Guys (strangers) will stare at me from far away as I walk toward them or am standing in a way where they see my face at an angle (like from the side) but those same guys won't look at me at all when I'm up close, or as soon as I make eye contact all staring stops...and sometimes these guys are cute. It makes me feel self conscious bc I feel like I look bad up close and that's why guys seem like they're going to approach me but don't. Either that or I look mean when I make eye contact?
First, I can't make any real judgement about your looks...no picture to make an opinion. That said, it may be more a case that the guys do like you but too shy to say hello. Maybe you should make the approach to them and talk to them. Only then can you be sure if it has anything to do with your looks.
That's usually if a girls attractive. He looks from a far as he doesn't feel uneasy at a distance. You come close so he's hardly going to stare you out. He will turn away fast. Also you could have a serious look on your face or frosty demeanor.
They probably had no intentions of approaching.
Especially if it was during the day. If he's hot like you say he's probably expect or assume that you are going to approach him. He knows you caught his signal (the staring) and he's seeing you come closer. Hot guys really don't have to approach women if they don't want to, because women approach them. Then as you come closer he stops staring to play it cool. He's assuming you're already going to approach him so he doesn't want to seem too eager, but little does he know, you weren't going to approach him either. He also might know that doing that may discourage a girl that isn't desperate but he still does it anyway because he has options so he doesn't care all that much.
Awkward days we live in. No it doesn't mean you're ugly. You're probably really pretty if a hot guy is staring at you. They don't notice ugly girls.