I’ll bet there are plenty of actresses you would never know are in their 20’s, because they look so damn young. Even I was surprised to learn the actual age of some of these famous ladies. Young Hollywood is rife with fresh-faced young women who grace the covers of magazines and your television screens every day. They retain a youthful glow that allows them to play characters younger than they are in real life, sometimes by a lot.
On this list, the youngest woman is 21, and the oldest is 29, but even between them I would not be able to tell which is the elder of the two. The simple fact is that all 18 women are aging amazingly, and I am super jealous. A woman in her 20’s who appears to be much younger is undoubtedly a sought-after woman; she is more mature, but remains physically youthful and stunning.
Many of these girls I speak of are friends with each other in real life, or have costarred together, and many of them even resemble each other. But none of them look their true age. Any one of them can wear heavy makeup, or sex it up all they want, but at the end of the day, it would not matter. Because whether due to good genes, a certain beauty regimen, or sheer luck, the following 18 young ladies do not look a day over 20. They all look like teens, and if they were not famous, they would probably be getting carded every time they walked into a liquor store. So without further ado, let me show you who I am referring to…
18. Julianne Hough, 28
She just turned 28 years old in July of this year, which let’s face it, is coming very close to the big 3-0. But you would never know it by looking at her. I really noticed how young this blonde bombshell looks when she portrayed Sandy on Grease Live! this year. The character of Sandy, in fact, is only a high-schooler. Perhaps Julianne’s years of acting, singing, and especially dancing (on Dancing with the Stars, for example) have helped her to retain that youthful appearance. But those sparkling baby blues and porcelain skin don’t hurt, either.
I can easily see Julianne as a bubbly, blonde, little girl with bubblegum and pigtails skipping along the sidewalk. She just has that tender, soft look about her. And according to the starlet, herself, she is most passionate about staying healthy, cooking, home décor, and kindness. It sounds like she lives a pretty down-to-earth and healthy life, so maybe that is why she looks so damn young!
17. Nina Dobrev, 27
Nina Dobrev is just a year younger than Julianne, but it doesn’t matter because she, too, looks like a teenager! And she plays one on the show that brought her the most fame, The Vampire Diaries. Her role is that of Elena Gilbert, a high-schooler.
She is very physically fit due to her dancing, gymnastics, and she just simply has a young look to her, perhaps in part because of her baby face. Or maybe her Bulgarian-Canadian genes come into play to keep her smooth skin glowing and her smile so bright. Her big brown eyes lend themselves to her looking so wide-eyed and innocent, like a doll. Nina also played teenagers in DeGrassi: The Next Generation for four years, and in other works, as well. She was once romantically linked to her fellow list-mate Julianne Hough’s brother, Derek Hough. What a handsome couple these two would make!
16. Britt Robertson, 26
Now this is a girl with a true baby face, if I ever saw one. She constantly plays the role of a teenaged girl, but in real life, she is a southern belle from Charlotte, North Carolina. Some of the movies and shows she has played a teen in are The Tenth Circle, Swingtown, Life Unexpected, Scream 4, The Secret Circle, Under the Dome, Tomorrowland, Ask Me Anything, The First Time, and many more since she got her start in showbiz in 2000. The pretty, petite actress (who, by the way, is the oldest of seven children!) knows she looks very young. She says, “If I can play 15 when I am 25, I can play 35 when I’m 55.”
But even though she has the face of someone ten years younger, she has the personality of an old fogie, according to her. Britt says, “I go to bed at 11 o’clock. We have such old lady schedules. Everyone’s always like, ‘Let’s go out!’ And we’re always like, ‘No, we don’t want to’. They call us the grandmas. My grandmother raised me for a good portion of my life. She moved to Los Angeles with me to be an actor, so I’ve always had a connection with an older generation.”
15. Selena Gomez, 24
Teen queen Selena Gomez just had a birthday over the summer on July 22. That means she is 24-years-old, even though her gorgeous face says otherwise. The Mexican/Italian singer and actress unfortunately battles lupus, but to me she has always looked glowing, a picture of good health.
