Beauty Guru: Best and worst of 2012 in beauty

How bad beauty trends can bring about good ones

I definitely think some of the worst beauty trends of 2012 were needed. Without them, some of the best beauty trends would not have surfaced. I have excavated and analyzed a few of these trends below, comparing them to what came after. In the world of beauty, sometimes one must go a little overboard to find the best beauty solution. I say "hats off" to the brave beauty divas willing to try the outrageous, paving the way for new and innovative beauty techniques.

The worst beauty trends versus the best beauty trends of 2012

Scrunchies vs. Fishtail Sideswept Braid

I'm a firm believer that things can evolve. Scrunchies came back. I blame the Summer Olympics of 2012 for that. Scrunchies are like the first humans to walk the earth and fishtail sideswept braids are more like modern humans, if I may make a slightly unintelligent metaphor in evolution-speak. Feeling the 80's creep back into my life was not a problem until I saw my first scrunchie in 20 years. Fortunately, the trend was only in some circles and not worldwide. With the scrunchie came the convenience of not doing one's hair. Ladies love convenience. The professional beauty world never really jumped on board the scrunchie bandwagon, instead they upped the ante with the sideswept fishtail braid- something that doesn't take long to create, is trendy and stylish, and uses no scrunchies. Ever. The sideswept fishtail braid will continue to be popular in 2013, with variations of its style all over the Pinterest boards should you ever need visual help creating this look. I'm happy to see it stick around, and hope that we will see the scrunchie in our hair history books as a primitive, long extinct, stepping stone to better days.

The scouse brow vs. the thick brow

I was in love with the thick brows seen on the runways of New York...until Fashion Week, when the scouse brow was raging the runway. The scouse brow is an extremely thick eyebrow that is then filled in with a dark shade of (paint?) eyeshadow or liner, showcasing a very accentuated and thick brow line with a clear arch. They are like the black markings found on football players under the eyes during a game, though more defined and maybe even more ridiculous because there is clearly no game. The scouse brow, while quite over the top, led women to try out a thicker brow that looked absolutely stunning. This is one of those instances where going overboard led us to cut out the thin brows that make some women (not all!) look angry all the time.

Growing out your color vs. Ombre

Ombre, the method of lightening the hair gradually down to the tips, gave some women the opportunity to grow out their highlights hopefully unobserved. The problem with this is grown-out highlights aren't the same as ombre. It probably saved some money though. Don't be embarrassed, we've all been there. The ombre look went on to encourage bright colored tips and even new techniques for applying color, like the flamboyage technique now being used by Davines. Those women who simply grew out their highlights actually encouraged the ombre trend to continue to develop into its current state.

Peach and pink lip stains vs. red lipstick

I am super happy to see the deep reds in all the magazines, on all the runway models, and on all my friends. Maybe the holidays are just getting me in the deep red mood, but I do believe this trend is here to stay into the next year. The lip stains some have been trying this past year have flaked off, dried lips out, or caused some lip anxiety on first dates. There are two things you can always be sure of on first dates...when in doubt, wear a black dress and red lipstick.

Mel B. is a Yahoo! Shine Beauty Guru, a writer of all things beauty, and Founder of, where Beauty Pro's connect, network, and answer questions for savvy women wanting the best beauty information. When she's not working, you'll find her hanging with her family in Pacifica, CA, or just contemplating life with walks along the beach, typically with a Rockstar energy drink in hand. Email her at