Max Made


We set out to find the best natural make up in the biz with the help of eco-makeup artist, editor & all-round organic expert Emmily Banks. See what stood up to the Maxmade test!

As a sessions make-up artist, I often work under bright lights in long stints, and need products with staying power that help my clients’ carefully-made faces stay put from red carpet to media wall – and a full day of interviews and editorial shoots in between.

That’s why in the past, I’ve largely avoided organic make up. While I knew it was good for the skin, the jury was still out on the ingredients, while the formulas didn’t hold up for the enduring day of a typical woman on the go, let alone a flash-bulb-weary celebrity.

However, I was recently happy to have my preconceptions challenged when I met Emmily Banks from the blog Depths of Beauty. More than just a natural MUA, Emmily is an organic pioneer, passionate about getting better quality natural and organic products into the kit of every make up artist like myself (not to mention the cupboards of 35K+ women who follow her Insta-adventures daily).

My goal in collaborating with Emmily was to test out her favourite products and see whether they hold up in finish and application, as well as how they photograph. I appreciate that a lot of my readers love a really professional finish, but may also be trying to get pregnant, have health concerns and generally choose a more holistic picture of beauty and health, and quality organic products matter.

“My mission is to educate and create awareness around natural beauty products and care – and transition millions of people to use natural,” she proudly says. As well as her blog, she is a brand ambassador for Inika and worked with Ere Perez on their reformulation – when she’s not doing video tutorials or running sold out masterclasses and events across Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland.

Her blog began 3 years ago, when she started trialling and testing natural products for a job with Jess Ainscough, the health pioneer who was sadly suffering from cancer at the time.

“A lot of make up artists said outright that natural products didn’t work, but has anyone actually tried them?” chirps Emmily as she takes me through her kit in her sunlit Bondi apartment. “I found out that these products work really well – and no one knows!”

Emmily tested brands for years to separate the wheat from the chaff, landing on Kjaer Weis, World Organics, Lily Lolo, Inika, Ere Perez, Vapour, Gressa and RMS among some favourites.


“I use a lot of Inika foundations for everyday light weight coverage, while for a shoot like this, Kjaer Weis gives a more creamy refined coverage and finish. Gressa has a really interesting liquid foundation… it almost goes on like water and spreads really well and has the most delicious dewy finish! Vapour has medium coverage with a luminosity that will give you a more editorial no makeup, makeup finish.”

We played a game of “If you love…” with Emmily, to get a lowdown of some alternate organic favourites if you’re thinking of ‘transitioning’ your kit.

“If you love Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Foundation… you will love Gressa Minimalist Foundation for its flawless dewy finish.”

“If you love MAC Prep & Prim BB Beauty Balm… you will love Kjaer Weis as it’s a beautiful eco-luxe brand giving medium, photoshop-style coverage.”

“If you love NARS Laguna Bronzer… you will love Lily Lolo Honolulu or Ere Perez Bronze Tones for that radiant bronzed glow.”

“If you love Chanel’s Matt Lipstick… you will love Nudus Lipsticks for a highly pigmented, long lasting, matte finish.

“If you love pencil eyeliners…. you will love Inika Organic Eyeliner Pencil for a creamy consistency thats easy to blend and smudge that sets for a long-wear. Tip: If you’re looking for a strong long lasting liquid liner World Organics has an awesome one with a delicate precision brush. 

“If you love a highly pigmented eyeshadows with beautiful light particles… you will love World Organics Eyeshadows.

“If you love a long lasting mascara for lengthened and thickened lashes… trial W3ll People & Lily Lolo Mascara.”

So, can organic make up translate to a high-fashion, editorial finish? I was up for the challenge!

Here are the steps and products to creating Emmily’s natural, sensual look – tried and tested by yours truly.

  1. Primer: We began by prepping the skin with a layer of No. 2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner From edible Beauty to better help the skin absorb moisturiser and improve the overall hydration of the skin. I followed with the Edible Beauty Vanilla Silk Moisturiser, a light-weight cream with a water-like texture that absorbs instantly on the skin – yet leaves it silky soft and hydrated after a generous application.
  2. Base: Inika Liquid Foundation provides ideal light-to-medium in coverage with a natural to demi-matt finish. Also try blending this foundation evenly into your ‘evening’ skin for a no makeup, makeup cocktail hour look.
  3. Powder: I’m hard to please when it comes to powders! A powder can change your entire foundation and concealer finish with a single sweep of the brush. So, would I use the Inika Baked Powder on a drier skin type? No. It’s a little on the coarse side of texture, so is best for oily skin types, or as an oil-control touch up for normal skill throughout the day. I would however suggest using this Inika Mattifying Setting Powder to set makeup.
  4. Concealer: I adore this rich creamy RMS Un Cover-Up Concealer to shade and highlight the skin. The build-able coverage works with what you’re needing to cover, and it blends beautifully on all skin types – whether you’re oily or dry.
  5. Bronzer: Ere Perez Bronze Tones is super easy to blend and build – plus it has a slight reflective finish, which I love.
  6. Blush: I love Ere Perez two-tone blush Bondi Blushing, used separately or together to brighten and lift the over-all skin tone. There are perfect shades for all skin tones, including those of us that suffer dark under-eye circles and need an extra pop of colour to brighten the skin and reflect colour into the eyes (therefore diffusing those eyebags…genius!).
  7. Highlighter: World Organics Highlighter is a soft blend-able powder highlighter with a highly reflective long lasting finish. It works for both cool and warm skin tones!
  8. Eyes:  W3ll People Mascara: I like the light coverage for a natural finish, because the real bite in this look comes from Lily LoLo Eyeshadow Palette: I love the pigment in these shadows! The blend-able shades the held in place after I finished, unlike other organic/natural shadows I had tried before that either slide around or were extremely drying on the skin.
  9. Brows: The Eco Brow Gel is a good all-round gel and brush. ‘Nuff said.
  10. Lips: The Lipstick Nudus colour in Halo, I adored. It felt exactly like my favourite Urban Decay and NARS lipies. The texture was super creamy and hydrating, with a rich colour that was true to the eye and held its ground for the entirety of the shoot.



Organic products have certainly upped their game in the last 10 years, especially since so many of these brands have been started by actual make up artists. Even their packaging is now on point, in neutral and clean tones that look chic in your bathroom.

If you’re looking for natural make up alternatives that perform, these brands pass my test and you can freely enjoy these alternatives without sacrificing quality and finish.




Hair & Makeup & Product Review: Max May | Words: Alina Berdichevsky | Photographer: Leeroy Te Hira.


Special thanks to Emmily Banks for sharing your love and knowledge and beautiful face.

1 Comment »

  1. Jaime says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I’m slowly adding more and more natural products to my makeup. This post has given me so much inspiration.

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