Vanessa Minnillo

Vanessa Minnillo Praises Nick Lachey for Being Supportive

08/18/2007 at 08:40 AM EDT

Vanessa Minnillo Praises Nick Lachey for Being Supportive
Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Nick Lachey

Nick Lachey

Vanessa Minnillo doesn't hesitate when asked what makes Nick Lachey a great boyfriend.

"He's very supportive," Minnillo told PEOPLE Wednesday following an autograph session in New Jersey to launch her makeup line, Flirt. "He's here to support me."

Of her relationship with Lachey, who attended the two-plus hour appearance but stayed out of sight, Minnillo added, "I'm very grateful."

Minnillo says that she and Nick, who in April moved in together in New York, work out together with a trainer to keep fit and healthy. "I do a lot of reps," she says. "I don't want to bulk up."

Minnillo also says she's always wanted to date a guy who would cook for her. Asked if Lachey fit that criteria, she laughed: "No, I cook. We both eat – but he cleans up."

Talking about her new makeup line, Minnillo calls the project "my baby."

"It's surreal," she continues. "I picked out every color [of the eye shadows], I mixed and picked the colors for the lip glosses."

The line, which Minnillo's makeup artist Elisa Tallerico also worked on, consists of two different palettes of eye shadows and lip gloss.

Minnillo has long been a makeup aficionado, says the star who was "about 12" when she started wearing makeup. "I had a cousin who put eyeliner on the insides of her lids, so I did it too."

But it really started even earlier than that. "When I was a kid, I went into my mom's room and put on rouge," Minnillo says. "I'd put on her high heels and walk around the house."

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