Touring behind her platinum album The Boy Is Mine, pop phenom Monica (superfluous surname: Arnold) is in the makeup chair a lot these days, and she’s paying attention. “Smudge your eyeliner,” she says, citing one secret she has cribbed. “It creates a smoky effect.” But she also has her own tips. “I never do stuff that’s permanent,” says the 18-year-old College Park, Ga., native, who now often dresses to cover the tattoo of her name that she has on her left arm. “If it washes out, fine. If it scrubs off, cool. Other than that, nooooo!”
Monica’s sinewy (5’8″) good looks earn a resounding yesss from producers of Beverly Hills, 90210, on which she has appeared as herself. “She has star quality,” says Kenneth Miller, the Spelling Television V.P. who cast her on the show. “It’s the whole package: She’s beautiful, young and talented.”
Despite her obvious cosmetic aptitude (“It’s something that’s inborn,” says her mom, Delta Air Lines customer-care clerk Marilyn Best. “At age nine she could do makeup so perfect, we hated to make her wash it off”), Monica generally confines her skin care to “Dove soap and Kiehl’s moisturizer—that’s it,” and applies just a hint of makeup. “Every day for the last month I’ve put on chestnut lip liner from M.A.C and their new lip gloss,” she says. But as for hard and fast beauty rules? “None of that. My stylist is always saying, ‘Monica will not suffer for beauty!’ ” Make that beautiful, young, talented and smart.