What The Nerdy Chick In 'Dazed And Confused' Taught Me About Beauty

I'm proud to be a Cynthia.

I spent most of my youth experimenting with a suburban mashup of the grunge, skate, and punk aesthetics. But as I got older, the appeal faded: I didn't like the direction modern rock was taking (two words: Limp Bizkit) and I felt out of touch with my generation. Then, like a beam of light from the heavens, Led Zeppelin entered my life. Suddenly the 70s were everything to me, and I haven’t looked back since.

One of my biggest obsessions during this time was Richard Linklater’s 1993 film, Dazed & Confused. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen this movie, because I can’t count that high. I always wanted to be like Jodi: popular but still nice, totally in charge of her sexuality, and a stone fox to boot. Truthfully, though, I was more of a Cynthia.

Cynthia was super smart, much more well adjusted than her friends, and she seemed to get along with everyone. I mean, she bags a date with Matthew McConaughey... If we’re keeping score, Cynthia definitely wins.

Now that I’m older, I’m proud to be a Cynthia. And I think her look is still pretty cute today. Here's how I copped it, powder blue eye shadow and all!


I’m not a fan of foundation, but I'm also not high school age anymore. To fake that teen movie star skin, I mixed a small blob of Becca Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation with a tiny bit of Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate and buffed it on my with my Urban Decay Optical Blurring Brush.

After that, I filled in my brows with a little Make Up Forever Aqua Brow and my face was ready to time travel.


Apparently, it’s impossible to find a non-shimmery powder blue eye shadow with a decent color payoff in the year 2014, so I had to get creative. I’m not usually into OCC Lip Tars (too messy) but I admit that their pigment game is on point. Their Pool Boy lip tar was the exact color I wanted for my lids, so I that's what I used it for.

I put a dab on the back of my hand and tapped it into a thin layer. (Tapping, as opposed to smearing, gets rid of some of the moisture and makes the product less tacky). Then I used my middle finger to tap the color onto my mobile eyelid, blending well with a clean ring finger so the color disappeared into my crease.

After that I used a large fluffy blending brush to apply a VERY SMALL AMOUNT of matte white eye shadow. This helped set the Lip Tar and gave a powdery effect.

For eye liner, I just wanted a little definition. So I tightlined the outer third of my upper lid and the whole lower lid. A coat of mascara followed and my eyes were done.


I did a little highlighting along my temples and the tops of my cheekbones with Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light. It’s a subtle lavender color (sounds weird, I know), but it gives my skin a surprisingly natural radiance. I also put a little highlight down the center of my nose and on my Cupid’s bow.

I applied Make Up Forever HD Blush in Indian Rosewood (thanks, Taylor) using my normal cream blush application technique and then added NARS Blush in Desire on the apples of my cheeks and the tip of my nose to mimic Cynthia’s rosy flush (clearly a result of all that McConaughey).


This was the hardest part of the whole look. Cynthia wears this super '70s mauve-brown lip gloss, and I couldn't find anything similar that worked with my skin tone. So I mixed Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry, a deep burgundy, with Makeup For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick in Copper Pink, a medium pink with a hint of tan, and a small amount of Aquaphor for translucency. I applied the mix with a lip brush and added more Aquaphor to amp up the gloss.


I wanted my hair to look fluffier than usual, so instead of using a curl defining product, I applied a generous amount of Davines Oi/Absolute Beautifying Potion (my ride-or-die hair serum) to cut down on frizz. Then, after air-drying, I gathered the front middle section of my hair and pulled it back into a small twist, securing it with bobby pins. After some fluffing of my curls, I was ready to rock.

So, how’d I do y’all? Is my look is ready for that Aerosmith concert? I certainly think so...the ball is in your court, McConaughey!

Photos by Nathan Kloke