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Miss America is the closest thing we have to royalty here in the U.S., so I was understandably excited to meet the recently-crowned Laura Kaeppeler, whom I saw win live when I attended the pageant (courtesy of Wen Hair Care). She even looked like Kate Middleton when I met her, wearing a blue dress that was similar to the Duchess of Cambridge’s gorgeous engagement outfit.

(Here I am with the gorgeous and statuesque new Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler!)

I spoke with Kaeppler at a party hosted by Artistry, the skin care and cosmetics provider for Miss America. The brand debuted their latest skin care product, the Anti-Wrinkle Firming Serum along with their spring makeup collection, all available in March. In addition to having my makeup done (I absolutely am in love with the new emerald eyeliner), I also chatted with the down-to-earth Miss Wisconsin. She may have not worn waterproof mascara the night of the pageant, but this year’s Miss America has a beauty philosophy I admire.

Instead of an over-the-top, stereotypical pageant look, Kaeppeler will wear natural-looking makeup when she tours the country as Miss America this year. “One of the things I’m really looking forward to portraying is that I’m a normal person, that I’m a real person… I want young girls to feel like anyone can become Miss America, no matter your background, no matter where you come from.” Given Kaeppler’s own background, this seems particularly important to her: her dad was in jail for 18 months while she was a student in high school and college and her platform issue during the competition was supporting kids of incarcerated parents.

(Kaeppeler is a big fan of this gloss.)

I think the real reason Kaeppeler doesn’t want to hide her face under tons of makeup is because her skin is gorgeous. “To me healthy skin is more important than the makeup you put on,” she says, adding that her daily routine consists of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing.  She also loves Artistry’s Light Up Lip Gloss because it’s portable and easy to use since it has a light-up applicator and built-in mirror.

You have to be pretty confident and sure of yourself to compete in pageants (swimwear competition, anyone?). Kaeppeler is just 23 years old — the same age as me! — yet I’d never have the guts to do what she does. “I just have to trust that what I say will be good,” says Kaeppler about keeping her confidence level high. “And I think if you yourself believe that what you say is going to be perceived well, then it will be.”

Whose beauty philosophy do you admire?