9 of the Best-Kept Beauty Queen Secrets

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9 best kept beauty queen secrets by beauty blogger and retired pageant queen Stephanie Ziajka from Diary of a Debutante

As a retired pageant queen, I can attest that there are certain beauty-related tricks of the trade. In addition to the rigorous fitness plans, cleanses, and diets, there are a handful of underground beauty pageant tips and secrets that only former queens can tell you. As a newbie, I had no idea what I was getting into, and I remember feeling pathetically out of my league at my first local Miss America pageant. I had the wrong shoes, I didn’t do my makeup correctly, and my hair looked half as awesome as it needed to look. I wasn’t any less capable than the other girls, but I wasn’t privy to the esoteric stockpile of beauty queen secrets.

Whether you want to become the next Miss America, you’re looking for beauty pageant tips for teenagers, or you want some quick and easy beauty hacks for every day life, I’m sharing 9 of the best-kept beauty queen secrets in today’s post. I hope you find them as helpful as I did!

1. Save money in between hair appointments with a good temporary root concealer.


Before competing in my first local Miss America pageant, I was totally unaware of the financial commitment. Pageantry is expensive, especially when your parents aren’t funding your hobby. You’ll spend thousands on hair, makeup, clothing, entry fees– and the very long list of expenses goes on. To save money in between hair appointments, beauty queens invest in a good temporary root concealer, like EVERPRObeauty Gray Away Root Concealer Spray and Root Touch-Up Magnetic Powder. They’re temporary fixes that can make a huge impact on both your appearance and confidence.

Gray Away’s formulas aren’t sticky, and unlike many other products I’ve personally tested in the past, no visible residue is ever left on my hair after use. Both EVERPRObeauty Gray Away products are available in Lightest Brown/Medium Blonde, Light Brown, and Black/Dark Brown. They can be purchased at Ulta, Rite Aid, Target, Walgreens, and CVS. You can read a full review on both products here

2. Reduce under eye puffiness with hemorrhoid cream.


Feeling exhausted? That’s bound to happen when you’re taking on 14-hour days for a week straight at a state pageant. Although there is speculation about its risks, reducing under eye puffiness with Preparation H is one of the most widely-known beauty queen pageants tips and secrets. Kamie Crawford, Miss Teen USA 2010, gave the following advice in a Yahoo Beauty article: “Preparation H 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.”

However, it’s also worth noting that this should not be an every day morning ritual. According to  Self, Preparation H works by restricting the blood vessels, which could get rid of the redness for awhile. It also contains 1% hydrocortisone, an anti-inflammatory that can temporarily reduce under eye puffiness. However, Preparation H can be really risky to use. “If you accidentally get some in your eye, the ingredients can cause serious damage, and then puffiness will be the least of your concerns.”

3. Avoid wardrobe malfunctions by literally glue your garments in place.


Pageant girls (almost) never have any wardrobe malfunctions. You won’t see any flashing incidents or wedgies on the Miss America stage. If you’re wondering how that’s possible, the answer is two-fold: double-sided tape and butt glue. Beauty queens use double-sided tape (toupee tape works well, too) to keep evening gown cleavage under control and slits tactfully in place. They also use butt glue to keep their swimsuits from riding up while walking on stage. 

4. Smile brighter by applying Vaseline on your teeth.


Whitening treatments can take weeks to work effectively. For a quick whitening boost, use Vaseline. Vaseline is awesome for many reasons, three of which are: it reminds you to smile, it acts as a protective layer against staining, and it prevents lip products from transferring onto your teeth, thereby keeping your lipstick in place. 

5. Use hot rollers to guarantee good hair days. 

It’s obvious that pageant girls wear extensions. That’s the #1 secret to fuller pageant hair. However, full hair can still look flat. Girls get voluminous pageant hair by wearing hot rollers in their hair for upwards of 8 hours– and sometimes overnight. It’s all worth it in the end, though. From personal experience, hot rollers are the way to go if you want big southern pageant hair. If you don’t already have a good set of hot rollers, the Remington Ionic Hair Setter is a good place to start.

6. Give yourself a visible glow with a temporary bronzing mist.


No, the gorgeous golden glow of beauty queens isn’t real. One of my fondest memories from Miss Florida is standing in the bathroom with my sister queen and taking turns spraying each other’s legs with Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup for even application. Although it’s risky to use during evening gown (even though the formula is water resistant, it can on occasion still rub off on your pretty white dress), this leg makeup works miracles during swimsuit. Some girls, although not me personally, even contour their stomachs with it to give the appearance of sculpted abs. 

Also, for every day use, many beauty queens use St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse. When applied with a mitt, it’s easy to apply and won’t rub off on your clothes once it’s dry. 

7. Elongate your legs with a nude platform sandal.


You’d never notice, but just about every beauty queen has the same pair of heels on. It’s the Chinese Laundry The Teaser Platform Sandal in nude. This shoe has a 5.5″ heel and 1.5″ platform, and yes, it’s pretty uncomfortable– although not as uncomfortable as you’d think. When purchased in nude, it gives the facade of a much longer leg without a conspicuous high heel. 

Bonus Tip: Use sandpaper to abrade the soles of brand new heels. Stage floors can get slippery, and it can be difficult, both physically and mentally, to gracefully recover from a fall. Rub the smoothest parts of the sole with sandpaper to avoid eating it on slippery surfaces. It works like a charm!

8. Clean makeup stains with hand sanitizer.


How in the world do pageant queens keep their $2,500 white pageant gowns clean? The genuine answer is that they keep them in garment bags until it’s absolutely necessary to expose them to potential human error. If, however, makeup gets on an article of clothing, beauty queens and backstage hands oftentimes use hand sanitizer to remove the stain. Just apply the hand sanitizer to the stuck-on stain, wait about 10 minutes, and hand wash. Your dress, top, or swimsuit will be stain free!

9. Embrace dirty hair– and dry shampoo. 

I used to be in the “girls who wash their hair daily” club until I heard the holy grail of beauty queen secrets– hair holds its curls better when it is not freshly washed. Why? The natural texture produced by dirt and oils makes it easier to sculpt and shape the hair. So, the ideal scenario involves washing your hair the night before you need to style it. I’ve had wonderful luck with 3rd-day hair, too, thanks to the wonders of dry shampoo. My personal favorite is Moroccanoil Dark Tones Dry Shampoo (the smell… ugh, it’s just amazing), but Ouai Super Dry Shampoo and Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder Tres Invisible Dry Shampoo are wonderfully effective (and pleasant-smelling) products, too. 

Former pageant girls, did I leave any worthy beauty queen secrets or hacks off this list? Please leave me any feedback in the comments! Also, for more about my personal pageant journey, you can read about my experiences in both the Miss America Organization and the Miss Universe Organization on Diary of a Debutante!  

9 best kept beauty queen secrets by beauty blogger and retired pageant queen Stephanie Ziajka from Diary of a Debutante

This is a sponsored post with EVERPRObeauty. Thank you so much for supporting the brands who make Diary of a Debutante possible! As always, the opinions in this post are mine alone. 


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