How to Prepare for Candidate Week: Aquatennial Edition

It’s crunch time! That means you need to keep practicing and start planning to be the most prepared possible for your big week. At this point, you should be drilling the mock interview questions with your family and friends, start laying out your wardrobe and playing with some hair and makeup ideas. Here’s everything you should get in order before day one.

PRO TIP: Eliminate decisions (applicable to everyday life choices, too). The more you limit your selection, the more energy you can focus on what matters: being present.

Head to heels


First impressions really do count. Make no mistake: the moment you step out of your vehicle, you are being judged. So, I strongly encourage that you step out with your best foot, best smile and best style. To prepare for Aqua week, my mom and I planned my outfits (clothes, shoes and jewelry) for everyday with little baggies of jewelry hooked around the hangers. Sticky notes for hair and makeup reminders are also great tricks!



  • The style matters. If “business professional” attire is requested or required, you are wearing a suit. Be sure you don’t mix “business professional” with “business casual,” or worse, “casual.” A sundress, khakis or casual skirt does not count as “business professional.” A jacket is often an excellent choice to bring your outfit up to a “business professional” level.

PRO TIP: Don’t forget to cut the little string off your pockets and the slit of your jacket, skirt and/or dress.

  • Pay attention to length! Don’t be deceived by the “professional looking” dresses and skirts that are shorter than 3 inches above the knee. Despite the style, too short a length is a sure fire way to look extremely unprofessional. If you question it, it’s probably too short. This applies to every piece in your suitcase. I cannot stress this one enough.
  • Modest is hottest. Cheesy, I know; but, this advice works in tandem with length. Be careful with deep-cut blouses or thin straps. Especially when you’re interviewing, you want the judges to be fully focused on your words, not a bad wardrobe decision. NEVER let any undergarments show—not even a bra strap.

PRO TIP: Avoid see-through clothing. Do the bend-over in front of your mirror test with every light possible turned on.

  • Frost yourself. Think dainty and tasteful when it comes to jewelry. There’s no need to over do it. Don’t wear something you’ll play with or something that will bug you. Look to Pinterest for guidance if you’re questioning how to complement a neckline or outfit. (Shoutout to my How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days lovers!)


  • Heels or flats? I’ve always been told heels look more professional, so I typically choose heels for work. That said, if you’re going to fall over, slip into flats. The most important thing is that they are professional looking, moderately comfortable and match your outfit!


  • Keep it natural. Mainly, avoid gaudy glitter and excessive use. While make up can be fun and expressive, you want your words to do the talking during judging, not your looks. Keeping it fairly minimal and natural guarantees the focus won’t be directed anywhere but on ySONY DSCou. If you don’t use makeup, don’t feel like you have to. Be true to yourself!

PRO TIP: Stick to earthy tones. I like finding eye shadows and face palettes that are specific to skin tones. Sephora is my go-to for everything makeup!

  • Play with it beforehand. If you’re not accustomed to doing your makeup or doing a natural look, test it out before you leave. Again, the less you have to worry about frivolous details, the better.



    Keep it collected. It doesn’t necessarily have to be up, but your hair should stay out of your face (without you tucking it behind your ear). If you are using hair binders and bobby pins, find and use the ones that match your hair color.

  • Look at the radar. Plan a hairstyle for a “bad weather” day. Something that won’t deflate, frizz or tangle (the infamous “Aqua bun” is a lifesaver).

Beauty sleep and beyond

Get your sleep and mentally prepare for your week. It is equally, if not more important that the week itself. Find time to relax before you leave so you can start off fresh and full of energy!

“Princess bag” essentials

During my year of reign, the ever-so-necessary “princess bag” was born thanks to our fabulous Captain, Gary. It was kindly loaded with our must-haves, some absolutely necessary (bobby pins and stain remover) and others more for comfort (cheese-itz). Bring a few “princess bag” items with you to candidate week. They will help keep you grounded and happy when you get tired.


Happy packing and prepping to all of the 2018 Aquatennial Ambassador candidates! Soak it all in!

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