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

Photograph by Grace Alyssa Ko for The Grace Tales.

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 ...

Photograph by Grace Alyssa Ko for The Grace Tales.

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?


By Terry Light Expert Click-Brush illuminating flawless foundation brush.

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