We Like It Tough

Go back to school looking like a cool babe from the ’50s, why not.

The M stands for me, ’cause that’s ME looking so badass.

Who better to inspire your back-to-school beauty look than the tough-yet-polished 1950s high school girls who held their own among the mods and the greasers? Whether they were skipping class or showing their support at drag races and street fights, they made you long for those perfect curls and that classic varsity jacket. Here, three of my favorite teenage tough girls—criminal record optional.


Natalie Wood as Judy in Rebel Without a Cause

Even while sharing the screen with the beautiful James Dean, Natalie grabbed attention with her enormous eyes and dark curly hair. To get her look, try defining and thickening your brows with a pencil like Anastasia’s Brow Wiz in Brunette ($20, And add a slick of bright red lipstick, like Avon’s Red 2000 ($7,


Olivia Newton-John as Sandy in Grease

Sandy is at her toughest after her big makeover at the end of the movie, but I was always a fan of her sweet good-girl persona. To get her swingy ponytail, pull your hair back, secure it with an elastic and decorate it with a ribbon or vintage chiffon scarf. Curl the ends, let them cool and then brush it all out with your fingers before spraying your head with L’Oreal’s Elnett Hairpsray ($13, Target) for hold. For perfectly ’50s-style pink lips that will last even through an hour in the backseat (I’m not judging), try New York Color’s Smooch Proof Lip Stain in Persistent Pink ($5, drugstores).


Diane Lane as Cherry Valance in The Outsiders

I’ve always had a soft spot for Cherry, the upper-class “Soc” girl who fell for the bad-boy greasers despite the flak she got for it. If you weren’t blessed with those elusive ginger genes, try L’Oreal’s Superior Preference Hair Color in Light Auburn (about $9, drugstores), and to get Cherry’s gorgeous flush, blend Stila’s Lip & Cheek Stain in Cherry Crush ($24, into lips and cheeks.

Now you’re ready to look the part while ditching class to hang out under the bleachers. What you do there is your business.


  • rodmila September 5th, 2011 8:59 AM

    My favourite love stories are on 50s *-* I’m really retrosexual and just loved this article! congrats Tavi and Staff !

  • Banshee September 5th, 2011 8:59 AM

    Well, you are just too freaking cute in that photo.

  • natasha September 5th, 2011 10:30 AM

    I loved this post and your photo looks great.

  • Demmy September 5th, 2011 10:31 AM

    I love the 50′s vibe. Congratulations Tavi on your new website. It’s great! :)

  • Sara September 5th, 2011 11:30 AM

    Yay Hannah, so good to see you’re posting here :) love these looks, wish I was Diane Lane sometimes..

  • Viviane September 5th, 2011 11:42 AM

    Definitely getting a varsity jacket.

  • rayano-banano September 5th, 2011 11:54 AM



  • Thepunkrocker September 5th, 2011 11:59 AM

    This online magazine is just the BEST EVER! I wish i could do something like this.

  • c a tchiiado September 5th, 2011 12:11 PM

    I love rookie!! Welldone!!

  • PussyGalore September 5th, 2011 12:53 PM

    Too cool, Tavi but you forgot the coolest of 50′s good girls gone bad, Allison Vernon-Williams from John Waters’ Cry Baby. Personally I’m more into the drape and greaser grrrls XX

  • Moonshoes September 5th, 2011 1:26 PM

    I love this! Rookie mag is amazingg. i’m telling ALL of my friends!!

  • WitchesRave September 5th, 2011 1:35 PM

    Cherry + Dallas = :’(

    It couldve been so sweet…

  • Renot September 5th, 2011 1:39 PM

    I love this post! I do also love the girls from Cry Baby but my favorite is the women in On The Water Front, very sultry but so put together!

  • oriana September 5th, 2011 1:40 PM

    Oooh, I’m already in love with RookieMag

  • Toilets September 5th, 2011 1:44 PM

    As much as I’d love to look like Sandy, I hate that she only gets the happy ending when she starts smoking and dressing the way that other people want her to. /Angst over fictional character

  • Izzy September 5th, 2011 1:55 PM

    yay rookie mag at last yay yay!

  • taylortarantino September 5th, 2011 1:58 PM

    I can’t believe this website. It is so wonderful. I am so excited.

    Congratulations Tavi and Staff!

  • Eve September 5th, 2011 2:02 PM

    Hannah you are so gorgeous and I love this piece!

  • iWantLovely September 5th, 2011 2:10 PM

    Great article, and what a great picture of you! Also, can I just say that Natalie Wood really looks like Tavi in that pic?

  • joenjwang September 5th, 2011 2:48 PM

    best movies.

  • Tavi September 5th, 2011 3:53 PM

    HANNAH this looks so good.

    Toilets (best name) – I feel you. /Angst over fictional character /angst over separating my morals from my desire to find things pretty. For now it’s just her ponytail we love.

    Pussygalor – Damn! Duly noted.

  • Hannah September 5th, 2011 4:09 PM

    I always liked Sandy when she was herself, too. You don’t need to change to get a boy to like you! I mean, that should be obvious, but c’mon Grease.

  • Chimdi September 5th, 2011 4:35 PM

    I agree with Tavi&Toilets&Hannah. I would love to be pre-ending sandy. Oh, and The Outsiders is one of my FAVORITE movies/books ever:)

  • Jessica September 5th, 2011 5:33 PM

    The Outsiders is one of my favorite novels and movie adaptations so seeing the Cherry Valance feature was perfect!

