My Morning Routine: The Pores and skin-Care Sleuth

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Jessica Richards
Founder, Shen Beauty

If 2020 challenged small business owners like no other year, it was also difficult for mothers of all kinds – and especially single parents. Matching both descriptions, Jessica Richards somehow managed to reinterpret, redesign, and relocate her iconic favorite Brooklyn beauty boutique, Shen. “What year to open a business right?” laughs the single mother of two sons, eight and eleven. “Navigating through banks, architects and contractors during a pandemic with no investors is something I don’t want anyone to do.”

The result is a warm, delightfully minimalist boutique (design magazines have gone crazy for it) where you can sculpt your brows, tint your lashes, and find out what’s next, the newest, the most niche, and the best in beauty. There are mirrors with adjustable lights everywhere (like evening, outdoors, in the office) to try on and brands you’ve never heard of, alongside brands you love (goop beauty is definitely on their shelves). And most days there is Richards himself, full of ideas, kindness and ironic humor.

“I grew up in retail and I still do it!” She says. Richards started out in a surf shop in high school in Laguna Beach – “All the boys were hanging out there,” she explains – and stopped only for a stint in Vogue. After having kids, she lost a favorite moisturizer at home and found that Brooklyn had a huge white space: no beauty salons. The rest is history; Shen was one of the first stores to talk about clean beauty and one of the first to wear goop.

Since making Shen the place to uncover beauty secrets under the radar for the past decade, Richards’ routine is quite advanced at this point. She focuses almost entirely on skin care for a shine that lasts all day (no matter how hectic it gets). As we said before, we want what she has.

6:45 am: I’m not a morning person, but my kids have to be at the bus stop by 7:30 am, so – I’m Sally at the last minute too – I made it close. My delicious goop coffee is already going: I’ll prepare it the night before, so it’s ready. I’d love to be entirely plant-based, but half of my coffee tastes like coffee ice cream, I swear (I don’t add sugar – don’t need it!). I also have a Skinny Mint Morning Tea and take Dawn CBD from Gossamer. The combination gives me concentrated, calm energy.

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7 o’clock in the morning While I have all of this, I wake up the kids, make them breakfast, and get everyone dressed. Since I wash my face and have a big routine at night, I don’t brush in the morning. I still have some great oils on my skin, and I smooth my new obsession, the goop face oil, onto my morning skin and get it to that bus on time.

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7:35 am: Then I go to SoulCycle. Just kidding, unfortunately: I jump on my indoor bike at home. I hate not being in a real class, but hopefully this year everything will be back to normal. Until then, I’ll be on my bike.

8:15 o’clock: After I’ve worked out, my morning routine begins. I jump in the shower. My favorite thing is the goop energizing body wash – I really love it. It has the best scent that wakes me up and makes me feel alive. I use it with the Supracor Body mitt, a kind of cross between a dry brush and a loofah from the 80s. It is wonderful.

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8:20 am: After I got out, I love the Goop Body Butter. Lotion is not moisturizing enough for me and oil stays on my skin too long and I can’t get dressed quickly, but this butter is instantly absorbed and is super moisturizing and thick and rich … I love it. I used to mix oil with lotion, now I don’t have to.

I love the eucalyptus deodorant from Nécessaire.

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8:25 am: Now I’m starting my skin care routine in earnest – it has multiple layers. I work everything with the skin tool I made for Shen: most days I just do a quickie massage with it to push the product in and lift myself up a bit, but when I feel puffy, I resort to this I keep in the fridge to also depuff around my eyes. I’ve been addicted to Skin Design London’s Acne Serum for years – I use it as a spot treatment so it’s important to be there whenever I wear a mask, which makes me break out. So the stuff is more important than ever.

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Then I use this super expensive stuff called MBR Liquid Surgery Serum – you only use it three months a year, so is the one year amortized price less inconvenient? (Don’t.) The best time to do this is fall-winter, so I’m in now. I layer more Goop Face Oil on top and also like to seal everything with Venn Vitamin B Concentrate. It’s supposed to go under an oil, but I like it on top. I also love the Glow Drops from Dr. Barbara Sturm as the top layer – who doesn’t want more glow? It’s the ultimate makeup without makeup.

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8:30 am: I don’t wear makeup. I believe in skin care, microblading, and Josh’s eyelash enhancement at Shen. He makes this natural pigment that lasts nine months to a year and makes you look like you have eyeliner on – you wake up every day and look great! The only makeup I ever wear is Gucci Westman’s mascara. That plus Josh’s lash line is perfect.

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  2. Manta Manta hairbrush
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8:35 am: Quickly brush my hair into a low bun with the Manta brush (there’s nothing like it – it feels so good and is great for your scalp and hair) and no product or a little Illes Formula Finishing Serum Haute Performance. Then I splash on Heretic Dirty Grass – the smell reminds me of California – and I’m out the door to get to the store, where you can find me all day every day except when I’m out to meetings or scouting. It’s a great place if you need a little extra skin care regimen at lunchtime let me tell you!

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