Before being a lover of food, a writer, a high school teacher and a pastor (I know, it’s a mixed bag!) I used to be a makeup artist. I spent a year studying makeup artistry at one of Australia’s top schools, and had work experience at fashion week, on the catwalk, film and on many brides. That journey began for me at the ripe age of seventeen, prior to the blossoming respect and passion for real food nourishment I have now.
One of the reasons I left the industry was after a talk I heard from Therese Kerr on the realities behind the skincare industry; the chemicals, the cheap and harmful ingredients pumped up by expensive marketing. Something shifted in me that day and I turned to organic and ethical skincare, makeup and personal care and have never looked back.
You can imagine my excitement when I discovered Emmily Banks from Depths of Beauty on Instagram; a gorgeous beacon of light in the chemical laden makeup industry. Emmily radiates the same values we have at Green Hope Gathered; nourishing our bodies with the earths wholesome ingredients– Emmily’s medium however, is the beautifying art of makeup; with an emphasis on non-tox products that are better for the earth and better for your health.
Here’s her interview, and make sure you connect with this lovely soul through her Instagram page and blog!
Tell us about who you are?
I am vibrating mass of energy that has taken human form, as we all are… 😉 .. I suppose we are defined by our interests and passions though, so I will tell you a bit about these.. I grew up a beach girl in a quiet coastal town, I love anything revolving around health, wellness, nature and beauty, from cooking to exercise and of course, makeup! I also love anything revolving around the human spirit, energy, quantum physics, the power of the mind, etc… I’m a total sucker for “self help and enlightening” books. I find the world fascinating and the power we hold to create our lives is so just so incredible!!
What brought about your passion for organic makeup artistry?
I have been blessed enough to mix my two interests (slight paradox) of beauty, fashion and makeup with my love of healthy, natural living. I studied makeup and practised as a mainstream artist for several years and then it just became really clear to me that I needed to start using only natural and organic products! The more I uncover about the importance of eco friendly, non toxic, cruelty free beauty – the more passionate I become to share my findings! My aim is to help educate others so that we can all make more informed, healthier and safer choices when it comes to our beauty routine!
What does a day in the life of Emmily banks look like?
My days really vary depending if I am working from home, having a meeting or shooting a fashion campaign on location. I always start my day with a run along the beach, I often cook a healthy breakfast/brunch at home and I try to organise meetings at cafes in my hood – the beautiful Bondi. Aside from my exercise and cooking routine you could find me literally anywhere in Sydney on a photo shoot or at home in my studio doing a client consult or working away on the computer researching ingredients and natural beauty brands and updating my website/blog etc..
What are your favourite cafes and places to eat, what do you love to order?
I totally admit to living in (and loving) the “Bondi Bubble”! Bondi seriously has everything I could ever want or need.. the beach, organic stores and a beautiful community! My fav cafes include Porch and Parlour for the boiled eggs and avo on toast, Trio for the green shakshouka, Orchard St for their incredible fresh organic cold pressed juices and treats.. Brown Sugar for an incredible piece of fish and scallops the list could go on but they’re the main favs.
What does a day on a plate look like to you?
A lotta liquid.. I drink SO much lemon water throughout the day, plenty of herbal and black teas and as many green juices, kombucha and smoothies as I can get my hands on! I tend to eat lightly throughout the day, poached eggs, avo on toast, salads and dips (hommus, baba ganoush) and nuts.. then I go all out for dinner with a decent hearty meal. I love to cook – usually soups, asian broths, spinach pie, roast dinners, curries…generally lots of yummy healthy meals that always include loads of vege!
What are your must have makeup bag items you would recommend?
1.Lip balm or tint is a must, I love Hurraw Organic Lip Balms and People for Plants
2. Concealer/foundation– loving RMS “uncoverup” and Inika for foundation
3. Mascara – love W3ll People and RMS mascaras
4. Bronzer – Ere Perez ave great duo bronzers
Do you have any secret beauty tips?
- Less is more in all cases. Buy less, wear less, absorb less into your skin, waste less.. just less everything is better for your health and the environment!
- Don’t overcomplicate things – organic cold pressed oils are magic, so good for skin conditions, moisturising and removing makeup! Anything from coconut, rosehip, jojoba, almond and olive oil. They’re affordable, as natural as you can get and work wonders.
- Highlighters are my favourite makeup artist trick.. they add a radiant dewy, healthy glow to any complextion.. apply to cheek bones, cupids bow and brow bone.. you can also mix into foundation for a super radiant glow. Great highlighters can be found from RMS and Inika and W3ll People.
What inspires your art?
I guess mostly nature and people. Majority of the work that I do these days is fairly natural, so I usually draw inspiration from their unique features..
What makeup trends are you loving?
