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Addison Rae Transforms Into 2000s Pop Star While Opening Up About Newfound Fame and Hair Regrets

Dahvi Shira

Dec 17, 2020

In just a year, Addison Rae has gone from top-tier TikToker to entrepreneurbrand ambassadorupcoming big-screen actress—and now, Mane Muse.

With an amassed social media following of more than 100 million when this piece was written (including TikTok, Instagram and YouTube), the Louisiana-bred brunette and her signature nose scrunch have defined 2020—especially amid the coronavirus pandemic when people have been glued to online entertainment more than ever. As of Oct. 2020, she’s listed as the highest-paid TikToker of the year, raking in a cool estimated $5 million.

Addison, 20, recognizes that fame doesn’t come without its pitfalls. When the topic of some of her controversial peers arises, she covers her head sheepishly: “Know him,” she says with a laugh (likely referring to TikToker beau Bryce Hall). But for your quintessential overnight celebrity, she seems to be handling it like a pro. It also doesn’t hurt that Kourtney Kardashian has taken her under her wing, likely helping her maneuver this crazy new world. 

Based on Addison’s breakout year (and enviable, luscious locks, of course), we found it only fitting that she’s featured as Mane Addicts’ Winter 2020 Mane Muse. With hair styled by our very own Jen Atkin, makeup by Denika Bedrossian, styling by Rob Zangardi and a classic French mani by Modern Pamper Salon, Addison was transformed from stunning girl next door to elevated 2000s showstopper. “I got to try new things and meet great people who know what they’re doing and are really good at it,” she raved of the experience. 

Through this shoot, we got to know Addison on a deeper level, outside of the app that launched her to fame. She sheds light on how the public perceives her, while getting into how she stays sane in the spotlight. But first, the looks!

Social Butterfly

Mane Muse Addison Rae

Is there anything more 2000s than butterfly clips and pleated skirts? We’ll wait. Throw in a gameboy and you’ve got yourself the perfect setting for a ’00s teen closet. “I love the top,” Addison tells us of the sparkly Area bra top. “It was everything for sure. And the detail with the butterflies in the hair. And I was obsessed with the makeup look with the dark lined lip. I felt like I was literally being my mom.” Mom being Sheri Nicole, who is also an influencer in her own right.

As for the makeup, “I wanted her makeup to feel fresh but flawless,” Denika explained. “A soft nude lip and gorgeous rose gold bronzed eye created a sexy finish to the incredible hair and clothes.”

Channeling hair trends from the early 2000’s, Jen amped it up by styling four pigtails and adding in some colorful accessories. “One thing I love about that era is there were no rules and you could really have fun hair, makeup, and fashion.” 

Jen used OUAI Leave-In Conditioner, followed by OUAI volume spray at the roots before blow drying smooth with Dyson Airwrap smoothing brush. She used The Hair Shop extensions and a rattail comb to part two sections for pigtails on each side, then used a beard brush and Got2b Glued Gel to slick pigtails into place and secure with BLAX elastic bands. She then added butterfly clip accessories.

Clothing |Top & Skirt: Area; Necklace: Area; Shoes: Femme

Mane Addicts: Was it weird doing looks from the 2000s since you were so young when the decade was around?

RAE: It was and it wasn’t weird.  I have so many memories of my mom doing her hair and makeup when I was a little girl – so I feel like today totally took me back to that time.  I always used to play dress up in her closet and she would do my hair and makeup.  I also feel like I’ve always liked things from the past – like I’m really influenced style wise by Jennifer Aniston in the ’90s – so it’s been really cool to really be transformed into a different era including all the props. 

MA: Do you have a personal Mane Muse from that era?

RAE: Hilary Duff! I always loved that she was willing to take risks but people still loved it. I also love that even though she was older than I was that I could still see myself in the looks that she created.  I LOVED her. Of course, Britney [Spears] was and still is one of the most iconic people when it came to trends.  Like “Hit Me Baby One More Time” was such an iconic look.  Her album covers were also always so perfect. 

MA: Do you have a hair regret since being in the public eye?

