This is my 3rd year in a row writing this post on my best fashion and beauty buys of the year, and it’s interesting how so many of my favorite things are getting older. A few things I went to add, I realized I purchased one or two years ago.
I guess that goes to show I’m actually getting better about building a long-term wardrobe with quality pieces that work for me and will stand the test of time, which is awesome, but it also makes putting this post together more challenging.
It’s also a good one to write because it allows me to reassess the things that really work for me longterm, and hopefully that will help me make wiser purchasing decisions going forward.
If you’ve made any of these purchases this year, chime in and let me know how they worked for you!
My Best Fashion & Beauty Buys of 2018
Best Handbag Purchases of 2018
Mango bucket bag // Hands down, this is the bag I’ve been carrying most often this winter, so this snakeskin embossed leather bucket bag tops my list of best purchases this year. I love that it’s just a little bit different, and it’s also on sale!
R Minkoff Darren shoulder bag // Another great bag that is a great everyday size, the pebbled leather is like butter, and I love the edgy studded trim. It’s also unlined, which is my preference these days. Most lining in bags at this price point feels cheap to me, so the unlined bags seem more luxe. In fact both this bag and the snakeskin one above are unlined.
This bag currently comes in black and grey, and mink and optic white. Mine is the putty, which was discontinued. It does occasionally go on sale; I got mine 30-40% off. You can also find it at R Minkoff, Shopbop, Nordstrom, Zappo’s, and Saks.
Best Shoe Purchases of 2018
Tory Burch Miller Sandals in Light Makeup // One of the most frequent questions I get asked during the warmer months is which Tory Burch Miller sandals I prefer — the Sand Patent or Light Makeup. I had the Sand Patent for a few years, and I added the Light Makeup to my shoe wardrobe last spring. I don’t know if it’s just because they’re newer, or if the color is a little more refined or what, but I love this rosy shade of beige, and I wore these a ton last summer.
That said, the Sand Patent held up waaaaay better, and I pretty much abuse them. I wear them to the beach and the pool and the nail salon for my pedicures all year long, and they still look like new. As far as which is my favorite, I really can’t say, and it’s probably insane to have both, but I wear them both a ton. What I’m trying to get at is, you can’t go wrong with either!
Club Monaco Senella booties (similar) // I added these boots to my closet late last winter after seeing them on another blogger and then finding them on a deep discount. In my opinion, they’re the perfect sock bootie. They were snug at first but have loosened up with wear, and they’re so sleek and flattering. They fit well under skinny jeans, look great with straight crops, and would also work well with skirts if that’s your thing.
Marc Fisher Zalaly leopard pumps // I love the combination of the block heel and pointy toe on these hair calf leopard pumps. They look as great with a sweater and jeans as they do with a LBD.
Best Clothing Purchases of 2018
Prima Donna Swimsuit // My exact suit is sold out, but I discovered this brand last summer, and I really like it for keeping “the girls” in check. I need an underwire suit with a bra strap, but most don’t come big enough. This brand comes in a TON of sizes, and doesn’t look terribly matronly. I don’t buy a new suit every year, but when I’m in need of my next addition, I’ll definitely look at this brand first.
AG The Legging Ripped Ankle Skinny Jeans // I think I’ve had a pair of AG legging ankle jeans in every Best Of post I’ve ever written. These were part of the #NSale this past year, and they’re so so so good. I love the wash, the rip detail, the split hem, and of course the fabulous AG comfort and fit.
Unfortunately, they are finally sold out at Nordstrom, but you can find a few sizes for just $89 at Nordstrom Rack. For reference, I sized up to a 29 in these.
AG Legging Ankle Jeans in Shadow Fog // Speaking of which, I need to give these grey jeans a shout-out because I’ve bought 3 or 4 pairs of grey jeans over the years and never loved any of them until these. I don’t know why I waited so long to try the AGs. I should have known they would be “the ones.”
This wash is the perfect grey, the fit is the always-fantabulous AG fit, and the denim is soft and comfortable right off the rack. For reference, I took my usual 28 in these.
Ruffle Cuff Sweater Dress // I’m actually shocked this dress is still in stock, and the nice thing is, it will take me right through Valentine’s Day.
