You Asked It

Damn Girl Ya Look Good

Dealing with assertive nail polish, eyebrows, and nipples.

I go to college in New York City and I’m trying to turn into a total career-lady badass this semester by getting myself an internship with a news organization. This would involve going from class uptown to a newsroom downtown. So my question is: How can I look cool in class and on campus but still be put-together enough for a professional setting? —Frances

Congrats on becoming a badass working girl! When it comes to a profesh wardrobe, I am a firm believer in basics. The secret to a cool and easy transition between school and work looks is to have something simple and solid on the bottom, like a black skirt or black pants, then switch up your tops, add a piece of outerwear, and play with accessories. I recently bought a black skirt and have been wearing it with everything and in every way! Let’s assume you have at least one black skirt in your closet (otherwise there are soooo many thrift stores in NYC where you can get a good one for cheap). If you have two, even better. Here’s what you can build around two basic skirts: one skater-style circle skirt and one pencil skirt.

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Top to bottom, starting with far left column and moving right: Striped cop top, $10, H&M; polkadot peplum top, $45, Modcloth; Lolita tee, $28, Modcloth; striped scarf, $8, Modcloth; crystal-pendant necklace, $28, Nasty Gal; pencil skirt, $25, H&M; skater skirt, $18, H&M; red heels, $50, Modcloth; black-and-white wedges, $70, Modcloth; black-and-gray striped blazer, $25, H&M; green tie-neck top, $38, Modcloth; gray blazer, $45, Modcloth.

For class, wear either skirt with a cute crop top or a fun graphic T-shirt. When it’s time to make your way downtown, switch out the tee for something more professional, like a tie-neck blouse. You can also keep the crop if it works (like if the pencil skirt is high-waisted so you’re not showing a lot of skin) but put a blazer over it. Accessorize with tights (dark colors are best for work-esque vibes) and a nice necklace or a thin scarf. For office-y footwear, I’d go with an oxford shoe or a basic heel, which would be cute in class and at your internship. I hope this helps you make a SMOOOOVE style transition. —Marie

I’ve been wearing practical, molded bras pretty much nonstop since middle school, when my mother forced me to start wearing them (I even used to sleep in a bra!), but lately I’ve been wanting to try going braless, or to wear one of the pretty vintage bras I’ve bought (only to let them languish in a dresser drawer). My problem is that I’ve always been afraid of my nipples being visible through my top, which happens when I’m not wearing a thin, lacy bra or none at all. I don’t want my nipples to cause a commotion when I leave the house! What is society’s problem with the nipple (I cannot find any articles online discussing this) and how can I overcome my embarrassment so that I can wear my vintage bras with confidence? —Hidden Headlights, 18

OK, Hidden Headlights, first things first: You don’t have to wear a bra. My boobs are small, and bras were doing nothing for me support- or otherwise, so I just ditched them altogether. Even if you wear a larger cup size, there’s really no law that says a lady has to wear a bra. Your body, your boobs, your choice. Whatever makes YOU comfortable.

Now, being braless (or wearing pretty vintage lingerie) does mean the silhouette of your nipples will probably be visible through your clothing. And to that I say: WHO CARES. I don’t! It isn’t wrong or indecent to make people aware of the fact that you have nipples—everyone has them, dudes included—and I’m sorry if someone made you feel that it was! But honestly, that’s their problem, not yours.

That being said, in certain work and school settings there may be a dress code that doesn’t allow for your braless, nipple-showcasing state. (For some reason or another, people get so distracted by boobs that they can’t get any work done if they are reminded of their existence. This I will never understand. One time in high school I was forced to wear my gym uniform to all of my classes because I was showing too much side boob. Lame!) So wear that dread “T-shirt bra” if you’re in a space that polices bodies like that, but otherwise, just let your boobs do their thing. —Hazel

P.S. Here’s an article about this very subject, asking the eternal question “Do you live in fear of your own nipples?”

I have a major glitter nail polish problem: I absolutely adore it, and I’d love to wear it all the time, but it’s SO HARD to remove! Do you have any tips for how to take it off with ease? I’d love a better solution than my current one, which is just to not wear it at all. —Daisy, Utah

I’m a fellow glitter-polish addict, and regular nail polish remover was NOT working for me at all. Then one day I heard that pure acetone was the trick to removing that stubbornly beautiful sparkle! You can buy it at the drugstore. Then get some cotton balls and some aluminum foil. Soak a cotton ball in acetone and place it on top of your nail, then wrap your fingertip with the foil. Repeat for all fingers. After about five minutes or so give the foil a nice twist, and the glitter should come off! Any little shiny guys still stuck to your nails can be gently and easily wiped off with cotton or pushed off with a cuticle stick.