  • punkius September 5th, 2011 5:54 PM

    I love this article. I love the picture in the beginning. It’s striking.

  • Katherine Electrique September 5th, 2011 6:43 PM

    Ahhh! Love it. OMG I love Sandy’s hair. Totally trying it out more when my hair grows out.


  • spookyburger September 5th, 2011 8:39 PM

    um mostly i love you for including products that are AFFORDABLE. lip stain for the price of my lunch money? i’m sold.

  • malapeanut September 5th, 2011 8:48 PM

    I love it! I saw some cute jackets like the one in the first picture at Target.

  • unicorn September 5th, 2011 8:51 PM

    i have that lipstain! i feel special!!

  • September 5th, 2011 9:26 PM

    I’m totally trying these looks! I love makeup and hair inspired by real people. I like Cherry’s look the best. I agree with toilets as well, but they both changed without knowing the other would change their looks as well..? They realized they would change themselves for each other, but in the end they didn’t care about what the other looked like..?

  • Tavi September 5th, 2011 9:30 PM

    that part of grease has always confused me. when i was i think 7 or 8 i asked my sisters why she changed and they told me to ask my parents who told me to ask my sisters. (grease was frequently watched here so that wasn’t necessarily a strange thing for me to ask about.) but yeah, i guess danny changed for her too, when he tried running track or whatever?
    i mean, it was made in the 70s and takes place in the 50s, but somehow it still confuses me!

  • Emily September 6th, 2011 12:35 AM

    So precious!

  • Anaheed September 6th, 2011 1:10 AM

    These are my favorite things from our comments so far:

    “I agree with Tavi&Toilets&Hannah.”

    “I agree with toilets as well”

    Thank you, toilets, for making our comments field a playground.

  • sybil_vane September 6th, 2011 5:32 AM

    Three very beautiful role models!

  • Kailey September 6th, 2011 7:06 AM

    Ooh Hannah you have outdone yourself with this – you look gorgeous (as always), and have picked the perfect choices! I have always loved Grease – pre and post “Bad Girl” makeover, I love Sandy (and the Pink Ladies)!

    Also, this post has me thinking I need to see The Outsiders!

  • Toilets September 6th, 2011 12:16 PM

    You’re welcome, Anaheed, I also enjoy people agreeing with me…

    I guess they both compromise and whatnot to be togetha4eva, but it seems like Danny gets a hobby out of their compromise and Sandy just gets to wear uncomfortable shoes.

    Maybe I should just shut up and enjoy the songs.


  • Lola September 6th, 2011 1:36 PM

    Diane Lane looks beautiful, why have I never seen it?!

    Congrats on the site Tavi et al, it’s amazing. xxx

  • streetcreature September 6th, 2011 1:59 PM

    Such a cute look. Very creative post! And ummm James Dean. Oh yeah!

  • Stephanie September 6th, 2011 2:19 PM

    My three favorite 50s stories! And since I can be makeup clueless (I love wearing it, love certain looks, but can never figure out how to do something similar), I really appreciate the recommendations, Hannah!

    As for the Grease debate, I always thought maybe Sandy was just trying it out, the Pink Lady look. And maybe it would bring her into her own and she would discover things she didn’t know about herself or maybe she would discover she was more comfortable as the old her, like Danny discovered. Maybe both of them would take pieces of their transformation and merge them together with the pieces they liked about their “old” selves. Maybe this is just me because between the ages of 11 and 19, I tried out so many different looks and attitudes to go along with them until I found the right blend of style that reflected how I felt inside–a combo of grunge, punk, goth, and admittedly a big chunk of Rizzo from Grease!

  • lotusgreen September 6th, 2011 4:27 PM

    one thing from 50s style that might NOT need to be revived: very pointy bras with very tight sweaters!

  • milk princess September 6th, 2011 7:10 PM

    i <3 the Outsiders, thank you for mentioning them. :)

  • catstickers September 8th, 2011 11:52 AM

    This rather makes me want to perfect the Sandy-style ponytail and start going all out on the 50′s trend, however I am quite torn between the 50′s and the 60s. Hmm.

  • TheWeirdBeard September 8th, 2011 6:26 PM

    What about Wanda and Allison from Cry Baby?:D

  • Margelo September 9th, 2011 5:34 PM

    this is wonderful-
    i am natalie wood

  • Pelle September 10th, 2011 3:18 AM

    I thought the Outsiders was set in the 1960s. S.E. Hinton, its Tulsa writer, first published the book in 1967. I love the book & read it literally hundreds of times in grade school but saw the movie only once, and it’s been years. Did FFC set the movie during the 1950s instead of the book’s time period? Just wondering.

    “A Place in the Sun” certainly featured some spectacular “soc” fashions modeled by the equally spectacular Liz Taylor, circa 1951.

  • Ace September 11th, 2011 2:57 AM

    OH MY GOSH! I knew I’d seen you before! I’ve watched your rant about pockets a couple of times on youtube! Okay, the excitement of this discovery is wearing off a bit now. But I totally agree with you about both pockets and Cherry.

  • thefondest September 11th, 2011 7:00 PM

    Pelle, The Outsiders *is* set in the ’60s, but there were still greasers around at the time. It was seen as outdated, but that’s where the mods vs. rockers debate came in– greasers were “rockers” living in the past.

    I’m from Tulsa and seeing continued praise of a story based at my high school still makes me swell with pride. REP OKLAHOMA 4EVER

  • rubyredroses May 13th, 2013 9:31 PM

    so cute. cant even.