What's the first thing you do when you get out of bed in the morning? A well-rounded morning routine sets the tone for the day and gets you prepped—both mentally and physically—before you dive into a packed schedule filled with emails, chores, happy hours, workouts, and more. Our series Morning Person profiles those who have mastered the art of the morning routine.
Tune in every week here and on our Instagram to learn exactly how the pros get it all done before the sun comes up, from their go-to breakfasts to their a.m. workouts.
When beauty and fashion editor Stephanie Montes couldn’t find the right solution for going braless under her favorite plunging neckline and backless outfits, she took matters into her own hands.
With her industry knowledge and firsthand trials and tribulations, Montes created Nue, a breast tape dubbed “a Boob Job in a Box” and made for all body types and skin tones. And her mission to lift women up doesn’t stop there —a percentage of all proceeds from Nue benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Now, that's a brand you can feel good about supporting.
These days, Montes is keeping busy by running her small business from her home, contributing frequently to fashion and beauty outlets, and preparing for a baby on the way. Keep reading to see what a typical morning looks like for her now.
I'm not a morning person—never have been—so the pandemic has surprisingly been really good for my a.m. routine. Silver linings! When my schedule used to be packed (pre-COVID) with in-person meetings, brunches, lunches, afternoon coffee dates, and evening events, my mornings went a little something like this: Wake up, usually already late, hop in the shower, attempt to hide my dirty hair, do my makeup in my rearview mirror while sitting in gridlock traffic, and check emails while I waited at red lights in an attempt to ease my anxiety for running behind schedule before I even get to my first stop.
These days, with no commute and fewer scheduled meetings, my mornings are much slower paced. I tend to stay up late if I have anything pressing from the day before, so I rarely set an alarm anymore, to be honest. I usually get up around 8 a.m. without the help of some wretched sound blaring in my ears, thank you very much.
Okay, before you judge me too harshly for what I'm about to mention next, it's important to note that my commute used to take at least an hour and a half, sometimes two, every morning. With my newfound morning minutes (nay, hours), I've swapped time behind the wheel for breakfast in bed—dressed in pajamas, TV on (today it’s old episodes of The Hills), a breakfast tray, the whole nine yards.
I usually opt for a hearty meal, like avocado toast, a yogurt parfait, or eggs and a protein waffle. It may seem extra, but this is my calm before the storm, a time when I can really get my thoughts together before getting into the never-ending to-do list that is my everyday life.
It's finally time for me to get out of bed. I give myself a little full-body dry brush and hop in the shower. I scrub from head to toe with Nécessaire's The Body Wash in Eucalyptus, which smells like a spa and boasts a clean, vitamin-packed formula—score!
I'm a triple-cleanse kinda gal, so I wash my face in this order: Dermalogica Precleanse oil cleanser to remove sebum and traces of makeup (though I wear less these days), Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel for a lathery second pass, and finish with Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant to gently exfoliate.
Every few days—or more, depending on how I'm feeling—I'll wash my hair. Christophe Robin’s Purifying Shampoo deep cleans and gets all traces of oil out of my roots.
Now's a good time to slather on all my potions. I'm currently six-and-a-half months pregnant, so I start with rubbing a healthy dose of Evereden's Golden Belly Serum on my belly.
On my face, I start with the Good (Skin) Days' Prime Time Cleansing Toner and follow with a cooling massage courtesy of Kitsch’s Ice Roller. Next, I layer on Cell Rejuvenating Power Serum by Victoria Beckham Beauty, Erno Laszlo Multi-Task Eye Gel Cream, and Tatcha’s The Water Cream.
I'm a firm believer in waking up and getting dressed before working from home. It doesn't have to be in jeans—that would be crazy—or heels per se, just something that isn't pajamas. I live in L.A., which is usually warm, so my go-to silhouette is a stretch-knit dress or a sweat outfit if it happens to get chilly.
I've sworn off bras during quarantine (and perhaps beyond), but I still need support up top, so I opt for, you guessed it, breast tape. A few pieces of Nue's Breast Tape keep me lifted and supported without having annoying wires, straps, or clasps digging into my body all day.
It's time to multitask! I'll sit at my desk and answer emails, both for Nue and my editorial contributing. (I'm also a freelance fashion and beauty editor.) Next, I'll make compulsive lists of everything I need to accomplish today, this week, and for the remainder of the month.
I have this obsession with The Happy Planner, a line of super-cute agendas, stickers, and accessories that keep my days productive. I can't explain it, but I'm extra motivated if I'm embellishing my to-do list with cute stickers and physically checking items off with an actual pen—it's just so satisfying.
From here on out, my day is packed with writing fashion and beauty articles and keeping up with all things Nue. I'm the head of customer service, social media, the face of the company, tech support, and in charge of distribution. Needless to say, it's been keeping me busy.
It's around this time I need a bit of a stretch. I like to light a candle, burn some sage, open a window, and generally refresh the energy. This usually gives me that second wind I need to check off some more of those to-do boxes.
My workdays usually run well into the evening, so it's a good thing I took the time to relax and enjoy my breakfast in bed this morning!