Here’s a hodge-podge list of things I either stumbled across or that were recommended to me, in no particular order, that I ended up being pretty thrilled with in 2015.
Previously: 14 things I loved in 2014
The Iope Air Cushion is one of the items I discovered during my Korean beauty product phase earlier in the year that I am still excited about and that I will probably be replacing once it runs out. It is a “unique formula-soaked sponge that has all the benefits of a BB cream (anti-aging, moisturizing, skin-evening coverage and SPF protection). It comes with an equally innovative non-absorbing puff that wicks the formula off of the sponge and effortlessly applies evenly onto your face, for that dewy no-makeup, makeup look.” What I like most about it is that quick, fast and easy. My time is valuable and when I want to throw a face on in a hurry, this is the best thing in my arsenal. It’s got a light, lovely fragrance, it feels cooling when you apply it, it’s very hydrating, and it works quite well with my sometimes sensitive and irritable skin. Love, love, love.
LVNEA’s Wild in the Woods is a mossy, loamy scent fragrant with sweetly decaying forest vegetation. It reminds me of walking around a local pond; there is one spot where the water line meets the exposed tree roots that smells exactly like this subtle, unique perfume.
I ordered several of the Icelandic Yule Lad scents from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab’s recent Yule update, but it was Ketkrókur who stole my heart. Ketkrókur (Meat Hook) comes down from the mountains on December 23, Saint Thorlak’s Day, to steal your hangikjöt with his hook hand. Rude! The notes for BPAL’s version of this dinner thief consist of “labdanum, patchouli, dragon’s blood resin, and clove” and is spicy and warm, slightly powdery from the dragon’s blood and with a tinge of sweetness from the labdanum. It’s an aggressive scent out of the bottle, but one that quickly settles down and behaves in the most lovely way. It smells nothing like smoked lamb, or metal hooks, or stinky trolls, thankfully.
I am not a phenomenal reviewer of media (or even a very good one, or a decent one) so I am just going to provide you with a list of books an incomplete sentence or two about each. Please note, not all of these titles were published this year, these were merely books I read this year, and thoroughly enjoyed.
The Doll Collection – Short stories exploring the darkness of the creepy doll trope, but avoiding the clichés. Not a dud in the bunch.
Megahex – Graphic novel about a depressed stoner witch, her cat, and their “friends”. These people are deadbeats and scumbags and basically terrible.
The Vorrh -A genre defying, mythic read, following several storylines (some more engaging than others). The language is dense and deliberate; I wanted to read and re-read and savor every sentence because each one was so perfectly crafted.
A Pretty Mouth -Not quite what I expected and so I’m not going to spoil any surprises. A novella of sorts, following the exploits of one family through the years, though not exactly by a direct path. Witty and decadent and sinister. Recommended to me by a fellow whose tastes I trust implicitly.
Revenants – Recommendaton #2 from the above mentioned gentleman. A highly atmospheric, eerie tale set in a small colonial New England village. Three young woman disappear. Inexplicable incidents follow. Secrets are revealed. Grim reckoning looms.
Harvest Home -Published in the late 60s, details a family’s move from the city to a simple country life ruled by the land, and the discoveries that ensue. A slow burn but worth the effort, and the magic and mystery of the small town life is something that lingered with me, despite…well, if you’ve not yet read it, I will stop there.
The Taxonomy of the Space Between Us – I read several books of poetry this year – stunning collections, all – but this is the one that resonated with me on a very visceral, very emotional level. Devastating and unrelenting, it is a haunting chronicle of grief and and ineffable sibling bonds that remain even after death.
The Wicked + The Divine – The story of reincarnated gods as pop stars; slick, beautiful art and a high concept story line, this wasn’t always easy for me to follow, but it was fun to get lost in.
I did not watch many movies this year, and I’m afraid the ones I did watch didn’t leave much of an impression on me. The Duke of Burgundy, however, was absolutely delicious. I wrote briefly about it back in May, and described it thusly: “Gorgeous lesbian lovers/lepidoptera enthusiasts have minor spat”. I’m really not sure there was much more to this dreamy film (advertised as “Sex, Bondage, & Butterflies”), but I am fairly certain I could watch it again, and again, and again.
At the very top of my list is Ghost’s Meliora, of course. If I look at my music library I can clearly observe that this was my most listened-to album this year. I almost feel like it’s not even fair to list it because it’s so obvious, but there you have it. Below are a handful of other artists whose albums I enjoyed as well.
Summary: There’s a lot of books on this list. Films were disappointing. I listened to the same thing over and over. I tried a great deal of cosmetics and beauty products, but only a few were standouts.
…And that’s probably about 15 things, right? I’ll confess that lost count halfway through. What have you discovered, re-discovered, or uncovered that was pretty great this year? Tell me all about it!