Keke Palmer Needs Three Alarms to Wake Up

Keke Palmer Needs Three Alarms to Wake Up


No one is going to keep Keke Palmer down. The newly minted Olay beauty ambassador, recent “Hustlers” actress, co-host on the third hour of “Good Morning America” and R&B singer (her “Better to Have Loved” track has racked up 12 million views on YouTube) wakes up before dawn — albeit with the boost of three morning alarms — to conquer a multitude of genres.

Still, Ms. Palmer, 26, is not letting the sway of fame get in the way of her social media authenticity. “I think of social media as this opportunity to show that you’re down to earth,” she said.

I work out at 5 a.m., so I get up an hour before I have to leave for work. I don’t pop right up. There is absolutely no popping up going on. I do what I call alarm intervals. If I have to get up at 5, I set alarms for 4:15, 4:45 and 5 a.m. I need at least three moments of: “Oh, you thought you were going to get me up? Nice try. Try again.” I like to feel like I’m super in control, and if I’m forced to get up on the first alarm, it’s like life is not fair.

In my workouts I’m definitely focusing on the glutes, the quads — basically the bottom half. I’m not leaving everything else hanging, of course, but I’m a strong believer that the bottom half really affects your calories and how much you’re gaining.

After that, I move to my arms — a lot of push-ups and weight exercises. I don’t do heavy weights because I don’t like my arms super-toned. I end up with an ab workout: plank, obliques, side plank, more weight stuff.

I have to be back at my apartment by 6 a.m. at the latest, and then I shower. I’m a body wash person. I’m using my Olay cleansing and brightening body wash with vitamin C. On an extra-dry New York day, I do the Olay body conditioner, which is like a rinse-off lotion you put on in the shower. People are always talking about what they put on their face, but I think the body is just as important. You want the same great things you put on your face.

I use Cantu shampoo and conditioner, and sometimes the hair mask. There might be some shaving going on — maybe, maybe not. Then it’s brushing with my Sensodyne toothpaste, and I put on my Laneige lip mask morning and night. Then I’m out the door.

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Credit…Nathan Bajar for The New York Times

Usually I’m going straight to the set where I’m getting plenty of makeup put on me. If I’m not working, then nine times out of 10 I’m not wearing makeup. But if I’m going out on a date or going out with friends, I use Tom Ford foundation — it’s pretty light — and a MAC concealer. If I’m trying to be a little spicy, I use a Buxom lip gloss for the shine. Or I might do a Dior Lip Glow for a light tint. I love those Lip Glows.

I’m into a very, very natural brow. If it’s too thick, it becomes, “Keke, what the hell are you doing?” I fill them in and brush them up with Anastasia eyebrow gel. When it’s my own downtime, I want a very understated look.

I think I’m pretty genuine about it. If I’m out and about and someone takes a picture, I don’t care if I don’t have makeup on. I try not to take a lot of pictures when I’m out with my friends because it’s not fair to them, and I want to be there and present.

But the idea that you have to look perfect on social media all the time? I really let go of that years ago. Instead I lean into the fact that I’m not perfect and phenomenal all the time. That made me a lot freer. Recently I had a really bad breakout. It was kicking my behind as far as my mood goes. I just focus on the good part of my days and feel O.K. sharing when it’s not great.

At the end of the day, I really need to take a lot of makeup off. I use Tata Harper cleansing oil. It works so well. After that, boom, my face is clean. If I have an acne breakout, I have these really cool things called Zitstickas. They’re little stickers you put on the breakout, and I feel like they do work.

For years I was using the Mario Badescu drying lotion, and it works too, but I’m changing it up. I also like Dr. Dennis Gross two-step wipes. Recently, because of my breakouts, I had to stop a lot of what I was using. I’m going to a dermatologist soon to sort it all out.

I’ve been wearing this Hermès scent lately. It’s the best smelling fragrance I’ve ever experienced in my life. Girl, I am just thrilled. I found it at the airport on my way to Amsterdam. It’s called Musc Pallida. It’s very feminine but not floral. It’s more of a powdery smell.

At a certain point of my life, I was crazy about my diet. I was eating flavorless foods and nuts and berries and grains — like a squirrel. I looked great, but it was pretty intense. Now I try to stay away from fried food, though every now and then French fries make their way through, and I try not to eat street food. Otherwise, I eat almost everything, and my diet is not crazy. My typical breakfast would be eggs, veggies and turkey bacon. You can be healthy but not harp about it.

This past year I decided that I have to practice self-love even more. So every Monday, I get a massage at Haven at a specific time that no one can interrupt. I also have a facial at Haven every other week.

And then getting your nails done! Sometimes I do nail art, sometimes it’s just classic and simple. For me, getting my nails done is a true “me time” moment.



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