From Saran Wrap to Scotch Tape: 15 Pageant Beauty Secrets


Alyssa Campanella was all smiles and tears upon being crowned. While the same crown is passed down every year, every Miss USA gets to keep her own tiara.

Photo: Miss Universe Organization

With the Miss Universe pageant this Sunday, we’re going to be glued to our TVs taking in all of the excitement. But we’re also going to be wondering how exactly they keep those bikini bottoms from riding up and their hair that big?

To get some of these answers ahead of the big show, we reached out to our favorite former pageant queens to get the scoop on how they prepare for competition. From Saran wrap to Preparation-H, they’ve divulged their top-secret beauty tips to Yahoo Beauty.

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On Hair & Makeup:

Alyssa Campanella, Miss USA 2011

“At Miss Universe 2011, Miss Venezuela always had perfect curls everyday. One day, I finally had the courage to ask her what her secret was to those amazing, bouncy curls. She told me she applied rollers into hair every night before bed and slept in them. I thought that seemed so easy! But after five minutes of me trying that, I had to abort! I am a stomach sleeper, so sleeping with rollers in my hair was completely impossible. My face couldn’t even hit the pillow! I gave up and just stuck to using a curling iron every morning.”

Kamie Crawford, Miss Teen USA 2010

“Preparation H—that is the best trick in the book. I put it under my eyes. If you’ve been crying, it will get rid of puffiness. I would go to sleep around 1 or 2AM, and be back up around 4:30 or 5AM. You don’t want to look tired, especially for an interview for the biggest pageant of your life.”

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Tami Farrell, Miss Teen USA 2003

“Other contestants taught me a lot because I didn’t know anything about makeup! If it works for your face, wear darker lipstick to make your teeth look whiter and smile look bigger.”


Texan belle Danielle Doty moved to New York to a 5000-square feet apartment on Fifth Avenue the day after she won the competition.

Danielle Doty, Miss Teen USA 2011

“You need to put white powder under your eyes so that they don’t fade away under the stage lights.”

“If you put a spoon behind your eyelashes while you’re putting the mascara on, it connects your fake and real eyelashes—and trust me, it makes a huge difference!”


Heather French Henry crowning her successor, Angela Perez Baraquio.

Photo: Miss America Organization

Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000

“Something that I still use now—I do utilize tea bags. I use green tea bags on my eyes if I can find them. They still rejuvenate my tired eyes.”


Kimberly Pressler at the Miss Universe competition in Trinidad and Tobago in 1999.

Kimberly Pressler, Miss USA 1999

“Use scotch tape as an eye stencil for both liner and shadow. Perfect lines every time!”

“Heat your eye lash curler using your hair dryer. Only a few seconds is needed. It curls your lashes like a curling iron does hair.”

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Crystal Lee, Miss California and Miss America First Runner-Up 2014

“I’m Asian and I have double eyelids, so it’s crucial that I let the eyelash glue for my fake eyelashes dry. If I don’t, the glue will get all over my eye.”

Kamie Crawford, Miss Teen USA 2010

“The best thing to do is get a weave—you can fry it, tangle it, whatever. It doesn’t matter.”


Rima Fakih was the first Arab American to become Miss USA.

On Body & Confidence:

Rima Fakih, Miss USA 2010

“I slather on hemorrhoid ointment, wrap myself up with Saran wrap, and run on a treadmill with an incline for 30 minutes. It’s not permanent, but it tightens you up.”

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Angela Perez Baraquio, Miss America 2001

“I remember spraying adhesive spray mount from art stores underneath my swimsuit bottom before I walked onstage during competition so my bathing suit wouldn’t ride up as I was walking the runway.”


Stanford grad Crystal Lee nailed the interview portion of Miss America.

Photo: Joe Whiteko

Crystal Lee, Miss California and Miss America First Runner-Up 2014

“As women, we’re always going to be scrutinized. I think high-performers will always have people watching. I knew that at the end of the day, I could rely on the inside. I am not going to be 23 years old forever. How you look is only one part of the equation. There’s a lot more to life than outward appearances.”


Kamie Crawford competing in the swimsuit portion of Miss Teen USA.

Kamie Crawford, Miss Teen USA 2010

“’Pretty Feet’ is a popular stance, which you stand with one foot in front of the other, turned out. You automatically look slimmer. A lot of people think that when you pose, your hands are on your hip. Actually, you don’t want your hands on your actual hip—your hand goes right under your rib cage.”

“If you looked like you were having fun, the judges wouldn’t look at your body as much. They wouldn’t sweep their eyes over your entire body.”