Exclusive: Nicole Richie Talks Fashion, Beauty, and Fashion Star

Maura Brannigan

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It's official: Nicole Richie has it all figured out. The fashion designer and TV personality has a highly successful fashion line named House of Harlow 1960, two young children with rockstar hubby Joel Madden — daughter Harlow and son Sparrow — and a second season of NBC's Fashion Star on the way. Yesterday, we caught up with the Fashion Star mentor about the show's upcoming season, her beauty secrets, and her absolute favorite item in her closet.

Is there anything in particular that you're most excited about for Season 2 of Fashion Star?
I'm actually most excited for everyone to see the level of the designers we're going to see on the show. They're so amazing. It was so inspiring to work designers who come from all walks of life, who all have different stories, and some who even had lines that had failed.

What is the hardest part about being a mentor in the show?
My job as a mentor is actually kind of easy… My job is to hold the designers' hands during the process and let them know we're all going through this journey together. We all show our collections to buyers and they either like it or they don't.

How important of a component is beauty when creating a runway look?
It's not only about the clothes, but it really is head-to-toe. It's all about creating that one look that's going to captivate everyone and make them become a part of that world. There is a lot that goes in that process. I do know viewers want to see what goes on behind the scenes.

I'm helping to launch Suave.com's Shine Suite, which looks at all the behind the scenes prep, and has access to the latest beauty trends and exclusive interviews from me. You really get an all-access pass — it's not just about viewing, but it's going to be every arena.

Now, a little bit about your style secrets. Do you have a go-to uniform? Are there any staples you can't live without?
I really, really love my Helmut Lang white t-shirts.

Catch Fashion Star's Season 2 premiere on Friday, March 8 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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Rebecca Shapiro is Marie Claire's senior editor. She previously worked at The Huffington Post and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where she bonded with the wee early hours and Starbucks extra hot red eye lattes. She also possesses a totally reasonable hatred for umbrellas.

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Tara Lamont-Djite is Marie Claire's fashion and beauty writer. She got her start Devil Wears Prada-style, assisting the editor-in-chief of InStyle Australia before taking the leap and moving to New York City. Since arriving, she rejoined the InStyle family in the New York office, spent some time in the beauty world as an Associate Beauty Editor at Beautylish.com, and has written for Style.com, Harper's Bazaar, and ELLE. She can quote a line from almost every Sex and the City episode, and is more than willing to admit she has a fashion addiction.

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Hallie is Marie Claire's social editor. Formerly the associate web editor of Real Beauty, Hallie is a 90s lipstick enthusiast and loves a good thick brow. When she's not writing or tweeting, she's probably continuing her ever-present search for the perfect platform boots to replace her broken pair. Ideas anyone? Follow her on Twitter @gouldhallie for a good time.

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