We're nearing the end of 2012 (or if you follow the Mayan calendar, the end of the world), so what better way to usher in the new year (or, again, the end of time) than by reflecting on these last 365 days? At MTV Style, we're doing just that in the only way we know how: daily recaps of the BEST nail art and magazine covers and MORE as we make our way to New Year's Eve. Grab a cup of cocoa with extra marshmallows, and get a little nostalgic with us about our favorite style moments of this year.
Instagram has only been up and running for a little over two years, but the camera + filter + community app has risen to excellently-executed College Humor parody status ubiquity, and thus, a reflection on 2012 wouldn't be complete without it. Admittedly, much of the daily news lineup around here hinges on whether or not our fave celebs are Instagramming their latest outfits or beauty looks, so there's DOUBLE incentive for us to stay constantly refreshing our feeds. There are Instagrams that feature food, ones that spotlight shoe game, jealousy-inducing landscape photos (thanks a lot, Ed Droste) and enough dog and cat pics to keep Cute Overload swimming in content for the next 800 billion years, but we're gathered here today to celebrate one specific type of Instagram (no straight-up Twitpics — sorry, Miley, Demi and Gaga): the selfie.
RIHANNA: INSTAGRAM'S MOST WANTED
Rihanna is basically addicted to Instagram selfies.
Photo: Courtesy of @badgalriri's Instagram
Kicking it off with a bang is Instagram's Most Wanted: Rihanna. By that, we mean that Miss Robyn Fenty is, in our opinion, the BIGGEST celebrity perpetrator of The Instagram Selfie. Just look at all those self-shot photos. And the looks she's willing to out-stretch an arm for run the gamut from way done-up, kissy-faced glamour shots to baroque accessory-dripping streetwear, to no-makeup vacay snaps, and with good reason. The girl is a brick house, and with over 3 million followers (and counting!) clearly nobody minds.
JUSTIN BIEBER: SPOOKIEST SELFIE
Justin Bieber shared a spooky shark face selfie.
Photo: Courtesy of @justinbieber's Instagram
Justin Bieber definitely next rivals Rihanna for the most Instagram selfies from one account, but we HAD to single out this bad boy because what? This is terrifying. And it's not even the only bizarro face mask that the self-titled "Scarybiebs" wore this year. #neverforget
AZEALIA BANKS: BEST PEEKABOO SELFIE
Azealia Banks has mastered the over-the-head selfie.
Photo: Courtesy of @azealiabanks's Instagram
Big ups to the front-facing camera for making selfies easier. We know Azealia Banks has our back on this because this perfectly framed peekaboo selfie would be dadgum near-impossible without it. And then we'd all totally miss out on the additional benefit of this photo: a closer look at her "Witch pot" hair horns!
KARLIE KLOSS AND JOAN SMALLS: BEST TANDEM SELFIE
Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls celebrate being House of Style hosts with a tandem Instagram selfie.
Photo: Courtesy of @karliekloss's Instagram
This is what happens when Instagram and House of Style collide! This tandem selfie of Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls is both certifiably adorable, AND it perfectly captures the unbridled excitement of the very very beginning steps of our beautiful hosts' House of Style adventure at the VMAs. Also, fitting more than one head into a close-up beauty shot selfie is no small feat, y'all.
JARED LETO: BEST SELFIE EYE-CONTACT
Jared Leto is hypnotizing as Rayon in this Instagram selfie.
Photo: Courtesy of @jaredleto's Instagram
There are PLENTY of things that are amazing about this Jared Leto as Rayon Instagram: the impeccable lady makeup, the eyebrowless-ness, the enviable cheekbones. What we are applauding most, though, is that EYE CONTACT. I mean, HONESTLY. Jared has found the exact center of the lens here, rendering his gaze INESCAPABLE. (Open this picture real big on your screen and walk in a semi-circle around your computer to see what I mean.) We're not sure how the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman manages this photo sorcery, but maybe it's a skill picked up from years of hanging with Terry Richardson? *Kanye shrug*
IGGY AZALEA: BEST 'DON'T LOOK AT ME' SELFIE
Iggy Azalea poses, even for Instagram selfies.
Photo: Courtesy of @thenewclassic Instagram
Where Jared's selfie wins with eye contact, this snap of Iggy Azalea is a crowd favorite for the exact opposite reason. She may be taking the photo herself, but that doesn't mean she HAS to stare straight into the camera. Iggy's a bonafide model now which means she knows how to work her angles. Even if that means she has to feign a candid pose in the process.
MACKLEMORE: BEST SELFIE ART DIRECTION
Macklemore nails this mirror selfie.
Photo: Courtesy of @macklemore's Instagram
There are front-facing camera selfies, and there are mirror selfies. Macklemore NAILS this mirror selfie thanks to a keen eye for art direction. Macklemore is ALWAYS dressed to the nines — a trait which lends itself to surefire impromptu photo gold — but it's his quick identification of this bathroom's Pepto Bismol pink interior as an awesome backdrop that really makes this picture. Props.
MAN REPELLER: BEST PROP-AIDED SELFIE
Leandra Medine knows a good Instagram selfie is all about the details.
Photo: Courtesy of @manrepeller's Instagram
Many of Leandra Medine's outfit snaps appear to be shot by someone else, but rest assured, the OG Man Repeller can also get behind the camera (while she's in front of it). This moustached mirror selfie is hands-down amazing, due mostly to Leandra's unwavering attention to detail. The fake facial hair gag works because she works the proportions and distance of the phone just so that it lines up EXACTLY with her nose. Give this girl a standing ovation, y'all!
FRANK OCEAN: BEST IN-APP SELFIE
Frank Ocean goes for the multimedia selfie with this snap within an app.
Photo: Courtesy of @francistenenbaum's Instagram
Apps that further enhance your photos (e.g. Cat Paint, Lisa Frank Pic 'n' Share, etc.) have been a HUGE trend this year, but Frank Ocean's Hair Makeover in-app selfie takes the cake. I mean, Frankie's close shave + rising sun bandana steez is iconic and we love it, but him reimagined with unruly curls (PLUS, the caption: "crop. [4 palm tree emojis in a row]") is HIIIIIlarious to us.
DEV HYNES: BEST SELFIE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Dev Hynes snags a selfie in the background of this Alexa Chung photo.
Photo: Courtesy of @devhynes Instagram
And then there was Dev Hynes a.k.a. Blood Orange. Real talk, guys. This just might be our favorite selfie of the LOT. The thing about this photo is: Dev isn't the star of it. His beautiful buddy Alexa Chung is the main attraction here, but rather than taking a straight-up photo of her, he scores himself a supporting role selfie, peeking in from the gilded frame of that mirror. And rightfully so! No one should keep that leather baseball cap and gold buttoned blazer in the dark.
With so many Instagram photos getting uploaded daily, there's always new ground to cover, but we did our best to give you all a complete picture. Let us know what you think the best Instagram selfies of the year have been and what you think of our picks in the comments below!
Big & Best of 2012: A Year End Celebration Presented by T-Mobile goes LIVE at 12pm on 12/12/12. Watch at www.bigandbestof2012.com for 8 hours of LIVE performances by Grace Potter, Metric, Alt-J, Thompson Square, First Aid Kit, and Dustin Lynch; surprise guest appearances, prize giveaways, special editions of Rapfix Live, Big Morning Buzz Live, MTV News After Hours, You Oughta Know and much more