Czech-born supermodel, Karolina Kurkova is more than just a pretty (OK, insanely gorgous!) face. As a fashion and beauty icon, she’s lending what she’s learned throughout years in the fashion industry to the hopeful contestants on Oxygen Network’s The Face. Hosted by Nigel Barker, Kurkova joins supermodels Coco Rocha and Naomi Campbell as coaches of aspiring models as they compete to become the new face of ULTA beauty. Here, she talks about her role on the show, how she squeezes in workouts around her 3-year-old son, and how she keeps her family healthy.
What interested you in becoming a coach for The Face? “What I liked about The Face is that it was a real mentoring show where we really get to work with these girls. We had four girls on a team, so there was a lot of personal attention. We were able to give our time to them and work with them more intimately, which I think is great.”
How would you describe yourself as a mentor? “I am who I am. I’m very real; very natural. I think being a mom has made me very nurturing. I take my role of being a coach very seriously. These girls put their lives on hold. Some of them have kids and families and work five jobs, so I really felt a huge responsibility to make sure they had an incredible experience throughout the show no matter what happened. Then I’ll give the best and be the best and do whatever I need to do to get them to always feel good about what they’re doing. And win, of course, because if I don’t win, I could lose a girl, which is very sad when you get to know these girls, you don’t want them to go home. So, I’m more like a nurturing coach.”
How do you find ways to stay fit as a mom with a busy work schedule? “It’s hard! I don’t have the luxury to exercise as much as I use to. Growing up, I was a ballerina; I played basketball; I grew up with loads of sports so that’s very important in my lifestyle. Not just the physical part for how it makes you look but also mentally. When I feel strong physically, I feel strong mentally. I think both of those things really affect each other. So I really have to be very creative. Sometimes I may have half an hour or ten minutes. I have to really improvise and get it in whenever I can. Having a three-year-old definitely keeps me very busy. He’s a boy and super energetic. I’m running a lot with him and he’s very active. He keeps me very active.”
You’re always on the go, do you have any favorite snacks to have on hand? “Whether I’m traveling or on the go, snacks are very important for my son and for my family. If I’m on the go, sometimes I don’t have the time to have a sit down meal and so I try to have things that I love like these Chia Bars from Health Warrior, which are great. They have a lot of protein but they are also great for fiber. Or nuts like almonds and cashews or apples. Anything that’s raw, sprouted and healthy that is going to hold you over. That’s important.”
Any other great healthy eating tips? “One green juice a day keeps the doctor away. For me that’s something that I really try to have everyday or make everyday. Now you can even buy some at Whole Foods. Stores are opening up little juice cafes. So I think for me that is something that is huge when I travel a lot or when I’m tired. That’s a fast way to get some vegetables and some nutrients in my system.”
Do you also have any favorite beauty products you like to travel with? “I like a water spritzer, like a thermal water. I have my bag here, I can tell you exactly. I like a face cream for when my skin feels dry. And a hand cream, the one I actually have in my bag right now is called Weleda.”
Tune in to The Face on Tuesday nights at 9 PM ET/PT on Oxygen Network.