On The Rise
TV star, clothing designer, mega-blogger and eco-entrepreneur Lauren Conrad answers Lucky readers’ questions about everything from her perfect hair to her new earth-friendly line to her stance on boyfriend makeovers.
Lauren Conrad’s office, tucked inside a Spanish-style bungalow, is fantastically homey. It’s painted mauve and filled with flickering scented candles; there is a tufted rose-colored velvet sofa; her desk is covered with pages ripped from fashion magazines. The 27-year-old Conrad is a certified Hollywood celebrity, but sitting at her desk, barefoot, she registers more as a laid-back, down-to-earth California girl.
But this girl, who tells me, in an OC-surfer-ish drawl, that she hasn’t checked her voice mail in five years, also designs two clothing lines (Paper Crown and LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s), has published seven books (all of them New York Times bestsellers), has nearly 3 million followers on Twitter and this past winter launched a collaboration with eco-friendly bag line Blue Avocado. “Inside every one, there is a tag that tells you how many plastic bottles were upcycled to make it,” says Conrad, who drew on her own experiences for elements of the 20-piece collection, such as the curling iron bag. “The inside is heat protected, for when you’re running to the airport and your curling iron is still hot—that happens to me a lot.” Conrad teamed up with Blue Avocado because she was impressed with their “nonjudgmental” green approach.
“The company encourages people to make little eco-friendly changes in their life to effect change, like simply flipping off the lights when you leave a room,” she says. “I grew up at the beach and I was always involved in beach clean-ups and caring for my environment. So, I think any opportunity you have to be green, whether it’s in business or in everyday life, you should take it.”
This conscientious yet totally unpretentious attitude has helped Conrad (who is working on integrating more eco-friendly fabrics into her clothing lines) win millions of fans, and we here at Lucky decided that nobody is better suited to run an interview with everyone’s favorite starlet-next-door than these devotees. Using questions submitted on luckymag.com, Facebook and Twitter, we let them run the show.
Lucky: What’s your ideal date?
Lauren Conrad: Going to a quiet restaurant and having a nice long dinner. I’m into mellow dates with really good food.
What do you and your boyfriend, William Tell, like to do on the weekends?
Honestly, he studies all weekend and I’ve been working. I’m renovating a condo, so I’ve been spending my weekends shopping for home stuff at flea markets.
What is your go-to date-night outfit?
I try to go pretty neutral, especially if it’s a first date. I never want to ask where we’re going, because, you know, I want to play it cool. I’ll wear a black skirt or leather leggings and a white silk blouse. I skew a little nicer just to be safe, but I think black and white is always sexy, and I’ll do a fun lipstick to dress it up.
Do you tinker with your boyfriend’s style?
A little bit but not really. He’s just a jeans and T-shirt guy, which I like. I like no-fuss style. Sometimes I’ll buy him clothes and sneak them into his drawer!
I see you Instagramming all these photos of things you’ve baked. Do you really eat all that stuff?
Yes, that’s the fun of baking! I am mostly a cookie dough person. I will bake when I can bring what I’ve made to places, like a dinner party, or to work. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of peanut butter cookies.
Are there any fashion moments you regret?
I try to never look back at how I dressed in the first few seasons of Laguna Beach because it was pretty bad … head-to-toe bad. This past summer, MTV replayed every episode and I would always see it and be like, Ahh, noo! I wore these capri denim pants a lot and they were so bad.
Do you have any spring trends you’re excited about or a particular show from 2013 that appeals to you?
“I really love Alice + Olivia and Kate Spade. I think they have fun with fashion and they’re both really good with details.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A friend from high school recently reminded me my goal was to own a bridal boutique! I’d love to design bridal dresses.
How did being a former reality TV star affect your reputation in the fashion industry?
The TV show did not help my reputation very much. It was difficult to be taken seriously. But I think the fact that I went to school to study fashion and worked in the industry helped me. I think it’s a good thing to feel like you have to prove something, because you’re always going to have to work a little bit harder.
Your hair is always perfect. How often do you style and wash it?
It’s not perfect, to be honest. I mean, I have my hairstylist, who’s been working on my hair for years, help with cut and color and all that, but for the most part I just kind of let it do what it’s going to do. I wash it every two or three days and don’t style it myself much.
I hear you give yourself manicures every night. Do you have any at-home secrets?
I used to do it every night. It was my favorite thing, my wind-down at the end of the day, but I’ve been really busy, so now I do it every few nights. Color-wise, I take into account what I have going on the next few days, but usually I like a red or a neutral or something darker.
Is there a piece of style or beauty advice that you think sort of changed your life?
I can’t remember who told me this, but it was ‘Get your clothes tailored.’ Like most people, I used to wear clothing off the rack. But having them fitted to me makes a really big difference, especially with pieces like a cocktail dress. Little nips and tucks can take 10 pounds off you.”
How do you get your cat eyeliner so perfect?
Practice and Q-tips. I dip a Q-tip in eye makeup remover and dab it on my mistakes. I use Mark Painted Black liquid eyeliner—it’s $6.50—and you just drag it along your lashline and then, depending on your eye shape, you can go really dramatic or do a small little flick. You should just mess around with it till you find a shape that works for you.
Do you want kids, and if so, when?
I want kids, but not in the immediate future. All of my friends in their early 30s who just started having kids say, ‘Give it a few years.'
Do you ever think of writing a dating advice book after having your private life filmed?
The first book I pitched to HarperCollins was a dating book and they did not want it, but I would love to write one.
How is your newly adopted puppy, Fitz? Is he getting along with your other dog?
They’re best friends. They’re really cute. Chloe, my first dog, is a bit spoiled, so it took a few days of adjusting, but now they’re getting along well.
What was the last movie that made you cry?
This is really cheesy, but it was the Katy Perry movie. I saw it on a plane and started tearing up. The movie touched on her divorce and how she had to go up on stage every night. She’s crying as she goes up, and once the lights go on, she just smiles and pulls it off, and you’re like, wow!
How do you learn not to care what people say about you?
At the end of the day it’s going to hurt your feelings if someone says something mean about you, but I’ve learned to take a step back and ask myself if it’s really going to affect me, if this person who I’m never going to know or meet doesn’t like me—and it doesn’t.
What would you consider your best accomplishment yet?
Making the New York Times bestseller list was something that I was really proud of, but I also think that the friendships I’ve maintained almost rank over that. I think it’s rare to have a wonderful group of friends in this town.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV until I was 16 and I got cast [on Laguna Beach] when I was 17. I thought that was funny. I was like, I was just allowed to watch this not that long ago!