As part of the exclusive American Express cardmember experience, Paula Abdul brought her fashion, beauty, and style experience to Lincoln Center for a special Q&A. During our short but informative time with the singer, dancer, actress, and former American Idol judge, we took away a trio of secrets – from her beauty tricks and tips to career advice everyone can benefit from, no matter your path.
I love kombucha - it tastes like sour beer but it’s good for you. I take supplements and vitamins. Growing up as a dancer, I sustained so many injuries, [so I learned that] bone density is really important. Nourish your body as much as you can. I don’t go to bed with makeup. My mother did an annoying thing and made me wash with granola as a child and splash my face 40 times. If I did 38, I felt like I was doing something horrible. She taught me also to use warm water as opposed to cold water. Also, I think sleeping on your back! because of injuries I had to find a sweet spot – I learned to sleep on my back as opposed to sleeping on my face.
I’ve been really blessed to start my career behind the scenes. I haven’t followed anyone else’s career path. I was very young and I’ve been a professional since I was almost 18 and I wasn’t getting into any audition. I never made it. My whole thing was, ‘I’m going to have fun with this.’ I understood rejection as a game I could play. I learned at a very young age that the answer no was the beginning of a negotiation. I was really tenacious. I learned I can weather the rough spots. We all want to run away from pain and rejection, but I learned it was vital.
My first job that broke me into the industry was being a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers. I’m not a cheerleader, but the interesting this is that ironically thing is that I’ve been a cheerleader my whole life. There are no mistakes in life and I think I’ve always been a teacher in some respect. Mentoring for me allows me to stay a student in some respect. You don’t get to be a good teacher unless you’re a good student. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. If you’re afraid and you hold back and you’re not willing to teach amazing people, they’ll go elsewhere. But if they stay their student, they’ll become the student and they’ll become the teacher.