You Asked It

Damn Girl Ya Look Good

Advice on haircuts, outfits, and poking holes in your face.

I hate my arms. I really do. In the winter it’s OK, because they’re always covered, but in the summer it is terrible. I try to wear long sleeves and jackets to cover them, but I can’t bear the heat and always end up being incredibly uncomfortable. I know I should love my body, but I just don’t feel OK wearing short sleeves. Until I learn to deal with it, do you have any suggestions for how to cover your arms without being too warm?

I know how it feels when you are self-conscious about a body part and want to cover it up forever, but I really do hope you learn to get over it and embrace yourself sooner rather than later. For one thing, I do NOT want you to get overheated when it is 100 degrees outside and you’re out there wearing a sweater! You better have a big bottle of water with you at all times! Until that precious I-don’t-give-a-fuck moment comes for you, though, deal with warm days by wearing lightweight blouses, maybe with three-quarter or elbow-length sleeves. This top from Forever 21 looks like a good one to start with.

Clockwise from top left: Hot Spot Blouse, $38, Nastygal.com; lilac blouse, $48, Nastygal.com; pink-and-white striped top, $37, Lulus.com; Always on the Sunny Side Top, $50, Modcloth.com.

Printed semi-sheer blouses are also in effect right now, so you have a ton to choose from. (Wear a camisole or a tank underneath, since most of them are too thin to wear alone.) And have some fun with lace, like this cream kimono jacket that you can throw over almost anything. There is also this real purdy lace bell-sleeved dress! I hope that gives you some ideas. Just keep in mind that more than likely you are the only one noticing your arms, my boo! I hope you learn to love them soon! xoxo Marie

I want to get an eyebrow piercing. My parents are wholeheartedly against this idea. They say that because I’m black I’m susceptible to keloid scars, and that I have to wait till I’m 18 to get anything pierced anyway. I get what they’re saying, but I feel like right now, before I’m 18 (and therefore an adult), is my time to do reckless things and make mistakes. I’ve researched eyebrow piercings, keloids, infections, how awesome it would be to have an eyebrow piercing, etc., but I seem to be getting a lot of different information from different sources. Please help me with facts!

I think you have demonstrated a lot of maturity by researching all these things. When I decided I wanted to pierce my nose last year I just went to the place and got it done and it didn’t even OCCUR to me to research. Anyways, I just looked at the Wikipedia page for keloids, and it seems that they are not as likely to happen around the eyebrow area. I spoke to my best friend who got her eyebrow pierced when we were in high school, and this is what she said: “I think everybody reacts differently to piercings. How you’ve scarred in the past is probably a good indication of how your piercing will heal and scar. The absolute best thing you can do when getting a piercing is to take good care of it afterwards. Clean and disinfect it every day, until it heals fully. I loved having my eyebrow pierced. It healed better than my ear and tongue piercings.” What sucks is that in most places (in the U.S., at least) you need your parents’ permission to get pierced these days; and the truth is you don’t really wanna go to a place that acts willy-nilly about rules because then EW. Go to a really reputable place, and make sure they pierce you with a needle, not a piercing gun. Are you 16? If you’re 16 I think maybe you can be like, “Hey, if I’m old enough to drive a car, then I think I should be able to poke a hole in my face” (remind her that eyebrow piercings don’t last forever like a tattoo!). The truth is, I don’t think getting your eyebrow pierced is reckless. Especially since you’ve done so much research and are willing to have a conversation with your parents about it. I don’t think it’s a mistake either, because it’s not permanent! I hope this helps somehow. Good luck! —Laia

I’m 21 years old and my face looks very “cute” (as opposed to “beautiful” or “sexy”). But I feel like I’m old enough to start wearing “sexy” clothes. The problem is that I don’t know how to do this! Right now I wear a lot of mod, ’60s-style, retro stuff. But I fear that this style makes me look even “cuter.” can you help me?

Hey girl! I sure can! I suffer from cute-itis too, and I’m much older than you. First of all, don’t fret about being too cute, because that just means you can play tricks on people and get away with it, lookin’ all adorable and all! Just kidding!

When I myself don’t feel like being Miss Cuteashia La BonBons (the name by we shall address our adorable alter egos), I try to summon the elegant sexiness of someone like Dita Von Teese.

