Exclusive: Lucy Hale Is Done Looking Pretty For The Boys

Lucy Hale has no interest in embracing a beauty look because a man might find it pretty. She's felt quite the opposite lately, in fact. "Short hair is empowering," the 28-year-old told Refinery29. "If you notice, more women appreciate short hair than men, so it's sort of a new way of looking at things for me."
For a time, the length of her hair had been contingent on her latest project, Life Sentence (her character has a lob), so when filming ended, she headed straight to her hairstylist's house. "I wrapped at 8 PM and I was at Kristin [Ess]' by 8:30," she says with a laugh. But her ear-length-again chop isn't scratching the itch like it used to: "I want a pixie cut," she says. "I feel like I'll always have short hair. I know it's very trendy right now, but I feel like this is just inherently who I am."
Advertisement
She makes it look easy, right? The whole self-assurance thing. Of course, the PLL alum didn't arrive on her first red carpet a woman with a firm idea of how to express herself — let alone one with nine rad ear piercings and (at least) as many tattoos. Over the past decade, she's gone from fresh-faced newbie to glam PLL star to what she is now: a woman who wants her hair short, her makeup minimal, her body adornment plentiful, and her lip color loud. So, a badass.
But don't take our word for it: We sat down with the Mark Cosmetics spokesperson and a stack of her most noteworthy looks — and asked for the highlights of her beauty journey, in her own words. Hale walks us through the hair, makeup, tats, and piercings she's tried along the way, ahead.
1 of 20
Photo: Getty Images.
Los Angeles, 2006

"This is from my first red carpet ever," Hale says. "I was 16-years-old and I remember that it was super last minute and I was very nervous and excited. I did my own hair and makeup — this probably took about 30 minutes. This was before I really did anything on TV, so I thought that everyone did their own hair and makeup!"
2 of 20
Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage.
Young Hollywood Awards, 2010

"I believe this was one of the first PLL events the we did and all the girls and I had to come straight from work," Hale says, noting her beauty look was leftover from filming, and not necessarily something that reflected her own choices. "This was Aria's hair and makeup, and I think we changed in the car."
Advertisement
3 of 20
Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
People's Choice Awards, 2011

"I'm wearing the same color combination I am today!," she says, referring to her matching shoes and red lip (Mark. By Avon's Pout Velvet Lip Paint in Spark) paired with a yellow dress. (Hale's love for matching is well-documented.) "The makeup seems a little too heavy on the eyes. I think that it looks a little too sophisticated for my age at the time because I was like 20-years-old."
4 of 20
Photo: Getty Images.
PLL Press Event, 2012

"My first tattoo I ever got was a bow from Dr. Woo, before he was Dr. Woo," Hale jokes about getting inked by the "It" L.A. tattoo artist long before he had a year-long (or more) waitlist. Of course, there were many more to come: "I got this 'A' with all the PLL girls; it stands for my character, Aria. We all got them together on the same place. My most recent tattoo was from Dr. Woo, there's still makeup on it [from filming this week], but it's a lightbulb. The meaning of my name is light, so I actually have a light tattooed, too, that Dr. Woo did years ago.

"I have a little, tiny sun that I got with my sister in honor of our grandmother. Then one under my boob that says: "Courage to your heart," which is a C.S. Lewis quote. I have a moon I got recently, no meaning, I just wanted it. Then I have a bible quote. And I have an eye that Dr. Woo just did. It's the evil eye to ward off evil. I like tattoos."
5 of 20
Photo: Lester Cohen/WireImage.
People's Choice Awards, 2012

"This was when I had just started cutting my hair shorter, as you can tell, it's like a little past the shoulders," Hale says. "I can't remember who made the dress, but it was a cut-out, black, beaded situation and I really liked that. I like the hair and makeup. I just feel like now I would've done something a little chicer, like I would've pulled my hair back. At the time, I loved wearing my hair down and would never try anything different."
6 of 20
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.
Teen Choice Awards, 2012

"I love having short hair, but I miss things like this," Hale says. "I loved this braid — and I loved the makeup, simple and pretty. As you can tell, I used to be all about the eyes. You'll see as I get older, it's more about other things..."
7 of 20
Photo: Brian To/Getty Images.
A Los Angeles event, 2012

"This is one of the first days that I worked with [hairstylist] Kristin [Ess]," Hale says. "This was for an event at the mall; I was hosting some fashion show with Kendall Jenner. At the time, neon was very in, so I loved my outfit. I would never in a million years wear this today. The eye makeup is really strong. I loved this pony, but I remember that I wanted to keep the pieces down because my skin was breaking out really bad that day. I wanted to cover up my face. I remember this day vividly because I was feeling really insecure."