Flawless, dewy skin.. always. I’m also loving the light brown smokey eye tend, with no eyeliner, just a brown hue and mascara.. match this with Red lippy and you’ll be a show stopper! 😉
How would you define beauty?
“Beauty isn’t all about how you LOOK, its about how you FEEL”. Your energy, essence and charisma will always radiate more beauty than what you enhance or cover externally..
At Green Hope Gathered we aren’t all about food; we believe the culture, relationships and ambience that frames a feast is equally valuable.
There’s nothing quite like bringing the beauty of nature inside a home to add a pop of visual gorgeousness to a table and turning an everyday act of consuming food into something that adds value and atmospheric nourishment to those involved.
We have spent some time working on creative projects with Heather from Gypsy Flora and just adore her creative, free-spirited nature. We admire her as a young entrepreneur and know that you’ll be inspired by her passion for floral adornment.
Tell us about ‘Gypsy Flora’
Gypsy Flora is a young floral and retail store located in Berry, specialising in customised flowers for creative occasions, brides-to-be, and private installations. We run workshops and have styled alongside creative folk for Kinfolk events and editorials. Heather Halls heads up the team at Gypsy Flora Design and has been a florist for over six years. With a creative background in music and visual arts, she specialises in colour, texture and style to create a unique and individual design. We are gypsies, wanderers, musicians and artists who live a free spirited life and believe in truth, freedom and love.
Where did you get the name for your business?
The name came from a love of “flora” and wanting to give a sense of free spirited, natural living. As gypsies are traditionally flower sellers living by the season, it was only fitting for the two words “gypsy” and “flora” to come together.
What does a day in the life of Heather the florist look like?
My days consist of almond flats from Il Locale, followed by delivering flower orders around the town. Midday I usually meet with a bride and her groom, talking weddings and floral magic. The afternoon I spend in the shop, playing with blooms and organising tomorrows flowers. By 3pm I am on my emails, sending bridal quotes with a green tea in hand. I close the store at 5pm, followed by a late afternoon swim at Gerroa on my way home.
How can edible flowers enhance a cooks art?
Edible flowers create colour, texture and taste! There is nothing like seasoning your food with a mix of petals and blooms!!
What can flowers bring to a home atmosphere?
Flowers bring life into any home, situation or environment. The are a sense of calm and beauty. It is the small things that bring such joy to a home – the opening of a single bloom, the natural scent of a rose. these are the things that make a home beautiful.
What flower trends are you loving at the moment?
I am in LOVE with bold colour at the moment. Bright bold oranges, yellows and fushia pinks. And of course lots of green!! The more texture and foliage the better I say!
When I first moved out of home at 17, from the small coastal town of Crescent Head to the big smoke of Sydney; I realized for the first time the immense impact of not knowing my neighbours. I had previously been used to wandering through my village to go for a surf or hit the bakery for a sneaky vanilla slice and being waved at or conversed with at regular intervals along the way. I knew everyone, and everyone knew me. I took for granted the feelings of security and happiness this brought to my soul.
In the year that I lived in Sydney I never knew my neighbours. It was one of the loneliest years of my life.
Research shows that the simple act of reaching out to the people living around you will improve your wellbeing and happiness, and at a broader level reduces crime in the community.
I was reading Kinfolk’s ‘How to be Neighbourly’ section in a café shortly after moving to my new home; the seaside village of Thirroul, NSW one year ago. One of the suggestions was to create edible gifts for your neighbours in order to show that you care about them.
I made a conscious commitment to bless my neighbours with delightful edible gifts as a gesture to say “We’re here to lend you sugar whenever you need it. Let’s be friends. We’ll rescue your soggy mail when it rains. Whatever you need we are here”. And how could anyone resist homemade chocolate?
To cut the story short; our neighbour’s love us. They invite us to dinner. My husband has inherited a permanent personal trainer, my little boy Arie has found a park buddy, and I’ve got a pantry supplementation service whenever I’m short of recipe ingredients. When I accidentally burn bacon and the smoke alarm goes off (a regular occurrence), I have a range of people at the fence checking that everything is ok. The feeling of knowing that people are looking out for us makes for a joyful, secure home and life.
So here is my challenge to you. This week, whip up a batch of this delectable homemade hazelnut chocolate. Step out of your comfort zone and extend some to your neighbours. Wrap some shards in some brown paper tied with string. They will adore it, and will adore you.
200g hazelnuts, toasted
200g cacao butter
80g coconut sugar (ground in blender or mortar and pestle to a finer powder)
40g raw honey
60 g raw cacao
Scrapings of one vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanillaextract (optional)
Place the hazelnuts in a line baking tray.
Gently melt the cacao butter then add the coconut sugar, stirring to combine, stir in the rest of the ingredients and pour over the hazelnuts. Place in the freezer until set.