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Waking Up With Danielle Gay

She's the Beauty Director and Executive Editor at one of Sydney's top online beauty destinations, Gritty Pretty, so it's safe to say Danielle is well versed in all things beauty. CILK sits down with Danielle Gay to discuss her daily rituals that set her up for best success and what's in her beauty bag.

Tell us about yourself? 
I’m the Beauty Director & Executive Editor at beauty publication Gritty Pretty. Prior to moving into beauty I was Head Of Digital at Vogue, where I managed and its social platforms. I live in a terrace house in Sydney’s inner west with my fiancé, Max, and our cat, Jeff!

What does a typical morning look like for you?
I’m just now getting back into a routine after Sydney’s 4-month lockdown! I’m a big morning person, so three mornings a week, I wake up and go to Fluidform in Surry Hills for a 7am class. I love their class set-up—it’s basically a private class, which means you really get to challenge yourself and the instructors adjust the exercises to what suits you on any given day. After that, I’ll grab a coffee (and one for Max) and head home. On other mornings, I’ll meditate and then do Fluidform At Home or go for a walk along the Glebe foreshore. One morning a week, I wake up early at 5.30am and do some writing, making an instant coffee using Coffee Supreme’s sachets. I start work at 8.30am, so if I’ve exercised I’ll shower and jump straight online and start on emails. Mid-morning, I make a smoothie—I’ve been trialling the CILK Daily Radiance Collagen, so I’ll have a scoop of that with almond milk, a banana, a handful of blueberries, spinach and a teaspoon of peanut butter. On weekends, I like to go for a long walk and listen to the Goop podcast or Apple’s Time To Walk series on Apple Watch. I then grab a coffee and drink it while I read The New Yorker until Max wakes up (usually well after mid-morning…).  

Do you have any special rituals that you commit to daily? 
I like to do at least one form of exercise every day—even if it’s a 15 minute Fluidform At Home session or a 5 minute ab workout on Apple Fitness+. I also meditate each day using the Waking Up With Sam Harris app—it’s by far the best meditation app I’ve ever used. It’s super instructive but also breaks down the myths about “good” meditation like trying to clear your mind (an impossible task). Oh, and I don’t go a morning without my one large latte (with full cream milk).

What is your version of self-care?
Properly switching off in the evenings and having early nights. Since I’m such a morning person, I am all but useless after 6pm (yes, really). Max does all the cooking in our house (a dream!) so after I finish work, I like to shower, remove my makeup and get into my lounge clothes. As an introvert, it’s really important to me that I use this time to recharge, so our weeknights are usually very slow, which I love.

Current morning skincare routine: 
As a beauty editor, this changes often, as I’m always trialling new products—so I’m glad you asked for my “current” routine! I don’t cleanse my face in the morning, so I start with Rationale #1 The Serum, which is all about strengthening the skin barrier (the barrier is the secret to good skin). I then use Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré as a moisturiser. If I’m not wearing makeup that day, I’ll use Supreme Screen SPF 50+ Hydrating SKINSCREEN™ on top.

Your go-to makeup look?
Most days, I switch out my SPF for Rationale #3 The Tinted Serum SPF50+—this is my all-in-one serum, base product and sunscreen and if I need a little more colour I mix in Rationale Beautiful Bronze Superfluid SPF50. I then usually dot a little bit of Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream onto my cheeks and then apply Gucci Westman Lit Up Highlight Stick in Lit—it’s essentially clear and gives the best glow. I curl my eyelashes with my Chanel Eyelash Curler use a simple brow gel to brush through my brows. 

Your top 3 makeup products that are currently on high rotation?
Rationale #3 The Tinted Serum SPF50+
Byredo Mascara in Space Black
Gucci Westman Lit Up Highlight Stick 

Most under-rated beauty tip?
Drink lots of water! I recently properly tracked how much water I was drinking after a conversation with a facialist. I was confident I was having the recommended 2 litres+ a day… not so. Since I’ve been properly hydrated, my skin texture has totally changed and my complexion has a glow it didn’t have before. Plus, the days where I’m not feeling great or very resilient tend to correlate with the days when I’ve been lax with my water intake!

How does wellness play a role in your approach to beauty?
For me, beauty really is about skin health and I think that goes hand-in-hand with wellness. My skin is at its best when I’m drinking enough water, using beautiful supplements like CILK in nutrient-rich smoothies, limiting my alcohol intake and properly taking time for myself at night and in the mornings to complete my skincare routine. To me, beauty and wellness complement each other. 

Best beauty advice you ever received: 
Look after your skin barrier. This is basically the key to healthy or unhealthy skin, yet we’re not really educated about it unless we damage it. When you know, you know. It’s exactly what it sounds like—a protective barrier that keeps the good stuff in (like water) and the bad stuff out (like bacteria). It’s everything!

What beauty products do you always carry with you/ in your handbag?
Dior Lip Glow Lip Balm in 001 Pink
Tom Ford Soleil Lip Blush
Ingredients Purifying Hand Spray


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