Most will remember her as the glamorous letter-turner on Wheel of Fortune, or presenter on The Great Outdoors, where she lit up our screens in far-flung places with an infectious exuberance. But, despite her enviable figure, blonde mane and blue-eyes - with a reputation as the quintessential golden girl of Australian television - Sophie Falkiner is much more than a pretty face. A journalist by trade, she is bright, brainy and refreshingly articulate.
Having now swapped the screen with school pick-ups since becoming mum to Isabella and Jack, she is now as busy as ever. We were able to catch Sophie at her stunning harbour-side home to find out how she manages to always stay so glamorous. With the iconic Sydney vista behind us, we chatted about her favourite lippy, being supplement savvy and her (eventual) love of fitness.
“After having kids, balance is really important.
Trying to de-stress is one of my number one aims. I try and take baths, and take the right supplements. I have lots of magnesium and lots of B Vitamins. Sometimes I do a bit of meditation - I find it really helps me keep sane. I try and do it a couple of times a week and I notice a big difference. [It’s] really calming, centring and you just feel like you’re more on the ball afterwards. I did a course in Bondi for mediation.
I’ve been modelling since I was 16…
… and I’ve always loved makeup. [Being] around the top makeup artists, I always asked them tips and tricks. I just hound them! So, I’ve learnt a lot. I do a lot of my own makeup when I go to events. I’m all about priming, I use the Laura Mercier Primer first and even mix with MAC Face and Body to give a dewy feel. I also put Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer in, which gives it a bit of a gloss. I don’t like people looking and thinking I’ve got foundation on, but thinking I’ve got great skin – hopefully!
I’m huge on exfoliation.
I never get facials. I’ve got very low-maintenance skincare; it’s all relatively cheap. But I think sunscreen, supplements, sleep, water and exfoliation are really important. I use this Garnier 3-in-1 – [I use it] in the shower every second day and people always say I have great texture to my skin. I’ve been using that for years. I use Cetaphil too – my skin is better with products that don’t have too much in them.
I’m all about illuminators and shimmers.
Gold, brown tones – I like to do bronzy eyes all the time and a pale lip. Or I do a gold eye and a bright red lip, but I don’t like [to be] too heavy at once. With lip colours, during the day, I’m a MAC [Lipglass] girl all the way – I like Purr, Pink Lemonade, Lychee Luxe or a plain lip balm, like Carmex. For night, my favourite is MAC Lady Danger – it’s good to have a bit of drama at night.
One thing I’m a believer in is serum.
To go beneath the skin you need to have a good serum and I use an Olay one. My favourite place to get a massage is Venustus in Paddington and they’ve got a beautiful serum made out of all natural oils, I use that everyday too. Eyebrows, however, I’m hopeless at myself! I get them done because I don’t have much to play with and they’re light, so I need to beef them up a bit. I go to Eyebrows by B - she is the eyebrow guru. I walk in and she shakes her head at mine.
I am really sun safe, my friends see me live in hats.
Sarah Curtis is a friend of mine and I’ve got about a million of her hats. On school runs or going to the supermarket, I always have a hat. I’m pedantic about sunscreen as well; I always wear a 30+ or 50+ every single day of my life – rain, hail or shine. Especially after kids and hormonal changes, I was starting to get a bit of pigment so I guard against that.
I always use the J Bronze Shimmer mixed with a moisturiser...
… and it gives me this beautiful, even glow; I literally look like an Oscar [award]. I mix it with a Nivea Everyday Moisturiser so it’s not so strong and [use it] whenever I go to an event – everyone always asks me what I’ve got on. Day-to-day, I use the J Bronze Tanner because it’s really hydrating and I hate having that dry, scaly skin afterwards. If I’m going somewhere super special, I’ll go to The Bronzing Boutique in Double Bay, which I love.
Sometimes I cut my own hair...
… and I cut my daughter’s hair as well – I’m more low maintenance than what you think! I go to Shane Jones in Double Bay for my colour, he’s been doing my colour for years now and he is the best with blondes. My hair thins out quite quickly. After years of torturing my hair, I really have to look after it now. I find Redken Extreme really good; it keeps my hair soft and in good nick. I also use the Extreme Anti-Snap as a leave-in treatment and that’s fantastic for dry hair. When I’m going out to a big function I’ll put some clip-ins to give my hair extra bulk, because I love super thick hair.
I did a nutrition certificate two years ago so I’m very passionate about good food
… and conscious for my kids. I want to teach them good habits and to actually enjoy the taste of healthy food as well. The kids and I try and do Vital Greens every morning with a bit of water. They’re not too bad with it - if I don’t make a big deal out of it and say they have to, it’s OK. I have a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of protein, eggs, salmon, avocado, nuts. I have lots of Nutribullet smoothies in the morning; my quick one is protein powder, coconut water, frozen berries, some fresh berries and half a banana. Sometimes I’ll add chia, Camu or Spirulina.
But in saying that, I do love a wine and hot chips.
[They] are one of my favourite things on Earth! You do need to treat yourself, just not every day. If I don’t have the one thing that I want, I’ll end up eating everything else but that, so I may as well just go for the hot chips. I have them with a burger maybe once a week. I love salt and I crave it all the time. I’m trying to cut caffeine down at the moment. So, I live on Dandelion Tea, which I love, but the trick is only put the tea bag in for ten seconds otherwise it tastes like mud. I do it with rice milk and cinnamon. It's great for digestion. I’ll have about four or five of those a day – it’s my ten-second tea!
I never did any exercise in my twenties at all.
I was terrible. I never realised how lucky I was; doing Wonderbra shoots and eating hot chips beforehand! But that all changed dramatically when I hit my thirties. I have to work at it now, which is very sad. I’ve been doing Pilates for the last 15 years - a combination of Reformer, Barre and Mat classes. I’ve just become the Ambassador for F45 in Bondi, so I’ve put Pilates on hold and am trying the high-intensity, cardio, circuit training, with a lot of different weights - I’ve noticed a difference in my body.
I’ve either got completely dead flat shoes like thongs and trainers or they’re a mile high!
There’s nothing in between. I come from a tall family; my dad’s 6”6 and all my sister’s are over 5”10 so I’m the shorty of the family... I’ve got a bit of a height issue! I’ve always got to wear really high heels, to the detriment of my ankles. I’m really good at red carpet but I’m hopeless at casual. I try and do casual well but I never quite get there. I’m always that person who's overdressed rather than underdressed. I love Ginger and Smart, Bec & Bridge, Sass & Bide and Scanlan and Theodore, and Alex Perry and Steven Kahlil are my go-to for red carpet. They build for curves – they show off your best bits. I am big busted with hips so I need tailored."
Story by Chrisanthi Kaliviotis; Photography by Titus Pengelly; Hair and Makeup by Rachel Montgomery; Styling by Chrisanthi Kaliviotis and Amanda Chan.