Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

I Went Undercover As A Hot Girl And Stole All Of Their Secrets

Can I beat my sister at her own Hot Girl game?

Hello, my name is Sarah. I want to become a Hot Girl.

Jenny Chang / Brian Madigan / Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

You might be thinking: "Sarah, that's ridiculous. You are not a Hot Girl. Accept your fate and move on. Also, you have Cheetos dust on your forehead."

But I know it's possible for me to become Hot. It's in my DNA: My sister is a Hot Girl. *wipes Cheetos dust on shirt sleeve*

My sister has been a Hot Girl for as long as I can remember. My sister never went through an “awkward phase” in middle school. In college she joined a sorority, obviously. When she graduated, she got a high-powered job in New York City (in Murray Hill, of course). What I can’t understand is how we, so similar-looking as babies, turned out so different, inside and out.

She is a Hot Girl. I am not. But in her, I see my Hot Girl Potential (HGP).

My sister's drivers license and my own, for comparison.

NY Department of Transportation

Note, in hers, the subtle duck face. The perfect eyebrows. The "I'm a bad bitch" persona.

Now, you may be wondering WTF I mean by "Hot Girl."

Great question. At first glance, the term Hot Girl might make you think of a female person between the ages of 6 and 12 whose temperature is above the norm — possibly because she is sick with a fever. That girl, though hot, is actually not a Hot Girl.

According to Urban Dictionary, this is a Hot Girl:

This definition, though, only defines the Hot Girl as she exists in the minds of horny, entitled teenage boys. It neither captures the essence of a “Hot Girl,” nor recognizes her autonomy.

In my mind, a Hot Girl is a woman with a perfect blend of confidence, beauty, and intelligence. Her smile and her lipstick never fade. She lights up every room she walks into, not unlike a lava lamp. She appears to effortlessly glide through life, not unlike a ghost. But the Hot Girl is also a human being. And human beings have secrets. Secrets that, once uncovered, can be adopted by normal females, or “normales,” so that they, too, can become fucking hot.

With this goal in mind, I set out to steal those secrets by going undercover as a Hot Girl. And although I've shared a bathroom with my sister, I had no idea how many hours of training and preparation this transformation would necessitate. It all began with a confidence coach.

Here I stand next to Rachel Donohue, better known as the Fitness Duchess. She’s a model and a pharmaceutical sales rep, and she runs her own fitness company on the side.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

Clearly, she knows what she’s talking about. As one of the occasional favors I imagine all Hot Girls are required to bestow upon normales, Rachel agreed to give me a few secrets to get me started.

Walk into every room with good posture, confidence and a smile.

In the beginning, in order to project the confidence of a Hot Girl, you’ll probably have to fake it. Holding your head high tells the world you think highly of yourself, and a smile means you’re friendly, approachable, and positive. You’re broadcasting that you’re the type of person everyone wants to be around. Essential Hot Girl.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed
Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

Putting books on your head serves a dual purpose: It helps you stand up straight and is also the fastest way to get the book’s information into your head.

Use natural light when taking selfies, and don't be afraid to take a million before you find the right one.

Although ours lacked natural light, the best location for taking selfies is usually the bathroom. You don’t have to worry about people looking at you or judging you, and it’s totally normal to spend 20 to 30 minutes in there. Right…? That’s normal?

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

Rachel left me with a list of tips and recommendations for my undercover project, all of which I soon tested. But first, I had to put on my Hot Girl disguise.

My first step was going to Drybar in Flatiron to get a blowout. My hairstylist, who had the beautiful name Sarah, informed me that true Hot Girls get the Mai Tai blowout, which is described as “messy, beachy hair.” It took over an hour for Sarah to give me this natural, effortless look. I asked Sarah if having Hot Girl hair takes this much work every day. In response, she revealed another Hot Girl secret.

If you put extra effort into your hair one day, you can ride that out for three more days.

She was right. Although my curls became waves the next day and just messy the day after, it still looked good. Really good. In total, putting the effort in up front saved time in the long run. If you’re like me and you love showering, this might be hard, but it’s worth it if you want that Hot Girl look.

Sarah also emphasized that you shouldn't overdo your hair with product.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed
Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

For me, she only used these three products. And not much of it. I'm constantly guilty of overdoing it: I use so much mousse that my hair becomes crunchy, or so much gel that it looks like my hair is perpetually wet.

She achieved my waves by following a simple formula. First, curl your face-framing hair away from your face. Curl hair that hangs over your ear toward the face, and then alternate with the rest. After you're done, pull out the curls and spray. That's it.

After my hair was complete, I headed to the MAC Makeup Studio to complete my disguise.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

It’s a one-of-a-kind studio, so if you’re not based in NYC, sorry, you can’t go. But you can still go online!

As someone who once was asked “Why is your face dirty?” after trying to contour, I was excited to see how the professionals work their magic. And what magic it was.