If you need something like this, I highly recommend it. It has a great fit, and the flare sleeve is subtle but a fun trendy touch. This color is divine, but it also comes in black, camel, and grey, if you prefer a neutral. I’m wearing a small, for reference.
Theory Relaxed V-Neck Sweater // I splurged on this Theory sweater in the charcoal when it went on sale at Bloomingdale’s a couple months ago. It is so thick and luxe and soft, I can’t even tell you. I wear it… true confessions… at least 3 days a week. When I just want to be cozy and comfortable and still look put together… which let’s face it, it just about every day… it is the one I reach for. The charcoal is gone, but there are a bunch of other colors available at 60% off on the Theory website.
Marc New York Hooded Puffer Vest // This vest is one of my favorite finds of the year. I love how it takes a basic puffer vest and turns it up a notch with the two-tone double layer look and the hood. Plus it’s just comfortable and cozy.
Unfortunately with our weather, I only got a few months out of it and now it is hanging in my closet, waiting for one of those rare mild winter days. Actually, yesterday would have been the perfect day for it, but I didn’t leave the house. For reference, I have the small, and you can find more sizes at Lord & Taylor.
Best Coat Purchase of 2018
The North Face Laney II Trench Raincoat (also at Zappo’s) // This coat is a little pricey for what it is, although it is The North Face, so the quality is outstanding. I saw it when I was walking through Nordstrom one day last spring, and I immediately stopped to try it on. I didn’t have a nice casual light jacket/rain coat other than a classic trench, so after thinking on it for a while, I sprung for it when I found it on sale at Zappo’s. (I’m not sure why they call it a trench; it seems more like an anorak to me.)
It has a nice, slimming silhouette, and it can go both casual or dressy. It comes in 4 colors, but my favorite by far is the black. This coat is great for travel or wearing around town on chilly spring or fall days, and I’m sure I’ll have it for at least 10 years. I sized up to a medium in this jacket.
Best Accessory Purchases of 2018
Gorjana Super Star Necklace // I’ve bought a lot of fashion jewelry this year, between wanting to update my own collection and needing to accessorize outfits for brands I was working with, and this necklace is by far my favorite.
I wear a lot of v-necks, and I like how it fills the neckline without being overpowering. The star motif is trendy and fun, and it has just the right amount of shine to catch the light and draw attention up towards my face. I usually wear it alone, but it also layers well with other delicates. In fact, in looking back through my pictures, I’ve also been wearing this longer Gorjana Quinn circle pendant a ton as well.
Kendra Scott Kirsten Drop Earrings // While I’ve purchased quite a few earrings lately, I find myself wearing them a lot for a short time and then moving on to something else. I picked these as one of my best purchases this year because while I don’t wear them every day, they serve a purpose in my wardrobe that nothing else quite meets, and I haven’t gotten tired of them yet.
Whenever I want something a little blingy but not over-the-top, I always end up wearing these. They’re just a really good going-out pair of earrings that seems to work with everything from dresses to sweaters and jeans.
Best Beauty Purchases of 2018
Urban Decay Cosmetics Naked3 Palette // I don’t try a lot of new makeup products, as I tend to stick with what I’ve found that works, but for some reason this new eye shadow palette caught my attention, and I decided to try it. I’ve been using my Naked Smoky palette almost daily for years, and I thought these pink tones would be nice for a change. In a nutshell, I love them. I’ll be doing an eye shadow tutorial soon.
Christian Dior Backstage Eye Prime // I discovered this product when I was at the makeup counter in Nordstrom shopping for other favorite essentials, and I love it because it works as an eye shadow primer or you can wear it alone for a nice neutral lid. When I wear this under my Urban Decay eye shadow, it doesn’t crease and lasts all day.
Petunia Pickle Bottom Travel Train Case // I purchased this makeup case after seeing it on another blog, and it is PERFECT for travel. It holds just about all of my makeup and skincare products, although I do put shampoo in a separate ziplock bag because it tends to leak. You can see how I filled it in this post.
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I hope you found this fun and informative. And by way of disclaimer, I realize some see these products adding up and it seems excessive, but always keep in mind that this is my job — scouting out the best products, trying new styles, and sharing them with you. While I definitely have fun with it, my goal is to be a resource, not show off what all I have. I hope it never looks that way.
