In a universe where 19-year-old beauty vloggers are out-pro-ing the professionals with their flawlessness (is this YouTube, or a cover shoot for Vogue?), these are uncertain times for The Scruffy Girl. Not a single brow hair out of place, nor a wayward smudge of eyeliner for Zoella and her breed, we have become so beauty savvy that perfection is now standard. Suffice to say we have never been so well groomed.

But it is with lament that I question the perfectly preened glossy locks of Generation Z, because when I was 19, being a little bit scruffy around the edges equalled cool, and I daresay, sexy too. Here are five ways to channel some of my scruffy-beautiful heroines – Debbie, Chloë, Kate et al (AKA The Cool Girls)…

  1. Hang out with your male musician friends and eventually their scruffy will rub off on you (eugh!). The best way to achieve this is to join a band and tour the country in the back of a van actively avoiding showers. What you’ll lose in Superdrug Beautycard points you’ll gain in rock ‘n’ roll credibility.

2. Get a manicure – preferably in a really noticeable vampish scarlet – and let it chip. Too-cool-to-care girls like Sienna Miller do this and it’s as much a beauty statement in itself as having perfectly tended to talons. (Chanel’s Le Vernis Nail Colour in Cinéma is a stand-out classic.)

3. Bin the brush. Scruffy Girls understand the appeal of bed-head. All you need is a volumising hot brush like Babyliss Big Hair and an enormo-can of Philip Kingsley Finishing Touch Hairspray in the morning, and you’re good to go. As your Nan would say whilst tapping you knowingly on the hand, best left.

4. Hit the charity shops hard and get creative. The Scruffy Girl doesn’t have to spend thousands on designer garbs because she’s naturally stylish and knows how to get that thrown-together look, because frankly, it is. But what’s cooler? A vintage Biba clutch belonging to just anyone, or a vintage Biba clutch attached to a Scruffy Girl? (The latter).

5. Scruffy is a state of mind and ultimately, it’s all about attitude. Think Kate Moss at Glastonbury – beautiful, yes, but covered in mud and zero fucks given. Immerse yourself in outside interests, too – books, say, or contemporary art*, while keeping your hand in on the fun side of fashion and beauty.

*There’s more to life than looks, you know (but not much more).