In a fate not common to child stars, Kate Ritchie has not only bypassed a past of public rebellion, she has also carved herself a long life in the spotlight – for all the right reasons. After 20 years of playing Home and Away’s (mostly) good girl Sally Fletcher - and nabbing two Gold Logies along the way - her feet are still firmly planted on the ground. She now graces the airways on Nova, a published author to children’s book ‘I Just Couldn’t Wait To Meet You’ – an ode to her daughter, Mae (2) - and ambassador for skincare brand QV.
All honey dipped tresses and double denim, the lovely Kate arrives at our shoot at the incredible Bondi Breakers apartment armed with a suitcase brimming with all of her most treasured possessions. It's a fitting backdrop for the girl who grew up in front of the camera on Sydney’s Palm Beach, aka Summer Bay. Gracious and charming, Kate is happy to divulge her eating habits, favourite lipstick shades and confess who she trust’s with her skin.
Growing up, I was a huge Marilyn Monroe fan.
My room was covered in posters; there are still a few in my home now. She was so curvy, I’m always attracted to women like that. I remember in my very early teens during Logies’ season flicking through my Marilyn Monroe books thinking I need to wear that floor length satin gown with the sash. I loved the old Hollywood glamour.
KATE HAS ALWAYS LOVED OLD SCHOOL GLAMOUR. SHE WEARS GINGER & SMART DRESS AND HEELS
KATE WEARS LIFE WITH BIRD STRIPED PANTS AND TOP
When I was young, they never put me in the makeup chair…
My hair was always in ponytails. Once puberty starts being unkind to you the makeup starts coming out. I think on the TV set is where I learnt a lot about looking after my skin. I was surrounded by women who knew what it was like to be on location and to have their skin poked and prodded all day. But then I think growing up that way I have been a bit spoilt, I don’t want to criticise myself too much but I have to say my skills, certainly with my hair, are minimal because I’m so used to people doing it all the time.
“My book began as little love notes [to Mae] I would scribble madly at night.
It was inspired completely by my pregnancy and the wonderful anticipation of waiting for a baby to arrive. Jotting things down helped to silence some of that nervous inner dialogue. It eventually evolved into this beautiful picture book thanks to the illustrations of Hannah Sommerville. My hope is that it’s read to little people all over the world, making them feel loved and secure.
KATE'S BOOK BEGAN AS LOVE LETTERS TO HER UNBORN DAUGHTER
STYLISH LIFE: KATE'S MOST TREASURED ESSENTIALS INSIDE HER BALLY BURGUNDY BAG
I am far from tech-savvy and still use a handwritten diary.
I use it for my schedule and important notes. I don’t see that changing any time soon. It lives in my bag with my sunglasses, wallet and lip balm. I never leave the house without lip balm. My Bally handbag is a gorgeous rich Mulberry, I fell in love with it! It’s the perfect size bag from day to night, it’s home to most of my things day to day.
I carry my entire life around in my handbag…
…so on the rare occasions I am able to downsize for an event or night out I love a pretty burst of colour. My Salvatore Ferragamo clutch with gold chain detail is one of my favourites. I love a good statement earring – my favourite is a pair that was a birthday gift from my husband from Harlequin Market. You don’t need much else when you are wearing them and I love that they are clip-ons!
THE RADIO STAR'S FERRAGAMO CLUTCH AND VINTAGE EARRINGS THAT WERE A PRESENT FROM HER HUSBAND
A COLLECTION OF KATE'S FAVOURITE COFFEE TABLE BOOKS AND CHARLOTTE TILBURY LOVES
I find when you have to look natural that is the hardest look to achieve
Charlotte Tilbury Magic foundation is amazing for this. It just looks like I have really good skin. I also love her lipstick I’m quite minimal, on the weekend it’s a little mascara, maybe some tinted moisturizer with an SPF, that’s one thing I’ve become more aware of from 30. Now it’s SPF all the time! Sunsense do a good sunscreen
I grew up with Mum telling me that steaming is so good for your skin.
So now I love when facialists steam my face. I have regular facials at Face Plus MediSpa in Bondi Junction, when I can find the time. I always come out feeling great, I think a lot of that is to do with having time to myself. I’ve had a few laser facials as well, usually in the lead up to the Logies.
KATE BELIEVES REGULAR FACIALS ARE THE KEY TO GREAT SKIN
ORIBE PRODUCTS KEEP KATE'S LIGHTER LOCKS IN CHECK
Chanel has always had my go-to fragrances
Today I’m wearing Coco Mademoiselle. My signature is probably No. 5, that’s Marilyn Monroe inspired, no wonder I love it. I didn’t like it when I was younger but I got so caught up in the fact that that was all she apparently wore to bed. I didn’t even fully understand what that meant. I also love the Chanel Gardenia, I wear that for every day. I do try other things over the years but I always go back to Chanel.
CHANEL COCO MADEMOISELLE IS HER GO TO FRAGRANCE
FISH FEATURES HIGHLY IN KATE'S BALANCED DIET
I’m not one of these girls that can eat chocolate bars and not notice…
I’ve had to adjust my diet over the years. I have to be aware of what I fuel my body with, but I’ve always been like that. With that being said I do eat everything in a very well-balanced diet kind of way. I eat meat, lots of fish – I live super close to a fish market so that makes up a lot of our dinners. I have a floor to ceiling bookcase at home filled mostly with cookbooks, too.
My Pilates instructor is one of the original Aerobics Ozstyle women
June Jones is my private instructor, she’s gorgeous. I do a lot of Pilates and I think that’s what has lead to the most noticeable change in my body. She does some stretching DVDs that I love too. I do have a gym membership but I’m not a regular gym go-er. Otherwise I’m out and about with Mae and we have an American Staffy that needs to be walked a lot.
SOAKING UP THE INCREDIBLE BEACH VIEW
KATE'S OWN BALLY DRESS AND SCARF
I would not classify myself as a glamorous person…
I have had glamorous moments in my life, but I think I am my most comfortable when I’m not wearing any makeup and my hair’s in a ponytail. Sometimes I feel like I have a wardrobe full of beautiful things and I never get to wear them! I wear flats every day. Though I think if you look after your skin and your hair you can wear a T-Shirt and look amazing.
Mae has tiny red gumboots she loves to wear for puddle-jumping.
I’m sure this weather inevitably lies ahead. Of course I have a matching pair by Hunter. Also for my daughter, I love Melbourne label Oishi-M. The quality is first class and the fabrics are so eclectic and fun. They actually have a track pant with the most comfortable wide waistband I wish they did them in adult sizes. I would never change out of them!”