17 Hours With Supermodel & Beauty Entrepreneur Winnie Harlow

Spoiler alert: It ends with a Euphoria marathon-watch.

Winnie Harlow posing for a portrait-style photograph with a lob hairstyle, full bangs, and statement...
Jason Kibbler

Winnie Harlow could use a break. “Doesn’t the world feel so different now that we have technology?” the supermodel, activist, and newly minted entrepreneur wonders aloud. These days, she’s finding respite by reading; she and her boyfriend have resolved to read five books together this year, and it’s one of the rare moments of relaxation in her schedule.

Not only does her modeling work keep her traveling constantly to shoots in far-flung locations, but the 27-year-old, who’s based in Los Angeles, is now the founder and creative director of her own sun protection line, Cay Skin.

The idea came to her after a 2018 shoot in the Bahamas, during which she became sunburned to the point of needing medical attention. “They didn’t want me reapplying sunscreen because it was leaving a silver-white cast on my skin,” she tells Bustle. “That just didn’t look cute in the photos.” Ultimately, she paid the price for it.

While that may have inspired Harlow’s mission to create a sunscreen that works for everyone, sun safety has always been in her DNA. Both of her parents are Caribbean, and they had long prioritized adequate protection for their daughter, who was born with the skin disorder vitiligo. “Every summer and spring break, I’d visit my dad in Jamaica. I remember his rough hands — from being a mechanic — slathering sunscreen onto my body,” she says.

After her experience on that shoot, “it made me really disappointed that there was nothing on the market that could be gorgeous on the skin and still have protection from the sun,” says Harlow. That led to the creation of Cay Skin, which debuts on March 1 and features a curated lineup of four products: Isle Body Oil, Universal Mineral Face Lotion, Isle Lip Balm, and Isle Glow Face Lotion — all enhanced with sun protection.

With the addition of Cay Skin under her belt, Harlow has found that her schedule is more unpredictable than ever. “Everything depends on what I have to do that day,” she says. “There’s no schedule to it.” Here, a glimpse of where her day might take her.

A Day In The Life Of Winnie Harlow

10 a.m. When I don’t have to wake up for something, I don’t set an alarm. I just want to naturally wake up. My curtains are always drawn, but the sun still comes through, so that wakes me up a bit.

Then, I drink a crystal ginger-honey tea. It really tingles my throat and gives me that spice in the morning.

11 a.m. I’ll be in the bathroom for an hour. I throw on whatever station Apple Music has made for me so I don’t have to pick my music, then jump in the shower. I wash my face and put on a mask in there because then I don’t have to worry about water dripping down my elbows or soaking up the counters. Afterward, I apply a face serum depending on what my skin needs — I might need more hydration, or maybe I’m breaking out — and end with sunscreen, of course. The last step in skin care is always sunscreen.

12 p.m. I go downstairs, where my assistant sets up my iPad, and I jump on calls with the Cay Skin team and go through everything to do with the brand: launch, product development, and anything else we have to talk about for that day.

1 p.m.: Then, I have breakfast. I just got a chef because I went pescatarian and can’t cook. I’m an order-in girl. But at this point in life, I need to invest in my health, because health is wealth… and if I keep eating Taco Bell every night, my health is not going to be my wealth. So he’ll make me breakfast, usually some type of egg dish.

He makes eggs every kind of way, and they’re all really great. But he makes a fried egg in a tomato sauce. I need seasoning and spice, so he makes the sauce really flavorful and toasts Ezekiel bread that I then dip in the sauce.

2 p.m.: I go over what happened on the call or any other things I have to do with my assistant, whether that’s preparing for a shoot the next day with Puma or doing a post for Sinful Colors. We’ll review whatever deals I have going on. Then I jump on a call with my managers.

3 p.m.: Since it’s a busy day, I take a walk around my neighborhood. In this day and age, we don’t know our neighbors. Once upon a time, your neighborhood was your extended family. I like walking around just to see who’s in my neighborhood and see who has a dog, who’s married, and who has a kid.

If I have more time, I go to a gym in North Hollywood instead, where I’ll do weights and then run. I have asthma and have to rest and catch my breath in between sets — so I’m usually there for two hours or so. I can easily reapply the Isle Glow Face Lotion SPF 45, especially on days where I don’t do makeup.

5 p.m.: I might go for something to eat. When I have three meals a day, I like for them to be a little bit smaller because I just get really full. Then I shower and put on some house clothes. I put the Isle Body Oil SPF 30 on when I come out of the shower at night just because it feels so hydrating — and I’ve always used oils, anyway.

6 p.m.: I go downstairs and watch TV. Right now, I’m watching Euphoria.

7 p.m.: I have dinner. My chef makes something different all the time. I’m not really picky; he knows the things I don’t like, like mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant. He’ll ask if there’s anything I want and I’ll say, “Surprise me.”

9 p.m.: I just chill and talk to my boyfriend, my best friend, and my sister on the phone.

10 p.m.: I jot some ideas down while I’m on my couch. I’m not a morning person. I hate waking up, but I’m up all night — so that’s when my ideas come to me. Even when it comes to Cay, I’ll have a new idea and be messaging my team when they’re in Europe; I’ll be like, “Oh, my gosh, I had this idea” or “I just saw this outfit I really like.”

3 a.m.: I fall asleep watching episodes of Euphoria. I love to skip a few weeks and have some episodes waiting for me.

Top Image Credits: Loewe clothing; Dinosaur Designs earrings, ring, and bracelets; Alexis Bittar necklace and cuff

Photographer: Jason Kibbler

Stylist: Jan-Michael Quammie

Hair: Larry Sims

Makeup: Michael Anthony

Manicure: Loi Lien

Bookings: Special Projects