We have 2011 to thank for new trends like the fascination with the iPhone’s virtual assistant, Siri. But let’s take a moment to consider what we could happily do without in 2012. Our experts take on the diet, fitness, hair, and wardrobe malfunctions that were among the worst fads of this year.
1. Spider lashes
The clumpy top and bottom eyelashes that result from a zillion coats of mascara made a dramatic appearance on celebs like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj. The downside is “lumpy, messy mascara that takes double the time to take off that it did to put on. It’s a nightmare,” says “X Factor USA” style team member Kristofer Buckle. Chanel makeup artist Rachel Goodwin, who works with Lea Michele and Emma Stone, says spider lashes took off because of the overuse of magic-grow eyelash formulas. “Woman had more lashes than they knew what to do with. It looked like they had creatures on their eyes.”
2. The Dukan Diet
The Dukan Diet surged in popularity at the beginning of 2011, when it was linked to Kate Middleton and her family’s wedding weight loss. The high-protein, low-carb regimen, however, is “the cranky mood diet,” according to Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, a nutritionist at Golden Door Spa and author of “The Superfoods Rx Diet.” “With this one, you are sure to have success at losing weight and then gaining it back again. This is all about restriction, and it should be more about what you can have.” Another drawback? It “limits the possibilities for sharing meals,” says “Spontaneous Happiness” author Dr. Andrew Weil, who suggests a diet that includes healthy carbs like whole grains, beans, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes.
3. Animal prints
“I would ask women to think twice about their animal print choices,” advises stylist Kimmy Erin, who styles celebrities like Katherine Heigl and is tired of this year’s overabundance of the animal kingdom. “There are too many cheap-looking leopard prints that are destroying an otherwise super classic and chic look.”
4. P90X workout
This high-impact DVD fitness series was invented years ago, but the latest version became a hot home workout trend of 2011. While the regimen has good intentions, “some people are so gung ho that there can be more risks than benefits,” says nutritionist Wendy Bazilian. “It is very intense and a great boot camp to do with an instructor, but [without one] it’s like being in a lion’s den with no supervision.”
5. Bandage dresses
This skintight trend peaked in 2011 and was all over the red carpet. It reappeared frequently on celebs like Jennifer Love Hewitt, and it seemed like everyone took at least one turn in this tightly wrapped number. As Gotham and Hamptons‘ columnist Jeffrey Slonim notes, it’s time to hang up this tired trend. Women everywhere can finally exhale and watch for a trend that’s a little more forgiving.
6. Super stilettos
This year saw a rise in heel height, with six-inch shoes hitting recent New York runways. The low point of this trend? Sore feet aside, there is a risk that your footwear could actually send you to the hospital with back pain or worse.
While Kate Middleton gets plenty of praise for fashion inspiration, she also reintroduced sheer pantyhose this year. (And L’eggs launched its first TV ad in more than a decade.) While Tim Gunn respects her style, he is not a fan of the hosiery. “I think there are few things that look as anachronistic as a sheer stocking,” he says. “If you’re wearing stockings, it should be known!”
8. Fisherman feathers
Feather lures made a debut as hair accessories this year. In fact, they were so popular that fly shops were low on inventory for the actual fisherman to use. While the feathers create a hippie chic appropriate for music shows like Coachella, “there are now a lot of 7-year-olds who wear them,” said Sarah Bernard of the Thread. The trend was also noted by celeb stylist Jose Eber: “Adults should leave this one to the kids.”
9. Harem pants
Harem pants, which reappeared three years ago and gained popularity in 2011, are the updated version of MC Hammer pants from the late ’80s. They answer the question, “What would happen if you crossed skinny jeans with a skort, and then added an elastic waistband?” The result is a trend that only Gwen Stefani looks good in.
10. Wedge booties
“One trend I would love to see put to rest in 2012 is the wedge ankle boot, especially worn with short skirts,” says “Glee” costumer Jessica Pasternak, who saw the look on many a red carpet this year. The chunky footwear does nothing to elongate the leg. “It makes it look like you have stumps on your feet,” says Pasternak.
Kwala Mandel is an editor for Yahoo! who works on special projects ranging from the royal wedding to the remembrance of 9/11 to the latest “Twilight” premiere or live-streamed Decade of Difference concert. She’s contributed to omg!, TV, Movies, Shine, and News. Kwala has written for People magazine, In Style magazine, Sunset, Fortune and the Los Angeles Times.