Selena started out as “Gianna” on Barney and Friends before her Disney Channel days, during which she was on The Wizards of Waverly Place (her first big role, which changed her life), Princess Protection Program, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana. She also starred in Cinderella Story, as well as various other films and television shows before hitting it big in the music industry. Her Disney history (and let’s not forget Barney!) speaks to what, even now years later, is a fresh, girlish image. In fact, it was Disney that discovered Selena at a nationwide casting call. Maybe her association with productions geared toward the teeny-boppers of America is part of the reason why she looks so young to me, but then again, maybe not. Maybe she is just blessed, the lucky biatch.
14. Ariana Grande, 23
This beautiful pop star will likely be gorgeous even as a little old lady, because she is seriously just that pretty. She had an awkward phase, as we all do, during her actual teen years, but now that she is all grown up and in her twenties, she looks flawless and as if she were still in her teens. I would take that any day over aging normally.
She owes her good looks at least in part to her Italian ancestry, on both sides of the family. To add to that, her wide eyes, dimple, short stature, and signature high ponytail all work together to make her look even more youthful. Aside from her vocal work, Ariana (whose nickname is Little Red- so cute!) is best known for her role in Nickelodeon’s Victorious.
13. Shailene Woodley, 25
This coming November, Shailene Woodley will turn 26, but she doesn’t look it. Many people are aware that the star known best for her roles in The Secret Life of the American Teenager and the Divergent series is a serious health nut. And by serious, I mean insane. She does things like organic farming, and calls the earth “Gaia.” She is also a hippie and a feminist. But maybe there is something to be said for all of that, because hey, just look at her. It is working for her!
Shailene says, “I gather my own spring water from mountains every month. I go to a farm to get my food. I make everything from my own toothpaste to my own body lotions and face oils. I could go on for hours. I make my own medicines; I don’t get those from doctors. I make my own cheese and forage wild foods and identify wild plants.” She hopes to start a giant biodynamic farm and run it like a community, but sell the produce for less than conventional prices. Well, all the power to her!
12. Liana Liberato, 21
Liana Liberato is barely in her twenties, but she still is, even if she doesn’t look it. She turned 21 in late August, so now not only is she a legal adult, and one who can be included on this list, but now she can also partake in fun of the drunken kind! But in regards to her soft, feminine looks, Liana can thank her interesting mix of Italian, Bohemian (Czech), English, French, and Irish heritages. I could definitely see her being Eastern European; she just has that look, in my opinion. Acting-wise, she always plays a teen girl, and some of her most notable roles are in the films Erased, Stuck in Love, Trust, The Best of Me, Haunt, If I Stay, and Dear Eleanor, but she has been in many other movies and television shows. You may not quite know where you have seen her from, but you have definitely seen her. She has worked alongside some pretty big names, like Clive Owen, Aaron Eckhart, and Chloe Moretz.
11. Vanessa Hudgens, 27
It is hard to believe that Vanessa Hudgens is part of the “older crowd” on this list, but 27 is, indeed, considered the upper twenties. In fact, she will be 28 in December. I also cannot believe it has been 10 whole years since her breakout role in High School Musical, but alas, it has. Ever since then I have been unable to see her in any other light than that of the sweet-voiced Gabriella Montez in all of the High School Musical movies.
Her fresh face landed her the gig of being Neutrogena’s spokesperson, and that face is made up from Filipina, Chinese, Spanish, Irish, and American Indian ethnicities. Wow, what a beautiful combination! But the young-looking Vanessa actually has quite “mature” goals: “Ever since I was really young I wanted to play a prostitute. It’s just, like, thrilling as an actor to put yourself in a situation you, personally, would never be in,” she says.
