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What Tiler Peck Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Rikers Brothers

We asked Tiler Peck — prima ballerina and New York City Ballet’s principal dancer — about the snack she stocks in her dressing room, natural full-coverage foundation, and what she uses to sew her pointe shoes.

I keep this right on my nightstand because I always apply it before bed. It’s my nightly ritual I’ve been doing for probably four years now. It’s so good. I haven’t found anything that makes my lips feel as soft as this.

I hate the look of makeup that’s caked on, but I also want something that can actually cover up a blemish. I’ve never used a concealer or foundation that’s as good as this one. It has full coverage but still makes you look glow-y and natural. I found it during the pandemic after a makeup artist used it on me. If I’m going out outside of rehearsing and performing, this is what I’m wearing.

I am not a morning person. I know breakfast is important, especially for what I do, so I normally eat something I can take on the go. I eat this almost every day. It’s just the right amount of food and has a good amount of protein. It’s also the perfect snack for a ballerina since I can eat it quickly in between rehearsals.

I have one of these before my performances. It’s a great way to get protein before a show without feeling too full. I always have a box of Clif Bars stocked in my dressing room so I can have one at any point in the day.

After performances, you’re still kind of on a high from so much energy and excitement. To unwind, I watch a little TV, have dinner, then have my Sleepytime Tea and a hot bath with Epsom salt. It’s a nice nighttime ritual to relax.

My guilty pleasure. I have a closet full of just my shoes, and a lot of the rows are Louboutin heels. Obviously, I love the way they look. But they also feel like they’ll last forever, and all of mine are very comfortable. I have a pair of black suede ones with a knot in the back that I wear the most frequently. The suede material is soft around the bunion area, which is super important after getting off stage when my feet are kind of swollen. The last thing I want is a very stiff heel.

[Editor’s note: Tiler’s Louboutin’s are no longer sold, but we were able to find a used pair on eBay.]

When I was 11 years old and started sewing my own pointe shoes, a friend taught me to use dental floss. I’ve used floss ever since. It’s kind of become a superstition for me. I just really trust it. Sometimes thread breaks or gets tangled, but dental floss never does. And, it’s easy to sew with; it goes right through the needle eye seamlessly.

I mean, that’s just an essential that a ballerina cannot go without ever. Whenever I pack, everything can go in my suitcase except for my pointe shoes. Those go in my purse with me, because I can buy everything else if anything happens. My pointe shoes are handmade exactly how I like my shoes and have my name on the bottom, so it’s not like I can get them at a store if they’re lost. I go through a lot in a week, depending on how many shows I have. For example, during the Nutcracker, I wear two pairs in one show. If I have five shows, I’ll go through ten pairs of shoes a week. I always write on the bottom of my shoes what ballet they’ve done. I kept the ones I wore for my first Romeo and Juliet, my first Swan Lake, and other special moments.

I’m not great about drinking fluids, because when you dance all day, you don’t want it bouncing around in your tummy. This water bottle is a good reminder, because I can carry it everywhere. I can hook it onto my duffel for ballet, and it collapses down to almost nothing. It’s the easiest thing to pack when I’m traveling.

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What Tiler Peck Can’t Live Without