The first thing you notice about Lisa Luckett is her openness. She wants to tell her story, and she wants to hear yours, too. And her story is an inspiring one. On 9/11, she lost her husband, Teddy, and in an instant, became a single mother to three young children. Her memoir, The Light in 9/11: Shocked by Kindness, Healed by Lovechronicles her journey from mourning her loss to using it as a catalyst to make meaningful changes in her life. She also founded Cozmeena Enlightened Living, a lifestyle brand devoted to helping people live calmer, more peaceful, and meaningful lives.

The second thing you notice about Lisa Luckett is her amazing skin. How she got it is partly due to genetics, but there’s a post-9/11 self-care component in there, too. We talked to Lisa about her skincare journey, and how her daily routine has been, and continues to be, a grounding force in her life. 

What Is Your Morning Routine? 

I’m a really routine person. I get up, I brush my teeth, I splash my face with water, and I put on a moisturizer and an oil. And then I go work out. After that, I jump in the shower and wash my hair. When I get out, I put on a toner, then a serum, and then a moisturizer with a drop of facial oil in it. And then a little bronzer. I get a lot of compliments on that, that combination seems to work. I’m 59, and I have genetically really good skin from my family on both sides. I’m very lucky that way. And I take that totally for granted, of course.

I’m a Virgo, so I need to check boxes. In order to feel good, I need to cross the Ts and dot the Is. Then I can be fully in my day. Otherwise I feel out of balance. Now I’m in a place where I’m post-menopause, so my skin is really dry. If I don’t moisturize, I really feel it. And I use eye cream too, once or twice a day.

When Did You Become Interested in Skincare? 

My grandmother was a fussy, negative, and critical person but no one could deny she was a beautiful woman. Highly vain as a result, she was meticulous about her skin care. When I would visit her in Colorado growing up, I remember sitting in the bathroom for hours, watching her “do her face.” I can still smell the cold cream she used to remove her makeup. And watch her open jars and bottles of cosmetics. What I gleaned from her was an early skin care routine. In 7th grade, I started putting petroleum jelly on my face. Morning and night. My mom was not of the same mindset and wasn’t going to spring for any kind of real products, so that’s what I used. And then as time went on, when I got to college, the girls who had money were using Clinique. I started using Clinique later, but in college I couldn’t really afford it so I used Olay.

Post 9/11, I went for a facial that a friend had given me because of Teddy. I remember I was in this studio and there were all these warm orange lights over the bed and I was tucked in like a cocoon and she worked on my face. I’d had facials before but I’ve never had them at that stage of emotion. That was in January of 2002, and it was the first time I was warm in months. 

When you lose your partner in bed, you lose being warm. You lose that body connection. And let me tell you—that is brutal. And that’s what every widow goes through—man or woman. So that warmed me up. My son would do gymnastics across the street once a week and I would go for a facial at that time because I had a baby and there was a babysitter. It became this segue into this routine that I’ve never stopped. I don’t do the facials as much now, but those eight weeks got me through that winter.

What’s Your Nightly Routine? 

I should do more, but I usually just rinse my face and blot it dry. Then I use a different serum and a night cream, and either the same oil or a different oil. I use oils a lot–I’ve used them for a long time. I find them to be really nice. And oils are not that expensive. It just seems to add that level of moisture to your moisturizer that keeps you hydrated longer.

How About Makeup? 

For makeup, I just use bronzer. Maybe a little bronzer blush. If I have to go somewhere, I’ll use some mascara, but it tends to make me itchy so I don’t use it a lot. My makeup use has changed so much over time. When I became a full-time mom, I stopped wearing makeup, which was really nice. It was extraordinarily liberating. Once you get used to seeing your eyes without makeup, it’s okay. But they definitely look better with a little bit of makeup.

What Do You Do for Self-Care? 

I exercise at least five days a week. I meditate. I try to be peaceful. And I do yoga—a lot of yoga.