Background checks with Em Gurr: Delving deep behind-the-feed
At Husskie, I [Editor Yelena] first met Emily Gurr when we had the pleasure of being on a Bali influencer trip together earlier this year. With her super relaxed attitude and easy going nature, we immediately got along. Fast forward a couple of months to when I was chatting to Murad about their upcoming Mum Series, and I just knew Em would be perfect to have involved (plus, I knew she was using the product after I couldn’t stop raving about it while in Bali).
The Murad Mum Series is all about showing how the brand’s Retinol Youth Renewal collection can be used by all ages, with results being noticed on multiple skin types and concerns. To show off the results of the products, we sent Em and her mum Suzie the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal collection including the Serum, Night Cream and Eye Serum to use before later heading up to Queensland to shoot the results of the products.
On arrival at the Gold Coast for the shoot, Em’s mum Suzie and dad Marty immediately welcomed me into their home (which was especially lovely seems I already knew Suzie was a little bit camera shy). After chatting footy with Marty for a bit (he’s formerly played rugby league for NSW) – Em, Suzie and I stepped outside to catch the best light.
With the sun practically sparkling off their glowing skin, we got the shots before taking Em aside to talk everything from being a tomboy growing up, to studying architecture while juggling modelling and influencing, plus her take on beauty, fashion, and health.
Can you tell me a bit about your background? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Manly and lived there until I was 15 and then moved to Kingscliff in Queensland. I went to Kingscliff Public School – which I wasn’t too happy about at the time, being a 15 year old! But no, I’m really glad we made the move – I’ve got some great friends up here and then I’ve got great friends down in Sydney, so it’s nice having friends in different places. More places to visit and hang out!
When you were growing up, were you into fashion and modelling?
I actually used to be a bit of a tomboy! I played a lot of sport – I came from a sporting background with Dad. He used to play a lot of football, so he put me into every sport. He wanted me to try everything so I could make up my own mind – but Mum used to always dress me in cute little outfits, like berets and frocks, double denim and everything… so I always had that fashion influence as well.
When I was in primary school and the first few years of highschool, I was right into my sport – but slowly I started going down more the modelling path. It was fun and exciting and I use to love being creative at shoots. I’ve always had that creative streak in me.
Do you still love modelling?
I do. I’ve always loved acting – so with modelling, I like being able to transform into a character or get really creative and play with the camera. I love wearing out-there things and being inspired by music and film. I’m a bit of an old soul, so I love all old music – like classic rock and roll and classic r&b, and old films. I think it’s really cool to be able to put those inspirations into different things you’re doing and making an idea in your head into something tangible like a photo. Another thing I love with modelling is that you work in a team and you’re all creative. Everyone is buzzing off each other and you create something together.
Are you a full-time model and influencer?
I’ve just finished my degree in business and fashion, so that consumed a lot of my time when I was studying. I travel a lot – I can’t sit still. I’ve never been able to sit still! I love going and exploring new places, and for me it’s so important because it really broadens my perspective of things and shows me new cultures and new people. Even just seeing the way other cultures view the world – it’s really inspiring. I love that people can have such different views but still understand each other. That’s something that has really shaped me and taught me a lot.
Did you go straight from school to doing the fashion business degree?
I finished school and went up to Brisbane and studied architecture – which I loved. It was really cool and taught me about considered space. I’ve always loved classic design, so studying it was really cool – but I’d find myself in the studio all the time. I just wanted my work to be perfect – I never wanted to stop doing it, but it meant I didn’t have time to do anything else. My modelling was really starting to get going at that time and I was really loving fashion, so I thought if I switched to fashion and business – I could still study and pursue modelling.
Moving on from career – I’ve got a few lifestyle questions I’m dying to ask. First, beauty! What products are you using at the moment?
At the moment I’ve been using Murad. You [yes me – what can I say, I’m an addict!] put me onto it, and I absolutely love it. I’m very simplistic with my skincare regime and I don’t wear much makeup during the day – only if I’m working. I’ll always make sure my face is cleansed, I’ll put on a light cream in the morning, and I use a night cream at night. I really don’t put too much on my skin – but Murad has been great.
What is it about the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal range that you like?
I like that it feels light. I put it on and I feel like I’m not wearing anything – but it absorbs really nicely. You know how sometimes you put on a moisturiser or a cleanser and you feel your skin harden and get really dry? The Murad range doesn’t do that. That’s what I really love about it – because I love a dewy, really hydrated skin. I hate feeling dehydrated in any sort of sense – I drink so much water and I literally carry around moisturiser in my bag! If I feel like I’m dry at all, I have to put it on straight away. [By the way, Murad’s philosophy is all about Skin Wellness via Cellular Hydration so Dr Murad is a BIG believer in consuming water in all formats; Eat it, Drink it, Wear it!]
Dewy, hydrated skin for the win! What about fashion, you have a bit of an eclectic style. How would you describe it?
I get influenced by different things all the time. I think with what I wear, I’m definitely influenced by outback Australia because that’s where my mum’s from – but then I’m also inspired by the suburban coastal Australian easy-going lifestyle. I’ve also always had an obsession with that French nonchalant cool-girl-yet-easy going fashion as well – I try and mix them all as much as I can. I love denim and shirts and cute dresses – but then grunging it up a little with some boots or a beret. I love Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts was wearing all those pretty dresses and the suits.
And health and fitness… you said you were quite sporty growing up, are you still pretty active?
I am. Some weeks I might be like: “I really want to surf” – and I’ll surf all week. Or other weeks I’ll be really into going for a run and I’ll run all week. Other times I’ll be like “no, I don’t feel like exercising this week – I’m just going to paint or go out with my friends for wines”. At the moment, my life is just doing whatever I’m feeling at the time and I’m just going with it – which is exciting and fun and keeps things interesting.
Just three quick ones to finish. Age and height?
I just turned 24 and I’m 175cm tall.
How would your friends describe you?
Old soul, loyal, and down to earth. I hope they’d say I’m down to earth.
And lastly, where do you see yourself in 5 year’s time?
I hate this question! I would have never guessed this is what I’d be doing when I was younger – but that is what’s so exciting about it, I just go with the flow. I’m quite spontaneous. In five year’s time, I’d love to be designing – I love designing clothes. I love styling and putting things together. I hope that I’m still travelling. I want to be in some sort of creative field still surrounded by amazing people and just having a good time.
The Murad Retinol Youth Renewal collection consists of the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, Night Cream and Eye Serum. Using breakthrough Retinol Tri-Active Technology, the products quickly and visibly minimise lines and deep wrinkles, evens skin tone, and boost radiance. Ideal for all ages and walks of life, the Murad Retinol Youth Renewal collection is all about delivering healthy-looking skin naturally and time effectively.