Emily Maynard has been busy since Season 8 of "The Bachelorette" ended. The reality star and mom to daughter Ricki, 7, just launched a lifestyle site and is set to release her first jewelry line, Emily Maynard for Town & Reese, this spring. We caught up with Maynard to talk about fashion splurges, beauty secrets and what to wear on a first date.
Why did you want to design jewelry?
Honestly, it was something that I never even thought was a possibility. But I wore Town & Reese jewelry a lot on “The Bachelorette.” And it's a company started by two moms here in Charlotte and they’ve done unbelievably well. So when they asked me if I wanted to do my own line, I was so excited. It’s been so much fun. It’s been a lot of work, and there's a lot more that goes into it than I ever thought. But it's been so much fun.
What are your favorite fashion brands?
I'm all over the place. I’ll mix Forever 21 with Louboutins. I shop everywhere from Target to Neiman Marcus. These days, I don’t have a lot of time to go out and shop, so I do a lot of online shopping.
What's your biggest splurge?
Shoes and pocketbooks, for sure.
And low-cost must-have?
I get my leggings at Target. Nordstrom, the Brass Plum section, has really great long tank tops that I layer with everything, for like $15. I love Forever 21 and Zara.
What's your fashion motto to live by?
My mom always told me I could wear whatever I want as long as I look like a lady. I think that’s something I want to pass on to my daughter, too.
What's the perfect first-date outfit?
My biggest thing is, I don't want to be more dressed up than he is, or less dressed up. I don’t think you can go wrong with a pair of skinny black jeans or leather pants and a cute top with some funky heels, and just make it your own with the accessories.
What's one item you think women love and men hate?
Red lipstick. Every guy I’ve ever been around does not like red lipstick, for some reason. And the boxy look -- the shift dresses that are popular. Guys don’t really love those either.
What's your beauty secret?
I love my Clarisonic. It's really helped my skin a lot. I think if your skin looks good, everything looks good. You need less makeup and I know I feel a lot more confident when my skin is clear, so I think skincare is super-important.
And favorite drugstore beauty buy?
Maybelline Unstoppable eyeliner. I love that. It will stay on all day long. I’ll try to take it off at night and it will still be on in the morning. I think I have a permanent ring of it around my eye.
What’s one item you wore as a child that you wish you could wear now?
My mom has these fringed go-go boots of mine that I wore with every single outfit. I wish I could still get away with those. But I do have a pair of Minnetonka fringed boots that kind of have the same vibe. I’m keeping it alive.
Anything of your daughter Ricki's you want to wear yourself?
She has the cutest clothes. She’s really into big sneakers, like the Supras and the DC tennis shoes that look really cute with the little dresses that she has to wear to school. So, I wish I could get away with that, because they look really comfortable, but I would just look ridiculous.
What’s the best style advice you got from your mom or grandma?
My mom always taught me to dress like a lady, but also getting things tailored. As long as it fits, I think you can get Forever 21 and make it look really expensive. And sometimes it’s as simple as taking in a seam or changing it little and making it a little more flattering to your body.
Any fashion regrets?
Goodness, yes. God knows, I love me some sequins and sparkle, but I recently learned that they don't have to be on everything. I try to not beat myself up for it and just wear what I like when I like it.
What do you think of the style on this season of "The Bachelor"?
I think the girls have done a really great job. It’s really nerve-wracking and it’s hard because you get so comfortable and a lot of times, on my season, all of us girls would almost forget that we were on camera. So, we’d get kind of lazy and put our hair up in gross buns. You don’t have anywhere to go, so there’s not really any incentive to get dressed up, and you want to save all your outfits and not wear all the good ones at the beginning and run out of clothes. But I think the girls this season have done a great job of keeping their everyday kick-around clothes just as cute as their rose-ceremony clothes. A lot of the girls really stepped it up for the "Women Tell All" episode. I was impressed -- they looked good.
Who should be the next "Bachelorette" based on style alone?
I really like Leslie. And Sarah -- I really love her clothes. I stalk her online. I think she’s really cute and I love all of her clothes.
How did being on "The Bachelorette" change your style?
I tried to stay pretty true to who I was whenever I was dressing on the show. But I learned what looks good just from watching it on TV, and what’s flattering and what’s not flattering.
What's your No. 1 tip for dating as a single mom?
At the end of the day, I’m so tired after I put Ricki to bed that the last thing I want to do is get dressed up and go sit at a dinner and make small talk. But you really have to force yourself to do it, because the man of your dreams is not going to come randomly sit on your couch with you while you watch another episode of "The Real Housewives."