Successful people around the world have their morning routines down to a fine art. So just how does Tata Harper, founder of luxury green beauty brand Tata Harper Skincare, start her day? Savoir Flair gets a peek into her morning rituals, from her trusted beauty routine to her penchant for podcasts and how she manages life as a working mom.
I’m up at 5:45 a.m., so quite early! But always with an alarm – I don’t naturally wake up at that time. I feel really good and wake up energized, ready to start my day. I’m definitely a morning person, and I love waking up early because I feel like my day is so much more productive. I can definitely sleep in though, like on the weekends I’ll get up at 10 if you don’t disturb me! But I get much more done if I’m up earlier.
It’s such a faux pas, but the first thing I do is check my e-mails, just to make sure that nothing urgent has come in during the night. After 8:30 p.m. I’m not on my phone much and I don’t check e-mails, so I wake up and look first thing. Then I check the news – CNN or BBC – and I get things like The Skimm and Huffington Post on my phone, so I have a quick scan of those. That all takes me about 15 to 20 minutes.
I don’t check social media until well into the day, because it throws me off and I’m then on the Instagram train when I need to get the kids ready, exercise, and meditate. After my day has properly started, I’ll check it. I like to follow a lot of interior décor and travel accounts, planet Earth and animals, that sort of thing.
I obviously check the Tata Harper account, but honestly lately, since the pandemic, I’m not that into social media. I don’t spend a lot of time really scrolling. I post a little bit here and there, but I’m just not engaged that much. It’s lost a bit of its flair. I do it mainly to see what my friends or my sisters are doing. Or now that The Crown has started, I do like checking and following a lot of Princess Diana accounts to see old pictures of her. She was so cool! There are also massage therapists who do facial massage who I follow, like Sophie Carbonari and Nichola Joss. I love seeing their tips and tricks.
Once I’ve checked the news and my e-emails, I get up and meditate for 20 minutes. I love using different apps, whether it’s Calm or Sacred Acoustics, which I love as that’s more about using different music and vibrations. Then I wake up my kids and start the “hey, time to get ready for school!” routine.
While they are getting up and having breakfast and getting dressed, I do a little bit of exercise – 45 minutes of stretching and weights and a lot of core and legs. I’ve been exercising since I was a little girl, so I have my own thing that I do, but sometimes I mix it up and have a trainer, or I do a yoga or bootcamp class. Or I FaceTime my friends and we do a routine together, so it depends. I mix it up a lot.
I love listening to Latin music… It’s how I stay connected to my culture, especially now that we can’t travel there.
When I work out, I love listening to Latin music. A lot of reggaeton, salsa, méringue… It keeps me happy and reminds me of my family and my upbringing. It’s how I stay connected to my culture, especially now that we can’t travel there.
I’m not a TV person – I can’t remember the last time I switched it on before The Crown! I have kids, so obviously we’ll watch movies and stuff, and my little girl has gotten really into Modern Family. It’s funny because Sofia Vergara is in it and she’s Colombian, so I think she finds it fascinating to see how Americans see Latin people and how the different cultures co-exist.
I’m more of a podcast enthusiast; I listen to them a lot. I love The Doctor’s Pharmacy by Dr. Mark Hyman, and Good Together, which is a sustainable, ethical podcast. Also, Mind Body Green’s podcast is amazing. I do listen to a lot of beauty podcasts too, like Breaking Beauty, Fat Mascara, Gloss Angeles, and Goop… I also love The Drive, which is a health-related podcast by Peter Attia.
I don’t like to eat first thing in the morning because I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for a year. So, I try not to eat for like 16-18 hours. I have dinner at around 6 p.m. and then the next time I eat will be around 11 or noon the next day. I just drink a lot of water in between.
When I do eat, it’s a combination of fruit, nuts, and tea. I’m not a coffee drinker, which is funny because I’m originally from Colombia, and we drink a lot of coffee there! But I haven’t had coffee for a while. I replaced it with green tea and a lot of calming teas like Tulsa, holy basil, ginger — things like that. I am naturally very energetic, so I don’t need the extra stimulation, if you know what I mean? [Laughs] I need things that help me control the energy and calm me down!
I do feel better for doing the intermittent fasting. It has really helped my sleeping and I sleep much more restfully at night. But it’s something you do mainly for longevity, not something to feel immediately. It’s a long-term play. I don’t do it every day, and the weekends are harder, but during the week I try to stick to it as much as I can. I play it by ear. Sometimes I can’t do it, but that’s okay!