Dita is a woman who embodies LA SEXY without showing a ton of skin (well, at least when she’s not performing burlesque). So, what tips can we get from her?

1. Find clothing that fits your body well and is tailored to your shape. If you dig that same retro look she does, pencil skirts, like this one from Mode Merr, hug the bod and are flattering on many shapes. Invoke your inner Wanda Woodward and wear this exact outfit. Think “bodycon” instead of “A-line tea party.”

2. Don’t be afraid to show off what you find sexy about yourself. If you love your legs, wear a mini. If your favorite body part is your belly, wear a crop top!

3. Think sexy in terms of color, too. Choose solid colors and simple patterns over loud, bright prints (which have their place and time!). Black lace tights are a sexier choice than bright green knee socks (me today). High heels or wedges are sexier than flats. Skip cutesy clothing details like ruffles or bows and save your unicorn earrings and your Hello Kitty purse for Cuteashia La BonBon days. Lastly, don’t forget some sexy red lipstick like M.A.C.’s Lady Danger! xoxo Marie

My dark-brown hair is bra-strap length, and I usually wear it in a very boring ponytail or a bun. I am so tempted to get a bob, but I’m worried about looking like a mom. Can you show me some pictures that I can take to the hairdresser of unboring, non-soccer-mom bobs? I don’t want a fringe, so traditional bob inspiration like Uma in Pulp Fiction or Louise Brooks is out, unfortunately! Love, Jessica

Hi, Jessica! I too know that desire to lop off my hair into something shorter and fresher, but unlike you I’m not brave. So instead, I stare at photos of girls with cute bobs for obscenely lengthy amounts of time. My weird obsession is your gain, though! There are lots of ways to wear a bob in a way that is chic and fun and not soccer-mom-esque at all.

If you’ve got a bit of wave or curl to your hair, this short bob on Keira Knightley is so cute:

If you’re looking for something slightly longer, why not try something like this ’do Kirsten Dunst used to have?

To bring out that beachy, wavy texture, try a sea-salt hairspray like A Beautiful Life Brands’ Pregame Texturizing Spray ($22, abeautifullife.com). It smells amazing!

Bobs like these look really good on straight hair, too. See?

To keep a straight look from frizzing out, try a smoothing lotion like Redken’s Outshine 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk ($4, amazon.com).

I don’t think you’d call any of these bobs frumpy, and you wouldn’t see them on a soccer mom, unless of course she was a really cool soccer mom (yes that is possible: Gwen Stefani is a soccer mom!). —Hannah

I’m 20 years old, and I just scored an awesome job at a credit union. I know I’ll have to make some fashion sacrifices (no more black denim and band shirts, dangit), but I also don’t want to lose my individuality. Most of the people who work at the credit union wear khakis, dresses, and cardigans—which is what I interviewed in, but I can’t keep this up forever! At my current job I wear a lot of riding pants with long tops—I am not well versed in the ways of more professional-looking bottoms. I’m a bit round around the midsection, and button-downs (or the idea of tucking them in) are sort of horrifying to me. I just want to look like a more refined version of myself. Any suggestions? —Jenna

I don’t think you need to lose your individuality just because you work at a conservative place. If you normally live in black jeans and band shirts, you just have to figure out a way to translate those same pieces into more-serious stuff. Start with your jeans, for example: are they skinny or bootcut? Look for a pair of black pants in the same style. You can find nice jersey tops that will feel as comfortable as your favorite band tee but are dressier. If you have an aversion to tucking things in, find tops that end an inch or so below the waistband so they’ll look a li’l bit more profesh. A soft blazer is a great way to top it all off without falling into the cardigan route, and you can maybe even put your favorite band’s button on the lapel to keep your totally AWESOME spirit alive. —Laia ♦

If you have a question for a future Damn Girl, please send it to Marie at beautyandstyle@rookiemag.com.

37 Comments

  • EmilyL27 June 19th, 2012 11:18 PM

    Hey eyebrow piercing girl! I got my eyebrow pierced when I was like 19 and I loved it. My body eventually rejected it (I moved to a very cold place and I don’t think it liked the weather) and while I still have a little scar I don’t regret the piercing. I would even do it again but being a grown up and all (23) and having real jobs and I can’t be pierced… so go for it while you’re young because you might not be able to have it again.

