Glass skin. On-point eyebrows. Crazy mascara. Rainbow highlights. Designer clothes from head to toe. These are some of the trends you may have noticed this year, and you may have been tempted to follow them. Why wouldn’t you, when they’re what everyone else is talking about?

The big difference between fashion and style, however, is not what you see on the runway. Fashion can be anything trendy but style is timeless. When you develop your personal style, you’re giving yourself an avenue for self-expression, something that fashion may actually be taking away.

One with the Crowd

What does it say about your personality when you are wearing the same outfit as everyone else? This doesn’t give your style an upgrade; it just makes you trendy and fashionable. And that fades. Rather than conforming to what runways said are in, work on a wardrobe that reflects your personality, using classic pieces and accessories you don’t necessarily have to replace every year. This also includes your skincare which, if you’ve nailed it down, gives you the best skin even if you’re not buying the latest fad. It’s better to stick to a facial cleanser and moisturizer that has already worked for you in the past, instead of turning to what online stores tout as the latest miracle beauty product.

Expressing Your Interests 

Your clothes and your makeup are all part of your personality. The way you would wear particular colors or choose a natural look over a more bold palette says something about you as a person. Some items may even point to your interests, which other people can relate to or find hope in. When you express yourself through your clothes and makeup, it’s easy to find people who have the same interests as you. However, if you’re dressing just to be trendy, your personality does not exactly show through. What shows through is your love for trendy and–let’s admit it–temporary fashion. This makes finding real friends hard because you’re hiding your authentic self.

Your Clothes Impact Others 

Everyone needs a hero–someone who will encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and be more bold and daring. Someone who will show them it’s okay to be themselves because people will love them for all their flaws and quirks, not because they are wearing the latest trends. You could be that someone for others who are too shy to wear something that will get them noticed. When you feel insecure, your instinct is to blend in and do what everyone else is doing. This means you are stifling your own emotional growth, and you are hiding your true self. You may be setting the wrong example for your little siblings who look up to you. You conform instead of standing out, and so they must do the same. You’re in a position to show them how to feel empowered, but instead, you’re showing them how to hide.

Every little thing you do matters. From the clothes, you wear to the makeup you buy, make sure you are choosing items that feel empowering. Being trendy should not be your main criteria.