Ballerina Misty Copeland Shares Beauty Hacks, Her Favorite Products + How She Feels Confident On A Daily Basis

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As the first African American woman to ever become a principal dancer in the history of the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland is absolutely a source of inspiration. This is one of the many reasons why the 35-year-old ballerina was chosen to be the face of Estee Lauder‘s Modern Muse fragrance, a lush floral, woody scent with sparkling jasmine accord, exotic mandarin, honeysuckle nectar, jasmine sambac, tuberose fleur, lily, patchouli, Madagascar vanilla, rich amber wood and musk that’s meant to convey confidence, style and creativity with a modern, youthful attitude. The campaign includes extensive storytelling around the theme, “What inspires you?” to personalize the Modern Muse concept, and engage women in conversation across digital and social platforms using the hashtag #BeAnInspiration. The California-born Copeland is featured in the campaign teaching and inspiring young ballerinas and talking about the importance of connecting with the next generation. Here, we chat with the inspirational and iconic ballerina about fronting the campaign, her tried and true beauty hacks, the makeup items she can’t live without and how she inspires confidence… in others, and in herself.


How specifically does Modern Muse the scent speak to you as a woman that embodies what it’s meant to represent: confidence, style and creativity?

First of all, fragrance is definitely a part of who I am. I always put on fragrance before I step onto the stage because it makes me feel beautiful and feminine. I feel like I’m ready to perform. That’s what Modern Muse means to me: beautiful, powerful, classic and feminine.

You say your everyday style is “classic, feminine and funky.” What are a few key pieces you can’t live without?

I can’t live without my skinny jeans, the Under Armour Misty Copeland Signature Collection Bodysuit and Trench Coat, a T-shirt and nude or black pumps. This may seem very basic, but it works for me. I’m most comfortable and confident when I’m able to seamlessly transition from the studio to the street. My schedule is often packed with back-to-back appointments and these are my go-to looks in order to sprint through a busy day.

What’s in your makeup bag always, always, always?

I like a very natural look when I’m off-stage. I love a clean and hydrated face. When I want coverage, Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup works perfectly for me. It offers such a large, diverse range of shades and makes a flawless, natural finish possible for everyone. It’s so important to me that I wear makeup and that it not wear me. And again, when I have a busy day or am traveling, it works beautifully. It’s lightweight and lasts for 24 hours. Other items I carry in my makeup bag are my eyebrow brush, tweezers and a mirror. I’m lucky to have very full eyebrows and like to make sure they are always groomed.

As someone who’s always on the go and often in stage makeup, what are a few of your tried and true beauty tips?

Believe it or not, the lips and eyebrows are the easiest features to spot on a dancer on stage. I like to fill in both with a pigmented pencil then add a bit of highlighter on the outer corners of my eyes to really make them pop. I find that what’s just as important as the makeup, however, is maintaining your skin before and after you apply makeup. I make sure that I use a face wash to cleanse, regularly apply a hydrating sheet mask, and moisturize. That way, when it’s time to put on makeup, your skin already has a healthy and vibrant glow. The makeup complements your skin.


You say that you can be most comfortable when you can just be yourself. How would you describe yourself in five words or a phrase?

Nurturing, disciplined, honest, grateful, determined, giving…and sometimes goofy. Ha! Okay, that was six words.

How DO you feel confident on a daily basis? Do you have a mantra, a routine, a song that makes you feel good?

I do not have a routine. I find peace and normalcy when I start my day in ballet class. It helps get my mind and body prepared for the day. When my body feels powerful and strong, it extends to the way I feel mentally. I don’t know if it’s a mantra, but I try to live by these words: Never allow someone else’s words or opinions define you.

Is giving back important to you?

Giving back is incredibly important to me and has always been a part of who I am and what I do. That’s why my work with organizations such as MindLeaps in Rwanda, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Turnaround Arts Program, and American Ballet Theatre’s Project Plie is so important. I recognize that young people look to us adults for inspiration and for ideas of what is possible in their futures. It’s so important for us to not only serve as positive role models but also to interact with them, to actively show them what’s possible, and be there to support them along the way in their journeys.

Last but not least, Modern Muse’s tagline is “Be An Inspiration.” How do you think you inspire others on a day to day basis?

It’s important for women to see themselves represented in every hue and every shape, with different careers and different paths. You don’t have to have plastic surgery; you don’t have to be stick-thin and starve yourself to be beautiful. I feel like I represent a lot of people. And I want to encourage young people to love themselves and accept who they are.