The Morning Routine Series: Florence Adepoju

The CEO of MDM Flow shares how she starts her day.

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A recurring feature in which Lenny follows a woman we love through the start of her day.

My morning can go two ways.

There's the morning when I set my alarm for 6:00, 6:15, 6:30, and 7:00, when I finally get up. I get in the shower and stand under the warm water for 20 minutes, reflecting on my company's future, on why diversity and representation matter in the beauty industry, while also convincing myself that I won't totally fluff up my interview with BBC's Women's Hour or whatever other press appointment I've got later that day. Then I'm out of the shower and I've got 30 more minutes to get ready. That's enough time to charge my phone, put on my contact lenses. I paint my face, using a small angled brush and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow to define my eyebrows, as taught by the gurus on YouTube, and apply my power shade vamp.

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I slather on edge control and use a hard bristle to style, before finally leaving my house at 8 a.m.

I count the brisk 15-minute walk to the train station as my morning's exercise and listen to my power playlist to psych myself up: Rick Ross's "Rich Forever," Notorious BIG's "Warning," and Nicki Minaj's "I'm the Best." At the train station I order my latte (one brown sugar) and get to Platform 1 with two minutes to spare. I can count this as my first morning's victory. It's the small things, isn't it? Ha-ha.

Getting on the train I bump into an old school friend. "How are things?" she asks, Fine thank you, how are you? Here, I realize that she actually wants to hear more about my life beyond the pleasant auto-response, so I give her a brief update on start-up life and my last press trip to New York, and then we discuss why British press are always seemingly late to the party. Almost three-quarters of the way to my destination and I notice that we've mostly talked about me. What are you up to? Where are you headed? She tells me about her job and very terrible boss, her dreams to travel the world, and the savings account that's taking her there. We wax lyrical on dreams and how fervently they should be chased. I hop off the train at Tower Hill and on the London Underground to Central London. My boyfriend will meet me on the way to my press appointment, and after a bit of a pep talk I'll feel the adrenaline drip in, all my anxiety left on the train I just hopped out of. Or perhaps it's the pheromones? 

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Then there's the morning where I don't set my alarm because I'm working from home and I'd rather not start the day with a dose of hypertension if I can help it. Plus, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that uninterrupted sleep increases productivity, so, y'know, that's actually a bit of a boss move, isn't it? Ha.

Usually around eight, I'll reach for my iPhone. I'll check under my pillow first, then dig around for it under my duvet before eventually finding it wedged in the tight gap between my bed and wall. If I'm lucky, it's been charging from last night and I can use the wire to fish it out.

My first port of call is Tumblr, where I'll reblog the awesome content my US-based homies have curated whilst I slept, then it's Pinterest, where I'll read over my inspirational quote board, filling myself with positive quotes. I'll find one I like and make a mental note to post it to Instagram, where I head to next. I'll respond to questions from customers, show love to tagged photos, and geek out if Nasty Gal posted my lipsticks on its page again. After a 45-minute stint, I wean myself off social media and consider checking my ever-growing unread-email list. I'll start with the longest and hardest journalist questions first, but then midway through the first question I'll convince myself I need a power nap.

At ten I'll wake back up, finally feeling like I'm ready to begin my day. I sit up in bed, say a prayer out loud, and reflect, generally just psyching myself up: Flow, you can do this!, Today will be a good day!, #MDMflowIsTheIllest, etcetera. I have a quick shower, with Jhené Aiko, WSTRN, and Bryson Tiller serenading me from Spotify, before running downstairs to eat my omelet and avocado salad, and I'm in the lab by 11, ready to formulate lipsticks for the fiery crew of MDMflow girls who run the world.

Florence Adepoju is the founder and CEO of MDM Flow.

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