My Morning Routine: The 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 rough on moms of all
kind—and on single ones in particular. Jessica Richards, who fits both descriptions, somehow managed to reimagine,
redesign, and relocate her cult-favorite Brooklyn beauty boutique, Shen, in the midst of it all. “What a year to
open a store, right?” laughs the single mom of two sons, eight and eleven. “Navigating banks and architects and
contractors with no investors during a pandemic is something I don’t wish on anyone.”

Jessica and dog

The result is a warm, gorgeously minimalist boutique (design magazines have gone crazy for it) where
you can have your brows shaped, get your lashes tinted, and find what’s next, newest, niche-est, and best in
beauty. There are adjustable-light (as in evening, outdoor, office) mirrors everywhere for trying things on and
brands you’ve never heard of next to brands you love (goop Beauty is most definitely on her shelves). And most
days, there is Richards herself, brimming with ideas, kindness, and wry humor.

“I grew up working in retail, and I’m still at it!” she says. Richards started at a surf shop in high
school in Laguna Beach—“All the boys hung out there,” she explains—and stopped only for a stint styling at
Vogue. At home after having kids, she lost a favorite moisturizer and realized Brooklyn had a huge white
space: no beauty stores. The rest is history; Shen was one of the very first stores to talk about clean beauty and
one of the first to carry goop.

Since she’s made Shen the place to discover under-the-radar beauty secrets for the last ten
years, Richards’s a.m. routine is pretty next-level at this point. She focuses almost exclusively on skin care,
for a glow that lasts all day (no matter how hectic it gets). As we’ve said before, we want what she’s having.

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

  1. goop Fair Trade Specialty Coffee

    Fair Trade Specialty Coffee
    goop, $28


7 a.m. While I’m having all that, I’m getting the kids up, making them breakfast, getting everybody
dressed. Because I wash my face and do a major routine at night, I don’t cleanse in the morning. I’ve still got
some great oils left on my skin, and I smooth my new obsession, the goop face oil, onto my morning skin and get
them to that bus on time.

  1. goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGENES All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil
    goop, $98/$89
    with subscription


7:35 a.m.: Then I go to SoulCycle. Just kidding, unfortunately: I jump on my indoor bike at home. I
hate not being in an actual class, but hopefully everything returns to normal this year. Until then, I’m on the

8:15 a.m.: After I work out, my morning routine begins. I jump in the shower. My favorite thing is
the goop energizing body wash—truly l love it. It’s got the best scent that wakes me right up and makes me feel
alive. I use it with the Supracor
body mitt
, which is sort of a cross between a dry brush and an ’80s loofah. It’s amazing.

  1. goop Beauty G.Day Ginger + Ashwagandha Energy Body Wash

    goop Beauty
    G.Day Ginger + Ashwagandha
    Energy Body Wash

    goop, $32


8:20 a.m.: After I step out, I love the goop body butter. Lotion, for me, isn’t hydrating enough, and
oil stays on my skin too long and I can’t get dressed quickly, but that butter soaks right in and it is super
hydrating and thick and rich…I love it. I used to mix oil with lotion, and now I don’t have to.

I love the eucalyptus
deodorant from Nécessaire

  1. goop Beauty GOOPGENES Nourishing Repair Body Butter

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGENES Nourishing
    Repair Body Butter

    goop, $55/$50 with subscription


8:25 a.m.: Now I start my skin-care routine in earnest—it involves several layers. I work it all in with the skin
tool I created for Shen: Most days I just do a quickie massage with it to help press in the product and give me a
little lift, but if I’m feeling puffy, I grab the one I keep in the fridge to help depuff around my eyes, too.
I’ve been addicted to Skin
Design London’s acne serum
for years—I use it as a spot treatment, so it’s been crucial to have around when
I’m wearing a mask all the time, which does make me break out. So that stuff’s more essential than ever.

  1. Shen Sculpt and Lift Facial Tool

    Sculpt and Lift Facial Tool
    goop, $56


Then I use this super expensive stuff called MBR
Surgery Serum
—you use it only three months a year, so the price amortized over a year is sort of less
obnoxious? (Not.) The best time to do it is fall-winter, so I’m in it now. I layer more goop face oil over the
top, and I also like to seal everything in 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 a top layer—who doesn’t want more glow? It’s the ultimate no-makeup makeup.

  1. goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One Super Nutrient Face Oil

    goop Beauty
    GOOPGENES All-in-One
    Super Nutrient Face Oil

    goop, $98/$89 with subscription


  2. Dr. Barbara Sturm Glow Drops

    Dr. Barbara Sturm
    Glow Drops
    goop, $145


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

  1. Westman Atelier Eye Love You Mascara

    Westman Atelier
    Eye Love You Mascara
    goop, $62


  2. Manta Manta Hairbrush

    Manta Manta
    goop, $30


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

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