Watching Natalie Morales crack jokes with Matt Lauer or sprint across the Today show set in her pencil skirt and high heels, you’d never guess that the fresh-faced TV host (and mom of a newborn and a 5-year-old) has a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call and is lucky to grab three hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time. Sure, caffeine helps. But it takes a whole bag of sneaky beauty tips to look this flawless when you’re running on empty. Read on for her foolproof beauty routine.
Eat a healthy breakfast
“I feel better all day if I start off by eating healthy. Breakfast is simple: multigrain toast with natural peanut butter, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, or healthy cereal. I avoid refined sugar—can’t risk the crash—and stick to honey and agave. During the show I nibble on fruits and veggies; I may have a doughnut, too, but I try to avoid them. That and a good dose of Al Roker’s humor and I’m jazzed for hours.”
De-puff and conceal
“You could pack for a trip to Europe with the bags under my eyes! I use an eye gel before I leave the house, so I don’t have puffy eyes and eye drops to deal with redness. The makeup artist on set erases my dark circles with a stick concealer. When I started on local news, I used to wear the lightest shade of concealer, thinking it would counteract dark circles—big mistake. Now I wear subtle colors that warm up my skin.”
Make your eyes pop with color
“Mary Kahler, an amazing makeup artist for Today, taught me that I can wear pretty much any color as long as it’s blended well. She also showed me how to make my hazel eyes look even more wide-open by using a light green on my lids and a slightly deeper shade along the crease.”
“A bit of sheer gold or white highlighter under my brows and in the inner corners of my eyes brightens up my entire face. But the real secret is using white eyeliner across my lower lash line—it makes me look like I’ve had eight hours of sleep.”
Bolster your brows
“I have crazy eyebrows, so it’s crucial to tame them. Just like your hair, they set off your features. I fill them in with powder—it works best since it doesn’t look painted on and it’s easier to control than a pencil.”
“Thick makeup dulls your complexion. To look fresh, you need a lightweight liquid base that creates a dewy finish. And since I play up my eyes, the rest of my makeup stays simple—just fresh blush and a nude gloss.”
Squeeze in a daily workout
“Exercising keeps my energy up and helps me sleep better at night. It may be a short run when I pick up my son from school or a few squats while I’m holding the baby. I also have regular one-hour workouts five days a week. My new routine involves running or a class that mixes yoga, Pilates, ballet, and strength training. Mixing it up keeps my muscles challenged.”
Clean and scrub
“The first thing I do after work is take off my TV makeup with a gentle cleanser. I also try to exfoliate twice a week. Waking up with dull, flaky skin is no way to start the day.”
Check out the 7 beauty products Natalie can’t live without.
Liesa Goins Liesa Goins is a senior editor at Women’s Health magazine.
It wasn’t long ago that our beloved TODAY co-host Natalie Morales moved west to sit alongside Kit Hoover on “Access Hollywood Live.” And although she’s handled the transition quite flawlessly, there are some obvious differences that have occurred in her morning routine since swapping time zones. When she’s not rushing around trying to finalize scripts before going on the air, Natalie is running the canyon trails, eating avocados for breakfast and enjoying the always-sunny skies of California.
We caught up with Natalie to find out how she’s been adjusting to life on the West Coast as part of our Morning Routine series.
Courtesy of Natalie Morales
How has your morning routine changed since moving to California?
I’m still waking up early — sometimes even earlier for TODAY show hits. That can be a 2:30-3 a.m. wake-up call. But the rest of the week I get up at 4:45 a.m. and I’m out the door by 5:15 a.m. As I drive to work, I have my Sirius station programmed to the TODAY show channel 108 so I don’t miss out on anything.
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When I arrive at “Access,” we have a morning meeting to talk about the show and prep for upcoming guests. I then get show ready and read through the day’s news. “Access Live” is up at 8 a.m. Pacific time.
Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover chat with Charlie Puth on set.Courtesy of Natalie Morales
When the show is over, we prep for the night show, “Access Hollywood,” and work on scripts. My day is usually over around 1:30 p.m., but I usually have a few shoots a week for the TODAY show after “Access” wraps up. I’m busier than ever, but also love my new life in sunny Cali.
RELATED: Wake up like Natalie! Make her daily breakfast drink
What can you tell us about your new workout routine?
I love that I never have to run on a treadmill again! I hike a few times a week with my buddy Kit Hoover at one of the canyon trails nearby. I run outside all the time in my neighborhood. I also take some great workout classes, like Orangetheory, which is a combo of cardio and weights. I try to squeeze a little exercise in at least 5-6 times a week.
What’s the one breakfast item you can’t live without now that you’re in LA?
Avocados! On toast or with lemon and cayenne, with eggs… Nothing is more satisfying than avocado and there is no shortage of it here in California. Also, during every morning prelive show, Kit and I get a kale green smoothie that has a ginger kick to it.
Natalie welcomes Jason Derulo to set at Access Hollywood. Courtesy of Natalie Morales
RELATED: The one move that helps Natalie Morales turn a bad morning into a great one
What’s it like waking up in warm, sunny California weather every day?
I feel so blessed every day I wake up and see the sun. It’s true what they say that the sunshine and lack of affects you emotionally. I definitely am getting used to a beautiful day, every day… The only thing I’m missing? Wearing chunky knit sweaters and coats, but the nice thing is it still cools down a lot at night so I can break out some of them in the evening.
