Morning Rituals with Yuka O’Shannessy from Astute Assembly

We catch up with co-founder of Astute Assembly, Yuka O’Shannessy, who tells us of her current favourite things.

When does your day usually begin?

Around 6:30-7am for my children’s school preparation.

Dark Bouquet candle by Curio Noir

Skincare or beauty products you keep on your bedside table?

Maryse Treatment Balm for my dry skin, and a Dark Bouquet candle by Curio Noir.


Many cite water as their beauty secret; do you drink a glass as soon as you get up?

Oh, yes actually I do!


Any morning routine rituals?

Mornings are pretty busy with sending our kids to school, but I do enjoy a coffee with my husband who makes the best cup with our Italian coffee machine. I’m lucky about that. After sending the kids to school I go to a café—usually Daily Daily—to sit and force myself to take some down time, read some good design magazines or socialise with locals. It’s my favourite time of day. I love the random conversations I have within the café, where people are happy and content. Then, when I get to the store, I burn incense from Kyoto after a quick cleaning. It has a quality of sandalwood to clear the space and bring in a good energy, and calm my soul.


Do you check your phone as soon as you wake up, or do you try to limit the amount of screen time in the morning?

It’s part of my job, but I try not to! It’s easy to get in the habit so I try forcing myself not to check until I get to town. Otherwise, I feel missing some important thing in life such as spending face time with my family or listening to some news on radio while I’m driving.

What’s a usual breakfast?

I love great pastry or croissant and a good coffee combo if I can.


Briefly walk us through how you prep your skin in the morning.

Wash with water and just use toner. Before makeup, I use Clinique sun UV protection as a base cream under the foundation.


The most important lessons you have learned throughout your skincare journey?

Simplify your items, don’t apply too much on your skin, and toughen up your skin.  Also, drink lots of water rather than relying on moisturiser. Inner-care, rather than outer-care, is important, I think.


Are you a makeup everyday type person? Which products could you not live without?

Yes – M.A.C concealer and black eye liner.


Do you prefer a matte or a dewy finish to your makeup? How do you achieve this?

Matte. I use powder to settle my makeup after foundation.


Tell us about your hair routine, what’s your go-to style? Any favourite products?

I use an oil, cream and wax combination to set my style as I have very thick hair in a short style so it needs to be properly done. I occasionally use hot irons to set it, also.


How long does it take for you to get ready in the morning?

I don’t take much time really, about 5-10 minutes in total for my hair and makeup, I’m so used to it!

You’re about to leave the house, which perfume do you spritz?

Curio Noir’s Tobacco Night


What three products always in your handbag?

Liquid eyeliner, concealer, perfume


Anything final thoughts?

Even when you are busy, create time for yourself, your favourite time, which can help you get you through hard periods, also.