How do you spend the first five minutes of your day? There’s no better time than the morning to ground yourself and prepare your body and mind to set the tone for the day ahead. And since we only have about 25,000 mornings in our adult life, it’s time we made them count. In our Wake Up Call series, we take a look inside the morning routines of people we admire to inspire our own AM rituals and start the day on the right note. Up next, skincare mogul, Tata Harper’s morning routine.
People often call eyes the window to the soul, but in Tata Harper’s case, it’s most certainly her skin. Her glowy, dewy, and gleamy radiance is mesmerizing but of course, it’s not just the superficial variety, this brilliance is soul-deep too. And this also rings true in business, too. As the founder and CEO of the first-ever luxury clean skin-care company, Harper wants healthy skin for everyone but once again, her mission is about so much more than looking good on the outside—she wants to impact the world by making it a cleaner and safer place, too. It’s this rare duality that makes us so unequivocally drawn to Harper and her brand—her radiance is ingrained in its DNA.
When she can, Harper lives on the company’s farm in Vermont which is also where all the magic happens: we’re talking fields of calendula, lavender, sunflowers, and every imaginable herb, all of which is carefully grown, picked and bottled for her clean skincare line. In fact, every Tata Harper product is made on the farm from her world-famous Elixir Vitae (with 38 active ingredients) to her Very Popular Cream Blush and Resurfacing BHA Glow Mask. We get it—this all sounds too good to be true, but it is, and Harper is living the literal dream.
So, of course, when the opportunity came up to interview the CEO for our new series, Wake Up Call, the entire CS team said yes unanimously, without hesitation. Who wouldn’t want to take a peek into the morning routine of one of the world’s most successful businesswomen? And from learning more about her a.m. rituals, it’s pretty clear why.
Read on to learn more about how this skincare mogul starts her day and why it’s such a delicious recipe for success in all aspects of your life.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to sleep about eight hours but I wake up early at 6:30 am to get a headstart on the day. It sounds cliché, but I miss living on the farm and hearing the roosters crowing in the morning. That really makes the wake up so much easier and feels much more natural.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I used to have the habit of checking my email first thing in the morning, but now I am making an effort to meditate for about 15 minutes before I fully plug-in. I’ve found that practicing breathing exercises has really helped me feel more centered and focused throughout the day. After that, I quickly scan through my emails and respond to anything that is super urgent.
What does your morning, pre-work routine look like?
I love to work out in the morning. Right now I see a personal trainer virtually and focus on core strengthening exercises for about an hour. Working out in the morning has tons of health benefits like lowering blood pressure and helping you to feel balanced and level-headed. I don’t exercise to be fit, but to feel both mentally and physically strong. For me, it’s really the most effective stress reducer. I will hop in the shower right after my workout to refresh my skin and body before I do my skincare routine.
Describe your morning beauty routine from start to finish.
I believe that more is more when it comes to my skincare and I use a multitude of our products every day, twice a day. I always start by exfoliating with Regenerating Cleanser. Exfoliating daily really lets my skin breathe and glow since it gets rid of any build-up that accumulates overnight, it also helps products absorb better. I follow with Hydrating Floral Essence to help prep my skin for treatment and help my serums penetrate deeper. Then it’s all about layering. I use Elixir Vitae on my whole face, next I’ll use Elixir Vitae Eye Serum, and then Repairative Moisturizer.
What do you eat for breakfast?
I do intermittent fasting until around 10:30 when I will have celery juice. I find that it really helps with digestion and is best on an empty stomach. It is packed with vitamins and minerals and is filled with phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. Celery juice is certainly not enough to hold me over until lunch. Right now I am obsessed with the Danish Rye and Sourdough Bread from Ole and Steen. I like to eat it with cashew butter and Dragon Fruit jam.
I also create my version of a latte. I mix Ashwagandha, Lions Mane, Cordyceps, Chaga, Reishi, Mucuna Pruriens, He Shou Wu and top it with oat milk. Delicious and wonderful for your immunity and longevity.
What are your morning media rituals?
I like to call it my “Media Diet.” I usually start with reading my favorite newsletter Air Mail—a weekly digital newsletter covering global topics from style and fashion to politics and the environment. Every article I read is super interesting and insightful and nothing I can find anywhere else.
Then I usually check my social media accounts—Instagram and Twitter. If I have time, especially on the weekend, I like to listen to podcasts. My favorite is FatMascara: I love listening to Jessica Matlin and Jennifer Goldstein on the FatMascara Podcast that is made for anyone who is beauty obsessed! Each week they have amazing and accomplished guests to share their insights, stories, and experiences in the beauty industry.
What are your favorite books?
Right now I am in love with Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
What do you always have on your nightstand to ensure a smooth, successful morning?
I love to wake up with the natural morning light. Since it is not always possible, a sunrise alarm clock is a great alternative. I program the time I like to wake up, and the built-in light will gradually become brighter in the minutes before the alarm sounds. I also have a charging dock where I charge all my devices to make sure I don’t bring them to bed and they are fully charged in the morning.
And of course a carafe full of water. Hydration is very important to me, and I like to start drinking water the moment I wake up.
What’s your favorite getting-ready soundtrack?
I always love to listen to Latin music anytime I can, in particular to Salsa. It is part of my Columbian heritage. It is very cheerful and makes me feel like I am vacationing in a foreign country.
What’s your daily uniform? How has that changed during quarantine?
I have always loved fashion and the quarantine has not changed that. I did not embrace the leisurewear trend and comfortableness is not part of who I am. I actually enjoy getting dressed for work and express my mood through fashion.
If you had one extra hour every morning, how would you use it?
I love to spend time with my kids and take walks with them outside. Especially in the summer months on our farm in Vermont.
What are one or two things you do every day to live a more present, mindful, and joyful life?
I definitely love to spend time outside. Being outdoors helps me achieve mindfulness, get in touch with nature and connect with the present moment. I realized how important it is for me to meditate and take the time to connect with my mind. It is great to shut out all of the distractions, and it can be beneficial in so many ways. I find it great for mindfulness, relaxation, and stress relief.
I have also started working on something that helps me get through my workday in a more joyful way. I take one task at a time and put my focus on the task at hand. When I am done I try to take a short break and move on to the next task. It is a more relaxed and mindful way to get things done, and I feel it definitely improved my performance.
If you could pin your success down to one thing or one moment, what would that be?
I am extremely proud whenever a customer tells me about how much our products have helped their skin. It makes me proud of what I, and my team, do and it really validates the effort we put in day in, day out to try and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
I never leave the house without… EO Sanitizing Wipes.
If there were more hours in the day, I would… Take dance lessons every single day.
Healthiest morning habit… Having my first meal around 10:30 am so that I don’t interrupt my 16h fasting.
Worst morning habit… Checking my email when I wake up.
One thing I want to be known for is… Making an impact on the world by making it a cleaner and safer place. Also, being a really good dog mom.
The one thing I fear the most is… In the age of digital photos, I fear that one day I’ll wake up and all my pictures are erased—completely losing all my memories.
When I feel that fear, I… back up my photos in iCloud.
The book I always recommend is… The Blackberry Farm Cookbook: Four Seasons of Great Food and the Good Life by Sam Beale and Lair: Radical Homes and Hideouts of Movie Villains by Chad Oppenheim and Andrea Gollin.
The 3 traits you need to succeed in life are… Self-confidence, creative problem solving, and taking the long view.
Bath or shower? And what’s your favorite shower/bath product? Bath. Kneipp herbal bath oils.