RELATED: Congratulations, Natalie Morales! TODAY anchor to head west for new role
Natalie and Anthony Anderson share a laugh while on set! Courtesy of Natalie Morales
What has surprised you most about being on West Coast time?
Well it’s not surprising, but it seems like the whole world operates on East Coast time… So I’ll wake up to over a hundred emails and so much to do before I even get out the door. It’s hard keeping up sometimes with the time zones.
Dainty purses won’t do for Natalie Morales, coanchor of Today (NBC, 7 A.M. weekdays). With two kids (sons Josh, 10, and Luke, 6, with investment consultant husband Joe Rhodes, 44) and frequent assignments on the road, she says her carryall “has got to be functional.” The star gives Us the inside scoop on her Tumi satchel.
“Whether I’m away for a story or running around Manhattan, I stock up on travel-size cans of Oribe hair spray. It’s my favorite. I have three different kinds in here right now!”
The Bite Stuff
“I’m a snacker, so there tends to always be a half-eaten Clif Bar at the bottom of my bag.”
Mike McGregor/Getty Images
“My Eileen Fisher cashmere gloves were an emergency purchase. They’re so comfortable! I also have tech-touch gloves for when I am covering a story outside and need to use my phone.”
“As I get older, I’m noticing dark spots on my face. I’m crazy about putting on Naturopathica Lavender Protective sunscreen all year long, not just in the summer.”
“If something touches me, I’ll take it with me. I have this Chilean flag that one of the families gave me when I covered the Copiapo mining accident in 2010. It reminds me how lucky I am to do this job.”
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Natalie Morales Out as ‘Access’ Anchor
About a month after longtime executive producer Rob Silverstein was let go at Access and Access Live, anchor Natalie Morales is following him out the door.
Morales is out at Access, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed, but is staying with NBC News as Today West Coast anchor and Dateline correspondent.
Co-anchor Kit Hoover is staying with Access and will anchor the show solo for the time being. Scott Evans will also remain as co-host of Access Live.
Morales joined the twin syndicated shows in 2016.
In a memo to staff on his last day, Silverstein — who had been with what was then called Access Hollywood since the show’s inception in 1996 — said his creative vision for the shows “differs from the management team.” Maureen FitzPatrick, whose work on syndicated strips includes The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Hot Bench and Daily Blast Live, is taking over as executive producer of the two programs.
Both Access shows average about 2 million viewers, putting them in the middle of the pack among the entertainment-focused syndicated shows. Entertainment Tonight, which invented the genre, remains the leader with about 4.8 million daily viewers.
Morales sent the following memo to the Access staff.
To my dear Access family:
And I do mean family! I have had a wonderful 3 years here with you and will treasure the memories and good times! Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and for always bringing your A-game. I have so much to be grateful for and can’t name all of you… but I do have to especially thank Kit, Scott, Sibley and Liliana for making it always a fun day “at work.” And thanks to our incredible producers, crew, assistants, wardrobe, hair and makeup teams.. I mean truly, I have a long list and hope to thank you each personally. Keep being the little engine that could!
As an Air Force brat who has had to say goodbye one too many times in my life … I prefer to say see you all later … and by later I mean on the next red carpet or on the lot! I’m just a few studio gates away after all. Please stay in touch!
All my best.
How Natalie Morales Has Time to Host the Today Show and Run Marathons
Never mind that as the Today show’s news anchor she gets up at 4:00 a.m.-Natalie Morales is the picture of put-together on the air. “Lots of depuffing eye cream and a hair and makeup team,” she confesses. But the newshound is more than our gorgeous go-to for the morning download: Morales shares a love of all things fitnessy and inspires us to bring on athletic challenges. Her can-do philosophies will work for you, too. (Get inspired to hit the gym with The Best Celebrity Fitness Instagrams of 2014.)
There Is Time to Exercise- Just Keep Looking
Morales has run six marathons, seven half-marathons, and “some triathlons.” She’s also a hardworking mom of two, so you do the math and figure how many spare hours she has in a day. Obviously, she’s a pro at finding time to train. When she and Weekend Today’s Erica Hill signed up to cohost the More/Fitness/Shape Women’s Half Marathon this past April, Morales got her runs in after work at around 2:00 p.m.; Hill logged hers at 4:45 a.m. between jetting to assignments. “We couldn’t meet up for a run,” Hill says. “But still, it makes a big difference knowing you’re not alone.”
“Modify, Modify, Modify”
That, in a word, is how Morales kept off the sidelines in her years as Today’s resident distance runner. “Use a training plan as a guide, but listen to your body,” she says. She learned that lesson the hard way and has been nursing an injured hamstring since running the Boston Marathon in 2014. “I pushed myself too hard before I was really ready,” Morales recalls. On the other hand, don’t hold back when it’s show- time. “I always try to PR!”
Have a Plan B
News breaks can really mess with your schedule, so Morales has mastered the art of improvising. “I never get enough sleep,” she admits. A missed bedtime? “I catch up on zzz’s on weekends.” No hotel gym? “I’m a big fan of workout apps like Nike+ Training Club and one for yoga.” On-the-fly breakfasts? “I blend a green smoothie, with spinach, frozen mango, mint, ginger, coconut water, regular water, and a sliver of avocado for creaminess.” Working- mom beauty regimen? “I go au naturel-no makeup-on weekends. Being beautiful inside-being a good person-that’s what radiates on the outside.”
Want more from Morales? Watch her discuss her Shape article on the Today show!
- By Sara Angle