10. Juno Temple, 27
She may not be as well-known as, say, others on this list like Ariana Grande, but Juno Temple has a long resume in the Hollywood world. And on top of that, she is a 27-year-old that looks 10 years younger, which in my opinion, really opens up the roles she could go for. She was born in England, already set for showbiz because of her producer mother and film director father. When she was 15 and declared she wanted to be an actress, she auditioned for Notes on a Scandal, and won the role of Cate Blanchett’s daughter. It was her big break and led to her being cast in another big film, Atonement. A few more of her titles include (but there are so many more) The Other Boleyn Girl, The Three Musketeers, The Dark Knight Rises, Maleficent, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Black Mass, and the television series Vinyl.
9. Logan Browning, 27
Don’t recognize this pretty face? Well, even if you don’t, you cannot argue that it does not look 27-years-old. Logan Browning, who is not uber-famous but famous enough, is best known for playing Sasha in the 2007 movie Bratz: The Movie and Brianna in Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns. On VH1’s dance show Hit the Floor, she plays a mean and heartless girl named Jelena, the captain of the Devil Girls, but in real life, she is all about being kind to people, which nicely compliments her kind, sweet, and young-looking face. She is the only Devil Girl that is not a professional dancer, but she makes it work and keeps up, even though it is admittedly hard for her. It makes sense that she portrayed a fashion doll the likes of Barbie, because, well, look at her. Born and raised in Atlanta, she is a southern belle.
8. Victoria Justice, 23
Yet another 20-something actress with a baby face is Victoria Justice of Victorious and Zoey 101 fame. She is often said to resemble Nina Dobrev, who we have already talked about, and I can totally see it. Like Nina, she has the long brown hair and pixie-face that makes her look much younger than her true age of 23-years-old. Victoria considers herself a tomboy, which is completely contradictory to her youthful beauty that comes from her ancestral mix of English, German, French, and Puerto Rican. But perhaps she is as young at heart as she looks; she loves The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Spongebob Squarepants.
Also a successful recording artist (because aren’t they all?), Victoria has numerous screen credits, both film and television. They include, but are not limited to, Fun Size, The First Time, iCarly, The Troop, Unknown, The Garden, and the indie film Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List.
7. Lucy Hale, 27
Little known fact about Pretty Little Liars’ star Lucy Hale: her real name is Karen Lucille Hale! I can see why she shortened it to something sweet and cute. And sweet and cute definitely describes her, in more ways than just her name. She looks so much younger than her real age of 27, and played artistic high school student Aria Montgomery on Pretty Little Liars for years (she still does, but on the show her character is no longer in high school). Actually, she is only 15 years younger than Holly Marie Combs, who plays her mother on the show.
Lucy is of English, Scottish, Irish, and German descent. Another thing people may not know about Lucy is that her first love is not acting; it is singing, because she loves the thrill of performing on a stage. She even signed a record deal with Hollywood Records, but because of the success of Pretty Little Liars, she remains mostly known for being the secretive Aria. She has had tons of roles, but some of the bigger ones include the shows Bionic Woman and Privileged.
6. Ashley Benson, 26
The lovely Ashley Benson is also a main character, Hanna Marin, on Pretty Little Liars. She will be 27 in December, but you would never know it. She, too, has played a high school student for several seasons on the show, and in many other shows and movies. She looks the part of the snotty teenager, the rebellious teenager, the sweet teenager… she can pull off basically any kind of teenager, both because of her girlish looks and her talent for acting. She always portrays a pretty and popular teen girl, but her dream is to play a darker, deeper role, and one day, to win an Oscar.
Ashley is a multi-faceted woman, though, despite being typecast. Maybe her beauty regimen (or lack thereof) has something to do with that perfect, perfect skin of hers. Ashley says of her non-routine, “My skin is really sensitive, so I don’t use too much on it. I’m actually really bad at washing my face. I get so lazy at night so I usually buy the Neutrogena wipes and it gets all the makeup off and its easy and that’s the way to go. I hate washing my face, so I always use the wipes.” Or maybe the fact that she was born two months premature, weighing only two pounds, means she has always been younger than she was meant to be. Well, whatever the case, she looks stunning!
5. Ellen Page, 29
She got her breakout role as the title character Juno in the 2007 movie Juno, and from there her career really took off. Even though she was almost 20 at the time, she played a pregnant teen, and many of her roles have been that of a person younger than she is. That is because like all the others on this list, Ellen Page was blessed with amazing genes, and she looks so freaking young!
