Though the model is successful in her own right — she is the leader of her local National Cervical Cancer Coalition chapter and is a successful journalist — she wants to lead by example and "show the world that Miss USA is a culturally diverse normal person who enjoys life," the 23-year-old exclusively tells Morning Honey.
"This year is all about growth and endless opportunities, but I want people to remember Elle as a Miss USA who represented her country with pride and was kind wherever she went," she shares. "Representation is so important, and I realize that more than ever being Miss USA. The joy of this position is that I have a massive platform to connect with people all over the world. I want to show young people all over the world to chase their dreams, try new things, believe in themselves, and that there are no boundaries to who they want to become."
When Smith was crowned the winner, she recalls that the moment was "surreal."
"I worked so hard to walk across that stage and to stand there as a finalist, and to hear 'Kentucky,' it was a moment I will never forget," she says. "It was as if the world stopped for a second. There was such a rush of emotions, but I am so proud to be Miss USA."
After being in front of the camera and millions of people, the brunette beauty has a very important routine she sticks to.
"You’re never too tired to take off your makeup at night," she advises. "I never forget to wipe everything off because I know at night my skin needs time to breathe, and there is no better feeling than a clean and fresh face right before bed."
"The products are incredible and make me feel as if I’m highlighting my natural beauty," she states. "I use Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner in the shower. For me, I need added moisture and damage control, especially when a busy schedule means putting heat on my hair every day. After my shower, I moisturize with SheaMoisture to keep my skin soft. For my hair, I use Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Curl Shaping Cream Gel with Coconut Oil."
She continues, "For my skin, I always begin by cleansing my face with the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser. It’s a really gentle exfoliator so my skin always feels soft yet hydrated afterward. After cleansing, I follow up with The Ordinary’s hyaluronic acid. It’s really lightweight and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling sticky. Afterward, I use the SeneGence SeneDerm DayTime Moisturizer to make sure I have a clean canvas for my makeup."
Lastly, Smith applies "a simple makeup look with SeneGence’s MakeSense foundation as the base. I always finish with a lip. I like using SeneGence LipSense. It sets and I never have to worry about reapplying."
As for what Smith is up to next, she has a lot of goals she hopes to complete.
"For the next year, I will be exploring the entertainment industry, while living in L.A. I will be giving back to my community by being a spokesperson for the Miss USA Organization and focusing on charitable causes, such as Best Buddies, Smile Train and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition. I am excited for all the opportunities that will be presented to me as Miss USA, and I know this is just the beginning," she admits.