RAE: I’ve said it before – my biggest hair regret is going so bleach blonde so fast with my hair.  When I started on social media I had super blonde hair and when I decided to take it back to my natural color, people didn’t even realize that that’s what I had done!  I couldn’t believe that people didn’t realize it was my natural color because my eyebrows are literally so dark.  I definitely am still dealing with the negative impact of the bleach and I’m constantly trying to do what I can to strengthen my hair.  I’ve tried different products to repair it – different shampoos, different hair masks, leave-in conditioners, things like that. I need to start using a heat protectant when I do my own hair. Oh! That’s another thing! I always look back at photos where I decided to just not touch my hair in the morning and think “why didn’t I at least put it in a bun or something?”

MA: Do you have a present-day Mane Muse?

RAE: I like people who take risks and don’t do the same thing over and over, whether it’s hair, makeup, nails, styling, acting choices.. everything! I’m trying to think of people who do that with their hair.  There aren’t that many.  I always love Kendall [Jenner]’s looks.

MA: Is there a hairstyle you’d like to try that you’ve never done before?

RAE: I was going to say bangs, but I’m about to try them [with clip-ins for the shoot]. I want to shave my head. I feel like people wouldn’t expect that and I think it would be really fun to just try it – like Natalie Portman did for V for Vendetta

Crimp Queen

“This was really fun because the hair was so big, and I love crimping hair. It looks like feathers. I love that. This was the least comfortable look, only because the dress was really short, so I had to be careful,” Addison reveals of this larger than life look.

Because lime green, crimped hair and hair wraps “were the vibe,” Denika explained she “added a neon lime to the bottom edge of the lash line and inner tear duct to add a pop of color without being too aggressive. Then paired it with a peach glossy lip, extra juicy.”

When it came to the locks, “We’re seeing more people embrace texture lately, both natural and styled,” Jen explained. “This was inspired by the early 2000s music video era. Crimping adds major volume and creates a fun, bold look.”  

Jen sprayed OUAI heat protection spray all over before styling. She clipped in Beauty Works hair for volume, and then used Hot N Gold crimping iron throughout to create dimension and fullness. She blew out her hair using the Dyson Airwrap round brush attachment. She sectioned two face-framing bang pieces, applied some Bumble and bumble Multi-Talented Sculpting Medium and braided each side. She wrapped two colors of thread around one of the braids for a detail pop of color. She then mixed a little OUAI matte pomade and OUAI hair oil together and applied mid-to-end for separation. She brushed out waves with a Mason Pearson brush, and finished the look with Got2b Glued Blasting Hairspray.

Clothing | Full Look: Christian Coven; Shoes: Femme

I have no regrets, because everything I’ve done has gotten me to where I am today.

Addison Rae

MA: Do you feel like your experience on TikTok has prepared you for hitting the big screen in He’s All That?

RAEIt’s hard to say because every opportunity I’ve had in the last year has been so completely different than anything I’ve ever experienced. Like, presenting at the Billboard Awards was a completely different experience than speaking at a graduation or anything I could even think to compare it to. So I’ve been preparing really hard with a coach before starting the movie because I just want to make sure I’m fully prepared for this job. 

MA: And going off of that, how has it been taking in all of these experiences at once?

RAE: It can get overwhelming but I think I’ve done a pretty good job at handling it.  I get overwhelmed in general by wanting to make everything perfect so sometimes I have to get something done with not much time to complete it and that definitely overwhelms me. I think the last year has made feel a lot of different ways – I’m not sure that overwhelmed is the first one that I’d list.  The comments don’t overwhelm me but will sometimes make me sad. 

MA: When the comments are nonstop on TikTok, how do you deal?

RAE:  The simple answer is I try not to read them…. But I read them.  I have to remind myself that the people who leave the hateful comments don’t know me.  They think they know me based off what they see on social media but they don’t know me completely. So I can’t let that affect my heart and soul.  

MA: Do you feel like people get a sense of the real you based on what you post?

RAE: Yeah, I think they do. I’m a pretty open book. But I still can’t say that someone following me on social media is going to know me the way my friends do. 

MA: As your career continues to take off outside of TikTok, do you see yourself pivoting away from the platform?

