You Asked It

Damn Girl Ya Look Good

Styling short hair, dealing with acne, makeup for Asian eyes, and discovering your personal style.

Do you have any hair and fashion tips for girls with short hair? I get so bored with my hair sometimes; I can never seem to find good styling tips for short hair! Thanks. —Kristen

Kristen, I wish I knew exactly how short your hair is so I could figure out some exact looks for you to try. Since I don’t, we’ll focus on a chin-length style, and hopefully that’ll generate some ideas.

Clockwise from upper left: Michelle Williams, Shannyn Sossamon, ’90s Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan in The Doom Generation.

Michelle’s hair is simple but pretty. Her bangs are sideswept with a slight wave. Smooth your hair down with Bumble and Bumble’s Grooming Creme, then secure bangs to the side with a bobby pin.

Shannyn has that cute, messy charm down. You will need to use a product like BB Texture to get her tousled look.

Then there’s Amy Blue, Rose McGowan’s character from The Doom Generation. Her bob with bangs is a classic. Introduced by silent film star Louise Brooks in the 1920s, the style has never stopped being popular. Almost a century later, it looks just as hot on Rihanna. One of the best things about this cut is that it’s easy—smooth it down and add a little serum to make it shiny and manage flyaways, and that should do the trick.

Drew’s hair in the ’90s was MY FAVORITE. She did the choppy thing too, but would femme it up by sticking daisies or baby barrettes in it. This still looks good, years later. You can also flip up the ends of your hair with a curling iron to get Drew’s look.

Hope this inspires you!

I am 13, nearly 14, and in desperate need of some help with my skin. I have terrible acne, and it makes me feel hideous. I get teased about it, and boys always think I’m really ugly. My face is so oily it looks wet, and it’s covered in huge spots. I wash it very well 2-3 times a day with natural soap; use tea tree, aloe, Sudo cream, and some mineral stuff, in addition to regularly steaming it and using lavender. I don’t wear makeup or use conditioner on my hair, and I clip my fringe back when I’m at home. But nothing helps! I know this sounds like a minor problem, but angsty as it sounds it’s making me so unconfident and often very depressed. I wish I could obsess over the tiniest blemish like my friends do. Please help. —Flower

I was wondering if you could do an article on acne (how to treat it, etc.) and how to get rid of acne scars and hyperpigmentation. It would be reaaaallly useful for loads of girls! —Leah

Oh ladies, I feel for you. I started dealing with acne issues when I was 13, and they’ve continued well into my adulthood. I know how it feels to be depressed over having bad skin and being annoyed when friends complain about their ONE ZIT that looks to me like a pinprick. If a genie granted me three wishes, one of them would be to have small pores. I wish I could wave a magic wand and get rid of all of our zits and scars. But since I can’t, I’ll recommend a few things. More important, though, I’d like to assure you that this problem is NOT the end of the world, and encourage you to be less down on yourself! That is your biggest challenge!

If I can do it, you can do it. Trust me.

Flower, have you been to a dermatologist? If you can swing it, you should go to one and s/he might help you get to the bottom of your breakouts.

As far as your current skin care regimen goes, I wonder if you’re using too many products. Sometimes overwashing and using a lot of different things can irritate the skin. Also, if you exfoliate your skin with a scrub, you shouldn’t do it on an area that already has pimples, because they might spread.

There are a lot of products and practices out there that could help you, but unfortunately things work on some people that don’t work for others, so it’s all about trying things until you find one that works. I know people who had bad acne that cleared up after they used perpetual infomercial product ProActiv. Unfortunately, when I used it I developed a rash on my face because I was allergic to the benzoyl peroxide. Some people stop eating dairy with the thought that the hormones in cow milk causes cystic acne. I could never successfully test that theory on myself, because I love cheese too much!

My own skin has cleared up a lot in the past year, and I think the improvement has been caused by a few things: birth control pills, eating more healthfully, drinking more water, and in general taking care of myself better. I really do believe that your general life habits affect your skin, so make sure you’re keeping yourself hydrated, getting enough rest, and eating well.

As for products:

My favorite skincare line is Kiehl’s. I love their Blue Herbal products for acne-prone skin. Right now, I’m using their Ultra Facial Oil Free Cleanser and their Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream.

