I’ve been following Alexis Ren on Instagram since college. I was influenced by my roommate, who promised I would fall in love with the model, and her then-boyfriend Jay Alvarrez. She was right. In between navigating messy relationships in my early 20s, I scrolled through photos of the picture-perfect, social media-famous couple, dreaming that could one day be my future, too. While they kissed on a beach in Hawaii and jumped out of planes, I ate Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter in my underwear in my Staten Island dorm room in-between classes. Perhaps this goes without saying, but I envied Ren in every sense of the word.

In the years since the couple’s breakup, Ren’s 14 million Instagram followers and I have watched her passions evolve. While the 24-year-old is still no stranger to a killer bikini selfie, she’s built a dynamic career as an entrepreneur and activist, inspiring young women to make an impact, prioritise education, and nurture their mental health. Outside of acting and modelling, she’s also devoted time to her mission-focused project, Warriors, a female-driven online community and safe-space, which focuses on improving health physically, mentally and emotionally.

Ahead, Ren takes GRAZIA through a day in her life, starting at the very moment she wakes up in the morning to when her head hits the pillow at the end of a long day.

What time do you wake up on an average day, and what’s the first thing you do?

The time I wake up varies by the day, but if I have a few days off, I try to let myself sleep in (which means 9 am latest). I like to listen to my body and tune in to what it’s telling me, even if that means waking up at 6 am daily, or 9 am from time to time. As of lately, I feel more creative towards the evening, so I have been staying up a little later to work on projects and brainstorm. The first thing I do in the morning is take my puppy outside for a walk!

Can you walk us through your morning skincare routine?

My morning skincare routine varies depending on whether my plans for the day involve makeup or a bare face. I start with the Sensei Wash by Sonya Dakar. I then take a reusable pad and use Thayers Alcohol-Free Unscented Witch Hazel Toner to wipe off any residue from sleeping. Next, I apply the Giorgio Armani Prima Smart Moisture Serum, followed by the Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream, applying each to my fingers and patting gently, especially on the skin around my eyes. I finish with Sonya Dakar moisturiser and top it off with Sonya Dakar’s SPF. We all know how important SPF is, so I make sure never to forget it.

Normal morning makeup and hair routine?

My morning makeup always begins with the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Next, I use the Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Quicky Contour Stick and gently pat it along my hairline and cheekbones. I use the Beauty Counter Colour Pinch Cream Blusher that I pat along my cheeks and blend with a blending brush. Then I use Giorgio Armani concealer, dabbing it gently under my eyes. Depending on the day, I like to use a highlighter powder on my eyes because I love making them glittery and pretty. My go-to highlighter stick right now is from the Morphe x Maddie Ziegler collab, in the shade I Do. I like to use the L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara in Deep Green as I’ve found that the green makes them pop if you have brown eyes. On my lips, I’ve been loving the Marc Jacobs Beauty J’Adore Lipstick in shade 230, named Terra Cotta Blush. I like to keep the makeup routine pretty simple in the morning. As for my hair routine, I typically just let it air dry or use a ghd Curling Iron.

How long does it usually take you to get dressed in the am? Walk us through the process.

It depends on what I am doing. If I’m going to be out and about and want to look cute, it could take anywhere from two seconds to two hours, depending on the occasion. When getting dressed, I always try to find an outfit that feels like me.

What’s your favourite wardrobe essential right now?

Right now, my favourite wardrobe essential is my favourite pair of boyfriend jeans. My go-to look is my boyfriend jeans with a tank top and a pair of Vans. I feel like it is timeless, comfortable, and I can pretty much do anything in that outfit.

Any other morning rituals that are important to you?

In the mornings, I journal. I think journaling is one of the most important things to build into your morning routine. Journaling is an important tool because the days and years pass by so quickly, but journaling stays forever. Looking back, you get to see yourself grow in your writing. When I look back on my journals from even five years ago, it makes me proud to see how much I’ve grown and evolved.

Alexis Ren

Is there such thing as an “average” day in your life? If so, what are you doing? If no, can you touch on what you’ve been up to these days?

While I don’t have an “average” day, I do have consistent structure. I always need my morning coffee and a good workout! I’ve found that consistency helps me feel my best, especially when the rest of my days feel so different. Most of my focus has been on my company, We Are Warriors, a mentorship and personal growth community that helps members grow and learn across different subjects, whether it be finance, fitness, or beauty. I was homeschooled my whole life and wanted to find a new way to educate in a fun way that is inviting rather than intimidating. It’s been extremely rewarding to see this project expand to such a global audience, and I’m constantly brainstorming what the future of We Are Warriors holds.

