Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to chat with down-to-earth, stunning Miss USA Alyssa Campanella, who spilled her secrets for looking great 24-7, her workout routine while on the road— even shared one of her specialty dishes! Read on to steal her tricks.
FITNESS: As Miss USA, you're expected to always look gorgeous. What are your haircare, makeup and skincare routines like on a typical day?
Alyssa Campanella: Since I’m constantly in the spotlight, I have to always look polished. I wash my hair the night before so that it is nice and fresh for styling, but my makeup varies. I like to have a clean face, but if I have an appearance or event, I play around with colors or makeup styles. My skincare doesn’t really change. I use a pore-refining scrub, toner and a moisturizer daily. I also use a mask every two days to exfoliate. My legs tend to be on the dry side due to the changing weather in New York and being a California girl, so I slather on Australian Gold Moisture Lock, which smells great and keeps my legs hydrated while imparting a natural glow.
FITNESS: What’s the one beauty product that never leaves your bag?
AC: Chapstick, since my lips dry quickly. I also carry mascara for touch-ups.
FITNESS: What are your secrets for looking great no matter where you are and what you’re doing? Or does it change depending on where you are?
AC: I like to be natural. I want people to appreciate their inner natural beauty, so I try to be as natural as possible. But when the event calls for glamour, I get dolled up.
FITNESS: How do you stay in shape when you’re on the go? What are your favorite workouts?
AC: I actually do a lot of core workouts without even realizing it. Even to pick myself up I do so with my core, and I attribute that to Pilates training. I’m not really a cardio fan; I’m more into muscle building. I do quick exercises when on the go. The trainer actually taught me this exercise called the frog, and it hurts but it definitely tones your legs. You basically squat like a frog and stand up, moving up and down. I thought it was easy, but by the sixth one I started crying "oh no, not 30!"
FITNESS: What are your gym bag beauty essentials?
AC: To work out, I carry a ponytail holder, put my hair in a bun and slick it back. Afterward, I cleanse with a face wipe, then apply powder, eyeliner, mascara, lipgloss and whatever I have to wear for the day.
FITNESS: We hear that you love to cook and bake. What is your specialty dish?
AC: One of my best dishes I actually made on New Year's day for breakfast, which was banana bread. I wanted to stay awake until the New Year, so to stay awake I decided to bake. My father had bananas that were ripe so I woke them up by making banana bread french toast. It was such a hit! I made it for everyone and had a lime-infused berry apple salad on the side. I credit my mom for the inspiration— she’s a great cook!
FITNESS: What’s your diet like? Are there certain foods or snacks that are your go-tos?
AC: I actually don’t have a diet; if it’s present in front of me I eat it! I used to eat too much sugar, so I started adding fruits and veggies to my meal. I try to limit sugar and sweets, not to lose weight but to maintain it. Your body is a safe haven and you have to protect it. Bananas, I can eat them all day every day. I also drink this acai strawberry banana smoothie that’s full of antioxidants, which helps keep me full. It’s delicious on the go. The nutritionist also provides these fiber bar chocolate brownies that hold you over in between meals. My schedule is a bit crazy so I have to make sure there are snacks at the ready.
FITNESS: Red hair is famously the most difficult to care for. How do you keep yours looking so stunning?
AC: I wash my hair with carrot-infused shampoo. My hair is fine and I’m naturally a blonde. I dye it every four to five weeks to keep up with the roots. I also use deep treatments. Before my title, my hair was always left natural, but as Miss USA it has to be kept nice and polished.
FITNESS: In terms of beauty indulgences, is there anything you splurge on?
AC: I enjoy a nice foot massage. I’m constantly running around and it works out your legs, but a nice foot massage always feels great! I actually don’t like when people touch my feet, but that’s the one time I will let them. I also like to have my nails done.
FITNESS: What’s the best tip you’ve picked up from the makeup, hair, and skincare experts you’ve worked with?
AC: Since my hair is naturally thin and fine, it can be lifeless. At a photo shoot in California, the hairstylist taught me to add a little bit of mousse or foam when you’re trying to tease your hair— it gives it body and volume. We call it Texas pageant hair. It gives your hair life! A makeup tip: Line your eyes with a liquid liner first, but finish with a layer of black powder to keep it in place and polish the look. Also, when using concealer, go for something that matches your skin or is one shade lighter. It really makes a difference when taking photos.
—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern