2016 was the year…

“2016 was the year I swam with manatees at the River Safari for a Halloween performance! It was one of the most magical experiences of my life if not the most magical. I’m still gutted that I didn’t manage to kidnap a baby manatee.” – Clara How, senior features writer

“2016 was the year I travelled by myself to a country that most would probably peg as ‘dangerous’. I went to the Rio Olympics as part of a work trip, and decided to extend the trip to other cities in Brazil – I didn’t want to ‘waste’ the 25-hour journey there, after all. Of course, I had the benefit of being chaperoned by guides while I was in Salvador and Rio, and Iguazu Falls is a pretty touristy area, but it was still an exhilarating experience to be wandering about in cities that we only read about or watch on TV, and that supposedly have a bad rep. I’m working towards a trip to South America in the future!” – Tan Min Yan, lifestyle editor

“2016 was the year I continued my wait for the next book in the Game of Thrones series (it’s been five years and counting, by the way).” – Goh Yee-Huay, contributing beauty editor

“2016 was the year I decided to stop sweating the small stuff and be kinder to myself. I’m still an inveterate perfectionist, but I’m trying to find beauty in all my perfect little imperfections.” – Eugene Quek, associate editor

“2016 was the year I stopped listening to music with earphones while on the go. It’s eye-opening (or is that ear-opening) how much more aware you are of your surroundings and the way that people around you interact when you plug out. Okay, I actually kicked this habit after hearing one too many murder mystery stories and realising that I want to be able to hear the footsteps of approaching strangers, but still!” – Hoe I Yune, features writer

“2016 was the year I finally quit biting my nails! It’s a pretty huge deal for me – I’ve been a chronic nail-biter since I was seven years old, and my nails have always been bitten right down to the quick. Since breaking the habit, I’ve discovered the joys of flaunting a great manicure. My close friends still can’t quite believe it, though – from time to time, they actually ask me if my talons are real!” – Kimberly Spykerman, features editor

“2016 was the year I graduated and started my first full-time job. It’s been a crazy rollercoaster of a ride that has taught me the importance of resilience, perseverance and friendship.” – Sara Wee, fashion writer

“2016 was the year I really began to develop a more truthful and honest relationship with my family.” – Alexander Papayoanou, intern

“2016 was the year I became a more discerning shopper. After watching the documentary The True Cost, I’ve become much more mindful about the fashion I consume.” – Cheng Jee Yan, fashion writer

“2016 was the year I grew up the most. Transitioning from a sheltered school system to the real world and the hiccups I experienced along the way taught me that we all work in different ways. Realising this helped me to understand not to place unrealistic expectations onto other people and to treat them with the same respect I would want to be treated with. With this mindset, I find that I am much better at managing my existing relationships.” – Dione Chen, beauty writer

Want more? Indulge in a little makeup magic and get your festive face on with this step-by-step tutorial that’s super sparkly and surprisingly easy to execute, and check out these morning-after hacks to freshen your fatigued face and look as if you’ve enjoyed a solid eight hours of sleep. Happy new year!