Misty Copeland is the epitome of an inspiration, both on and off the stage. And on the eve of Porter magazine’s Incredible Women Gala in Los Angeles, Copeland gave us a peek at her getting-ready routine, and shared her secrets to feeling her most gorgeous, even when she’s not playing the part of prima ballerina.
What is your beauty routine like when you’re offstage? Do you have a go-to look or skincare regimen you follow every day?
Yes. It's very basic and simple. At night, I make sure I always wash my face, and then I'm really into masks. Hydrating masks, and then under-eye cream. I love Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye, and sometimes I’ll put that on in the morning, as well. I’ll put so much that people are like, “What’s happening?” and I say, “It’ll soak in. It’s okay.”
Did you end up becoming very loyal to a skincare routine because you wear so much makeup when you’re performing?
I tend to get really puffy in the morning, so it’s important for me to stick to a regimen. What I do at night is to prepare my skin for the morning. And if I’m performing in the evening, I like to really make sure I get all of the makeup off. It’s the worst thing to wake up and still have glue on your eyelashes! Or look at my pillowcase and see my face is on there. [Laughs]
How would you describe your onstage beauty persona vs. your offstage one?
Oh, it couldn't be more different—like night and day. On a daily basis, I have super clean skin, pretty much no makeup. When I'm onstage, it's over-the-top glam. Depending on the role, it may switch up. If I'm doing Don Quixote, which is set in Spain, then I'll definitely go more pumped up on the eyes, and it's probably the only time I'll put a red lip on. I'm not a fan of a red lip on me, but for that role I think you need it, especially when you want everyone to see the fiery features of a Spanish woman.
If I'm doing Giselle or Juliet, something where I'm playing a younger girl, I tend to go with more pale pinks and pastel colors on my eyes. But, either way, it's definitely more glam than my everyday approach.
Do you do your own makeup for performances?
It depends again on what I'm doing. When we’re doing more contemporary works, it's pretty basic makeup, so I will just do it on my own because it's easier. And I like that process of getting ready, putting music on and doing my own makeup. It puts me in a zone.
But if I'm doing something that's a leading principal role, like Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, or Gamzatti in La Bayadère, it's more vamped up makeup, so I'll get my hair and makeup done with our team.
Beauty means acceptance. It’s strength, vulnerability and just being comfortable with being you.
Have you been able to apply tips you’ve learned from stage makeup to your everyday life?
Definitely. I was talking today about highlighting, and how I feel like it's really brought out my face and my features when I'm onstage. I do it in a more toned-down way when I'm offstage, but putting a little highlighter in the inside corner of the eye, or even just above your top lip, that's something that I got from learning how to do stage makeup.
How does fragrance play a role in your beauty routine? Is it an everyday thing, or reserved for special occasions?
No, it's an everyday thing. I’m always up before my husband, and I'll spray so much perfume in the bedroom, and he'll wake up and be like, "I just ate all of that perfume." [Laughs] It's something that it doesn't matter where I'm going, I love to have fragrance. It just completes the look. Whether it’s before I go onstage, or before I step out of the house.
What does he think of Modern Muse? Hopefully he likes it.
He likes it. He’s eaten enough of it. [Laughs]
Do you have a particular way of applying fragrance?
I just spray it all over my body. I put it in my hair, on my clothes. I just like to get it everywhere. I also like when I put on a coat and I can still smell it.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what are the 3 products you’d need with you and why?
Tweezers, an eyelash curler and mascara. I just think that those are all really simple things that can really make the face pop, and I feel like I look like a completely different person when I use them. First of all, my eyebrows—it's so important for me to keep their shape, and having them done just changes the whole look of my face. Then having my eyelashes curled and mascara on, it really opens up my eyes.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Drink water. I, like, limp and fall out of bed. It’s really hard to get walking in the mornings after a long day of rehearsal!
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty means acceptance. Acceptance of one’s self. I think that it’s strength, I think that it’s vulnerability, and just being comfortable with being you.
What is still left on your bucket list?
I feel like I keep a really open mind when it comes to the future, because everything I've done this far, I never expected to have happened to me. So I just try and stay open in terms of what's possible, but I don't know. I want to continue to grow in the roles that I'm doing now onstage, and maybe have kids one day. Write more books.