Miss USA Elle Smith Gives Us the Lowdown on Her Beauty Routine and Confidence-Boosting Tips

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Ellen “Elle” Smith is a woman with a plan. The 23-year-old journalist made history last month as the first Black woman to win Miss USA on behalf of the state of Kentucky. A newbie to the pageantry game, Smith trusted in herself after no prior experience and took the crown as Miss Kentucky and Miss USA.

The recent University of Kentucky graduate shares with us her journey to winning Miss USA, her pageant beauty tips, and her top tips for amping up confidence.

EBONY: Congratulations on your Miss USA win! What happened the next morning after processing that you won the title?

Elle Smith: To be completely honest, I think I am still processing. It has been such a surreal experience. The morning after I won, I remember seeing the sash and crown by my bed and just thinking, “God is so good.” It is an honor to represent the USA on the international stage—even if I didn’t win the Miss Universe title.

Many people may not realize that there are a series of more local pageants that those who compete for Miss USA have to participate in before being eligible for Miss USA. What’s your history with pageant life?

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