Simon Doonan’s Morning Mantra & Grooming Tips

Sara Bliss
Senior Writer

Photo: Patrick Cline

Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan are our kind of power couple. The former runs an interior design empire—one in which bright orange is a neutral-- the latter’s famous for his sharp wit and irreverent window displays for Barneys New York. Whether it is Simon's book In the Asylum chronicling the fashion world’s insanity, or Jonathan's cookie jars labeled 'Uppers' —the pair look at life through a cheeky lens. Here they reveal a hysterically funny morning beauty mantra and the benefits to being under 5'7". 

What’s your best grooming tip?

JA: The Cockatiel!  My hair was always a bit of a challenge and then Johnny Gaita, a hair genius, blasted into my life and gave me the best hair ever!  Super short on the sides, a bit longer on top, voila, easy breezy perfection!  Simon has dubbed this haircut ‘The Cockatiel’ and it’s the answer for all men everywhere. 

SD: Every morning before charging off to work I look in the mirror and say ‘I have very beautiful lips!’ I saw this in a hilarious ‘70’s Mike Leigh movie called Abigail’s Party. One character teaches another how to put on lipstick. Before you apply it, you must look in the mirror and say, “I have very beautiful lips.” I do not actually apply any lipstick, but it makes me laugh and puts me in the right mood to face the day.

Which three products can’t you live without?

SD:  1. Anything Aesop. I love the tangerine and grapefruit rind moisturizers. I have to stop myself from eating them. 2. Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil: great for dry scalps, great for just sniffing. 3. Jonathan Adler 'tomato' handwash and moisturizer. It smells exactly like your grannies’ tomato plants.

JA: 1. I love Bumble & Bumble Grooming Creme because it keeps my tresses as sharp as they can be. 2.  I am a potter and my hands are always totally chapped and dry from the clay. Creme de Corps Moisturizer from Kiehl’s is thick and rich enough to battle dry potter’s hands.3.  Chapstick.  I’m an addict. 

How’d you get over a major insecurity in life?

SD: I used to worry about being short when I was a teenager, but I soon realized that being short was groovy: you always have extra leg room on a plane.

JA: I was always a bit insecure about being short (I’m 5’7”) and I got over it by marrying someone significantly shorter than myself.  It’s a good strategy: whatever you’re insecure about (height, intelligence, whatevs), just find a spouse who’s got it worse.  Voila! Only bummer about my spouse—who, in all honesty, is kind of perfect—is that he has the most perfect hair I’ve ever seen…and I don’t. His hair is Kennedy-esque and mine is a mess. At least I’m taller.