Sarah Potempa, Rachel Zoe, More Beauty Industry CEOs Share Their Morning Makeup Routines
When you’ve got boardroom meetings to slay and a million appointments to tackle, you can’t be holed up in your bathroom getting glam for hours on end. These CEOs (and badass boss babes) know that time is precious (and 💰), so they’ve shared their get-ready-in-a-flash secrets with us. Because wouldn’t you rather be cashing checks and building your brand, than creating a smokey eye look that will take forever and a day? We thought so.
1. Rachel Zoe, CEO of Rachel Zoe, Inc:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: I’m woken up by my boys at 6am, so the first thing I do is throw on a lightweight face oil and organic healing lip balm.
Five-minute beauty routine: I start with face oil, followed by a rich moisturizing creme to give myself a good base. I use a dab of concealer under my eyes and on any sun spots, a lengthening mascara, and always a berry lip stain and cheek tint. Lastly, I never leave the house without a spritz of my favorite perfume — Tom Ford Santal Blush ($225).
2. Kate Sommerville, Founder of Skin Care by Kate Somerville:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: I like to take time in the morning to reflect and meditate or spend time soaking in the tub with Epsom salts. Disconnecting from technology and being focused on my family in the morning is another way I stay centered and happy.
Five-minute beauty routine: Cleanse with Kate Somerville Gentle Daily Wash ($34), hydrate with Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift ($95), moisturize with Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair ($195), and apply SPF. If I’m limited on time I’ll cut back on my makeup, but I always do those four skincare steps. You don’t need to wear a lot of makeup when your skin is hydrated and glowing so I’ll just apply blush (I love Jane Iredale) and lip gloss (Chanel). I like to keep my makeup minimal and my skin looking fresh and youthful.
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: I can’t live without my Dilo Oil ($65). I apply it not only to my face for hydration, but also my body, hair, and even cuticles!
3. Amy Shecter, CEO of Glamsquad:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: My morning beauty routine is set up for success the night before by my thoughtful skincare ritual before bedtime. At night, I always make sure to remove my makeup with Ponds cleansing towelettes and MICELLAR WATER La Roche Posay ($20) using organic Unbleached Cotton Rounds ($2). Then, I apply SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic ($165) followed by the Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask ($90), which I’m obsessed with and must sleep in every night. In the morning, my alarm goes off and I allow myself one snooze before getting up. I do a couple yoga poses and then I rinse the Erno mask off and apply Chanel Hydra Serum ($150), that offers 24 hours of hydration, which is key for my long, busy days. Then I apply Skinceuticals A.G.E Eye Cream ($97), followed by a daily moisturizer. I switch my moisturizer based on how my skin feels that morning. My current go-tos are SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture ($62) if I want a lighter product, SKII Essential Power Rich Cream ($260) if I want medium hydration, and then Chanel Sublimage ($400) for those days when I need a super boost.
Five-minute beauty routine: I book GLAMSQUAD, because it’s a true time savor. I have thick, long, curly hair and the stylist and makeup artist can work simultaneously to get me ready in under an hour. I time my blowouts throughout the week, so on the days when I don’t have an hour to get ready, I’m just refreshing my hair with a little oil on the ends and hairspray for added oomph. I also never leave the house without under-eye concealer, brow pencil, a lip pencil and gloss, and a dusting of Hourglass Ambient Light Bronzer ($50). One of my GLAMSQUAD makeup artists taught me to layer two concealers — Onomie Undereye Concealer ($25) and It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye ($24) — to counteract the dark circles under my eyes. For a lip pencil, I’ve tried every product out there and I LOVE both Urban Decay and Hourglass lip liners. For a gloss, I am currently loving Givenchy’s Colored Gloss and Dior Addict Lip Glow ($33) in 006 Berry. I’ve recently been testing lots of different brow products since they are such a trend right now. For my brows, my faves are It Cosmetics Universal Brow Pencil ($24) and Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil ($21).
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: I use Hourglass highlighter as both highlighter and eyeshadow, and sometimes I use it on my lips for a little shimmer, paired with Givenchy Le Rouge Perfecto Beautifying Lip Balm ($36) as a gloss on top.
4. Alison Brod, CEO of Alison Brod Marketing + Communications:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: Splash very cold water on my face to wake up, then check email and read four newspapers (three in actual print) while I put makeup on.
