By Josie Lo
Mindful Mornings: Tuning Into Stillness and The Present Moment
A good morning routine helps set me up for success for the day. The alternative of getting ready in a panic-mode leaves me feeling behind and unprepared. My morning rituals are mindful and joyful. They involve elements of stillness where I focus on savoring the moment: stretches on the balcony, conversations in bed with my partner, scrambled eggs with fresh fruit and toast, and cuddles with my pets. A key part of my morning practice is my daily beauty routine, which I’ve optimized and paired down to the essentials over time.
First, I brush my teeth with my Quip, an uncomplicated, slim, battery-powered, electric toothbrush with a replaceable head. Pro tip: if your lips get chapped, instead of exfoliating, try brushing your teeth before you wash your face. Doing this rinses off mint flavor in toothpaste that can irritate your lips. Alternatively, try a kid’s strawberry toothpaste.
Step-By-Step Morning Skincare Routine
Next, I gently wash my face using the CeraVe Renewing Salicylic Acid cleanser. This exfoliating cleanser keeps oil production and breakouts at bay. I use it on my body too. Once a week, I exfoliate my face using the most basic two-blade razor and my facial cleanser. Much like a professional dermaplaning treatment, that uses a surgical scalpel, shaving sloughs off dead skin and peach fuzz, allowing skincare products to penetrate deeply and makeup to apply evenly. Gone are the days of painful waxing, tweezing, and threading. And no, shaving does not cause hair to grow back thicker or faster (learn about this myth from a dermatologist, Neal Schultz, MD). I keep a stack of clean washcloths reserved for drying my face. Pat dry and apply moisturizer immediately to reduce transepidermal water loss!
I apply a layer of La Roche-Posay Daily Repair Moisturizing Lotion, an affordable, fragrance-free moisturizer with niacinamide, glycerin, and shea butter. While that absorbs, I apply deodorant, smooth my hair into a claw clip updo, and apply a bit of CeraVe Healing Ointment to condition my lips.
Some mornings, I incorporate an active ingredient, like the 10% Vitamin C Serum by Common Heir that comes in plastic-free biodegradable capsules. I take mindful breaths and massage the velvety oil into my skin. Since this serum has a slip to it, I use it with my SACHEU Beauty Stainless Steel Gua-Sha to de-puff and drain lymphatic fluid from the face.
Sunscreen is non-negotiable. Finding an everyday sunscreen you love to apply (and reapply!) is most important. My partner and I love the Black Girl Sunscreen (broad spectrum SPF 30) because it is lightweight, moisturizing, and leaves no white cast. Don’t forget to apply to the ears, neck, and any other exposed skin! This sunscreen absorbs well, doesn’t leave me super shiny, and layers well with makeup.
A Clean Makeup Look
I don’t wear makeup every day, but I feel bright and fresh when I do. First, I spot conceal with the Kosas Revealer Concealer and lightly set using the Kosas Cloud Set Setting powder. If I have a breakout, I avoid putting makeup on it. Instead, I cover the breakout with a COSRX Clear Fit pimple patch. Not only does this conceal a pimple better than makeup, but it also protects from bacteria and provides an ideal healing environment.
For a bit of moody color, I adore the Minori Orchid Creme Blush on the high points of the cheek, the bridge of the nose, and the eyelids. To add a sunkissed look, I use the Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Drops on the cheekbones, the forehead, eyes. Some days I mix a couple of drops into my moisturizer for a subtle glowing tint. Next, I fill and groom and fill my sparse brows with the Kosas Brow Pop Defining Eyebrow Pencil. For my lashes, I get eyelash extensions. They are convenient if you struggle to keep mascara from transferring onto your lower eyelids. Lashes significantly impact my look, and all they need is a quick comb in the morning.
Before I jump into work or head out the door, I toss on my daily wear jewelry, fill my Hydroflask with iced water, mint, ginger, lemon, and stevia. I’ve got my day planned out in my notebook. I queue up a song to dance ecstatically to, NPR Up First, an audiobook or podcast, and I’m on my way!