Somehow I end being paler each winter, and I’ve lived in the same area of Chicago since I was born. I really love wearing all sorts of makeup, but lately, since I’ve gotten so pale, everything looks strange and too dark. I even had to switch brands of foundation because my old one didn’t have a light enough shade for me to use. I’m not sure what looks right on me anymore, and my friends keep joking I look like a lost cast member of Twilight. I doubt it helps that my hair is brown and my eyes dark green, and half my closet is black and dark gray, making my skin all the more white-looking. Please help me figure this mess out. I’m willing to try just about any look, except tanner in any form—I’ve seen too many orange girls at my high school. Thanks, Overly Pale Emily

This isn’t a mess, girlfriend! Embrace your paleness! Vampires are hot, anyway. Look at Brad Pitt in Interview With a Vampire:

And if you need further pale-is-beautiful convincing, look at Saoirse Ronan in Hanna—I live for her look in this movie!

Your paleness is part of who you are, and P.S. you sound like an elf queen, so I’m way jealous.

There are plenty of foundations out there with super-pale shades, and you can always add a pure white foundation to any of them if they aren’t light enough (Illamasqua makes great DEATHLY PALE foundations, for instance). Some brands with very light hues with various undertones: NARS, Make Up For Ever, and M.A.C.

If you’re going to be pale as death, you want to glow so much it’s like you’re actually an ice fairy from another planet, gracing the human peons with your presence. There are lots of ways to do this, at various price points. The #1 most popular skin illuminator is probably the YSL Touche Éclat highlighter pen. You can put it under your eyes, on your cheekbones, down your nose, on your chin, etc., and blend like crazy so it looks like you’re glowing from the inside. Another highlighter I love is Benefit’s High Beam, but there are a bunch of different Benefit highlighters with different tints, so you should be able to find one that suits you. You can also just use a pale shimmering blush dabbed lightly on tops of your cheekbones if you don’t wanna dish out extra money just for a highlighter.

To further accentuate your vampire beauty-queen look I’d do some mega eye situation. Maybe a cat-eye if you’re feeling it (I suggest cat-eye 100% of the time for everything ever to be honest), but you can also just use some intense mascara (this one is really good). Top it off with your favorite lip color—cranberry reds are super hot on pale skin—and you’re set. Wear your paleness with pride! —Arabelle

I really love to wear vintage dresses with flowers and polka-dots, etc., but sometimes I feel too girly or grandma-ish in them. Do you have tips how I can look more “tough” and up-to-date in these kind of dresses? —Loedi, 17, Amsterdam

Hi, Loedi! I love vintage dresses with flowers and polka-dots, too! And since I don’t ride a motorcycle and have yet to learn any reliable knife-throwing techniques, I also struggle to find ways to look tough.

My favorite easy trick is to throw a leather jacket over a cute dress. The one I wear the most lately is a pleather motorcycle jacket with lots of zippers from H&M, similar to this one ($50). You can also throw a black lace top or a blazer like these from Modcloth ($33) and Nasty Gal ($68) or a black knit poncho (Swell, $65) over your ensemble for a witchy look. I like the idea of a skull sweater (Betsey Johnson, $268) over a cute dress also. Wear a vintage-looking denim vest (Topshop, $70) over a floral dress with biker boots like you’re channeling Alicia Silverstone in an Aerosmith video.

Speaking of shoes, a good pair of boots can really toughen things up. For example, here are some black cowboy boots (Madden Girl, $60), studded Doc Martens, $170, and buckled booties (Lulu’s, $39) to add some fierce to your femme.

The more zippers and studs on everything the better. Wear TONS of rings, like a full-fingered armor one, a ring with spikes, and/or a two-finger one. You can also rip up your tights!

Good luck, you WILD WOMAN.

xo Marie

My hair has been well past my shoulders for the most of my life. It’s REALLY thick and so hard to maintain: it tangles very easily and blow drying it takes an hour, so I mostly resign myself to keeping it in a ponytail or a bun. I’ve been considering getting a pixie cut, but there seem to be a lot of people, both men and women, who seem to think that short hair makes girls unattractive, which makes me feel hesitant. Will short hair work if I don’t have a waiflike facial structure? What cut will frame my oval-shaped face the best? Or should I just screw the preconceived notions about what girls look good in a pixie cut? Sincerely, Weighed Down

Screw ’em, girl!!!. I had a short haircut for years, and I totally don’t have a waiflike facial structure. In fact, none of the girls I know with cute short hair have Precious Moments features, either, and they look GORGE. Those are some dinosaur-ass “rules” that don’t really matter anyway.

Since you know that anyone who’d judge you simply because of a haircut is a superficial waste of time, you are already way ahead of the game. I know it’s a HUGE STEP to do something like a new, never-seen-before haircut, so consult with a hairstylist that is on the same vibe as you before you take the dive. Once you describe your concerns and worries, she or he can tell you the easiest way to style and maintain your new ’do. Also, keep in mind that sometimes it takes a couple of days to get into the groove with a new look.

When it comes to trying something new, I like to just go ahead and do it. I’ve toyed around with so many different looks and NEVER regretted any of them (even my weird hot-pink Muppet-like bowl cut). Remember, it’s just hair. Life is too short not to have short hair! AND it will grow back if you decide you don’t like it!

xo Marie

I’m 17 years old and I’m losing my hair :( I was wondering if you have any creative ideas on how to cover up semi-baldness besides a wig, like any cool styles you can do with headscarves? Thanks xx —Liana, Sydney, Australia

Hey Liana! I’m a huge fan of scarves as head accoutrements. Definitely the coolest way to wear them is a turban (there are tons of easy tutorials on YouTube if you need help—here’s a good one), but I also like to buy big square ones, fold them into a triangle, keep folding them so they are just a thick band, and then tie them right near my face and over my ears. You could also explore the magical world of hats. Not like a baseball cap or a fedora, but cool vintage ones like pillbox hats and cloches. Etsy and eBay are super good for this kind of stuff, but there are also always tons of weird and cool hats at the thrift shops. If you need some head inspiration, do a li’l Google search of Isabella Blow and Anna Piaggi and let your imagination run wild! —Laia

If you have a style/beauty question for Marie and her dream team, please send it to [email protected].