Also, this post contains compensated affiliate links, which help support this site and keep it running. It also allows me to do this as a full-time job. As always, I appreciate your support!
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34 thoughts on “Best Fashion & Beauty Buys of 2018”
I bought the train case for my granddaughter who was heading off to college and dorm life and she loves it! It was a great recommendation!
YAY! I’m so glad. I didn’t think about it as a good college gift – but that makes sense!
It sold out on me in the spring/summer but I just ordered this one. Print may not be as cute, but i’m not ooing to miss out again!
Yes, I was so glad to see it restocked!!! I thought it was gone, so it was a pleasant surprise to search it for this post. I love my print, but I actually like both of the ones a lot too.
Wow! Thank you so much for this post! I got the AG distressed jeans and the burgundy vest. I think you’d posted the jeans recently at this price at Nordstrom Rack but they didn’t have my size at that time. I followed the link anyway and there was one left in my size. Woo-hoo! 😁 And I’ve always regretted not buying the vest and it was an extra 15% off. The only thing I’m a little worried about is I did buy the jeans one size up from my usual AG size, but since I’m about 8 lbs up from MY usual size, I hope they fit. 🙄
I am glad I sized up. I was higher on the scale when I bought them, and now I’m back in my comfortable range, and they still fit well.
Happy New Year, Jo-Lynne! I love this post! I think I need that dress and Mango bag. 😀 I, too, have the TB Miller sandals in make-up and I love their versatility and comfort. Your “disclaimer” is so sweet and kind. It never feels that you are showing off your items. Your advice is always on point regarding style and quality. Your price points work well for me. Thank you for always being genuine; you are one of my favorite bloggers.
You are so sweet, thank you!
What a fun post to read! I know that you will enjoyed the pampering today. Years ago I got a dark brown knee length Lands End puffer coat and a royal blue short partially lined rain coat that are still in great shape. Both of them worked great when we lived in metro Atlanta and I was working, but they are also perfect for retirement and our very casual lifestyle. It’s another rainy day in GA. We’ve had so many in a row that I’ve lost count, but the weekend is supposed to be sunny and nice! Blessings to you and your family!
I think your rain is coming our way. Bah humbug. LOL!!! Enjoy your sunny weekend!
Bought the TB sandals on impulse and wore them a ton. Was glad I pulled the trigger. I love that barefoot look when you’re not. I just wish they were a little bit more comfortable! (They are VERY flat.) The Mango bag is in my cart. Has been for days. Do I really need another black bag? Which one in my closet can I get rid of? Can you hear me trying to convince myself just to buy it???
I think you’ll be surprised. I honestly didn’t think I’d keep it. I ordered it b/c I liked the price point for featuring on the blog. Now I end up carrying it instead of some of my pricey designer brands b/c the size is so perfect, and it’s just so different and pretty.
Fantastic post! I bought the light makeup Millers too and absolutely adored them. I loved them so much, I wouldn’t even wear them much for fear of staining them, lol. When the sand patent finally went on sale in early fall, I got those and knew they’d be more practical so I sold the makeup ones. I totally regret it, but I honestly didn’t need both. They are gorgeous though!
I also have the AG jeans, and they’re one of my top purchases this year as well. My most used purchase though? Definitely my North Face rain jacket, haha. I found out yesterday that 2018 was our second wettest year on record behind 2017 (thanks to Harvey), and I’m not the least bit surprised. Rain everyday it seems!
Our year was also 2nd rainiest on record. CRAZYTOWN! Here’s hoping 2019 is drier.
Another great post! Although I didn’t end up with any of the items you talked about today, I have purchased several sweaters you posted in the Fall/winter blogs. My favorites are the Old Navy rust striped sweater you wore with your navy vest and the very soft hooded pullover from Kohl’s. I’ve worn them both a lot! I also have a couple of tops from Loft from the Spring/Summer blogs. And for the record, I never feel like you are showing off in any way. You are very real and that comes across in everything you do.
Thanks, Linda. I appreciate that! xo
i love this post! Always fun to see what your favorites are. I also always enjoy your post about things you didn’t get as much use out of as you anticipated. It just helps to hear the thought processes of someone else. Or maybe it makes me feel better about the things I don’t use as much as I thought I would. Thanks!
