- Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel told Insider that she did her own makeup for the competition.
- Gabriel only began learning how to do makeup two years ago when she began competing in pageants.
- Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray did her own makeup without a mirror before winning.
From walking in glittering gowns to nailing the interview round, Miss Universe contestants have plenty to juggle during the competition.
But Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel, who took the crown on Saturday in New Orleans, revealed that she also did her own makeup for the pageant.
Gabriel told Insider that she only started learning how to do makeup two years ago when she first entered the world of pageants.
“I did makeup lessons that were about three hours long, and then I would practice my makeup every single Friday until I could nail it down,” she said. “Now I’ve got it down to an hour doing makeup, which still feels like a long time.”
Gabriel isn’t the first Miss Universe winner to take the crown after doing her own makeup. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray had to get ready for her final moment without a mirror.
“I didn’t have a mirror and I was wearing a nude lip for swim and wanted to change to a red lip for finals,” she told Insider in December 2019. “I was literally in the backstage wings of the stage and I’m just crouched down with my little compact mirror and my lipstick and I was like, ‘Does anybody have a light?'”
“Someone is fixing my hair, someone is powdering my face, and I’m trying to do a good application of red lipstick,” she added.
Gabriel also revealed to Insider that she didn’t wash her hair for two weeks while competing in the 2023 pageant. Avoiding showers helped preserve her self-tanner and build up a foundation of hairspray to keep her curls in place during finals.
“People think it’s funny because we come onstage and we look so beautiful and fresh,” Gabriel said with a laugh. “But I actually felt so dirty by the time I was at the final.”