They say it takes a village to raise a baby. Well, if that’s true, it takes the entire Internet to raise a new website.

Such was the case for Very Good Light, a mere fetus when we incepted the idea last year. It was a small spark of an idea that somehow turned into a URL that sprouted into a live Website. 12 months later, here Very Good Light is, barely crawling, wobbly, fussy, I think drooling ATM, but shining and gleaming, nonetheless.

We’re not being biased here but isn’t our toothless baby beautiful?!

And we couldn’t have done it without our loyal readers who’ve cooed, played with and fed our little munchkin with every click, every share, every comment and Like on socials. Nothing else would matter were it not for you guys. THANK YOU! We’ve raised this baby TOGETHER!!! 

To celebrate, we are recounting our favorite articles from the past year! We’d love to hear from you what you love about Very Good Light, any articles you’ve shared, and what resonated with you.

Here’s to another 12 months, readers! Let’s CELEBRATE with a sheet mask, a nice, paraben-free mist, chocolates, pizza, ice cream and everything bad for our skin! Now, can you pass that pacifier over to me? Baby is FUSSY. THANK YOU GUYSSSSSSS!

1 Nicola Formichetti takes us into his awkward childhood years

In early 2016, I told Nicola about my humble idea of bringing together guys to celebrate inner and outer beauty. When I discussed this idea over lunch and how I’d love to feature him for our first Groom Raider series, there wasn’t a hesitation. He was ALL. IN. I loved going over to his Tribeca loft, getting lost in his magical world, and talking about his awkward teenage years. Nicola, it turns out, is human, too. Read here.

2 You’ve been parting your hair all wrong

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(Could you have been combing in the wrong direction this entire time? (Shirt by ASOS, Jacket by Saint Laurent at Mr Porter. Photo by Carolyne Teston/Very Good Light)

I knew a huge part of our site would be about giving amazing tutorials and doing so in fun, innovative ways. Which is why I love our how-to guides. They’re super important. I especially loved this one, where we covered just why and how you’ve been parting your hair all wrong this entire time. The answer may surprise you. Read here.

3 To be Sikh in America, you have to own it.

A huge mantra we go by here at Very Good Light: we’re all about confidence from the inside out. Which is why we embarked on a journey to identify groups of guys who weren’t really getting a lot of attention from the media. One demographic that I was always curious about were Sikh Americans. They’re the most elegant men, who tout peace but are often so misunderstood. I wanted to empower them through telling their stories. What resulted was one of the most elegant photoshoots I’ve done in my career along with a video we shot that makes me cry every time I watch it. Kudos to each of these men for sharing their important stories. I’ll always remember them.

4 What teens think about their new president

We’ve never shied away from politics because that’s a huge part of our lives. It was super important we got perspectives from young people and their thoughts about their futures under a contentious president. I particularly loved the diversity of teens we reported in this story from all sexual, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds. Read here.

5 That young pastor wear lipstick

When I first met Stella, she was new to the drag scene. When I learned about Stella’s story, it was fascinating to know that she was going to seminary school until one day RuPaul’s Drag Race suddenly appeared on her screen. Everything changed from then on out. Stella came out and never looked back. Read here.

6 Asian Americans aren’t taking your s*** any more

A big part of our country is composed of Asian Americans, yet their stories are hardly told. It’s especially true when it comes to Asian American men and their personal struggles they face in this country. I wanted to lend them a voice. What resulted was an amazing story from the perspectives of 12 Asian American men. Read here. 

7 Why I’m not afraid to be called feminine 

Last summer, I met Jamont at a photoshoot for Very Good Light. After explaining to him the vision behind the site, he was immediately inspired to write a personal essay about masculinity and how it’s toxic. I gave him free reign to talk about his feelings about it and the ensuing essay is none but POWERFUL. Read here. 

8 What it’s like to be a Muslim teen

Upon meeting these teens, I immediately felt there was still so much I needed to learn. I was seriously so inspired by what they had to say about identity, inclusivity, and what work still needs to be done. More so, how to be a strong ally and support system. Read here.

9 Why is it that everyone’s suddenly talking about gender?

I first met Georgie Greville, the co-founder of Milk Makeup back in August of 2016. Back then, Very Good Light hadn’t even launched. But their mantra – that makeup and beauty had no gender or sexuality – was exactly what Very Good Light was all about. I nervously approached GG and told her about my hopes and dreams for my soon-to-be-launched site and how I’d love to collaborate with Milk Makeup. Before I even finished what I had to say and without hesitation, GG gave me her business card and told me to stop by her office. I came by, we had a deep conversation and our Blur the Lines campaign came to being. I’ll never forget her kindness and literally this story we wrote – all about gender and identity. Read here.

10 This is how male friendships are changing for the better

Toxic masculinity is something we’re trying to reverse here at Very Good Light. Thus, I was extremely proud to have written a story about how Generation Z guys are redefining their own relationships. No longer are they afraid to express their emotions for each other. Shout out to AXE for sponsoring this series! Read here.