Morning Routine: How Sofia Schwarzkopf-Tilbury Starts Her Day

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sofia tilbury
Photo: Courtesy of @sofiaschwarzkopftilbury

Successful people around the world have their morning routines down to a fine art. So just how does Sofia Schwarzkopf-Tilbury, celebrity makeup artist and niece of Charlotte Tilbury, start her day? Savoir Flair gets a peek into her morning rituals, from her trusted beauty routine to her go-to playlists and how she looks after her body and mind.


Every morning is different because of my job. There could be a shoot that means I have to wake up at 3a.m., or a campaign shoot at our studio so I have to be up at 6. Recently, because of COVID, I’m not doing as many shoots or traveling as much, so I get up around 7:30a.m.

I am not a morning person – I love to sleep in! I can’t wait for the weekend so I can stay in bed until 10 or 11 o’clock! I’m going to have to start being a morning person though, as I’m getting two little dachshund puppies. I’m going to be a dog mom, which I’m so excited about! So, I’ll soon be doing lots of morning walks.

Once I’m awake, I’m quite naughty and I look at my phone straight away. I check if I have any important messages, and then I go onto Instagram. I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram and I love scrolling through different makeup artists’ work. I can take inspiration from people who have no followers or who have millions. There are so many amazing makeup artists out there that don’t have a massive following but who post the most amazing work. Then there are people I love who everyone knows, like Patrick Ta, Hung Vanngo, Hindash, Nikki Makeup, and Katie Jane Hughes. Also, Claudiu Burcă is amazing. I’ve reposted him a few times because I don’t think he gets enough appreciation for his makeup. It’s amazing. He does all these graphic, colorful looks. They’re really beautiful.

Instagram can be seen in quite a negative light, but it’s important to know what’s real and what isn’t.

Because I just got a new flat and I’m decorating, I use the ‘save’ function a lot for furniture and home inspiration. It’s a great way to create a mood board. And, of course, I love to see what Charlotte’s posting! I think Instagram can be seen in quite a negative light, but it’s important to know what’s real and what isn’t. I take it in a more positive way.

I can be a morning person if I work out. I have a trainer who I see in the park four times a week. It makes me feel really good, especially with what’s going on in the world right now. I used to just run, but now we do light weights and cardio. Before COVID, the one thing that really kept me in shape – which I loved – was reformer Pilates. It was the best thing I’ve ever done, but lots of places are closed so I’m waiting for my favorite studio to reopen.

I started doing yoga this summer as I was feeling a bit anxious. I don’t know if that was because of everything going on, but it helped me get out of my head and to be more positive. I’d do it in the summer in Ibiza, outside in the sun. It also really helps with your breathing, because we don’t breathe properly! That’s mainly for my mental health, rather than my body, but I love it. I feel instantly good afterward.

I also do meditation with a lady I found in Ibiza. We do lots of different breathing techniques, either over Zoom or in person. It was quite weird when I first started [laughs]. You have to lie on the mat and stomp your hands and feet up and down and make this loud “OMMM” sound, and then you go “AHHHH”. It’s a technique that gets you out of your head and into your body, so I sometimes do that in the morning. Especially if I’m having a really stressful week or overthinking things.

I use the Headspace app if I don’t have the opportunity to see someone. I get a lot of anxiety, and meditation really helps calm my mind. Picking up yoga and doing mediation has helped me lead a much calmer life in general.

Sofia Schwarzkopf-Tilbury morning routine workout
Photo: Courtesy of @sofiaschwarzkopftilbury

I usually skip breakfast because I’m not hungry in the mornings. My grandma always said to eat when you feel hungry, and I like to do intermittent fasting. If I am a bit hungry, I’ll have a green juice or a homemade smoothie with frozen berries, bananas, and vanilla protein powder, and that fills me up. I prefer to have a big lunch. Also, in Ibiza everyone wakes up super late and eats super late, so I think my body has adjusted to that. I don’t drink coffee, it’s never been my thing, but I do love Earl Grey tea with honey and oat milk. I actually got that from Charlotte as she drinks it! I also like Pukka’s licorice tea as it’s got a sweetness to it, so it’s great if you have any sugar cravings.

