Change is beautiful – sure. There are also advantages to a signature look. But experimenting with hair and make-up is often the first step toward finding yourself on a deeper level – not to mention a whole lot of fun. Listen in as three beauty chameleons spill on what drives their transformations, then steal a tip or two from their reinvention playbooks.
We all know someone – a friend or a colleague – who alters her looks all the time. One day her hair is purple, the next it’s blonde. The outer metamorphosis is mesmerising, but it’s also a glimpse into her emotions. “Some women are chameleons with their looks because they enjoy rebelling against the norm. Some change things up for the rush. Some do it to find themselves or show creativity,” says psychologist Dr Vivian Diller. “But for these women, it’s about expressing themselves physically in ways that may reflect what they’re feeling.”
Even if you’re the ambassador to Beige Shadow Land, a small change can have big benefits. One study found that a simple haircut boosts confidence in women, while not in men. It makes sense. In a world where so much is out of our jurisdiction, exerting control over our lips, our hair, our lids – our bodies – is a powerful thing. All the inspiration (and assistance) you need to try a new look, right this way.
The Make-Up Chameleon
Roxy Burger, @roxyburger, TV presenter and Host of E!’s How Do I Look? South Africa
“I’ve been on TV since the age of 10, so I started experimenting with make-up pretty early on. I’d say I really started having fun from the age of 13. Today I use it to help me draw out my best features. I definitely accentuate my lips and play with lipstick colours. Bright, bold lips are the easiest way to change up a look and stand out.
“It can also hide something you’re not too confident about. For example, I have really bad pigmentation under my eyes and dark circles, so a great primer and concealer are my best friends. The product I currently can’t live without? Yes, a great primer is a must and a contour palette is also a definite – either in powder form or the sticks!”
The Hairstyle Chameleon
Mihlali Ndamase, @mihlalii_n, beauty vlogger and co-founder of Siyasizana Foundation
“I started experimenting with hair properly when I turned 15 and decided to dye it red while I was on holiday. What inspired me was Rihanna’s red hair in her ‘What’s My Name’ music video. Hair is very important to a lot of ladies, hence why we spend so much time and money investing in the correct products and equipment. A lot of time even goes into planning hairstyles.
“Change is something that’s needed now and again and I do think completely reinventing one’s look is motivated by a big life change. Most women have those ‘safe’ hairstyles that they feel most comfortable sticking with, so going in for a big chop is usually a symbol of a big change that is about to happen in their life. I plan my hairstyles around daily events – if I am going to an event I might want to bring out my gorgeous curls or keep my maroon bob to make a statement, whereas for day-to-day, on-the-go looks I prefer my straight hair.
“Of course, on some days/weeks you’ll plan your hairstyle around the weather conditions. When you’re travelling to a foreign country especially, not having your hairstyles a call away can be difficult, but I don’t find myself having to fuss about seasonal hairstyles much anymore.”
The Hair Colour Chameleon
Tasarnia Dhuloo, @thegildedhanger, influencer and fashion blogger
“I was probably about 21 when I started experimenting the most. I tried light brown to begin with and before I had time to try anything else I went back to black. Once I was tired of that, I did the Kylie Jenner blonde ombré with a cut – this is probably the point at which I decided to go lighter and try the greys and blues.
“I tend to use my hair as a way to express the life point I’m at. I am always changing and always reinventing myself and it shows in my hair. My biggest regret? Going black, but only because I couldn’t go lighter until I had grown out the black. I honestly don’t like my plain black hair, it doesn’t express my personality enough.
“I think a lot of people are scared to do anything drastic to their hair because they could damage it and there are so many risks involved with hair colour, but I would say going to the right stylist helps ease the worry when you want to spice up your look. Your hair pulls your look together and it is best to reinvent yourself with a style and colour that you love.”