5 Beauty Hacks From A Former Clown That Are Surprisingly Applicable To Your Everyday Life

Once upon a time I hustled as a clown for malls and children's birthday parties because, dang, you can make a whole lot of cash that way. Clowning meant that no matter what I had been up to the night before, I had to sell kids on the idea that I woke up in Clownlandia and was born juggling. It also meant that regardless of how many events I had scheduled that day, I had to look fresh. Lemme tell you, ladies, after you've just come from a party where you whipped up a couple dozen balloon animals and painted just as many tiny faces, that's easier said than done. Kids can be demanding and surprisingly hard to fool.

But we all gotta pay our dues, right? And we all learn something in the process. Besides all the usual college job lessons about teamwork (yes, I collaborated with fellow clowns), communication (negotiating with parents is an art form), and professionalism (NEVER make 15 first graders wait), I learned invaluable beauty lessons. As in, lessons that translated into my everyday life, not just life with a red foam nose.

Here are 5 beauty lessons you'll want to nab from this ex-clown.

Image: Christine Stoddard

Perfectly groomed eyebrows can be yours.

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Forget expensive eyebrow gel; a little bit of petroleum jelly (e.g., Vaseline) goes a long way. Smear with your fingertip or use an eyebrow brush for even more polish and precision. In moderation, Vaseline is also great for your hair, lips, and underarms.

Hot weather be darned, you will smell delicious.


Body odor may be political, but when working with children, conservative is better. No matter how many layers of felt or polyester I had on, I always smelled like a rose garden. To achieve this, I put on three coats of deodorant, body mist directly on my skin, perfume on my pulse points, and talcum powder on my feet and where the sun don’t shine. Relying on oil-free cleansing wipes throughout the day helped, too.

You are free to invent freckles and moles.

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Nature’s little signs of sun damage are endearing. Cancer is not. If spray tans aren’t your thing, show off your “sun-kissed complexion” by using the shade of brown eyeliner that’s right for you. Or for more glamour, rock a Monroe mole (usually a star-shaped rhinestone in Clownlandia) — this one’s also a great problem-solver for covering up a nasty pimple.

Any lip color is safe on your cheeks, but lip gloss is sticky.


In a pinch, lipstick can easily be smeared into blush. Put it on after your foundation and concealer but before your powder. Give it some time to dry, or else you’ll end up with a pink splotch by your eye.

Anybody can get their hair under a wig.

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One of the hardest part about clowning was coaxing my huge, curly hair under a wig, but I always managed and you can, too. Make two tight pigtail braids and twist the braids up toward the crown of your head. Then use enough bobby pins to make a metal detector shriek and enough hair spray to coat a Renaissance painting. Let the spray dry, especially on a hot day, and don’t neglect your baby hairs.