Successful people around the world have their morning routines down to a fine art. So just how does Anum Bashir, the style influencer and fashion blogger behind Desert Mannequin, start her day? Savoir Flair gets a peek into her morning rituals, from the beauty products she swears by to the music that makes for her perfect morning soundtrack.
I usually set my alarm for 7:30 a.m. every morning, but I’ll lie in bed for another 30 minutes as I think it’s so important to wake up properly and prepare for the day. During this time, my husband Waqas is usually in the shower getting ready for work, and we always spend a few minutes every morning chatting together after that – I love starting my day with him. It’s therefore safe to say that my morning really starts anywhere between 8 and 8:30 a.m.
I’m generally not a morning person because I have a bad habit of sleeping really late and working through the night. But I love what I do and, on days when I have special meetings, projects, or shoots, you’ll definitely find me springing out of bed with excitement!
Sadly, I do check my messages and e-mails as soon as I wake up as I like to address super-urgent things immediately. I use WhatsApp and iMessage to carry out my day-to-day correspondence with work, family, and friends, and then Instagram to maintain a steady stream of posts. And e-mails because, well, who doesn’t check their e-mail in this day and age?
I don’t reply to everything right away as I create a priority list. Anything that’s really urgent, of course, warrants an immediate response, but I generally flag certain things and then proceed to creating a to-do list in the ‘Notes’ app on my phone. Then, as the day progresses, I try to check things off. It’s so satisfying!
Once I’ve enjoyed my lie in and I’m ready to embrace the day, I make my bed, make sure our room is tidy, and proceed to getting ready after Waqas has left for work. Those few moments when he’s gone and I have the apartment to myself before hitting the road are actually great. I get some music on or listen to the news, and then I figure out what I’ll be wearing that day.
I’m not really a breakfast person, so I normally just have a gluten-free chocolate cookie with a cup of green tea because I’m always in such a rush. On the weekends, Waqas will usually make us some eggs, which I really enjoy. It’s our end-of-the-week treat.
Every day brings on a different mood, and my music reflects that. Sometimes, it’s Ben Folds or Coldplay and, sometimes, it’s Kanye. Other times, it could be me singing along to Bollywood tunes – if you can believe that! I make sure to listen to at least 15 to 20 minutes of news in the morning too, especially given the current state of affairs. CNN is usually my go-to channel on TV.
I’ve recently turned to La Prairie for all things beauty. I started a customized routine about ten weeks ago and have really seen some amazing results by using the products. I start with a cleanser and then use a toner, serums, and a great moisturizer, which has gold flakes in it! I was never really a true believer in super-expensive skincare, but La Prairie has literally struck gold in so many ways for my face.
I shower every day and use products from Cowshed. They are great and make me feel incredibly fresh. I like argan oil-based products for hair as it helps to fortify and strengthen. For an exfoliator, I have and always will be loyal to the St. Ives ‘Apricot Scrub’. This whole process takes me about 15 minutes.
When it comes to makeup, I’m pretty loyal to NARS and Becca. I love the “barely there” look and never leave home without applying concealer, mascara, and a little bit of blush. Those are definitely my go-to products.
What time I leave the house depends on my schedule that day. I work from home sometimes, and from d3 and Souk Al Bahar on other days. If I need to prepare something for meetings, I usually do that the night before, and I also have a media kit that I send to clients.
I’m quite easy when it comes to conducting business as, for me, it’s key to building strong personal relationships, and I love the idea of working with friends – it makes working a lot more fun and less stressful! I definitely plan my own projects and shoots, though, because I’m quite meticulous about the end result.