Dita Von Teese is Hollywood’s resident glamour girl. The burlesque performer is known for her dark hair and luscious red lips and while the model appears to exude confidence wherever she goes, she tells HELLO! that wasn’t always the case. When she was younger, the 43-year-old reveals, “I felt very ordinary. I felt I disappeared.”

The bombshell brunette admits she was even teased about her looks. “I’ve been called Dracula and Elvira,” she says. “I’ve even been made fun of for looking like myself.” These days, the author of Your Beauty Mark, which is a step-by-step guide to eccentric glamour, is aiming “to empower people,” because there are “there are no ugly women in the world.”

Here are 5 things to know about the performer-turned-author:

1. She detests UGG Boots.
You won’t see Dita rocking UGG boots with the fur any time soon, as she named them as her fashion bête noire, or pet peeve. “Or T-shirts with weird logos on them," she added. "Those things just distract from one’s beauty.”

2. She does her own hair and makeup.
Surprisingly, Dita says she “almost always” applies her own makeup and does her own hair. The glamour girl, who doesn’t have a “glam squad” says, “I created the look myself so who better to do it? I like the ritual of getting ready.”

3. She also colors her own hair!
When it comes to maintaining her stunning dark locks she admits, “I color it every two weeks. I do it myself as I hate going to the salon – I hate making appointments and spending the money.”

4. Amy Winehouse is one of her beauty icons.
“My beauty icons are women who dare to be different,” Dita reveals. “[Writer] Anna Piaggi, [fashion editor] Lynn Yaeger, [singer] Amy Winehouse – their looks don’t beg for approval. I want to empower people to be who they want to be.”

5. Like any modern girl, she needs good lighting.
In the past, the burlesque performer admits that she has turned down fan selfies because of the room’s lighting. “I feel bad sometimes when I say no to a fan who wants an iPhone picture but we’ll be in the worst lighting possible and I think, ‘I don’t want this to be my legacy.’”

Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour by Dita Von Teese is published by Dey Street Books (Harper Collins).

The full, exclusive interview with Dita Von Teese was originally printed in HELLO! #1408, now available via digital download.

More about