top of page

Secrets from a Beauty Insider's in the chair with ... segment launches with Emily Armstrong and

Pretty much guaranteed by the end of a shoot or private makeup session, I'll have some pretty good insider goss from my client sitting in the makeup chair. Oh if the walls of Makeup Departments could talk! The stories we could tell - except we won't.

Being a makeup artist is part creative, part counsellor, part motivator, part mother, all confidante. All ears. Mouths wide shut. We don't kiss and tell so to speak. But how we relish these insider sneak peeks. We are mighty good listeners.

I meet many magnificent women doing seriously cool stuff, it's such a privilege to do their makeup. Heartwarming and sometimes thrilling, cheeky stories from inspiring entrepreneurial women who share my love of uplifting and helping chicks over 40 feel damn fine about themselves. That's what I want to share with you. Cool chicks doing cool stuff ... and the makeup products they use to perk themselves up.

I'm always curious about what motivated these incredible women to start their businesses, what inspires them, and what beauty tips they have to share with you. These are stories I can tell. It's fun to get a little inside sneak peek into another awesome woman-who-is-kicking-butt's makeup purse.

And so Secrets from a Beauty Insider's In the Chair with... is born.

Let's continue to lift one another up with the end goal of helping each other soar.

Meet my FIRST inspiring 40-something chick doing super cool stuff in the fashion and design business, all whilst juggling 3 young children, a husband and maintaining a genuine humbleness.

In the Chair with ...

EMILY ARMSTRONG and The Paradise Catcher


Emily is a long time personal friend. We share a bestie, we did the London thing together, embarked on many naughty nights out and lived squished up in a "caravan in the sky" in Earls Court. As you did in those young, free, reckless days. Emily helped me land my first advertising job in London. She was working on the L'Oreal Europe account at a multi-national advertising agency. We couldn't quite believe our luck, young kids from BrisVegas, Queensland, Australia, doing some serious cool stuff on big budget beauty accounts. Oh those were the days! I was lucky enough to do Emily's makeup on her wedding day - Emily and her divinely beautiful bridesmaids - 'twas an honour to be a part of such a momentous day in a womans life.

Now a loving wife, 40-something earth mother of three beautiful little people, Emily's an ex-advertising executive turned experienced womens fashion magazine guru. Emily's worked at one of the World's best known - and respected - publishing houses Conde Nast, spent many years at British Vogue, Australian Vogue and Grazia magazines. The girl knows womens fashion. Yet she's always kind, thoughtful, grounded, generous and polite. Sometime a rarity in the fashion industry.

And just because life with 3 young children wasn't crazy enough, Emily's launched a new business, The Paradise Catcher. That's Emily, there's just no stopping her and her infectious energy! I often wonder how Emily manages to do it all ... she'd be a key contender for Mama Mia's "I don't know how she does it" podcast! But somehow she does, and always with grace, beauty, a few wines and a sense of humour.

Over to you Emily Armstrong ...

What inspired you to launch your business, The Paradise Catcher?

I wanted to dip my toe into the creative and entrepreneurial worlds as a side hustle with the hope that it may become a viable and primary business for me.

In terms of inspiration for the baskets…. I’ve loved a monogram for ever (in a previous life I may have been a ‘southern belle’ as do love the American love of monogrammed pillowcases, cocktail napkins and sailing bags bearing family names!). I’ve also always loved the summer style of the Mediterranean - and basket bags have been a thing in my life for a while - my mum has always worn them, inspired from her time living with my family in Italy and Malta and the middle east through the 60’s and 70’s. I think they are stylish and timeless and whether to the beach or market they signal endless summer vibes and easy chic style.

Photograph courtesy of Julie Adams for The Grace Tales.

On a family holiday to Ibiza in 2014 (just before we returned to Australia after a second stint living in London), I noticed the basket bags with monograms and pom poms and just fell in love. I thought Australia would be the perfect place to launch given the beach culture and climate. After a long career in magazines mostly at British Vogue, I arrived back in Australia pregnant with my third bubba, about to enter my 40’s and itching for a change in direction and to express my creativity more. I started researching the business in 2014 and then launched in the summer of 2017.

what's in your make up bag?

I love the ease of this - I usually ‘paint’ it on my face in the car rear vision mirror at the start of the day. CLICK HERE TO BUY

Ellis Faas concealer

I love the ‘pen’ application to slap on quickly and easily and man do I need a concealer!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Chanel Bronzer


Kevin Aucoin The Curling Mascara

I love how it washes off in the shower without needing eye make-up remover.

Shu Uemera eyelash curlers

They do make a difference if I use them but sometimes they just sit there looking at me, unused. CLICK HERE TO BUY

By Terry Crayon Kohl Terribly colour eye pencil

Kevin Aucoin precision brow pencil

Plus one of those disposable eye lash applicators they use at make-up counters which I use to brush my eyebrows!


Stila convertible colour palette in Peony pink

For my cheeks and lips. It's creamy and super easy with a natural looking "flushed" finish. It perks me up. CLICK HERE TO BUY

Lucas Paw Paw ointment for my lips.

What product can’t you live without. Why?

Foundation. My By Terry Light Expert foundation brush to be exact. Although I like a natural look, I do need coverage for my pigmentation, et al. I've spent a lot of time worshipping the Queensland (and European) sun!

What’s your biggest beauty challenge?

I find the whole beauty area overwhelming - there are so many different products and seemingly different opinions / options. I have combination skin and there seems to be so many different approaches to daily care and treatment care, I honestly don’t know where to start so I tend to ignore it and hope for the best. I want someone to break it down for me - thank god for you Amanda and Secrets from a Beauty Insider!

What’s your top beauty tip?

Sleep … apparently! On the rare occasion I get a good nights sleep everything looks a bit better… I do think a good brow definition does wonders too.

Who inspires you the most?

My mum. Her positive attitude to life, wisdom, inner strength, sense of humour, grace through adversity and her enduring style.

Where is your happy place?

Anywhere in nature watching my kids playing - the beach or out on the water, the mountains of Norway (where my husband has a family cabin), my sister’s farm near Scone in the country… I also LOVE a road trip - for the first hour at least…

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Live for today.

Thankyou Emily for sharing your inspiration for your authentic market-style monogrammed baskets, little beauty secrets and makeup bag goodies with all of us. Love a sticky beak!

With love hugs and laughs,

Amanda x


Need a little help to SPRING CLEAN


Are you stuck in a makeup rut?

+ Is your makeup bag a bit sad, with a few well-used, ropey-looking products?

+ Or is it loud and proud, bursting at the seams, yet you use the same gear daily?

+ Ready to freshen up your look but unsure what products to choose?

+ Well your makeup bag needs a mighty good edit ... let's SPRING CLEAN baby!

+ Your 30 minute personal consultation is just $65

Click HERE for more details.



JOIN Secrets from a Beauty Insider NOW we will send you this printable Step by Step Guide for creating Smokin' Smokey Eyes, for women over 40 absolutely FREE. Kapow!

Click here to get your guide now.



Under expert guidance you become the makeup artist for your face right now. Not the 20 year old you but the 40+ you. New tips and tricks for the ageing-beautifully woman. We tackle hooded eyes, wrinkles, crinkles, wobbly saggy bits, laughter lines all with grace and positivity and show you how to perk up, lift your eyes, look younger and glow girl glow!

Book your practical 2- hour hands on session NOW for just $199. For more info click HERE.

bottom of page