5 Style and Beauty Lessons You Can Learn from Blake Lively

 Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images; Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

Despite their 12-year age difference, we couldn't help but think of a zillion reasons why Leonardo DiCaprio nabbed Blake Lively: she's a self-professed whiz in the kitchen, is expanding her acting resume beyond the Upper East Side with a slew of upcoming movie roles, and is BFF with some of the fashion industry's biggest icons.

Oh, and did we mention that the Gossip Girl star is drop-dead gorgeous?

So in honor of her 24th birthday on August 25, we decided to call out the best look-gorgeous ideas we've picked up from the California girl.

Be your own stylist. "I'd go to fashion shows and call my publicist and say, "Can I wear that?" I think I became my own stylist by not knowing any better," Lively told Glamour in a July 2011 interview. "And once I was told it was time to get one, I thought: This is one of my favorite hobbies! And I'm going to pay someone to steal my hobby from me? That's a terrible idea!" It was her penchant for style that led her to meet two of the fashion world's biggest icons: Karl Lagerfeld and Anna Wintour.

Don't be afraid to switch up your hair color. The natural blonde debuted a fiery new hair color (for her film Hick) at the TIME 100 Gala on April 26 in NYC. "I think she's having a lot of fun!" the star's colorist Rona O'Connor told Us Weekly in June. "She has gotten a chance to make a new statement and feel a little different.

Play with different hairstyles. From bombshell waves to an unexpected peek-a-boo braid, Lively loves experimenting with fashion-forward 'dos. (Jennifer Aniston, take notice!) The secret weapon behind maintaining the star's super-shiny locks? "Any Kerastase hair product!" she told Cosmopolitan.

Show off your assets tastefully. While her on-screen character Serena van der Woodsen loves cleavage- and leg-baring numbers, Lively follows a key style rule on the red carpet: balance. Whether she's showing off her amazing legs in a flouncy mini or her svelte figure in a hip-hugging dress, you will barely ever see the star showing too much skin.

Boast a bronzy glow. Lively's skin tone is a far cry from any fake-and-bake complexion you see in tinseltown. The secret behind achieving the actress' healthy glow? "Stila  has a great compact with two colors that you brush onto the skin to create that glow you see on Blake. There is a paler pink side and a more beige side," celeb makeup artist Kristofer Buckle told BeautyHigh.com in April.

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!