Even if you have oily skin, it’s still important to make sure you have a good moisturizer, but one that’s made for acne. I also really like Neutrogena’s products, especially their Oil Free Acne Stress Control and Pink Grapefruit lines. Their acne body washes are good, too.

Leah, acne scarring is an issue that I’m also dealing with right now. I wish that along with my magic wand I had a magic eraser to make these scars disappear! Luckily there are more products out now that are specifically made to help reduce the appearance of acne scars and uneven skin tone, like Kiehl’s Photo-Age High Potency Spot Treatment and Estee Lauder’s Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator. Scars can take some time to fade, so I recommend patience and a good concealer…and not worrying about it too much!

Now to both ladies, I really hope the things I recommended help you, but most of all I want you to take my advice on this: try your best not to let your skin issues become the main focus of how you feel about yourself. I too have felt the pain and embarrassment of going out and worrying what other people will think of my skin, or asking people to delete photos of me because I hated how my skin looked. I still have those days and I know I always will, every once in a while. But you’ll feel a lot better about your skin once you stop letting it prevent you from living your life and having fun.

Remember that other people aren’t paying attention to your zits or scars nearly as much as you think they are (or as much as you are). One day I was making out with my (at the time) main squeeze and he looked at me and said, “You have freckles! They’re so cute. Why do you have to cover them up with makeup?” In my mind I was like “BECAUSE I HAVE ZITS AND ACNE SCARS YOU ASSHOLE!!!” But he didn’t notice those, and he’d been all up in my face this whole time, PORES2PORES. That was just one of the things that helped me realize most people don’t focus on every spot on your face—they’re looking at the whole you: the real you, the fun you, the confident you, the awesome friend you. You should look at yourself that way, too.

And as for anyone that makes fun of you for it: try not to pay attention. Eventually your face will clear, but they’ll probably always be ugly jerks.

Hello. My name is Bambi and I have monolids (Asian eyes). I hate how makeup for monolids seems to be limited to variations of the smoky eye. It just isn’t practical for everyday wear, and monolids demand a lot of product. Do you have any other suggestions?

Hi Bambi! First, I hope you know that you’re lucky to have such gorgeous eyes! My mom has monolids and she is beautiful. It’s a bummer when Asian women don’t rock what they got and feel like the only way they’ll be pretty is to be more “Western-looking,” resulting in eyelid surgery or this:

You’re correct that a smoky eye is typically the go-to recommendation for an Asian eye, and if you do want to make your eyes appear bigger, then a lot of product will help. But if you just want to have some fun with makeup and embrace your lovely lids, take a look at all the things you can do!

Clockwise from top left: model Liu Wen, model Xiao Wen Ju, photo via Walk in My Eyeshadow, Katie from The Katizzle

For an everyday look, I would suggest using a pretty shimmery shadow, like Urban Decay’s Midnight Emergency palette, with a slightly winged eye and mascara.

I like Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Liner, and here’s a great winged-eye tutorial for monolids that uses it.

It’s also smart to use a primer first to prevent smudging, like Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. You can also highlight your eyebrows with a brow kit such as Milani’s Brow Fix. It’s kind of crazy that such a little thing can make such a big difference.

If you want to go for false eyelashes, try using half-lashes for your corner edges, like these ones from M.A.C. Make sure you have a good lash glue like DUO.

And don’t forget to have a great lipstick or gloss! This will help balance your look and let the drama of your eyes emerge.

Another good resource is this excellent blog called Monolid Love that features tips and tutorials and insight into the different types of monolids. They have Tumblr, too.

Have fun!

I need style help. I can never make an outfit look right—like I never have enough layers or patterns or textures. Are there any foolproof outfits that I can pull together using basic staples? I love looking different and kind of punky, but I always end up throwing on a T-shirt and jeans. Skirts are awesome, but I have trouble picking tops to wear them with. I’d love to have better style, so anything you can suggest would be great! Thank you. —Emily
P.S. I love wearing Doc Martens.

Hi Emily!

Here’s what’s awesome about the internet: you can get inspiration for outfits just about anywhere, like style blogs and Tumblr, where other people’s creativity should provide you with plenty of ideas, whether you see a certain color combination that strikes you or you recognize an inventive use of a blouse similar to one that’s been collecting dust in your closet. Then, you can always add your own unique spin and create a totally new, imaginative outfit.

