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Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw

The British-Chinese model on how to begin a workout journey and the authenticity of social media.

She may have come in third in Asia’s Next Top Model (cycle 3) but Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw has been winning success all over the world since the show wrapped in 2015 — most significantly as an ambassador for Adidas and Neutrogena. 

Born in England but raised in Singapore since the age of 9, Aimee is currently reading Psychology at King’s College London. Work, of course, means a jet-setter’s life for her, but Aimee seems to have figured out her secrets to staying down to earth. Besides keeping her loved ones close and her real self closer, the SHAPE cover girl attributes her ability to stay sane and sensible to dedicated time for self-care rituals, a new-found obsession for coffee(!) and by prioritising fitness in her life.

Just take a peek at Aimee’s Instagram feed (@aimeechengbradshaw) and one can glean just how important exercising regularly is to her. She’s even created her own hashtag ‘#GetFitWithAimdog’ to encourage her followers to try out her workouts, share their fitness experiences and submit questions. Concurrently, the rest of her photos speak of a colourful life of shiny editorials, candid snaps and glimpses of her personal life.

It’s clear, however, that Aimee is hitting life up with zest and grace while shunning the shallow side of celebrity. She’s beautiful, no doubt, but there’s depth beneath those high cheekbones. So what’s next for Aimee? She probably doesn’t know yet either, but we’re watching and waiting (as will you).

Your love for fitness is well documented on your Instagram feed. Tell us about your exercise regimes, and do you have any advice for people who have just started working out?

Well, I’m currently in university, but before I began studying, I did tons of HIIT and spin circuits, and yoga as a complement to that. But lately I’ve been focusing more on maintaining a positive, balanced mindset amidst all the stress of school through yoga. I do it three to four times a week, if not more, so I guess my regime has shifted a little.

For those who are just starting to workout, my best advice would be to find an online guide. When you’re new to exercising, going to gyms is often super intimidating, especially if you’re unsure on what exercises to do to reach your goals. Purchasing a 12-week workout guide (I recommend Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines) does wonders, and you can begin your workout journey in your living room before committing to a gym membership.

Aimee in Adidas Warp Knit for Après Avant

“For those who are just starting to workout, my best advice would be to find an online guide.”

What campaign or photoshoot are you most proud of being a part of, and why?

I am super proud of my Adidas #HERETOCREATE campaign that I recently shot. I love HIIT and yoga so I’m pretty much always in workout gear, and Adidas has been my long-time favourite. Plus, the Adidas Originals line nails the athleisure look, so being able to represent a brand like that was a huge milestone.

What is your latest food and lifestyle obsession?

Does yoga count!? Yoga is becoming a proper obsession as I’m dedicating more and more hours to my practice. Aside from that, I’d probably say black coffee. I’ve developed a humble appreciation for different types of beans and taste profiles since coming to London. There are tons of pop-up markets here, so there’s lots of opportunities to discover different types of coffee. It certainly helps with school too!

“Social media gets a bad rep for being a filtered version of daily life, but it’s only that way if you choose to let it be.”

Aimee Après Avant

What is your skincare routine, and do you practice any special weekly regimes?

I love skincare! Anyone who knows me would tell you how obsessed I am with skincare products. For my regime, it’s pretty simple — I go with how I feel. In the mornings, I splash my face with some cold water and apply some Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturizer (my all-time favourite).

I have a few different face washes I use depending on how my skin feels: if I’ve got some spots coming up, I’ll use my favourite Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Acne Cleanser Treatment; and if not, I’ll just use the Simple Moisturizing Face Wash because it’s so gentle on the skin.

If I wear makeup, I always make sure to remove it with Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. If I went barefaced, I just swipe my face with Bioderma Cleansing Water on a cotton pad.

About twice a week, I’ll scrub my face with St. Ives’ Apricot Scrub, and I’ll use the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque once every one to two weeks. It all just depends on how my skin feels on that day.

It’s taken me a while to learn that there isn’t a cookie-cutter skincare regime that works every single day because no two days are the same, so I just adapt my regime based on how I feel.

Do you feel any pressure on how you portray yourself on social media, and how do you deal with it? What kind of message or aesthetic do you hope to craft with what you post online?

Social media has become such an important part of the modelling industry because it works almost like an online portfolio for potential clients that want to check out what you’re like. So in that sense, there is a bit of pressure knowing that whatever you post can be seen by anyone. I’m not overly-cautious of what I post online because after all, my Instagram is supposed to document parts of my life. I try to keep it as real as possible so I can continue to share with my followers the parts of my life that you probably won’t be able to see anywhere else.

Social media gets a bad rep for being a filtered version of daily life, but it’s only that way if you choose to let it be. I find that you can tell so much more about a person who is genuine online, who shows what they’re really like on and off camera than by scrolling through a perfectly curated Instagram feed that, although beautiful, doesn’t say much about who they are.

As a public figure, what kind of role model do you aspire to be?

I aspire to be someone who can inspire others to go after what they want, and that anything worth having is worth working hard for. Nothing is given on a silver platter and everyone has their own obstacles that shouldn’t stand in the way of what makes a person happy.

With such a hectic work life and travelling schedule, how do you stay grounded and calm?

I rely a lot on my friends and loved ones in my life, so having them to turn to even during my busy schedule helps a ton. Yoga definitely helps a lot because it’s time specifically dedicated to me, and afterwards I always feel so rejuvenated.

What do you value most about the relationships in your life?

I value honesty and trust above all else. My friends are so important to me, so when honesty and trust isn’t reciprocated then it affects me a lot more. I would never do anything to people in my life that I wouldn’t be okay with if it were done to me.

Aimee Cheng for Après Avant

Aimee has her own hashtag, ‘#GetFitWithAimdog’ to encourage her
followers to workout

What does conscious living mean to you?

Conscious living means to live to the fullest capacity that you can while being mindful of your aspirations and current situation. For example, having aspirations is an amazing thing, but what would life be if you achieved your goals with no one to celebrate with?

Images courtesy of Adidas; Ryan Seah