24 Hours With Arwa Al Banawi

BY Olivia Phillips / May 31 2020 / 09:30 AM

Music, coffee and calm defines the Saudi designer's daily routine

24 Hours With Arwa Al Banawi

7:00 A.M I’m an early riser. I love the mornings, I get up at around 7:00AM on a typical day but on holiday it’s even earlier as I love to wake up to nature if I’m by the beach, or go walking in a city like NYC or Paris. I’ll put a sweater over my PJs and go grab a coffee and a bagel or a croissant. At the weekends I might sleep in a bit, and then I either do yoga at Urban Yoga in Dubai, or at home.

My mat of choice is a sand-coloured one by Rumi. It’s such good quality and I take it with me everywhere I go. I prefer to do my yoga practise at home really, as then I get to cook brunch. I love cooking and weekends are the time I get to do it the most.

The first thing I do when I wake up is head immediately to the coffee machine. I love to add just a pinch of cinnamon; that combination of smells is so good! I have a shot every morning that I prepare the night before – turmeric, honey and grapefruit juice.

8:30 A.M. The first time I check my phone is around 8:30AM when I have my first coffee with a banana while going through emails. But that’s not before I do my morning facial routine. I cleanse with Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser and then apply Sukin Rosehip Oil that my dear friend Jessica Kawahaty recommended. I’m obsessed with it now, it’s such a good product. Then I massage my face with the Goop rose-quartz roller for five minutes while music plays in the background. 

Roberi & Fraud sunglasses at Farfetch, Dhs1,155

My get-up-and-go song is Got To Be Real by Cheryl Lynn but I also listen to salsa or jazz by composer Stan Getz. My make-up only takes me around 10 minutes (I love vegan brand CTZN Cosmetics and use its lipsticks and lipliners, Tom Ford’s eyeliner and Fenty’s bronzer) and I have a work uniform so I don’t spend time picking outfits.

I have a collection of black, white or nude lightweight cotton-jersey suits that I wear with a bodysuit underneath and my Yeezy sneakers. Either those or kitten heels from Prada or Manolo Blahnik. Now we’re in lockdown, I try to have the same routine in my dressed even if I’m WFH.

CTZN Cosmetics Nudiversal lipstick in Shade 20 Mykonos, Dhs95

12:00 P.M. I’ll have my second coffee at around noon and then I switch to matcha green tea. During Ramadan I wake up at 10:00, and my day starts as normal... just without the coffee! But I’ll also make my meals as normal – I’ll just eat them after we break the fast.

6:30 P.M. I work out during Ramadan before the Maghreb prayer time and then afterwards have three dates with water, and then whatever I have prepared during the day. Usually salmon and avocado on toast, or an açai bowl.

I do any heavy work after I break my fast so I’ll do social media and design-related tasks during the day, and e-commerce and team meetings in the evenings. I do bring my work to bed – I’ll sometimes sketch before I go to sleep or go through PR and marketing pipelines and take notes. I wear silk or cotton PJs – I love the brand Oysho – and my bedroom is very clean, cold and zen with a candle and a crystal salt lamp by my bed. I’m a very calm sleeper and I love to doze off with something in the background; Friends or Seinfeld, or The Cooking Channel; specifically Barefoot Contessa!

Harper's Bazaar Arabia May 2020 issue

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