    And honestly the little scar is a fun memory that I’m sure I only notice. Nothing to get worked up about.

  • sweeteelou June 19th, 2012 11:33 PM

    I was thinking about doing a bob this summer. But my ponytail is my go to escape route. Love the photos for inspiration anyways.
    love, evan
    sweeteelou

  • coolschmool June 19th, 2012 11:38 PM

    everyone knows this and goes on about it excessively but just in case, please don’t actually use any ‘disinfectants’ on your piercings. just saline always.

    • tankgrrrl June 20th, 2012 12:15 PM

      Yes. My piercer always recommends Wound Wash, which is a saline solution in a spray bottle. It’s sold in drugstores with the band-aids and stuff. Also, regarding reputable piercers, DO NOT GO TO CLAIRE’S. Go to a tattoo parlor or a piercing studio.

      • Aurora June 20th, 2012 1:37 PM

        Really? I got my ears pierced at Claire’s like 8 years ago and I never had problems.

        • poison ivy July 2nd, 2012 1:14 AM

          i had them done at claires and they were a little bit infected off an on for about a year, but now they are all mellowed out. its probably cuz i lost the “claire’s ear care” stuff

  • maddzwx June 19th, 2012 11:43 PM

    Digging those tops…but it appears the Forever 21 link is not working?

    • Anaheed June 20th, 2012 12:04 AM

      Argh, it was working on Monday!

  • PZ June 20th, 2012 12:02 AM

    For the first question, dolman sleeve tops are also super comfy and airy. They can be not sheer for those days you don’t want to wear two layers and they let your pits breathe (and are less prone to underarm sweat stains), which is most definitely a good thing in the summer.

    Also, I just pierced my nose and it’s rad! I feel simultaneously more Bengali and more punk, which is the greatest combo.

    • dianeisnotmyname June 20th, 2012 4:39 AM

      I really want to pierce my nose!

      • PZ June 20th, 2012 4:28 PM

        Doooooo it

        • poison ivy July 2nd, 2012 1:15 AM

          whats the deal with nose-blowing though? can you like not blow your nose?

  • katrinaexplainsitall June 20th, 2012 12:05 AM

    I’ve seriously been waiting for a “Damn Girl Ya Look Good” praise da lawd it’s here. Thank you Marie for the answer to the third question! I know it will come in handy sooner or later since I too suffer from cute-face.

    http://www.katrinaspice.blogspot.com

    • Marie June 20th, 2012 12:35 AM

      CUTEASHIA LA BONBONS REUNITE AND TAKE OVER!!! <3

  • Catelyn B. June 20th, 2012 1:22 AM

    I’m getting a Clara Bow inspired bob tomorrow! SO EXCITED!!!

  • unefillecommetoi June 20th, 2012 1:26 AM

    Uma in Pulp Fiction is called MIA WALLACE. For more bob inspiration I’d check out Jean Luc Godard’s movies! Like Nicole Verger in Charlotte et Veronique or Ana Karina in Vivre Sa Vie. And for the cute girl who wants to look sexy, I’d invest in the best buy you can make ever: lingerie. It’s not noticeable when you’re like in public with your clothes on but it works when you want to put your sexy on. Believe me.

  • Selle June 20th, 2012 7:53 AM

    Cuteasia Le Bonbons, so THAT’s whose been plaguing me all these years!!

    I totally agree with these suggestions, and makeup TOTALLY transforms a look into being just that much more sophisticated, especially a nice classic deep rich shade!

    I don’t do heels too often coz they really hurt my flat feet, but there’s this one magic little black dress that instantly Va-va-vooms away any cute-itis. It isn’t tailored but it is in the best stretchy clingy mottled black jersey fabric, really amping what little curves I have and falling just below my knees, yet with some great side slits :). So my tip to add would be, embrace clingy sexy jersey!

