravenscroft School, was graduated from Saint Mary’s School in Raleigh, and currently attends Davidson College. She was presented at the 2013 North Carolina Terpsichorean Ball. The bridegroom is the son of Mrs. David Landress Dalton and the late Dr. Dalton of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. He is the grandson of Mrs. William Shuler Burns and the late Mr. Burns of Jacksonville, Florida and the late Mr. and Mrs. Sethur White Dalton of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was graduated from The Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Florida and Davidson College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

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He attends the University of Florida College of Medicine. The bride was given in marriage by her father. Caroline Frazer Bell of Winston-Salem, North Carolina served as maid of honor, and Dr. Clare Dalton Dover of Jacksonville, Florida, sister of the groom, was matron of honor. Bridesmaids were the bride’s sister-in-law, Sarah Anderson Dameron of Raleigh, Marion Ashby Brown of Raleigh, Mary Scott Manning of Kinston, North Carolina, Margaret Munger McCall Pope of Mountain Brook, Alabama, Caroline Elizabeth Smith of Bell Buckle, Tennessee, Sophie Anne Sussman of Savannah, Georgia, and Caroline Condrey Wooten of Kinston, North Carolina. Beatrice Little Renwick and William Rodgers Hayes, cousins of the bride, were flower girl and ring bearer. Isabel Grey Yates and Sylvia Tucker Yates served as acolytes, and William Rodgers Henderson, Jr., cousin of the bride, served as crucifer. Sarah Kathryn Henderson, Charlotte Frances Johnston, Eleanor Prioleau Maupin, Louise James Renwick, and Anne Scott Yonke, cousins of the bride, were program attendants.

Scripture readers were Katherine Louise Burd of Deerfield, Massachusetts and Samuel Spears Littlejohn of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. John Harrel Watson of Houston, Texas was the bridegroom’s best man. Groomsmen were David Landress Dalton, Jr. of Canton, North Carolina, William Wells Dalton of New York, New York, brothers of the groom, and David Belser Dameron, Thomas Barker Dameron, IV and William Rodgers Johnston Dameron of Raleigh, brothers of the bride, along with Robert Patrick Dover of Jacksonville, Florida, brother-in-law of the groom. Serving as ushers were Jason Park Cha of Chattanooga, Tennessee, John Straith Drexel of Houston, Texas, Richard Tillman Fountain, IV of Raleigh, John Maurice Hall of Matthews, North Carolina, Ike Meremikwu of Houston, Texas, Andrew Brian Theobald of Falls Church, Virginia, and Luke Edward Wulsin of Greensboro, North Carolina. The couple will spend their honeymoon at The Cloister, Sea Island, Georgia.

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