Joachim Mueller-Rochholtz

This story first appeared in the May 2015 issue of InStyle. For more stories like this, subscribe to the magazine.

Nicola Peltz has been crying all day. Before her sunset pedicure at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Spa, the 20-year-old had been working her tear ducts for hours to practice a sob scene for the A&E hit series Bates Motel, now in its third season. Peltz plays a vixen named Bradley Martin who has "gone a little insane," she says. "I'm meant to look like s—." But here in the golden light, there's not a blemish to be seen on her makeup-free face, framed by wavy blond locks above a navy Helmut Lang sweater.

Peltz has pedi rules befitting a busy actress. No color: "They'll just take it off when I get back to the Bates set." No judging: "My feet are heinous," she says, blaming their sorry state on running in heels in Transformers: Age of Extinction, her blockbuster breakthrough (the next project on deck: The Deep Blue Good-By with Rosamund Pike and Christian Bale, out next year).

She has other dicta too. No. 1: Family first. The Peltzes are a tight-knit clan. She has seven siblings and lives with her brother Will, a fellow actor. No 2: Strange is good. "I like the weird concoctions," she says, explaining her choice of roles—and lunch. "I love apples and hot sauce." Pedi over, she almost takes a selfie, forgetting Rule No. 3: "No selfies after tears," she says, laughing. "I cried off all my makeup."

Tears and all, Peltz is the picture of youthful perfection in InStyle's May issue, on newsstands and available for digital download now. Channeling the '70s in a wardrobe of muted neutrals, Peltz exudes a sultry, insouciant air in this season's easy-to-wear but hard-to-resist silhouettes. Above, she wears a Prada cotton top, Marc Jacobs wool skirt, and Eddie Borgo earrings. See the rest of her looks below.

 Joachim Mueller-Rochholtz

(BOSS cotton-blend dress, wool top, and leather belt; Fay Andrada brass earrings.)

 Joachim Mueller-Rochholtz

(Emilio Pucci cotton coat and shorts; Tory Burch cotton polo; Fay Andrada brass earrings.)

 Joachim Mueller-Rochholtz

(Dior knitted silk top; Dries Van Noten cotton-polyester bra top; Derek Lam raffia jacquard trousers; Gucci leather belt; Fay Andrada brass earrings)

 Joachim Mueller-Rochholtz

(Fendi suede dress; Eddie Borgo earrings; Tom Ford leather bag.)

 Joachim Mueller-Rochholtz

(Dries Van Noten bra top; Valentino cotton drill belted pants; Jimmy Choo leather handbag; Fay Andrada brass earrings)

 Joachim Mueller-Rochholtz

(Gucci cotton-merino mouline top and suede skirt; Fay Andrada brass earrings.)

 Joachim Mueller-Rochholtz

(Stella McCartney cotton drill dress; Prada calfskin and vachetta leather bag; Fay Andrada brass earrings.)

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