After I eat, I take my supplements, because I don’t like to take them on an empty stomach. I take magnesium, omegas, berberine, ashwagandha, turmeric, and all my probiotics. Aside from drinking holy basil tea, I also take it as a blend that also contains Rhodiola and bacopa extracts, which are great for your mood.
Before I exercise, I love cleansing and exfoliating my skin. We wake up with a lot of dead skin cells because that’s what happens at night – skin cells die, new cells grow – so I love the idea of removing all the build-up that I’ve accumulated overnight. I use our very gentle ‘Regenerating Cleanser’ to exfoliate, and I actually find its smell really energizes me in the morning as there’s a lot of grapefruit and bergamot. It’s very vibrant and wakes you up! Then I mist with our ‘Hydrating Floral Essence’ before putting a little bit of moisturizer on.
I don’t shower in the morning; that happens around midday in my lunch break. I go from doing all of the above and taking my kids to school to heading to my home office and starting my workday in my leggings and sweats, because that’s what I wear to exercise!
I don’t wash my hair every day. I like to wash it every second or third day. But, when I know it’s going to be a shampoo day, the night before I love sleeping with a hair oil in. It’s a DIY one that I prepare, and I mix like 12 different oils in it. Evening primrose, castor, black pepper seed, argan, neem – a lot of different oils! I create this concoction, saturate my hair with it, and sleep with it in a braid.
When I do wash my hair, I use the Sangre de Fruta shampoo and conditioner, and I love the Briogeo ‘Be Gentle, Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Moisture Superfood Hair Mask’. Once I step out of the shower, I use a little bit of hair oil or serum, like the Nuele ‘The Serum For Hair Management’ or Anveya ‘Nikita Upadhyay Roots Oil-in-Serum’. I also use the ‘Extract Restorative & Calming’ scalp treatment from a hair clinic in Sweden [also in Dubai] called Harklinikken. They have a “hair office” in New York where I had a consultation because I was losing a lot of hair, and it’s been helping so much. I use it twice a day, every day, on a dry scalp.
After all that, I do my skincare routine, which is obviously all my products! I love using our ‘Concentrated Brightening Essence’ first because it helps everything else penetrate better. Then I make a cocktail of two different serums. One is ‘Elixir Vitae’, which is our most potent serum and an alternative to injectables. It uses a lot of technology that relaxes wrinkles, volumizes the skin, and makes the skin thicker and more resistant. It’s really about defying aging with the latest anti-aging ingredients.
People think vitamin C is the be-all and end-all of skincare, but there are a lot of other things that are much more potent for lifting, firming, and aging! I mix that with our firming and sculpting ‘Boosted Contouring Serum’ — a pump or two of each — and spread it all over my face, neck, and chest. Then I use our ‘Restorative Eye Crème’ and lightweight ‘Repairative Moisturizer’, and that’s it!
I don’t use tools to dry my hair, I let it air dry, and I don’t wear makeup because I’m home. I’m not a makeup enthusiast anyway. If I’m traveling, I’ll use a little bit of concealer and blush – always our ‘Very Naughty’ blush as it’s a rich, ruby red that blends super nicely into the skin and really works with my skin tone. I also love Gucci Westman’s products, especially her concealer and mascara. I love the Ilia lipsticks, so if I go out, I’ll do a lip as I’m not into eyeshadows or anything dramatic like that. I also use the Jillian Dempsey burgundy eyeliner, which is amazing.
I don’t wear perfume, but I do love using our aromatherapy essential oils. I typically do the ‘Aromatic Irritability Treatment’, which is a combination of 12 different essential oils that keep me in a good mood, and they smell divine. I have it next to my desk and I just apply and apply throughout the day. Before difficult meetings, after difficult meetings… all day long! It really puts me in a good, vibey mood.
I really like to prepare for the week, and my Monday and Tuesday mornings are organizational times for me. Especially Mondays, as on those mornings I catch up with e-mails and I make a lot of calls, be them with my R&D team or my digital team or my wholesale team, or whatever project we’re working on. That’s when I coordinate different things, organize paperwork, go through my schedule for the whole week, and figure out if there are any conflicts or new things that need to be moved around.
Tuesday mornings I spend with my assistant answering e-mails, getting back to people, and looking at my schedule up to four weeks ahead. Right now, I pretty much know my entire schedule until February! I have a “matrix” of all the meetings I have weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly… everything! My assistant is amazing and makes sure everything’s in that matrix, but also that we have enough time to add in last-minute things.
It’s super organized, but that’s honestly what keeps me sane and balanced. That way, I know I have time for all the important things in my personal life, my life as a mother, my home, and my kids.