Tips for a Queen

Miss America has always been known for her beauty. But maintaining those looks can’t be easy. During her reign, Miss America typically travels 20,000 miles per month and stays in one location for 24 to 48 hours at a time at most. The constant travel, speaking and racing from place to place can take a toll on skin, hair and her body. We talked to several former Miss Americas to find out how they stay looking radiant through the years.

• Lee Meriwether, Miss America 1955: “I have one tip that my mother gave me many years ago. Think gravity! While cleaning your face and while applying sunscreen, rub up, not down. And don’t squint. I’ve added toweling up while drying after you bathe.”

• Debra Barnes, Miss America 1968: “Lots of exercise, cardio and strength training, and plenty of rest.”

• Kylene Barker, Miss America 1979: “Here are a few tips from my year. Since I was a gymnast, I wanted to stay in shape and still be trim and fit at the end of the year. So I carried a jump rope with me for exercise.

“I remember being at a candy convention and Pete Rose sent me an entire box of his candy bars. I think I ate way too many and ended up jogging up and down the halls of the hotel.

“In addition to this, I would sprinkle pepper on my desserts so I wouldn’t eat them, especially while flying. What else do you do as you fly across the country but eat?”

• Heather Whitestone McCallum, Miss America 1995: “I have a few beauty tips, which I used to prepare for the pageant and still use today. They are an eyeliner, a lip pencil and a hairstyle. I use an eyeliner because it makes my eyes look much more elegant and shows off my green eyes.

“I didn’t know about the lip pencil until I competed for the Miss Alabama pageant. I was surprised at how much the lip pencil made my lips look better. I avoid a dark lip liner, though. I uses only neutral lip liner, so it makes my lips look more natural.

“Wearing hair up in a French twist is a classic look. It never goes out of style. It’s a wonderful hairstyle for business or black tie or even for the beach. This hairstyle makes it easy for me to impress other people.”

• Tara Dawn Holland Christensen, Miss America 1997: “Here is a beauty tip I received from my aunt. I used it during the Miss America pageant and still do it today. I put a hair dryer on my eyelash curler for a few seconds before using it each time. It becomes like a hot curling iron for the eyelashes.”

Contact Image Editor Susan Stapleton at or 702-387-2909.


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