All of the MAC makeup artists were wearing black and leather, which I immediately took note of as a quintessential Hot Girl look. I was led to a back room and introduced to MAC Regional Media Artist Ashley Di Sarro. When Di Sarro asked me what look I was interested in, I replied, “I don’t know, Kylie and Kendall Kardashian.” She frowned. “Those are two very different looks.”

Shit. She was onto me.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

Luckily, she took pity on me and started pulling out products, preparing her weapons for the battle of my face. I was expecting to have my face covered in hundreds of products. I thought they would have to foundation the fuck out of my face to turn it into a palette on which to paint. Turned out, I was so wrong.

Darken your eyelids and highlight under your brows and the inner corners of your eyes.

I’m more of a “just slab some thick eyeliner on and try to draw a cat-eye”-type person. But Di Sarro actually skipped the eyeliner pen entirely, instead outlining my eyes with the same soft shade she used on my eyelids. I was amazed at how this made my eyes pop without it even looking like I was wearing makeup.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

She also used contour to bring out my ears.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

OK, maybe it’s not about bringing out your ears, but it definitely helps to know that’s where you should start your darker color “contour.” And it should be subtle. Layer on slowly. Enjoy your Hot Girl Ears.

Put matte lipstick over well-lined lips for long-lasting coverage.

Seriously. You don't want your lipstick to come off on every can of Mountain Dew.

I am admittedly a complete moron when it comes to lip anything, so I paid careful attention when Di Sarro brought out the lip liner. She carefully lined the corners of my mouth and colored in the rest. The one time I’d tried lip liner in the past, I’d drawn the liner outside my lips, using the alleged Kylie Jenner method, and had completely ignored the corners, believing that makeup doesn’t go there. My mistake.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

M∙A∙C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Tailored To Tease

If you are a Hot Girl, you probably know all about matte lipstick. But I did not. I thought God had proclaimed “All lipstick shall live for one hour, and shall henceforth be taketh away on every glass from which thou sippeth, amen.” But God knew not about matte lipstick. It lasts all day. You can EAT with it. My lipstick did not start to depart until 12 hours after it was put on, and only then because I drank some hot chicken noodle soup. There is a downside to matte lipstick, however: It makes your lips feel parched. Not look parched, feel parched. My lips looked perfect the whole time, though, so the weird feeling was worth it.

The mascara wand should go across, on top, and under lashes — or just fuck it all and put fake eyelashes on.

Di Sarro swiped my eyelashes in every direction. And then she did something I’ve never done before: She put fake eyelashes on me — a kind you glue on one eyelash at a time. My eyes instantly went from nice to hot. Super hot.

After hair and and makeup, my next step was changing into Hot Girl clothes.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

The makeup artist removed my eyeballs and replaced them with hotter eyeballs. Just kidding. That didn't happen. Or did it?

I started my mission at Topshop, asking an attendant there how to look hot.

He told me to “stick to the white hangers," a directive that initially seemed mysterious. Quickly I realized that was just where all the expensive stuff was. There was loads of leather. And as I already knew from MAC, leather is hot.

Here I'm wearing the midi leather skirt and white tank top.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

My confidence coach Rachel Donohue helped me piece some of these outfits together. When you’re trying to be hot, you have to be comfortable, which to me means sweatpants. But she made it clear that wasn’t what she meant. Fortunately, dressing up can be comfy when you're in a fancy black onesie and a salt-and-pepper slouch coat.

K.I.S.S. all your outfits. (Keep it simple, stupid.)

Simplicity is key. Donohue emphasized that you shouldn’t try to overdo it by layering on trends. Stick to classic pieces and what you like.

Hot Girl pro tip: Bring attention to your vagina by subtly touching it.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed / Via

So I couldn’t wear sweatpants, but I could tuck my shirt into some GIANT WIDE PANTS. When my legs were closed, these pants looked like a skirt. It’s a modern-day skort — one of the ’90s’ greatest inventions.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed / Via

Faux fur might be trendy, but it’s also warm and comfy. I’m not a self-assured girl in a short wrap dress, so adding this touch helped boost my Hot Girl confidence.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

Honestly, I had a fifth undercover outfit from Topshop, but my coach nixed it. I can't remember exactly why, but it had something to do with the pattern being "atrocious" and "barf-inducing." So I had to scramble through my own closet for a replacement undercover outfit. I went for the “show some skin” Hot Girl look, which I kinda hate because I live in New York, and, uh, it's cold. Other than the jeans, I never wore this look out.

It should also be noted that it took my photographer about 1,000 pictures to get just five that looked Hot. When my model-coach came in, she nailed her look on the first try. There is a reason certain people get paid to model, and not others.

With my costumes complete, I set out to experience the world as a Hot Girl.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

I was immediately nervous that I would be catcalled, since that’s not something I normally deal with very often. Throughout the undercover operation, however, I got pretty much the same amount of unwanted attention as always. I guess misogynists are equal-opportunity offenders. At one point I did get a “hubba, hubba,” but it was from an old man who uses terms like “hubba hubba,” so I forgave him, hot-ly.

