By Chere Di Boscio
Let’s be honest: we all have our limits on how far we’ll go to be green: yeah, we know that slice of carrot cake has dairy in the icing and it’s not organic, but…it’s just a tiny piece! Yeah, we know that perfume we love is packed with chemicals but it smells so good…and yeah, we know that big pharma meds are evil, but if they kill the pain after an operation, bring ’em on!
But Tara Mackey is bigger than all that.
If this girl craves clean food, she creates recipes for it. If she wants an organic perfume, she makes one. And if she’s going in for an operation to get a wisdom tooth out, she’ll just suck it up bear the pain the best she can without any drugs. Seriously.
We adore Tara not only for being the absolute least hypocritical green goddess on the planet, but also for her many talents: blogging (The Organic Life, in case you didn’t know), singing, writing (she’s got a book coming out), cooking, modelling…ugh! This girl can do it all! And the best part: she’s as sunny as Spain and sweet as pie. So much so, she agreed to do this interview just after dental surgery without anaesthetic or painkillers–insert Munch ‘horrified face’ emoji here…
What first sparked your interest in the organic and natural movement?
I was a late beauty bloomer, but most of that was due to the fact that I already kinda knew what sorts of toxic crap was in most conventional products. More than that, I knew that what I had used forever not only hadn’t worked – much of it had made my skin problems much worse! When I moved to LA and started at a new modeling agency, they tried to push some crazy, chemical-laden products on me to “fix my skin”, and I did research before buying them. It lead me straight to organic and natural beauty, which I’ve been in love with ever since! The choices are now so plentiful and thoughtful – it’s totally changed the game, and I’ve been happy to be able to be a part of that movement. With food, it wasn’t really a choice. After I got sick and decided to clean up my life, I had to eat good food to feel good and function optimally.
Model, author, musician, blogger…you do so much! Which profession do you most identify with?
I don’t know if I’d be “me” without doing any of the above, since I’ve been doing them all so long! Probably the author/musician label is what I identify with the most. Modelling is nice but recently for me I feel that unless there is an amazing cause behind it, I’ve been extremely selective about what projects I join. It’s important for modelling to have a reason for me, so that I can bring the passion into it. But I adore writing. I write for my blog as well as all my own music.
The big news is that you’ve helped develop a range of beauty products. Tell us a bit about them.
I have a limited edition collection called The Tara Collection (with Delizioso Skincare) that ends this week – so gets your today in the shop! (just click here, folks!). I also just developed a new vegan line with Gia Minerals that is organic and 100% natural called The Siren Collection. These vegan, organic products were all so fun to develop, test, and name. It also gave me my first taste into a formulator’s world, and I’ve taken that formulation knowledge further by helping other brands to develop more organic or sustainable practices in their business. In other words – I got another passion out of it!
Which beauty products can you simply not live without?
The Radiant Glow Body Oil and Under the Sea lipstick are my current staples, as well as the Glow Crème Luminizer. I also adore Lily Lolo’s natural mascara and I add a touch of Tara California Bronzing Mousse to my cheeks each morning to start my day and brighten up my complexion. With bases of prickly pear seed oil and wonderfully healing EO’s as well, I know I am taking care of my skin as well as looking my best!
What are some of your favourite eco-fashion labels?
I LOVE Synergy Organic Clothing, Brook There, Wolven Threads and The Great Beyond for their amazing missions and the men and women who run the companies are all amazing!
Tell us a bit about the book you just wrote?
It actually doesn’t launch until February, but it is available for preorder on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. My book came about from my blog, which my publishing company found and contacted me through, but it’s much more in depth than my blog and I get very personal as well as give you a lot of stats and facts about alternative treatments to ailments we all face every day – like anxiety, pain, grief and sadness. Growing up, I suffered from dependency on various prescription drugs for depression, anxiety, and ADHD. At age twenty-four, I decided that enough was enough and quit over a dozen of my prescription meds cold-turkey in search for happiness. In this book, I teach you how and why I am now drug-free, stress-free, and happy. Cured by Nature is my personal story combined with my knowledge and advice to battling personal demons and coming out victorious. I show you how to adapt and grow, using various herbal remedies, breathing exercises, and mind-strengthening techniques that will help you be a happier and better you.
Obviously you’re very eco-conscious, but do you have any ‘eco sins’?
I am trying VERY hard to turn off all the lights in the house or hallway if I leave a room or am not using the room for a minute. It helps my wallet as well as my heart. =)
Which issues do you think are most important for people to address to make the world a better place?
Anything that needs to be accomplished can be accomplished with kindness. With an open heart, we can change anything. I donate 5% of all sales from any collaboration I do to the Cancer Research Institute, and I do a lot of beach conservation where I live because it’s near and dear to my heart. That’s my small part. I am very interested and invested in politics, but I really like to get involved where I can make the biggest change. Writing my book was a huge part of that. No matter what we’re facing – love is the answer.
What are some of your favourite treats?
I love to make my own little treats like garlic salt pumpkin seeds or coconut chips. I also recently shared a recipe for Chocolate Squash Bread on my blog that has been a huge staple in my house lately. I’m loving it!
Who do you most admire for trying to make a difference?
I have a lot of amazing mentors who’ve really made a difference in this world and many personal heros and heroines. Gandhi is one of my favorites. Mother Teresa is another. Paramahansa Yogananda is another guru who I think has really changed many people’s lives and affected collective consciousness in a way that’s been rare since. Wayne Dyer, who just passed, is amazing. Deepak Chopra. Tony Robbins. Elizabeth Gilbert. The list goes on and on.
What are some of your favourite memories of being in nature?
I’ve seen a lot of incredible things and been many beautiful places. I just adore where I live (a quiet little surf town called Encinitas in San Diego) which has some of the most clear, perfect waves and water. I really love long hikes in the woods, runs on the beach and travel! My 6 hour long hike in Muir Woods a few weeks after my Dad passed last year were actually one of my most fond memories, and ended up being absolutely incredible therapy. I start every single day with a hike with my dog and we also do a hike at sunset – it’s just so important for me to get out and about every day.
You’re obviously incredibly busy, but we wouldn’t be surprised if you had more upcoming projects…
Besides the launch of Cured By Nature in February, I have a few singles that will be released soon (you can watch it here). There are a few other things in the work for the beauty, acting, food and organic clothing categories. Can’t say too much more than that, but stay tuned….