5 New York City Ballet Dancers Reveal Their Best Backstage Beauty Secrets

Among all the festive traditions of the winter in New York City, from outdoor ice skating and last-minute shopping, a viewing of The Nutcracker has remained a quintessential signature of the holiday season. Soon, it will even be a Disney motion picture starring Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren! And while the intricate costumes and lavish set pieces make for an eye-catching performance, it's the ballerinas' elegant and timeless attire of sleek buns and rose dusted cheeks that complete the whimsical aesthetic of the show. Thanks to New York City Ballet dancers Brittany Pollack, Sara Adams, Clara Frances, Ashley Hod and Kristen Segin, we learned the backstage beauty secrets to their very polished on-stage looks. From their beauty and skincare essentials to their best nutritional habits, here the five ballerinas share their best beauty tips and more.

Brittany Pollack, Soloist

@bpollack

How do your prep your skin before makeup?
Before makeup, I always prep my skin with Omorovicza Instant Perfection Serum, followed by Omorovicza Balancing Moisturizer. These products feel so good on my skin and moisturize extremely well. Plus, they smell so refreshing!

What is your routine after a show?
After a show, I remove my makeup with Neutrogena Makeup Wipe Cleansing Towelettes, then wash my face with Lancôme Clarifying Self-Foaming Cleanser. Lastly, I moisturize my face and neck with Omorovicza Balancing Moisturizer before leaving the theater.

What are your must have beauty products for onstage?
I cannot live without my MAC highlighter. I use this product above my cheekbones to create a light, airy look. I also cannot live without my Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist that I often use as a last-minute refresher before going onstage.

What is your "dancer off duty" 5-minute look?
The only three things I wear are: concealer, blush, and mascara. This is just enough to give me the refreshing, clean look that I want for every day.

How do you achieve beauty from the inside out?
I drink lots and lots of water and eat lots of fruit (particularly bananas and blueberries)!

What is your exercise obsession outside of dance?
Zumba classes!

Sara Adams, Soloist

@nycballet

What does your medicine cabinet look like?
A lot of Mario Badescu.

How do your prep your skin before makeup?
Before I apply my daily makeup, I wash my face and put on a SPF lotion. Before a performance, I either don’t use a lotion or use very little, or else the makeup won’t take to the face.

What is your routine after a show?
After the show, I take off my makeup with Bioderma H2O using a cotton pad. Then I wash my face in the shower [as I] shampoo, and use Omorovicza’s Balancing Moisturizer.

What is your favorite beauty look for onstage? 
My favorite beauty look for onstage is probably Coffee from The Nutcracker. Our amazing makeup artist creates such a beautiful look for the dancers who perform Coffee. I also think Carabosse from The Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite looks. The colors and look of the eye make it so interesting.

What is your "dancer off duty" 5-minute look?
My off-duty look is very minimal. I use Clinique powder with 15 SPF, Tarte mascara and a MAC blush. I also add an occasional lipstick from Revlon.

What is your exercise obsession outside of dance?
I love to do pilates, gyronotics, and swim! I like to try new things when it comes to fitness, but those are my staples.

What is best-kept backstage beauty secret?
One secret I’ve heard of but haven’t tried is to put to vaseline on your teeth to help keep you smiling. Apparently you can’t close your mouth!

Clara Frances, Corps Dancer

@nycballet

How do your prep your skin before makeup?
After cleansing with my facial oil, I apply hydrating mist, then perfecting serum, and finally a balancing moisturizer.

What is your routine after a show?
I massage cleansing oil onto my full face of makeup, then wipe down with a makeup wipe, Aveeno. Then I run a washcloth under warm water and place it over my face to get my pores to open, and gently wipe the surface clean.

What is your favorite makeup remover?
I love DHC deep cleansing oil. It works for everything and instantly dissolves makeup, and it never over-dries my face.

