24 Hours With Rachel Zoe

The serial entrepreneur shares her self-care shortcuts.

Rachel Zoe
(Image credit: Getty)

Welcome to Beauty Around the Clock, Marie Claire's weekly peek into the daily lives of some of the most game-changing women in their industries. Ever wonder how they get it all done in a day? Here's your answer.

If you had to guess Rachel Zoe's motto, "no rest for the wicked" would be a pretty safe bet. Having risen to fame as a celebrity stylist to the early 2000s A-list, Zoe notably went on to star in reality show The Rachel Zoe Project, create the lifestyle brand The Zoe Report and start a namesake clothing line—but her full resume could easily fill a dozen pages. These days, she's busying herself with Curateur, a luxury shopping membership platform, which just debuted its spring edit. She also recently launched a second fund with Rachel Zoe Ventures, her venture capital company, all while working on a high-end signature fragrance (due out late 2022) and the second season of her podcast "Works for Us" which she co-hosts with husband Roger Berman, and partnering with sustainable cleaning brand Cleancult. Oh, and she's mom to two boys, Skyler Morrison, 11, and Kaius Jagger, 8. "I don't like to be bored," Zoe tells Marie Claire. Still, the serial entrepreneur manages to slot in the "abridged version" of a self-care routine on a daily basis, the details of which she kindly shared with us.

Rise and Shine

[I wake up] around 5:45. Let's put it this way, I haven't set my alarm in about 10 years. My kids wake me up, and the first thing I do is cuddle with them for a few minutes. I'll wake up with my little one on top of me hugging me and my big one will be next to me hugging me, and now we have a little toy maltipoo that also kind of licks me… So I wake up covered with love and hugs. It doesn't mean you're less tired, but at least it's a nice way to wake up.

Morning Maintenance

I very quickly put a brush through my hair and put like three Barbara Sturm serums on my face, usually the Hyaluronic Serum and the Anti-Aging Serum and then the Anti-Aging Cream. I do that in a matter of four seconds, basically. And always a lip product, like lanolin or Barbara Sturm Lip Balm. L.A.'s very dry, so I have a thing with dry skin and dry lips, dry nails, so I'm constantly applying oils on my face and my hands throughout the day.

Power Start

I always say the morning is a bit like a Saturday Night Live skit. It's like you jump up and you go, get my kids out the door. My husband will drive them to school, and then I jump in the shower and get ready for work. I'm typically drinking tea, then once I'm awake and going, then I'll eat something, a bit later. Maybe like 11, sort of a brunch. It's eating on the go. It's bars and trail mix and things like that. 

Rachel Zoe headshot

(Image credit: Rachel Zoe)

Signature Look

Even in the height of the pandemic, I had at least a five-minute makeup face on, even just concealer, a good eyebrow product, like an eyebrow gel or something, always mascara, and a cheek tint or some sort of bronzer and a lip. Always a lip. Always a lip. And it's usually a berry stain, or a wine color lip, something that will stay on. I have to have at least a five-minute makeup face to feel human.

Party Face

If I'm doing it myself, I always do an eye of some sort. I use a lot of Charlotte Tilbury products. I use Mario's products, Makeup by Mario. I use a lot of Tom Ford beauty. I love a smokey eye. I love a good pencil that can [draw] your smokey eye and you can smudge it. In that case, I'll do a bit of a paler lip, but it depends on what I'm wearing. Sometimes I'll do a really strong red lip and less of an eye, but no matter what, I would never go to a big event without major lashes on, that's very important. I always either wear a thickening mascara or put individuals on if it's for a shoot or event or something like that. And I usually do a lot of shimmer, a lot of gold, just to make my eyes look less tired.

Shop Rachel's Favorite Beauty Products

I love good products, but I'm also very mindful of not having chemicals in my house and on our bodies, with my children and myself included. For hair, I use a lot of R+Co, I use Oribe. I also love Frédéric Fekkai's new line, FEKKAI. It's completely vegan; I use it for my kids, my husband uses it, I use it. The shampoos and conditioners are great, the styling products are great, and they're totally clean. 

Daily Playlist

I'm very much a classic rock girl—Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, that's really my go-to, my happiest place. If I'm wanting something more mellow, it's more like Neil Young or CSN. My kids love the Beatles, they love old Billy Joel or Eric Clapton, they love Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens. I also like Coldplay. I'm obsessed with U2. And it's funny, because Bono's now in Sing 2, and my kids are obsessed, and I'm just like, "I've been telling you guys about Bono forever." 

Fitness Fix

I most definitely do not [have time to exercise]; however, I do try to go for walks. I try to do it every day—it doesn't happen—but I try to go for an hour walk. I will also try and do a Melissa Wood Health flow. She does these ones that are like 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes.

Self-Care Ritual

I really am not very good at self-care. I don't do a lot of it. Sometimes I shower late at night, because that's downtime, and I'll do a great mask or something like that, just so that I wake up feeling a little better, a little less tired. I find when I do those masks, they're so calming and cooling

And, to be honest, for me self-care is when my husband takes the boys on the weekend and I actually do have a few hours [to myself]. I'll sit outside in a lounge chair in a bathrobe and get some sun for a little bit and just catch up with friends. Not having to get dressed, not having to go anywhere. That's actually great self-care for me.

Hair Help

I don't wash it very much, and I find that really keeps it healthy. I wash it like twice a week, and it's a lot less wear and tear on my hair. I try to use things with biotin and clean hair products that are very hydrating. Living here, everything is really dry, so you have to be mindful of keeping your hair and skin really hydrated. 

Rachel Zoe pantsuit

(Image credit: Rachel Zoe)

Signature Scent

I of course love my scents [Rachel Zoe Fearless and Empowered], but I really am a Tom Ford fragrance girl. I love so many of them. I love Soleil Blanc, I love Fleur de Portofino, but my signature is probably Santal Blush or Violet Blonde. I love his fragrances.

Beauty Icon

I would say Brigitte Bardot. All day long.

P.M. Routine

I apply several night products, like Barbara Sturm, Augustinus Bader. I have found Barbara Sturm's products to really be the most effective on my skin. For night, I'll do the Hyaluronic Serum, Anti-Aging Serum, I'll do the Night Serum, then I'll put on the Neck Cream, the Face Cream, the Eye Cream. I can't go to sleep without product on my face, without knowing that while I'm sleeping, it's getting hydrated—because [otherwise], I wake up feeling like a lizard. Right now it's so windy, so I love wearing eye patches in the morning. I love 111SKIN. I use all of them. I love the Black Diamond line, the gels, the mask, all of it. It's very relaxing and the results are great.

Evening Wind-Down

Typically I'm returning every email possible before I go to sleep, so that I don't wake up to a full inbox, because then I'll get so backed up. When I'm done with that, sometimes I'll turn on a movie I've seen a hundred times or old episodes of Friends, because sometimes you just want to shut your mind off.

Lights Out

[LAUGHS.] What time should I go to bed or what time do I go to bed? You probably should go to sleep at 10 if you're waking up at 5:45. I go to bed pretty late. I go to bed, honestly, probably like at 1, for no reason at all. I think I have always run on half the amount of sleep as most people. I weirdly don't know it any other way. The answer is yes, I probably need more sleep, and I probably would feel more energetic. But I'm just excited by what I do, and I think my mind wakes me up. I do dream of having eight hours, and there is that rare moment, like if I go away with my husband for a night or two, where I actually sleep and I'm like, "Wow, this is not overrated. This is really awesome." I do dream that later in my life I'll be an eight-hour sleeper, but I don't think I've ever been—even as a kid.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.