It’s the Little Things (and Lots of Moisturizer)

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It’s the Little Things (and Lots of Moisturizer)

My Morning Routine

Maria Duenas Jacobs |

founder, Super Smalls

She runs one of the most adorable kids’ jewelry and accessories line we’ve ever seen and juggles that with caring for five-year-old twins and a seven-year old–all girls. Yet Maria Duenas Jacobs manages to look chicly unruffled and glowy-skinned no matter how hectic her days get. The secret? A great sense of humor and copious layers of face oils and creams.

Inspired by her daughters’ unbridled enthusiasm for trying on her jewelry pieces (in her years in working in fashion, she amassed quite a fabulous collection), the former accessories director for Elle saw a business opportunity and took it, founding Super Smalls in 2019. It’s as luxe as it is fun (there are pieces we want for ourselves, not just for our kids), and it’s boomed over the past year. But even when her schedule is jam-packed, Duenas Jacobs spends time on skin care–in particular, on moisturizing. “I love oils and creams,” she says. Her radiant skin clearly loves them, too.

6 a.m.: I’m not a morning person, but sevenish years of caring for young children has reprogrammed my internal time clock to wake me up, begrudgingly, very early. (My husband leaves by 5:30 a.m. for work–surgeon hours–so I get the weekday mornings with the girls on my own. Luckily the trade-off is sleeping in on the weekends because: teamwork.)

I stay in bed as long as I can. Before my little ones come in, I spend this first bit of the morning checking my phone for important work updates. I like to get a few time-sensitive responses out first thing.

7 a.m.: The girls announce the start of the day with either a sweet “Good morning, Mom,” or a shrieking cry: “She took my toy, helpppppp!”

7:15 a.m.: I throw on my comfy Super Smalls Roller Derby headband. The bright rainbow stripes give me an instant boost. (It also amuses my daughters and serves as a signal that it’s time to get ready.) I brush my teeth, apply my favorite Megababe deodorant, and then move on to moisturizing. I love oils and moisturizers so much, so I’m very liberal with my application. I alternate between Furtuna Skin Due Alberi face oil and the nourishing daily moisturizer from goop. They are so different but equally amazing. It always feels like my face is drinking them up (such a satisfying application), and they are perfect primers for makeup.

7:30 a.m.: By this time the morning rush has kicked in. I boil some water for my morning chai tea and start the process of getting three girls ready for the day. Luckily, our supernanny, Olga, arrives shortly, so we tag-team through the chaos.

8 a.m.: I negotiate and pick out clothing for the girls while Olga readies breakfast, so we can get them dressed and fed quickly. Then I sneak back into my room to get dressed. (Back to wearing real clothes! Yay!) Pro tip: I always partially pick out my outfit the night before since there’s little time for styling in the a.m.

8:25 a.m.: School starts at 8:30, and although we live just two blocks away, we always cut it close. I usually put sunscreen on everyone at crosswalk stops as we walk to school.

8:30 a.m.: School drop-off complete (phew!). Now a long but fun day filled with designing and building a kids’ accessories business. My closing hack for busy moms: Have some goop bath salts handy for something to look forward to in the evening.

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