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I Spent The Year As A Beauty Guinea Pig — & Here's What Happened

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    At the beginning of 2016, I was in a beauty rut. I'd worn the same red lipstick every day for a year, air-dried my hair to avoid dealing with it in the morning, and was just all-around bored. That's not a great feeling for anyone, but especially not for a beauty editor. I needed to get myself to a place of wide-eyed, bushy-tailed excitement again.

    In January, I decided to challenge myself to wear a different shade of lipstick every day for 30 days. Every morning, I'd wake up, swatch dozens of lipsticks on my hand, pick one, and wear it to the office. And there it was — my first 30-day experiment, and a much-needed shock to my beauty system.

    Once the month was up and the article published, I realized how much I enjoyed shaking things up in my routine. And so, I decided that 2016 would be the year of Maria trying things. Over the past 12 months, I've gotten my back bitten by Kanye West's massage therapist, orgasmed every day of June for glowing skin, and completely cut dairy out of my diet. Needless to say, it's been an eventful year.

    I didn't wake up one morning and decide to be R29's beauty guinea pig. Rather, it grew out of a desire to add some life back into my routine and experience all the cool, and weird, things the beauty industry is offering up. It also helped me get outside of my comfort zone in a lot of ways — and that's always a good thing.

    So come 2017, I will be continuing to test-drive the craziest, priciest, grossest, and most extreme treatments. (I'm currently undergoing BTL Vanquish ME treatments — I'll let you know how it goes in January.) But in the meantime, I'm taking a look back at the 13 trials I took on this past year — the good, the painful, and the sort of pointless. Who knows, it might just inspire you to experiment. But be warned: Giving up cheese is a bitch.

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  2. Photographed by Tory Rust.

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  3. Photographed by Braydon Olson.

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  4. Photographed by Tory Rust.

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  5. Photographed by Ruben Chamorro.

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  6. Photo: Courtesy of Maria Del Russo.

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