One of her trademark physical features is the fact that she is so petite, which helps the image, I think. The self-proclaimed “tomboy from Nova Scotia” says of her slight frame, “I’m a total shrimp, which makes me look younger. I’ll be able to stay in that area longer, which is good, because there’s more competition in your 20’s.” At 29 years old and thus the oldest on our list, Ellen still looks like a teenager. She has been in countless films through the years, but to name a few, she has been in Whip It, Inception, The East, An American Crime, Smart People, and this year’s Tallulah, in which she plays Tallulah.
4. Hayden Panettiere, 27
She is best known for portraying the cheerleader Claire on the show Heroes, but really, Hayden Panettiere has been acting since she was 11 months old, first in commercials, then on One Life to Live and Guiding Light, followed by several TV shows and movies. Some of these are Remember the Titans, Joe Somebody, Raising Helen, Ice Princess, Shanghai Kiss, Fireflies in the Garden, I Love You, Beth Cooper, Scream 4, and the show Nashville.
Though she has a baby of her own now (with fiancé Vladimir Klitschko) she still looks like a baby, herself. At 27, she could still easily pull of being a teenager. And unlike many of the girls on this list who are naturally petite or tiny, Hayden is curvy and embraces that. She says, “I don’t need to feel stick-skinny. To me, the confident curvy girl is so much sexier than the insecure skinny girl.” That it is! And even being curvy (if you could even really call her that, because, come on) she looks 17 and not 27.
3. AnnaSophia Robb, 23
Remember AnnaSophia Robb when she was running around in the woods as a kid in Bridge to Terabithia? Well, I do. And by the looks of her, that could have only been a few years ago. But that movie was made in 2007, and now, nearly 10 years later, AnnaSophia is 23-years-old. She doesn’t look a day over 16 in my book. Her soft, light features are a product of her English, Scottish, Danish, Swedish, and Irish ancestry, an ancestry that, by the looks of it, also provided her with some kind of a stay-young-forever gene.
She is also known for The Reaping, Race to Witch Mountain, Soul Surfer, The Way Way Back, Mercy Street, and The Carrie Diaries, among others. And, like Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City, whom she portrays in The Carrie Diaries (albeit a much younger version), AnnaSophia says, “I was made to live in New York. I love it.” Well, this big city girl is also one very young-looking girl.
2. Sarah Hyland, 25
Gorgeous New Yorker Sarah Hyland is just one more celeb who can (and does) play the part of someone much younger than her actual age. Though she will turn 26 this November, Sarah still plays teen roles. Some of her credits (teenaged and otherwise) are Lipstick Jungle, Conception, Scary Movie 5, Vampire Academy, and of course, as Dunphy daughter Haley Dunphy on the wildly successful sitcom, Modern Family. That is where most people know her from.
Her trademark in terms of appearance are her wide eyes and small frame, both attributes that add to her youthful appearance. Sarah, who has had health issues and even a kidney transplant from her father, totally agrees with those being her “trademarks.” She says, “My eyes are so big that, weirdly, I feel like an alien if my eyelashes don’t match their intensity. I like to curl my lashes to the point where they’re sticking straight up and then put on a ton of mascara!”
1. Elizabeth Olsen, 27
The baby sister of the infamous Mary-Kate and Ashley, Elizabeth Olsen just looks like she would be the baby sister of the family, meaning she looks young. Nicknamed Lizzie, the youngest Olsen sister has several big motion pictures under her belt, like the superhero/action flicks Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Godzilla, and Captain America: Winter Soldier. She did indie films like Martha Marcy May Marlene, and horror movies like Silent House.
Lizzie trained in singing and ballet from a young age, and was kind of born into acting as she appeared in many of her older sisters’ straight-to-video films. But she still went her own way with things, and said she never wanted the fact that she was the sister of the most famous twins in the world to give her an easy ride. She will be 28 next February, but I never would have guessed it, or anywhere near it.