Red Hot: Blake Lively Covers July's Marie Claire

Blake Lively July Marie Claire
Photo courtesy of Marie Claire
Blake Lively looks patriotic for Marie Claire

In an interview with Nina Garcia, Christian Louboutin's fairy goddaughter looks typically stunning in a red sleek double-breasted dress and her signature lusted-after mane. Sure, the editors had a hand in creating her cover look, but would you believe she doesn't employ a stylist?

"My assistant will call fashion houses for me, but I always pick the outfit, shoes, jewelry, and a lot of times I do my own hair and makeup for events," she says.  Well, when you have Louboutin on your speed dial and Serena van der Woodsen's closet, why not?

"Maybe it sounds jerky, but I'm lucky to be on such a fashion-centric show [Gossip Girl]. There's no designer I don't have access to," Lively admits.

Blake Lively Marie Claire
Photo courtesy of Marie Claire
#1 Stunner: The actress vamps for the magazine.

But don't think she and her CW soap character are one and the same. She admits, "I dress the same as my character, so they think, She lives this life on and off set." Not so fast; Serena might be quite the heartbreaker, but Lively is a different story. "I've been with very few people. If I'm not with somebody who really excites or inspires me, then I'd rather be by myself." (She's solo no more as she's rumored to be involved with Marks & Spencer ad model Ryan Reynolds.)

As for other style influences? She names bestie (and Harper's Bazaar U.K. cover girl) Florence Welch as a source of inspiration, calling the singer "pure magic."

Even off the red carpet, the onetime face of Chanel's Mademoiselle bags is firing on all cylinders.

In preparation for her latest film, Oliver Stone's Savages, Lively had to get familiar with some firearms. "I went to the gun range and learned how to shoot a gun for the first time. It was awful," she says. "I asked myself, Why were these things ever invented? But I did feel good that my first three shots were straight to the heart. It’s good to know—don’t mess with me in a gun battle."