In 20 years, how has makeup changed?
Oh, it’s changed dramatically. Back then it was blue eyeshadows, it was a little over the top, the red lips; it's not really like that. Really the girls can do a clean and natural look and still be able to wear that on stage. It's less is more now. You'd be surprised.
Yeah, people think makeup and think Tammy Faye Baker ...
You know a lot of girls do think that, and that's probably one of the biggest mistakes that they make when they do get up on stage. But they don't realize that from far away you just can contour and highlight your face and still be able to see your features, but when you walk up closer to the judges, they want to see that natural beauty.
Is there a secret to a lipstick to make the smile the brightest?
Most girls are wanting fuller lips (if you can imagine that, everybody wants to increase something), so we tell them to highlight the center of their lips with a lighter color. Anything light pulls forth and anything dark recedes. We'll even outline their lip a little bit further than normal so their lips are proportionate from top to bottom.
What about eyelashes? Do people use fake eyelashes?
They do everything now. They do lash extensions which run about $300 to individual eyelashes and most of them are human hair lashes that are actually going between each of your eyelashes. Those are more natural-looking than the old ones you used to see your grandma wear ... The individual lashes have been going on for a very long time, but the lash extensions started within the past year and a half. They actually glue each individual lash onto each eyelash and it lasts from two to three months.
How much does makeup play into who wins or loses?
I wouldn't say make-up is a win-or-lose situation. I really believe in pageants it's won in the interview room. A girl can walk on stage and pick her nose and her butt and a judge will be like, "Oh, I just love her!" because they loved her in the interview.
As far as the girls you deal with, what is the mood of pageants these days?
I think pageants have really gotten a bad rap. People think all claws are out and they're cutting dresses and gluing zippers. It just doesn't happen.
Pushing people down the stairs?
You know what, in all the years I've been in pageants, I've never seen that.
You've never pushed someone down the stairs?
No, I've never seen it, and I've never done it. Every now and then I see a mother who may be living a little vicariously through her daughter, but I've never seen the pressure or I've never seen mothers screaming at their children. To be quite honest with you, probably 95 percent of the mothers, their daughters say "Hey mom, this is what time it is, show up" and that's about it.
Image consulting by Sheila Robertson-Bantz