Fresh from Strictly, in the best shape ever and ready to share her health and beauty secrets, Louise finally puts her feet up and chats to HELLO! To say it's been a busy few months for Louise Redknapp is putting it lightly. Fresh from a full series of Strictly Come Dancing, where she reached the final with her partner Kevin Clifton, Louise started a nationwide Strictly Live Tour and, as we chat to her, she is finally finding time to put her feet up and enjoy her free time again, despite having a rotten cold. The good news is that she wants to keep dancing, "I love it too much to give up and I intend to keep on dancing for fun and hopefully for work," she explained when we chatted. So with so any opportunities on the horizon, we wanted to know how she keeps her energy up for looking and feeling her best.
You were brilliant on Strictly and surprised even the harshest critics with your dancing, did you enjoy it?
"Do you know I did and I wasn't expecting to. I went into it purely for the experience. I have two boys at home and I hadn't done anything for ages, everybody thought it was a great idea but I was thinking that I'm not so sure and I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it. I think it reminded me how much I love to perform and why I got into show business. Over the years that can get very watered down because you have a family, or the work is not there or you become a certain age and so it's not feasible to be a pop star and before you know it you're working in an industry that you didn't set out to do. So going back and doing Strictly reminded me why I got into this industry; it's because I love singing and dancing. It brought back amazing memories for me."
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So I have to ask will you carry on singing and dancing?
"I think West End is the route that I'd love to go given the opportunity. I mean the opportunity might not be there..."
Oh it will be there, there is so much love and support for you …
"Thank you. When I was doing Strictly I was in a bit of a bubble, a bit like the home bubble I was in with my boys, so it was hard to believe that people were out there supporting me and wanting me to do things and people who had bought my record were voting for me. But doing the tour and turning up at an arena with nine thousand people in the audience makes you realise, when they call your name out at the end that you've won, that people have sat there and phoned up and voted for me out of all of these people; it has been amazing for my self esteem. So yes the West End is my goal. It's not about being famous, or earning money, it's about loving something."
Do you think that a name like yours on a West End billboard can bring in a whole new generation to enjoying theatre?
"I hope so because I was raised on going to the theatre as a treat for a special night out or birthday. And I take my boys all of the time and even though they love their football they also love going to the theatre and sit there mesmerised for the whole two hours, so that's definitely where I would love to end up."
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Are you in the best shape that you have ever been?
"Certainly in a long time, maybe not compared to when I was really young, but definitely since having children 100%. I think it's just the daily routine of dancing. The fittest I have ever been was during Strictly at the end as I was training up to twelve hours a day as we were doing two dances but, to be honest, since then I've been on the tour and we do like the odd glass of wine and tequila."
Talking of exercise what are you doing now that the tour has finished?
"I'm going to go back to my reformer Pilates because it strengthens and lengthens and it is great for my core. I work with an instructor who is a friend of mine called Sian Marshall at Core. I'm not a yoga person at all. But I'm also going to carry on dancing. I'm going to do some commercial, hip hop, street, stuff to keep fit. Me and Daisy are going to try to do it together. We've promised each other to try to get together once a week with the Strictly WhatsApp group and do a two hour dance class."
You are a new ambassador for Actimel, tell me more about it?
"It fits into my life and I actually do take it. I always have it in my fridge and I believe their ethos that looking and feeling good comes from within, especially at this time of year. For me coming off the back of Strictly and doing the tour I am pretty shattered so anything I can take to make myself feel better is great. I have them and my kids love them, for me it's a great snack on the go."
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You were recently featured in an online article as having the abs that every woman wants, did you see it?
"I didn't (laughing) but my husband rang me up to say how proud he was and how could he get abs like mine? To be honest they've gone a little bit since I've been on tour because, trust me, these guys love a glass of something. I keep saying, 'Honestly guys I'm going to go home fatter than when I started.'"
How do you keep your energy up to perform every night?
"I have a daily Actimel Multi Fruit and keep it on hand as a snack. And I drink lots of water and just try to eat a well rounded diet. I lost about a stone doing Strictly."
Do you have to watch what you eat?
"On tour I was eating anything and everything, but back home I am just careful what I eat. I try not to cut out entire food groups because in the past I've done the whole no carbs, no sugar, but I find it a quick fix and it doesn't last for me. I might lose a couple of pounds but it’s not sustainable and it's not fun; it's an unrealistic way to live. And you're forever chasing your tail trying to lose weight and putting it back on. So I just try really hard to not over eat. I have good and bad days but I just try not to overdo the amounts I eat. So if I'm having a Sunday roast I just have one roast potato and lots of veg, because I'm not somebody who can just eat anything and everything. And for me really consistent exercise does help me to keep the weight off."
What would I always find in your make-up bag?
"My Wild About Beauty bronzer. At this time of year I need a bit of bronzer and I don’t do the heavy fake tan. My Wild About Beauty Concealer is essential after so any late nights performing. It has olive oil in it so it never cracks or sits in my lines. And Skin Soothe purely because I have so much make-up on when I perform that when I take it off at the end of the night I feel like I need some goodness on my face and it soaks in. At night I'm also really loving Sunday Riley Lunar Night Oil it's lovely."
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How do you take off your make-up after coming off stage?
"I use a really good foaming wash from REN. For me less is more when it comes to my skin and if I overthink it, it tends to break out. So I like to keep my routine simple."
How do you prevent breakouts?
"I love Dr Prenna Jones' The Formula as it really gets the grime out. A lot of people tell me that I've got great skin but a lot of it is due to her; she has been looking after my skin for twelve years now since I had my eldest son, which is when I got my bad pigmentation. She is the only one I trust to get my pigmentation under control and she really sorted me out. In one treatment she halved it. So now I always use a high SPF 50 on my face and I like the one from Lancaster."
What’s your biggest beauty bugbear?
"I'm not a fake tan fan, I hate the smell."
How do you look after your hair?
"I love Oribe Texturising Spray from Space NK, it really adds volume. I've been seeing Billie Curry for years for my cut and Tom Smith for my colour; I think colour is so important as you get older to get the right tone for my skin. I keep it dark at the roots and then I like the ends to be picked up. I describe it as that Brazilian beach colour."
Last song you danced to?
"It was Uptown Funk with Ore on the dance floor, that was our warm up. It's the longest song in the world and we use it as a test to get through it marching."
What would I always find on your bedside table?
"Always a book, the last one I read was one that Will Young bought me called Tarka the Otter."
What makes you happy?
"Dancing - and my family."
Fresh Faced and Fabulous
We asked Louise to spill her feeling good and fitness make-up and skin care bag for a quick fix healthy glow.
- Wild About Beauty Smooth Cover Concealer Kit in Medium, £19.50, visit myshowcase.com
- Actimel, £3.50, for twelve
- Wild About Beauty Golden Skin Glow, £22
- Wild About Beauty Sheer Glow Moisture Tint, £22
- Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, £85, visit cultbeauty.co.uk
- Weleda Skin Food, £10.95, visit weleda.co.uk
- Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, £41, from Space NK
- REN Evercalm Cleansing Gel, £15, from M&S Beauty
- Dr Frances Prenna Jones Formula, £149, visit drfrancesprennajones.com