The Beauty Routine MECCA's Head of Content Zara Wong Swears By for Glowing Skin
Welcome to Bedtime Stories, an interview series where we ask inspiring individuals to share their nighttime routine and sleep secrets – from the beauty products they can’t live without to the tricks they swear by when they’re too tired to function (no coffee needed). For this instalment, podcast co-host and Head of Content at MECCA Beauty Zara Wong, reveals the nighttime beauty routine that keeps her skin glowing all year round.
Zara Wong is like the modern-day Miranda Priestly (sans the cold personality). She's one of Australia's most successful women in media, who started off as an intern at Harper's BAZAAR and slowly worked her way up as the Fashion Features Director and Content Strategy Director at Vogue Australia. Now, she's responsible for leading all content over at MECCA Beauty and is the co-host of the brand's new podcast MECCA Talks. It's safe to say her day's schedule is the epitome of busy.
But despite having to keep up with a never-ending influx of emails and meetings, Wong understands the importance of sleep; in fact, she admits she simply can't function without it. Being a voice in the beauty and fashion industry, she's of course developed the ultimate bedtime skincare routine that helps prep her skin for a good night's sleep. She's also learned how to digitally switch-off at night and prioritise rest on the weekends.
Here, Bed Threads Journal sat down with the inspirational content creator where she shared all her night and morning hacks that keep her looking and feeling her best, day in, day out.
Hi Zara! Welcome to Bedtime Stories. Can you walk us through your bedtime routine?
Ideal scenario would be 10.30pm! But it’s more around 11.30pm. I try to stay away from screens about an hour before bed – ‘try’ being the operative word. So by 10.30pm I’ve set my alarm, I’ve showered and I’m reading a book. Basically, every time I pick up the phone, I try to replace that habit by picking up a book instead.
What sleep or beauty products do you swear by that you won’t go a night without?
I love trying out new products though there’s a couple I continue to return to. At the moment it’s Tatcha Oil Cleanser, Juice Beauty Green Apple Gel Cleanser then the REN toner (this is a mainstay – that, or the Tammy Fender Toner).
I’m always rotating between serums: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is a great all-rounder, La Mer Concentrate when I have really dry patches and I’ve also just bought the Moon Juice Plumping Jelly Hydrating Serum – the smell and texture is delicious.
What is your solution for those nights you simply can’t nod off to sleep?
A hot bath – the temperature difference from being very warm to a cool bed helps with sleep! If I’m feeling a bit wound up, I love The Beauty Chef Sleep Powder. Or, I make a hot chocolate with proper chocolate (it’s winter in Melbourne at the moment, so I need something warm and comforting). Feeling cosy is really important to me!
What time does your alarm go off in the morning?
My alarm goes off at 6.30am on weekdays and 8am on weekends. I am definitely not a morning person so this isn’t my favourite part of the day, but my routine involves me brushing my teeth, splashing water on my face (I don’t cleanse my face in the mornings), and putting on serum (I rotate a lot), day moisturiser (either Volition Beauty or Tatcha) and face oil (Mecca Cosmetica), then makeup.
I think about what I wear as I do my skincare routine in the morning – I’m not that organised to do it the night before, but I probably should. I read through the news headlines of the morning while drinking coffee or matcha - I try to alternate between the two. I don’t even really need the caffeine to function, but I love the taste of it!
What are three things (besides coffee) that help when you’re too tired to function?
I’m the kind of person that needs sleep. There is no way I can function without enough sleep. My only answer would be more sleep, or to work out when I can get more sleep.
What do you normally eat for breakfast to kick start your day?
Weekdays I don’t have breakfast because it’s just so early for me but on weekends especially when the weather is cold I love making steel cut oat porridge. I toast them dry with spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon) on low-medium heat then add water and a chopped banana and cook it down – the cooked banana gives it a caramel flavour.
If it’s eggs, I make my favourite type of scrambled eggs – with a dash of mirin, no milk, a touch of soy sauce, sesame oil, honey or caster sugar and cooked quickly over a low heat. I serve it with sourdough (my husband makes it weekly) or with steamed rice, alongside whatever greens we have at home.