I was planning on doing that one next week. 🙂
I so want the make-up sandals but just couldn’t spend that much, so never did order them. 🙁 Kicking myself I didn’t buy the burgundy vest but I find I don’t wear my other vests that much, but this one is sooooo cute. Depends on the weather you live in how much use you get out of a vest. Love this post. Going to go back and look at the black handbag. I love it. No disclaimer needed. You never sound like you are showing off what you have. You always use what you buy and love.
Would love a make up (or eye make up specifically) tutorial! Love the burgendy vest best of all; makes sense for where I live. Enjoy the mani/ pedi pampering – you deserve it! Golly, you are the least showy offy person. Perish the thought. In fact, you are down to earth, genuine and authentic. Don’t worry about offending soneone (there is always someone out there who gets offended by anything!!)
I hear ya, but I’ve had a few comments over the years that have stuck with me.🙄 And thank you! xo
Thanks for the roundup! What size are you wearing in the Theory sweater! I’m tempted by the sale price but couldn’t tell what would be the best fit from their size guide.
It’s a small. 🙂
I want that Theory sweater too but have never ordered that brand. It’s final sale so I’m reluctant
Love the sweatshirt your wearing in the pic below… what size did you go with?
It’s a small, but I wish I had the medium. It’s super soft and cozy inside.
Jolynne, I love your summary of best finds. We get great ideas from them. Our Voices in Praise choir did a mission trip to Philly last fall. We had a packed schedule with ministering at prisons and rescue missions, but had scheduled in some time for sightseeing. The plus for some of us ladies was that we stayed near King of Prussia Mall and in some downtime, went shopping . You are so fortunate to live near a mall with so many high end as well as more moderately priced stores. Macy’s is about the apex of local shopping in our area. Happy New Year and keep up the informative posts!
Yes, the KOP mall is AMAZING. My mom always joked when I first got married and moved here, leave it to me to relocate next to the 2nd biggest mall in America. Haha!
Good ideas! Here are some of mine – After you posted your Wildfox white sweatshirt in the summer, I bought the black one during the Anniversary sale. Love it! Also bought my first pair of Paige jeans on your denim recommendation, mine in black skinnies. And my husband bought me a trench from Brooks Brothers. It is so much nicer than the London Fog one I had and I love it. It makes me feel chic. I also found the J Crew Mercantile flannel shirts fit me so well, which is not the case of some of their other cuts. I really am pleased with those. Also, mac liquid concealer.
And I agree with you about high end bags, if you can afford it they are worth it.
I also went back to getting Botox (actually Xeomen) and I’d forgotten how much I love it and how much better I feel about myself. Again, high end, but if you can afford it, it is worth it!!!
Love your blog and your emails and your Instagram …..
Thank you so much. I still have and love that Wildfox sweatshirt. Wore it a couple times lately, after not wearing it for a while. Now I’m wondering if I need the black… hmmm…. 🙂 I should have included that, actually. I didn’t think about it for this post b/c it was in the wash when I was looking at my closet for ideas.
And I’ve been considering Botox for my forehead. Where do you get it? Like what areas of the face?
I meant in general, if ‘you’ want it and can afford it, get it. I realized it could have sounded as if I was telling you, Jo-Lynne, to get it.
I’m 53 and get my forehead, between the brows, and crows feet/top of cheek bone area. The results are better than I expected.
And I think you’ll be happy if you get the black Wildfox, I’m going to get the white! 🙂
Yeah, I gotcha! It’s just something I’ve been considering for a while. I may have to give it a try.
Great post! I did buy some of these featured items! I love the puffer vest. Vests are my go to down here in metro Atlanta. I wear them often with our mild climate. I bought a similar Rebecca Minkoff bag ( small Darren bag) It’s beautiful and compact but not too small. I maybe would have preferred the larger one but this bag was on a clearance sale and I couldn’t pass it up! I’ve the TB Millers in a cream color and black but thinking this spring I’ll get the sand patent. I think the patent seems more cushiony than the others offering a little more support and comfort than the others that seem very flat. Also the Kendra Scott earrings are my go to as well! I’m
keeping my eye on that sweater dress. Love it! Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you too, Suzanne!!