What is your favorite beauty look for onstage?
I love a dreamy, glamorous look that reads as though your face is illuminated by starlight. To achieve this—pearly white highlights, shimmering soft eyeshadows, a thick top eyeliner, and a rosy lip that isn’t harsh, make for a beautiful combination.

What are your must have beauty products for onstage?
White grease paint to illuminate the eyes, a tiny brush to blend out eyeliner wings, and glitter for those shows when you need a little extra sparkle!

What is your most underrated product?
I use a beige eyeliner pencil on the waterline of my eyes every day. It’s not noticeable because it’s off-white, but it completely brightens them and hides tiredness.

What is your exercise obsession outside of dance?
I don’t have an obsession, but I love being active in diverse ways. I take hip hop classes, long walks, swim, do strength-training, and dance around my apartment. I also run in the rain and for all the stuff I’m late for.

What is best-kept backstage beauty secret?
Tissue boxes are taped to the stage lights in the wings! Their uses are endless—sweat, blood, and tears all blotted away in the ten seconds we have between entrances.

Best beauty advice from your mom?
Keep your fingernails clean and don’t skip washing your face!

Kristen Segin, Corps Dancer

@seginator

What does your medicine cabinet look like?
My medicine cabinet is packed to the brim with Omorovicza, Mario Badescu, NARS makeup and Korean Beauty products.  Also my favorite perfume, Chypre Fatale by Guerlain.

How do your prep your skin before makeup?
Every morning I use Mario Badescu's Enzyme Cleansing Gel followed by their special cucumber cleansing lotion.  After that I use an under eye cream and then Omorovicza's Instant Perfecting Serum, which is my new favorite product.  It makes my skin feel smooth and hydrated before applying my makeup.

What is your routine after a show?
After the show I use Kiehl's calendula deep cleansing foaming face wash because it really helps remove all of the extra makeup left on my face.  I follow that with more of Omorovicza's perfecting serum and then their balancing moisturizer.

What is your favorite beauty look for onstage? 
I use mostly MAC cosmetics for stage.  My favorite look includes lots of contour and highlight, purple eyeshadow, and false eyelashes.  I would never be caught onstage without false eyelashes.

What is your "dancer off duty" 5-minute look?
My "dancer off duty" look is fresh minimalism.  I use NARS tinted moisturizer, highlighter, brow gel, blush, a glossy lip balm and mascara.

What is best-kept backstage beauty secret?
Water! The more water you drink the more hydrated and glowing your skin will look.

Ashley Hod, Corps Dancer

@ashh0d

Describe your look in three words?
Feminine, relaxed, 90s.

What does your medicine cabinet look like?
My medicine cabinet consists of several Omorovicza facial products, Aveeno face wash and makeup wipes, my Clarisonic device for washing my face, and Dove Dry Shampoo.

What is your routine after a show?
After shows, I take my makeup off with a removing wipe, shower and wash my face with Aveeno face wash, a few days a week I wash with my Clarisonic for a good cleanse, and then moisturize with Omorovicza moisturizer.

What is your favorite beauty look for onstage?
My favorite onstage beauty look is pretty simple but feminine. I use browns and pinks for my eyeshadow and do lots of blending.

What are your must have beauty products for onstage?
Two makeup products I can’t live without are blush and a highlighter for the face. I feel like blush makes everyone look beautiful, and a shimmery highlight really accentuates the face onstage!

What is your most underrated product?
The Omorovicza instant perfection serum is my most underrated product because not many people know about it! I use it a few times a week after I take my makeup off and I always feel like my face is glowing the next day.

What is your exercise obsession outside of dance?
My exercise obsession outside of dance would have to be hot yoga. I love how it makes my muscles feel as well as how calm I am after I practice.

Best beauty advice from your mom?
My best beauty advice from my mom is to smile because it automatically brightens your face and doesn’t require any application!

Watch: A to Z with Fabrice Calmels, Model and World's Tallest Ballet Dancer