Illuminated talks with Arabella Preston - From VOTARY & VERDEN
From makeup-artist to plant-powered skincare - we caught up Arabella Preston about her journey in creating the cult, skincare brand VOTARY and their new sister brand VERDEN. We talk Arabella's all-time favourite products, go-to skincare advice and what podcast had her laughing out loud.
Tell us about yourself and how Votary began?
I was working as a make-up artist and became obsessed with oil cleansing as the best way to remove make-up without compromising skin health. I also always used facial oils to prep my clients skin. My business partner Charlotte is an old friend - we were just chatting one day about skincare and I started to obsess to her about oils and simplified routines. The next thing I knew we were launching Votary together! I think Votary is still seen as the oils expert but we have now applied that knowledge and expertise to a myriad of other products - serums, masks, lip oils, creams etc.
What makes being a businesswoman in the beauty industry so rewarding?
The beauty industry is a fantastically supportive industry. I feel so fortunate to be working in such a supportive, collaborative and innovative industry.
What has been the most fulfilling moment for you since the launch of Votary?
So many! But just very simply the day we launched and I walked up to Liberty to see our products in the windows was the moment it all became real. (Liberty of London - is a heritage listed London icon famed for its beauty curation)
Q: What was your first memory of skincare growing up and who was it with?
I have a clear memory of sitting on my Grandmother's bed watching her apply cold cream to remove her make-up. There was such a glamour to the moment, it smelt delicious and I can only think has informed my passion for gentle, nourishing cleansing.
Q: What was the worst skincare fail you’ve ever made?
Without a doubt, not wearing SPF in my teens and 20's.
Q: What are your top three VOTARY hero products and why?
Since its launch, my desert island product has always been Rose Geranium and Apricot Cleansing Oil. It's the first product I created and the product I most recommend at the start of people's VOTARY journey. My routine is also never without Super Seed Serum. I use it daily and it really cools and soothes my skin - it works brilliantly under facial oils and creams to plump and nourish my skin. We have a new night serum launching in August and it's fast becoming one of my go-to products - we are especially excited for our customers to experience it as it has some incredible clinical and consumer results for rejuvenating and plumping skin and reducing wrinkles.
Q: Your favorite VERDEN scent? It's a tough question!
For me it definitely depends on the season. I'm drawn to the lighter D'Orangerie fragrance in the warmer months and Arborealist during winter. I can't be without a bottle of Herbanum Bath Oil year-round.
Q: Books or Podcasts and your suggestions?
For non-fiction I recently read ‘’If In Doubt Wash Your Hair’’ - it's Anya Hindmarch's memoir/ business advice book and resonated with many aspects of running your own business. In fiction, I adored Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason.
Podcasts are usually escapism for me - often listened to in the bath. My Therapist Ghosted Me never fails to make me laugh out loud.
Q: What product would be on your Skincare Edit wish list, aside from VOTARY and VERDEN of course?!
I really rate Altruist sunscreen. My daughter and I are sensitive to SPF formulations but never have an issue with their products.
Thank you so much Arabella. x
You can explore:
The VOTARY Range here
The VERDEN Range here
Images: Votary and Bloomsbury