Gwen Stefani may be just a girl — but she's one that wins Grammy Awards, heads up campaigns for big-name makeup brands, judges hit reality TV competitions, and holds the unofficial title of Patron Saint Of Red Lipstick. But she didn't reach beauty (or fashion) icon status overnight. In fact, her head-to-toe style has been in constant transformation, starting from her years as a teenager. "My biggest inspiration was living in Anaheim, two hours from the border of Mexico," she told us at a recent event for Revlon, for which she's the face. "The culture was so rich and the girls there were just incredible makeup artists. That’s my first makeup influence, to see these girls who look airbrushed." Stefani lived for the artistry that makeup allowed, and it was in that moment she realized she wanted to use that same creativity to fuel her music — and, years later, her beauty — career. "I spent my whole high school years wearing a frosted pink lip — that was my look," Stefani says. "But I think I've changed and evolved tons. I remember the first time I tried on a dark lip. I was in my car driving; I saw myself in the rear view mirror and I was like, 'What? Look at me back here. This is it.' And I've never turned back." Since then, a red lip has become as much of her trademark as Stefani's voice — and she left the beauty experimentation to wild hair colors, glittery face stickers, and body art. In defense of her beauty risks, Stefani says, "I was working with nothing. That was just me being me and being creative, never thinking anyone would pay attention." No doubt, she has all our attention now.