Naturopath Amy Sumner has carved her own business niche by combining her two greatest passions – natural medicine and eco-friendly beauty services. We caught up with Amy about how she created the career of her dreams by bending the rules.
People often ask me how I came to choose my career as a naturopath. It is hard to pinpoint where it all began. With my mother and both sets of grandmothers being nurses, it seems I inherited a desire to heal. I grew up with conventional medicine all around me and had never encountered a naturopath before enrolling in my degree with Endeavour, however I was fascinated with the idea of herbal medicine, nutrition and natural skincare from a young age. I would pore over natural health books from the library and secretly mix up lavender tea and facial masks from things I found in the cupboard and garden.
I endured terrible acne as a teenager and now work to spare others the frustration of an illness mainstream medicine has few answers to. I do a lot of work helping brides clear up their skin during the lead up to their wedding. The best thing about being qualified in both areas is that I can help brides achieve their weight goals and create glowing overall health, as well as doing their makeup on the day!
The main advantage of working as a naturopath and makeup artist is I get to indulge both my logical and creative sides. I’ve found this to be vital for my own happiness. I used to feel my dreams were tearing me in two directions – but since
I resolved to embrace both my passions equally everything started to flow.
There are many amazing natural ways to treat acne topically, but for long-term results it is essential to treat the underlying cause. I’d recommend seeing a naturopath who can determine the best treatment for skin woes. Adopting a dairy-free, blood sugar balancing diet can be extremely helpful. Probiotics, silica, zinc and tailored herbal medicines can make a huge difference.
There’s an art and a science to both jobs. Naturopathy is about biochemistry and pathophysiology, but lateral thinking really helps with linking together the details of a case to come up with the best treatment plan. Makeup artistry is very creative, yet it is helpful to have a scientific understanding of ingredients and how topical preparations are made.
I’m proud to have built a makeup kit that delivers flawless results using only vegan, cruelty-free and toxin-free products. I’m the only WA artist with such an eclectic kit composed entirely of natural brands. It has been challenging to find beauty products that meet my health and ethical standards that perform well – however natural beauty products are becoming more accessible every day.
I learned my interests were defined as a discipline called naturopathy, and I knew it was what I would do with my life. I spent five years studying under the best naturopaths and nutritionists in Perth and Brisbane. Being a creative soul, I was also drawn to studying makeup artistry and completed my Diploma of Specialist Makeup Services during a short break from my degree. I received the award for best portfolio in the class. I didn’t want to deprive myself of my creative needs again, so when I returned to my naturopathy studies, I set about finding ways to merge my two passions together.
I love having the option to treat my clients in both areas. Naturopathic skills are surprisingly useful on makeup jobs. Bridal preparations and backstage nerves frequently come with nausea, panic attacks, sunburn, gastro and other potential catastrophes. I have learned to always carry my special naturopathic emergency kit with me, which can often bring the day back from the brink of disaster. Naturopathic clients often ask me for makeup advice as well – sometimes it is as simple as writing down some product recommendations along with the rest of their prescription or doing a makeup bag detox or organic makeup lesson.
About Amy Sumner
Amy Sumner is an Australian naturopath with a special interest in skin health and herbal medicine. She is also an internationally certified makeup artist and provides toxin-free makeup artistry services for weddings, balls and photoshoots.
Naturopath Anita Pierantozzi built on her degree with two postgraduate qualifications that helped her enter the conventional medicine industry, landing the highly coveted role of Senior Medical Education Officer at Redcliffe Hospital.