Five-minute beauty routine: For beach waves, Alterna Ocean Waves ($22). Urban Decay’s All Nighter Spray ($15) when I’m going out at night. I go out a lot and see live music, so this sets my makeup so I don’t have to redo as much later in the day in-between meetings. mē sleek’s at-home hair removal device ($299), because no one should still be waxing or shaving if you don’t have to. L’Oreal’s True Match LUMI Cushion ($17) with the LUMI Liquid Glow Highlighter ($13) — the cushion compact comes with a mirror and it’s portable and perfect. Instead of taking the time to smudge a thin liner into a smokey eye, I use By Terry’s Stylo Blackstar Stick. Ardell Beauty Wispies Mascara ($30) that mirrors the look you get from their Wispies best-selling lashes. Putting lashes on takes time… a swipe of mascara, not so much.
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: A spray tan. I hate to admit it, but we have women who even come to our office, where we have a salon. You need less makeup and you look like you lost five pounds.
5. Huda Kattan, CEO of Huda Beauty:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: I always pray and say thank you for my incredible family and team. I start and end my day the exact same way. After that, I like to splash my face with water, apply some rose oil, and then the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Serum ($165).
Five-minute beauty routine: I apply a little bronzer all over my face. I love the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer ($30), mainly because it’s such a stunning color. Then I use the shades Henna and Sandalwood from our Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette ($65) all over the lid. I create my wing liner using the Kat Von D Ink Liner ($20). This liner is super black and I love the felt tip, which makes application a lot easier. Our Huda Beauty Faux Mink Lashes ($23) in Farah are my ultimate favorite, so these are also part of my beauty routine — whether I’m in a rush or not. Brows are very important to me, and I really love Benefit’s ka-Brow ($24)! And last but not least — our Huda Beauty Lip Contour ($19) in Trendsetter. This is also the only piece of makeup I ever carry with me in my handbag. I love our Lip Contours because they are so long lasting and they feel super comfortable on the lips. This look takes me less than five minutes to create.
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: Coconut oil! There’s so much you can do with coconut oil and it has amazing health benefits. I love to apply it all over my body and leave it in my hair overnight, and I always stick to the organic coconut oil found at local markets. The best coconut oil I’ve bought to date was in the Maldives, which was made by locals.
6. Chelsea Hirschhorn, CEO of Fridababy:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: Scoop the boys out of bed and the crib! I’ve always had early risers, which is fine because I’m a morning person, so I try to be the last one they see before they close their eyes and the first thing they see when they wake up. From there it’s usually tag teaming breakfast and getting ready for work/camp/school with my husband. If we’ve found 15 minutes [extra], Hunter and I take the electric scooter into town for coffee and a croissant before school — I love those moments together.
Five-minute beauty routine: Tinted moisturizers with SPF also do a lot of heavy lifting. I also love a good roll-on perfume stick because they’re so easy to travel with. I’m on a plane at least twice a month, so it never gets snatched by TSA! My makeup bag is tiny and these pretty much always make the trip: Giorgio Armani Crema Nuda ($120) tinted moisturizer, Laura Mercier Cream Blush ($26) (for cheeks and lips), By Terry Mascara ($48), and Le Labo Le Noir 29 ($90) roll-on perfume stick.
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: Cream blushes that you can dab onto your lips as chapstick or a highlighter for cheeks and eyes.
7. Jamie O’Banion, CEO of GloPRO:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: Drink water. I keep a bottle of water next to my bed or bathroom sink and try to drink at least half of it right when I wake up. Your body is totally dehydrated after going hours without liquids and drinking helps replenish your system. I feel less sluggish, tend to eat a healthier breakfast, and feel my skin is more hydrated when I do this daily. If I drink bottled water, it’s usually Smart Water.
Five-minute beauty routine: I love our 4-in-1 Tinted SPF 30 ($75) as it’s a primer, SPF (broad spectrum), hydrator, and perfector for the skin. It’s the ultimate multi-tasker that adjusts to every skin type/color. I wear this alone or blend with a pump of NARS Foundation ($49) if I want a little more coverage. It’s a gorgeous lightweight formula that allows your skin to show through but adds just a bit of polish. If I have literally 3-4 minutes, I pop on the 4-in-1, a swipe of mascara (I love L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes ($6), a pop of color on the lips (YSL in Rose Saint Germain ($37) — I’m loving a deep berry over a true red right now), and the key — a dash of highlighter on the bridge of nose and apple of cheeks and eyelids (remember your shadows and liner often take the most time to apply, so this adds shimmer and depth to lids without taking time).
My two favorite highlighters are MAC in Soft and Gentle ($33) and Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze and Glow ($68). For hair in a pinch, I throw it back in a quick chignon. I literally just make a ponytail, wrap the pony around it, secure with 3-4 bobby pins, and pull some of the hair out to add volume and texture. I will throw Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray ($46) in my hair if I want to wear it down but don’t have time to curl or straighten, since it gives it a really chic, sexy, done-but-undone look without a lot of effort.
