I have no butt and have decided to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never develop a Jennifer Lopez-style badonk. What sorts of clothes would make a flat butt not seem like a disadvantage?
I know it can be mildly heartbreaking to realize you might never have a bodacious bootay-tay like J. Lo, Kim Kardashian, and Nicki Minaj. But I’ve had a bubble butt since the third grade, so I have to tell you: there are some bright sides. First of all, you can wear short skirts without ever having to worry about your cheeks showing. Seriously, it’s a problem. All my skirts are higher in the back. I basically roll my eyes at the asymmetrical trend, because I have been naturally sporting that look for years. My mother, to this day, screams at me if she thinks my skirt is too short. WHAT CAN I DO, MOM? THIS MONSTROUS BOOTY HAS A MIND OF ITS OWN! So, girlfriend, please bask in the glory of your mini-booty and wear cute-ass miniskirts. I mean, you really can wear anything. WE CAN ALL WEAR ANYTHING! But let me give you some specifics.
The drop-waist silhouette of flapper dresses are great for a straighter body type, and you can see a few in the collage above. I also like the idea of your wearing mod dresses that have big bell sleeves, like this cute mint-blue number or, for something more form-fitting, this burgundy one. You would look awesome in a pair of billowy pants with a bold print. For denim, try these from ModCloth, or for a ’70s boho look, check out these bell-bottoms. I can also see you working this body-con dress. Or how about this bow mini? There are no limits! Now go forth and work that li’l booty like you were born to. —Marie
How do you do those braided headbands that make you look like a medieval princess? I’m having trouble describing it, but I’m pretty sure Tavi wore her hair like that when she was on Jimmy Fallon. I’ve been trying to figure it out for days.
Arabelle is far more skilled at this than I, and can do it without a mirror! Just braid your hair in two normal braids (not French braids), and flip them over on top of your head. Use hairpins or bobby pins to keep ’em down. Make sure your braids are loose at the roots so they’ll have enough give when you flip them. Sometimes I weave in a pipe cleaner or garland as I’m braiding, to give the braids more structure. The downside to this is that the braids become just slightly heavier and require more pins—and it itches your head. However, if it sticks out at all, you’ll have a secret fairy shimmer. Good luck! —Tavi
The one thing I’m missing in my life is a pair of boots. I was deciding between military-style or those slouchy brown riding boots that everyone seems to have, but on a whim I tried on Uggs and pretty much died. They’re like walking on clouds, like being hugged by puppies, like Jesus has bathed your feet in his holy bathwater! So now I’m not sure whether to go for one of the first options or the ugliest shoes in existence. Do boots that look good and keep you warm even exist? Do Uggs have any redeeming qualities other than feeling like heaven? And what would you even wear Uggs with anyway? Love, My Feet Are Really Cold
May I call you Feet? I feel you, almost quite literally. For years, I was baffled by Uggs. They fell under the umbrella of “stupid things celebrities spend money on for no reason,” except uglier. Then, much like you, I was boot-shopping one day last January when I spotted a gray pair that was slightly less objectionable. I thought I would just try them on, just to see what all the fuss was about, just out of curiosity. I will add to your praise: it was like a fainting couch for my toes. So I bought them. My friends openly disapproved, and once, a girl on line behind me in the deli loudly complained to her pal about how hideous they were, but you know what? I don’t care—I pity them. I suspect, underneath their sleek, awesome, stylish boots, there are probably some blisters and corns.
I can’t defend Uggs aesthetically, but when paired with a dark pair of leggings or form-fitting jeans/pants, I think they look OK. The truth is, though, they’re not great for overall support, especially in the snow. For both warmth and style, I’m a fan of the classic L.L. Bean boot. I really like these because they’re a little unusual, and still affordable, though I do find L.L. Bean boots to be slightly heavy. There’s also Minnetonkas—these are a lot like Uggs, but with more personality. If you aren’t overly concerned about support, there is the ever-popular Hunter Wellies, which come in a wide variety of colors and style, and you can purchase socks that are designed to fold over the lip for added warmth and insulation. And finally, if it’s only comfort and not so much insulation that you need, I think Madewell, Stephen Frye, and Fluevog are my favorites (wait for sales after the holidays). And companies like Eastern Mountain Sports and Alpaca make thin but warm socks to wear with them, so you don’t have to choose between style and insulation. But no, none of these boots will offer you the motherly love of Uggs. —Phoebe
I have somewhat noticeable peach fuzz on my upper lip. It isn’t thick, but it’s kind of dark, and even though I don’t know if other people notice it, I notice it, and it’s eroding my confidence. I’d like to be able to wear bright lipsticks and things, but I’m afraid it would just draw attention to my upper lip. Do you have any advice on safe ways for getting rid of upper-lip hair?