Are you currently based in California? What’s one of your favourite things to do/places nearby?

Yes, I am! I was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA and because of that, I have always loved going to the beach. I love surfing, picnics on the beach; you name it. I love bringing my dog to the beach and letting her play in the sand, and say hello to everyone that passes by. I enjoy the simple things! Give me a journal, a picnic, my puppy, and a bikini, and I am content.

Go-to workout routine? What time of the day do you normally work out?

Starting my day off with a workout helps me to be my most productive self. I have been a ballerina for 20 years, so ballet is my first love when it comes to movement. I also love long walks and hikes, yoga, and surfing. For me, when I can move through an activity that I love, I enjoy the time spent doing it rather than it feeling like something I need to check off of my to-do list.

Alexis Ren

Tell us about We Are Warriors. What’s its mission?

We Are Warriors is a mind-body wellness community that fosters and cultivates self-growth, love, and strength for women around the world. We Are Warriors aims to create a safe and empowering community for women to learn and grow together, creating a space for connection and education that I believe we are all deeply craving. With over 3,000 members in 70+ countries, the community is continuing to grow rapidly.

We Are Warriors takes a 360-degree approach that utilises fitness, education, journaling, meditation, and live calls that are integrated into 30 day transformational challenges aimed to evolve members mentally, physically, and spiritually. Each month expert guides lead the community in a new challenge to continually build out members’ toolboxes. Past challenges have included Flex & Stretch, Ballet, and Sculpt-Box & Build, while future challenges will focus on topics like financial literacy and career growth. Members have access to over 200 videos along with community events, a private group chat to connect with girls around the world, access to a registered dietician, weekly live calls that I host every Friday & the other Warriors guides, and more. Our mission is to provide a sense of connectivity through education and challenge-based content where we achieve our goals together as a community.

Are you able to share any inspirational stories from We Are Warriors?

I can think of so many examples, but one that jumps out was at the end of our January challenge, which focused on overall ‘resolutions.’ At the end of the challenge, one of the members made an illustration of what she had learned. Her self-confidence was improved greatly, and she no longer felt afraid to speak her mind, explaining how she no longer speaks to please others but rather to speak her truth. After explaining all of these qualities she had learned, she then realised she forgot to mention, “oh, and I lost a few pounds, I feel great!” That’s when it hit me hard that the priority of We Are Warriors is not physical transformation; rather, the priority is the mental, spiritual, and emotional transformation that comes from within.

Alexis Ren

Favourite TV show, book, podcast, or movie of the moment? 

In my free time, I like to do stimulating and educating things, whether that’s watching a documentary or listening to an audiobook. I learn well through listening, so Audible has been my best friend, especially books by Dr. Joe Dispenza or Russell Brand. I recently listened to Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, in which he narrates himself. It was amazing and full of wisdom. I highly recommend it.

Can you walk us through your nighttime skincare and haircare routine?

For my nighttime skincare routine, my main focus is making sure all of my makeup is off. Often, we categorise skincare routines as a chore: taking off our makeup, throwing on some serum, and brushing our teeth to be done and ready for bed. I try my best to make my nighttime skincare routine a form of meditation. I have realised from my teachings in spirituality that you don’t have to be meditating to reach a meditative state. You can use certain routines and actions in your life as a meditation, so I have been practicing the process of turning my nighttime routine into meditation and staying present during it.

My nighttime skincare routine varies between what I feel that my skin needs in the moment. But recently, I start with Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Bomb, a dream for taking off mascara. Then, I use Sonya Dakar Sensi Wash, followed by Thayers Alcohol-Free Unscented Witch Hazel Toner again with a reusable pad. I use the Nano Hydrator by Sonya Dakar afterward, and the Caudalie Premier Cru The Eye Cream on top. I like to finish with Hoya Organic Omega Oil by Sonya Dakar and depending on if my skin feels dry that night, I will use Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask With Vitamin C.  As for my hair routine, I just brush it out before I go to sleep because if I don’t I wake up with a giant rat’s nest!

What time do you usually go to sleep? Any products that help you catch your zzz’s?

My bedtime varies, although lately, it’s been around 11:30 pm. I find that I’m more creative in the evenings, so I have been staying up to work on projects like We Are Warriors. As for products, I recently replaced my cotton pillow cover with a silk pillow cover, and it’s helped my skin and hair—and is so soft!

Alexis Ren