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: Our 4-in-1, a fab highlighter, and, of course, GloPRO! As it creates new skin cells it addresses not only wrinkles and volume, but spots and pigmentation, and reduces the appearance of pores while also making my skincare products penetrate deeper and work more effectively.
8. Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: I am one of those who reaches for her phone before I get out of bed. Mostly because I am busy and tired and have a lot going on and sometimes I am not sure what day it is and what is happening. So, I check and then I know if I need to hustle or move more calmly throughout the morning. And, I always give thanks for having opened my eyes to see another day.
Five-minute beauty routine: My process for my face is usually three steps, and it doesn’t change very often, as it is quick. I am launching a new skincare line soon, and I use the wash while in the shower. That saves time for me. When I get out I use a little bit of oil on my face — coconut, maracuja, or evening primrose. The last step is my Face Butter by Carol’s Daughter ($14). I have dry skin so I layer my moisture. I spritz my curls with Carol’s Daughter Monoï Anti-Breakage Spray ($24), then I use Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Combing Creme ($10) for moisture, shine, and curl definition. I also oil my body with a blend of oils I have in my bathroom — rose, lavender, patchouli. The bases are usually something like watermelon seed oil or Shea oil. That is then followed by Monoï Cream Oil by Carol’s Daughter ($40).
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: coconut oil. I use it as an oil treatment for my hair, moisturizer for my skin, and I cook with it.
9. Sarah Kugelman, CEO and founder of skyn ICELAND:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: I wash my face with skyn ICELAND Glacial Face Wash ($30). It’s like I can’t really wake up until I do that. It makes me feel clean and fresh and ready to start my day. Then I grab a bottle of water, a bowl of berries, and a banana.
Five-minute beauty routine: I am in the process of developing a spray lotion, so I’m obsessed with using that in the morning when I’m rushing. It’s so easy and takes a few minutes off my beauty routine. I also put my Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels ($30) on first, then I do my eye makeup so I can smooth my under-eye area and also catch any of the makeup flakes; otherwise, I end up having to clean up my eye area after applying makeup. When I’m rushing, I pare my makeup routine down to It Cosmetics CC Cream ($15), Dior Diorshow Iconic in Black ($30), Vapour Mesmerize Eyeliner in Black ($20), Chantecaille Powder ($70), and Nars Pink Mauve ($26).
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: I’m sort of obsessed with the Blithe Energy Yellow Citrus & Honey Splash Mask ($45). It’s such a great and easy way to exfoliate. I use it in the shower and sometimes I use it on my face, my décolleté, my arms for smoothing, and my legs to make them glow.
10. Sarah Potempa, Celebrity Hairstylist and Inventor of The Beachwaver Co.:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: With two young kids and a 90-pound giant Alaskan Malamute puppy, our mornings are definitely fun! I usually sleep with a loose braid to keep my waves intact, so I start by brushing them out with the Beachwaver On Set Styling Brush ($42) and quickly touching them up with the Beachwaver Pro 1.25-Inch. ($199). Then I apply moisturizer and lip balm. Before any serious makeup application, I make coffee.
Five-minute beauty routine: When I’m in a rush and need a quick fix, I apply a bright lipstick and curl my lashes. I’ve got my makeup routine down to five minutes because of these fantastic products: Surratt Beauty Surreal Real Skin Foundation Wand ($65), then I highlight, add blush, and contour with Tarteist PRO Glow Highlight & Contour Palette ($45), which has all three so it cuts down time on finding different compacts. My go-to bright lipsticks are stains that last all day, like Stila’s Amalfi Hot Pink Lip ($24).
When it comes to hair, I’m obsessed with a flexible hairspray and cream. As I use the Beachwaver Pro 1.25-Inch ($199) almost daily, I love a quick brush with the On Set Styling Brush (the combination of boar bristle and nylon makes it the perfect styling brush), after spraying IGK Intern Flexible Spray ($29) and Ouai Finishing Cream ($24). Also, to save time, I use the Darby Clip ($10) to section, because despite what you might think, the extra step of sectioning actually saves time in the end! Also, obsessed is an understatement when it comes to gel nails. As a hairdresser, the gels keep my nails fresh, beautiful, and chip-free for two to three weeks, and I’ve been consistently getting them for five years now. I’ve tried everything: ombre, color-changing, gold foil designs, and neons!