Clockwise from top left: Darshana Pathak, Eline from A Fluffy Blog, Diana Nineth, Kaitlin of All This Happiness

As you can see, these four ladies have different looks, but each knows how to work her individual style! It may take a while to find out exactly what you like, what your key wardrobe pieces will be, and what will make you feel comfortable without having to resort to just jeans and a T-shirt, so you have to be patient with yourself. The good news is, figuring out what you like and what looks good will be fun! Since you like Docs and want to try skirts, start there. There are lots of possible directions to go with skirts—here’s a cute pleated one from Forever 21.

You can add solid or funky-patterned tights, and a T-shirt featuring one of your favorite bands. (I like to cut up my shirts a little, opening the neckline wider and trimming off the edges of the sleeves and bottom.) This outfit is simple and comfortable and will provide a nice change from the same old jeans and T-shirts. Once you add a fitted cardigan and/or a denim jacket for layers and accessorize with pins and patches, you’ll be on your way to finding your stylish self!

Love, Marie

If you have a style/beauty question for Marie, please send it to


  • kyleigh November 29th, 2011 11:16 PM

    RE: acne, check out if your doctor or dermatologist can perscribe you a low dose antibiotic. I had acne for years, but then a doctor told me that probably my white cells were a little too active and were causing the gross whitehead/puss-filled type of acne. So, after I started taking the antibiotic, my acne has compleatly cleared up! Its so low dose you can take it indefinately.

    hope this helps.

  • vanessa November 29th, 2011 11:56 PM

    I’m fortunate enough to have grown up with clear skin, but there was a time (right when puberty set in) that my skin started breaking out something fierce. My mom, bless her heart, suffered from acne as a teenager and said she didn’t want me to have to endure the same kind of suffering. She took me to a dermatologist who set me up with good, quality products to get my troubled skin under control.

    Like Marie said, if you can manage to get to a dermatologist, do it! No need to be scared or embarrassed about seeking some professional help. And regarding Kiehl’s (LOVE them), if you have a department store that carries the line, they are very generous with samples!

  • jesiyvonne November 30th, 2011 12:04 AM

    Some more suggestions for acne, before going the anitibiotic/slash n’ burn route:

    Burdock root is the herb most recommended for women dealing with skin problems, find a tincture of burdock root (my favorite brand is Herb Pharm) and take 20 drops twice a day for 4 months.

    Find Yarrow tincture, pour into a spray bottle and spray on your clean face morning and night. Leave it on to dry on your face. Do not put soap on your face(!!!) This is the #1 cause of breakouts (seriously!). Cleanse your face with witch hazel extract, and then tone with some apple cider vinegar on a washcloth. Use a new spot on the washcloth each time.

    Third, try and eat a healthy, whole foods diet, which means that I would steer clear of cafeteria food. Whole foods doesn’t mean gross or expensive, just try cooking up nice sauteed veg meals with rice and nice meats like chicken. Less dairy like cheese and milk can help as well, but more yogurt is always great. There is also a wonderful yogurt drink called, Kefir, which tastes good and is very good for you.

    Good luck all of you out there with acne problems! <3

  • rachael November 30th, 2011 12:08 AM

    hi bambi, please see cl and minzy of 2ne1 – they have monolids and look badass 100% of the time. wish i had those girls to look up to when i was growing up.

  • bohobambi November 30th, 2011 12:37 AM

    I’m 19 and I still struggle with acne. I’ve started using the line “Kiss My Face”. They are natural products. I use the face wash and the toner. I also use a product called Prosacea. It is for Rosacea which is something I do not have but it does treat its symptoms which includes acne and redness. It does say on the box though that you should be 18 and older to use it but I think if you’re careful then it should be ok. Another thing I do is an oatmeal scrub every night. I try to keep things natural. The less products the better!

    Since using these products my skin has been a lot clearer! Of course I still break out a week before my period. Damn hormones. :)

    Important things to remember is drink a lot of water, change your pillowcase often, keep your hair clean, and don’t touch your face! Bacteria easily spreads around your face when you touch it.

