Nicole Richie on Fashion, Makeup and Finding Her True Self: 'I Feel 100% In My Own Skin'

The face of Urban Decay's newest campaign opens up about what empowers her

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Between her clothing line, her role in Tina Fey’s Great News and a new gig with Urban Decay, Nicole Richie is at the height of her powers these days. And the 36-year-old mother of two is on a mission to share her that empowerment with other women, whether it’s attending the recent Women’s March in L.A. (to which she brought her 10-year-old daughter Harlow) and through her latest gig as the face of Urban Decay’s Naked Petite Heat palette. We spoke to Richie about her latest gig, and what makes her feel strong on an everyday basis.

“Makeup has … power,” Richie tells PeopleStyle. “You can transform yourself into another being, which I think is really amazing. I know women who feel most like themselves when they have a full face of makeup on and that makes them feel strong about themselves. We as women have every tool that we need in order to feel our strongest. best self. I don’t think that makeup has to hide you. I think it can accentuate what you already have.”

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And while Richie loves makeup, she draws her well of strength from the way she dresses, saying “I feel that way [empowered] about fashion.”

“My fashion choices are extremely emotional,” she explains. “I am somebody who likes a lot of color around me. It elevates me. I’m very passionate about color and I know that it has a direct effect on the energy that I have around me. And so when I’m putting something on, that definitely changes the way that I feel and the way that I approach the day.”


Right now, there’s a certain shade that really speaks to her, she says: “If I’m sick or I’m having my ‘monthly-not-feeling-too-great-about-myself’ woman moment, I’ll wear a bright color to make me feel a little more alive. I hated pink for so long and I’m really gravitating towards a magenta and hot pink this season. That’s what’s so fun about fashion, you can really hate something for a long time and come back to it later and you feel a totally different way about it.”

Day to day, Richie tends to keep her makeup routine simple, focusing on her skincare routine (she swears by products from Biologique Recherge, and says she’s trying to get into a better sunscreen habit). And when she does wear makeup, it’s a little bit of Troublemaker mascara, some Clé de Peau concealer and the new Petite Heat palette (available Feb. 22 on, which she says “is like putting your eyelids in all caps.”

Urban Decay NAKED Petite Heat Open

“I’m not someone who wears makeup every single day,” she explains. “What I love about this palette is that it really just gives you their golden colors that are really perfect for me; it has everything you need in one compact.” (Her daughter Harlow, on the other hand, is on her way to becoming a beauty influencer. “She loves makeup. She’s a different beast than me. She should have this campaign. She is like a glitter, liner, liquid liner, blush, YouTube tutorial girl. She is in it.”)

Richie’s beauty focus these days is really on her hair, she says. “I really love my hair … I was bleaching it, and coloring and doing everything so I just needed to give it a break to let it grow. I’m not shooting right now so I’m not coloring it, I’m just letting it breathe. It feels really nice,” she says. “Right now I really do feel 100 percent in my own skin … I feel the most like myself. I could cut it off in a week, who knows? All of my hair decisions have been very much on the fly. But right now I’m really just enjoying living.”

That mantra applies to more aspects of her existence – the star is now living a more, well, simple life, and it’s given her the confidence to encourage other women to do the same.

“I remember first stepping into this public life of mine around 21 and really having it in my mind that I needed various things,” she says. “Whether it was to wear a dress on a talk show or wear extensions or makeup … I think over the course of the past 15 years for me, I‘ve had to say to myself, ‘Oh wait, I don’t necessarily need all this stuff. I can enjoy it and like it but I don’t necessarily need it.'”

The star adds: “I feel like these past years for me have been stripping what I felt like I needed and coming back with what I feel like I’m the most comfortable in. For me being on a talk show, I have to be comfortable. I cannot go out there and use my words and use my voice and dress like I’m somebody else.”

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