By: Tania Monaco, Mom Lifetsyle & Beauty Blogger @Tania2aTee | Tania2atee.com

Growing up, I used to subscribe to all the teen magazines. I loved seeing the latest trends, getting inspiration for makeup and keeping up with my favourite celebrities. This was the only source of information, since the World Wide Web wasn’t a thing yet.

Today, those sources of inspiration come from everywhere; including magazines, television and of course, social media. I still keep my eyes on the latest trends, get ideas for makeup and keep up with my favourite celebrities, but unlike when I grew up, I can’t escape it now. I can’t put the magazine away and not see it anymore, as it’s always in the palm on my hand.

Adults used to warn us that the images we are consuming weren’t real. And I knew there were always ‘touch-ups’ done to these pictures. But nowadays those touch-ups include filters, presets and well, a whole lot of help from fillers, extensions and more.

It’s hard to escape these images and it can leave you feeling like you’re missing out. You can easily feel like you’re not on-trend or not in-line with this beauty-crazed society. I still have to remind myself, that these images that I’m consuming aren’t always real.

And that’s okay.

Tania2atee

I grew up with a mother who loved makeup. She taught me how to use it, both as a form of expression and to highlight my best parts. Today, that love of makeup and beauty products lives on. I have watched YouTube videos to teach myself how to draw the perfect cat eye. I have read magazines on how to create the perfect smokey shadow. But most of all, I just like playing around with make-up.

As a blogger, I’m online a lot. And everyone is sharing their favourite products – sponsored or not. And that’s part of what I love about social media. You can find the latest colour trends, beauty products and makeup looks with the swipe of a finger.

Do I think they are all for me? No. Does it still make me want to try it? Sometimes.

I think ultimately, on some primal level, we want to fit in. And while I think social media can both make it easier for us to feel like we fit, it can also quickly make you feel outside of it all. Beauty trends pop up all the time; think hair extensions, nail art, bejeweled eyebrows, rainbow hair, highlighters and glitter masks. Some trends can even come back in style, including jaw clips, neon and scrunchies.

Lately, I see lots of eye lash extensions, facial peels, micro-needling and medi-treatments. And as much as I would love to be able to keep up, it’s unrealistic for my lifestyle. And it’s damn expensive!

I don’t have the ability – or the budget – to maintain a set of mink lashes. I can barely get my eyebrows waxed before they look horrendous!

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to still be in the know. I follow a lot of beauty and make-up companies directly. They share the latest products, and I engage with what interests me. I read the comments under those posts, because usually somebody else will ask what I’m thinking, and companies and their reps are more than happy to respond and engage with their followers.

Beauty bloggers are also a wealth of knowledge; however I am careful on how many I follow. While I appreciate how to contour my face, that isn’t something that is part of my makeup routine, so I tend to follow those that offer tips and reviews more suited to my style.

Trying products is a great way to actually see if something is right for you and places like Sephora allows you to use a product and if you don’t love it, you can return it! No questions asked. I brought mascara back once that made my eyes water every time I wore it. Look for return policies like that if you are trying something new, so you won’t feel like your money will be wasted if you hate it!

There are many ways to try new products and keep up-to-date on the latest trends, and another way is mini products. Did you know that a lot of companies now are creating minis of their products? Mini lipsticks, mini mask pots, etc. Sometimes you can find these products with their full-size counterparts, or in the travel section of the store. It’s a great way to test things out, and not be committed to a full-sized product, or the cost of it.

My favourite way of trying new, and trendy items, is with subscription boxes. These boxes ship out a variety of items, including skincare, makeup, and more for a fee. You can buy single boxes, or a subscription for a year, and there is a box for everyone! Clean beauty, nails, lips and more. Be sure to check if the box is in US dollars or if it ships from Canada. Also check your favourite bloggers’ websites, as a lot of them share codes for you to save some money off trying a new box!

Some of my favourite boxes include:

As I get older, I realize that my love of makeup will always be a part of me. I will continue to play with makeup and colours and try new things. But I’ve learned to shift my focus and my budget. Makeup isn’t cheap. But either are good skincare products. And I’ve learned that without a good foundation, all the makeup in the world won’t matter.

I have started to look at the ingredients I’m putting on my face. I’m starting to realize that as I age, I can’t just use anything to wash, or moisturize. And my priority is aging skin, fine lines and adult break-outs.  I do more research on skincare.  And that is where social media helps again, reading reviews, and contacting companies directly. When it comes to those reviews, I look to seasoned bloggers, who are around my age. I can’t use the same products a twenty-something uses, as sad as it is, I’m no longer twenty-something.

The best way to find bloggers/influencers that fit your style and age, is to look up hashtags. For example, try #skincarereview, or #beautyreviews or #igtopshelfie. This is great way to find people with honest reviews on products you are looking for.  Take some time to search the products and companies and check out who they follow; it’s a great way to find like-minded people.

As for me, I am becoming more interested in green skincare products. And as a mom of two tween girls, I want to ensure that they can use these products too and it will be safe for their skin. They watch everything I do, and getting into a good skincare routine is key. I encourage them to wash their faces every day and night, and use chemical-free and natural products on my 10 year old, to help with her sensitive skin.

They say your skin is your biggest organ. It absorbs the sun, the environment around you and whatever you put on it; so you have to take care of it.

My top 5 skin care tips:

  1. Find a good cleanser and wash your makeup off every night! No excuses.
  2. Use SPF – It can be part of your moisturizer or separate, but sun damage is no joke and can change your skin dramatically.
  3. Moisturize your neck along with your face!
  4. Treat yourself to a mask once in a while. It can be a cheap and cheerful mask from the drugstore, but it does wonders for your skin, and gives you a few minutes to yourself.
  5. Don’t forget to give your lips some love – try a good lip mask, lip balm or scrub.

Good skin is my favourite trend and where I choose to spend my money. I will invest in a good cleanser that won’t leave makeup on my skin. I will buy a more expensive moisturizer that leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished, over spending that money on another new lipstick. And while I have a good selection of makeup, I spend more time in the drugstore or department store understanding the ingredients and uses for the skincare products than I do selecting a new eyeshadow pallet, because I can change my mind on a daily basis as to what I put on my lids, but I want to always be sure that I’m taking care of my skin.

Never feel pressure to keep up. Never look at somebody else and use them as the measure for yourself. If you like pink eyeshadow, wear it! Still have a scrunchie from the mid-nineties?  Than you should rock it. Trends are just that, something that moves and shifts and changes. They come and go.

And yes, we can add a Kiley filter to Instagram or Snapchat on those days we may not look or feel our best. We can learn how to create contour so our cheeks are high and our nose is small, but at the end of the day, natural beauty is always on trend! Always!

Follow Tania’s blog at www.tania2atee.com and on Instagram @tania2atee

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