Chapter 1Own your story

Because no two skins are alike

Madame Baché

What does it take to show up and decide to own your story?

My story has been passed down from generation to generation. All of ours have. But this is my unique story and one that has become synonymous with skin — healthy individual skin is at the heart of it — and for the first time I want to share this message of ownership and acceptance with a new generation of women.

Backing your intuition

Across the oceans, in Paris, is where my story began when I found myself, on a sunny spring morning in May 1999, sitting by the Opéra National de Paris. I had been in Paris nearly a year and felt it was time to decide what was next. Where should I go? Should I go alone? What was the next step in my career? I was craving clarity. I’d been given the opportunity to spend a year in Paris in my great-aunt Ella Baché’s apartment, where she had lived, when she wasn’t in New York, from the 1920s to 1990s.

I thought a lot about the crossroads she faced in her life and the crossroads I was now facing in mine. I was born in Sydney, Australia, and was blessed with a free-range childhood, which I changed for adventure and out of choice. As you would have read in the introduction to this book, Ella also enjoyed a happy childhood but the change in her life story was quite different from mine.

Ella’s life change was about making choices for survival, whereas mine was about making choices for myself. Ella would never return home. I ...

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