Shay Mitchell wants her fans to embrace their ''unique'' beauty.

The Filipino actress used to alter her appearance when she was younger to look more like her classmates, but these days she's learned to work with her natural look.

She said: ''When I was in high school, all my friends were blond with blue eyes, so to be more like them, I would dye my hair lighter, straighten it, wear contacts, and stay out of the sun so I wouldn't get any darker.

''Now, everything I do beauty-wise is to enhance what I was born with. So this is what I will say to younger girls: Being unique is beautiful -- celebrate that. Be you, don't try to change.''

The 'Pretty Little Liars' star admitted social media creates more of a pressure to look ''perfect'' but urged people to remember that it's just an illusion of perfection.

She told PopSugar: ''I realise there are a million different filters, and I would never lie about using the beauty filter on Instagram, but at the same time, it's important to remember that photos on social media are a highlight reel.

''That's not real life. I'm not taking photos when I feel sick and coughing all over the place. These are moments that are very curated and edited to perfection, so I know that when I look at photos. I just try to live my life and have the most fun in real life. IRL.''

Shay, 31, likes to mix up her own look with wigs but would ''never'' cut her own locks short.

She said: ''I've never cut my hair short, but I'll play around with a bunch of different wig lengths and colours.

''I just have fun with it -- beauty is supposed to be fun. One hairstylist was like, 'I loved your hair when it was short,' and I was like, 'No, it was just a wig!'''