  • sneakybacon June 20th, 2012 8:43 AM

    girl who wants a bob! do it!! check out all of freja beha erichsons, or agness deyn haircuts on google, they have had the best array of short haircuts, and not mumsy in the slightest

  • Robin K. June 20th, 2012 8:54 AM

    Hey, eyebrow piercing girl! Way to do your homework on this and ask smart questions! Laia hits exactly the right points, but I wanted to chime in as a very experienced pierced (& tattooed) 33-yr-old. The eyebrow is a spot, like the navel, that is popular as an “entry level” (no disrespect meant) piercing but that is actually harder to heal/maintain than some others because the skin there is (can be) pretty flat (contrasted with an earlobe, a nostril, the septum, the upper or lower lip, and even some nipples), putting more pressure on the entry/exit points. An eyebrow can act more like a surface piercing, and for some people this means it will be harder to heal or prone to migration (which happens when the jewelry is “moved” by the healing skin from its original location, even “pushed out” like a splinter can be – I’ve experienced this in a few locations). Migration can increase scarring, and your parents are correct that you’re more likely to build up a keloid. But there are a few steps you can take to mitigate the risks & get the piercing you want (though I’d perhaps insist on waiting until you’re of age #stodgy). Like Laia says, go to a real piercing studio; they’ll use needles (& preferably go freehand without clamps) and will have quality jewelry & select the proper piece for healing (I’m anti-ring). Don’t use disinfectant in healing; a daily salty-as-the-sea soak (sea salt+H2O) is best, no soap or special products. The less you muss, the better it will heal, and the better chance you have of keeping your first piercing and avoiding keloiding. You can do it!!!

  • hvit June 20th, 2012 12:01 PM

    This is brilliant. I’m 18, but kind of not very scary/out there, so I’m still trying to persuade /myself/ to let me get a cartilage piercing in my ear. They look so cool I just freak out because I’m needlephobic and my last piercing took ages to heal. Two years later one still messes around. :( Eyebrow piercings look so cool though, I hope that person gets one! :D

    Also, BOBS. I am now actually going to get a bob. I will. I will. To be honest I think I’ll just stare at pictures for hours like you, Hannah. ^^

    Wow this was a post about not doing anything. That’s awful. I will have to get over myself and do both these things now!

    http://hblogsf.blogspot.co.uk/

  • hejhej June 20th, 2012 12:22 PM

    AH, that Keira Knightley bob. I’ve been talking about wanting that haircut for the past week and had finally decided against it because I’m a scaredy-cat. Then it pops up here.
    I’m taking it as a sign. Thanks Hannah ;)

    • Hannah June 20th, 2012 6:33 PM

      Go for it! I bet it’ll look awesome and super-fresh and Summery :)

  • shanghaidolly June 20th, 2012 1:24 PM

    ugh cute-itis is the worst…
    one word: dirty dancing. annndd goodbye Miss Cuteashia La BonBons ;)

  • Zsofi June 20th, 2012 2:03 PM

    I got my upper ear pierced like a week ago. They did it with a piercing gun, and it went without any complications – no swelling, no pain, nothing. I’m just curious why using a needle is better than using a piercing gun… can someone please explain it to me?

    • Robin K. June 20th, 2012 4:39 PM

      Sure thing, Zsofi! First, I’m glad you had a favorable outcome getting your ear cartilage pierced with a gun – not everyone experiences the worst case scenario. It’s important to acknowledge that.

      There are two main problems with the guns used at mall-type shops. First, & most critically, *these machines cannot be put through an autoclave.* That means that they CANNOT be made sterile to the medical standard that piercing studios should & do meet. There are some single use piercing guns on the market – that come sterile in packs – but many guns ARE NOT sterilized between customers (staph & hepatitis can be carried between users). Secondly, a piece of “piercing jewelry” inflicts blunt force trauma when forced through the flesh with a gun. This trauma is increased for cartilage piercings since cartilage, unlike the fleshy earlobe, *shatters like glass from the point of puncture* when shot through with a “piercing” stud. These small, radiating cracks can cause trouble in healing. (Gun users and pro piercers agree that guns should not be used anywhere but the lobe.) The bizness end of a stud is not even close to as sharp as the needle a professional piercer will use. Further, a piercing needle actually slices a small opening in the flesh; the long taper of the needle then allows for jewelry to be inserted in the slit; a gun shoves a post in with no allowance first made for the post. Experiment: cut a slit in a piece of paper and insert a chopstick; or hold a piece of paper up tightly and shove a chopstick through. Observe the paper.

      I hope this is helpful!!

  • modaboutyouu June 20th, 2012 2:13 PM

    I’m about to be a junior in college and everyone always says to me, “Oh, Heidi, you’re just so cute!!” I love my cute style, but it does get old always being compared to a cupcake. Dita is a great choice for her sexy yet classy take on pin-up and now with these tips I think I can finally trade some cute for a little bit of Ditaclassysexy.
    Thanks, Rookie!

