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Nicole Richie: Candid About Pushing Boundaries

Nicole Richie’s Beauty Routine

Raised and now based in Los Angeles, Nicole Richie, 32, is known for her fashion line House of Harlow 1960 and reality TV shows, including “The Simple Life” and “Fashion Star.” In July, she’s scheduled to add another, “#CandidlyNicole,” on VH1. The adopted daughter of Lionel Richie and Brenda Harvey, Ms. Richie is married to the musician Joel Madden, with whom she has a daughter, Harlow, 6, and son, Sparrow, 4.

I take pretty good care of my skin. I use a lot of Dr. Lancer’s products. He’s someone I met through my parents. I actually didn’t see anybody until I was about 23. I didn’t know anything at all about skin care then. But I thought I should know more, and my parents recommended him. He gave me the talk to stay out of the sun and gave me a few products as a preventive measure. Now, in the morning I use his cleanser, polish and moisturizer. That’s it for my face. I don’t use SPF. Dr. Lancer is on my case about it, but my parents told me “black don’t crack.”

At nighttime it’s pretty much the same routine, only I switch to a nighttime cream. To take makeup off, or if I’m traveling, I’ll use the M.A.C. cleansing wipes. I also have a bottle of makeup remover from Clinique.

I don’t wear a lot of makeup. I try, over all, to keep my skin hydrated and to let it breathe. I’ll use Clé de Peau concealer to cover up my under-eye situation and Cover Girl mascara. Those are my go-tos. And I’ll use a Shu Uemura eyelash curler to make my eyes more alive. I don’t do a blush or a lip. I do use Lucas’ Papaw ointment on my lips. I’ll also stick it up my nose with a Q-tip when I fly, so I don’t get sick. It works.

When I have an event, I work with a makeup artist. It’s not something that I get to do in my everyday life, but it’s fun to get dressed from head-to-toe. For me it’s not just about the clothes, it’s also about hair and beauty. What is the overall look? How are you going to make a piece look different? I like to experiment. I think of it as a form of self-expression. I’m someone that is constantly testing herself and pushing her own boundaries. I could say I never wear blue eye shadow, but then I’ve found myself in situations where that would work.

I wear a combination of oils and lotion. My mother is Southern and very traditional and always taught me that you can’t leave the house without smelling great and feeling great. Growing up, she would do oil in the shower and then get out and put on more lotions and oil. That’s something that has been passed down for sure. So in the shower, I have exfoliating gloves and I’ll do soap — I like Dove — and then exfoliate with almond oil. When I get out of the shower, I combine a little grape seed oil with the Kiehl’s Creme de Corps with soy milk and honey, which has a light scent to it. When I’m dry — I tend to be a little on the dry side — I’ll use CeraVe. After that, I have different perfume oils, like muguet. I’ll pick them up anywhere or my Mom will send over oils. She travels a lot. Then, I’ll spray on my perfume over that. I probably smell a little different every day.

I recently colored my hair. It’s a lavender-slash-silver. My daughter asked me to do it, so I did. This change of color and all the maintenance is something new to me. Last July, I wanted to give my hair a break. I took all my extensions out for the first time in 10 years and for seven months I was rocking only leave-in conditioner and a slick back. I was giving my hair a chance to breathe because I do a lot to it. I color it and I do a Brazilian treatment. So I went from nothing to this color. It was a big jump.

With colored hair there are a lot of rules I’m learning. I just switched to this new natural shampoo by Davines, and I use a color conditioner that my hair colorist, Danny Moon, who works at Andy Lecompte salon, makes for me. He mixes up a combination of conditioner and color so that it deposits a little color each time.

Andy cuts my hair, and has since I was 19. He’s, coincidentally, one of my best friends. We’re around the same age and started out, in a way, at the same time. Because I’m his friend, he can experiment with me. Every major haircut I’ve had is one that he’s done. My attitude with beauty and hair is that it’s temporary: you can always change it. It’s how I feel about fashion as a whole. It’s fun to see Andy and experiment and do it for over 10 years. Danny is also great and crazy-looking; his hair is like a clown’s with so many colors. Danny colors Joel’s hair, too. He also gave my son a mohawk and gives my daughter hair chalk to play with.

Kimmie Keys does my nails. Nail art is a little aggressive for me. I did a version of it, a very toned-down version, for the Met Ball last year, and that was fun and safe. But I pretty much stick to nudes, reds and blacks. Same goes for toes.

I don’t get facials and I’m extremely ticklish. I’m one of the few people who hate massages. I just cannot do them. I also don’t like the idea of being stuck in a room with somebody.

I go to Tracy Anderson. I’ve been working with her over three years now. She’s wonderful. She’s small like me and she knows my body type and is very on point with that whole world.

As far as diet, we don’t diet here. But I’m very conscious of what my family eats. We grow a lot of our own fruits and vegetables at our house. Currently, we are growing kale, spinach, broccoli, three kinds of tomato, arugula and we grow all of our own herbs as well. I hope to be a green thumb. If you make that the standard for the family, it becomes habit. But my whole thing is that you have to enjoy yourself, too. We eat healthy and clean, but of course there are times when you got to “wild out.”

A version of this article appears in print on May 1, 2014, on page E3 of the New York edition with the headline: Candid About Pushing Boundaries. Order Reprints.

Apr 30, 2014 – New York Times – Written by Bee Shapiro