Beauty Inside & Out: Olivia Palermo

The beauty brand founder on weekly facials, healthy eating habits, and while she’ll always believe in “selfish” self-care time.

olivia palermo
(Image credit: Brittany Holloway-Brown/Future)

In the ultimate quest for inner beauty and outer glow, Marie Claire asks our favorite trailblazers to share intel on finding balance in their busy lives. Read it all here, in Beauty Inside & Out.

If anyone takes self-care seriously, it’s Olivia Palermo. The beauty founder has a religious routine consisting of (but by no means limited to) morning blowouts, twice-weekly manicures, regular medical facials, and regimented trips to nutritionists, acupuncturists, and sound meditation practitioners. It sounds like a lot, yes. But it’s these moments of “me-time” that help set the fashion influencer up for success, keep her mind and body healthy, and give her the energy to run her businesses—and look good while doing it. 

“I prioritized self-care at a really young age—and that goes for everything I eat and my workout to the shampoo I use, getting cuts, making sure that I get facials regularly, that I get manicures and pedicures, and get my teeth cleaned,” the Dress for Success Impact Ambassador tells Marie Claire. “I've always been a firm believer in life maintenance.”

To get the scoop on how Palermo maintains her zen while doing it all, keep scrolling. From the weekly chemical peel that keep her skin glowing to the wellness gurus that help her stay centered amidst the chaos, here are the routines and rituals the founder of Olivia Palermo Beauty swears by. 

Inner Beauty 

Morning Movement 

I wake up and I say hello to my husband and I give him a kiss. That's a really nice way to start the day, to be honest. It's the calm before everything, so I take time to reflect on myself and do a little bit of meditative thoughts. I’ve been going back to Tracy Anderson—I’m a longtime Tracy Anderson workout girl. This year I also want to incorporate pilates a little bit more. The movement, that heat, the regenerating of your skin cells—it makes such a difference to me. I’m a crazy person, so I usually work out five or six times a week, but it’s important to give the muscles a rest and listen to my body, so it depends. 

“Me-Time” Manicures

I take my selfish time—100 percent. I go to Plaza M in Tribeca for my manicure-pedicure and my back massages. That’s my time. I go twice a week and that’s when I really feel like myself. When I come back from a trip or I just need a minute, I always go there. It's like my little haven. 

Healthy Habits 

As a New Yorker, we go out to eat, but I’m always very healthy. I’ve had a nutritionist [Dr. Gisele Kuhlmann] forever. It’s important because your body is always changing, so you want to shake it up. Johannes, my husband, and I eat mostly a plant-based diet—we have for many years. We do eat fish and chicken, but no red meat. We stick to oat milk now, too. 


I’ve been doing acupuncture since I was 21 years old with the same person. It’s amazing and it’s really effective. I think it does depend on the reasons why you’re going, but for me, it’s been really helpful for chronic back pain and muscle spasms. 

Sound Meditation 

I think it’s always important to manifest. You put energy out there, and hopefully you can create it. I’m a big believer in sound meditation—it’s super powerful. I absolutely love it. It’s about finding the right tones and recalibrating the brain wavelengths.

Outer Glow 

Weekly Derm Visits

I am religious—every single Friday I go to Dr. Dennis Gross's office and I get my medical facial. I get a chemical peel. I do a red light bed. I do my laser. I’ve been seeing Dr. Gross since I was 14. It was instilled in me from a young age that you have your skin your whole life, so you have to preserve it to maintain it. 

I also see Dr. Robert Anolik every few weeks. I cut myself shaving back in May like an idiot and I took off nine layers of skin. It was awful and right on my shin, so he’s been lasering it like crazy. 

Simple Skincare 

My skin doesn’t take a lot of product, to be honest. My skin rejects a lot of products in general and I don’t want any buildup. I religiously cleanse and use a washcloth to take any oil off my face. I use light serums. For face masks, I think the Dr. Dennis Gross Blue Marine Hydrating Mask is really great. 

Body TLC 

I do a lot of exfoliation. I use Molton Brown—I like orange blossom or a really light white lily. I’ll stick to that. I have to be very specific with scents. I swear my husband has a hidden nose. He wants me to smell like me. 

When it comes to fragrance, well, I had to switch my fragrance when Goutal got discontinued. I bought, like, half the world, and then I was like, ‘Ok, I need to stop.’ I’ve been using Aerin Ikat Jasmine Eau de Parfum, which I like a lot.

Hair Help  

Andre Davis has cut my hair basically since I was 18. I see him every three weeks and dust the ends to keep them growing. Abby Haliti has been doing my highlights for almost 10 years now—she’s amazing. But my hair is super healthy. I wash it every day. I’ve been really into Milbon. I absolutely love their fine hair shampoo and conditioner and the restoring and purifying shampoo and conditioner. The texture, the smell, it’s just fantastic. When I get out of the shower, I brush it and use a heat protectant to make sure that the color doesn’t get oxidized at all. Then I’ll use my GHD hairdryer—it’s the best one. I blow dry my hair every day. I’ll wake the whole house up—I don’t care, it makes no difference to me. My hair is getting a blow dry and looking perfect before I start the day. 

I also really like the Jolie shower head. Especially when you’re in cities like New York, there’s so much shit in the water. You need a good filter. That really helps with hair and the skin. 

Makeup Must-Haves 

I can do my own makeup perfectly—luckily. I’m proud of that. I use Charlotte Tilbury foundation. I love a sexy, smoky eye, a great wing, and a lash. But working with Nelson [Catarino] for so many years, I’ve learned to love more than just a smoky eye. He can put barely anything on me, but I’ll still look fresh, glowy, and amazing. I also love my Olivia Palermo Beauty setting mist—your makeup doesn’t move, it’s a nice refresher. I tested it on my guys and my girls. All my guys are very specific on their scents, so we kept it rosy and fresh.  

Recipe for Success: Olivia’s Antioxidant-Packed Smoothie 

olivia palermo's favorite smoothie

(Image credit: Brittany Holloway-Brown/Future)

What genuinely makes me excited is going to Butterfields uptown and buying yummy, healthy stuff and putting it all together.

I love a smoothie and I have one every day. I do strawberry, raspberry, banana, orange, and a little bit of yogurt or oat milk. Blend it all together and that’s it. I get my antioxidants in, it keeps my skin feeling fresh, and it’s important to get your berries. 

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.