Successful people around the world have their morning routines down to a fine art. So just how does model Blanca Padilla start her day? Savoir Flair’s Beauty Editor-at-Large sat down with the Spanish beauty and face of Givenchy Beauty in Paris, where we got a sneak peek into her morning rituals – favorite breakfast smoothie and go-to beauty products included.
Normally, I wake up around 8 a.m., which isn’t too bad. It’s not too late, but not too early either as I know a lot of people wake up at like 5… ! I wasn’t always a morning person, but now I really am. The way I grew up in Spain was definitely different – we tend to sleep in a lot more and go to bed very late. But now, with all the traveling and craziness, I really try to get my hours in and go to bed early. In that way, I’ve changed a lot over the years through modeling.
The very first thing I do is my breathing exercises, which have helped me tremendously with stress and anxiety. I’ve noticed such a big change. It’s an Indian technique where you cover your eyes with your hands and your ears with your thumbs, and then put your tongue up into the back of your teeth. Leaving a little space between your teeth, you basically make a sound like a bee – kind of like a hum – and you hear it in your brain with an echo, so it almost sounds like one of those sound bath meditation things. It’s an exercise to help reset your brain and it’s proven to actually help your brain stop. Because think about it, we never stop! This is my moment to just clear my mind. I usually do 10 of these breaths and then, sometimes, I do a little bit of meditation.
It’s been really helpful for me to not touch my phone first in the morning. Of course, I do sometimes reach for it, but I really try not to. Being the type of person that I am, I think it really helps to have a morning routine like this – it’s like a ritual. It helps me start my day in a different mindset.
I won’t pick up my phone until about half an hour after I wake up. I do my breathing, I get some water, and then I’ll put my phone off airplane mode and go through e-mails. Sometimes, I don’t answer things right away because my brain isn’t quite there yet, and I tend to feel emotions very quickly. I don’t want to do it first thing because I’ll get a build-up of anxiety from e-mails and messages that I didn’t expect – especially because it’s already 2 p.m. in Spain by the time I wake up in New York. A lot of things have already happened by then, so I have a lot of notifications!
I have to be honest, I do then go on Instagram, which is really bad – but we all do it! I love to follow architecture and décor-inspiration accounts, and also sustainable-living accounts. I have friends who have different blogs and sites where they give really good tips to people and recommend brands, so I learn a lot from them. I’ve definitely adopted a more sustainable approach to living thanks to social media because it makes it so easy to learn.
I would love to say I wait a while to eat in the morning, but I don’t! I prepare my oatmeal, eggs, or smoothie – depending on my mood – right away. But I do find that having coffee first really helps me to eat more intuitively, rather than just reaching for food immediately. So I have my coffee, see how I feel and what my body is really craving, and then I eat.
My smoothie usually has half a banana, blueberries, flaxseeds, spinach, and then other things depending on the day. I prefer using different seeds because I found nuts really hurt my stomach as they don’t break down properly. If I work out in the morning, I’ll eat breakfast afterwards. I work out with Melissa Wood Health, which is lots of Pilates and yoga, and it’s great because you can do it in your apartment. I pull out my yoga mat, sometimes even in my pajamas, and do a yoga flow or one of her quick 20-minute workouts.
I write down everything, not only on my phone, but also in actual notebooks. I have one that I take everywhere with me! After my breakfast, I write down my jobs, my traveling, and my possible options because things often come up very last minute. Sometimes, you have five options from different places and nothing’s confirmed – even the day before! I have to see where I might end up going. It’s definitely challenging because I’m very controlling, but I try to write everything down to manage it.
I think it’s important to honor yourself before you do anything for anyone else.
I try to be very mindful and just be in the present. As I said, it’s a ritual for me, and it’s very important for me to start my day right so it flows and I’m not rushed from the beginning. With time, I’m realizing more and more that I need time to myself before I head out. If I have a call time at 8 a.m., I’ll wake up at least two hours before to have that “me time”. I think it’s important to honor yourself before you do anything for anyone else.
After I work out, I shower. I don’t wash my hair every day, and I try to leave at least two days in between. Usually, it’s every other day, but I try to extend that by a few extra days when I can. With work, I’m conditioned to wash it before every shoot and arrive with very clean hair. They ask me to do two or three shampoos sometimes, so I really try to leave that gap. I use Act+Acre haircare as it’s so good for the scalp. My friend Helen [Reavey], who is a hairstylist in New York, developed it. It’s amazing because it also focuses on sustainability, and you can go to the store and refill your products.
I use the ‘Scalp Detox’ once a week – you basically split your hair into sections and put it onto your scalp, massage it, and leave it on. It’s crazy the amount of trash you have on your scalp! She actually showed me some tests through which you see all the dirt, and it’s mind-blowing. Then, there’s the shampoo and conditioner to help maintain a healthy scalp. I just use coconut oil on my body, and I apply it when my skin is still a bit wet so that it absorbs better. I love the smell and clean feel of it on my body. I also dry brush, which has really helped with my circulation and cellulite.
When it comes to my skincare, I have one of those huge bands that I use to pull all of my hair back before I cleanse my face. I’m all about a combination of science and powerful natural ingredients. I haven’t been successful with using 100 percent natural ingredients yet, and I feel like it should be a blend of both. A few days a week, I cleanse with an acid because some areas – like around my nose – get really clogged. I also use it on my chin as that gets clogged with traveling.
I then use a toner from SkinCeuticals that works to balance the skin’s pH, which is always all over the place with traveling! I use one serum, which my facialist in LA made for me, and that actually is 100 percent natural. I tap that onto my skin because I find that better than trying to rub in more watery products. I then use a second serum, moisturizer, mist, and sunscreen, which at the moment is from Dr. Barbara Sturm.
I don’t wear makeup every day, but there’s one one makeup product I do wear – for castings and when I’m off – and that’s the Givenchy ‘Teint Couture Everwear Concealer’. I mix it with my moisturizer, make a really yummy mixture, and spread it all over my face. No foundation, that’s it!
When I do wear makeup, I use the Givenchy ‘Mister Matifying’ stick, which really helps keep my skin matte as we all can get a bit shiny sometimes! I use that on my T-zone, and I’ll then use the liquid highlighter in the pink color on my cheeks and eyelids. I curl my lashes, and always use the ‘Volume Disturbia’ mascara – I just love the application. At the moment, I’m using the ‘Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm’ on my lips because it has color, but also has hydrating and healing properties as it contains hyaluronic acid and cranberry oil. It has that fresh, tingly, minty feeling to plump your lips, too!
If I have an event or something, I’ll then add a very strong lip, like a deep burgundy. I love the Givenchy ‘Deep Velvet’ lipsticks that launched a few months ago. They’re long-lasting, so you don’t have to keep touching up. They have a beautiful dark-brownish burgundy color that looks good on both brunettes and blondes.
What I wear depends on the kind of day I have, but I always prioritize comfort. I wear a lot of vintage clothes, and I have a bunch of vintage Levi’s, which are pretty much my everyday go-to. I wear them with sneakers, with heels – everything! If I have a regular day when I’m off, I don’t plan anything. But if I have a casting day or meetings? I will plan and make sure I don’t stress out in the morning because, sometimes, that can take a little bit of time!