The Beauty Queen Routine: How these beauty queens stay beautiful, inside and out

Beauty pageants have been part of our DNA from day 1. Our founder Jenn is a 3-time winner and former Miss California contestant. Since retiring from the stage, she's continued to be a part of the Pageant community as an organizer, mentor, and most recently judge.

We sat down with the winners of 2 recent Pageants that Jenn judged to learn what it takes to stay beautiful, inside and out.

Meet Kendra Quốc Ngọc Nguyễn, Miss Vietnam San Diego 2024

and meet Viviana Nguyen, Miss Vietnam Southern California 2024

Alright, ladies. Drop the winning skincare routine! Are you a skin-imalist or do you go all out?

Kendra: I’m in between a skinimalist and a person who goes all out. My morning routine is a foaming facial cleanser, followed by clarifying toner, my favorite snail mucin essence from COSRX, and moisturizer. Then I top it off with SPF 50.

At night, I start out my routine with double-cleansing! I usually use the Cetaphil daily facial cleanser paired with any foam cleanser. I believe this step is the most important step in my skincare routine since this is what removes all the dirt and make-up that was on my skin throughout the day. I finish it with an exfoliant, a toner, serum, and an overnight mask. I also love the snail mucin from COSRX!


How do you keep your mind as radiant as your skin?

Kendra: I always try my best to practice a positive, growth mindset because I believe that a healthy mind cultivates a healthy body and skin.

Viviana: I always try to stay optimistic and appreciate the little things in my life instead of dwelling on the past or any mistakes I’ve made.

Any quick wellness tips for busy days?

Kendra: Always, always remove your makeup and sunscreen before you sleep! Hydrate your skin with moisturizing products, and use a sunscreen with toning qualities so it balances your skin tone in a subtle way.

Viviana: Remember to eat, drink water, and breathe. It’s important to prioritize your physical and mental well-being. Your health should always come first!

What's your favorite self-care ritual that never fails to uplift you?

Kendra: My favorite self-care ritual is taking my time removing my makeup, unwinding in the shower, singing my recent favorite songs, and flossing and brushing my teeth. Nothing is more relaxing to me than feeling clean and ready for clean bedsheets.

Viviana: I always feel mentally refreshed when I do my skincare routine at night while listening to my favorite songs. Even just reciting some affirmations to myself while doing this helps.

Share a beauty mantra that keeps you confident on and off the stage.

Kendra: "Just do it. Trust the process."

“The only control you have is to make sure that you are loved by you.” Someone said this to me once and it has become a guiding principle in my life. It encapsulates the essence of self-love as the cornerstone of confidence. I prioritize loving myself, recognizing that while I may not be flawless, I am resilient and compassionate. Embracing my strengths and imperfections fuels my confidence, allowing me to navigate life's journey with authenticity and gratitude. Though I strive for growth and self-improvement, I cherish the foundation of self-love that empowers me to embrace every aspect of myself with pride and resilience.

How do you unwind after a hectic day of appearances and events?

Kendra: After a long day of work, I always take my time removing my makeup, unwinding in the shower, singing my recent favorite songs, flossing, brushing my teeth, and rinsing with mouthwash. Hopefully I will get to sleep in the next day!

Viviana: I try to have a slower night for myself by putting on a face mask, putting on a show, journaling, drinking some warm tea, or just cuddling with my cats! These little things help me decompress and destress any tension from the day.


Any natural beauty secrets you swear by?

Kendra: This isn’t a secret but eating vegetables and fruits everyday helps me glow from the inside and out!

I’m a big advocate for UV protection, so I make sure to apply sunscreen everyday. Rain or shine, indoors or outdoors, I never skip this step. It’s not just about avoiding sunburn; it’s about safeguarding my skin from premature aging and keeping it healthy in the long run. Consistent sunscreen use has been the key in maintaining my skin’s youthful glow!

How do you stay grounded and connected to your inner beauty amidst the glamor?

Kendra: I surround myself with family, friends, and mentors who provide honest feedback and teach me valuable lessons that allow me to grow as a better version of myself. I try my best to continue learning and growing by actively seeking challenges and practicing the lessons taught in personal development books. I often reflect on my past experiences and the lessons I’ve learned along the way to see how I could manage future circumstances better and how I can make a positive impact on others’ lives.

Viviana: I prioritize maintaining a strong connection with my values, roots, and inner self. I do this by surrounding myself with supportive friends and family who keep me grounded, practicing gratitude daily, and engaging in activities that bring me joy, like journaling, singing, or drawing. These creative outlets allow me to express myself authentically and find inner peace. These practices help me stay true to myself and focus on what truly matters, beyond external recognition.

Tell us about your favorite way to pamper yourself.

Kendra: My favorite way of pampering myself is to follow all of the steps in my morning and night routine, including flossing, brushing my teeth, and rinsing with mouthwash. When I go camping or traveling, I must bring all of these products with me!

Viviana: One of my favorite ways to pamper myself is by taking myself out on a date. Whether it’s going out to get boba, a trip to the museum, or sketching at a park, I enjoy treating myself to experiences that bring me joy and fulfillment. It’s a chance for me to practice self-love and appreciation, honoring my own company and valuing my own worth. These solo dates serve as a reminder that I am deserving of happiness and indulgence, regardless of whether I'm accompanied by others. It’s a special way for me to nurture my relationship with myself while also helping me stay humble and grounded in life. 

Last one! What's one beauty practice you've adopted that surprised you with its effectiveness?

Kendra: One beauty practice that I’ve adopted is layering in hydrating and moisturizing products.

Viviana: One beauty practice that surprised me with its effectiveness is using qasil powder as both a foam cleanser and exfoliant. I stumbled upon this natural remedy and was intrigued by its benefits. Qasil powder is made from gob tree leaves and is packed with antioxidants and acts as a gentle exfoliator. When mixed with water, it transforms into a luxurious foam cleanser that effectively removes impurities and excess oil from my skin without stripping it of its natural moisture. Plus, the fine texture of the powder gently buffs away dead skin cells, revealing a smoother and brighter complexion. I’ve been amazed by how soft and refreshed my skin feels after using qasil powder, making it a staple in my skincare routine.


Follow Kendra @kendrake.lamar and Viviana @hanavv__ on Instagram!