Love Ciara as much as we do? Find out what Allure discovered when they interviewed the Grammy Award-winning singer.
Ciara is what we call in the performance world a triple threat: She sings; she dances; she acts. And now she can add hot mama to her résumé. The Grammy Award-winning artist is truly inspiring, which is why Degree Women nabbed her as their spokeswoman for their Improvers, a campaign to motivate women to push their boundaries and reach their goals. I caught up with Ciara last week to find out what inspires her.
So, everyone at Allure begged me to find out about your fitness routine or else I wouldn't be let back in the office. Tell me your secrets! "Aw, that's hilarious! Thank you, guys. I work out with my trainer, Gunnar Peterson, one hour a day, five days a week. It's a lot of plyometrics and weight training. We do things that cater to who I am as a performer — so keeping the stamina going, keeping my heart rate up, so that I'm prepared when I get onstage. It's a really intense workout that's all about targeting all those areas that need to be targeted."
Do you like working out, or is it something you have to force yourself to do? "I love it! I couldn't wait to workout after my pregnancy. I was like, Please tell me I can go back. Something about working out makes me feel like I can conquer anything and makes me ready to face the world."
And your abs — they're superhuman. Is there anything you do specifically to tone them? "You know what it is? Always hold in your stomach while you're training. It makes a world of difference. We don't do, like, 25 of this move and 25 of that move. It's more about focusing on the overall body and having a good balance of cardio and squeezing your abs tight all the time while you're working out. You do that and your abs will start to show."
How does your background as a dancer influence your workout? "It's a part of who I am. I'm very athletic, so dancing is athleticism in its own way. I think it's just that natural thing of how you have to move — you have to move just as much when you're training and, actually, even more when I'm dancing than when I'm training."
I used to dance, and I'm always amazed how people can dance and sing at the same time. "It's a challenge. But it's a good one. And sometimes you have to sacrifice that move to hit that note. It's about the balance of it all."
Speaking of balance, do you have any guilty pleasures? "I love watching those reality housewife shows — I really do! I have, like, five of them on TiVo, and I rotate through all of them. I just sit there and get a good laugh from all of the crazy drama in their lives. It's crazy because I could never have friendships like the women have on those shows. I don't understand how they can argue that much. Gee whiz! But I guess that's part of the casting, that you have all these different personalities. But it makes for good TV for me, and it's just easy watching."
I understand you're going to be on an episode for MTV's House of Style. That's exciting! "Yeah! We just filmed a few days ago in Los Angeles. It was cool because we do a recap of the style evolution of my stage-performance looks. We brought in some of my team players, some of the people who help me bring my vision onstage. It was really fun — and funny! There are some really cool moments when you get to see the process behind how some of the outfits came to be."
I've always been a fan of your style. How has it changed over the years? "Oh my god, tremendously! The thing is, when I was staring out, I loved fashion, and I loved clothes, but I didn't really have the appreciation of the art and the process that I have now. I can look at some shoes or a shirt and sometimes say I know what collection they're from. And, I'm more expressive; I'm way more open-minded, and I challenge myself more nowadays."
Has anything changed about your style since you became a mom? "Nope! To be honest, I think you can't overthink style. Being a mom, that's just a part of who I am, and I want to keep the same edge. I want to keep it young and fresh and stay true to who I am. There's no need to change."
Do you have any style icons? "Carine Roitfeld. She's very amazing and chic and powerful and just a cool lady. And her body is crazy! She takes care of her body very well."
Tell me about Degree's Do:More campaign and how you got involved. "About two years ago, Degree Women asked me to work with them on this campaign, which is about inspiring and encouraging women to do more of what they love. I was honored. It's something that I really relate to because in my world, it's all about figuring out how to juggle everything and still achieve my goals and to really do more, so the partnership was really an organic connection! And the cool thing is that I actually used the product before we started working together on the campaign. I've tried everything, and I'm really active, and once I started using Degree, it was a game changer for me."
Who are some people that inspire your work? "Michael Jackson is my biggest inspiration. To me, he is the best to ever do it. And Sade, she is amazing onstage and performs so effortlessly. I love that about her."
Your skin always looks so glow-y and golden. What's your secret? "I like using only unscented lotion on my face. I also wash my face twice a day, try not to get too much sun exposure, and drink lots and lots of water."
Any makeup tricks you swear by? "I put a very thin layer of concealer under my eyes when I feel like my face is looking a little flat. I dot it right underneath my eyes, on my T-zone, and between my eyebrows and it gives my face a natural-looking highlight."
Your hair has been superlong and supershort. Which do you prefer? "Long. It's so funny because my stylist Cesar [Ramirez] was saying he likes short because it's so cool and edgy. But I'm a southern girl, and we like long hair, and we like lots of hair."
Dark hair or light hair? "It depends! I like both equally. But I feel like when I color my hair, I have to either go blonde or dark, no in-between or else it doesn't read on stage. It has to be a statement."
And your nails always seem to be pristine. Is that a pet peeve? "Yeah, I always have to have my hands done. I think it's important. And I'm really fortunate to have this amazing Japanese nail tech come to me, which is helpful being a mom. I've had to breast-feed and get my nail done at the same time to get ready for an event."
Like Gisele! "Yes! That's right. Work hard, moms!"
How do you keep yourself motivated? "By knowing that there are so many more goals that I want to accomplish. And I want to be one of the best to ever do it. With that being said, I'm striving for greatness, and because of that, I stay motivated. I won't let off until I achieve most of my goals."
What are some of those goals? "To do a world tour. I've done shows in almost every part of the world, but I still haven't done my proper world tour, and I'm looking forward to doing that, and that will happen — I'm putting it out in the universe. I'm also looking forward to being the best mom I can be. I want to be able to balance being a businesswoman and a mom. That's really important to me."
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