My days and nights are always a blur. I sleep with my cell phone beside me and I usually start receiving social media messages around 4:30AM.
I wake up in a thin, old, oversized black t-shirt, and—of course—barefoot (I love being barefoot) at around 6:00AM and make some coffee (black with a pinch of brown sugar.)
At around 6:30AM I take a hot shower (year round) because it relaxes me before I start my day. Shower gels are a must. My preference changes depending on how I feel that particular day; but it is usually Oud Immortel Body Wash (Byredo Parfums), Molton Brown Japanese Orange, or Noble Isle Fireside Shower Gel. When it comes to my hair, I wash and blow-dry my hair every four days with the exception of Fashion Week when I might do it daily. I try not to change my hair-care products too often. I’ve been using all Kerastase products for well over a year now. The Nutritive Bain Satin Shampoo is incredible especially for those vacation beach days, and the Resistance Ciment Anti-Usure Reinforcing and Refinishing Treatment, the Nectar Thermique to blow-dry, and Elixir Ultime after for shine are my lifesavers. If I want a dramatic shine, I’ll use a very small amount of Crew pomade medium hold.
7:00AM After my shower I exfoliate and tone my face with Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser and Hydrating Floral Essence. I was never into spending lots of money on face products but after moving to Beijing eight months ago, my skin took a dramatic beating. I guess it’s from the air pollution and high levels of mercury in the water. After trying every product under the sun, from organic lines to medicated creams, a make-up artist friend in New York suggested I try La Mer. Now, I’m obsessed. It’s like crack for your face! Once you try it, you can’t stop. So before I wake up my sons Martin (4 1/2) and Etienne (3), I nourish my face. If I have a flight or I’m just exhausted (which is often,) I pull out the big guns. First the Eye Concentrate to hide my bad sleeping habits, I follow that with the Regenerating Serum and the Moisturizing Soft Cream. While my face is cooking, I make some oatmeal or cereal for the boys. As they eat the nanny usually walks in to help me get them ready for their Chinese preschool.
7:45AM I put on some Bobbi Brown concealer, Giorgio Armani mascara, Nars Cream Blush in Montenegro, Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, and my new favorites the matte Nars lipsticks Volga and Mascate (finally, the matte look is back!) There’s nothing worse than leaving your lip mark everywhere.
8:00 AM Almost out the door, I’m wearing my typical morning uniform low crotch pants or long skirt and a comfortable top (all black, of course,) keys, wallet, sunglasses (which I absolutely cannot live without,) and a quick spray of Oud Immortel by Byredo or Black by Comme des Garçons, there is nothing more refreshing than the smell of wood in the morning! I don’t wear sneakers but I have a favorite pair of flat Comme des Garçons shoes that are ideal to drive in, especially when you are driving a stick shift car in China where you must be mindful of pedestrians, and bicycles, taxis, and motorcycles.
8:30AM After I drop off the kids at school, I usually have a set schedule every week. I take mandarin classes three times a week for an hour, and then I visit stores, designers, and galleries after my lessons.
10:00AM If I have the time, I often escape to the many markets in Beijing where goodies can include custom silk kimono, tea sets, antiques and why not the Russian market for custom fur ANYTHING! Before I start hunting for hidden treasures in the markets, I stop by the house where I change and drink some tea and snack on almonds or dried fruit (I usually don't eat breakfast) while I check my email, Facebook, Instagram and text messages.
11:00AM I will usually meet with a storeowner and a potential interview subject for my website Lereport.com.
12:30PM I finally have lunch, usually a large salad, water and tea. If I’m not driving, and my stress level is going through the roof, I might have some sushi and a glass of white wine while going through my phone again (which is never far away) and return messages, and check social media, and the website.
1. Loose Black Alexander Wang T-shirt 2. Berenford Eyewear "Steve" 3. Bydero Perfums "Oud Immortel"
4. Molton Brown "Japanese Orange" Shower Gel 5. La Mer Moisturizing Cream 6. Kérestase Bain Satin Shampoo 7. Comme des Garçons x Converse Sneakers 8. Kérestase Elexir 9. Tata Harper Regenerating Cleaner 10. La Mer Serum