How does Dame Arlene Phillips look so good at 80?

dame arlene phillips
dame arlene phillips
Dame Phillips attends The Olivier Awards at The Royal Albert Hall on April 14
Dame Phillips attends The Olivier Awards at The Royal Albert Hall on April 14 - Getty

Theatre stars were out on Sunday night for the annual Olivier Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Among them was professional dancer and former Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Arlene Phillips, who received a standing ovation for her first ever win for her choreography on the musical Guys & Dolls.

Wearing a fitted black Vampire’s Wife dress and sparkly jewels, Phillips was undoubtedly one of the best-dressed on the red carpet. She took to her Instagram ahead of the ceremony, revealing that she had a problem zipping up her dress “because I’ve rather overeaten, I’m a little stressed and feeding my face. I’m usually careful, not any more and it shows. So I’m going to skip everything today, breathe in and force that zip to work and not burst on me at any point tomorrow.”

Pleasingly for Phillips, it did not: she was one of the best-looking on the night, with skin that looked not a day over 60. Yet the star turns 81 next month, which begs the question: how does she look so good?

arlene phillips
Phillips's skin looked 'not a day over sixty', writes Haria, despite the star turning 81 next month - Getty

Phillips has been open about trying tweakments in the past, but has said that she draws the line at a full face lift. She needn’t worry: so advanced are the skin-improving tweakments on offer now that there is no need to go under the knife – or even in hiding for four weeks to recover. Some skincare, some injectables and some machines – the winning trifecta for anti-ageing that Phillips favours – is the modern way to look your best as you age.

In 2021, aged 78, Phillips starred in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here; the same year she had a series of cosmetic tweakments. Facial aesthetician Ana Sakinyte administered anti-wrinkle treatment Botox to Phillips’ forehead lines and crows feet, and at the time told The Telegraph that she took a “soft approach” to Phillips’ treatments.

Sakinyte also shared that Phillips was concerned about sagging to her lower face. It was corrected by using a filler from the Teoxane RHA range, which costs around £200 per area and lasts around 18 months. They were also planning to do the injectable skin moisturiser Profhilo, which is a hyaluronic acid treatment injected beneath the skin to help correct and remodel sagging tissue. At the time Phillips said “seeing Ana has given me a glorious feeling to my face and skin”.

Injectable treatments aside, there has been a new wave of machines on the market that can do all the lifting and stretching for you. In late 2022 Phillips had a course of EmFace, an innovative treatment from the same company that launched EmSculpt, which involved pads placed on the body to mimic thousands of crunches in one 30-minute session (it’s a huge hit in Hollywood as you can expect).

Phillips at the Prince Edward Theatre in London on March 27
Phillips at the Prince Edward Theatre in London on March 27 - Getty

Consider EmFace a full workout for your complexion. Each of the four treatments, spaced a week apart, take 20 minutes and promise a more defined appearance in around three months. Each session costs from £600. Phillips saw Dr Nyla Raja, a cosmetic doctor based between London and Cheshire, who specialises in non-surgical transformations and describes EmFace as giving “the effects of a facelift without any surgery”.

Other fans include Amanda Holden, Karren Brady and Rachel Johnson (who described the treatment as “wholesome and safe, almost as if your face has been going to the gym while you lie down”.) It uses a combination of radiofrequency, which heats the skin and increases the levels of collagen, with a toning action to lift jowls, the corners of the mouth and the eyebrows. Dubbed a “needle-free” facelift, EmFace promises “more lift and less wrinkles”, which is quite evident in Phillips’ face.

But let’s not forget the power of good make-up, too. The key to Phillips’ successful red-carpet looks is also down to her make-up artist daughter Alana. Phillips previously told the Belfast Telegraph that Alana is her “secret weapon” when it comes to looking young, as she encourages her to prioritise skincare. A handful of finely-tuned tweakments, an excellent make-up artist on hand and a form-fitting Vampire’s Wife dress: this, clearly, is the secret to Dame Arlene Phillips looking so wonderful on the red carpet at 80.