When it comes to natural beauty Laura Milliken is certainly the model who’s taken it to another level. “I don’t actually own a lipstick or any other kind of make-up” she tells us. “When I was modelling, make-up artists found that the made-up look just didn’t suit me”.
Now 53, Scottish born Laura’s life has been eventful, and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of her slowing down any time soon. That sense of adventure seems to have been nurtured growing up as a child in Tasmania. “We played all day long out in the bush and didn’t come back until it was dark; I was seven before I wore shoes! I loved the freedom, but at the age of eight we moved back to Scotland and it was quite a culture shock!”
Laura lived with her parents and her brother in Ayrshire but sadly they divorced and Laura left home at 16. Determined to survive, after a stint at serving in a B and B, she eventually decided to join the police force. “I went to police training school and was serving as a fully fledged officer”, she told us, “but after seeing a magazine advert looking for models, it led to another huge change in my life!”.
The head of Synchro Model Agency, Beth Boldt, who had also discovered super-model Naomi Campbell, was looking for new talent. “My room-mates encouraged me to apply – not only was Beth keen to take me on, but Jean Michelle from Clip Modelling Agency met me in person and felt I should go straight to Paris!”
Laura’s modelling career took off; her fashion shoots appearing in magazines such as Elle, Company, Vogue and Over 21. Amongst the many famous designers she modelled for, was Betty Jackson, “I loved that shoot and she was wonderful!”
These days, Laura is often found on the other side of the camera - and has a talent for capturing natural light through the lens. “I was lucky enough to work with some of the best photographers in the world, including Koto Bolofo whose photos launched my career.”
When the modelling slowed down, Laura fell in love and had two children who are now in their early twenties. She initially moved to Cyprus, but then settled in Dubai for 15 years. Eventually though, Laura found herself back in Scotland – and single again. “I stayed there for a while, but then it was time for another adventure; I asked myself, what’s the worst thing that could happen and what’s the best thing that could happen?”
Laura packed up her car (including her dog and two cats), blasted Cockney Rebel’s Come Up and See Me on the radio and headed to Bournemouth. “I’ll never forget that feeling of freedom as I drove away”.
Laura’s now a Supply Teacher for children with Special Needs, with whom she feels a special affinity – and loves passionately. She’s really loving her life, walking her dog on the beach every morning and seeing her children regularly. She plans to complete her degree in Environmental Geography and on that note is still a very keen gardener and swears it’s a "tonic for life".
She’s also in the beginnings of starting her modelling career again, as she and her close friend Mickey Monroe, now back as a working model again, discussed with passion about an opportunity to show that women look amazing at any age.
We loved talking to Laura and look forward to hearing about the next chapter in her adventure! Here are her answers to our 5 Beautiful Thinking question.
1. What’s the best thing about getting older?
Personally, I feel that I have come full circle with regards to confidence. The "I can do anything" attitude I had when I was very young is in full force again. The only difference is that now, that feeling comes from a stance of full on self- confidence, experience and wisdom......none of which was truly present in my youth. You just get to a point in life where you can say "no" to something that doesn't fit into your plan, or "yes" to a new adventure that fills you with excitement and vitality.......All I believe I am is happening now and it feels good!!!!
2. Who is your female inspiration and why?
I know the answer to that one immediately........my mother-in–law.... the most selfless, hard-working, vibrant, kind-hearted person I've ever met. Her son was born disabled, and both her and her husband have always been devoted to him..... he still lives at home (he's now 62) and not once has she complained or given up, despite the tremendous, ongoing responsibility and the lack of freedom to do her own thing. If I'm half the woman she is it's because I'm lucky to have her in my life. She is the real deal!!!!
3. What’s your top tip for growing old gracefully, perhaps one beauty tip?
Balance your life.....seek challenges but don't be anyone's fool.... consume loads of olive oil!! Exercise, be a good friend, smile a lot, don’t sweat the small stuff!!
4. What would your younger self say to you now?
Well Laura, you may have made a few major mistakes in your time, but hey, you're a good person and now you're finally a grown up!!! It’s all good and the next chapter will be amazing!!!
5. What are your dreams for your future?
On a spiritual level, to stay in this happy place surrounded by family and good friends. On a practical level..... many irons in the fire, all exciting.......watch this space......everything is possible!