Her best advice to keeping her skin clear today? "A good dermatologist," she says. "Everyone is different. At least for my skin, it's been about keeping it consistent and simple. Diet has a lot to do with it, and good facials."
Advertisement
8 of 20
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.
CMA Awards, 2013

"This was Miss Kelsey Deenihan makeup!" Hale says, raising her voice so her longtime makeup artist can hear from across the room. (If you're picking up on the family vibes swirling around Hale's glam squad, you're on track.) "At the time, this was my favorite makeup look that I had ever done. Once again, I loved having my hair down and wavy. It is pretty, but it's like, come on, change it up!"
9 of 20
Photo: JB Lacroix/WireImage.
A Los Angeles event, 2014

"I really like that hair color," Hale says. "That might've just been grown out; I don't know if that was intentional. It's not ombré, just lighter at the ends."
10 of 20
Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic.
American Music Awards, 2014

"This is where we get fun," Hale says. "This is when I started to be experimental, in the very beginning stages. As you can see, I chopped my hair off even more and I went lighter. This was Kristin and Kelsey hair and makeup. We were going for a Goth-y look. This is when I was starting to emerge and be adventurous with things. It's so fun. I love not playing it safe and trying new things. This was probably shortly after I had originally cut my hair off the first time. In part, Kristin talked me into it, and I also needed a change and something new. Best decision I ever made. Full brows and clear skin — love it!"
11 of 20
Photo: Rob Loud/WireImage.
A Los Angeles event, 2015

"As I've gotten older, I've become more minimal, more neutral," Hale says. "Like the no-makeup makeup look, which actually take a lot of time! I like getting dressed up, too. I like getting full glam and I definitely do collect makeup. I have a lot of it at home."
12 of 20
Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images.
At the SiriusXM Studio, 2016

"I have nine ear piercings. I used to have 11, but two of them got infected, so I had to take them out," Hale told us. "I've had the tragus since I was 19 and this is the same earring. It's not because I really like this earring, but it's kind of stuck in there. It's hard to get out. Rihanna wore this snake one, I want that one so bad [to replace it].

"Then I have three on the left lobe. I've had these for a very long time. I used to have a cartilage one, but it never really healed so it wasn't really worth it. I got this one cartilage one and I got lucky because it healed really nicely. I want to do three little constellation piercings next."
Advertisement
13 of 20
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images.
New York Upfronts, 2016

"This was Lacy Redway hair— she is the New York Kristin, that's what we call her," Hale jokes. "She does really cool texture, and I tucked it behind the ears so there was lots of ear jewelry. I really liked this. This was like a year ago, so this is sort of how I am now."

As Hale's nailed down her go-to look — fresh skin, bushy brows, light eye makeup, and a bold lip — she's picked favorites from the collection she's the face of. Always in her makeup bag? Avon True Color Lipstick in Vamp and Frostiest Mauve, and the brand's Touch & Glow Shimmer Cream Cubes All Over Face Palette in Coral Glow. "It's my favorite product," she says about the latter. "You can use it as eye shadow, highlighter, bronzer or cheek color."
14 of 20
Photo: JB Lacroix/WireImage.
Nylon Magazine's Young Hollywood Party, 2016

"This is one of my favorite beauty looks ever," she says. "You can't see the back of it, but she put these flowers and this chain was interwoven in the braid. Then we did a cranberry eye and lip. I love when things are matchy-matchy."
15 of 20
Photo: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage.
PLL Season 7 Premiere, 2016

"I loved this hairstyle," Hale says. "We were trying to do an '80s perm thing. I love this color palette, just neutrals."
16 of 20
Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage.
iHeartRADIO MuchMusic Video Awards, 2016

"This is my second favorite look of all time," Hale says, noting it's only second to the moody take on cranberry two slides back. "This was my Victoria Beckham look; that's what we are going for."
17 of 20
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
Teen Choice Awards, 2016

"Then this was our mermaid look," Hale says. "The dress looked like a mermaid, and we just did pink tones. That hair [getting piece-y in the front] wasn't supposed to happen, but we kind of loved did. Kristin was having a panic attack about it, but I think it turned out cool. Remember in the '90s when people used to put their hair back, but just keep the little pieces in front? That's what it reminded me of."
Advertisement
18 of 20
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
PLL Final Season Event, 2016

"This is when I had my blond moment, which I loved — I had so much fun," Hale told us. "There are some extensions in there, but Kristin took me blond — it took like 13 hours. But I love dark eyebrows with light hair. I liked this makeup look, too."
19 of 20
Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage.
Appearance in NYC, 2017

"This was from my latest trip to New York with my new haircut and color," she says. "I will keep it this dark for a while because I start filming a new show in a couple weeks, so I'll have this for at least another year. I would do anything with my hair [after that], a new color or anything." Of course, a pixie is on the top of her list: "I can't wait to Carey Mulligan it," she says.
20 of 20
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement