When looking back on the Best of 2011, we can't help but proclaim this a banner year for accessories. From animal hats and food-themed jewelry to suspender tights and tiny clutches, the style STAHS of the year truly accentuated their finest red carpet frocks and street style ensembles with the most eye-catching (and unusual—thanks, Nicki Minaj!) accoutrements we've seen in some time. Thus, without further ado, here are our picks for the best accessories of the year.

ANIMAL EAR COWLS

Jessie J, Demi Lovato, and Nicki Minaj sporting animal hats.
Photo: Getty Images; Splash News

Not only were animal hats a favorite of the fall season, they were EVERYWHERE all year. Leading the pack was Jessie J in a warm n' wooly SpiritHoods leopard hat. Jessie prowled the streets of her native London in this cute head snuggie, choosing to pair it with an orange blouse, matching orange lipstick, and a fierce visage that actually recalls the animal in which she's enrobed. Similarly, Demi Lovato wore a panda hat while hanging with pals at a haunted house in LA. We love that Demi chose to embody the sweet nature of the panda by donning slightly subdued smoky panda eyes and one adorbs smile. The aforementioned Nicki Minaj, on the other hand, wore her tiger hat to the Oscar de la Renta show for New York Fashion Week and took it one step further by throwing some leopard spots atop her hair for an extra added animal dimension. While this is a risky move (especially for a more uptown type of fashion event), we applaud Miss Minaj's brazen, double-layering accessory audacity.

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We can talk for DAYS about gorgeous red carpet dresses, cop-worthy street style, and outlandish performance outfits, but when it comes down to it, it's really the details that can send an ensemble over the edge. Makeup is a key component—bright pink lips brighten an all black outfit just as a a swipe of black eyeliner adds drama to an otherwise staid daytime look. So from goth lips, to straight-up face paint, we've pored over the year's most note-worthy beauty trends (of course hair is another post ENTIRELY) to bring you the best of the best from the past 12 months.

BRIGHT TEAL LIDS:

Chloë Moretz on Nov. 9, Katy Perry on Nov. 29, and Nicki Minaj on Aug. 29.
Photo: Getty Images

When you want to add a burst of color to your makeup routine, we know it's easy to default to a bright pink lipstick and call it day, but there are other options, people! Chloë Moretz, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj rendered their peepers even prettier by applying a line of electric teal on their lids for a lovely glow. Chloë paired her neon liner with a touch of blush (but not even a lick of lipstick), which complements (but doesn't overshadow) her bright yellow Versace for H&M shift dress. Katy always has fun when it comes to her beauty game (I mean, she does have pink hair!), so she took her blue cat eye to new heights by pairing it with glossy magenta lips, extra voluminous top and bottom lashes, and dark, full brows. Nicki's head-to-toe neon ensemble just wouldn't be complete without neon makeup, hence her million-mile lashes with heavy teal lids and light pink lips. Even her hair boasted hints of the bright stuff!

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Sure, we could spend our whole Best of 2011 coverage counting down all the sparkly inanimate objects that we coveted, daydreamt about, and ran up our credit card bills with this year. But what fun is an annual STYLE recap without delving into our favorite fashion plates? Here at MTV Style, it's not the most "in vogue" outfit that ends up nestling into a warm corner of our hearts, but rather, the most unique (and occasionally gonzo) use of fashion as a means of self-expression. Thus, we give you the 10 most show-stopping 2011 looks from one lady who embodies that philosophy to the umpteenth degree: the ever exciting Miss Nicki Minaj who, beeteedubs, ALSO celebrates her 29th birthday today! HAPPY BARFDAY, NICKI!

PINK FRIDAY

Nicki Minaj in Europe promoting her album "Pink Friday."
Photo: Getty Images

Nicki kicked off 2011 across the pond promoting Pink Friday in this head-to-toe bubblegum pink ensemble. From the asymmetrical stacked curls (for a certain Gumby silhouette) to the platform pumps, this outfit fittingly ushered in what ended up being a stupefying year of Nicki Minaj sartorial awesomeness. Twenty-eleven included a series of firsts for the rapper, from an inaugural performance on Saturday Night Live to a Grammy nomination, and THIS outfit, with its Keith Haring-inspired satin jumpsuit, plastic studded cuffs, and giant pendant necklace was an apt harbinger of all the effervescent fash-happiness to come.

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We're rolling out our Best Of 2011 coverage over the next couple of weeks, and while the year isn't quite over yet, everyone's shoe game thus far has been rife with eye-bugging awesomeness that we're recapping things from here. *cue Gaga or Jeremy Scott rolling out with a pair of hovercraft sneakers equipped with jet engines and turbofans tomorrow* So from us at MTV Style to you, our beloved shoe-gazing readers, we've compiled the following collection of fancy, funky, and even freaky footwear for your perusing enjoyment. Let the coveting BEGIN!

COLOR BLOCKING:

Katy Perry in Giuseppe Zanotti at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and Susie Bubble in Sixby6Bloggers at the 2011 British Fashion Awards. Photo: PictureGroup/Getty Images

Color blocking was a huge trend in general this year from the runways to the blogs, but few were as memorable as Katy Perry in Giuseppe Zanotti platform sandals coupled with that yellow cube hat at the 2011 VMAs. Almost half a year has passed, and we're STILL daydreaming about that heel. The always-stylish blogger Susie Bubble got in on the trend with these sculpted Sixby6Bloggers booties she wore to the 2011 British Fashion Awards (which, BTW, she designed herself!). Even this late in the year, the brash blocks still looked fresh—mostly due to the endless possibilities for unexpected color combos—so we predict this trend will have legs (*badum tssssh*) well into next year.

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This is it: 2011 is officially coming to a close, and boy, what a fashion-filled year it's been! From the accessories (chicken wing necklace!) to the shoes (light-up Nike Mags!) to the red carpet outfits (Lady Gaga's egg ensemble!), there certainly wasn't a dull moment over the past 12 months! So sit back, relax, and kick up those wedges as we roll out the best style moments of 2011.

We wanted to kick off "Best of 2011" with a bang, so obvi we chose one of our favorite topics first—nail art! This was the year of unconventional manicures, and we couldn't get enough of all the killer nail art we kept spotting on all of our favorite celebs. Lucky for you, we rounded up the top 10 ladies who had the absolute best nail game this year—no questions asked. And trust us, this was HARD.

JESSIE J: BEST OVERALL NAIL GAME

Jessie J

Photo: Getty Images/@JessieJOfficial's Twitter

You gotta give it up for Jessie J. This girl has THE fiercest nails in the biz, and she never fails to tweet every new mani she gets to make us all jeals (it's a thin line between envy and wholehearted OBSESSION). It was nearly impossible to pick only four of her looks because, seriously you guys, her nail art is on a WHOLE other level. Her nail artist, Jenny Longworth, repeatedly kills it, and we love her '80s-inspired neon tribal and leopard nails SO. MUCH. (Also, how long did that TAKE?!) She even makes the ol' Big Cat print standby extra awesome by layering blue, yellow, and red polish underneath. Other gems include her stone-flooded, super-glossy black nails with various purple rhinestones and some fancy talon-shaped foil, galaxy biz-nass that is so cra-mazing we don't even know WHAT to call it. Head. Splode.

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Featured Comment

I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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