    Good luck! :)

  • Darshana November 30th, 2011 12:38 AM

    thank you SO much for featuring me in this article, I’m so flattered!! <3

  • marimba_girl November 30th, 2011 1:07 AM

    I have a short pixie cut that I absolutely love!!!! and to mix it up a bit I’ve found that a bit of gel/wax can go a long way. Sometimes I spread it through the top and front to make it look kinda messy, or when it starts to grow out before my next haircut I use gel to rock a faux hawk. Scarves and headbands can also be worn with short hair, I also found these small bobby-pins that have little rhinestones on the end that I use too. Short hair is sooooo awesome!!!:)))

  • Sugar November 30th, 2011 1:16 AM

    Fundamental Earth Chemical Free Face Wash and a healthy dose of probiotics every day. I only moisturise with coconut oil… my skin looks awesome. Oils make a great makeup remover, as well…. but hey, that’s just me.

  • crissyampersand November 30th, 2011 1:18 AM

    You forgot oil. She may be stripping her skin too much that it in turn is producing more sebum, so she may have to use oil on her skin (squalane, jojoba, coconut; etc.). She may be allergic to synthetics or she is just 13/14 and her hormones are at war, so she has no hope until her hormones are at a time of peace. Kiehl’s is my fave, too, especially Midnight Recovery Oil and Ultra Facial Cream.

    Probiotics will help. A non-dairy option is raw apple cider vinegar. I think dairy is good for the skin, if you go hormone-free, but I hear raw milk does wonders (if you are lucky to find it readily available). Hair, Skin, Nails vitamins (I like Rainbow Light vitamins) and fresh air on a bike ride will help, too, as heaters and air conditioners as well as dead air will strip the skin of moisture.

    A facial WILL help, if you go to a good spa. I had my first facials in high school and it is one of those things I wish my mommy would still fit the bill for, because they are so expensive that I have had only two facials beyond high school and I graduated 15 years ago.

    Ditching processed food and corn syrup based food (including VitaminWater) will also help. Detox dieting, liver cleansing (remember to start with the colon, move on to the kidneys then move on to the liver), colon hydrotherapy sessions…

    Sorry to keep rambling…I’ve tried almost everything from Physoderm to the complete skin routine from Estee Lauder AND Aveda and realized that there are just too many factors involved. There is no simple solution. Try out the given suggestions and see what works for you.

  • Anaheed November 30th, 2011 1:34 AM

    The only thing that cured my acne was echinacea pills. But they super worked.

  • sedgwick November 30th, 2011 1:57 AM

    PLEASE TRY MURAD! this makeup artist recommended it to me and it worked, i didn’t really have massive acne but just a lot of fat pimples everywhere and some scarring. all the pimples are gone now and the scars are fading too. i tried natural face washes and stuff but sometimes you need something a bit stronger, but this is salicylic acid based, which is much better than benzoyl peroxide (which is what is in ProActiv). you can get these 30 day starter kits.
    I have been using it for 2 months and i feel heaps better. i also wear a Blemish Balm (BB) tinted moisturiser to cover up during the day and it is fading my acne scars!! promise this isnt a promo for murad haha but try it! xoxox

  • Maddouc November 30th, 2011 3:39 AM

    Flower- I can completely relate. I used to have awful cystic acne in my late teens and it made me extremely self-conscious. I was always hyper-aware of my face and constantly comparing my skin to EVERYONE else’s. It sucks. Anyway, though everyone’s skin is different it does sound like you might be over-washing. I’d switch to washing just two times a day and using only warm water in the morning (no soap) and the natural soap at night. I don’t know what kind your using but cetaphil cleansing bar is very gentle and worked well for me. You also want to make sure you’re moisturizing after you cleanse because you’re stripping your face of oils it needs. I also second frequently changing your pillowcase and I’ve heard that laying a fresh towel over your pillow each night works well too. I sincerely hope your skin clears soon but remember to give any new regimen you try time to kick in. I went through a phase of having to fix my skin RIGHT. NOW. and tried a whole bunch of different routines back-to-back which ended up just irritating it more. It may take time but you’ll find what works for you. Good luck!

