Sultry Clarion Chukwurah may have burst onto our screens in the early eighties as a fresh faced actress (Money Power, Abuja Connection, Oduduwa and the unforgettable Mirror in the Sun) but even today, at 47 (now 50), the very talented and beautiful thespian still turns heads, wherever she goes. The beautiful actress, businesswoman and mother of two children (her elder son is uber-music director Clarence Peters) took time out of her busy schedule to give us some of her secrets to looking so good.
Tell me about three beauty makeup items that you can’t do without? And why?
I really love the Kosmea range. I don’t think I could do without that range. I love the Skin Clinique which is a hydrating skin oil, very good for my dry skin. They also have DNA Repair ointment which is good when I travel, especially in winter, as the air is extra dry. Their moisturizers are so good for me because they are all inclusive hydrator for dry skins. I even love their hand lotions and hands washes…I can’t do without the whole range.
Finally, the third thing I can’t do without would be the MAC cosmetics range. Their foundations, powders, eye shadows, the whole lot, I love…(laughs). I like the range because they are all just perfect for me, I always find the perfect colour and texture. I use the simply Mac Foundation MC 50 and it goes perfectly with my complexion.
Are there any beauty products that you would NEVER do/use…why?
I have to say I would always stay away from Vitamin E oils or products containing mainly Vitamin E. I have used Vitamin E before and for me, it gives my skin a rather dull, shallow look. Not the normal glow that one would want. So no, I wouldn’t use Vitamin E.
What is your skincare regime? What do you do to your skin from the minute you wake up till you go to bed?
My skin regime is actually quite simple. I use my Adure Herbal Soap by Clear Essence and then I use my Kosmea moisturizer. I may or may not use makeup, depending on what I am doing on that day and where I am going. If I decide not to wear makeup which I do often, then that’s it. For my pm routine I always have a bath at the end of the day. I actually really like bath soaking at the end of a tough day, so I might do that and then I cleanse my skin with the Kosmea Clarifying Facial Wash or Clear Essence Herbal Soap. I would then use QE 1plus Night Cream, which has carrot oils in it. And that’s it for the day.
What makeup brands do you like and use –foundation, mascara, lippy, etc. Why?
I simply love MAC. I used to use Mary Kay until about six years ago. MK just didn’t rock for me anymore and I found that MAC addresses all my problems and I love the whole range.
What’s your skin type (dry, oily, combi, normal)? What are the particular challenges that you face because of this?
I have dry skin. For a long time I didn’t even quite know what kind of skin I had and how to address and deal with it. My skin was dry, in parts chaffing and then I had constant itchiness. Then I decided to see a specialist, a dermatologist and get tested and this was where I was told exactly what my skin type was and how to deal and come to terms with it. Today, my skin glows because I have come to terms with it being dry. I think one really good trick I learnt was to use a lot of moisturizing cream soaps, I never use harsh medicated soaps.
Do you have facials? Why do you have them, what do you feel they do for you? Where? How often?
I do have facials, at least once every three months. I used to go more often but since my skin has calmed down and I’m doing the right things for it, I know my skin now, I don’t have to go for facial as often. I’ve always been to Toyin Alakiu’s Fresh Look Spa for facials. I don’t know the products she uses and I leave that to her because she is the professional and very capable. I’ve been going there for ages.
Do you diet?
I don’t over eat. I realize also that there are a lot of things that you can get away with eating when you are young that you cannot do when you are older. I don’t eat solid starchy goods, like eba, iyan…I’ve discovered that by the time I started approaching 40 it was just difficult to lose weight. I mean, you have to be disciplined (laughs) but that’s the price you pay to look good. I eat green salads or fruit salads twice, every day. I usually have a pawpaw, orange and water melon fruit salad or a lettuce, egg, chicken or croaker fish salad, with olives. I also drink a lot of herbal tea.
How do you keep your body looking good?
I do have a month of detox every three months.
Can you explain?
Yes, it’s when I have mainly herbal teas for the whole day and very little solid foods. If I have anything solid it will be something very light, like mashed potatoes. I buy a tea called Wholely Tea and I get it from Canada. It’s specifically for detoxifying the body of all the accumulated toxins and such from the body. I usually buy enough to last me up to six months or more. I also have a personal Detox Machine.
Really? The kind you hook yourself up to?
Yes. It has some straps. You place your feet into a bowl of water and then strap the links to your body and switch it on, it’s electric. You sit with your feet in the bowl for about thirty minutes, and I am telling you at the end of thirty minutes all the toxins from your kidney, liver, everything is expelled in the water through your feet.
