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#MyCleanBeautyShelf: Peek Inside the Morning Routine of Dara Kennedy, Founder & CEO of Ayla

4 min read

Dara Kennedy has worked in retail and beauty marketing, advertising, product development, and branding for the past twenty years — although she’s been obsessed with skincare and beauty products, and the process of shopping for them since she was about eight years old. Dara founded Ayla (aylabeauty.com) in 2011; she has a Bachelor’s degree in History from Princeton and an MBA from Harvard Business School, and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and two kids. In her slivers of spare time, Dara enjoys yoga, a practice to which she’s been devoted to for the past twenty years. Let’s take a look into Dara’s #MyCleanBeautyShelf.

My beauty philosophy is…

The most beautiful people I have known are beautiful not because their skin is flawless or their hair is styled to perfection; they’re beautiful because they’re vibrant. And I think they’re vibrant because they’re curious about the world around them. My love of curiosity in others may be due to the fact that my parents were both teachers, but I also think that curiosity indicates openness and gratitude. When you realize that life is an incredible gift, you want to experience and learn more about everything; you want to make the most of every moment and opportunity you have. Great skin, great hair, great makeup: that just adds sparkle to it all.

First thing in the morning, I…

Drink a little water and brush my teeth, then hug my family wherever I might be able to find them at that hour. Our kids are extra soft and snuggly and warm when they’re still in bed, and I love curling up next to them there on the rare mornings when I wake up before they do. (That is rare, though. Very rare.)

My morning skincare routine consists of…

I cleanse with TWELVE Purifying Beauty Cream or YULI Halcyon Cleanser, mist with YULI Metamorphic Elixir, and then slather on some YULI Ambrosia Beauty Nectar for my serum. For my moisturizer, I blend TWELVE Ideal Moisture Level Serum with Marie Veronique x Ayla Dara’s Oil, and I usually do a quick Gua Sha routine with that on my face.

My morning haircare routine consists of…

Evolve Ultrashine Shampoo (if I’m shampooing) followed by Biofficina Toscana Active Concentrate Conditioner. I spritz on some Josh Rosebrook Serum Spray whether I’m air-drying or blow-drying, and apply Reverie Rake to the ends.

My morning makeup routine consists of…

Suntegrity 5-in-1 BB Cream SPF 30, which I love for its multi-talented formula; Inika Sunkissed bronzer (applied with their Kabuki Pro brush), which I love for its lack of disco glitter; Kosas 10-second eyeshadow in Globe and Lily Lolo mascara, which I love for their foolproof application; and Olio e Osso lipstick in Marrone, which is just perfect.

Any makeup or skincare tips?

My skin tends to be a little all over the place in terms of moisture level – it swings from dry to oily, particularly with changes in the climate/environment. In order to not drive myself crazy by switching between moisturizing creams and lotions all the time, I just mix a humectant-rich serum (my favorite is TWELVE Ideal Moisture Level Serum) with oil (my favorite is Dara’s Oil by Marie Veronique). That way, I can easily adjust the amount of oil in the mixture according to my need on that particular day while still giving my skin the two elements it needs — water and oil — to stay balanced.

What’s your desert island/ can’t-live-without beauty product?

I never was a bath person until we created our Sea Soak, and now I’m completely crazy about it. This spa-treatment-in-a-bath feels so good that I have to stop myself from using it every night! I’m a pretty intense person, and my body holds onto stress; this product just melts it all away while also giving my hair and skin a super-hydrating boost with the nourishing gel it creates, almost like a freshly-made serum. I truly think all of the recent compliments I’ve gotten on my skin are due to the fact that I do this treatment so often. It sets the stage for vibrant health and beauty like no other product I’ve used.


Want more beauty tips? Follow all things beauty and get more tricks from our #MyCleanBeautyShelf.

About The Author

The WELL Team

The WELL Team

The WELL Team is dedicated to 360-degree view of wellness for the modern woman, with coverage of clean beauty, mindful living, fitness, recipes and more.

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