When scrolling through Insta, it's impossible to scroll past Maria Thatil without thinking the following: 1) How can I get this caramel skinned goddess's glow? and 2) Can we be BFF's? Not only does she have a super infectious, down-to earth- personality but her content is super varied. Expect to see full glam looks one day and bare faced selfies another. What's not to love about a girl that advocates real beauty? Check out our catch up with Maria below and be prepared to hit the follow button on her Instagram page faster then you can spell Australia.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
5”1 little woman who lives in tailored blazers, tousled waves and an almond latte permanently in hand. Does that paint a picture? I’m a 25 year old beauty/style/lifestyle blogger from Aus who has a corporate career 9-5 in HR, and a creative rest-of-the-time blogging career that thrives around the clock. I’m Indian - specifically, my father is from Kerala and my mother hails from Calcutta - and I was born and raised in one of the most liveable cities in the world - Melbourne. I’m a proud feminist and activist for diversity, with a deeply rooted passion for fighting for representation and inclusion for people of colour. You’ll find me creating content, shooting makeup and style looks, indulging my unhealthy obsession with my dog or enjoying my time with my family and friends.
2) How did you get into beauty vlogging?
I’ve been beauty vlogging for the past year but on Instagram since 2011. However it wasn’t until 2015 - after I finished my Psychology degree, that I decided to pursue my passion for makeup and do an accredited makeup course. After I did the qualification, I worked part-time in retail makeup and went back to complete a Master of Management (HR). This is where my creative indulgences went on the back burner - doing a Masters full-time and working 30 hours a week is one. tough. gig. But once I wrapped that up in 2017, I started to post more creative content around beauty and fashion and my Instagram picked up traction, tripling in followers in one year. It’s still a humble following with a lot of room to grow, but I’m so happy with the little community I have. Having always been a super open person, and having always kept a diary, I am loving managing a Youtube channel, a blog (when it launches in December) and Insta medium to share myself and my content with an audience.
3) What have been the highlights of your vlogging career so far?
Definitely building a community of people who enjoy the content I create and that I get to have e-relationships with. Nothing makes me happier - not attending events, not brand partnerships - NOTHING tops the feeling I get when I receive messages from my audience who tell me that I have inspired them, motivated them to be more confident or have helped them overcome some issue or struggle they have faced. To be able to feel like you have impacted someone else by expressing who you are is an honour and I truly hope to be able to build my platform to do more of that.
4) What do you find challenging about being on social media?
As a highlight reel, social media can create unrealistic expectations for people - whether it is weight, success, timelines to be achieving expected milestones, perceptions of beauty, relationships, lifestyles … social media affords people the ability to embellish their lives and create a story, and at times people consume the stories without questioning whether or not it is real. It is challenging to be in this space and not compare yourself - it is a conscious effort to be mindful that another person’s life (as you perceive it) is not a reflection on your own.
5) You often share all natural looks and bare faced selfies. What advice would you give to someone that is a filter-addict?
It can be daunting to strip yourself down - filters and makeup all off - and be vulnerable enough to show the real you. Two years ago I distinctly told my best friend that I could not be a beauty blogger because I couldn’t see myself doing makeup tutorials and starting from scratch with a bare face. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised it is so freeing to rid yourself of those toxic thoughts. When people started messaging me and telling me that I motivated them to be more confident, or to accept themselves and be more comfortable in their own skin, I realised I had to live that myself or be a total hypocrite. So as uncomfortable as it was, I started stripping back the makeup, then stripping back the skin smoothing and filters. And I realised that this is what I needed to see when I was younger - real faces and real people not fitting a certain mould. If we want to change something - specific to this topic, if we want to change an industry that can make us feel bad about ourselves, we need to change ourselves first, not expect someone else to make the waves for us. You never know who you are inspiring or empowering by just being you.
6) Your skin is misbehaving. What do you do?
Strip back the makeup, drink lots of water, and not stray from my skincare routine. I also get bi-annual blood checks to monitor my hormones because I’ve previously suffered from an imbalance that caused chin breakouts.
7) It’s midnight and we’re still scrolling on Insta. Which beauty bloggers should we be staying up for?
You need Deepica Mutyala, Desi Perkins, Ami Waldesai, Nabela Noor, Irene Khan, Janice Joostema, Visions by Kamilla, Bretman Rock & Sharifa Easmin. A mix of beauty with a purpose, laughter and soul-feeding goodness.
8) Finally, how do you take your tea?
Lemon & ginger with a hint of honey.
Check out Maria's beauty tips and tricks on her Instagram @mariathatil and show her some love!