A tête

As well as gracing the pages of some of the world’s most popular fashion titles, Cara G McIlroy is a TV host, qualified holistic nutritionist và mother of 3. Here we chat lớn the bubbly Aussie beauty about her career highlights, top health hacks và the rollercoaster of motherhood. 

Writer: Rebecca Walker, The Conscious Wordsmith


Your exotic features helped launch your career as a model. What is your ethnicity?

I’m Australian with a mixture of Swiss, Singaporean, German, Irish, Thai and Arabic descent.

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You have 3 daughters. What are their names and ages?

India Wilde (7); Freija Rain (6); Noa Storm (2).


What is the best thing about being a mum? 

It’s a feeling more than a thing. It’s the feeling you feel deep in your soul. Being a mum has made me re-evaluate what is important lớn me. Before, I would work so hard, juggling every job. I wanted to lớn be better in my career và make money, but now my focus is being happy và healthy. I want to lớn be a good example for my girls, so I try to lớn focus on the things I’m passionate about & do my best to lớn role-model values I think are important, like being kind và empathetic.


What is the most challenging part of motherhood? 

The guilt. I have mum guilt about everything! Managing the relationships within the family is also really tricky. 


You’ve been pregnant và birthed 3 times. Was each experience similar or different?

My first labour was 43 hours, 4 in active labour. I felt like I’d been hit by a train. She was taken khổng lồ ICU straight after birth so I wasn’t able to bởi vì skin-to-skin, which wasn’t great. My second birth was a slightly better. It was a 28-hour labour and 1.5 hours of active labour, so much faster. But I had a terrible tear which needed multiple surgeries to lớn heal, so it took a long time to lớn recover. During my recovery I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) which has taken my health on a rollercoaster ride until this day. My third labour was quick. 8 hours and only 30 minutes of active labour. I recovered much faster the third time. All 3 were natural births, not that it matters. You gotta bởi what you gotta do. 


You are a professional model, TV presenter và creative content creator. How vày you juggle work & life with 3 children? 

I always wanted lớn be a mother và becoming one changed my life more than I ever imagined. My girls have taught me so much about the world và how lớn see things through the eyes of a child again. It’s a beautiful thing. But balance? I still don’t know what that is! Ha.

Since covid, most of my modelling jobs have transformed into Instagram ones, which has positive and negative aspects, like any job or change. I loved going to work in the studio & meeting different people every day. With mainstream modelling you basically just vì chưng the jobs your agency gives you (to some degree). I just showed up, did my thing và went home. But that also meant being away from the kids a lot; especially when I was working on TV. Sometimes I would work for days, weeks and months without a day off.

Now most brands ask me lớn create campaigns for them. On Instagram, you become the creative director, makeup artist, photographer và model, while finding time to shoot in-between between parenting. It’s a lot more more work than traditional shooting, but I get to be creative và work with brands I care about, which I love. Most importantly, it gives me flexibility to be at home with my kids, & I will take that any day.

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What has been your biggest career highlight khổng lồ date? 

Modelling wise, I would say filming the ‘Girl Panic’ music đoạn phim for Duran Duran in London because it was just such a surreal moment. On that shoot I worked with all the supermodels I’d idolised since I was a kid (Naomi Campbell, Helena Christenson, Cindy Crawford). I also loved this job because they gave me so much time off. When I wasn’t working, I used every spare second khổng lồ explore Europe – hiking through the alps alone; stopping at little mountain villages eating cheese. It was so magical. 

Being a judge on Asia’s Next Top mã sản phẩm was also an awesome experience. But honestly speaking, it was never the right fit for me. I’m too soft! I don’t feel in my element telling young girls how to lớn model. Some girls who vị modelling live và breath it. They are super into fashion, makeup và the whole sha-bang. I’ve never been lượt thích that. It has always just been a job for me. The aspects that originally attracted me to modelling were the freedom to lớn travel; meeting new people; và having the opportunity to bởi fun, amazing things. The fame and celebrity side of things have always made me uncomfortable.

My favourite project...and I say that because I wasn’t paid...was the opportunity lớn work with Elephant Nature Park (an elephant rescue & rehabilitation centre) helping rescued elephants that had been mistreated in Thailand. I was given the opportunity khổng lồ work with the charity Save Elephant Foundation as a volunteer because of my modelling career and I will forever be grateful for experiences like that.

You live on the coast and embrace a healthy lifestyle. What are your top tips for maintaining a healthy mind, body toàn thân and soul? 

Wellness has been a part of my life since childhood. To me, being healthy means living a well-balanced life – eating foods that are wholesome and make you feel good from the inside out, and treating yourself well. Fresh air, mở cửa space, and nature are such high priorities for me & the ocean holds the key lớn my sanity. I’m lượt thích Moanna! The beach is my happy place. Health has become an even bigger part of my life now than it was before I had kids, because I know I have to lớn take care of myself to lớn take care of my kids. I want to have the energy to enjoy life with them. 

You are a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Do you have any general nutritional advice for exhausted, run-down mama’s?  

Make sure your iron counts are up & that you are eating enough. This is especially important for breastfeeding mamas. Breastfeeding takes so much from a woman’s toàn thân so you need to lớn replace what is being taken or you’ll feel exhausted. I also love adaptogens & CBD, but that’s not for everyone. 

How do you stay in shape?

I’ve always loved mixed martial arts lượt thích boxing khổng lồ get into shape. Ido Portal (a technique that blends martial arts, dance, yoga và gymnastics) was my fave back in the day, but it’s difficult to lớn find qualified trainers. It involves a lot of animal movements which sounds strange, but I was super into it. I also love yin yoga and recently took up running.

Do you have a favourite skincare brand or product that you can’t live without? 

It’s really hard lớn name one in particular, but I really love oils. I use oil on my skin every day và night in winter, & every night in summer. I also can’t live without sunscreen & am loving Juice Beauty sunscreen at the moment.

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You are an animal rights advocate and support environmental awareness causes. What steps bởi vì you & your family take khổng lồ live a more sustainable lifestyle?

I am vegetarian & my kids eat very little meat. We clean the beaches, keep our use of plastics lớn a minimum and practice recycling in our family. Teaching my kids about all these issues is of huge importance as it’s their generation that will be making serious changes to lớn save our planet. If I can teach them lớn love our planet, there is hope.

What message vì chưng you want khổng lồ pass onto your daughters as they grow into women? 

To respect everything’s role on this planet and have empathy is so important. To protect our planet fiercely and with compassion. Khổng lồ treat everyone equally despite their ethic, religious, political, economic views & differences. Khổng lồ stand up and be proud of your differences. Và to remember they are beautiful just as they are and don’t need anyone to tell them so.