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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