Who better to ask for beauty secrets than a prima ballerina? Renowned for their discipline when it comes to training, prima ballerinas know how to stick to a regimen.
When it comes to beauty routines, these dancers are en pointe. From Korean to French beauty, these international products come recommended from prima ballerinas whose job it is to look flawless under intense conditions like harsh stage lights and rigorous physical activity. Joy Womack, a prima ballerina who danced with the Kremlin Ballet for nine years and who is now with Seoul’s Universal Ballet says: “There’s a big difference between stage makeup and day makeup.”
Because stage makeup can wreak havoc on your complexion, prima ballerinas design skincare routines to combat adult acne, blemishes, rashes, and other irritations. For Womack, multi-tasking Korean skincare products and low-pigment CC creams are necessities when she’s offstage.
Former dancer Jordan Samuel of Seattle’s Pacific Northwest Ballet retired from the stage to found a skincare line formulated to remove stage makeup. “You’d be surprised at what regular cleansers leave behind. I had to create a line that was able to bind to the particles of makeup in order to effectively remove it from the skin.”
Nancy Richer of New York’s Ballet Beautiful adds that a holistic approach to beauty is key. “I like to be mindful of where I focus my attention and my internal dialogue. To quote Roald Dahl, ‘If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.’ ” Richer unwinds from training with nightly baths fortified with “two cups of Epsom salt and Weleda Arnica muscle soak.” She completes her beauty routine with “a glass of magnesium Natural Calm before bed.”
The following are beauty products loved by prima ballerinas, and sourced from all over the globe.
A gel-to-oil formula, this facial cleanser ($20) removes pigment-rich makeup and gently exfoliates. Combatting “rashes, breakouts, and irritation” due to sweating and petroleum-based makeup, Jordan created this cleanser to bind to dirt and debris on the face. Made in small batches in the Pacific Northwest, US.
Enriched with vitamins and fruit acid, this cleansing balm ($27.90) melts to dissolve stage and waterproof makeup. Womack uses the Banila cleansing line to dissolve pigment-rich makeup as soon as the curtain comes down. Made in Korea, where this product has a cult K-Beauty following.
This five-pack of these hydrating sheet masks ($15) are great because they’re easy to unfold, stick on and apply. “While I am coming down from the endorphin rush, (after a show) I apply a Dr. Jart mask,” says Womack. Leave on for 15-20 minutes. Made in the US.
Sunflower seed oil and green tea extract make this nourishing sunscreen ($15) a knockout for UV face protection. “For day I mix a small pump of this sunscreen with a CC cream,” says Womack. Made in Korea by popular brand Innisfree.
A luxe formula distinguishes this BB cream cushion compact ($31) and conceals pores with a Silicone-based liquid matte formula. Richer uses this during the day, when she keeps coverage light. Made in Korea, this off-stage day makeup sells out online quickly.
Shiseido is the gold star Japanese cosmetics and skincare line, so it’s no surprise the brand makes an intensely conditioning hair repair mask ($17). Womack, who hasn’t cut her hair in over five years (except for maintenance trims) uses this hair repair. Made in Japan.
Minerals and mint make this oil control powder ($9) ideal for lightweight coverage. Womack recommends this low-coverage option. Made in Korea by Innisfree.
After a bath, Richer likes to “have a glass of magnesium Natural Calm before bed.” Not only does magnesium support a healthy immune system, it supports bone health, reduces stress, and balances blood sugar. This magnesium supplement drink ($29) is ideal for beauty sleep. Made in the US.
A nourishing blush compact, ($9) this formula has been a beauty product favorite for centuries, and is a staple in Richer’s beauty bag. Made in France.
Natural bristles make this dry body brush ($7) effective at breaking up cellulite and increasing circulation. Richer starts the day by brushing her skin. “It helps if I feel tired, and with circulation,” she says. Made in the US.
Dark, false eyelashes ($11) are an easy beauty elevation. Adams adds that fake lashes exaggerate your features and are essential to capturing the look of a prima ballerina. Made in Indonesia.
The curved brush and dark black tint make this drugstore mascara ($6 to $8) a beauty junkie favorite and Richer’s pick for day-look lashes.
If your skin requires relief from redness and inflammation, a medical grade toner ($19) can help adjust skin’s pH. Womack uses this toner at home before bed. Made in the US.
For full day coverage with added moisturizer, SPF, and pore minimizing primer, this CC cream ($40) will not clog pores. “A makeup artist in LA got me hooked on this product,” says Womack. Made in the US and a favorite of Hollywood makeup artists.
This glossy lip tint ($15) is an excellent choice if you want gloss texture with deep pigment. “I love browsing Watson’s here in Korea and picking up little samples to experiment with,” says Womack, a fan of this K-beauty line. Made in Korea.