Very few moments in the day are as bare as the moment you wake up. We each have our own kinks and quirks that help us get out of bed, but few of us are brave enough to share them with the world. Introducing A Cool Morning, a deep dive into the intimate daytime rituals of our coolest friends and beauty innovators.
When it comes to my beauty routine, excessive is a fraction of how intense I am. I can’t help it — as the official Beauty Editor for Cools, the best serums, lipsticks, and face creams are always within arm’s reach. It may sound superficial and a bit indulgent (to say the least), but I swear I’m doing the absolute most all in the name of self care — I’m a Cancer, and we’re notorious for pampering ourselves as a form of “healing.”
So, without further adieu, here is my extensive, time-consuming morning beauty routine:
What’s the first thing you do every morning?
Stare at my ceiling with existential dread that sooner or later (usually later), I will have to get up.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
If walking along the slender ledge of my bathtub like a tightrope while I brush my teeth counts as exercise, then yes.
Shower at-night, morning, or both?
Always morning — I know sleeping in a day’s worth of filth is far from ideal, but I’m just too tired to get into the shower by the time my day is at its end.
Daily alarm time? How many times do you hit snooze?
My daily alarm is at 7 AM on the dot, but I usually don’t get up until an hour later (the reasoning for this, I have no idea). I hit snooze at least 6 times.
If you’re running late, what’s the one thing you have to do?
Pick out my bag for the day — will it be cheetah print, a tote, or my beloved Chloé crossbody? I never know until I’m running out!
A cheese-filled croissant — the cheesier, the better.
Weirdest morning beauty habit?
I pluck at every little misplaced hair I can find on my face. I’m an obsessive picker, but I know popping pimples leads to more harm than good, so this is the safest way to get my picking fix.
What does your morning hair-care routine look like?
It’s actually pretty simple, but changes a lot. My hair is extremely thick, but is also very frizzy (a former lover of mine once described it as the texture of “steel wool”), so I’m always using products to tame my unruly strands.
If I’m shampooing and conditioning, I’ll use the Verb Ghost Shampoo and Conditioner — godsends for thick, multiethnic hair. If I’m skipping shampoo (hoards of celebrity hairstylists have yelled at me on multiple occasions to never shampoo everyday), then I’ll use the Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask while I shave. Once I hop out of the shower, I use the following in this exact order: the KEVIN.MURPHY LEAVE-IN.REPAIR leave-in conditioner, IGK Mistress Hydrating Balm, and the Verb Ghost Oil. I usually let my wavy hair air dry, but if I have some extra time I’ll blow dry it straight with the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, then top it off with a little more Verb Ghost Oil to give it a glassy look.
How much time do you spend on your skincare routine?
More time than anyone should: at least 20 minutes, since I like to let every step in my routine seep into my skin before I apply anything else on top. First, I’ll wash my face with the Aesop Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk — since I religiously double-cleanse my skin at night, I don’t find a need to use anything too powerful in the morning. Then, I’ll use the Circumference Active Botanical Refining Toner, and follow up with the Botanic Farm Rice Ferment First Essence. Then there are my go-to serums: Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, Algenist GENIUS Liquid Collagen, and Omorovicza Daily Vitamin-C Serum. Once my serums are nestled into my pores, I’ll follow up with the Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen, and seal everything in with the M-61 Vitablast C Moisturizer. For my body, I’ll wash with the Plant Apothecary Start Happy Organic Body Wash, exfoliate three times weekly with the Frank Body Original Body Scrub, and moisturize with the FRÉ Protect Body Defense Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30.
I know this is supposed to be a focus on my morning routine, but I feel like I’m doing a disservice to everyone if I don’t talk about my night regimine: I’ll double-cleanse with the Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm and the Peach and Lily Power Calm Hydrating Cleanser (I also use the ReVive Soniqué Acne LED Sonic Cleansing System for my cleansing brush), then I’ll use a face mask if my skin looks a little off (as of right now, my favorite one is the Ole Henriksen PHAT Glow Facial Mask).
the Youth To The People Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power Toner, and follow with essence. Then, I’ll swap my serums for some more intensive picks: the Peach and Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum, Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum (my skin is too sensitive for actual retinol), and the NINGALOO Firming Serum from Dr Roebuck’s that isn’t out just yet, but will be on August 20! Most nights, I’ll just use an overnight cream (my go-to: the Algenist Overnight Restorative Cream), but if my skin seems extra dry I’ll use a hydrating overnight mask. I wish I could pick just one, but there are three I currently rotate between: the Peach and Lily Overnight Star Sleeping Mask, Youth To The People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask (this one’s also great if you have any acne that needs to calm down), and the Shiseido WASO Hydrating Gel Beauty Sleeping Mask.
In case you were wondering, my skincare routine alone costs a grand total of $1,396. It may seem crazy, but skincare is an investment, right?
How long do you usually take to get ready for the day?
Though my skincare routine seems excessive, every other step in my beauty routine doesn’t take too long: about 5-10 minutes for my hair, and 10 minutes to my makeup routine. I’m not a fan of a fully beat face, so I usually skip foundation/concealer/contour, but ever since I finished watching Euphoria I can’t stop using glitter shadows. My daily makeup routine is: brows, eyeshadow, liner, mascara, highlighter, blush, lipstick, and lip gloss. Right now, I’m using the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown, Revlon Colorstay Eyeshadow Primer, Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Pillow Talk, Stila After Hours Eyeshadow Palette, Beauty Bakerie Lollipop Liner, Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Shimmer Stick in Light Gold, Kosas Color & Light Pressed Powder Blush & Highlighter Duo in Papaya, MAC Cosmetics Powder Kiss Lipstick in Coffee & Cigs, and the Glossier Lip Gloss in Clear.
What’s the one product you could never leave the house without putting on?
Mascara — I’d rather be a few minutes late to work while I’m in search of it than dare to leave my cramped Harlem apartment without it.
The first word/thing that popped into your head this morning?
“F*ck, I woke up late again.”
Your favorite morning read?
I don’t read in the morning. I know, the English language is basically what’s keeping me employed and I should dabble into reading more, but reading and writing is what I do for 8 hours a day, and a girl needs a break from the screen.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
Oh god, what isn’t on my nightstand right now? A few books, a plethora of eyeshadow palettes (I’d list them, but you already get my beauty obsession by now), an Apothekary candle, matches I snagged at Lafayette, an ashtray for said matches, and a bottle of melatonin pills.
What’s the current ringtone on your alarm?
The nauseating, harsh classic alarm that haunts my dreams.
Coffee, tea, or go-to morning drink?
Cha Cha Matcha, forever and always.
What’s the last thing you did before you headed out the door today?
Grab my headphones, and do a heavy sprint for the door (yet again, I stayed 20 minutes longer than I should in my apartment).