Supermodel-Turned-Mogul Kathy Ireland Shares Her Secrets to Looking & Feeling Radiant at 60!

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As one of the original supermodels of the '80s and '90s, Kathy Ireland knows a thing or two about beauty and confidence. The legendary Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl, who's still stunning at age 60, has also long been known as more than just a pretty face.

Since 1993 (way before the dawn of influencers!) she's been an accomplished entrepreneur, bringing in billions of dollars in retail sales through her brand kathy ireland® Worldwide (kiWW®). kiWW® has had ongoing success in the fashion, home and lifestyle space, and the brand's most recent project is kathy ireland® beauty by LUMINESS, a skincare line created in partnership with the beauty brand LUMINESS that also happens to be her company's first-ever beauty deal.

On the occasion of Kathy Ireland's latest product launch, the multihyphenate businesswoman took some time out of her packed schedule to share her tips for looking and feeling fabulous.

Lessons learned from modeling

While Ireland is now known as an entrepreneur and philanthropist, she's learned many lessons from her time in the cutthroat world of fashion. "When you work as a model, your job description is basically to just shut up and pose, and people pick you apart no matter what you look like. They will find something wrong with you," she tells FIRST For Women with a laugh during an exclusive interview for our latest issue (buy yours here!), where she was, of course, our cover model.

While Ireland didn't appreciate the rejection she faced at the time, today she sees it as "One of the greatest gifts of my long-ago modeling career," and ultimately drew confidence from the experience of being turned down only to prove her naysayers wrong.

Kathy Ireland poses for a portrait in 1983
Kathy Ireland in 1983
Harry Langdon/Getty

When Ireland first began dreaming up her brand, those in power would often dismiss her due to her supermodel status. Over time, "I learned that what they say is their opinion and that is not where I get my value," Ireland says. "Someone else’s opinion of me did not define or destroy me," she adds, and this powerful belief in her abilities gives her a confident glow inside and out.

Kathy Ireland in 1984
Kathy Ireland in 1984

Aging with positivity and grace

The world of fashion modeling is notorious for prioritizing youth, and Ireland started in the industry when she was still in high school. But today, she has a refreshingly positive view of aging. "It’s a journey and actually I’m enjoying getting older," she says. "I wouldn’t go back in time for anything. I want to grow with every year. I don’t want to stagnate and as long as I grow, I’m looking forward to old age."

Kathy Ireland in 2023
Kathy Ireland in 2023
Taylor Hill/Getty

Staying healthy inside and out

Ireland's also managed to keep an energetic spirit by always integrating fitness into her life — but she's not one to recommend fancy classes or trendy workouts. "I’ve always been physically active," she says. "When I had my paper route as a teen, I had 101 customers on hilly roads, so I always kept really busy. I grew up camping and hiking."

Kathy Ireland outdoors with her dog in 2023
Kathy Ireland enjoying the outdoors in 2023

Like any woman, Ireland has experienced changes in her figure over the years. She explains, "I was a late bloomer and kept growing taller until I was in my 20s, so I had an amazing metabolism. I could have hot fudge sundaes for breakfast and that changed a lot. Now at 60, I do all the things I love to do, and I don’t take that for granted. I’m so grateful to be healthy."

Kathy Ireland surfing in 2023
Kathy Ireland hits the waves in 2023

Ireland stays active by incorporating movement into her daily life in a low-key way. "I love the great outdoors," she says. "I’m a seventh-generation Californian so I love the ocean and the mountains, and I love surfing, hiking, biking and going for walks."

When it comes to what she eats, Ireland refuses to put food into "good" or "bad" categories or follow a strict diet. "I think it’s all about balance," she says. "I’m too rebellious to deprive myself of anything. I’ve done diets here and there but have never been a real fan. I just like being healthy."

Kathy Ireland strikes an athletic pose in the '80s
Kathy Ireland strikes an athletic pose in the '80s

"I try to eat as many fresh raw fruits and vegetables as I can," Ireland adds. "Fresh berries are great. I love apples and bananas. Tropical fruit. I’ve grown to love just about every vegetable. Even Brussels sprouts! I hated those for a long time, but I think I love them all now. "

Kathy Ireland's beauty philosophy

Ireland says she developed her new beauty line out of a belief that "Beauty is a quality everyone has, it simply must be developed and enhanced." She's especially come to realize the value of protecting her skin over the years, saying, "I grew up in an era where we baked our skin… and sunscreen? We didn’t use any of that. We were just cooking ourselves."

Nowadays, she's dedicated to using sunscreen and prioritizing products made from the highest-quality ingredients. She was drawn to partner with LUMINESS after years of turning down beauty brand offers due to their “extraordinary formulations and products," she says.

Kathy Ireland shows her new beauty products in 2023
Kathy Ireland shows her new beauty products in 2023
Courtesy of Jon Carrasco

Kathy Ireland's beauty line is just the latest chapter in a life filled with glamorous achievements, and we think her approach to feeling healthy, beautiful and young-at-heart is definitely worth emulating.

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