EMMA ISHTA, IMG

 
 
BABES

“I started modeling a really long time ago; I’ve been doing it for eight years—since I was twelve or thirteen. My mom’s hairdresser basically asked if he could take some photos of me and I did it for free. I was young at the time and was like, “yeah I want to be a model!” So I did it and it ended up being on posters around shopping centers in Brisbane. Afterwards, my mom took me into an agency because I hadn’t been paid for it and it was a big campaign that they used for a lot of things. So I signed with an agency in Australia and then got scouted by IMG when I was fifteen. After I signed with IMG they sent me to Paris then New York after I graduated high school. I moved here around 2009 and I have been here since then.

In the morning I will just get out of the shower, wash my face with water then put on Khiel’s, the ultra moisturizing lotion. I tend to get really dry around my nose during the winter so I will put on some papaw—it’s amazing, it’s so good. I’m not really too fussy. My mom was a super hippy. Until I was like fifteen she never even shaved anything. She moisturized her legs—she always did that and she always had lip balm. So every single day I get out of the shower and I moisturize and I have lip balm. I’ve had those in my routine for my whole life. Other then that I didn’t grow up around makeup or beauty products really. When my mom woke up it was just water and she has beautiful skin. So I always felt like people overdo it a little bit. I am really basic and stick to what I have.

If I have a casting I will put on a tiny bit of Laura Mercier concealer, just around my nose and eyes. And then I’ll put on a bit of MAC powder just to make it stick or the Make Up Forever HD powder, though that can dry out my skin a bit. I will use the Make Up Forever one if I need my concealer to last all day. Sometimes I will wear it just under my eyes because it keeps the concealer from moving. I wouldn’t necessarily wear it on my whole face in my daily life, but on shoots they use it because it is great for photos. I guess next I’ll use a little bit of MAC blush. Then I’ll brush out my eyebrows and occasionally I’ll put on a tiny bit of mascara. For castings it has to be very natural.

If I’m going out, then I’ll use the Armani foundation. It’s smooth and I like a really matte look. Whenever I do my makeup I like it to look like I’m not wearing any at all. The foundation stays really smooth and gives good coverage without being super heavy. I use the Givenchy mascara with the ball at the end. I think there is a real technique to using it. I am really used to it now, so I am much better at it then the normal wand. You can do so many different things with it. The ball really pushes your lashes out so it curls them a lot, which I like since I don’t have an eyelash curler. I’ll usually do a white liner under my eyes on the inner eyelid because it makes the eye look so much bigger and kind of extends it. I am not necessarily big on black all around the eye because it can make the eye look smaller. Though sometimes just some smudgy black under the eye could be really cool. It’s fun to play with my eye makeup at night if I am going somewhere. I like to do a golden brown cat eye that’s a bit smokey or a black liquid eyeliner. Also I have super long bottom eyelashes, they are like the size of my top lashes so I will press them together so they clump.

YSL has the best classic red lipstick, and I think it’s the perfect color. It’s not too matte or too creamy, it stays on really well—it’s perfect. I like a really dark, vampy sort of lip as well, a dark maroon or a brown—that’s the going out color. I probably wouldn’t wear red out as much. I like to be a little gothic sometimes a bit romantic goth. I think it’s much cooler, like if you’re going to go to a rockabilly bar it’s a much better look then red. I love red but I’ll wear it to a wedding or to a brunch.

I’ve been really involved in an organization called Cleanse that was started by the Dutch model, Anne Marie Van Dijk. She created the organization around health and nutrition, in order to educate younger models. Cus there’s not a lot of help out there and when you start at fifteen, nobody tells you how to approach the industry in a healthy way. There’s a lot of miscommunication and myths out there; a booker can be like, “just eat rice cakes for the weekend.” It’s very easy to fall into eating disorders and bad habits. There’s so much pressure to stay so thin and it’s a really unhealthy image. There’s nobody to advise girls and teach them the way to look after themselves. To be that way you need to have a lower body weight then what’s normal or what is healthy or what is recommended. You have to do that as healthily as you can and be careful. Obviously, we all have a certain body type naturally, but you also just have to look after yourself. Eating vegetables and good protein and fruits is much different then just having a Jell-O.

Cleanse also helps teach younger models how to handle their new financial situation because suddenly you can be earning 3,000 dollars a day or more. Do you go out and spend it on a designer bag or do you put it away because you will probably need to stop modeling at twenty-five? Basically, the organization deals with all these kinds of issues.

There’s a team of health professionals, a life coach, trainers, a nutritionist and counselors who all form this little network. IMG at the moment, and soon other agencies, basically send their new girls to us for anything they will possibly need. IMG being so supportive is wonderful. It’s a big risk to go against the grain and to do something different. A lot of agencies aren’t willing to forge the way ahead, but IMG can because they are IMG and are path makers.

I have always been involved with music and played the violin for fourteen years. I was studying music for a little while at the conservatory in Australia and that’s what I’d always wanted to do really. I kind of realized maybe three months ago that I didn’t want the lifestyle of a musician. I spent so much time traveling the past years I hadn’t really had a home somewhere stable. I don’t want the late nights and that type of scene. It was kind of a big crisis for me at the time—I was like “what am I going to do!” I’ll always be involved in music but it’s just not a career path for me I don’t think.

I’m just about to start studying psychology next month, which is pretty exciting. It’s going to take me a long time; I have to do it online because I have to work. I would love to be able to go to university but I can’t commit to certain dates with my schedule, which is a bit frustrating. I feel like a whole part of going to university is getting to meet the people and your professors and being able to have those kinds of conversations, but that’s not really possible for me. So that’s ok, it is going to take a while but Ill get there.”

 -As told to The Formula / Photos by Aimee Blaut in New York

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