My Morning Routine

⇾ Colman Domingo, Actor

My Morning Routine

⇾ Colman Domingo, Actor

The industrious multi-hyphenate proves that slow and steady are the keys to success

Actor Colman Domingo

Colman Domingo seems to be in everything everyone is talking about lately. You probably caught him fighting zombies on Fear the Walking Dead. Or handing out sage wisdom on Euphoria. And this summer he's in no less than three buzzy films—Zola last month, The God Committee released last week, and next month's highly-anticipated Candyman reboot. The Tony-nominated playwright also has his own streaming talkshow, so it's no wonder he's been called “Hollywood's secret weapon.” And these days, he's just as busy as ever. “I'm in the middle of shooting Euphoria's second season and season seven of Fear, getting myself ready for a couple more films,” he says without a hint of exhaustion. “Overall, I'm generally enjoying this summer of the new decade.” He's the type of guy who takes his mornings slowly yet seriously. And we respect that.

The Series

Those moments between turning off the alarm and getting into our work routine can be the most defining 60 minutes of our day. Benjamin Franklin set a day's worth of plans by 5 am and Steve Jobs asked a simple question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Our rituals are a reflection of us. So we've ventured out to discover how some of our most influential and fruitful peers get started.

Colman Domingo illustration

My Routine

If I have to set an alarm, I will.

But I wake up with the sun ... usually around six am and boom, I'm up and running.

I’m not exactly a morning person, but I’m not a true night owl either.

I like being a bit of both. It's funny, when I lived in New York, I stayed up late. Los Angeles has more of a different vibe; a wake up early, go to bed early kind of a thing. Whenever I'm in Europe, I stay up until four or five in the morning, and wake up at eight. I would have to say it all depends on the occasion and the company.

I don’t ever hit that snooze button.

And really, I only use my alarm when I have to be up super early to be on set.

My nightstand is like a mini desk at the moment.

I've got my phone, my iPad and a couple of books stacked on top. Right now, I am going through a collection of Italian fairy tales and a five language picture dictionary with hopes that I will retain some of it for when I travel.

I take a little time to mentally prepare for the day.

Honestly, the first thing I do when I get up is put on one of my robes—I prefer my vintage terrycloth Christian Dior robe that matches my main bathroom tile perfectly—and walk in my garden. It is very meditative. I like the quiet and it sets me up for my day.

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I take pleasure in the stillness of the early hours.

I value being quiet in the morning. I talk so much during the day, it is nice to just be.

Then I try to set the mood.

After my garden time, I'll go to the kitchen, drink a big glass of water, fire up my espresso machine and make some coffee. I'll listen to a jazz or a chill radio station as I plan for the day—walk over to my study and start work: meetings, e-mails, phone calls. I truly enjoy my mornings.

I take my coffee pretty seriously.

I have this big heavy Italian espresso machine; it feels like it means business. I make a double espresso with a splash of oat milk. I really got into drinking those at the Hoxton Holborn in London.

If I make breakfast at home, I go big.

I like proper bacon and eggs, sunny side up. When I mix it up, a whole avocado with kimchi and an egg on it is delicious.

When I’m headed to set, mornings are very early and a bit more compressed.

It is always important to center myself, which I do on my ride over to the set. On the production of Fear for instance, I have a routine where my friend and hairdresser Sheila will make me coffee (as she makes one for herself). It is our little ritual. I play some music in the make-up and hair trailer. We often have dance parties.

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My approach to grooming could best be described as “relaxed.”

I've never been one for overly fancy things when it comes to grooming, but I have found some stuff that really works. And I stick to those.

I use a razor to trim up once a week.

I have a beard right now, so I just try to keep that nice and healthy and kept.

Colman Domingo's favorite grooming products

Clockwise, from top left

Icelandic moss face soap,
$8.50 by Kala Style

⋆ “Absorbs all the dirt and gets skin really clean.”

Puffy eye patches,
$25 by Peace Out

⋆ “Only when necessary.”

Ilio eau de toilette,
$145 by Diptyque

Superior hair dressing pomade,
$2.39 by Muray's

Heavy hold pomade,
$14 by American Crew

Plumping lip balm,
$18 by Buxom

Invisible antiperspirant,
$3.39 by Ban

Classic cedar wood shampoo,
$17 by Aesop

⋆ “Only twice a week. No more.”

Mandarin hydrating cream,
$50 by Aesop

Colman Domingo's favorite grooming products

Icelandic moss
face soap,
$8.50 by Kala Style

Puffy eye patches,
$25 by Peace Out

Mandarin
hydrating cream,
$50 by Aesop

Ilio
eau de
toilette,
$145 by
Diptyque

Plumping lip balm,
$18 by Buxom

Invisible antiperspirant,
$3.39 by Ban

Classic cedar wood
shampoo, $17 by
Aesop

Heavy hold
pomade, $14 by
American Crew

Superior hair dressing pomade,
$2.39 by Muray's

“Absorbs all the dirt and gets skin really clean.”

“Only twice a week.
No more.”

“Only when necessary.”

Clockwise, from top left

Icelandic moss face soap,
$8.50 by Kala Style

Puffy eye patches,
$25 by Peace Out

Mandarin hydrating cream,
$50 by Aesop

Ilio eau de toilette,
$145 by Diptyque

Plumping lip balm,
$18 by Buxom

Invisible antiperspirant,
$3.39 by Ban

Classic cedar wood shampoo,
$17 by Aesop

Heavy hold pomade,
$14 by American Crew

Superior hair dressing pomade,
$2.39 by Muray's

I use a razor to trim up once a week.

I have a beard right now, so I just try to keep that nice and healthy and kept.

Ideally, I’ll workout sometime in the morning.

But if I don't get to it, that's okay too. Because I really do work out anytime, anywhere. The goal is to get my body moving whether it's running, lifting, stretching or some pilates.

My calendar is total life saver.

I rely on it completely. Otherwise I would not know what is happening day-to-day. My wonderful colleagues make sure that this machine is running smoothly and efficiently.

When it comes to getting dressed, I don’t plan it out.

I tend to walk into my closet and pick out what I'll wear that day while I'm in there, never knowing what mood I will be in and how I will want to look.

Never leave
home without ...

Never leave home without ...

My Opening Ceremony bum bag ($245 / $147). Since I need to carry sanitizer, a mask and anything else, I have storage on my person.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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