Tricks of the Pageant Trade: Miss USA’s Beauty Must-Haves


Since there’s no shortage of mascara, lip gloss, and (most likely) bronzer at any given beauty pageant, who better to talk to about makeup than Miss USA herself? Having worn the crown for nearly five months now, Connecticut native Erin Brady is packing up and heading to Moscow to represent the USA at Miss Universe. We caught up with Brady (who’s a complete gem, in every sense of the word) on her makeup must-haves. For the record, we’re heading straight to ULTA to stock up on every single one of her Miss USA-approved faves.

When you walk into ULTA, where do you go first?
I usually go right to the makeup products – usually mascaras and lip gloss. I’m a lip gloss fiend! And then I walk over to the hair products and the body lotions. I cover everything, but the lips and the eyes first.

What’s your favorite lip gloss?
I tend to go for whatever’s in season, so right now I’m going for that bright red color. I’m not really picky, but whatever I find that looks good on me is what I tend to go for.

What are your 5 must-have beauty products?
Definitely a good chapstick that moisturizes my lips, because especially 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 it tends to get very dry; a nice perfume, because I like to smell great and fresh. Last, but not least, a good bronzing moisturizer because I’m very pale this time of year – so something that helps me look glowing!

What’s one of your favorite fragrances?
I really like DKNY’s Be Delicious—the green apple. It’s one of my favorites.

What is your go-to blemish treatment when something pops up?
Right now, I have kind of a mixture of things. I use Witch Hazel, which is just a very nice, clean astringent that just wipes my face clean of all the makeup. I also use another product called Epiduo, which is a spot treatment and it’s phenomenal. Overnight, it works very fast and it just dries blemishes quickly.

What is your favorite fall shade for nails?
I really love reds. Reds and oranges, kind of like the leaves. Tonight I’m rocking a coral-y blend of both, but I usually go with OPI, and I’m not picky. Just any red or orange color.

Do you like nail art?
Love nail art! I usually do one accent nail, and I like the half moon manicure.

How are you preparing for the Miss Universe pageant?
I’ve been at the gym [training] everyday because in the middle of the winter, I’m going to be rocking a two-piece and 6-inch pumps in front of about a billion people. So there’s a little pressure.

What are you most excited to wear?
I’m from New England, so I know what cold is, but what’s awesome is that a lot of it is inside. I’ve gotten staple pieces: great capes, wraps and fur boots – you really just have to play it up. It’s such a dramatic place and very theatrical. So you can go over the top there and have it be appropriate. And everyone’s competing. It’s a show.