Miss USA Reveals Her Beauty Bag, 'Miss Universe' Prep, and What It's Really Like Behind the Scenes of a Pageant


(Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)Ever wondered what it's really like to be a pageant queen? While most of us might assume Miss Congeniality is an accurate depiction of pageant life, it turns out it's a little less dramatic than that, although still way cool. We caught up with Miss USA herself, Erin Brady, to get the low down on her favorite beauty picks, getting pageant ready, and what it's really like with the other contestants.

StyleBistro: What are five must-have products for your beauty bag?
Erin Brady: A good chapstick that moisturizes my lips, because this time of year my lips get nasty. Mascara, of any kind, that really makes my eyes pop. A light moisturizer for my face, because my face tends to get very dry. A nice perfume. I would say I love to smell light and fresh.* And a good bronzing moisturizer, because I'm very pale this time of year so something to make me look glowing!

*Erin later shared her fave scent is DKNY's Be Delicious.

SB: We know in the pageant world, you always have to look your best. How do you quickly treat a zit or pimple that's popped up?
EB: I use a mixture of things right now. I use witch hazel, which is a very nice clean astringent that cleanses and wipes my makeup right off the blemish. Also, I use Epiduo, which is a prescription spot treatment. It's phenomenal! I put it on and over night it works very fast and to dry up the blemish.


(Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)SB: You'll be competing in the Miss Universe pageant soon. Do you have to workout a lot in prep for that?
EB: I've been at the gym every single day, because Miss Universe is in the middle of the winter, and I'm going to be rocking a two piece and six inch pumps in front of about a billion people! There's a little pressure.

SB: Will you get to spend time with the other contestants? Do you become friends?
EB: Yes, you spend lots of time with them. You're with them all the time, but I've heard a huge factor is the language difference, so that's kind of half the battle. They say that girls tend to stay in groups depending on the languages they speak, which makes sense. I'm rooming with Australia, so I would assume her and I would become really close! Also, I think in competition mode like that, you have girls like Venezuela and the Philippines who are die-hard pageant girls and aren't there to make friends. You kind of have to feel it out. It's three weeks, day in and day out, so you need to have friends or you'll go crazy!

SB: The pageant is held in Moscow, Russia this year. How are you prepping for winter in Russia?
EB: I'm from New England, so I know what cold is, but this is Moscow, Russia! I've gotten staple pieces like capes, wraps, and fur boots. You just have to play it up, because Russians are very dramatic with their outfits. They're very theatrical, so you can go over the top there and have it be appropriate. Also, all the girls are competing. You get up to go to breakfast, and everybody's decked out. I'm not representing little Connecticut anymore, I'm representing the whole USA now. No pressure.

SB: You'll do great! Good luck.
EB: Thank you so much!

And truth be told, we have every bit of confidence Erin will represent the USA well tomorrow night. Her charismatic personality left us smiling from ear to ear!

Watch Erin Brady compete in the Miss Universe competition November 9 at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.
Associate Editor at StyleBistro. Lover of makeup, running, Bob Dylan and chocolate. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @CaitlinSMiller Follow me: Google
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