Women Who Inspire Us - Emmily Banks

'The deeper I dug into the beauty industry, the more I realised just how little regulation there is on the products we are using - and that’s when I dove into the natural alternatives'. We chat to Australia's premier Natural Makeup Artist and friend of INIKA Organic, Emmily Banks, on how she aims to create change in the world by encouraging conscious beauty, authentic wellbeing and environmental awareness.

How did you get your first start in makeup?

I studied makeup artistry when I was 19 and began building my portfolio by offering my services for free to learn, develop and broaden my network. As my work experience and reputation grew, so did the demand for my services. Within a few years I received weekly booking requests for personal, TV and editorial makeup jobs. My career definitely wasn’t an overnight success story, I worked for years on my artistry and contacts to reach the point I’m at with my business now.

Tell us a little bit about how you became a natural MUA?

My beauty career began in mainstream makeup artistry although I was always interested in health, wellbeing and natural alternatives (I also wanted to study naturopathy in my late teens!) As my knowledge and creative passion for beauty increased, my career grew but I started to feel there was a huge disconnect between my values and work. Contributing to the consumption of toxic, mainstream products began to feel downright dirty to me and the deeper I dug into the beauty industry, the more I realised just how little regulation there is on the products we are using - and that’s when I dove into the natural alternatives.

What is one thing about natural makeup that you want people to know, that they might not already?

My own personal transition to natural beauty was the first step. Then as I began to spread the word, first to friends and family and then slowly into my own work, my passion grew as I started seeing how much of a positive impact we can collectively make on our health and the planet by supporting conscious, healthy beauty brands.

What have been some of the key challenges in being a natural MUA, as compared with a mainstream MUA?

When I first started using natural beauty over 5 years ago, it was challenging sourcing high performing products on the shelves that were truly natural and organic. I spent a lot of my time researching ingredients to ensure that I trusted what brands were claiming about their products, in addition to trialling the performance on myself and clients.

Luckily, we are spoilt for healthier choices these days and brands, formulations and ingredients lists are becoming easier to access and trust.

What is one thing about natural makeup that you want people to know, that they might not already?

I still receive a lot of questions from women asking “does natural really work?” or “does it even make a difference?” so let me share, with over 10+ years makeup artistry experience, YES natural beauty works/performs JUST AS WELL as any other products you may be using and YES is does make a huge difference for your health and the planet to use non-toxic makeup alternatives that will nourish your skin.

How do you adapt your passion for natural makeup artistry into being more environmental in your day to day life?

I have always been interested in making more conscious decisions for myself and the planet, though I’m definitely not perfect. Every little change counts though, so I do my best to only support natural brands across the board and try not to use plastic where possible. I try to reduce my water consumption by only washing clothes when I have a full load or by taking short showers and I also sold my cars and now only ride a motorbike which is super economical.

What women’s issues are you passionate about at the moment?

Empowering women to feel confident and beautiful in their skin is a huge passion and mission of mine, which was also the reason why I came up with the ‘She’s A Natural’ campaign which has been the driving force and theme behind our DEPTHS Magazines - created to celebrate the beautiful, conscious and inspiring work shared in the world by influential figures who are so much more than their physical appearance and instagram feeds.

What is your best advice for someone wanting to make changes to their makeup kit to make it more ethical and natural?

Educate yourself. Research the ingredients list on your products. Download the Think Dirty app which will tell you how carcinogenic and potentially toxic your current makeup products are and then invest in my ‘Switch to Natural’ ebook, full of all of my favourite, tested and trialled products (I’ve done the work for you!)

What is your favourite INIKA Organic Product and why?

INIKA Organic’s Foundation and BB Creams have been my favourite for years, I love the breathable lightweight formulas that act as skincare with ingredients like Aloe Vera, Argan Oil, Green Tea and Lavender. These formulations not only nourish and hydrate the skin, they provide beautiful flawless natural coverage - winning!

Tell us one thing that you do every day to live a happier, healthier life?

I’ve learned a lot on my pursuit of happiness over the years and whilst I value the benefits of mediation, exercise, eating well, etc, one practise I find easy to implement every single day that makes a huge difference to my overall wellbeing - is getting out into nature to ground my body, mind and soul. You will always find me either strolling along the beach singing, swimming in the ocean, skating, surfing or frolicking barefoot on nature walks.

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