When I was in grade school, this kid looked me right in the lip and said, “Marie, you have a chocolate-milk mustache!” I glared at him. I wasn’t drinking chocolate milk. From then on, I cursed my Italian heritage and bemoaned my bad luck for not inheriting the magical no-hair-anywhere-besides-her-head trait of my Filipino mother. It’s all good, though. You learn to live. Some girls look fly with a little ’stache (I mean, Frida had no problem accentuating her upper-lip hair with bright lipstick, and no one has ever looked better than her). Others (myself included) choose to be free of all fur, like one of those Sphynx cats. To each her own, ya dig? My one concern is, are you inspecting and obsessing over your follicles with a giant magnifying mirror? Usually, WE are the only ones who notice things like tiny hairs on our bod. So just make sure you aren’t making a mountain out of a molehill.
Anyway, let’s say the fur is real and you want to banish it to the Cave of No Return (as opposed to bleaching it, which you can also do, but the fuzz, as you say, will still remain). There are a few things you can try. You can shave, of course, but the hair comes back pretty quickly, and its tips will be blunt, and thereby feel coarser (it’s a myth, though, that shaved hair grows back faster or thicker). Madame Sally Hansen offers a few drugstore options you can easily try. There’s the Wax Strip Kit that I’ve heard works fairly well, and also this at-home Simple Spa Wax Warmer Kit. If you don’t want to wax it yourself, you can go to a nail or beauty salon and have a professional do it, which will cost you at least $10. There’s also threading, which is similarly priced. I haven’t tried this myself yet, but I have trusted friends who swear by this method. And now, there is also Vaniqa, which is a prescription cream that is supposed to be awesome, but it’s pricey. Finally, you can consider laser treatments, which are the most permanent way to get rid of the fuzzy suckers. This can cost hundreds of dollars, so it’s something you might want to wait and see if you feel like saving for.
“Will any of these processes hurt?” you might ask. The answer is most likely YUP, but it’s usually a fast and fleeting pain, and it varies from person to person. I know these are a lot of options, but when it comes to beauty treatments, it’s usually a matter of trial and error. Hope that helps! –Marie
I love, love bangs, but I have really thick, frizzy, wavy hair—the kind that I never brush because it just makes it poof out, that springs up into tighter curls when it’s shorter. I know I could buy an iron to make my bangs look nice and flat, but I’m super low maintenance. I’m so low-maintenance that I’ve been afraid to try bangs for my whole life, because I’ve heard they require a lot of attention. I wondered if you have any advice or inspiration. –Jlenia
Let me preface this by saying that there is almost no such thing as low-maintenance bangs, except for those worn by five-year-olds and Winnie Cooper. But—and I feel like not everyone realizes this—most hair can be trained. I have curly hair, too. I cut bangs almost five years ago, and it was the first time I felt that my face actually looked right as an adult. Bangs have two mortal enemies: WATER and WIND. If you can protect against these two elements, you can probs make bangs work for you.
Let’s start with what you need. There are some indispensable tools, starting with a fine-tooth comb. I carry one everywhere: coat pockets, bags, cars. I like to use a teasing comb from the drugstore at home, but for my pockets, I like the Speert folding comb #33 (it folds like a pocketknife!), or the mustache comb #88.
Dry shampoo is also so important, mainly because the more you touch your bangs, the greasier they get, and greasy bangs are the worst. I love Oscar Blandi dry shampoo. It makes your bangs thicker and smells like lemon verbena.
Get a stretchy headband that you can wear when you work out or wash your face. The wider the better. I put one on my head, Willie Nelson-style, when my bangs are damp or newly dry, to keep them flat and straight. I do this less and less now, but in the beginning of your own personal bangdom, think of this as daily training for your follicles. They need to be told what to do.
Now, I know you said you don’t want to get to into the tools, but you need a blow dryer or flatiron. I use a blow dryer, and it takes two minutes to make my bangs straight and shiny. When my hair is wet, I comb the bangs down onto my forehead and gently rub them dry with a towel. Then I blow dry, first straight up into the air, then I hold the dryer, on a warm (not hot) setting, right at the base where my bangs begin, combing them into position every so often. Slip on the headband while you do the rest of your routine to keep it all super tight. A flatiron will help with kinks and waves, but you probably don’t want to go there.
And finally, if you want them to stay put, spray that shit. I use John Frieda Frizz-Ease.
Now you are going to want to keep them maintained. Most good stylists will let you pop in for a free trim between appointments, or you can sometimes just go anywhere and have a random stylist do it for a nominal amount (around $10). I keep a set of scissors at home so I can trim when I want to, but I have to stress here that you should NOT be using the junk scissors in the drawer for this task. You want the blades to be super sharp and for hair only. I like these. The key is go slow, make small snips, and keep combing.
Does this sound like a lot? I guess it does. Honestly, it can be more work in the beginning, but I make mine perfect in about five minutes now, and I don’t think twice about it. I believe you can do it!— Elizabeth ♦
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