“It has definitely made me realize the hard work that goes on behind the scenes,” says Neelam Gill about her experience as a model. The 19 year old’s career launched with an exclusive for Burberry. Since then, the British Indian has walked twice for the British brand exclusively and been photographed by Mario Testino along side actor Jamie Campbell Bower for Burberry’s spring ad campaign. That naturally opened up doors for the leggy long-haired beauty working with industry insiders, such as stylist Kate Phelan and photographers Robert Fairer and Matteo Montanari for publications from Germany to Hong Kong to the USA.
Here, Ms. Gill talks to Playing Fashion about how working in the industry has opened her eyes as well as sharing her beauty and style tips.
BEFORE A BIG SHOOT
I always go to bed early to make sure I have enough energy. I never fail to have breakfast in the morning - no matter how early the call time is - because I feel faint when I don't eat it. I arrive to a shoot with no makeup on and clean nails.
WORKING WITH BURBERRY IS ALWAYS LOVELY
because we're like a big family. Every time I work with them we always catch up and have a laugh. The show and campaign are always going to be special to me, even in years to come, because they were the first to believe in me so that holds sentimental value.
I’VE BEEN REALLY LUCKY
and haven't had nasty comments said to my face! But I generally have a really positive outlook towards life, so even when it doesn't work out, I just remind myself that everything happens for a reason and every client wants somebody different so it's nothing personal.
BEAUTY ISN’T JUST ABOUT HAVING A PRETTY FACE
It sounds cliche but I truly believe that beauty begins from within because a beautiful face is nothing without a beautiful personality!
I TAKE MY MAKE-UP OFF EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT FAIL!
I hate having lots of makeup on, it makes me feel like my skin can't breathe, so I remove it with Bioderma and then I wash my face with a soap called charcoal from Lush. I also moisturize my whole body with cocoa butter two times a day (after my morning shower and evening shower). My favorite beauty brands are Burberry, MAC and NARS. If I have 5 mins to do my make up, I apply mascara and blusher, then put on some lipgloss.
I LOVE WEARING DARK COLORS
and if I do wear a color - for example red - it's always washed out. I'm obsessed with jeans and leather trousers, I can't get enough of them! I like the silhouette of having a baggy top, skinny jeans, a biker jacket and heels (or boots for the daytime). I'm also quite girly so if I go out for a meal I like to dress up and feel glamorous. My favorite brands are All Saints, Diesel, River Island, Burberry, Topshop Alexander Wang and Balmain.
I ALWAYS USED TO BUNK MY PE LESSONS
at school! I'm not a sporty person at all!! I did enjoy gymnastics when I was younger though, and now I've started working out about 3 times a week to maintain my figure. I have a personal trainer once a week for 30 mins, then do two other 30 mins workouts alone - mainly cardio and ab work.
I LOVE HAVING SPA DAYS
but I haven't had one for months because I've been so busy! I always have really bad knots in my neck from stressing out, so having a massage is always good! I also get a foot massage because my feet get put through a lot because of my job! I don't have a particular favorite spa because I always try somewhere new each time.
MY MUM AND DAD ARE MY ROLE MODELS
because they inspire me to be the best I can be, and because they live life to the fullest! My mum’s advice is always right! Sometimes it's not what I want to hear but in the end it always works out for the best. She's taught me so much! The most valuable thing she's taught me is to be a good person; she's honestly the kindest and most generous person I know, so I strive to be like her.
being able to buy my family a house! And happiness is everything! To me, it is about making my family and friends proud, appreciating everything and creating incredible memories.
Photography by Anya Holdstock; styling by Basma Khalifa; hair and make-up by Fiona Barry.
Casting Director: Megan McCluskie.
Opening Image: bomber by Gap; pants by Topshop.