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Exclusive Interview: Kelly Rowland, StyleBistro Celebrity Guest Editor

Kelly Rowland (Pacific Coast News)

Kelly Rowland at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards
Kelly Rowland may have made her name as back-up for Beyonce in the smash hit girl group Destiny's Child, but these days she's flying solo and soaring high with a chart-busting single of her own: "Motivation," from Kelly's third album Here I Am, is currently kicking back in the #1 spot on Billboard's R&B/Hip Hop chart.

Kelly is also a judge on Simon Cowell's British TV music competition The X Factor and regularly commands the front row at fashion week. She is forever changing her look. Kelly sat down with StyleBistro to dish on her skincare secrets, style icons and exercise routine. Catch up on the pop star's favorite fashion and beauty things, and get the scoop on how she gets those rock-hard abs!

Speaking of abs, don't miss out on Kelly's ultimate bikini body giveaway!

SB: How would you describe your personal style?
My own personal style is very casual-chic and sometimes bling. I just like to be comfortable, I like to be effortless, but I actually base my outfit around my shoes. I dress from the foot up.

SB: How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I don't know any more! I have two closets full of shoes and a wall of shoes. Everybody who comes to my shoe closet is like, 'This is mecca.' But not quite. I've never seen Mariah Carey's shoe closet in person, but that's Mecca. Her closet and Kimora [Lee Simmons]'s closet look like Mecca.

SB: Do you have a favorite pair of shoes?
Right now my favorite pair of shoes are these Alaïas I just bought because they are incredibly comfortable and I'm really, really tall in them.

SB: What are you wearing this summer?
Color! I'm so into color right now. The other night I went out in this bright pink shirt and everybody's like, 'Ohmigod, it's like a light came in the room!' I love color—yellows, pinks, pretty gem-tone blues and purples. I'm in that space. I also love a lot of bracelets, an armful of bracelets.

SB: What are your favorite places to shop?
When I'm in New York, I really like to go to SoHo and just walk around. Whether it's a person on the sidewalk just selling jewelry or a no-name boutique, you just find great stuff.

SB: Is there any piece of clothing you can't live without?

Funny enough, it's this pair of high-waisted black H&M pants. They are comfortable, they look great, the fabric is great. But it's so funny because everybody's like, 'Ohmigod, where did you find those pants?' and I'm like, 'H&M.' They just fit so cute, and they go with everything.

SB: What's the best piece of style advice you've ever received?

Make sure you don't go out the house wearing heels and looking like you're dropping peas. My mom saw me walking somewhere and said, 'Ohmigod, those shoes are so pretty, but why are you walking like you're dropping peas?' I said, 'What do you mean?' She said, 'Do your feet hurt?' I said, 'Yes.' She said, 'Well don't walk like your feet your hurt!' If a pair of shoes is making you walk like you're feet hurt, do not wear them. It makes the whole situation a lot worse. I don't think clothes or shoes should ever wear you; you're supposed to wear them.

SB: Whose closet would you love to raid?
Jennifer Lopez! I love how [her style] is always classic and chic. She's always so chic and youthful, and edgy still. Everything that she pairs together is really cool. I love her style.
SB: Do you think your onstage and offstage style differ?
Absolutely. I am all about showing a looonng leg on stage! So whether that's a nice cutoff under the bum or a little bit high on the bum with some great stockings or by itself, I'm not going to wear that in the street. I think that what you do onstage should never come offstage whether that's style or personality, because you completely take on a different personality when you get onstage. If you bring it off, you might piss some people off. They might look at you crazy. [My mom] will be like, 'Ohmigod, I can't believe you had that on…before noon!'

SB: Tell us about your workout with Jeanette Jenkins' Bikini Boot Camp:
It's hard…really hard! It's probably one the hardest DVDs I have ever encountered. I have a good time with it, of course, because what I've experienced with Jeanette is a lifestyle. When it comes to eating, she believes that eating has an 80-20 rule: You eat 80% of the time healthy; 20% of the time you can stuff CamiCakes in your mouth from Atlanta, Georgia—which is my favorite cupcake company. She just has such a good time training so, when I'm doing the Bikini Boot Camp challenge, I'm smiling, I'm happy, I'm moving. Then the second cardio course comes in and I just want to pass out. I'm finally on [level] two now, and it's hard. I'm out of breath, my heart rate is racing and I have to slow down. It's definitely a challenge...But when I do it with music, I'm always up for the challenge.

SB: What's your #1 beauty secret?
Water, absolutely. I finally love water. I just chug it to get it all down, but I try to do at least three liters a day. Exfoliating I completely believe in. Clinique has a great exfoliating scrub.

SB: What's in your makeup bag?
A woman should always have a nice bronzer with her, and a nice lipgloss, because you never know who you're going to run into. I put my bronzer all over my face with a little gloss, and I put my sunglasses on and I keep it moving. Scott Barnes is my favorite bronzer. I absolutely love it. It's so pretty, it's very natural looking and I just glow. I actually use his lipgloss as well. He has one called Priceless and it's so pretty. I never thought that I could wear a nude gloss until I tried his.

SB: Do you have any major red carpet regrets?
It was a long time ago. Destiny's Child wore these yellow dresses and they had feathers on them. We looked like three little chicks on the red carpet, all together.

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