I take a few supplements – magnesium, B3, zinc, and iron — because I’m a pescatarian. If my hair’s thinning out because I’ve been blow-drying it loads, there are two supplements that are really great to get your hair looking good. One is Viviscal and one is Lumity. They’re really good and thicken your hair and make your nails and skin look great. I take them for three to six months of the year.

What I love to do in the morning, before I take a shower, is to go on Spotify and put on a playlist. My entire family loves to dance and listen to music – my aunt and granddad are quite rock and roll. I have different playlists depending on my mood. One is all unique music, so things you’d Shazam in a beach bar that you haven’t heard of before. Then one is all pop music with people like Dua Lipa and Sam Smith. Fun, buzzy music. Another is old-school music I get from my granddad, so Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, and things like that. My last playlist is my workout one with songs to motivate me when I’m with my trainer.

I’ve also downloaded a few podcasts recently, which I’m going to start listening to over Christmas as I haven’t had the time. On my list at the moment are Glow Journal, Almost 30, Table Manners with Jessie Ware – which Charlotte was on so I really want to listen to that – and Happy Place by Fearne Cotton. The other one I really, really can’t wait to listen to is Love Stories with Dolly Alterton. Apparently, it’s amazing!

Sofia Schwarzkopf-Tilbury morning routine charlotte
Photo: Courtesy of @sofiaschwarzkopftilbury

I can’t not shower in the morning; it really wakes me up. I wash my hair every day and either use Pureology shampoo and conditioner or the green range from Kérastase. I also just found some new ones in a health food store that has no bad stuff, and since using them my hair has become really shiny. I’m trying to find more products that don’t have bad ingredients that really strip your hair. I use the Frédéric Malle ‘Musc Ravageur’ perfumed body wash, and I also have the body oil and perfume. I love the scent – it’s really musky and not too feminine or masculine, so anyone can wear it.

I don’t use any heat on my hair. In the past, I did so many shoots and was getting my hair done lots and traveling, so now I let it air dry or put it in a plait for natural waves. I put in some Kérastase gold oil or the Moroccanoil oil and smoothing cream. If I want some extra volume, or if my roots are growing out, I use the Batiste dry shampoo. I’ve used so many dry shampoos and it’s by far the best. I also have a special brush from Wetbrush. They usually have them at salons and they’re really good for brushing wet hair without tugging it and pulling it.

Charlotte came out with a really big pot of ‘Magic Cream’, and I occasionally use that on my body, which I know I shouldn’t! But if I have any dry areas like on my knees or elbows, I use a little.

I have way more time on my hands since everything that’s happened, so I’ve really been focusing on my skin. My go-to products in the morning are Charlotte’s double cleansing products, and then Charlotte’s ‘Magic Serum’. It’s got the most incredible ingredients in it. I get really open pores and it contains polyglutamic acid, which is like a boot camp for your pores and helps minimize them. After six weeks I really noticed a difference and my skin was tighter and really glowy.

I cannot live without Charlotte’s ‘Magic Cream’ – I use it on everyone. I use it before my makeup as a primer, too. It’s honestly the best moisturizer in the world. If I don’t use it for three days, I feel like I haven’t drunk any water. My skin can’t survive without it!

Then I use the ‘Magic Eye Rescue’. I take a lot of care with under my eyes as it’s the most delicate part of your skin. I alternate between toners. One is Paula’s Choice, which is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever used on my skin. It takes away all of those dead cells and that dirty layer, especially if you wear a lot of makeup, and it adds this amazing shine. I also use ‘P50’ by Biologique Recherche, which I love too. I’m hoping Charlotte will come out with a toner, but let’s see!

If I have time or if I have a big event and I want my skin to look amazing, I’ll use a mask. I use the ‘Dry Sheet Mask’ or the ‘Goddess Skin Clay Mask’. I love both, and they work in very different ways. I tend to lean towards the clay mask, but when I’m traveling or am somewhere with a lot of air conditioning – like in Dubai – I’ll use the ‘Dry Sheet Mask’.

At the moment I’m doing loads of videos and trying out lots of different looks on myself. But my everyday makeup routine starts with my skincare because my foundation never sits the same unless I’ve primed my skin. Charlotte always says, “You can’t have a beautiful painting without having a beautiful canvas,” so treating your skin before applying your makeup is really important.