RAE: No, I think as long as it’s a thing, I’ll be on it. 

MA: How do you stay grounded in an environment where many of your peers are caught up in negative headlines?

RAE: This is difficult [laughs]. I’ve definitely had my share of headlines. It’s definitely not true at all [that everyone loves me]. I receive a lot of hate and for the craziest things. People seem to hate me for being too nice… they just hate it. People are actually so upset about me smiling all the time. They’re like, what the [expletive] is this [expletive] happy about? No, literally, if I laugh in a TikTok, people are like, why does she have to laugh about everything she does?

I just remind myself at the end of the day that I surround myself with good people who love me and I love them. People want to hide behind the screen and use that to their advantage. I always look at it, too, like people who have negative things to say, a lot of them are going through things themselves, and they’re trying to deflect that onto someone else. When you see someone on the internet who’s getting a lot of likes or followers, you don’t necessarily think they’ll see [negative comments], so you just want to project that onto them. It’s like, if I feel this way, I want someone else to feel it, too.  If people are being hateful, I just wish the best for them, you know? 

MA: Do you have any personal regrets or lessons since your time in the public eye?

RAE: No, I have no regrets, because everything I’ve done has gotten me to where I am today.  

Micro Babe

“This was probably the most comfortable because it’s jeans,” Addison tells us of this overly embellished crop and pant look. “I’m obsessed with this. I feel like I’m in a castle in England. It actually is really heavy. And these shoes are, like, insane for me to walk in. But they’re manageable. This is my favorite look [of the three]. I just love how colorful it is and how many pieces are sticking out of it. It’s really extra, which I like.”

Denika loved Addison’s “incredible outfit” that “reminded me of that classic Selena moment,” she said. “I tried to make it more modern by adding a long wing tip on the eye and using a dark burgundy lip liner with a very light nude lipstick on the inner lip. I was obsessed with this look!”

As for Jen’s hairstyle selection, “We were channeling pop stars of the late ‘90s and early 2000s with this look,” she explained. “The crisp micro bang is fun to try out with clip-in bangs. I wanted to complement the vintage lip liner and highly accessorized fit.”

Jen started by prepping with OUAI leave-in conditioner. She blow dried with the Dyson Firm smoothing brush attachment, and then sectioned hair into two sections at the temple and across the back. Using Got2b Glued Blasting Hairspray and a beard brush, she slicked the top half into a high ponytail at a 45-degree angle from the eyebrow and secured it with elastic. She repeated with the bottom half, bringing it to meet the top section and secured it with another elastic. She wrapped a Hair Shop ponytail extension for long length and straightened the hair with the Dyson Corrale flat iron. She applied a little OUAI Rose Hair & Body Oil over the base of the ponytail for shine, and finished with Kevin Murphy Session Strong Spray.

Clothing | Top & Bottom: Dolce & Gabbana; Shoes: Saint Laurent; Jewelry: 8 Other Reasons

I want to shave my head… I would think of it as a Natalie Portman moment

Addison Rae

MA: What’s your standard shower routine?

RAE: I have to take really quick showers because I’ve been really busy lately. I hop in the shower, I wet my hair, I use shampoo, wash it out, hair mask, wash it out. Then I’ll use conditioner and shave my legs while the conditioner sits. Then after that, I towel dry my hair and put in a leave-in conditioner. I just started using this Inphenom hair mask. I love Inphenom. I wash my hair every three days. It usually doesn’t get too oily. I never use dry shampoo, ever! I don’t even think I own any.

MA: Do you have a can’t-live-without hair product or brand?

RAE: Probably a straightener. It’s the least effort. 


Totally 2000s

A remix on all your fave 2000s-era staples, including butterfly clips, crimpers, square sunnies and nylon bags. Stock up on all these must-have 00’s reboots!


Photographer: Mike Rosenthal (Assisted by Joe Beckley & Elijah Akala)
Hair Stylist: Jen Atkin (Assisted by Cherilyn Farris)Make Up: Denika Bedrossian Wardrobe Styling: Rob Zangardi (Assisted by Hannah Margeson) Nails: Lilyann Nguyen from Modern Pamper Salon

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