I buzzed off my hair 11 months ago and haven’t cut it since. I’m desperately searching for a new haircut or hairstyle/updo, because my hair just looks like a gigantic mess all the time (even with proper styling). My hair has around a 3b/3c curl pattern. Suggestions? —I.I.W.J, 16, Leipzig, Germany
I had the same problem a couple of years ago! Only recently did I realize how to style my hair without it looking like a mess. My advice: Get it shaped up. Working from a defined shape changes EVERYTHING! Either go to the salon and get a trim or cut in which the hair is actually shaped into a style, or do it yourself. For example: My hair has more weight at the top and less on the sides, or I taper it on the sides. YOUR shape can be anything that’s in some way “defined,” like layers or a blunt bob—know what I mean? That template gives you the perfect guide to helping your style your hair the way you want!
Here is me without a shape (I mean, cute, but completely uneven):
I had to put my hair in twists in the front because my “bangs” were unruly and the rest of it looked like a compilation of clumps. A couple of months ago, I got a haircut, and this time, I made sure there was a shape to it, and now when I style my hair, I think it looks cooler and actually looks like it has a style, rather than floating in frizz-space:
You might be surprised, but a shape (even if it’s a technical haircut) can maximize your hair’s volume and your curls will look more defined! —Chanel
I’m going to be 16 in September and want to celebrate with a “coming-of-age” style makeover, just like the ones in the movies. Have you got any tips that will help me achieve my plan and come back to school looking fabulous? —Amber, 15, United Kingdom
There’s nothing I love more than a good old-fashioned makeover montage, so I think this is a great idea. As most movie endings usually advocate, what truly matters is your inner beauty and the lessons you learn within your heart, but I also think there is something to be said for the thrill of dramatically changing up your whole look all at once. Your appearance does not equate your self-worth, so there’s no harm in messing with it!
First: create a playlist consisting of music by the Spice Girls, Blondie, and the Go-Gos—a solid soundtrack is essential for getting into a makeover-type mindset. Listen to it as you walk down the drugstore makeup aisle or browse through racks of clothes at the mall. Close your eyes. You are the prom queen of your own heart, so think about how you want to change your look to reflect that new title.
I think getting a new dramatic haircut or dye job (or both!) is probably the most important element in this ideal makeover situation. Have you always dreamed of dying your hair lavender or getting bangs or shaving the underside of your head? Now’s the time to do it! Is there a celebrity with a hairstyle you’ve always admired? Bring their picture to the salon! This is the ideal time to try things you’ve always been a bit hesitant about.
If you’ve never worn makeup before and want to start now, I’d consult the myriad of cool big-sister figures on YouTube. This video about makeup for beginners is super helpful and honest:
Visit Sephora or a makeup counter and have them do your makeup for you and suggest products to buy. Department stores may require that you purchase a certain amount of products before they do your face, so be sure to check! Don’t let anyone pressure you into buying anything you don’t need. You can tell this is happening if the salesperson tries to convince you to buy a product that is meant to fix a problem you previously had no idea was a problem. Like, if you never mentioned that you’re vexed by the size of your pores and they try to convince you to buy a $48 pore-filling primer, that is a red flag!
Maybe you’re already a mascara and lip balm girl—now is your time to shine (literally, because now is the time you can apply glitter to your cheekbones). Try out a dark purple lip, or a dramatic cat eye, or anything you’ve avoided because it seems too intimidating.
Keep an eye out for face-changing techniques that exemplify who you want this new 16-year-you to be, but don’t feel like you need to overhaul your current look in a day. You’ve got the whole summer to experiment and figure out your plan of action. May your new look inspire all your classmates to break out into a choreographed dance routine of praise, just like in the movies! —Gabby
I’m in an eye makeup slump. Every day, I wear white eye shadow and simple black winged eye liner because my eyes are really small and I want to make them look bigger. I want to branch out, but other looks always just draw attention to how small my eyes are. Ideas? —MD, 18, Nashville, TN
It’s awesome that you wanna branch out and have more fun! First: You DO NOT have to limit the amount of different looks to try based on your eye shape. Every pair of eyes can look interesting, cool, and/or gorgeous in a variety of colors and techniques! Do exactly whatever you want and it’ll look great.
If you really really want to dramatize your eyes, though: What you’ve got so far is a great place to start, in terms of exaggerating and drawing attention to that part of your face. You can incorporate white makeup into any look you want by applying it to your waterline. Using black (or whatever color you’re into at the moment) eye liner or eye shadow along your lash line and applying white eye liner (or no eye liner, for a subtler look) on your waterline can make your eyes appear rounder and larger.
Long lashes, especially on the bottom lids, are also a key factor in making your eyes POP. A lengthening mascara is all you need to do the trick, but if you find you want to really zone in on your lower lash line, you can try these bottom-lash mascaras from Clinique or e.l.f.
Have false eyelashes on hand for when you have a little extra time. Since you want your eyes to really be seen, I suggest, for the top lashes, a pair of falsies that add more length than density, like these “demi-wispies.” These bottom lashes just scream Diana Ross, aka the queen of very distinctive eye looks:
You can create the illusion of more lid space by sporting a thinner and more subtle brow. Try trimming underneath your brows (or asking a professional eyebrow groomer to do it!) and freeing up some space on your brow bone.
Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines! If you want more space, don’t be afraid to extend eye shadow out to your temples and in towards your nose.
Cosmetic eye lenses make your irises look bigger and can also be a super fun part of your makeup kit! When it comes to contacts, there are an unlimited variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and even HELLO KITTY PATTERNS to choose from.
Hope this helps! —Indigo ♦
HELLO, YOU JUNIOR MINX. Got questions about how to gussy up your facial and bodily regions? Refuse to understand why makeup doesn’t (always) mean just running Crayola crayons across your face and being like, “Cool, into it”? Write Amy Rose, who did not answer a question this week but is currently typing this, and her beauty cohorts by emailing [email protected]. Please sign your message with your name/nickname/initials, age, and city.