Confessions Of A Former Disney Princess

Photo: Courtesy of Katie McBroom.
The following is an interview with Katie McBroom, a 29-year-old beauty blogger, freelance makeup artist, and former Disney Princess. She writes about beauty and all things Disney on her blogs Martinis and Mascara and The Princess Perspective. She has over 31K Instagram followers. As told to Mi-Anne Chan.

Dreaming Of Disney
"I was 19 [when I was cast as] Snow White and Princess Leia at Disney World. I went to an open call audition where I must have been one of 400 girls. I was already [an intern] in Disney's College Program; it was a matter of getting placed. [At the audition,] you go through a series of rounds: The first is a general miming situation, and after that they make you go through a technical ballet audition."

Whistle While You Work
"[As Snow White], I worked mostly in the Magic Kingdom in Florida and a lot in the Princess Room, which has now changed to the Royal Banquet Hall. My favorite shift was working at Cinderella's Royal Table in the castle. I loved when little girls would come dressed as Snow White and be like, 'Oh my gosh, I've waited my whole life to meet you!' That's what really made it worth it. It's easy to think, Oh, this is just another job, but it really is magical when the kids truly believe.

"Because of Disney I fell in love with the behind-the-scenes side, and I got into makeup more. My three passions have always been writing, Disney, and beauty. That's what inspired me to start my blog, Martinis and Mascara. I started it in 2012; [we] just turned four!

"[One thing] I learned [from being a Disney princess] was to always have a smile on your face. They were very strict in terms of how we greet guests, but I like greeting people in a positive way and I felt that working in an environment that promotes positivity trickled down into my personal life, and I was happier because of it."

I am happy that Disney has evolved into having more dynamic women who can stand up for themselves — but I think it's okay to have a love story, too.

The Magic Of Disney Makeup
"I had to learn how to do my own makeup as a character. Disney has a team of cosmetologists who do the wigs, and you are taught how to do your own character makeup because every character has a specific look. We used all Ben Nye [products]. Leia obviously had more of a natural look — she wore a peach gloss and subtle brown shadow. Snow White wore a really bright red blush, [along with] cream makeup and setting powder.

"Setting your makeup with a setting spray is really important, especially if you're out there getting sweaty. Ben Nye makes this spray called Final Seal [that I used]. I like Urban Decay's Chill and All Nighter setting sprays, too.

"Cosmetologists styled our wigs for us every day. They were all period-appropriate [because] Disney pays a lot of attention to detail. When you go to Disney World, you don't think of the people who are painstakingly styling the wigs behind the scenes. At the end of the day, I took my wig off and the cosmetologists would wash it and blow it out [every night]."
Photo: Courtesy of Katie McBroom.
Staying In Character
"[Sometimes], creepy dads would make 'Snow White and Seven Men' jokes. [It was] gross, but you just have to remain in character. I would laugh it off. I did a lot of training on the voice. My voice is naturally high, but [Snow White's] is even higher. There are a lot of specific hand motions you have to do, but a lot of it was improv. If a little girl came up to me with an apple shirt on, I'd say, 'Oh, I don't eat those anymore!'"

Are Princesses Passé?
"Snow White was the epitome of just finding a man. She was the first to clean the house and [get married]. She's a product of the time. I am happy that Disney has evolved into having more dynamic women who can stand up for themselves — but I think it's okay to have a love story, too.

"[That said], I think Disney does a good job of speaking to girls of all kinds and all skin tones, [especially] now because they're really embracing all different kinds of beauty."

Life After Disney
"Once I was opening a bank account in Florida and the bank teller recognized me. When I came in again, she brought in her photo album and I was in it! Disney led me on this beauty road, and after being a Princess I went to makeup school...[on] the recommendation of the Disney girls...and [then] I started freelancing [as a makeup artist]. A lot of the photographers I worked with said I should go into hair, so I went to hair school. I worked in a salon in South Florida until it closed down. [At that point,] I wasn't sure if I should go the beauty path or writing path... [Then, I started] Martinis and Mascara and The Princess Perspective, where I write about [Disney] park advice and fashion and beauty inspiration. When I started, I didn't see it as a source of revenue or even a job; I just really truly loved it."

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