Beauty banquet in Brazil

Beauty is only skin-deep, they say. It carries a lot more weight at a beauty pageant, however, where good looks can turn the girl-next-door one minute into a beauty queen next.

­Russia’s top “official beauty” Natalia Gantimurova, crowned Miss Russia earlier this year, will take her chances in Brazil, where she has left for the Miss Universe pageant.

The 20-year-old brunette will spend three weeks in Sao Paolo with the cream of the crop from 80 countries getting ready for the most important event on the beauty calendar, scheduled for September 12.

Natalia’s coach and creative director of “Miss Universe” Roston Ogata was quoted as saying that his protégée has every chance of coming out the winner thanks to her natural beauty, spared of plastic surgery.

The Russian Venus revealed that her only two must-have beauty picks for all time are mascara and a hairbrush. According to Natalia, beauty is a feeling of happiness beaming from inside. “There are people with ideal features, but if there’s no energy inside, no charm, their beauty fades away.”

Choosing the right hairstyle, make-up and the “it” dress for the “red-letter day” has dominated Natalia’s busy agenda for months along with a series of dance classes and fitness sessions with a personal trainer-nutritionist at the gym, plus catwalk lessons.

Natalia says she never has to diet, but decided to sacrifice dessert in the light of the contest.

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