Karen Clifton: ‘Why I’m in the best shape of my life’
Karen Clifton is single and fabulous! As she embarks on her tour with an incredible new look, she told us all about why she’s in the best shape of her life.
Strictly Come Dancing dancer Karen Clifton looks glam even when she’s dressed down without her stage makeup on. At the moment she’s wowing audiences across the UK shaking her perfect bod in sequins and ruffles, on tour in the Karen and Kevin Tour 2018, with her ex-husband Kevin Clifton from whom she split in March.
Lumity Life magazine caught up with a chatty Karen to find out how we can get her fab figure – as seen below at the recent BAFTA TV ceremony and picture perfect skin and hair.
This is the second interview in a three-part series. Don’t forget to catch up on the first and find out why Karen says she loves doughnuts!
How do you make sure you eat well when shows and touring mean you eat a lot away from home and also have little time?
You have to make sure you have all the fruits around and lots of almonds! It’s about making the right decisions. Sometimes it is really easy to go for the easy things, like crisps and chocolate but you have to be more mindful.
How do you do that?
I make sure I carry around healthy things, like some humus with carrots and almonds and of course lots of water. But I always add a little chocolate in there! You must pick stuff you really like, I really love blueberries, strawberries, grapes, lots of bananas but my favourite is almonds. When I am working on a show I will keep picking at them all day, they are so easy.
Your body is your career – do you worry you’ll get injured?
Yes, it’s a big worry for dancers. Even if you get a pulled muscle you push through. I’m 36 now and I really feel I’m in the best shape of my life, I feel much better now than I used to when I was younger. Maybe I am being smarter about what I do and how I warm up? It is one of those things that you are more careful and you think about things more as you get older. I’m often repeating movements so much there are times when you can pull muscles you wouldn’t have pulled before. I’m more conscious of that – an injury is not something a dancer ever wants!
How do you feel about ageing?
I’m liking the face I’m getting as I get older! I’m wiser, definitely, and I know how my body changes now and how it reacts and responds to certain things. I do I feel the older I get, the more I know how I manage the machine that I make and I know how to better take care of it. I come from a very active family.
My brother does triathlons, my sister does workouts at home, my mum loves yoga and running, it’s one of those things that my family are focused on body and health – which I have got as part of my life too. I love the fact I’m ageing, I think it’s something you should embrace – but only if you are taking care of yourself. It’s important to be aware of the body you have and how to get the best out of it.
How do you look after your hair and keep it in good condition as it gets really heavily styled?
I always keep it really well conditioned. In the industry I’m in I am always straightening my hair or curling it so I have to protect it with thermal sprays and masks. Using coconut oil is also fabulous, I use it to take off makeup and also to put it on my dead ends on my hair once a week – which really hydrates the hair. It’s just great – put it on and leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash it out. It’s that easy, I just put it onto my tips of my hair, avoid the roots, and leave for half an hour then shampoo as usual and it feels awesome. Coconut oil is the best thing ever.
How do you keep your skin in good condition when you have to often wear heavy makeup?
I don’t like wearing that much makeup on everyday basis. Obviously on Strictly and on tour I have to wear heavy makeup which clogs my pores and mean my skin will sometimes react to that. I usually wear light makeup and I never go to sleep with makeup on. I love using oils on my skin as well and I try to drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. I think for good skin sleep is a major, major thing. I know I should get more but I try to get at least 6-8 hours. Sleep plays a major part in how well all of your body repairs.
What’s the best piece of beauty advice you have been given?
To sleep! And drink water. I love my coffee – I can drink about ten cups a day- but that is awful for my skin and means I can’t get to sleep. I think it’s getting some sleep and drinking water right before you go to bed, that’s one of the best things I think I can do for my skin.