Morning Essentials According to a V Editor

Morning Essentials According to a V Editor

Bookings Editor Sara Zion shares her tried-and-true ingredients for starting the morning off right.

Bookings Editor Sara Zion shares her tried-and-true ingredients for starting the morning off right.

Text: Sara Zion

RISE Coffee

There are often late nights and early mornings involved with putting together a magazine, which makes starting the day with a little caffeine boost a top priority. Though there may have been a time when Starbucks was the gold standard for the style set (every early aughts image of an “off duty” celebrity or fashion It Girl pictured one of the green and white cups in their perfectly manicured hands), in 2016, the siren logo is seen as passé and marks a coffee lacking in quality to those in the know. Enter RISE nitro cold brew coffee.

Made with organic, Fair Trade, non-GMO beans sourced from the Chanchamayo valley in Peru and steeped in spring water, RISE's coffee is sweet without the acidic after bite common in many other iced coffee beverages. The origin of the beans has a huge effect on their taste, and the harsh growing conditions of the Peruvian area where RISE coffee is grown actually slow the bean’s maturation process and provide time for complex sugars to develop resulting in the robust yet delicate flavor of the drink. The company takes both flavor and texture a step further by infusing the coffee with nitrogen for a smooth finish that will keep you on your toes for hours. Whenever possible, I will try to stroll over to RISE’s pop-up stand in downtown Manhattan to get a cold brew on draft, but when I’m running “fashionably late” (which is almost always), the cans are a perfect way to charge up on the go.

Granola Mama’s Handmade Granola

To go along with that delicious coffee (and to keep from over-caffeinating myself and getting the shakes), I make an effort to eat a healthy breakfast. Yogurt with fruit and granola is a no-brainer for me, but finding the right brand of granola can be a challenge when your local bodega’s idea of breakfast is an artificially colorful cereal you haven’t tasted since the days of Saturday morning cartoons. That’s why I stocked up hard when I finally tasted Granola Mama’s Handmade products. Founder Wendy Osmundson spent over thirty years working as a hair and makeup artist in the fashion industry, so she is familiar with how to please those with high taste and higher quality standards. Based out of her Los Angeles home, Wendy has figured out how to appeal to even the health-obsessed Hollywood crowd without sacrificing on taste or texture. With flavors inspired by cities like Bombay and Paris, and ingredients like fresh ginger, coconut, dark chocolate and sea salt, the brand has you covered whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or prefer to add something savory to your morning meal.

Super By Retrosuperfuture Sunglasses

Sometimes even the best coffee and makeup (more on that later) can’t hide the baggy eyes induced by a night spent out enjoying the city—which is when I reach for my SUPER sunglasses. Since its inception in 2007, the company has been a favorite of downtown cool kids for their sleek yet quirky designs, high caliber materials, and bold colors and shapes. Originally designed for their Summer 2012 Offshore Collection and inspired by the classic aviator-style and 1970s aesthetic, these colorful lenses have quickly become one of the brand’s staples. I’m a fan of their yellow lenses because they add an unexpected touch (plus, I can get away with wearing them all day without appearing to hide behind dark lenses, which is a little too extra—even for me).

Beauty Products

A big part of my job involves being on set with leading makeup artists in the business and if there is one thing I have learned it’s that a great makeup look starts with a good base. I’m not a huge proponent of over-the-top beauty looks for the office, but a few key steps can do wonders to ensure that skin looks healthy and fresh. Two of the brands I repeatedly see on the makeup table are Lancôme and MAC, so I’ve added them into my own morning routine too.

I'm a big believer in aging gracefully and naturally and do not believe that makeup is essential for a woman to appear confident and beautiful. That said, stress, pollution, mimosas over weekend brunches and forgetting to drink eight glasses of water a day can have a negative effect on skin’s appearance. After grilling dozens of the industry’s makeup titans, I have learned that a good serum and moisturizer routine not only infuses skin with a youthful, hydrated glow in the now, it also helps to slow future signs of aging and environmental effects on skin. Lancôme’s Advanced Génefique Youth Activating Concentrate Serum is a great lightweight and oil-free option for daytime. Bonus: it can also be applied to lips to smooth lines before applying lipstick and, if kept in the refrigerator, a few drops will soothe sun or wind burned skin. For everyday application, I start with the serum and then follow with a layer of MAC Mineralize Timecheck Lotion to lock in moisture and protect my skin from weather and geographically-related elements. The gel-lotion formula keeps my skin from feeling oily while shrinking the look of pores and can be layered under makeup to act as a primer for foundation.

On days when I’m feeling like my skin is particularly lackluster, I will follow up my moisturizing products with a longwear foundation like Lancôme’s Teint Idole. The product is light enough that I can forget I’m wearing it throughout the day, but still effective in downplaying redness and imperfections. If it’s a particularly warm day or I only have a second to spare, another great option to even out my skin is the Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation by MAC. A few quick swipes of it with my Lancôme cheek and powder brushes gives me eight hours of matte, non-drying coverage.

Last but not least, I like to add a pop to the eyes to look extra alert and awake. Whether or not I go the extra step with my skin makeup, I have realized the power of a bit of definition around the eyes. Lancôme’s Grandiôse Liner is a godsend for those of us who want a clean liquid liner look but lack the steady hands. I'm a big fan of cat eyes, but can never seem to make them even. Comfortingly, I must not be the only one as this genius eyeliner features a 35 degree bendable wand to allow me to balance my shaky hands for quick and smooth application. A few flicks of Lancôme’s Définicils mascara lift and separate my eyelashes for a natural and goop-free look—hey, there’s a reason it’s been the number 1 mascara for over 16 years—and I’m ready for the day.

Credits: Cover photo by Hannah Huffman.

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