Lea Michele has had a whirlwind year filled with major ups and downs, and in her new book Brunette Ambition, the Glee star is opening up and sharing intimate life stories and motivational advice.
The 27-year-old beauty covers everything from her fashion tips, skincare rituals, fitness routine and favorite recipes.
Here are some standout tidbits from the lifestyle guide, which hits stands May 13.
1. She stole a little makeup trick from Carrie Bradshaw.
It's hard to believe but the glamorous actress has struggled with acne just like the rest of us mere mortals.
"I've been on Accutane twice. In fact, you know those kids who become nearly suicidal about their acne? I've walked that fine line. It was impossible at times to look beyond my pimple-ridden skin or to imagine a time when I wouldn't have to spackle my face just to leave my bedroom."
So, how did she disguise those blemishes?
"Hilariously, I thought I had picked up a great concealing trick from Sex and the City, when Carrie uses black eyeliner to turn a zit into a beauty mark. Brilliant, except my skin was so bad I needed about sixteen beauty marks. I went out with girlfriends with black dots all over my face thinking I had the world fooled. They took one look at me and asked, "What...did you do to your face?"
2. She's obsessed with another brunette's style.
Despite her amazing fashion sense, Lea still pulls inspiration from another Hollywood fashionista.
"I really love Rachel Bilson's style, because she always seems to get it right without trying too hard. I loved her as Summer on The O.C., and it's been fun to watch her develop such a great career and establish herself as a real fashion icon. Her effortless and comfortable style is how I love to dress on a typical day."
3. She encourages petite girls to expose lots of skin.
The talented performer has a great figure, and she isn't afraid to flaunt it. In fact, she believes it's much more flattering when she does.
"This sounds a bit unintentionally raunchy, but I believe that if you're short, you need to show as much skin as possible. Stylists at photo shoots tend to want to put a lot of fabric on me, but that doesn't work when you're five foot two. I'm always a big fan of minidresses—in fact, I often take dresses to the tailor to have them shortened even more."
4. Her most important fashion pieces have serious sentimental value.
"My grandfather bought me a necklace before he passed away that I'll always cherish. It's a small diamond necklace, and I love it so much."
She also treasures a sweet reminder of late boyfriend Cory Monteith. "I'll always keep Rachel's "Finn" necklace from Glee."
5. Sometimes designer dresses aren't good for your health.
As a young girl, the star recalls "playing red carpet arrivals at the Oscars" and pretending to dress up in glamorous gowns. Now, she gets to wear them all the time for her job, but it's definitely not fun when your dress makes you sick.
"I wore a Marchesa dress to the 2011 People's Choice Awards that was absolutely stunning: It was covered with this beautiful white flapper-style beading. I took my cousin as my date that night and won an award—I felt a little ill but chalked it up to nerves from the night. After, we all went to a big dinner, where I ultimately had to excuse myself because I just didn't feel good. I headed back to my house with my cousin, changed out of my dress and instantly felt better—it was only at that moment that my cousin picked up the dress and exclaimed how heavy it was. We weighed it, and it came out to twenty pounds! I was literally being pulled to the ground by my dress all night!"
After that experience, Lea makes comfort a top priority for any big event. "You have to be able to breathe, and you have to trust that your dress isn't going to fall down or split up the back."
6. One of her favorite red carpet moments happened with Cory.
"I wore a Pucci dress to the Chrysalis Butterfly Ball in 2012, and I went with Cory. I remember being so excited for him to see me in that dress because I thought it was gorgeous, with a low back and an awesome print."
7. She flashed her costars on the set of Glee.
Over the past five years, Lea and her castmates have shared countless funny memories, but she distinctly remembers one time she unknowingly became overexposed while filming.
"I had to do a scene where a very intense and determined Rachel rushes into the room and exclaims, ‘Listen, everybody, this is what happened.' I didn't realize but my shirt had busted open. Luckily, I was wearing a bra, but still—nobody called cut! I was totally embarrassed."