(Living Well With)

'Queer Eye' Jonathan Van Ness' Morning Ritual Is Exactly What You Think It Is

No one can wear a hot pink fuzzy sweater like Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness. Truly, it was the first thing I noticed when I hopped on a Zoom call with the vibrant Netflix star. That, and his signature well-coiffed beard and ear-to-ear grin. It's like his vivacious aura joins a conversation before he even utters a word.

That's not to say he doesn't do plenty of uttering. The hairstylist is an open book (he actually has a memoir appropriately named Over The Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love) — especially when it comes to his "adopted pet family" of five. Yes, five. As the latest partner of pet food brand Purina, Van Ness had lots to say about his fur-baby companions. Within the first two minutes of our interview I knew all about his four cats (and their "tum-tum issues"), newly adopted pup Pablo, and his pre-existing insecurities, and how Van Ness was learning to maintain a harmonious home with multiple animals amidst a global pandemic. Spoiler: It involves a ton of treats and spirited games of hide-and-seek. "I've learned a lot this year about expectations around pets," says Van Ness. "[...] A lot of pet owners don't realize you have to take time for them to play and engage with them."

The TV personality has also learned to make time for himself in this quiet year that found so many indoors. In addition to his skincare routine, which includes a jade roller (his can't live without), Van Ness has found comfort in the simple things like his morning interpretive dance parties and growing cookie habit. Below, as part of TZR's ongoing series Living Well With, Van Ness shares more about what makes him feel like his best self (even on the most hectic of days).

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What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I make coffee and I dance. I do a kind of interpretive dance on my Insta stories!

When you have the chance to treat yourself, what do you do?

I buy a purse. The last one I bought was Bottega Veneta.

What are you listening to these days?

Ariana [Grande's] new album.

One thing you can’t live without is...

My jade roller.

Where are you dreaming of traveling to? Why?

A turquoise beach somewhere because there's no internet there!

What’s your go-to secret weapon when you want to look and feel good?

Skin care. I know makeup is a go-to for everyone, but skin care can just balance your everything. It helps with redness and just makes you calm. When I really want to feel good, I just take time to do my skin care routine. If I only have time to floss and brush and run out the door with chapstick without putting oil on my brows to keep my lamination up, I feel all sorts of rushed and hectic. Having the time to do my basic skin are just makes me feel more confident and I look better all day.

Do you have a favorite workout/wellness practice?

Yoga, hands down.

What’s the best piece of relationship advice you’ve ever received?

Your relationship with yourself is the most important one you'll ever have.

What’s a healthy meal you always make or order?

Baked cookies. I can mess with a salad or do sweet potato and broccoli and chicken — that's fine. I guess I like some healthy stuff, too, but I'm going through this 33-year cookie obsession and I don't know when it's going to let up.

Do you remember your first big splurge? Do you still own it?

Yes. My first big splurge was a pair of gold Vetements lighter heels and I still have them.

What’s the small stress-saving luxury you swear by at home?

My Litter-Robot, for my animals. It's amazing. It's the best automatic litter box I've ever messed with. It looks like an egg and has a sensor for when your cat jumps out after going to the bathroom. It has a filter in it that spins around and clears waste clumps into an airtight compartment so your house doesn't smell like cats. It's $450 — she's expensive, but great. So, what you can do is send some Fancy Feast savory breakable snacks with the Litter Robot to the cat parent in your life if you really wanna splurge [this holiday season]!

What are you saving up for at the moment?

I actually bought a house! I can't believe I'm a home-owner, so I just want to pay this sucker off. So, let's not buy any more purses and not impulse buy anything else or adopt more cats or dogs, because they can get expensive if they get sick or whatever. I just really, really want to pay off my house.

I remember being 19, fresh out of hair school, and doing hair in Phoenix. I had so many clients lose their homes in the economic crash [of 2008]. This year, so many old co-workers and so many old clients are dealing with instability in housing and I think about that. I just want to give these cats, and this dog and myself and my family a home. That's my biggest goal.