Soaking your nails in acetone can dry them out, so be sure you’re taking good care of your nails the rest of the time: If they feel like they’re getting brittle or weak, try using a nail strengthener like this one from Barielle. Also, remember to use a base coat—Picture Polish makes one especially for glitter polishes. —Marie

I’m a frightfully pale Wisconsin girl with a (naturally) blond pixie and (naturally) dark eyebrows—really, really dark, thick eyebrows. I love how they look most of the time, but sometimes I feel like I can’t have any fun with my makeup without looking ridiculous or overdone, because of my dramatic eyebrows. Any ideas on how I can try out new, maybe colorful makeup without looking like a clown? —Ava Marie

The contrast between light hair and dark eyebrows is so beautiful and striking; I love that you’re into it too! But I understand your trepidation when it comes to colorful makeup: Sometime it feels like your brows are making their own statement just by being there on your face, and adding anything to them would be overkill. But there are ways to bring makeup into the mix and still look totally awesome and not at all clownlike.

Let’s start with something basic, taking inspiration from this image of Agyness Deyn. Her brows are well defined, her eyes are just a bit smoky with lush lashes, and her lips and cheeks have a subtle flush that looks really sweet:

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To draw attention to your eyes, line their perimeters and just below the brow bone (or your “crease” if you have one) with a smoky eye shadow—I like Urban Decay’s eye shadow pencil in Mushroom because it’s creamy and easy to blend with your fingers. A good blush is key to giving your face some life, especially since you’re blond and fair-skinned. My current favorite is Stila’s Convertible Cream in Rose, which doubles as a blush and lip color and can also easily be applied with your fingers (yay!). Finish up with two coats of mascara on upper and lower lashes and you’re good to go.

Another look I love is strong brows and red lips. Michelle Williams has that going on here, and she looks the opposite of clownish:

mwmwmwm

The key to this look is to emphasize your brows. Use a brow powder and an angled brush to give them a really strong shape. (New York Cosmetics makes a brow kit that you can get at the drugstore for about four dollars.) Then, apply a red lipstick the “expert” way and look like a fierce lady that no one will mess with.

Now, if you really want to up the ante, take your inspiration from Edie Sedgwick, another dark-browed blonde:

edie-sedgwick

I did a tutorial for this kind of mod eye makeup here. Add a light lip color and muss your hair with a bit of styling cream and you’re set.

Try these looks out at home a few times to get comfortable with them, then go out and show off those gorgeous brows! —Hannah ♦

If you have a question for Marie and her jolly band of style writers, send it to beautyandstyle@rookiemag.com and let us know your first name (or nickname) and where you live.

21 Comments

  • thebrownette October 1st, 2013 11:32 PM

    I just started wearing soft cup bras and I am in LOVE. So mugh less restrictive, and because they’re not being molded to a certain shape, it’s easier to shop for (non-stretchy) tops. I highly recommend them, even if you think you might be too busty for them. If my mom can wear ‘em, you probably can. Plus, then you won’t have that weird gap at the top near your pits.

  • FlaG October 1st, 2013 11:53 PM

    “I’m a frightfully pale…girl with a (naturally) blond pixie and (naturally) dark eyebrows…”

    DAENERYS TARGARYEN IS THAT YOU I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!

  • julietpetal October 2nd, 2013 12:48 AM

    I just read an article over on xojane written by rookies own Ragini about her decision to go bra less. So that might be worth looking up, I think it suggested using pasties to avoid the nip-nip issue altho I might be merging two articles into one in my brain.

  • Taffy October 2nd, 2013 1:20 AM

    Another tip for glitter nail polish is paint on coat of Elmers (or Elmers like) glue. Let it dry thoroughly then apply the glitter polish over it. It’ll only last a day or two but its great iif you really want cute nails for a special event or night out.

  • kendraleigh October 2nd, 2013 1:24 AM

    It might sound weird, but band-aids work great as cheap alternatives to pasties!

  • taste test October 2nd, 2013 1:41 AM

    my situation is similar to the sender’s- I’ve been wearing molded bras since I was like thirteen and my mother, who’s been the beauty standards police my whole life, told me that suddenly my nipples were bad. this just inspired me to try on this other one I got that I’d been avoiding because of the nipple thing. it’s so much more comfortable, I wish I’d done it sooner. thanks rookie!

  • Maria Ll. October 2nd, 2013 8:24 AM

    That skater skirt is perfect! I found it after spending the whole summer looking for an everyday, black skirt. I am wide hipped and not all the types of skirt look good on me, but this one is so comfortable and wearable. I have either used it for class, work or parties. I am actually thinking of buying the same model again just in case I wear it too much! So recommended…

  • soviet_kitsch October 2nd, 2013 10:11 AM

    going braless is one of the best decisions i ever made. i’m a 32/34c and i haven’t worn a bra in months. i no longer have back pain or hellishly itchy stretch marks and who gives a shit if my nipples show? everyone has em, and anyone who only stares at your tits to judge them has too much free time. rock out with your nips out

  • Erin. October 2nd, 2013 10:37 AM

    Hey, just as a very minor correction, you’ve got the Lolita t-shirt listed as being $8 – the website link says $27.99 (unless there’s a secret sale going on or something). I got so excited when you listed it as $8. >< $28 bucks plus whatever it would take to ship it to Canada isn't worth it for a t-shirt.

