I felt like I needed to switch it up a bit here on The Panwar Palace. You all know a little here and there about me–my skincare regimen, favorite makeup brands and what my go to lipstick is. I thought, why not feature another Indian gal whom I thought you all would probably find more interesting?! I had the honor of doing a quick little question-answer session with Emily Shah who is Miss New Jersey USA 2014! With her moving ALL the way to the west coast for college as well as fulfilling the duties of Miss New Jersey, I am forever grateful that she took the time to do this interview with me. This girl is packed with beauty and brains so brace yourselves and enjoy!
The Panwar Palace: Tell me a little about yourself: your upbringing, family, what you studied/study in school, extracurricular activities?
Emily Shah: I grew up with 5 siblings, two brothers, two sisters and my grandparents. Gujurati was my first language since my grandparents raised me with my parents working all the time. I played soccer and danced as a toddler. Since dance took over my schedule, I dropped soccer at the age of 13. I studied acting throughout grade school at Lee Strasburg and NY Film Academy. Now I study Media Management and International Business at Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles.
The Panwar Palace: You are the youngest Miss New Jersey yet and will be the youngest competitor in Miss USA. That’s impressive! How does that feel?
Emily Shah: It felt amazing! I love making history. My mindset is a lot older than my age, so it never really felt as though I was the youngest.
The Panwar Palace: I hear you’ve been a part of many Hollywood projects, took part in various acting courses in LA as well as Bollywood AND worked on set with Jersey Boys as well as the stunt team on Ed Harris and Liam Neeson’s film, “Run All Night”.WOW! That’s a lot! You were born an entertainer!—Where did your love of acting and directing come from?
Emily Shah: I grew up in a household full of people in the arts/entertainment industry. Being on set all the time, I would see what everyone’s job would entail and knew I was made to be an actress. After taking a few classes, I just knew that that was what I was put on this Earth to do- entertain.
The Panwar Palace: What intrigued you about pageants and what made you want to be Miss New Jersey?
Emily Shah: Like I said, I love to entertain and was a dancer for about 17 years. I went into intense pageantry mode at the age of 14 because I love being on stage and technically pageantry is a form of entertainment.
The Panwar Palace: I’ve always wondered, do you do your own makeup during pageants or do you have professional makeup artists?
Emily Shah: There are artists, but thankfully Miss NJ USA has @Jacklyn_Beauty as a sponsor who taught me how to do my makeup before I left for Miss USA. @FlawlessbyAmin did my makeup for the competition/telecast part. (Instagram tags)
Darren Decker Photography
The Panwar Palace: I remember you walking the runway in the most anticipated part of the competition, swimsuit! You rocked that bikini with confidence. What does your workout routine consist of?
Emily Shah: Honestly, most of us think of workouts as a chore. I try to take classes like kickboxing, TRX, Spinning, Barre, boot camp. They’re more exciting!
The Panwar Palace: What is your favorite food? Do you have a sweet tooth?
Emily Shah: I love penne arrabiate and veggie burritos. I do have a sweet tooth on an occasion. My favorite ice cream is Vanilla Swiss Almond by Haagen Daz.
The Panwar Palace: How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?
Emily Shah: When I am going to school, 10 minutes to brush my teeth, wash my face and change my clothes. When I have appearances or work, it can take me anywhere from an hour to two hours depending on my hair style.
The Panwar Palace: Do you wear makeup everyday?
Emily Shah: I definitely do not! As much as I am obsessed with the art of makeup, I just do not like wearing it every day. Maybe once a week on the weekends.
The Panwar Palace: What is your “go-to” makeup product?
Emily Shah: My NARS Creamy concealer. Being Indian, those dark circles can get rough.
The Panwar Palace: Do you have a favorite skin care line/products?
Emily Shah: Image Skin Care is the best! They’re the reason I don’t wear makeup anymore since my skin glows 24/7 thanks to them. I love their tinted moisturizer with SPF. Living in California, I need protection. I wear that on the daily.
The Panwar Palace: Your skin is truly amazing and flawless-please share your secret!
Emily Shah: Thank you! It hasn’t been an easy journey. Image Skin Care 😉 –check out Emily’s review on Image Skincare!
Photograph by Irene Mahmud
The Panwar Palace: What is the most difficult part prepping for Miss USA?
Emily Shah: Eating clean. I am such a junk food lover.
The Panwar Palace: Biggest makeup pet peeve?
Emily Shah: When people don’t blend!!! Blend your contour! Blend your shadow! Blend your foundation! Oh my gosh, it makes me cringe. (I AGREE!)
The Panwar Palace: What is your staple lipstick that you can’t leave the house without?
Emily Shah: If I am going nudish Pink, Angel by MAC. If I am going red, Studded Kiss by MAC.
Lastly, thank you for your time, Emily!