7 ELLE Editors on their Biggest Style and Beauty Regrets of the Decade


No one falls victim to trends quite like a fashion or beauty editor. We are industry guinea pigs when it comes to the latest in style, makeup, and hair, so we have our fair share of sartorial faux pas. From foul misinterpretations of runway looks to reality star hair to an obsession blamed on “too many episodes of Gossip Girl,” we rounded up our biggest regrets of the decade. Look back and cringe with us, below.

Thin Eyebrows

“If I could give the Chloe of 2010-15 advice it would be this: Save your pennies and stop threading, waxing, and/or plucking your eyebrows! Me and the little baby hairs above your eyes are begging you. My eyebrow look was not as bad as the ‘90s waif thin brows but my perfectly arched lines of hair make me look back and shiver in embarrassment. I was spending a good amount of money to get the look of permanent surprise. I pray thin or even perfectly shaped eyebrows never come back in style. Big caterpillar eyebrows is all I need in 2020.”— Chloe Hall, Digital Beauty Director

Botched Minimalism

Celine - Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010

A look from Céline’s Spring-Summer runway collection

Karl Prouse/CatwalkingGetty Images

“Thanks to Phoebe Philo’s debut runway for Céline during the Spring 2010 season, college-aged me had a fashion revelation: utilitarian minimalism. See, I was on the heels of a Olsen twins boho chic obsession, so Philo’s clean palette was just what I needed. That first Celine show holds up to this day, but my poor interpretation of it back then came in the form of sad sack dresses, ill-fitting knit sweaters, and a handmade pleather T-shirt tucked into a bubble skirt. Couple that with a college-aged budget and it got even worse. My deranged philosophy was that if it wasn’t in shades of black and navy, it was not chic. Thank god we didn’t have Instagram back then to document it.”— Justine Carreon, Digital Senior Market Editor

Real Housewives Hair


Courtesy of Katie Becker

“Real Housewives hair! I couldn’t figure out how to style my curls, plus it just wasn’t in style at the time. I have to admit it saved me a lot of time to always be ‘done’ and never have to do my hair myself, but all those blowouts *fried* my hair. And the end result was pretty cheesy.”— Katie Becker, Beauty & Health Director

Cold Shoulder Tops

Street Style : Paris Fashion Week - Menswear Spring/Summer 2020 : Day Three

Edward BerthelotGetty Images

“It’s infuriating how popular cold-shoulder tops have become. The off-the-shoulder silhouette has been around forever but for some reason, someone woke up and decided that your shoulders don’t deserve to be completely covered or completely bared, so they cut two peek-a-boo holes in a sweater instead. I jumped on the trend and bought a floral cold shoulder top one summer and instantly hated it. What kind of bra do you even wear with this top? Do you know how uncomfortable it is to hug someone in a cold-shoulder top? I had enough and now, it’s collecting dust in my closet. ‘You either want to wear your top off your shoulder or completely on—it’s really that simple,’ I told myself. Au revoir CST, you won’t be missed.” — Nerisha Penrose, Digital Assistant Editor

Fashion Tights

On Location For "Gossip Girl" - March 16, 2009

James DevaneyGetty Images

“Too many episodes of Gossip Girl and too much unearned confidence for a college student led to some deeply unflattering clothing choices from 2010 to 2013. Among the statement necklaces and color blocking (why did I own so many pastel cardigans?) the ‘trend’ that stands out most vividly is my addiction to ‘fashion tights.’ There was lace, there were polka-dots, there was some particularly vivid magenta hosiery I was wearing when I met my current roommate. Years later, he told me his initial impression was ‘compensating for her lack of personality with electric pink tights.’ Nine years later, I’ve recovered my dignity and banished all non-black leg-wear from my closet. I’m sure there’s photographic evidence floating around the depths of the internet, but it should stay in the past where it belongs.” — Julie Kosin, Digital Senior Culture Editor

Beyoncé Blonde

“I like to call it the Beyoncé effect. You go to see the queen in concert (for me, it was the Ms. Carter Show World Tour in 2013). You admire her gorgeous blond hair blowing in the wind machine. You want, no need, blonde hair. You dye your hair blonde, and when the stylist turns you around in the chair to face the mirror you realize… you’re still you. Just with an ill-matched shade of blonde hair. And you definitely don’t look as good as Beyoncé. I am really only comforted by the fact that every time I share my story about how the Beyoncé effect took me captive for 6 short weeks (that’s how long I lasted as a blonde before I went back to my super-dark brown hair), other people admit it happened to them, too. Say it with me, y’all: We will never be Beyoncé.”— Margaux Anbouba, Associate Beauty Editor

The Mullet Skirt


Left: Balenciaga circa 2012. Right: Katie Connor

Getty, Courtesy

“Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like—the no-good, very bad haircut of skirts and it plagued the runways and street style from roughly 2012-2014. Bolder types went with more drastic hemlines that swept the floor in the back. See Balenciaga above. Meanwhile, I went for a more subtle, affordable approach. To be honest, I don’t totally hate this skirt now (I’ll probably—most definitely—wear it again at some point). That said, pairing it with an army jacket and ridiculously high, razor-blade heels (also a regrettable look) was uh, a choice.” — Katie Connor, Digital Director

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