    • Anaheed October 2nd, 2013 1:05 PM

      Ugh I’m so sorry! Totally a typing-too-fast error on my part.

    • FlaG October 2nd, 2013 11:20 PM

      There’s this alternative at Out of Print Clothing (http://shop.outofprintclothing.com/Lolita_book_cover_t_shirt_p/l-1011.htm) that is also $28 (no idea how much with S+H), BUT with each purchase shirt purchased from them you send one book to a community in need in Africa. So if the desire so strikes you, you can opt for this site instead and know that you’re also doing a good thing through them :)

  • spudzine October 2nd, 2013 12:55 PM

    I’m really glad someone asked about the nail polish question, because I never really knew what to do about hard to come off polish, so sometimes I never wear any at all :( But I’m so happy someone answered this question, so thanks!!

    http://spudzine.tumblr.com/
    http://emotwins.tumblr.com/
    http://rockogirl.tumblr.com/

  • elliecp October 2nd, 2013 3:36 PM

    Perfect advice as always ^_^
    I have taken to ditching a bra quite often nowadays …it’s so much more comfortable! And nipples are great. If people don’t like your nipples, then they’re not nice people.

    http://roseandvintage.blogspot.com/

  • catpower44 October 2nd, 2013 5:07 PM

    Thanks so much for the nail polish tip I will defines try that! Also I would love to wear more of my soft bras too bc they’re so pretty!
    also I saw agyness deyn at an airport this summer it was cool she smiled at my mum

  • spudzine October 2nd, 2013 11:32 PM

    Hey, I know I commented already, but I was wondering about the short hair thing. I’m thinking of getting a pixie cut later in life, haha, but my head isn’t a standard pixie head. In magazines, girls with pixie cuts have cute round shaped faces, but my face is oval-ish, large, and I still have my baby fat. Not to mention that my hair is curly, so a naturally straight cut is basically impossible. Does anyone have any ideas or advice for what I just said? Thanks, and I hope I wasn’t offensive(cuz I think my head shape and others with my head/face shape/type are great and cute too, it’s just I personally feel kind of insecure for myself. Everyone’s a babe, tho)

    http://spudzine.tumblr.com/
    http://emotwins.tumblr.com/
    http://rockogirl.tumblr.com/

    • Blythe October 5th, 2013 3:03 AM

      I don’t have the pixie cut face either (I have a very square jaw and chubby cheeks) but I have a pixie right now and I love it! It looks super cute, and it’s so so easy to maintain. There are some people where any kind of pixie will look good on them–as I discovered the first time I tried a pixie cut, I am NOT one of those people. But there is some kind of pixie cut that will suit your face and hair type! I’d say you should look up lots of reference pictures and go to a hairdresser you really trust.

  • lydiamerida October 2nd, 2013 11:37 PM

    Im a 32d so underwires can actually make my boobs more comfortable if I have to deal with stairs and the like, but I do wear the heck out of the few bralettes I have that fit my proportions.

  • Lotus B. October 3rd, 2013 2:57 AM

    Nipple coverage: Along the lines of the bandaid suggestion upthread, medical tape (something like this would do, but you can find all kinds of variations across the brands: bit.ly/O0hAkq) is a comfortable, inexpensive way to do it (I believe runners do something like this to prevent chafing?). Two to three strips in the shape of an x (or a star) is often sufficient, but it may be wise to do an allergy test first!

    Glitter removal: The Target Dip-It (tgt.biz/18vYc5C) is a pretty good tool for this and also relatively inexpensive (under $3 in northern Ohio). Be somewhat careful, though, because the acetone combined with the mechanical action can be a little rough on the nail.

  • Mary the freak October 3rd, 2013 2:05 PM

    YESYESYES THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT NAIL POLISH THING!!!

    http://birdiewearsatie.blogspot.com/

  • maura2 October 3rd, 2013 5:34 PM

    on removing glitter nail polish: just put a coat of clear nail polish on top of it and when it’s still wet you can just scrape it off!!

  • stellarbell October 8th, 2013 9:47 PM

    with glitter nail polish: if you want, you can use a base coat made of any pvc glue (i put some in an old nail polish bottle, but you could just use a regular paintbrush) and then do 3-4 coats (let dry completely) then put on your regular base and then your glitter. then when you want to take it off, you can just peel it off, with minimum nail damage! This works especially well if you buff your nails a little beforehand so they’re smooth and then soak your nails in water before you take it off. since the pvc glue is water-soluble it’ll come off easier–but if you use acetone with pvc glue it gets kind of gross and glumpy.