Happy New Year’s Eve! I wrote the first draft of this post immediately after writing about the life lessons from this decade. It was a super reflective and personal post, which left me feeling quite drained. As a result, I’m also looking back on 2019 to reflect on the blog highlights of the year! If you haven’t had the chance yet, I recommend that you reflect on the year and/or decade as well. I used to keep a jar filled with positive things a few years ago that simplified this task, but that doesn’t mean I should skip it altogether!
Before I share the top content of the year, I first want to thank you. Thank you for sticking with me this year! As I mentioned in the decade recap, 2019 was a challenging year. It was the year of getting unstuck and trying a few things before eventually discovering where that itch would be fulfilled. Throughout the discovery process, the content on here dropped more than I would have liked, albeit necessary to achieve my goals. Still, and much to my surprise, 2019 was the most successful year I’ve had on the blog! I’ve previously said this to my e-mail list, but I truly appreciate each and every one of you for both reading and sharing my content. Today’s post is all about reflecting back on the top content from the year. Let’s start with your selections first, shall we?
The Reader Favorites of the Year
Can I let you in on a little secret? I love data! I especially love blog data because it’s how I can most accurately identify the type of content that you love. I like seeing which posts trend over time because:
- It helps me create more content that you like to read.
- It helps me see where our interests align and vary.
- It’s interesting!
Focusing solely on the blog posts that were published this year, below are the top 3 posts from each of the 3 categories on the site. I can’t necessarily answer the question of why you liked them, but I don’t want just to list them and not provide any sort of backstory. As a middle ground, I’ll share a few tidbits about the post as well.
- How to Wear Long Skirts if You’re Short
- How to Style a Leather Jacket Year-Round
- The Fashion Trends I’m Ditching (and Keeping) in the New Year
I love that the skirt styling post is the most-loved post of 2019! My assumption is that most of you also struggle with dressing for your height, and this post was intended to help you move forward. This post is also a favorite of mine, mainly because the outfit was so much fun to wear. It was the perfect balance of being both in and out of my comfort zone, and I’m a big fan of how the pictures came out.
The leather jacket post is a favorite of mine as well, so I’m glad you all enjoyed it. Leather jackets are wardrobe staples, and it’s essential to know how to maximize a staple throughout the year. I shot the images in this post on my own using a tripod and remote, and I was really pleased with the outcome despite it being ridiculously cold that day.
The fashion trends post is so much fun to go back and read now that we’re at the end of the year. I 100% stand by the trends to ditch, but I’d actually move a few of the trends I’m keeping down to the ditch pile as well now that the year is up. As a fun fact, the images in this post were ridiculously painful to edit. We shot these images inside the Fairmont Hotel in Austin, Tx, and the indoor lighting was extremely yellow. Getting the colors to a more neutral white balance took several hours of post-production on my end, but I’m glad I was ultimately able to salvage the photos. (Blogging isn’t always glamorous!) I will say it was nice to shoot indoors for a change.
- Which Fenty Beauty Gloss is Right for You?
- The Top 5 New Winter Beauty Essentials
- 5 Black Women-Owned Brands to Know About
Fenty Beauty’s gloss is the best formula I have tried in a lip gloss simply because it is hydrating. Everyone raves about the gloss, and it certainly deserves the praise, but I imagine this is my most popular beauty post of the year because not everyone wants to buy every gloss shade. I wish I had a fun fact about this post, but I just remember wondering if the minor differences between each shade would translate on camera when I applied the gloss to my lips.
It makes me so happy that you all made the winter beauty post one of the top-performing posts this year! I was so excited to create this blog post, and the idea actually came to me when I was shopping for more press-on nails at HEB. I realized my winter beauty favorites were utterly different from my usual winter essentials, and almost all of them were picked up at a drugstore. Also, my favorite blouse is featured in one of the images, and it was a fun one to try and shoot with my tripod.
Lastly, the black women-owned post being a top-performer warms my heart because it’s something I am very passionate about. I talk a bit more about this one further in the post, so I’ll just say that I’m glad you loved it as much as I did.
- Tips to Help You Plan and Shoot Your Own Outfit Photos
- How to Attend SXSW on a Budget
- Why It’s Important to Pause and Reflect on the New Year
Aside from fashion, lifestyle posts are my favorite to create! I started the year on a photography kick and had the chance to collaborate with one of my friends on this photography tips post. We were both shooting our own photos pretty regularly, so we decided to share tips for our readers! I had a feeling you all would enjoy the “behind the scenes” aspect of this topic, and I’m pleased to see that was the case!
SXSW is always a lot of fun, but there’s no denying the hefty price tag. I always tell people that SXSW brings both paid and free events, so I decided to write a blog post going into more detail. I wanted it to be informative and practical, and I’m happy that you all appreciated the content.
The new year reflection post is the most surprising in the roundup because I didn’t expect for it to connect as much as it did. What I liked about this post is that I literally wrote it on NYE in an Austin hotel room after celebrating the night with my friends. Then, I shot the corresponding outfit on New Year’s Day the next morning in the cold. It was such an honest and real-time post from beginning to end, which is rare in the age of having to plan ahead.
My Favorite Blog Posts of the Year
Now that I’ve shared your top nine, it’s time for me to do the same. Fun fact: I actually wrote this section before gathering the data to curate your top picks. I did it that way because I didn’t want to know what posts you loved before selecting mine. Even though I mentally picked 3 posts from each category, I’m only going to share my top three overall since a few of the extras just so happen to be your favorite as well.
This blog post was such a joy to shoot! I believe I mentioned this within the original post, but I chose this post as my favorite fashion post because the photos absolutely match what I envisioned. I had the opportunity to work with a photographer on this post. Not having to worry about framing, direction, and focus made it so much easier to just worry about being in front of the camera. I love the outfit on its own, but the downtown location we scouted complemented the look even more. It was extremely humid this day, as you can tell by my hair, but we made it work.
BEAUTY | 5 Black Women-Owned Brands to Shop
I didn’t write very many beauty posts this year, but one of my personal priorities was to increase the amount of black-owned products I regularly use. Finding black-owned fashion brands that are both in my price range and akin to high street quality has been extremely challenging, but I loved how several beauty brands became household staples. During Black History Month, I highlighted black micro-influencers each day on Instagram. I didn’t have anything festive on the blog, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share some of my favorite products and brands created by black women. In the new year, I hope to discover black women-owned fashion brands that are easily accessible for the working woman.
LIFESTYLE | 10 Life Lessons this Decade Taught Me
Yes, I know I just wrote this blog post literally yesterday. Is it proximity bias? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I genuinely love the most recent blog post because as draining as it was to reflect back on the decade, it was oddly therapeutic. Reflection is something that I can do privately, but creating content based on that reflection almost forced me to see a lesson in each obstacle or win. I know that’s what you’re supposed to do, but sometimes you need a little push to apply the things you know. In this case, that “push” was you. I also love it because, on a shallow note, I really like the outfit I shared with the post. (Hey, this is a fashion site after all!)
Thank you for growing with me and continuing to show your support! I look forward to creating content in 2020 and hope that it continues to teach you about your own style!