Thursday, June 6, 2013 | 11:11 p.m.
Defying conventional thinking, pageant princesses prove time and again that beauty does come with brains, and those slinky gowns and sexy swimsuits aren’t the wardrobe markers of ditzy blondes and brunettes.
In fact, many of the contestants of the Miss America, Miss USA and Tropic Beauty pageants held in Las Vegas have gone on to remarkable careers on Wall Street and in Washington and Hollywood. They’ve had successful TV careers, become leaders in the legal, education and medical fields and run for Congress.
It was 30 years ago that Julie Hayek became Miss USA 1983 and was first runner-up in the Miss Universe Pageant. In her role, she met presidents, prime ministers and heads of states around the world. A year later, she graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in psychology.
Julie has had a successful real estate and financial career in New York and will be in Las Vegas next week for the 62nd Annual Miss USA Pageant at PH Live in Planet Hollywood. She’ll dazzle the hopefuls because at 52, she still models swimwear and had a 10-day assignment for a fitness company just last year.
“I’m asked all the time: Is it my diet? Is it my exercise routine? Is it my attitude? Or is it all of them?” she told me. Julie, who won the highest scores in the swimsuit categories of Miss California, Miss USA and Miss Universe, is still fit and fabulous and wants to share those secrets with the world. She’s finishing her book “No-Rules Dieting: Eat, Drink and Be Merry.” You could call it “Beauty Queen Secrets.”
“I always wanted to maintain my competitive edge, so I made it my business to know everything about fitness and health. I’ve tried every diet and exercise regime since modeling in high school. Everywhere I go, I’m asked how I stay in such great shape, so I decided to put my secrets into a book.”
Julie loves good food, fine wine and chocolate. “I believe in keeping everything in balance, though. I don’t believe in restrictions; I believe in moderation. It’s important to listen to your body,” she said.
Her hints emphasize drinking lots of water with sliced lemons, unlimited papaya to change body chemistry, edamame as a snack and a freezer filled with favorite “go to” foods such as homemade turkey meatloaf and spicy lentils. Julie also fills her fridge with plastic bags of fresh, cleaned, sliced fruit for instant eating.
Her one secret weapon for keeping the body long and lean? Leg lifts for the tush. “I’m proud of my age. I feel fantastic, and I want to stay in great shape for many years to come,” she summed up.
TIME FOR A TAN
You would expect my pal Michael Boychuck, hair guru to the stars at his salon Color in Caesars Palace, to be kept busy with contestants before, during and after their events. But he’s just one of the secret weapons behind the pageant princesses. Meet another friend who is part of the artillery.
From a small Alaska fishing town, Kamela Brewer moved to Las Vegas to attend UNLV for journalism — and to thaw out. She became a marketing and PR executive and has had 10 years of experience as a result of being on the first-year of E! Entertainment’s “Sunset Tan at the Palms.”
She started her own Las Vegas sunless tanning company, Bold Body Bronzing, which she’s rolled out across the U.S. and is now a proud sponsor of the 2013 Miss USA Pageant. “I teach people how to be safer in the sun and use our sunless tanning as the healthy alternative to indoor tanning beds. I’m helping many women around the country start their own businesses,” she told me.
Kamela’s mobile spray tanning service, now America’s premiere brand headquartered here, has already given that extra glow to 45 of this year’s contestants. Kamela will have every one of them shining safely the day before Wednesday’s first onstage preliminary swimsuit showcase.
“I have had the privilege of spray tanning many of the amazing pageant contestants over the past few years. Now to be involved officially as a sponsor could not make us more thrilled. I am honored to be a special part of this year’s pageant.”
Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart said, “Safe, sunless tanning is a very important part of the pageant process, and we are happy with our partnership with Bold Body Bronzing and being able to offer the best spray tanning to our contestants.”
Kamela claims credit for her anti-aging bronzing solution and guarantees a no-orange, natural-looking glow every time: “It makes you appear thinner, toned and more confident because any blemish, stretch mark, cellulite or imperfections are all hidden.”
So when you tune into the NBC telecast on Sunday, June 16, you now know several secrets to getting the great look of a winner and moving onto successful careers long lasting after the runway rituals.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Transport yourself to the opulent and excessive Roman Empire at Caesars Palace. But the ever-changing Caesars Palace is far from ancient. The hotel and casino is constantly raising the bar for what visitors can expect in a Vegas resort experience.
Caesars Palace features 3,348 rooms and suites in five towers, including the new luxury boutique Nobu Hotel and Restaurant, which opened Feb. 4, 2013, in the totally remodeled Centurian Tower. Caesars features 129,000 square feet of gaming space, including the Strip’s largest poker room and a 250-seat sports book. Other amenities include about two dozen restaurants, a four-level shopping mall, four pools, a spa, Pure and Poetry nightclubs and Pussycat Dolls.
Dining options include restaurants from world-renown chefs Guy Savoy, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Gordon Ramsay and, on Feb. 4, 2013, Nobu Matsuhisa.
You never know what characters you’ll run into at Caesars with regular performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Bette Midler, Elton John and maybe even the emperor himself.
Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.