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 [email protected].