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.
Being a beauty mogul is more than just playing around with lipsticks and moisturizers—just ask Sarah Lee. Whether she’s forced to face mask during her morning commute or stay up until 3 a.m. on business calls, the co-founder of cult-favorite beauty brand Glow Recipe is always on the run. But, no matter how packed her schedule may be, Lee always (seriously, always) fits a full skincare routine into her agenda. Because, how else would she keep her dewy radiance in tact?
Below, we talk to Lee about her go-to products, how she battle frizz, and her addiction to nighttime baths.
What’s the first thing you do every morning?
“I always drink a full bottle of water as soon as I wake up. After that, I check my calendar and start whittling away at my emails. I catch up on all my news notifications—my go-to apps right now are the New York Times and BBC apps.”
Do you have a morning workout routine?
“I sometimes go to the gym or take flywheel classes with my husband. It’s not easy to wake up early and exercise in the morning, but I always feel more energized and the day becomes more productive!”
Shower at-night, morning or both?
“I like to take a bath almost every night—this is my time to catch up on reading and relax. I usually take a shower before getting into the tub to soak in clean water.”
Daily alarm time? How many times do you hit snooze?
“It varies—I’m usually up between 7 and 7:30 a.m., but can sometimes be later if I’m on a call with a brand or lab in Korea until 3 a.m.”
If you’re running late, what’s the one thing you have to do?
“No matter what time it is, I have to make sure to do my skincare routine, even if it’s a condensed one. Sometimes I get an extra boost by masking in the car on the way to work!”
“A skim latte. Breakfast meetings are a favorite, so whatever looks good on the menu!”
Weirdest morning beauty habit?
“Misting, misting, misting! Right after waking up, after washing my face to tone and balance skin, and between every skincare step.”
Tell us your morning hair-care routine.
“I spray IGK Laid Back Defrizz and Anti-Static Spray to get rid of any flyaways and Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil on my ends wherever they’re dry. The vibe is usually I-woke-up-like-this, minus the frizz.”
How much time do you spend on your skincare routine?
“I drench a cotton pad with a Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Water to balance my skin. I’ll then do a 3-skin method (applying a little bit consecutively three times) with Whamisa Deep Rich Essence Toner, followed by the Polatam Optimal Repairing Sheet Mask. After 10 minutes, I take the mask off, pat in any remaining essence and finish with the Glow Recipe Watermelon Pink Juice Moisturizer. I use this moisturizer day and night, every single day. I have combination skin and have never been 100% satisfied with one moisturizer that could balance my T-zone while moisturizing my cheeks and chin. It’s oil-free, lightweight, and is deeply hydrating at the same time. It also gives a subtle glow that lasts all day, even under makeup.”
How long do you usually take to get ready for the day?
“15-20 minutes, usually. For days I have a shoot or am speaking in public, I’ll call in the cavalry: Glamsquad.”
What’s the one product you could never leave the house without putting on?
“Lancome Artliner in black for eyeliner, Blithe Apricot Pressed Serum or Blithe Hydro Priming Cream for a primer, Yuri Pibu Cushion Compact, and LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule on my cheekbones for that extra glow.”