Successful people around the world have their morning routines down to a fine art. So just how does Dana Malhas, co-founder and owner of Jeddah’s Cream Boutique, start her day? Savoir Flair gets a peek into her morning rituals, from the beauty products she swears by to her favorite breakfast choices.
I actually have a biological alarm clock and wake up every day at around 9 a.m. as I know that’s when my son’s playtime starts. I was never a morning person, but after I had my baby, mornings have become my favorite time of the day – I actually look forward to waking up and starting it with him. The first thing I do is run to fetch him and bring him back to bed with me. I need my dose of hugs and kisses before I start my day!
I was never a morning person, but after I had my baby, mornings have become my favorite time of the day.
I then go on WhatsApp to check the group with all my family members as they all live in Saudi Arabia. It’s the funniest and most random group. Each person sends their updates, photos, plans for their day, etc. And, of course, we all have to share our opinion and comment back like a typical Arab family! I also love checking the BBC News app; it gives me highlights and brief articles on what’s going on around the world.
If I have time, I switch to Instagram and Snapchat to see what’s new in the fashion world, and check my e-mails as soon as I’m at my desk. This takes me up to four hours every day as I have two accounts – one for my store in Jeddah, and one for my personal projects with fashion brands. Sometimes, I spend the whole day on my e-mails, but it depends on the season and the amount of work that is going on.
My go-to breakfast totally depends on the weather. If it’s a bit cold, I run to my hot-chocolate machine first thing in the morning. It’s my favorite thing in the whole world. I always thought I’d outgrow it, but I’m a mom and I still act like a kid when I am having it! If it’s too hot for that, I go for the extreme opposite, which is a boringly healthy, homemade green juice. I must admit, I don’t really enjoy drinking it, but feel great after it.
We put in everything that is green and organic: kale, cucumber, celery, parsley, green apple, ginger, and lemon. With my food, it’s the same thing – I have a healthy option and a not-so-healthy one. My favorite breakfast is Trix flakes with chocolate milk, while my healthy breakfast is avocado toast. I mix avocado with salt, a bit of lemon, and some sunflower seeds, and spread it over toasted brown quinoa bread.
I usually like to shower at night, just before I go to bed – unless I have gym in the morning, in which case I shower right after my workout. After a long day of running around, nothing relaxes me more than a long, hot shower. Day showers, on the other hand, are very quick for me as I have a million and one things to get done before the end of the day!
For my hair, I alternate between three shampoos: Macadamia, David Mallet (which I buy from his salon in Paris), and John Frieda ‘Frizz Ease’. When I run out of the ones I get from abroad, I switch to Kérastase. Each brand has a conditioner and mask that I also use once a week. I like to brush my hair in the shower right after I finish washing it.
I usually like to use baby products on my body as I feel they’re the best for sensitive skin like mine, so I only use Bioderma’s baby shower gel ‘ABCDerm Moussant’. Once a week, I use the L’Occitane ‘Almond Shower Scrub’, which I follow with the brand’s body oil, applying it to wet skin just before I get out.
For my skincare routine, I wash my face every morning and every night with my all-time favorite face wash – Nuxe ‘Comfort Cleansing Milk with Rose Petals’. I’ve been using it for years, and I cannot live without it. I always stock up because I can’t bear running out of it! I then apply a face cream that I recently discovered in Geneva called Lubex ‘Anti-Age Day Classic’. It’s the best moisturizer I’ve ever used – the texture is so light that you don’t feel like you have anything on. I use the Lubex night cream, too. For my eyes, I use the SkinCeuticals ‘Eye Balm’ as my dermatologist highly recommended it.
I’m crazy about to-do lists! I have a monthly one, which then gets divided into a weekly one, which then gets divided into a daily one. I have it both as a hard copy on my notebook, next to my laptop, and as a soft copy on my phone. I am so obsessive with it! It’s divided into five categories every month: Cream, Baby, Husband, Me, and Home. Every morning, I have to look at it and plan my day according to what I need to get done. It might sound crazy, but it keeps me so organized – and when you have loads of things to look after, that’s the best way to go!
I leave home when I finish my e-mails as I hate leaving anything pending. Since I work from home, it’s hard to have a routine, so I try to force one on myself. I aim to finish by 1 p.m. every day, have lunch with my husband at home, then start running my errands and doing my shoots while my son naps.