The Internet has helped us discuss and re-discuss Clueless in all its glory over the years, with amazing "Which Clueless Character Are You?" quizzes and videos like "Every Outfit Cher Horowitz wears in 60 seconds":
But in my opinion, the beauty aspect of this gem has been vastly neglected. After all, without a makeover from Cher, Tai might have never had the chance to dance with Elton to “Rolling With My Homies," and Dion's grandchildren could’ve been spared the shame of Murray's shaved head if she had caught him moments sooner.
For the characters of Clueless, one beauty choice has the power to change everything (including report cards). It’s, like, way existential.
THE KMART HAIR EXTENSION
The first beauty-based conflict in Clueless occurs pretty early on. Cher does some awesome hair flipping, some horrible driving, and picks up Dionne on her way to school. Everything is all California dreamin' until Dionne comes face to face with Murray, her on-again-off-again BF.
He suggests she's been "jeepin" behind his back, which she throws in his face, by literally throwing a "cheap Kmart hair extension” she found in his car, in his face. This is evidence of his obvious disloyalty, as Dionne herself “does NOT wear polyester hair.”
MISS GEIST'S MAKEOVER
We quickly learn that Cher has an affinity for makeovers, and Miss Geist is the first of two we see during the film. In a brilliant attempt to improve their grades from the miserable Mr. Hall, Cher and Dionne decide to make Hall and Geist fall in love, so Hall gets a canister of coffee and Geist gets a new look (well, sort of).
Though she has runs in her tights, her slip is always showing, and she has more lipstick on her teeth than her lips, something tells Cher not to discount her, and so the ambush is orchestrated.
Powerless against the Dionne/Cher duo, Miss Geist's glasses are violently taken from her face, her hair clips removed, her cardigan tied around her waist and her little scarf twisted. Although "she's not a total Betty," it's an improvement, and the plan works. The grades of the students are saved, and the two frumpy teachers find true love.
Makeover number two really takes things up a notch. Cher's main thrill in life is a makeover (Dionne explains, "It gives her a sense of control in a world full of chaos"), and she sets her sights on adopting a "so adorably clueless" new student named Tai (RIP Brittany Murphy).
She whisks the reluctant newbie away to the giant magical, computerized room she calls her closet (she actually has "a way normal life for a teenage girl," though). Hair-dying, pop-can curling methods, intensive makeup application, and styling help ensues, and Tai emerges a new, midriff-baring woman.
MURRAY'S SHAVED HEAD
The drama between Dionne and Murray continues at a party in the Valley. Everyone is having a great time playing suck-and-blow and rescuing stained satin shoes, when Dionne lets out a horrified screech.
In the bathroom upstairs, Lawrence has applied a thick layer of shaving cream to Murray's head and is shaving down to the scalp with a razor because, "He's keepin' it real!"
Dionne doesn't agree, arguing, "I'm the one that's going to have to look at you! That was a BIG mistake! What am I gonna do with you now?" The shaving continues until Dionne pulls out her secret weapon: "That's it," she says. "You wanna play games? I'm calling your mother."
CHER'S DATE MAKEUP DISASTER
Cher may be a virgin who can't drive, but she really understands how to catch a man. When she finally sees a boy at school she likes, she sends herself chocolates, and shows a little skin because, "This reminds boys of being naked, and then they think of sex."
She eventually scores a date with the elusive Christian, first taking him to a party and eventually having him over for some alone time. She bakes (because, "Whenever a boy comes you should always have something baking."), obsesses over her outfit, and monumentally ruins her makeup, turning her face scarlet red all over.
Luckily, Dionne calms her down, and she looks stunning and red-lipped only when Christian arrives. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Cher, Christian is a “disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Streisand ticket-holding friend of Dorothy," and her efforts are all in vain.
What's your favorite beauty moment in Clueless? Pick up any good beauty tips from watching it?