Gag Me with a Spoon! Our Editors Reveal Their High School Beauty Looks


Overplucked eyebrows, bad perms and hair that has yet to see the heat of a flat iron. You name a questionable beauty look and chances are one of our editors has lived it. So in the spirit of going back-to-school, some of our editors combed through high school yearbooks, family photo albums and Facebook to see just how far they’ve come in terms of beauty knowledge. But more importantly, we hope this missive will inspire you to take crazy chances, go for that colour, add a cat eye. Rest assured, if the results are great, you’ll be thrilled and if it’s bad? Well, you’ll get over it.

Lesa Hannah, Beauty Director

“My beauty style in high school began on a low. I had a shitty perm and wore frosted pink lipstick. By the end of grade 9, listening to nothing but the radio station CFNY, I was fully influenced by goth and new wave, complete with undercut, red lipstick (L’Oreal’s “British Red Coat”) and baby powder to make my skin paler. At the end though, as seen in this grad photo, I was in a 60s mod groove. I had the requisite geometric bob, which I parted in the middle, something I would never do today. I also wore a cat eye done in liquid liner and would paint my lashes on beneath the bottom row, completely inspired by Twiggy. And god I miss that collagen.”

Souzan Michael, Associate Digital Editor

“Not that I need to say this because you have eyes, but my eyebrows were seriously effed up in high school. This photo was taken at the beginning of 9th grade, meaning the results of my first-ever brow waxing (for grade eight grad, of course) were still present for the world to see. They were too thin, not even, too far apart, you name it. But I thought they (and I!) looked great. SMH.”

Sarah Casselman, Senior Editor, Fashion News

“The inspo behind my high school beauty look? Cameron Diaz on the cover of Seventeen magazine and 90s Ralph Lauren ads. My sheer pink lip gloss, soft peach blush and brown mascara was an homage to these fresh-faced beauty looks. I was also obsessed with Noxema (thanks to my granny) and used it religiously every night. By day I slathered on Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizer (thanks Mom), and on occasion still do now. In high school, I let down my signature grade school ponytail in favour of a classic side-part, a style that has stayed with me. Clearly “signature” is my style. There’s something about looking at a photo of yourself in high school and seeing the woman you’ve become in the mirror. To me, that’s timeless beauty.”

Erin Reynolds, Photo Editor (above, right)

“My beauty look was 90s goth-lite. My hair was SUPER short and black, a la Angelina Jolie in Hackers. My look was mostly black eyeliner, lined INSIDE my lids, lots of pale makeup (I even used corn starch at one point) and the most plucked eyebrows ever. I dyed my hair jet black but did lots of other colours throughout highschool. I also had a nose ring, lots of ear piercings and many more piercings to come. I wish I still had the confidence to cut my hair that short, I am terrified to even cut my long hair past my shoulder now. I wish I hadn’t plucked my eyebrows so much, but THANK GOD they grew back.”

Caitlan Moneta, Fashion Market Editor

“I was fresh faced for nearly all of high school. Thank goodness for perfect teenage skin. My two biggest beauty buys were an ultra sticky tube of MAC’s clear Lipglass that I applied between classes in front of my locker mirror (I remember it being a nightmare on windy days), and the barely-there brown mascara I wore to my 16th birthday party. In hindsight, I wish I’d taken a few more beauty risks then, instead of waiting until the university years to really cake it on. On school nights, I used to sleep with a toque to try and tame my hair. In this shot, I was experimenting with a diffuser to boost my curl, but never really got the hang of it (clearly).”

Jacquelyn Francis, Executive Editor

“In grade nine, I needed to find my tribe, so I embraced the preppie group and cut my hair into a bowl cut a la Molly Ringwald. It was awful. When I got back to school in grade 10 I fell hard for this long haired, Metallica-worshipping, skateboarding ‘freak,’ and regretted that haircut even more. I look at this picture and think of a girl who fought hard for the hair (even if the boy had moved away and left her very sad). The eye liner is amazing. I wish I could wear it now, but I feel liner draws attention to my dark under eye circles. I’m also baffled that I once had eyebrows? Where did those go?”

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