  • breakfastpixie June 20th, 2012 3:16 PM

    To the 21 year old girl with the cute face: I have the same problem. And I’m 5’1”, so I tend to look like a 14 year old. Try wearing heels with your mod dresses, I do that a lot and it makes the whole outfit less cute (I love mod dresses!)
    For an evening or a night out try wearing a feminine, fitted dress and lipstick. Lipstick does wonders!
    And I agree with wearing sexy lingerie. I always do, and I feel less cute and more sexy ;)

    x
    Sabrina
    a pixie’s view on fashion

  • Hayley June 20th, 2012 4:14 PM

    If you’re looking for a cute short bob how about Carey Mulligan in Drive? It looks super cute and I reckon it’d be fairly easy to look after and style?

  • Pashupati June 21st, 2012 11:22 PM

    Lenna, maybe your should try empire waisted tops.

  • finetheneveryusernameexists June 22nd, 2012 12:01 PM

    for a non-mom bob: super short, around your cheeks. then bangs, very very short bang, sometimes you can curl those, which is fun. so now, one its cut, shave it on the back, so its clean cut. this works for ‘funky’ or, if your going to a funeral, you can comb it, yay!
    you might want to not wash your hair so much though, other wise you’ll look like Prince Valiant.
    you could also cut it rounder, going the emo phillips route…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ab6LWXeNDA

  • Peggy June 22nd, 2012 12:33 PM

    About dressing business casual, but not boring: I’ve been in the same sort of situation for the past 2 summers! I work at an insurance company and everyone is a lot older and there are definitely a lot of boring Office People clothes around.

    I don’t like pants, so I’ve stuck with cute skirts and button down shirts, mostly from H+M. The occaisonal retro-inspired dress is fun too! Really, it’s just about looking crisp and put-together. That means no cleavage (boooooo) or showing off legs (DOUBLE BOO) but eh I guess that’s what being “professional” is. Blazers are definitely good, too!

    The biggest issue for me has been shoes, actually. Sneakers aren’t in the dress code, I am useless in heels, and I have never been happy with flats ever, so there aren’t many options. I really like the Dr Martens shoes (esp cutout ones) so I’ve kinda just stuck with those.

    ANYWAYS that’s what I do, wish I could just show up in jorts + cut up band shirt and address everyone as “buddy”

  • Jamie June 22nd, 2012 7:31 PM

    i got my belly button pierced when i was 15 and then took it out. now i have a scar but who cares? go for it if you want it and it isn’t going to tear your family apart.

  • La Fille June 22nd, 2012 9:54 PM

    I found a Tumblr with plenty of bob inspiration: http://lullyhair.tumblr.com/

  • streaked lights July 6th, 2012 2:23 AM

    I’ve always wanted to lop off all my hair and get a bob, but I’m terrified to; My hair currently reaches down to my butt, and I don’t know if my face would suit that look etc…
    BUT for those of you who are looking for bob inspiration, you should check out Anne Hathaway’s wavy bob. It’s gorgeous!

  • tiffy July 7th, 2012 5:41 PM

    eep kirsten dunst is one of my greatest hair style inspirations so i’m glad to see her here.

    i’m a solid member of the la bonbons family as well. one thing that helps me get around it is to dress as i normally do, but wear one thing that pushes me out of my comfort zone a little bit. maybe some red lipstick, or some sassy lingerie… that way i still feel comfortable in what i’m wearing, but i feel a little more confident and sexy as well. another thing is that i wear a lot of deep vneck shirts – i have a small chest, so i feel like i can “get away” with it more.

    also, in re: business casual – last summer i bought a pair of “skinny” dress pants from gap. they look super chic & it’s office appropriate, without making me feel like i’m drinking the corporate koolaid. h&m and j.crew often have some fun pieces as well.

  • tracyabc1 July 16th, 2012 4:40 AM

    I am no longer a teenage girl but I do love your blog.

    When I was still a teenager, I do have my own insecurities as well. But you will overcome them as you get older.

    Just tell yourself that you are beautiful. Don’t worry too much about how others look at you.

    Cheers,
    Rachel @ long sleeve dresses