  • LittleRed November 30th, 2011 4:10 AM

    Those short-hair pictures are beautiful! I’d cut mine if it wasn’t so curly.

    Flower- please try a doctor or dermatologist! No need for you to be feeling so bad, sweetheart.

    Thanks for another lovely article. X

  • Bean November 30th, 2011 8:48 AM

    Ah! I love wearing my docs too! They’re the super, rediculously tall ones and they were the best decision ever. Haha. That’s all.

  • darksideoftherainbow November 30th, 2011 10:11 AM

    this is so not the point of anything but man, Diana Nineth has body karate. i am so jell-o now.

    oh, i’m hispanic and don’t have monolids but i’ve always wanted them!! in my opinion, the best kind of lid for wearing thick cat eyeliner! just like in the picture…it looks gorgeous!

  • Jamie November 30th, 2011 10:28 AM

    the only thing that worked on my awful acne was accutane, that awful medicine that basically ruins your life in the short term more than the acne. it made my face so dry that it was basically a raisin, but after i’d finished two rounds of it i NEVER HAD ACNE AGAIN!!! Like, it permanently cures your acne. There is no upkeep. Sometimes I even sleep in my makeup now because I can.

    i love natural remedies as much as the next hairy-legged, plancenta-eating, moon-tent-visiting, granola-and-spelt-loving womyn, but sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and kill the acne with LOTS OF CHEMICALS!!!!

  • giov November 30th, 2011 11:56 AM

    oh, well, I am 22 and still figuring out how to live with acne. I would stay away from antibiotics and heavy chemical stuff, I have gone down that route before and it’s just not worth for what it does to the rest of your body. There are so many natural things you can try before going to a dermatologist (because of my experience I kind of hate dermatologists now). Oils and tinctures and all that jazz are definitely worth a try, and so is changing your diet. My skin breaks out when I am stressed/hormonal, so maybe try some yoga and meditation and walks in the woods as well :)

  • KayKay November 30th, 2011 1:33 PM

    For severe acne, I suggest seeing a dermatologist. It was the best thing I ever did!

    • VictoryBelle November 30th, 2011 2:36 PM

      Ditto! Completely changed my self-confidence

  • VictoryBelle November 30th, 2011 2:35 PM

    I had acne the whole time I was a teenager, but it got really bad when I hit about 16 and from there on it just proceeded to get worse.

    It’s all very well saying don’t worry, other people notice it less than you do (because this IS TRUE) but it doesn’t make any difference to how you feel. My acne got so bad when I was 19 I refused to let ANYONE see me without makeup on (best friends family etc) I just didnt think anything would make it better. When I FINALLY went to the dermatologist to sort it out and wasn’t allowed to wear makeup on the way there I felt like I was so disgusting I didn’t want anyone to see me. Afterwards I sat in the car and cried for a good 15 minutes.

    The dermatologist put me on a series of things ending in this amazing wonder drug, that is a last resort and does have some pretty scary potential side-effects, that cleared my skin completely. It helped all the scarring etc. and now I dont have a single spot or scar.

    Don’t let your self esteem get as battered as mine did before you do something about it. Go to the doctor!! The time I wasted being upset over the way I looked was such a waste!(especially when I now think, with the benefit of hindsight, that I looked well fit when I was 19!) Don’t make the same mistake I did – if it’s really affecting your confidence go to the doctor and get it sorted!

  • henrietta November 30th, 2011 5:06 PM

    Oh my god thank you sooo much for this! I have a super short bob and It’s nice and easy to maintain, but there is nothing to do with it. Or so I thought.

  • fizzingwhizbees November 30th, 2011 5:15 PM

    re: short hair – my hair is very short on the sides & back, and longer and curly on top. it’s sort of a girlie version of the male undercut style. usually i wear it naturally curly, but if i’m feeling bored i straighten it. then if i want to change it even more, i can spike it up with some pomade or slick it back into a pompadour-type-thing. and i love headbands!

  • nicole30 November 30th, 2011 5:40 PM

    Argan oil also works really well to clear up acne scarring! I use one by Josie Maran but I’m sure other brands work just as well.

  • kittenmix November 30th, 2011 6:06 PM

    PORES2PORES = <3 4EVA!

