My Fifteen Minute Morning Routine


The beginning is always today. 
― Mary Shelley

When my children were small and clustered in the infant to preschool years, taking a moment to get dressed for the day took intention and strategic planning. Many days it felt impossible. Sometimes I would wait for the first nap; sometimes I would put the baby in the crib or give my toddler something to keep himself busy. Many times my littles were in the room with me at my feet or rummaging through my bathroom drawers. Such small windows of time kept these daily self-care routines simple and quick, and although my children are growing and more independent, our mornings are now busy in different ways. It turns out, these small routines forged in the early years still carry me now. They are fifteen minutes well spent.

On any given day in motherhood, there are a million reasons not to carve out time for yourself––even simply to wash your face, put on a little makeup, and change out of PJs. But hear me: you are worthy of the time. Brush your teeth. Wash your face. Brighten your tired eyes with a little concealer or dab your cheeks with a little blush. Swipe on a little gloss and the kids are certain to ask where you’re going. Ha! It requires less time than you think, and the result will always help you feel more human.


Whether we consider ourselves morning people or not, getting dressed and facing the day is necessary for all of us. Perhaps the morning is not the ideal time for soul-care, quiet thought, or creative work for you. That’s ok! We are each gloriously different,  but I encourage you to take care of your interior person by finding time in later hours. The morning routine below is how I get ready for the day each morning, moving from morning breath and PJs to a fresh-faced leader in my home.

Get Dressed, 5 minutes / Most days, I wear a version of the same thing: jeans, a top, and a layered sweater. I add dresses or skirts to join in the warmer months. Since I am home most days, the goal is to feel put together in some manner, but also remain comfortable. And yes, some days I end up in yoga pants and an oversized sweater. I leave more playful, creative styling for date nights or other evening events when I have a bit more time to experiment with what I own. I have been long inspired by the capsule wardrobe I first discovered here several years ago.

Brush Teeth + Wash Face + Mindset, 5 minutes / I wash and prep my skin first, using my favorite Cleansing Balm, Radiance Serum, and Day Cream. It’s strange how wonderful a warm cloth on my face can be in the morning, especially the cold days. Then I brush my teeth, allowing my skin to soak up the hydration for a bit before makeup. It may sound silly, but toothbrushing is the time when I refresh my mindset. I may focus on an encouraging quote, a recent conversation, or a Scripture on the mirror, but these intentional few minutes serve as a brief meditation each morning and night.

Hair + Makeup, 5 minutes / Some days, I just let my frizzy waves go and wear my hair down just as it is. Many days, I tie it back in a twist, a braid, or top-knot to save styling time. I still use these tutorials I shared a few years ago. As for makeup, I prefer natural, glowing colors that don’t require heaps of fuss or time. For those of you who enjoy the same, here are my non-toxic favorites that I can apply in only a few minutes:

This collection is also wonderful for a finished look in under five minutes and includes many of my favorites, too. Enjoy!

Images by Hannah Walls for Cloistered Away. 

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