Is there anything more fun than coming across something that delights you? I was fortunate to have many of these discoveries in 2019, and I’m sharing some of my favorites with you below. I’ve put them in categories as best as I could, but there is some inevitable crossover, as a love in one category will often tangent to another.
There was a time when I had a more than a cabinet full of makeup, but in recent years I’ve become more selective in my purchases, buying what I feel will work for my aesthetic and will meet my standards of quality. These two items quickly and easily joined the ranks of favorite buys of 2019.
UZ Eye Opening Liner
OMG, this eyeliner is, while maybe not lifechanging, certainly style-sharpening and makeup-application-easing. It comes in a rainbow of colors. I have it in Gray and (my favorite) Burgundy. It sweeps on more easily than lipstick and makes it simple to create any sort of cat eye. And then it stays put. I don’t know what it is about the brush or formula that allows for this, but all can say is TRY IT!
Lisa Eldridge Velvet Matte Lipsticks
I started this blog cooing about Charlotte Tilbury’s matte Carina’s Love lipstick, but I have a new red favorite: Velvet Ribbon by Lisa Eldridge. The bullet actually looks like velvet and the formula is matte but creamy. This truly is the ultimate red, IMHO. She now has several colors in this formula, and on her site she shows how each one looks on a variety of complexions, which is really helpful. These lipsticks aren’t cheap, but I believe they’re worth it.
I definitely had some misses in 2019. I’m learning (sometimes the hard way) what not to spend money on, like sweaters made of fabric that inevitably pills. And I’m investing in pieces I feel will last due to versatility and quality. The items below definitely fit the bill, and made it onto my list of favorite things of 2019.
Madewell’s Packable Puffer
I talked about this puffer in my travel tips post, and now having gone on and returned from a two-week trip to more wintry climates, I can now attest to how practical, warm, and stylish it is. I got it in olive, but love all the colors.
Oak & Luna’s Mon Petit Name Necklace
I just received this necklace from my sister for Chanukah (pictured at the top), and I’m in love with it. It totally suits my style, is the perfect length, and goes with everything. As I mentioned in this post, this site makes great personalized jewelry. For necklaces, you can choose the chain length, which is a real bonus.
Dr. Martens Boots
I may be the only 47-year-old to be new to Doc Martens. It took me forever, but now I’m a devotee. I brought three pairs of boots to London, but only wore these. I love the look of the lace-up, but the zipper is what sold my lazy self on this pair. They were unbelievably comfortable while stomping over eight miles of London streets in a day. They’re one of my favorite things of 2019, but I have a feeling they’ll remain favorites long after.
Yes, these shoes are worth the hype. I have difficult, flat, wide feet. I inevitably get blisters from most flats. But I can wear my Rothy’s for a full day of walking and they don’t rub at all. I’ve thrown them in the wash three times and each time they’ve come out like new. They come out with new colors and patterns every month, so there will definitely be a style that appeals to you. Use this link for $20 off a pair!
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
I was late to the party on this one, an Amazon Prime original. I had watched half an episode when it first debuted, and was put off by Rachel Brosnahan’s constant gesticulations and physical acting. The whole thing felt over the top. But I gave it another shot, and by the second episode, I was hooked. As someone who comes from a family of New York Jews, even though I didn’t live during the time “Maisel” takes place, I find the show familiar and nostalgic. And, of course, very funny.
“Trapped” and “The Missing”
These two detective thrillers, also on Amazon Prime, have all the noir you could ask for. The Icelandic “Trapped” has two season and stars the brilliant Olafur Darri Olafsson as the lead investigator on a truly twisty murder case. The chilly, dark, snow-covered environs definitely add to the tense vibe of the show.
Olafsson stars in a supporting role in season 2 of “The Missing,” which stars Tcheky Karyo, whom you may remember from “La Femme Nikita.” Karyo’s detective, Baptiste, investigates one case over each of the two seasons, while also dealing with his adult daughter’s personal struggles. The Baptiste character was so popular that a spinoff was created called, yep, “Baptiste.” It hasn’t yet aired in the U.S., but I’m keeping an eye out for it.
Nothing helps a long commute more than a good podcast, and I’m grateful to have found these two to add to my favorite things of 2019.
This beauty podcast is hosted by two Brits: Lindsey Kelk, a romcom novelist, children’s author and self-described beauty junkie, and Harriet (Harry) Hadfield, a celebrity makeup artist. The two friends, who are now based in Los Angeles, dish about their favorite cosmetic discoveries. Of course learning about new products is the bait, but just listening in on their hilarious banter is why I’ve kept listening. As tends to happen in LA, I actually ran into Lindsey at a resale shop where we were both trying to offload some clothes, and she was as delightful in person as she is in the podcast.
This podcast, hosted by Who What Wear co-founder Hilary Kerr, focuses on women who have become successful (sometimes for the second time) after making drastic career changes. The interviews are fascinating and inspiring, and include names such as Jessica Koslow (chef/owner of Sqirl), writer-director Kelly Oxford, and interior designer Emily Henderson. It’s refreshing to see how paths to happiness rarely go in straight lines, and are more often tangents that take us in unexpected directions.
To be fair, there are a lot of movies currently in the theater and that have yet to be released this year that I may end up mentally adding to this list later. But as of now, here are my favorite films of 2019. These are the ones I really enjoyed and that stayed with me long after I left the theater.
When a movie is about another culture and is partially in another language, and yet you feel as though you know the characters personally, you know it’s a story well-told. I was already familiar with the true story behind “The Farewell,” as it was a segment on the podcast “This American Life” a few years ago. But I think it speaks to the brilliance of the writing, direction, and Awkwafina’s starring performance that it all still felt new and enthralling. I loved watching this funny, warm family gather in China under the guise of a wedding to say goodbye to the matriarch who doesn’t know she’s terminally ill. This movie is touching and hilarious and will stay with you long after you watch it.
I can’t really legally talk about this movie yet, since it doesn’t release until tomorrow (December 12). I’ll just say the performances are outstanding; that I kept thinking Charlize Theron was actually Megyn Kelly; and that I reacted by laughing out loud, gritting my teeth, and tearing up, at different times, for all the right reasons.
As a staunch fan of the series, this movie felt like a delicious buffet of sweets served on a velvet-covered buffet, festooned with gilded candelabras. It allowed me to revisit every character and see what they were up to, while ogling the fabulous costumes and feeling transported to the castle and surrounding gorgeous grounds.
I love Jerusalem artichokes and I don’t care who knows! Seriously, though, I had an unbelievable dish at the restaurant Noble Rot in London that was deceptively simple but so flavorful and comforting, I wish I could duplicate it. If you’re not familiar with Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes), they aren’t artichokes at all. They are root vegetables that resemble ginger and taste like a nutty, slightly sweet potato. Of course, the fact that the restaurant glazes them in brown butter doesn’t hurt.
I’ve mentioned The Anna Edit before. I love Anna’s blog, I love her Instagram feed and stories, and I especially love her YouTube videos. When I watch them I truly feel as though a good friend is letting me in on her favorite things, shopping trips, travel experiences, recipes, books, and so on. She’s a lot younger than I am, but I really admire her for what she’s accomplished as a writer and blogger. I hope to someday have content that measures up to hers!
Now I want to hear about your favorite discoveries of 2019! Share them with me below.