Inside a travel writer’s beauty cabinet

When Christina Pérez isn’t hopping on a surfboard in Todos Santos or balancing her chakra in in Sri Lanka, she’s hanging out at home with her impossibly cute Pomeranian, Bjorn. A travel and style writer for the likes of Vogue and Bazaar, this bicoastal babe has a thoughtfully assembled beauty regimen. Here, a detailed guide to her a.m./p.m. vibes, including the breakfast essential that puts a little extra twinkle in her eyes. (Sign. Us. Up.)

M2m Morning Christina

What time do you wake up?

My alarm goes off at 6:30 am, but I don’t get out of bed until after 7.

Clothing-wise, what do you sleep in?


Is anyone in bed with you? If so, who?

My favorite guy and one true love: my eleven-year-old Pomeranian, Bjorn!

What’s your first order of business in the morning?

I’ve been into this Ayurvedic ritual I learned on a recent trip to Sri Lanka. It’s all about cleansing and preparing your five senses for the day ahead. It consists of gently splashing cold water into your eyes (sight), scraping your tongue (taste), listening to soothing music (hearing), using a neti pot (smell), and then body brushing with essential oils (touch). I don’t do the whole thing every day, but I try to do at least a few of them. Then I drink a big glass of water while making an espresso.

What’s the first thing you do with your phone?

Instagram. Then my emails.


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What’s the first thing you read each morning?

I scan the New York Times, New York Magazine, and Vogue websites while drinking my coffee.

What’s on your bedside table?

Gossamer Dusk CBD/CBN tincture oil, Dosist Sleep vape pen, Beboe Downtime Indica vape pen, some random shells and things from the beach, Maude Shine Organic Personal Lubricant, 8 Faces Boundless Oil, my journal, and a pen.

What’s your favorite thing about your bedroom?

The people who lived in my apartment before me had Hue lights installed in my bedroom. You can change them into any colors you want—pink, orange, green, whatever—with an app. At first, I thought they were ridiculous but now I’m very into them. They’re fun to take selfies with.

What do you eat and drink for breakfast?

I drink two or three espressos with steamed soy milk and a spoonful of Collagen Peptides before I work out; I either go to Pilates, ballet, boxing, or—if it’s a really good day—I go surfing. Then I come home and make some kind of eggs. Usually scrambled with miso paste and or fried with kale and avocado. And always with lots and lots of nutritional yeast. I love the way it tastes. Plus, it has lots of B vitamins, which I’ve read make your eyes more sparkly, and who doesn’t want super-sparkly eyes?

Who’s the first person you speak to in the morning?

Bjorn! We have a whole thing where I ask him if we should get out of bed and if he’s hungry. His answer is always an enthusiastic “yes.”

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How do you mentally prepare yourself for the day?

Journaling. I try to write at least two or three pages before doing any of my “real” writing work. It’s all usually nonsense but it helps clear my mind. Sometimes, if I’m feeling really anxious and spacey, I’ll meditate for 15 to 20 minutes, too. I like the guided meditations on Tara Brach’s website.

Shower, bath, or do you do it later in the day?

Shower! Alternating between hot and cold water. But I don’t usually shower until later in the day when it’s time to go out.

What is your morning skincare regime?

I wash my face with either Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser or, if my skin is feeling dry, Elizabeth Arden Hydra-Gentle Cream Cleanser. A couple times a week I’ll do some facial cupping with Mario Badescu Rose Hip Oil mixed with coconut oil—it really keeps everything looking full and lifted!—or I’ll use a micro-needling derma roller thing to get the circulation going. I always finish with La Roche Posay Double Repair moisturizer with SPF 30. I work from home, so unless I’m going to a meeting, I don’t wear makeup until later.

What are your A.M. hair vibes?

Very low-key. When I’m working, I put it in a high bun and forget about it. Later, I wash it with Olaplex shampoo & conditioner and let it air-dry, then I use a hair dryer to fix my bangs a bit.

"If I’m feeling really anxious and spacey, I’ll meditate for 15-20 minutes."

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M2m Evening Christina

At what time do you shift to evening mode?

When I have a dinner or an event, I’ll start getting ready to go out around 4 or 5. If I’m staying in, I get ready for bed by 9.

Finish this sentence: In the evening, you can find me…

Out. I go out three to six nights a week, mostly for work but also because by late afternoon I get antsy and need to see people.

If you’re going out, how do you change your look?

Red lipstick. My favorites brands for lips are Nars and Chanel. I also like MAC Pro Lip Palette in Six Editorial Reds.

What’s your favorite way to relax and unwind in the evening?

I love wine, but I’m trying not to drink at home. So, it’s usually a hit of a vape pen and hot water with lemon, turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger. If I’m out, it’s a Negroni!

What TV show are you currently watching?

Russian Doll on Netflix.

What’s the last film you saw?

Beautiful Boy. 

What book are you reading?

I like vintage books, especially by female authors. They are good reminders that all our “modern” human problems are not unique. Right now I’m switching between Them by Joyce Carol Oates and Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The one by Lindbergh is especially timeless!

What’s your favorite evening indulgence?

A long bath with Epsom salts and essential oils, ideally with music playing really loud. Or sitting in front of the fireplace with books and a glass of wine.

What’s your secret evening guilty pleasure?

Going to bed really, really early. Like 9 pm.

What’s your favorite way to take a look from morning to moonlight?

A little more of the usual—more bronzer, more highlighter, red lipstick. Darker eyebrows.

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Do you prefer an end-of-day bath or shower?

I shower at odd times because my schedule is odd, but usually, I shower before I go out. If I’m staying in, a bath before bed (or, better yet, in the middle of the afternoon for fun) is a dream!

What is your evening skincare routine?

I wash my face with a washcloth and cleanser—the same ones I use in the morning. Then I spray my face with Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I don’t know if it does anything but I’ve been using it for a decade and it makes me feel fancy. Next, I apply my night creams. I’m obsessed with night creams—I try a different one every time one runs out. Right now I’m alternating between Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer and Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturizing and Brightening Cream.

What is your evening hair routine?

I flip my head upside down and brush my hair with a boar-bristle brush. I think it might be good for your scalp circulation, but mostly I just do it because it’s fun and makes me feel like I’m in an ’80s hair commercial. Right before bed, I smooth a bit of coconut oil or 8 Faces Boundless Oil onto the ends. Sometimes I also sleep with conditioner, which I apply to my hair dry.

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What is the last beauty product you use at night?

8 Faces Boundless Solid Oil. I dab it on my lips, under my eyes, and on my hands and feet, kind of everywhere. It’s super hydrating and smells like a forest.

What are your bedtime rituals?

Reading, journaling, CBD oil, and vape pen. Then I play with the Hue lights, listen to music and cuddle with Bjorn. When it’s time for sleep, I turn on my white noise machine—my room is quiet but it’s a holdover from living in NYC.

What time do you go to bed? What time do you go to sleep?

If I go out, I’m in bed by midnight. If I stay home, I get into bed around 9 pm. Either way, I usually fall asleep immediately after I turn out the lights. I’m pretty good at sleeping.

Photos courtesy of Christina Perez.

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