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.
Dylan Stephens may be known for her extra-long legs (her Insta-pseudonym is @hookerlegs) and her cool tunes—seriously, listen to Summer Skin, it’s a trippy, electric bop—but her overall aesthetic is straight-up flawless. The model, who describes herself as a “Trent Reznor, Donna Summer, and Dolly Parton” hybrid, has been featured in publications like Perjus magazine and Love, Inc. Clearly, she’s one to watch.
But, what we’re wondering is how Stephens keeps her skin so damn perfect. The answer is actually quite simple: “moisturizer, eight hours of sleep, and minding your business.” Below, we talk to Stephens about ice cubes (she swears by them!), exfoliating, and the “struggle to crawl out of bed” every morning (hey, she’s not alone!).
What’s the first thing you do every morning?
“I halfway open my eyes and shuffle around under my covers until I find my phone. Then I turn on my Spotify playlist of the week. It gets pretty dark and cozy in my room, so it’s hard to get going without injecting some energy into the space. This week consists of ‘90s Madonna and Gesaffelstein.”
Your morning workout routine?
“The most I will do in the morning is some basic stretches. Getting the blood flowing is the only way to always beat crawling back in bed. I’m envious of people who have the motivation to work out straight out of bed. If you can do that, you can do anything.”
Shower at night, morning, or both?
“It really depends on my next day. I work freelance, so my days are always different. If I have to wake up earlier than I normally would, I shower the night before to allow for more shut-eye. I do prefer to shower in the morning as a part of my slow process of waking up.”
Daily alarm time? How many times do you hit snooze?
“I don’t set alarms unless I have a call time or meeting before noon. I think the earliest I’ve gotten up in the past year is 9 a.m.”
If you’re running late, what’s the one thing you have to do?
“I absolutely have to exfoliate in my shower, and then SPF and moisturize after. Those are the bare bones of my routine.”
“I don’t like eating too soon after I wake up. But if it’s anything before lunch, it’s something small like a bagel or toast, and then some tea for the caffeine since I don’t like coffee.”
Weirdest morning beauty habit?
“After my showers, I will use an entire ice cube on my face until it completely melts away. It’s a myth that your pores open and close, but for me, it feels like it immediately tightens my skin and snatches me for whatever makeup I want that day.”
Tell us your morning hair-care routine.
“Not much at all, I’m pretty low maintenance on my hair after years of heat and styling products from work. I don’t wash my hair everyday, so for the in-between days I use SGX NYC Dry Touch volumizing dry shampoo.”
How much time do you spend on your skincare routine?
“If I do a sheet mask or other mask that day, my routine may take 20 minutes. On normal days, it takes no longer than 10 minutes. After using a facial exfoliating pad in the shower, I use a cleansing wipe to get any excess. I’ve found that many cleansers strip too much oil from my skin, so if I use a cleanser, it’s very gentle. Then, I lay on the hyaluronic acid and moisturizer. I have combination oily skin, so moisture balance is super-important for me to avoid breakouts or random dry patches. The bipolar weather has kept me on my toes. Then I apply my SPF and a face mist before applying makeup for the day.”
How long do you usually take to get ready for the day?
“With a shower, I can be ready in about an hour. I’ll just let my hair air-dry and embrace my natural, messy texture—maybe add some Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. If I shower the night before, my entire routine to be able to walk out the door is no longer than 30 minutes.”
What’s the one product you could never leave the house without putting on?
“My MAC StudioFix concealer—I love the buildable coverage and I gotta keep these late-night-work dark circles a secret—and Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara to open up my eyes if I don’t commit to a full-face look. Also, I’ll add sleep as something that’s necessary. I always joke with people who ask what the secret to my skin is. I say moisturizer, eight hours of sleep, and minding your business.”
The first word that popped into your head this morning?
“Stiletto. I’m working on a track inspired by having your foot on someone’s neck trying to get answers out of them. There’s no better mindset to start your day.”