Rachel told me I should move through the city with confidence, almost as though I owned it. Once you’re in that mindset, you may start to act a little too privileged. Watch out.

Hot Girlspreading:

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

Travel often to exotic locales.

Rachel also recommended traveling a ton. Going someplace exotic or warm not only makes you feel happier, it makes you seem more interesting. More Instagram-able. I loved this advice, but while I may have turned into a Hot Girl, I did not turn into a rich one.

So I improvised.

Lauren Zaser / Buzzfeed

Working out is also a key part of being a Hot Girl. I infiltrated the quintessential Hot Girl workout class, SoulCycle, to learn what I could from my surroundings. Find. Your. Soul.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

I wore a shirt over my sports bra, but when I looked around the room, I realized I’d made a big mistake. Hot Girls do not wear shirts to work out. They wear tight pants and matching sports bras.

During the class, the instructor repeatedly asked us, “What are your goals? What do you want out of this?” to which I could only respond, “I want to be hot!” It did not make me pedal faster, but I did feel healthier and hotter after working out. I rewarded myself by going to Outback Steakhouse.

Eat healthy and drink lots of water.

At this point, I was so focused on looking hot on the outside that I ignored the advice for being hot on the inside. I ordered a lobster and filet mignon meal, didn’t eat one bite, and got a doggie bag.

Although, now that I’m thinking about it, that might have been because I ate an entire Bloomin’ Onion prior to the main course.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed
Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

My next Hot Girl test was to go out on the town and see what people would do for me.

I was convinced that confident, hot girls could get anything for free, and I wanted to test this theory.

First, I walked up and down the street dropping my scarf just to see if anybody would pick it up for me. Eventually, a nice man did, but he did not try to get my digits -- not even my social security. :(


Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

As I wandered through Sephora, I noticed several Hot Girls carrying dogs in bags.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed
Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

My dog desperately trying to get away from me as I ponder what it is to be hot.

“You can do that?” I inquired of one. “Yeah, it’s no big deal,” she said. I should have known. Paris Hilton and Kylie Jenner are Hot GIrls known for taking their dogs places, so I decided it was something I should try. I put my dog in a bag and walked into a few stores. It felt wrong even though I knew there wasn’t an explicit rule against doing so. I eventually had to stop because my dog is not really bag-size. After taking her out of the bag, she ignored me for several hours.

Later I went out and got fake nails, because I know from Kylie Jenner’s Snapchat that Hot Girls have long nails.

#Kylie #hot #nails how to subtly pick your nose 💅🏻👃🏻

I’m an idiot, so I put them on upside down. But I still managed to look super hot.

Finally, I went out to several bars. Rachel had already prepped me for this, so I knew what I had to do. Make eye contact.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

Oh right, make eye contact with people. Not just my phone.

If you’re on the hunt for D or V or both, the best way to attract someone is to smile and make eye contact. I made this attempt in every bar I walked into, but I had trouble doing it in a way that did not look psychopathic. Like taking selfies in public, I quickly realized this was just something I would have to work up to. Nobody bought me a drink. But I'm a Hot Girl, which also means I'm a strong independent female, so, like, I can get my own damn drink.

What my eye contact and smile probably looked like to other people:

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

Note the subtle Mountain Dew product placement.

At the end of my long weekend of undercover Hot Girl-ing, I was exhausted.

I took off my fake eyelashes, which, like Cinderella’s shoes at midnight, transformed back into creepy black spiders.

What It Is to Be a Hot Girl

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed
Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

Being a Hot Girl is hard work — at least up front. The transformation process from duckling to swan is particularly draining. But after you invest the time and energy into the hair, clothes, and makeup, repeating the setup process gets easier. But that’s only half the work. The rest of the Hot Girl process is about confidence. For people like me, who consider self-deprecation the status quo, exuding confidence and positivity is particularly difficult. When I finally let go and allowed myself some Hot Girl funitude, I often took it too far. For instance, I tried to sneak into work over an hour late, so perhaps my Hot Girl mentality tipped over into cockiness. It can be a fine line.

I now have a greater understanding of and appreciation for my sister's hard Hot Girl work.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

With all my newfound knowledge, I'll be able to get her a birthday present she won't immediately want to throw away. But for now, my sister will have to remain the lone Hot Girl of the family. Becoming a Hot Girl isn't something you can do in one weekend; it takes months of practice to push past deep-seated insecurities and accept yourself as officially hot. I don't have the time and energy to fully transform. But I will try to whip out some matte lipstick and Hot Girl confidence any time I am feeling down. I'll try to embody Hot Girl when I go out with friends to a bar, or when I want to really nail an Instagram selfie. While I was undercover, sure, there were times I felt silly walking around in heels or pouting in public. I was always afraid of people looking at me and judging me. But I shouldn't care. That's the most important thing being Hot has taught me: Be confident in who you are, whether you know how to work a room or work a bag of Cheetos. Besides, now I can do both. And that's fucking hot.