Really? Is there a specific reason why you have invested in a detoxifying machine?
I have to confess, I used to be a really heavy smoker when I was younger but I have gradually stopped. I first got down to just the relaxing stick or two at the end of the day but I’ve made up my mind that I need a total wellness and giving up smoking is one way to achieving that. So I believe that the detox machine helps clean out all the organs. I also take my vitamins, Wellwoman and Perfectil which are multivitamins specially formulated for women.
Do you exercise or go to the gym? Why?
I exercise but I don’t go to the gym. I did all that years ago but I find it a little tedious. I do aerobics in my bedroom every morning immediately after my morning meditation. Part of my background is theatre arts and dance. I just put the music on, I don’t use any aerobics DVD, I just do all the moves and exercises. I do it religiously every morning and they are exercises that I have actually been doing since I was young anyway. So, it’s really like a second nature just follow parts of my dance routine and it works at keeping the weight off.
What’s your dress size?
I’m a U.K, size 12.
How do you relax?
I like watching movies and things like crime investigation and The History Channel.
I love bath soaks. For me, that’s a real luxury…I get the scented candles, Airpure and Radox Bubble Bath. I also like ones by Olay, very vanilla or strawberry and then I will just relax in the bath, it really relaxes me.
What is your favourite perfume?
I love everything Kenzo…all of them Flower, Amour, Jungle…all of them, I like (laughs). I also like Marc Jacob’s Lola. I like Elizabeth Arden’s Provocative Woman.
What about your favourite colour?
I like pink. Honestly, I just like pink. Every time I wear pink I feel angelic and pretty. I feel as if I have the whole world in the palm of my hands.
Are you a lipstick or lip-gloss girl?
When I don’t wear makeup I’m fine to wear lip gloss but when you are all dressed up, the lipstick completes the look. So, I prefer lipstick and I wouldn’t mind wearing lip-gloss over the lipstick.
What things do you like doing to your hair?
I like extensions, the human hair. It’s easily manageable, even though my hair is medium long. I like the look of extensions and also because of the kind of work I do. I like the Yaki Gold. I’m not a fan of Brazilian weaves, the texture is too far removed from our own African permed hair. I like braids but I had a not too nice experience with braids where the front of my hair just fell off. I think the stress of the braids was too much so, I don’t do braids as much anymore. I do my hair at Bobby’s Signature.
What’s the favourite clothing article in your wardrobe?
I can’t say I like one particular brand…For me, I like things because of the way they look and fit. I like pants a lot, and I have a few pairs that I love because of how well they fit.
What’s the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
I’ve got a few expensive things like my French laces and jewelry, but I think I still have to say my ball gowns. Some of them are bespoke…I have a seamstress in the UK, an Indian that makes some dresses for me and they aren’t cheap.
Do you have a fashion fetish?
Maybe shoes. I don’t go overboard. I’d say I have, maybe about 60 pairs. But I like shoes and tend to buy quite a lot from Aldo. I like them because they are stylish and comfortable and you can get matching purses.
Do you have a fashion icon?
No, I wouldn’t say so…the thing is I think I am my own brand and what I like depends on my mood. I like my own presence, carriage and confidence to shine through.
Are there any fashion designers that you like?
Honestly, I can’t really say one person. In the good old days when I was in Mirror in the Sun, Dakova used to make clothes for me. I really loved his things. But these days my taste is quite varied and I never stick to one style or kind of clothing. It really depends on how I feel. Although when it comes to jeans it has always been Calvin Klein for me.
What will you NOT be caught dead wearing?
Full bodied full panties…hahaha! They just look old fashioned. Also I would never wear outlandishly coloured wigs as Clarion Chukwurah. Obviously, I have worn crazy coloured wigs as a character, I might play in a movie but never as myself.
Would plastic surgery ever be an option for you? Why or why not?
I don’t think plastic surgery would ever be an option for me. I love me and I love my face. I remember once I had just fake eyelashes on and I hated it. I hated the way I looked and the way it felt, very unnatural and uncomfortable…(Laughs). I don’t think there is anything about me I would want to change or alter. I know what my mother looked like at 60, so I know exactly what I am going to look like at 60 and I can certainly live with that. But seriously, Caucasian women might need plastic surgery because their skin tends to sag prematurely but I think that African women, black women don’t really have that problem. Even with all the beauty products and cosmetics in the market, I think black women genetically have really good skin.
- DESOLA BAKARE