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  • Chanel Iman shares her beauty rules, her current fashion favorites, gives advice to aspiring models and explains to us why she likes to play.

    Chanel Iman is one of the most popular African American models. Raised in Los Angeles, Chanel began modeling at the age of 13. Her face has graced countless fashion magazines and designer shows, she was a Victoria’s Secret Angel and is a regular on the pages of Sports Illustrated (i.e. she’s sexy). Chanel has featured in music videos for Beyoncé and Usher, and she now stars in the recently released film, DRUG. Oh, and she finds time to fit into the charitable work in between. Basically, Chanel Iman is MAJOR. Strong and beautiful, she was the perfect cast for our Gladiator summer fashion story.

    Do you have a beauty and exercise regimen?
    I see a trainer usually twice a week and my beauty routine is very simple: I use Christina Chin’s cleansing gel, toner, sea scrub and moisturizer. I also see her for facials once or twice a month.

    What are your favorite beauty products / what do you always keep in your purse?
    My Anastasia eyebrow kit, Dior Diorshow mascara and Cinema Secrets palette are my beauty essentials and they go with me absolutely everywhere.

    What is your everyday outfit?
    All Black! Black jeans, black knee-length leather boots, a black leather jacket with a simple layered top and a Chanel bag.

    Who are your favorite fashion designers?
    It’s so hard to say because I work with so many people that I really love, but right now I’m very interested in Tom Ford, Raf Simons, Rick Owens, and Alexander Wang.

    Do you have any advice for girls who want to get into modeling?
    I think it’s really important to stay connected to your family and friends, your support system. Keep the ones you love close to you and focus on your long term goals and what you are working towards achieving.

    What has been the highlight of your career so far?
    I’ve been fortunate enough to work with so many amazing artists and collaborators in this industry, but in the end, I appreciate the creative choices that have allowed me to do it on my own. I would never have gotten to where I am in my career without their support.

    What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
    My mom gives me great advice all the time, so it’s hard to pick just one thing, but I love that she always told me: there is something for everyone. What might be seen as a missed opportunity is actually making room for something better. Keep your head up and stay strong.

    How do you relax?
    I love to have a good day at the spa! I also like to cook a good meal with my best friends and watch movies.

    Where is the home for you and why?
    I’ve been in love with New York and it’s been my home for a long time, but Los Angeles will always feel like home because it’s where I’m from and where my family lives.

    Actor or model: what are your favorite things in each job?
    With modeling, I love working with great photographers and being part of a team that brings these images to life. When it comes to acting, I really enjoy taking on characters who are the complete opposite of me.

    You must be very excited about DRUG. Tell us a bit about it. What’s the next step for you?
    i had a good time doing DRUG. I really want to keep playing and taking on more roles – one of my dreams has always been to someday be in an action movie.

    You are beautiful in the Marie Claire Gladiator fashion story! Can you tell us about a highlight of the shoot?
    We never get bored when working with [photographer] James Macari – he really brings out the best in me. We have a lot of fun together and he is so easy going. I knew the shoot was going to be great when I knew I would be working with him.

    See Chanel Iman in the May 2015 issue of Marie Claire.