For my job as a professional, licensed esthetician, I take a lot of continuing education classes, go to tradeshows, read trade publications and beauty magazines religiously, and generally do all I can to stay on top of the latest skincare and beauty innovations in my industry.

This makes me the perfect guinea pig for all the new trends and treatments.

I am always straight up with my clients, so I thought it would be fun to tell you about the good, the bad, and the downright ugly treatments and procedures I’ve tried.

1. Microblading

What is it?: This is a cosmetic tattooing process where the practitioner hand-draws each line with a special microblading pen. The pen leaves a semi-permanent effect that typically lasts anywhere from one year to three or more, although the fine lines of the ink fades over time. You can do microblading to reconstruct, redefine and generally shape your eyebrows or have a perfectly applied eyeliner that highlights and enhances your eyes’ shape.

Results: I’ve had my eyeliner done twice and my brows done once. The first time I got my eyeliner done it turned white after six months. I had it redone several years later, and the color has stayed – although truthfully it’s faded a bit to a grey. As for my brows… ugh! My poor eyebrows look terrible; they have faded to a pink-orange color. I have decided not to get them redone, as I see countless examples of fading brows that turn color, not in a good way, as time passes.

Verdict: This tops my list of trends I wish I NEVER did. I think my eyeliner looks trashy, and the faded color of my brows, especially in broad daylight, is not flattering.

2. Lash Extensions

What is it?: For women who want longer, thicker, more abundant lashes, extensions can be an alternative to fussing with mascara and eyelash curlers or applying fake lashes daily. You pick the look, material (i.e. synthetic, silk or mink) and length, and the practitioner applies them one at a time using a special, semi-permanent glue that shouldn’t irritate your eye or damage your natural lashes. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to the glue, so there are different types of glue based on your sensitivity.

Results: I have such a busy schedule that to not have to fuss over my lashes is awesome and I regularly use lash extensions. I think it’s important, however to take lash breaks to help the integrity of your eyelashes, so I don’t wear them in the winter months. I rock them in the summer because it’s so humid in Austin, it is almost impossible to use mascara

Verdict: Love me some last extensions, although I will say you have to find a talented practitioner that will not ruin your natural lashes.

3. Tape-in Hair Extensions

What is it?: If you want length and volume but also want to keep your hair healthy (and you have time and relatively thick hair to begin with) tape-in hair extensions may be an option for you. The stylist takes one-inch thin strips of hair and tapes them in between your own hair. Unlike other kinds of hair extensions, they don’t require any special tools or chemicals and can last about three months.

Results: These can be fun for short-term use, like a special occasion. Because I have limited time, in the past I found myself wearing them for extended periods of time. Every time I would take them out, I would see a little bald spot. Since my hair is already thin, this was a problem. Plus when I’d put my hair up, my boyfriend would tell me he could see my weave – Uhm, no thanks. The final straw for me is I found them to be ridiculously high-maintenance: you have to have your stylist take them out and move them up every four to six weeks.

Verdict: For all of the reasons I listed above, tape-in hair extensions aren’t for me.

4. Fillers and Botox

What is it?: Botox is a brand name of Botulinum toxin, which is, according to Marie Clare, “a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles.” It’s injected into your skin, and for most women, there are no major side effects (maybe a little swelling initially that can be covered by makeup). Fillers, like Juvederm, are also injections with the goal of plumping out your skin with dermal filler, or Hyaluronic Acid (HA), to restore collagen and elasticity and make your face and/or lips look fuller and more youthful.

 Results: I did fillers and Botox consistently for a year and a half. I had my cheeks filled once, and my lips done about three times. OMG! I look back at pictures when I was filling my lips, and it was NOT sexy, cute or hot – I looked terrible. I also noticed when my lips deflated, I was starting to get fine lines around my upper lip. I recently listened to a podcast interview with Lori Crete and Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Marc Mani who said fillers are aging people faster because they separate the tissue from the bones in the face, which in turn causes more sagging in the long run. He suggested doing fat transfers instead.

As for Botox, it’s just not for me at this point right now and I find most of my clients don’t want to use it either – but peer pressure makes them feel like they should.

Verdict: Recently I was looking at myself in the mirror thinking about how weird it was that I got into doing all Botox and fillers. While I’m all for beauty enhancement, I’m also about authenticity. I am an outdoorsy girl, through and through. Going forward I am going to be true to myself;  I don’t want to have an overfilled face while I’m hiking the PCT.

Note: If you want a good alternative to manage your aging win a safe way, I recommend micro-needling with stem cells. The results, in my opinion, are amazing. I have a good skincare routine to keep my skin healthy, and this fits right in for me.

What beauty trends and treatments have you tried out? Let me know in the comments.