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: The Tarte Pro Glow Palette ($45) has contour, blush, concealer, and highlight all in one! Brows balance out the face and I love Naturally by Stevi Christine Eyebrow Filler ($24) because it has a double-sided brow shadow and brush. The shadow can also be used as an eyeshadow, as it comes in the cap and applies directly from the tip. The Coast Pro Iron ($169) has blowout attachments to create three looks from one tool!
11. Patti Pao, Founder and CEO of Restorsea:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: Run across the street to Starbucks to buy my grande almond milk misto.
Five-minute beauty routine: My entire routine is five minutes. First, I plug in a curing iron. I use Hot Tools Professional 1-Inch Barrel ($28,) and while it’s heating, I apply Restorsea Rejuvenating Day Cream ($150) on my face for the glow, Restorsea PRO Line Blur Eye Cream ($65) to reduce crow’s feet, and Restorsea Repairing Neck & Decollatage Treatment ($150) because it’s NEVER too late to start working on your neck. Then I fill in my brows with Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal ($29). I spent decades waxing and plucking my eyebrows, and as a result I am very “bare up there.” The Dior Show Brow Styler is magic for restoring a natural appearance of having eye brows and the application is idiot-proof. Next, I curl my eyelashes with Shu Uemura’s eyelash curler and apply Trish McEvoy’s High Volume Mascara ($32) in Jet Black. It’s a tubular mascara that’s smudge-proof and flake-proof. I then use the curling iron to create 8-to-10 waves and fluff while still warm to achieve the “beachy wave.”
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: I love the Lancome Blush Subtil Crème ($32) in Brise Rosee. It’s great as an eye gloss, blush, and lip product (although not perhaps all at once).
12. Jane Iredale, CEO and Founder of Jane Iredale Cosmetics:
First thing you do when you get out of bed: My waking time is in the lap of the gods, but I generally get up at around 7:30am. If I’m being really good, I jump on the treadmill for 20 minutes. Then I feed my little dog Cookie, who is by this point already making “big eyes” at me.
Five-minute beauty routine: My Jane Iredale Magic Mitt ($15) takes the place of a cleanser and toner and cuts out three steps for me. Then I put on Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals ($52), which saves me from putting on a moisturizer and gives me coverage. No time for contouring, so I brush some of my Copper Wind PurePressed Blush ($30) on my cheeks, put Smooth Affair for Eyes ($32) in Naked on my lids with my finger, and if I’m in a real rush, I forego liner and throw on some PureLash Lash Extender & Conditioner ($19), and then, of course, mascara. I wouldn’t leave the house without it. With no time for lining lips, I swipe on some Just Kissed Lip & Cheek Stain ($25) in Forever Peach, which I know will stay all day. If it’s a crisis of time, I don’t blow dry my hair — I pin it back and put on some dangly earrings. They cover a multitude of sins.
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: The one product that never lets me down is our PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation ($42). It works in all climates — day and night. I use it every single day, whether I’m speaking to an audience or working in the garden, and it saves me so much time because it’s four products in one: a powder, foundation, concealer, and sunscreen. It’s also water resistant.
First thing you do when you get out of bed: Daily pilates and I add Super Elixir by Elle McPherson to my smoothie I make every morning.
Five-minute beauty routine: I love to use Biologique Recherche L’Eauxygenante when I’m pressed on time. It’s a protective multi-functional facial spray that hydrates, stimulates, refreshes, tones, and oxygenates the skin. It contains high concentrations of vitamins A and C extracted from orange and kiwi cells, as well as Edelweiss extract, which has potent anti-free-radical properties, and the Specific Biologique Recherche Oxygenating Complex. I also use a little Biologique Recherche Yall’02 Finishing Serum.
Beauty multi-tasker you swear by: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 is commonly referred to as “a facial” in a bottle! Lotion P50 is an amazing vitamin-enriched exfoliating potion that gently purifies, hydrates, tones, controls sebum, and balances the skin, visibly improving many common skin conditions including whiteheads, blackheads, and symptoms of rosacea. It removes dead cells and impurities daily, helps regulate sebum secretion, promotes epidermal renewal, balances pH on the surface of the skin, and helps protect from free radicals. Skin will be left smooth, radiant, uniform, and shine-free!
Want more advice from beauty gurus? Follow us on Pinterest!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
For the fall session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our nomination form right here. The deadline for scholarship nominations is September 27th — it's time to take the leap!
Beyond the scholarship, Office Depot is all about helping you accomplish more. Whether it be the start phase, growth phase or keep businesses going phase, Office Depot offers a full suite of business solutions, including services and products, to help you work from anywhere, organize and save time and help build your brand.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)