I’m quite a natural girl with my skin makeup. I think if you’ve got great skin, you should let it shine through. I used to use the ‘Light Wonder’ foundation, but now I’m obsessed with the ‘Airbrush Flawless Foundation’. It’s full coverage and matte, but a little bit goes a really long way. I use a tiny pump all over my skin and then use my ‘Magic Complexion Brush’ to buff it in. This creates a really light layer that doesn’t look cakey or heavy, also thanks to the skincare ingredients in it. I love that it still looks like skin, and it lasts all day, so you can be out for 11 hours and know it won’t get patchy or slide off.

Then I use the ‘Magic Away’ concealer under my eyes to brighten and lift. If I’m getting photos taken, I’ll use the color corrector in shade 1. It has a peach tone to it – great if you have any darkness or pigmentation. Then, the one thing I cannot live without is the ‘Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder’. I rave about it to everyone! I’ve never, ever found a powder quite like it. It’s really smoothing and hydrating because it contains rose wax and sweet almond oil, but it keeps makeup in place and is great for hot climates or humidity. I use that on my T-zone, and it’s always in my pocket or bag.

Brows are the pillars of your face, and Charlotte’s got amazing brow products. I use the ‘Supermodel Brow Lift’ to really frame them and to create a brow lift, and then I’ll go in with the ‘Legendary Brows’, which has a micro precision brush that catches every tiny little hair.

I’m quite basic when it comes to my eyes. Well, in my opinion, I am — as a makeup artist — but maybe to others, I’m not! There are a few palettes I love, and I’ve been so fortunate to work with Charlotte on new product development over the last few years, helping pick out colors and textures. There a couple of palettes I made with her that I’m obsessed with. There’s the ‘Pillow Talk Instant Eye Palette’, which has all your core warm, neutral shades to create a soft or dark smoky brown eye, a light peachy matte eye, or a soft rosebud pink eye. You can create lots of looks with that. I usually use a matte light dusty pink or a beige and then pop a light metallic in the center. I also really love the ‘Luxury Palette in Pillow Talk’.

I always used to use black or brown liner, but now I use ‘Walk of No Shame’, which is a berry-brown, red kind of color and a great alternative. It really makes your eye color pop. Instead of doing a full-on flick, I do a thin little one, and I only draw the line halfway. Then I use the ‘Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes!’ mascara, which I’m obsessed with because it’s like a push-up bra for your lashes and you don’t need to use a lash curler!

I’m a massive lip girl, and I love lip liner. I can’t leave the house without it! I either use ‘Supersize Me’, ‘Pillow Talk Medium 2’, or ‘Hot Gossip’. Lipstick-wise, I use ‘Glowing Jen’, which was named after Jennifer Aniston, ‘Walk of No Shame, ‘Supermodel’, and ‘Super Nude’. Charlotte’s coming out with new lip tints next year which are amazing because you can wear them with a mask and they don’t come off, but they’re also super hydrating. I can’t wait for them to come out!

I’m not a big blusher girl, but if I do use it, it’s just a light wash of ‘Ecstasy’. Bronzer-wise, I love the liquid contour wand or the new airbrush bronzer, as it’s matte but super hydrating as it contains hyaluronic acid. Then another top, top product that I cannot leave the house without is the ‘Hollywood Flawless Filter’. It’s like an Instagram filter in a bottle and gives you instance radiance and glow.

I usually wear high-waisted jeans – my favorites are from Agolde and the style I wear is Riley. They’re just the most flattering jeans. Then I wear a body from Zara or Alix NYC, a classic blazer, and a pair of mules. Recently, everyone’s been wearing loungewear. I love Stripe and Stare pajamas, and there’s another brand called Loulou Studios, which does really cute cashmere sets if you want to look a bit chic. This summer in Ibiza I discovered a place called Island Dye whose founder makes the comfiest tie-die sets, so I wear those a lot.

It’s really hard to stay on top of everything and to be organized because so much goes on. But I have such an amazing team behind me. Honestly, without them, I couldn’t do what I’m doing! It was really hard during lockdown because I was on my own, but I still had them around me on Zoom.

Also, having a good routine is so key. When I go to L.A. or New York, I still book into the gym in the morning and try to maintain as much of a routine as possible, as that helps me keep on top of things. Oh, also having eight hours of sleep is essential!

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