  • cf November 30th, 2011 8:26 PM

    Re: Acne

    I’ve been fighting acne for over a decade. Finally, this summer I started researching skin care and make-up products. I learned that a lot of the stuff we put on our face, stuff that claims to be non-comedogenic, acne-fighting, etc. etc. actually contains loads of ingredients that can cause acne. Some of the most popular acne fighting products out there are formulated with ingredients that either irritate skin, clog pores, or otherwise cause more harm than good. Although not all of these “bad” ingredients affect everyone, I found it helpful to learn more about this list in an effort to find safer products for my skin.

    So, if you do a google search for “acne causing ingredients” you’ll find lists that explain all of this. It can be a bit tedious to search out products without these ingredients, but it’s helped me figure out what my skin can tolerate and what it can’t. I discovered that some of the products I was using were the main source of my problems – I found alternatives and now my skin is a million times better.

  • Chandler November 30th, 2011 9:02 PM

    juicystar07 has oily skin and she uses products that help a lot, she has a ton of videos on youtube about oily skin/acne. and for Bambi, michellephan on youtube does some amazing natural wear makeup looks (and i think she has a video for monolids or something like that) —just thought i would also share some tips.

    And, i really loved this post! Do more like this!! :)

    xoxo Chandler

  • ladyjenna November 30th, 2011 10:25 PM

    WHere do we ask these questions? Cause I have one

  • lulu112 December 1st, 2011 6:26 PM

    I have to second the people that mentioned accutane. I had terrible acne as a teenager and it sucked up so much of my energy obsessing about it. Although it does have strong side-effects (very dry skin/lips) it just WORKS! After two courses my skin cleared and I have never had any zits since. If you do start taking it, a little advice…do not go in the sun, and do not get your eyebrows waxed (my skin literally came off….not good). Good luck dear!

  • SweetCheeks December 4th, 2011 5:14 PM

    Sigh….I had maaajor acne issues when i was younger. I went on antibiotic after antibiotic (’cause your body gets hip to each one once it starts working and then it becomes less effective…hence the switching). Long story short…I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in recent years (I’m pretty sure the antibiotics did a pretty bad tune on my gut flora), and cutting out gluten (i.e. wheat…’cause I have to) has cleared my skin up wonderfully. Less processed food…lots of water…sweat out the toxins. Having gone through it can make you stronger…beauty is on the inside luv! :)

  • MaryS December 5th, 2011 3:26 PM

    Flower and Leah – I can only speak from my own experience regarding acne but you may want to experiment with reducing or eliminating your milk intake to help with your acne. I didn’t have terrible acne when I was your age, but developed horrible cyst-like acne when I was older. After a few years of tests, acupuncture, chemicals and creams, I tried changing my diet – specifically I cut out ALL dairy: milk, cheese, butter, ice cream.
    Frankly, it sucked. Milk is in everything -everything I loved to eat – and it took a while to figure out how to work around it but, for me, it was worth it. I’d rather not have to deal with the zits, y’know?
    These days I can indulge occasionally in foods that have dairy without a lot of break outs.
    I found this recent article that might be helpful –
    At the very least it’s worth a try.
    Also, PLEASE be kind to your faces – don’t scrub or poke or pop trying to rid yourself of something that isn’t caused by dirt or oil. The acne may look bad now, but the scars look MUCH worse later.

  • Pashupati December 16th, 2011 2:24 PM

    RE: acne.
    For europeans folks, I’ve used Effaclar A.I. and Effaclar K by La Roche-Posay when I had acne. Effaclar K is more of a day cream for oily/combination skin types, I was told, but it was sold to me as and anti-acne cream; Effaclar A. I. works way better, but I’ve heard it wasn’t that much effective for other skin types. They also make some sort of light, liquid face soap which I used in summer because I get weird buttons if I stay in the sun without an SPF 50 and my face gets weirdly red (can’t use mask for that) and it’s relaxing in some way.
    Also, from a person I know, the sides effects of Roaccutane (if it what was meant to be written) aren’t just dry skin/lips, in some cases it can also have bad effects on your bones, so I’d say if you’re gonna try antibiotics go ask a doctor before. I guess there are some exams he should have done before buying the thing.
    (I really shouldn’t be in front of a computer right now :/)