Lea Michele is trying out a new look for the December 2013 cover of Elle. Instead of wearing something short, tight, and sparkly with Kate Middleton’s hair and generic “pretty girl” makeup the way she normally does, Michele tried something completely different and rocked some wet hair and all the eyeliner in the world with blue jeans, a collection of 90s chain belts, and a white motorcycle jacket with nothing underneath.

The hair looks pretty cool, and we like that she’s trying something outside the box, but something just seems a little off about this cover look. The eyeliner seems to be in a fight for attention with her gorgeous-as-usual thick eyebrows, and neither is winning. We also don’t love that particular shade of pink lipstick on her. Her cheekbones look amazing, though.

What’s irking us most about this shoot is definitely the facial expression, and a lot of magazines have been failing in that category lately. Lea Michele is not a model, so we don’t expect her to be able to wear clothes with as much aplomb as a professional clothes-wearer like Karlie Kloss, but making facial expressions is a big part of any actress’ job, and Michele just looks vacant here, while the open mouth gives her that “dead fish” look that keeps turning up on magazine covers lately. Honestly, a bit of Tyra Banks‘ “smile with your eyes” would probably pull this whole look together.

Via Elle