The First Thing Kosas Founder, Sheena Yaitanes Does When She Wakes Up Is SO Relatable

This is a low-key morning routine we can get behind.

By Sacha Strebe
Sheena Yaitanes routine

How do you spend the first five minutes of your day? There’s no better time than the morning to ground yourself and prepare your body and mind to set the tone for the day ahead. And since we only have about 25,000 mornings in our adult life, it’s time we made them count. In our Wake Up Call series, we take a look inside the morning routines of people we admire to inspire our own AM rituals and start the day on the right note. Up next, Kosas’ founder, Sheena Yaitanes’ morning routine.

Sheena Yaitanes-Kosas founder

There’s just something about Sheena Yaitanes. Yes, you know her as the founder of the inimitable (and impossibly cool) Kosas makeup brand, but her beauty is so much more than skin deep. After studying biological science in college, she hopped over to business school, studied art (apprenticed under a LA painter), cooked in MasterChef, and even pursued acting before launching one of the first clean makeup brands from her LA home (which still serves as Kosas HQ).

Yaitanes is the cool-girl—smart, beautiful, and kind—but with an outstretched hand pulling you onto the dance floor, encouraging you to join the party. This desire to make all people feel their best, most comfortable, most liberated selves carries through into the Kosas brand DNA too. She cares just as much about community as she does about their formulas. In fact, the two go hand in hand which explains their (very) devoted fanbase—myself, included!

So, of course, you can imagine our excitement when she agreed to share her morning routine with us. When she’s not conjuring colors or formulating skincare, Yaitanes is head deep in a book, improving her yoga practice, or playing with her daughter—all of the things that fuel her soul. Keep reading to learn more about this inspiring founder’s morning routine and if you haven’t yet, I highly recommend tuning into her podcast conversation with beauty icon, Bobbi Brown on Beyond the Beauty to dive into Yaitanes’ incredible story from her garage to global domination.

Sheena Yaitanes home

On a typical day…

It starts with coffee and ends with a family dinner. That’s all I can guarantee. The rest is different every day but includes a whole lot of Zoom.

On her wake-up call time…

I’m usually up at 7 am. I fantasize about eight hours but have been getting less sleep since Covid started.

Sheena Yaitanes morning rituals

On the first thing she does when she wakes up…

Check my phone even though I know you’re not supposed to.

On her pre-work routine…

Pretty much exactly the same every morning. Open the curtains, lemon water, celery juice, and one cup of coffee. Showering is the best part and where I do my best thinking. 

Sheena Yaitanes lemon water

On how her morning routine has changed in quarantine…

I’m really rooted in my routines and rituals. I still start my day with one cup of coffee and quiet time before taking about 20 minutes to get ready and then I just do whatever the calendar says. I am trying to focus on being easier on expectations of myself. 

On what she eats for breakfast…

One cup of coffee with hemp milk and gluten-free granola cereal.

Sheena Yaitanes at home

On her morning media rituals…

Scroll Instagram and emails for quick life and work updates. I’m also newly addicted to Clubhouse so spend time each morning navigating through the ‘Rooms’.

On her favorite books…

Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore.

On what she always has on her nightstand…

Water and my phone. 

Sheena Yaitanes career

On her favorite getting-ready soundtrack…


On her morning workout routine…

Yoga is my first love. I practice vinyasa two times a week. I added a more hardcore weight training workout to the mix a couple of years ago, which I’m currently doing from home twice a week. I’m not a big fan of group fitness. 

Sheena Yaitanes makeup routine

On her morning beauty routine from start to finish….

I keep it really simple in the mornings—shower, hair, makeup, and clothes in less than 20 minutes. I keep skincare minimal at two to three steps. Cleanse with Holifrog, mist with Youth To The People, and moisturize with Circumference. My makeup is pretty minimal day-to-day; fresh skin, strong brows, and a neutral lip.

My go-to’s right now are Revealer Concealer and Cloud Set Baked Setting + Smoothing Powder for a light coverage blurring effect and Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Jellyfish, which is my best Zoom hack. As for my hair, I wash it every three or four days and fix everything with a flat iron to smooth and give it some wave. 

Sheena Yaitanes makeup

On her daily uniform…

Good sweatpants with soft tops. That’s not a quarantine thing for me. I live and breathe comfort. 

If she had one extra hour every morning…

I’d read.

Sheena Yaitanes-Kosas founder

On how she lives a more present/mindful/joyful life…

I weave self-care through every part of my life. For my body through exercise, for my mind through books, for my heart through quality time with my family, and for my spirit through friendship.

On her formula for success…

That would be impossible. It’s too much of a tapestry.

Sheena Yaitanes morning routine

Sentence Finishers:

I never leave the house without… Kosasport LipFuel

If there were more hours in the day, I would… spend it with my daughter

Healthiest morning habit… celery juice

Worst morning habit… scrolling through my phone

One thing I want to be known for is… helping women feel supported in their makeup routines

The three traits you need to succeed in life are… Love. Will. Curiosity.

Bath or shower? And what’s your favorite shower/bath product? Shower. I’m always experimenting. 

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